5 – «Vamuqastandi nuri sendebbon»


Vamuqastandi nuri sendebbon

Rah hederá ye Armadale, nuri sendebbon vas resó e „Dalgarno”. Ama, nuri assabri desdiya aicyo vas, yoyole: »BUB«. Nunien vayole xayari seli, giniole vamuqastandi nuri peila eher mouda piyou. Vasebouda busai aibebdi darraugan sendeb syirounzono. Yoyenda yole yabnu zona bubda gonien.

Zonat mara vayole trasi mandibi e jebiocyi nun; zonat yaba vayole desgeji nun, yoyole: yabnu angasa sabri vas. Quascye, yabnu sedeva vas bus:

«He, nuni veqi poutatis vayole tolisyi e tesovi esnulis. Ibesya, busediada e esnula eher gintan. Bayada e abui jabe. Budas jabedi nu remi luna, sas?»

«Ava?» vabahuda. «Vadas gonien jabedi poujaunnut,» bepeqda. «Nu go annai vasejirda oher mouda ganien?» stabahutta.

«Mepaiveto, andas nu auva jabe?»

«Andas e yabbou auana.»

«Xayar! Uzaiveto, annai busejirda oher mouda ganien. Maraive uzaivetta.»



Not far from Armadale, there was a boarding-house called Dalgarno.


rah hederá, no distance [lit. not of the distance]: rah hederá ye. not far from

sendebbon, boarding-house

vas, there is/are

resó e, called, named [lit. with the name of]

Outside, there was a small sign: “Vacancy”. This was good news because I have been looking for somewhere to stay for a long time.

ama, outside

sabri, big, large: assabri, small, little

desdiya aicyo, sign [lit. sign-board]

bub, vacancy: bubda, be vacant, be empty

nun, that, those: nunien, this, these (demonstrative pron.)

seli, news (nu selida? comes from this word)

muqastandi, look for sth/s.o.

nuri peila, somewhere [lit. some place]: peilaqa, place

eher, for, to

mouda, stay

piyou, long = piyoi in the instrumental case, usually placed after the object of a transitive verb

I went in and saw the manager in the kitchen. She said that there were two rooms currently vacant.

aibebdi, meet, encounter, see sth/s.o.

darraugan sendeb, manager [lit., accommodation manager]

syirounzon, kitchen: syirounzono, in the kitchen

yole, that (conjunction)

zon, room, house: yabnu zona, two rooms; zonat mara, the first room

gonien, now, currently

The first room was cold and dark; the second room was bright: there were two big windows. But there were also two beds:

dibi, hot: mandibi, cold

jebiocyi, dark, gloomy

desgeji, bright, light: mandesgeji, dark

angas, window: yabnu angasa sabri, two big windows

quascye, but — cye often begins a sentence as an expletive or links two nouns; dus indicates the contrary is true

sedeu, bed: yabnu sedeva, two beds

“Oh, the other boarder is a nice, quiet fellow. For sure, you’ll be friends in no time. He looks your age. How old are you?”

he, oh

poutatis, boarder

tolisyi, kind, nice

tesovi, quiet

esnula, friend: esnulis, fellow, guy (m. or f.)

ibesya, in no time [lit., rapidity]: ibesyi, fast; quick[ly]

gintan, certainty: eher gintan, for sure

bayada e, appear, look [like], seem [about]

jabe, age: budas jabedi nu remi luna? how old are you?

“Me?” I asked. “I’m eighteen,” I answered. “When can I move in?” I asked.

bahuda, ask (a question): stabahutta, ask (again)

das gonien jabedi poujaunnut, be eighteen [years of age]

nu go, when?

annai, may, can

sejirda oher mouda ganien, lit., begin to stay here

“What’s the date today?”

“It’s the twenty-seventh.”

auva jabe, date: andas nu auva jabe? What is the date?

das, have: andas e, it is [lit., one has as]

yabbou auana, twenty-seventh

“Good! You can move in tomorrow. Tomorrow is Monday.”

uzaiveto, tomorrow: uzaivetta, be [on] tomorrow

maraive, Monday



1. Days of the week: maraive, Monday; yabaive, Tuesday; canaive, Wednesday; melaive, Thursday; suaive, Friday; yanaive, Saturday; auanaive, Sunday.

2. Ordinals: mara (1st), yaba (2nd), cana (3rd), mela (4th), suya (5th), yana (6th), auana (7th), jauna (8th), sauta (9th), pova (10th). Ordinals are formed by dropping the –nu desinence of numbers 1–9, and adding the genitive –a to the last element: yabbou mara, twenty-first; supou suya, fifty-fifth

3. The particle e:

i) “and” between nouns or adjectives in a list (tolisyi e tesovi, nice and quiet; in this instance, where “and” is regarded adverbially, tolisyi tesovi, lit., nicely quiet, may also translate nice and quiet);

ii) “like” or “as” after certain, i.e., intransitive, verbs (bayada e, look like);

iii) the formal genitive “of”, when acting as a ligative between classifiers and proper nouns (resó e „Dalgarno”, lit., with the name of Dalgarno); or

iv) may be an untranslated ligative (andas e 27a, it’s the 27th — lit., [one has as] 27th).

4. Demonstratives:

i) Adjectives: nuni, that, those; nunieni, this, these; and nuri, any, some. They precede any other adjective (nuni celini hamoja).

ii) Pronouns: nun, that/those [one(s)]; nunien, this/these [one(s); and nur, any, some: vavacandi nun, I own that one. If the noun has already been mentioned, nun translates “one”: zonat yaba vayole sabri nun, the second room is a large one (an alternative to zonat yaba sabrada, the second room is large); nuni/nunieni nun, that/this one.

5. Adverbs of time may appear uninflected at the beginning of the sentence, marked off with a comma; elsewhere, they are marked with the –o desinence (mepaiveto, today), or the –i desinence directly after intransitive verbs. Radicals may act as introductory matter, as in ibesya, in no time. Piyoi (piyou after the object of a transitive verb) as an adjective means long (either of time or space); as an adverb, it is translated “for a long time”.

6. Three ways to express “be”: vas (existential), vayole (copula) and sediada e (quasi-transitive). Vayole links the subject and predicate in equational sentences. Often, they can be reversed without any loss of meaning (avi saut vayole Javant / Javant vayole avi saut); however, equational sentences dealing with classification cannot be reversed (*pula vayole beden, *a fruit is an apple). Sediada e, become, is often used with affiliations. (A fourth way to express “be” is sediadi, used with professions: yosediadi darhamojabon, he is a rug-seller; if the noun is qualified in some way, sediadi is replaced by vayole: ayo vayole xayari darhamojabon, he is a good rug-seller).

7. Predicated adjectives drop their –i desinence and add –da to their restored stem: celini, beautiful > celinda, be beautiful. While the distinction between nouns and adjectives disappears in English in the predicative position (that person is beautiful; that person is Nicole), the distinction is maintained in Taneraic: predicated adjectives take on the function of stative verbs (nuni tou celinda), and predicated nouns are linked by a copula (nuni tou vayole Nicole).

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