Practical Course in Verdurian - Lessons 5 & 6

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

Pane urek Fifth lesson [To Index]

Maris žanmei Susane Susana's future husband Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

—Susana, eř ečitanei! Eř imuverenei!
Susana zet ečitne huntenece. Eludëno fue dën agoläm: maris lië žanmei, Mihel, ya žanne. Mihel fue so meď hutoromei, hutorom agoläm Vyatei. Piro Susane er piro Mihelei ya celftenne soa marisa. Fue beluán? Fue inye? Zet lavne er zet imuverne, er läzne hipán.
—Susana, žanenei! miže soa mira Susane. Eluá Mihel Ihanei!
—Ar, ar, ilet rihanei, miže piro lië. E lyö bogaty!
—Er beluán!
Eluá Mihel. Řo fue lyö beluán. Fue breve, er lyö sulete. Ilat rihne. Ila ilet rihne.
—Zet nomai Mihel, miže.
—Zet nomai Susana, miže ila.
—Ei lyö beluana, miže. Soĭ loži pirei esë fueu ďayĭ.
Ila ridre.
“Miže, dy soĭ frälinĭ mažtane eu šönĭ. Soĭ frälinĭ Vyatei eu lyö ďelecĭ; tenu ufëem šualië. E lyö agoläm, tenec šöna cira.
Susana er piroi lië siča pratnu apros. —Ča, meca esë, miže piro lië. E dobre uestu?
—Řo ilun marianei, miže mira lië. Vule šöna cira, ac tana, řo e šön. Řo e dobre. Řo ilet cunësai.
—Řo, miže Susana. Et ilun marianu. Esmai soa muďe beluana frälina Vyatei!

“Susana, get yourself up! Get dressed!”
Susana awakened, excitedly. Today was an important day: her future husband, Mihel, had come. Mihel was the son of a farmer, an important farmer of Vyat. Susana’s father and Mihel’s father had arranged the marriage. Was he handsome? Was he kind? She washed and got dressed, and went downstairs.
“Susana, come!” said Susana’s mother. “Here is Mihel, son of Ihano!”
“Yes, yes, take a look at him,” said her father. “He’s very rich!”
“And handsome!”
There was Mihel. He was not very handsome. He was short, and very young. He looked at her. She looked at him.
“My name is Mihel,” he said.
“My name is Susana,” she said.
“You’re very beautiful,” he said. “The words of my father were correct.”
She smiled.
“He said, the girls in the city are pretty. The girls of Vyat are very different— they have the faces of horses. It is very important, to have a pretty wife.”
Later, Susana and her parents were talking. “Well, my daughter,” said her father. “Is he a good man?”
“Don’t marry him,” said her mother. “He wants a pretty wife, but truly, he is not handsome. It isn’t good— I don’t trust him.”
“No,” said Susana. “Marry me to him. I will be the prettiest girl in Vyat!”

Loži Words Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

ča! well!
frälina maiden, young woman
hipán downstairs
loži words
lyö very
marisa marriage
muďe most
siča progressive marker
šual horse
ufëa face
ya perfective marker
žanme the future
celftenan arrange, agree
esmai I will be
fue, fueu was, were
miže said
praten talk, chat
ridre smiled
rihan look, look at
zet ečitan wake up, get up
zet imuveren get dressed
zet lavan wash
zet nomen be called, call oneself
agoläm important
beluán beautiful
bogaty rich
breve short
dobre good
inye kind
marian marry
šön pretty, handsome
ďelec different

Vuî Sounds Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Syllables are usually divided: These syllable dividing rules are not complete. Before worrying about the full set of rules, try this easier rule: if a consonant cluster can begin a word in Verdurian, it isn't divided at a syllable boundary. So, cr- can begin a word (e.g. crežen 'eat'), so you say li-cre not lic-re; and ft- can begin a word (e.g. ftore 'second'), so you say cel-fte-nan.

Mörî Culture Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

As suggested by the reading, arranged marriages are the norm in Verduria. Matches are not generally arranged by the parents, who are considered too greedy or short-sighted, but by other relatives: uncles, aunts, grandparents, or older siblings. You can refuse a suggested match if you can't stand the person, but not for something as foolish as loving someone else.

A marriage links two extended families, and creates a whole set of mutual relationships and obligations. The families give each other gifts and feasts. The groom is expected to pay a bride-price (noscado), as a token of his ability to support a wife. With all this, it's no wonder that marriage is considered too important to leave to the parties concerned to decide; and divorce is extremely rare.

Marriages for love are not unknown, however. They are more common in modern than in medieval times, more common in the city than in the country, and more common among the upper and lower classes than among the bourgeois (for whom social advancement is most important).

Do arranged marriages work? Tolerably well— better, most Verdurians would suggest, than love matches, which can end as suddenly as they began.

Aluatas Grammar Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Declension I adjectives. Adjectives whose dictionary form ends in a consonant are particularly easy. The feminine is formed by adding -a, and each gender declines just like the corresponding noun class. That is, the masculine forms decline like nouns ending in a consonant, and the feminine forms decline like feminine nouns ending in -a:
masc. fem.
sing. nom. beluán beluana
sing. acc. beluán beluana
pl. nom. beluanî beluanî
pl. acc. beluani beluanem

The numbers 1 to 3 (an, ďun, ďin) are regular declension I adjectives; so you say:

Dhunî redelcë crežnu ana čura er ďini luomi.
Two women ate one pear and three apples.

The imperative. The singular imperative is the simplest Verdurian verb tense, with no irregularities at all. You simply add the personal endings (the same ones used with the present and past tenses) to the infinitive. All you have to remember is the distinction between singular and plural you.

žanen 'come' →  žanenei! you (sing.) come!
žaneno! you (pl.) come!

You can also form first- and third-person imperatives this way:

lädan 'go' →  lädanam! let's go!
rihan 'look' →  rihane! let him look!

Reflexive verbs. Verbs where the subject acts upon itself are called reflexive. In English these are marked with special pronouns. There is a special reflexive pronoun in Verdurian, zet/zam, but it is used in the third person only— for the first and second person, the ordinary object pronouns are used.

zet lavan to wash oneself zet ečitan to wake up
et lavai I wash myself et ečitai I wake up
eř lavei you wash yourself eř ečitei you wake up
zet lave he/she washes him/herself zet ečite he or she wakes up
tam lavam we wash ourselves tam ečitam we wake up
mun lavo you wash yourselves mun ečito you (plural) wake up
zam lavu they wash themselves zam ečitu they wake up

This pattern is common enough that it has a name: zet lavan is called a reflexive verb. Verdurian uses reflexive verbs in a number of circumstances where English would not, as shown by the example of zet ečitan.

The reflexive verb needs its object pronoun— you must say et lavai, not just lavai, although you can say "I washed" in English.

The special object pronoun zet (plural zam) is used for both male and female subjects. Don't use ilet or ilat in its place— that means something different. Compare:

Susana zet ečitne. Susana woke (herself) up.
Susana ilat ečitne. Susana woke her (that is, someone else).

Ihano zet lavne. Ihano washed himself.
Ihano ilet lavne. Ihano washed him (that is, someone else).

The genitive. The genitive of a noun has as its basic meaning possession; in this sense it's comparable to the English possessive case: piro Susane, Susana's father; hutor Ihanei, Ihano's farm. Note that the genitive always follows the noun.

Here are the nominative and genitive forms for the types of words we've learned so far, in the form of phrases. As shown, the article and adjective agree in case with the noun they modify.

so šön maris the handsome husband soei šönei marisei the handsome husband's
so dobre avo the good grandfather soei dobrei avei the good grandfather's
soa šöna cira the pretty wife soe šöne cire the pretty wife's
soa dobrë meca the good daughter soe dobrëi mece the good daughter's

The singular genitive for both of the masculine noun classes we know ends in -ei, as does the masculine form of adjectives in -e and masculine so.

soî šönî marisî the handsome husbands so šön maris the handsome husbands'
soî dobrî avoi the good grandfathers so dobr av the good grandfathers'
soî šönî cirî the pretty wives so šön cir the pretty wives'
soî dobrî mesî the good daughters so dobr mes the good daughters'

All feminine nouns, and the consonant class of masculine nouns and adjectives, have a plural genitive ending -. Masculine -e adjectives and masculine -o nouns just add -ë to the dictionary form.

Onteca Exercises Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

1. Find the reflexive form that snuck into lesson 1, and the imperative in lesson 4.

2. Translate into Verdurian:
A mother's son; a good father's daughter; a farmer's day; the dog's house; the kind husband's future; a good barbarian's mead.
Invent more such expressions of your own.

3. Write some sentences to describe Susana and Mihel. What's your opinion: Ilun mariane? Or Rho ilun mariane? Can you give the reason for your answer in Verdurian?

4. Describe (in Verdurian, of course) some of the things that might happen early in the morning in the household of Ihano, his wife Reveca, and their children Tito and Atónia.

Suese urek Sixth lesson [To Index]

Veturea Vyatán A voyage to Vyat Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

De Verdúrian-mažtanan, Vyat řo e ret— ďunĭ dëni ab šualán. Atónio, licre smeric, vule veturan Vyatán, ac řo tene šual. Eššane epe loen šadoš? Sfahe soin drukin.
—Lädanam Vyatán, mis. Esme isu buona. So dom soei liromei Boďmorey e im Vyatán, u Eärdurán, er epo emec milkem kaë eu perëce dobráš.
—Řo vulu lädan Vyatán, mis Ihano, druk lië. Ac tenao kuzulam im Pelymán. Lädan Vyatán, lädei debután Pelymán. Lädanam Pelymán. Apros, epei veturan Pelymei Vyatán.
—Vyat e lyö ret er veturan e tro kunondise, mis Lavreto. Prokio lädan ce-mažtanan? Řo ei druk liromei, iy ar? Lirošĭ lië eu cunirĭ.
—Pradece, tenao besya im Vyatán, mis Atónio. E meca hutoromei, řo bogaty, ac lyö šöna. Řo epai elirec sam ilan.
—E tana agoläm, mis Ihano. Kiel voyir Atóniam Vyatán? Ab lotkan?
—Ča, ab lotkan e hepdën, mis Lavreto. Er culĭ lië?

—Kio e muďe agoläm— soĭ culĭ, iy so lübor? Ilet voyirum im bečkan.
Er ozë mevnu. Atónio zet metne im bečkan, er drukĭ lië metnu soa bečka im lotka ke siča läzne Vyatán. Malbostenece, im Pelymán soĭ pelomĭ ilet tróunu im bečkan .
Urë Atónio řo attróune řóece Vyat.

From Verduria city, Vyat is not far: two days by horse. Atónio, a poor student, wishes to travel to Vyat, but he does not have a horse. Perhaps he can hire a carriage? He talks to his friends.
“Let’s go to Vyat,” he says. “It’ll be pretty cool. The house of the poet Boďmorey is in Vyat, on the Eärdur, and you can buy sausages that are simply wonderful.”
“I don’t want to go to Vyat,” says Ihano, his friend. “But I have a remote cousin in Pelym. To go to Vyat, you go to Pelym first. Let’s go to Pelym. Afterward, you can travel from Pelym to Vyat.”
“Vyat is too far and to travel is too expensive,” says Lavreto. “Why go to that city? You are not a friend of the poet, are you? His poems are boring.”
“To be honest, I have a girlfriend in Vyat,” says Atónio. “She’s the daughter of a farmer, not rich, but very pretty. I can’t live without her.”
“This is indeed serious,” says Ihano. “How to send Atónio to Vyat? By boat?”
“Well, by boat it’s a week,” says Lavreto. “What about his classes?”
“What’s more important— classes, or love? Let’s send him inside a barrel.”
And that is what they did. Atónio hid inside a barrel, and his friends put the barrel on a boat which was going to Vyat. Unfortunately, in Pelym, the sailors found him inside the barrel.
So Atónio did not get to Vyat at all.

Loži Words Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

ce- that
cunire boring
dobráš wonderful, great
isu buona pretty cool
kaë who (plural of ke)
kiel how
kio what (accusative kiom)
kunondise expensive
licre poor (not rich)
malbostene unlucky, unfortunate
prade honest
prokio why
ret far
ab using, with
de from
im in
sam without
u near, by
bečka barrel
culë class (in school)
felom sailor
hepdën week
lirom poet
liroš poem
lotka boat
lübor love
mažtana city
num direction, way
smeric college student
šadoš carriage
attróuen reach, attain
elirec live
loen rent, hire
metan put
mevan do, act
mizec say
sfahen speak
šrifec know
veturan travel
voyir send
debután first
eššane peřaps
ozë thus
muďe more, most
perëce wholly
řóece hardly, not at all
tro too (much)

Vuî Sounds Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

Here are somes subtle point to perfect your pronunciation of Verdurian:

Mörî Culture Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

The University of Verduria (Šriftanáe i Verdúria) attracts students from all over the northern Plain— if Atónio has a girlfriend in Vyat he's probably from around there.

Nonetheless, in a pre-industrial society he doesn't have many options. Vyat is about 130 km from Verduria city, and two days suffice by horse only because the town lies on the Svetla, the great river of the Plain, and there's a good road along the river. A pity Atónio isn't from Pelym, which is just 30 km from the city!

Almean horses, by the way, would look rather odd to us, since their ears hang down rather than point up.

If you want a good horse, look for a barbarian. The nomads, of course, virtually live on their horses, and breed the fastest, hardiest horses on Almea.

Aluatas Grammar Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

The dative. The last of the cases to learn is the dative. The basic meaning of the dative implies movement toward something:
Siča lädam Verdurian. We're going to Verduria.

Another usage of the genitive, by the way, is the opposite construction:

Siča žanam Vyatei. We're coming from Vyat.

The dative also used for the indirect object:

So hutorom de so luom frälinan er soa čura suleomán.
The farmer gives the apple to the maiden and the pear to the young man.

The dative usually ends in -n. Indeed, all you do for nouns in -o or -a and masculine adjectives in -e is to add -n:

Ihano → Ihanon to Ihano
Susana → Susanan to Susana
so breve avo → soán breven avon to the short grandfather

For nouns ending in a consonant, you add -án instead: šualšualán; and for feminine adjectives in -ë you change the ending to -en:

šual → sualán to the horse
soa dobrë frälina → soan dobren frälinan to the good maiden

In the plural it's a bit more idiosyncratic:

so šön meď → soin šönin meďin to the handsome sons
so dobre kuzulo → soin dobrein kuzuloin to the good cousins
soa beluana meca → soen beluanen mesen to the beautiful daughters
soa bomë lotka → soen bomen lotken to the old boats

Prepositions. Most prepositions are followed by the dative: im Vyatán 'in Vyat'; u Abendán 'near Abend'; sam soan frälinan 'without the girl'; ab milkan 'with a sausage'.

Verdurian preposition usage does not always match that of English. If you stick to the basic meanings defined above you won't go far wrong; for metaphorical meanings, be sure to check the dictionary. As well, note that many expressions that require a preposition in English don't use one in Verdurian: voyir ciran esë 'send to my wife'; rihan soa frälina 'look at the girl'; lädan Vyatán 'go to Vyat'; žanen Vyatei 'come from Vyat'.

With prepositions of motion, the accusative implies movement, the dative, location. Compare:

Metnu Ihanam im bečka (acc.).
They put Ihano into a barrel. (He started out outside, now he's inside.)

Tróunu Ihanam im bečkan (dat.).
They found Ihano in a barrel. (He started out inside and he's still inside--no change.)

Adverbs. Adverbs can be formed from most adjectives by removing the ending and adding -ece: dobre 'good'dobrece 'well'; beluán 'beautiful' → beluanece 'beautifully'.

Adverbs typically go after the verb— not at the end of the sentence as in English.

Susana uve lasece so ďer. Susana opens the door tiredly.

Susana de lerežece kuna licrem redelcem. Susana gives money to poor women happily.

Aspect markers. Verdurian uses adverbs where English would use auxiliary verbs, to mark aspects of the action. These adverbs precede the verb.

Siča marks the progressive— it indicates that the action is still going on.Ya marks the perfective— it emphasizes that the action is over and done with.


Atónio siča veturne Vyatán. Atónio was travelling to Vyat (he was on the way).
Atónio ya veturne Vyatán. Atónio travelled to Vyat (he's already there).

Some stative verbs imply a progressive aspect all by themselves, and don't need help from any adverbs. For instance, if you want something, that's an ongoing thing, you don't need siča. (Similarly, you don't have to say "I am wanting it" in English.) In the same way So belgom fue malsfaom implies that the warrior was always a barbarian.

You'd think ya couldn't be used with such verbs; but in fact it can be, in an odd and yet logical way. Since ya implies completion, or a change of state, when used with stative verbs it implies that the state is over, it's done with. Thus:

So belgom ya fue malsfaom. The warrior was no longer a barbarian.

Comparatives. The adverb muďe is used for both "more" and "most". You slip in the definite article so for the superlative (most):

muďe beluán more beautiful
so muďe beluán the most beautiful

If you want to indicate what you're comparing something against, you use dy:

Susana e muďe šöna dy soî frälinî Vyatei. Susana is prettier than the girls of Vyat.

With the superlative, the group of lesser beings is put in the genitive:

Ihano e so muďe bome suleomië. Ihano is the oldest of the young men.

Verbs in -c. If the infinitive of a verb ends in -ec, it's conjugated as follows:

-ao elirao I live voitao I enter
-eo elireo you (sing.) live voiteo you enter
-e elirre he or she lives voite he or she enters
-om elirom we live voitom we enter
-o eliro you (pl.) live voito you enter
-u eliru they live voitu they enter

The ilu/ila, mu, and ca endings are just the same as for verbs in -n. The se and le endings change the final -i to -o, and the ta ending changes the -a- to -o- as well.

Two of the verbs we've learned have some irregular forms.

To form the past tense, you use the same personal endings, but insert -c- before them:
-cao elircao I lived voitcao I entered
-ceo elirceo you (sing.) lived voitceo you entered
-ce elircre he or she lived voitce he or she entered
-com elircom we lived voitcom we entered
-co elirco you (pl.) lived voitco you entered
-cu elircu they lived voitcu they entered

Two of the verbs we've learned have irregular past roots:

Finally, imperatives are formed in the same way as for -n verbs— you add the personal endings to the infinitive: sfaheceo 'speak!' šrifecu 'let them know!'

Onteca Exercises Urek Loži Vuî Mörî Aluatas Onteca

1. Describe the itinerary for a trip you've taken, in Verdurian. (Verdurianize the names of the places along the way.)

2. Create some sentences using multiple prepositional phrases. Some should use the dative, some the accusative. (See the Grammar section if you're not sure what that means.)

3. Translate into Verdurian:
the most important of the lessons
happier than a horse
more handsome than a barbarian
the shortest of the cousins
the most excited of fools

4. Pick a short text and decide, for each verb in the text, whether you would use siča, ya, or nothing at all if you were translating the text into Verdurian.

5. Write an alternative ending to the story, in which Atónio reaches Vyat.

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