Practical Course in Verdurian - Lessons 3 & 4

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

Tvere urek Third lesson [To Index]

Ne mershán At the market Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

So hutorom vule žusir koupi lië. Eluá ila ne meršán.
Redelcë že; vule emec koupi. —Emai, mis.
—Emai, graženka. Vuleu koupi?
—Ar. Vulu par luomi er pan čurem.
So hutorom hicete. —An, ďun, ďin...
—Eto řo e dobrë.
—Ďin, par luomĭ. An, ďun...
—Urave, piyula, graženom. Vulu pan luomi, řo par.
So hutorom ilan de oträ luom. —E dobre, eluá pan luomĭ. Er soĭ čurĭ... ďin, par, pan, sues.
—Řo vulu sues čurem, vulu pan.
So hutorom prene čura.
—Piyula, graženom, mis soa graženka. Tana vulu ce-čurem.
So hutorom ilan de soa čura.
—Iy... piro esë že eludëno... Oträ čura, urave.
So hutorom ilat de čura.
—Ac řo ditave čurem. Urë vulu par čurem er sues luomi.
So hutorom prene čura er ilan de luom. —Fsë e, graženka?
—E fsë, dëkuy. Kedimo e?
—Par letĭ aržentei.
Soa redelcë ilun de par letem aržentei.
—Piyula; pyeru, graženom. Vulu mizec, pan.
Soa redelcë ilun de oträ leta aržentei.
—Pyeru, pyeru. Sues letĭ aržentei e...

The farmer wants to sell his fruit. Here he is at the market.
A woman comes, wanting to buy fruit. “Hello,” she says.
“Hello, ma’am. Do you want fruit?”
“Yes. I want four apples and five pears.”
The farmer counts. “One, two, three...”
“This one isn’t good.”
“Three, four apples. One, two...”
“Please, one moment, sir. I want five apples, not four.”
The farmer gives her another apple. “That’s fine, here’s five apples. And the pears— three, four, five, six.”
“I don’t want six pears, I want five.”
The farmer takes a pear.
“One moment, sir,” says the lady. “Actually I want that pear.”
The farmer gives her the pear.
“But... my father is coming today. Another pear, please.”
The farmer gives her a pear.
“But he doesn’t like pears. So I want four pears and six apples.”
The farmer takes a pear and gives her an apple. “Is that all, ma’am?”
“That’s all, thank you. How much is it?”
“Four silver pieces.”
The woman gives him four silver pieces.
“One moment— I’m sorry, ma’am. I want to say, five.”
The woman gives him another silver piece.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It’s six silver pieces...”

Loži Words Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

baďir hit
dan give (de = gives)
ditavan like, prefer
eludëno today
emec buy
eto this one
fsë all, everything
hicetan counts
ilan to her
ilun to him
kedimo how much
ne meršán at the market
prenan takes
žusir sell
čura pear
graženka Mrs., ma'am
koup fruit
leta aržentei silver coin
luom apple
piyula moment
redelcë woman (f.)
bome old
dobre good
ďaye right, correct
lase tired
lereže happy
otre another
pëse sad
sulete young

Vuî Sounds Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Mörî Culture Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Even in Verduria city, you buy your produce not in a store but from a farmer's stand in an open market. (There are some middlemen who buy produce and bring it into the city, but the quality of their produce is lower, and they tend to sell mostly to the poor.)

Grocery shopping in the city is an expedition. You buy produce and honey at the market; bread at the bakery; meat at the butcher; wine and liquor at the vintner; fish at the fishmonger, and cheese, spices, and imported specialties (tea, coffee, sugar) at the grocer.

Almea is of course a different planet from Earth, and all the names of animals, plants, fruit, and vegetables should be taken to be those of the nearest equivalent. A Verdurian luom is smallish, tart, and orangeish-red; a čura looks like a fat pear but tastes more like a melon, and so on.

Aluatas Grammar Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Adjectives. Adjectives normally precede their nouns (lereže malsfaom "a happy barbarian", so dobre cuon "the good dog"). However, two or more adjectives generally go after it: uestu bome er lase "an old and tired man".

Adjectives agree with nouns in gender (and, as we will see, in case and number). There are several classes of adjectives, which you can tell apart by the dictionary form, which will be the masculine, singular, nominative form.

The adjectives given in the vocabulary above are in this form. Note that they all end in -e; this is the mark of what the grammarians call declension II adjectives. To form the feminine, change the -e into -ë: dobrë čura "a good pear"; soa pësë cira "the sad wife".

Plurals. Most nouns have a plural ending in -î. If the noun ends in a consonant, just add this suffix; if it ends in a vowel, replace it:

hutorom farmer →  hutoromî farmer
cuon dog cuonî dogs
uestu man uestî men
atüčy villain atüčî villains
cira wife cirî wives
redelcë woman redelcî women

However, nouns ending in -o have a plural that ends in -oi:

avo grandfather avoi grandfathers
kuzulo cousin kuzuloi cousins

Adjectives have plurals too, which are formed like those of nouns, using -î:

dobrî luomî good apples
bomî atüčî old villains
pësî redelcî sad women
cuonî suletî er lerežî young and happy dogs

Numbers. The numbers from one to ten:

1   an
2 ďun
3 ďin
4 par
5 pan
6 sues
7 hep
8 žoc
9 nev
10 dec

As an obnoxious quirk, the numbers from 1 to 3 are regular adjectives. This doesn't matter for counting, but when you use a number with a noun it must agree with it in number, case, and gender. Thus:

But from four on up you don't have to worry about this: par cirî "four wives", etc.

The accusative. In English, pronouns have special forms when they're used as objects (which generally means, after a verb or a preposition). Grammars call such distinctions case. This is true of Verdurian as well; but Verdurian also marks nouns for case, like Latin, German, or Russian.

Verdurian has four cases, which are named and used as follows:

case used for example pronoun example
nominative subjects the man hits the dog he hits the dog
accusative direct objects the dog bites the man the dog bites him
genitive things possessed the man's dog his dog
dative indirect objects the man gives the dog a bone he gives him a bone

For most of the singular nouns that we have been studying, as well as the article so/soa, the nominative and the accusative are the same.

So hutorom baďe so cuon. The farmer hits the dog.
Soa redelcë creže soa čura. The woman eats the pear.
In these sentences there's no difference in form between so uestu and so cuon or between soa redelcë and soa čura; we have to rely on word order to tell us who did what. (So cuon baďe so hutorom means something else entirely.)

Nouns in -o, however, have an accusative that ends in -am. So when Ihano does something, he's Ihano; but when someone does something to him, he's Ihanam.

Mira esë ditave Ihanam. My mother likes Ihano.
The nominative and accusative differ in the plural for most nouns. For now, note the following patterns:
cuonî dogs →  cuoni (acc.)
kuzuloi cousins kuzulom
churî pears čurem

Now you can see why we saw forms like luomi and churem in the reading:

Vulu par luomi er pan churem. I want four apples and five pears.

"Apples" and "pears" are in the plural accusative because they're the object of vulir 'want.'

Onteca Exercises Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

1. Learn to count in Verdurian. When you can count fluently to ten, try counting backwards.

2. Go through this and previous lessons and find a bunch of nouns. If you can, say what their plurals and accusatives are.

3. Construct some adjective + noun combinations. Use feminine and masculine nouns; try some in the plural,too.

4. In lessons 1 and 2, some nouns were used as direct objects. Did they appear in a special case form? If not, why not?

Chetve urek Fourth lesson [To Index]

Piro er meď Father and son Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Hutorom apelue meď lië. So meď že.
—Emai, piro.
—Pavel, siloram yon er milka, so piro ilun mis. Epei cam tróuen ne meršán. Cumprenei?
—Cumprenai, piro. Siloro yon er luomi er epai cam tróuen ne... ne...
—Ne meršán, nrüsk, er řo vulu luomi, ac milka. Řo cam ubliei?
—Cam suzanai, piro.
—Néronden, ametnei so yon er ublinei soa milka.
—Eludëno suzanai fsë. Epei et cunësan, piro.
—Eř cunësai. Ai tana nrüsk. Urë. Išei yon er...
—Milka, mis so meď.
E lereže ilat suzanen. So piro ilet lele.
—Lädanei, ilun mis. Se er mira lë eř ležiram.
—Ad onlelán, piro.
So meď läde; so piro ilet ležire. Apros, ilet lele ke onže.
—Emai, piro.
—Ubliei so yon?
—Řo, piro.
—Er soa milka?
—Řo ilat ublinai. Yon er milka, yon er milka, cam ontnai ozë— lelei, řo ai nrüsk.
—Ei dobre meď, Pavel! Ac ktë eu so yon er soa milka?
—Pyeru, piro. Ublinai soa kuna.

A farmer calls his son. His son comes.
“Hello, father.”
“Pavel, we need bread and sausage,” the father says to him. “You can find them at the market. Do you understand?”
“I understand, father. You need bread and apples and I can find them at... at...”
“The market, fool, and I don’t want apples, but sausage. You won’t forget them?”
“I’ll remember them, father.”
“On Néronden, you brought the bread and forgot the sausage.”
“Today I am remembering everything. You can trust me, father.”
“I trust you— I’m indeed a fool. So. You’re looking for bread and...”
“Sausage,” says the son.
He is happy to remember it. His father looks at him.
“Go,” he says to him. “I and your mother will wait for you.”
“Goodbye, father.”
The son goes; the father waits for him. Then, he sees him coming back [literally, he sees who returns].
“Hello, father.”
“Did you forget the bread?”
“No, father.”
“And the sausage?”
“I didn’t forget it. Bread and sausage, bread and sausage, I repeated them like that— you see, I’m not a fool.”
“You are a good son, Pavel! But where are the bread and sausage?”
“I’m sorry, father. I forgot the money.”

Loži Words Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

ad onlelán goodbye, till later
apros then, next
kuna money
meca daughter (pl. mesî)
meď son
milka sausage
néronden Néronden (market day)
nrüsk fool
yon bread
ametan bring
apeluan call, summon
cumprenan understand
cunësan trust
epan can, be able to
išan look for
lädanei! go!
ležiren await, wait for
onten repeat (an exercise)
onžanen return, come back
siloran need
suzanen remember
tróuen find
ublian forget

Vuî Sounds Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

English is virtually guaranteed to give you a bad accent no matter what language you learn— unless you watch out for some common errors:

Mörî Culture Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

The father in the reading probably wants the bread to make zerî— a thin, soft bread most similar to flour tortillas. They are also made sweetened, in which case they're more like crêpes. And they can be thicker, like pita bread or pancakes.

You fill a zer with a meaty sauce, potatoes, and chopped vegetables and roll it up. You can now pick it up and eat it or, in fine dining situations, it's covered with more sauce and eaten with knife and fork. It's typically accompanied with rice or beans, and wine (for all ages).

If you're poor, the sauce is merely meaty; if you're well off it'll be mostly meat.

Thick zerî are used to make sandwiches (celzerî, literally 'between-zerî'), usually with cheese and sausage inside.

Other typical dishes include fish (paž) and potatoes (susluoma); soups (legua) of all kinds; Ismaîn seafood salad; and meat grilled "malsfaom-style" over an open fire.

Aluatas Grammar Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Verbs in -n. If the infinitive (the form given in the dictionary, or the vocabulary) of a verb ends in -an or -en, it's conjugated as follows:
-ai silorai I need ametai I trust
-ei silorei you (singular) need ametei you trust
-e silore he or she needs amete he or she trusts
-am siloram we need ametam we trust
-o siloro you (plural) need ameto you trust
-u siloru they need ametu they trust

The other verb types are a little different, and we'll learn them later. (Remember that the he/she form ends in -e for all verbs, however.)

Past tense. To form the past tense, you use the same personal endings, but insert -n- before them:

-nai silornai I needed ametnai I trusted
-nei silornei you needed ametnei you trusted
-ne silorne he or she needed ametne he or she trusted
-nam silornam we needed ametnam we trusted
-no silorno you (plural) needed ametno you trusted
-nu silornu they needed ametnu they trusted

Two of the verbs we've encountered, esan 'to be' and dan 'give', have irregular past roots:

Pronoun objects. Just as nouns have special ("accusative") object forms, so do pronouns. These may be easier than the noun forms, since we have object forms for pronouns in English, too.

et   me
you (singular)
ilet him
ilat her
tam us
you (plural)
cam them

These pronouns always appear before the verb, not after. Thus:

Pavel ilat suzane. Pavel remembers her.
Tam suzanei? Do you remember us?
Et siloro. You (plural) need me.

Note that ilun 'to him' and ilan 'to her' from the last lesson go before the verb, too.

There's a word for "it" that we'll learn later, but it's not used for ordinary nouns— you use ilet and ilat instead, depending on the gender of what you're referring to. So in Verdurian, when you eat an apple you don't eat it, you eat him (ilet crežei), since luom is masculine; and when you eat a pear you eat her (ilat crežei), since čura is feminine.

Ke 'who' has a special object form too, ket:

Ket lelai? Who do I see?
Ket ležiram? Who are we waiting for?

(In older English we'd use 'whom' for these sentences. The ke/ket distinction is very much like the who/whom distinction. But if you're not sure when to say 'whom', think about when you'd use 'I' vs. 'me' instead.)

Fsë 'everything', however, has no distinct accusative form.

Onteca Exercises Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

1. Construct some sample sentences using the verbs you learned in this lesson and the object pronouns.

2. Put your sentences into the past tense.

3. Translate into Verdurian:

The father has a son who is a fool. He went to buy bread and sausage at the market, but he forgot the sausage. Who can forget to buy something (što) at the market? Today he was at the market again (on) and he forgot his money.

But his daughter is not a fool. She can go to buy something and she can remember them. Her father says, go! She buys apples, pears, mead, bread— everything. And she brings them to him. You can trust her; you can't trust a fool.

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