Practical Course in Verdurian - Lessons 1 & 2

Intro Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Glossary

Pere urek First lesson [To Index]

Ke ei? Who are you? Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Klok! Uestu uve so ďer.
—Emai, Ihano! mis suléom. Kiel läde?
—Bože, bože. Ac... urave, sulete graženom, ke ei?
—Ai Mihel!
—Ei Mihel? Ac ke e Mihel?
—Ac řo šris? Kuzulo lë! Piro esë e Nícolo.
—Ei kuzulo esë? Er Nícolo, ke ei?
—Nícolo... Mira lië e Reveca.
—Reveca Titei? Tana e vlaya esë. Er le, Mihel, e kuzulo esë. Dobrežanul, kuzulo!
—Reveca Titel? Ac řo, ava esë e Reveca Solomei... Pyeru, Ihano. Řo e đaye dom.
—Ar, pyeru. Er tana, řo et nomai Ihano! Et nomai Atónio!

Knock! A man opens the door.
“Hello, Ihano!” says a young man. “How are you?”
“Fine, fine. But... please, young sir, who are you?”
“I’m Mihel!”
“You’re Mihel? But who’s Mihel?”
“But don’t you know? Your cousin! My father is Nícolo.”
“You’re my cousin? And Nícolo, who is he?”
“Nícolo... His mother is Reveca.”
“Reveca Titei? She is indeed my aunt! And so you, Mihel, are my cousin. Welcome, cousin!”
“Reveca Titei? But no, my grandmother is Reveca Solomei. I’m sorry, Ihano. I must have the wrong house. [Literally, It isn’t the right house.]”
“Yes, I’m sorry. And besides, my name isn’t Ihano! My name is Atónio!”

Loži Words Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

If a word isn't listed here, look for it in the Grammar section.
ac but
ar yes
dom house
ďaye right, correct
ďer door
er and
graženom mister, sir
ke who
klok knock
mis says
řo no, not
so the (masculine form)
suléom young man
sulete young
(le) šris know
tana indeed
uestu man
uve opens
Family members
kuzulo remote cousin, relative
mira mother
piro father
avo grandfather
ava grandmother
cira wife
maris husband
baraďu brother
sädra sister
besyun boyfriend
besya girlfriend
druk friend
Emai Hello
Ad onlelán Goodbye
Kiel läde? How are you?
Bože Fine
Dobrežanul Welcome!
Pyeru I'm sorry
Et nomai... I'm called...
Urave Please
Dëkuy Thank you
E niš You're welcome

Vuî Sounds Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

The Verdurian words used here are romanized, transliterated into the Roman alphabet from the Verdurian. The transliteration, like Verdurian orthography, is quite straightforward. For now, here's what you need to know:

Mörî Culture Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Family (ženát) is very important to Verdurians— and that means extended families. The situation in the reading— meeting a remote cousin (kuzulo) you didn't even know you had— is not uncommon. Verdurians you meet will generally want to know who your family is, what your father does, how many brothers and sisters you have, how many children you have, and so on.

The extended family generally lives nearby, and is available for family celebrations, business contacts, babysitting, emotional support, religious observance, and financial assistance. Significantly, Verdurian has two words for 'orphan': sampire, used for those without parents, and samženate for the more serious condition of not having a family.

Reveca Titei is called that not because her family name is Titei, but because her father is Tito. It's very common to call a Verdurian by his or her name (nom) and patronymic (pirei).

Aluatas Grammar Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Sentence order. The normal order in a Verdurian sentence is subject, verb, object:
Uestu uve so ďer.
subject verb object
a man opens the door

Articles. Verdurian just has one article, the definite article so 'the'. There is no indefinite article— where we would say "a door" or "a father" in English, a Verdurian would just say ďer or piro.

Questions and negatives. There are several ways to form questions in Verdurian. The simplest is just to use a rising intonation of the voice:

E ďaye dom? Is it the right house?

To negate a statement, insert řo before the verb:

Piro esë řo uve so ďer.
My father doesn't open the door.
So uestu řo e sulete.
The man isn't young.

To be. The basic forms of esan 'to be' are:

ai (I) am
ei (you) are
e (he, she) is
am (we) are
eo (you all) are
eu (they) are

Possessive pronouns. To indicate who something belongs to, you use the possessive pronouns, after the noun:

cira esë my wife
maris your husband
cira lië his wife
maris lië her husband

Onteca Exercises Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

1. Memorize the forms of esan. Learn to say them quickly and in any order.

2. Using the vocabulary from this lesson (or the glossary), make up some sentences expressing your relationship to people you know.

3. Using the conventional expressions, write a very short, polite conversation between two Verdurians who meet in the street.

Ftore urek Second lesson [To Index]

So malsfaom The barbarian Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

So malsfaom e salë e lase. Ilu lele hutor er dom. Klok!
—Hutorom! Ktë ei, cuon?
So hutorom že er uve so ďer. —Ar, graženom?
—Vulu žöh!
—Vuleu žöh! Er řo šris mizec <urave>?
—Ai belgom, cuon! Vulu žöh er núnece!
—Ar, ar, tana. Cira esë! Eluá malsfaom ke vule žöh!
Soa cira že er lele so malsfaom. —Emai, graženom. Ei le ke vuleu žöh?
—Ai. Le ei cira lië? Ei beluana, tilka esë.
Soa cira řo mis niš, ac läde im dom. Ila že on; tene so žöh. So malsfaom pite er läde. Řo mis <dëkuy>.
—Ce-malsfaom e atüčy, mis so hutorom.
—Tana. Urë pite žöh lië— er řark esë.

The barbarian is dirty and tired. He sees a farm and a house. Knock!
—Farmer! Where are you, dog?
The farmer comes and opens the door. “Yes, sir?”
“I want mead!”
“You want mead! And you don’t know how to say please?”
“I’m a warrior, dog! I want mead, and right now!”
“Yes, yes, indeed. Wife! There’s a barbarian who wants mead!”
The wife comes and sees the barbarian. “Hello, sir. Is it you who wants mead?”
“It is. Are you his wife? You’re a beauty, my chick.”
The wife says nothing, but goes into the house. She comes again, carrying the mead. The barbarian drinks and goes. He doesn’t say thank you.
“That barbarian is a villain,” says the farmer.
“Yes indeed. That’s why he’s drinking his mead— and my spit.”

Lozhi Words Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

ce- that (before a noun)
eluá here is, there is, behold
ilu he
im in
ktë where
lase tired
niš nothing
núnece now
on again
salë dirty
urë therefore, thus
atüčy villain, rascal
belgom warrior
beluana beauty
cuon dog
hutor farm
hutorom farmer
malsfaom barbarian
tilka chick, girl
řark spit
žöh mead
läde goes
lele sees
pite drinks
mizec to say
tene has
vulu, vuleu I want / you want
že comes

Vuî Sounds Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Several new sounds are introduced here:

Mörî Culture Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Mead (žöh) is a very common alcoholic drink in Verduria; it's made from fermented honey.

Malsfaom ('barbarian') literally means someone who 'speaks badly'— that is, someone who doesn't speak Verdurian. By convention speakers of Ismaîn, Kebreni, and Flaidish are not considered malsfaomî. So the word ends up referring to someone from outside the Caďinorian Plain; and in practice anyone in this category who might be met inside the Plain is likely to be one of the southern or western nomads (loosely including Kačanza and Caizura in this category), or someone from the western mountains or the Western Wild. Most of these are 'barbarians' in our sense— nomads, warriors, unfamiliar with the graces of urban civilization.

Many barbarians, however, are fine and courteous individuals, quite unlike the one in the reading.

Aluatas Grammar Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Pronouns. The personal pronouns are:
se I
le you (singular)
ilu he
ila she
ta we
mu you (plural)
ca they

These are subject pronouns (that is, se is "I", not "me"). Since Verdurian verbs show person and number, it usually isn't necessary to use the subject pronouns at all. They're sometimes useful, however:

Gender. Verdurian nouns, as in French, German, or Greek, have gender. Each noun belongs either to the feminine or the masculine class. Words referring to males are usually masculine, and those referring to females are usually feminine; but this doesn't always hold, and gender assignments are often arbitrary.

Fortunately, the gender of a word is (with a very few exceptions) obvious from its form. For now all you need to know is that nouns ending in a consonant or -o are masculine, and nouns ending in -a are feminine.

Masculine: avo grandfather; hutor farmer; maris husband; dom house; cuon dog
Feminine: ava grandmother; tilka chick; cira wife; beluana beauty; besya girlfriend

The definite article has different forms for feminine nouns. You use so only for masculine nouns; for feminine nouns you use soa:

so maris the husband
so dom the house
soa cira the wife
soa tilka the chick

Verbs. Verdurian verbs are inflected; that is, their endings vary to indicate tense, number, and person. The same is true of English; "comes", for instance, indicates third person, singular number, and present tense.

The dictionary form is the infinitive, corresponding to expressions like "to say" or "to go" in English. Infinitives for Verdurian forms always end in -an, -en, -ir, -er, or -ec.

We won't try to learn all the forms of the Verdurian verb yet; but you should know how to form the "he/she" form of the present tense. It's quite simple: you take off the infinitive ending (-an, -en, -ir, -er, or -ec) and add -e.

lädan go →  läde goes
tenec have tene has
uvir open uve opens
pitir drink pite drinks
lelen see lele sees
vulir want vule wants

With this simple rule you can look up verbs in the dictionary and start using them. You should be aware that there are a few irregular verbs— though nowhere near the number you find in French or even English. We've already met a few of them:

esan be →  e is
žanen come že comes
mizec say mis says

Double negatives. In Verdurian, any number of negative words adds up to a single negation. To put it another way, when you use a word like niš 'nothing', you must still put řo before the verb:

So hutorom řo lele niš. The farmer sees nothing.

Onteca Exercises Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

1. What's the gender of the following words: kuzulo, ava, piro, malsfaom, ďer, urek, onteca?

2. What's the "he/she" form of the following verbs: řarkir spit, sfahen speak, prosan walk, crežen eat? Find some more verbs in the dictionary and construct the he/she form.

3. Invent a conversation between the barbarian and the farmer where the barbarian is a good deal more polite.

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