2 – Useful Expressions / Pronunciation


Asban jalan “Thank you”.

Trasi remí “Very much”.


Jalanu “No, thank you”. There is no need to use rah, for the negative is understood. Jalan is an informal variant of this expression.

dentu jalan

dentú jalana “You’re welcome”.

Emovu “Excuse me” or “Pardon me”. Use this expression when attracting someone’s attention or interrupting someone’s activity. To answer this, hoje is used.


Maudu “Forgive me” or “I’m sorry”. Maudu is used when asking for forgiveness.


Hamú “Forgive me” or “I’m sorry”. Hamú is used when making an excuse.

U rah reso e nun “Don’t mention it”.


Dentú “Welcome”. Dentú may be used as a greeting for people who meet often.

Na garuda “I’m home”. To respond to this, dentú is used.

Dentu aiban

Dentú aibana “Bon appétit”. To respond to this, simply repeat the expression.

Nu selida? “How are you (going)?”.

Xayar, asban jalan “Well, thank you”: short for Selida xayari. Soucya xayarsya (“just fine”) is an informal response.

Nunien vayole serebiat “How do you do?”. The response is jalan serebiatta.

Viqú virda marsuli “A moment, please”.

Hamú, buvirustadiva “Sorry to have kept you waiting”.

Abui vaimarebiatti sasi X “Let me introduce you to Mr X.”

Jalanda uher das abui oubouda “Pleased to know you/Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

Jalanda uher serebiattibu “Pleased to meet you.”

PRONUNCIATION, continued 1. Vowels: We have already discussed /a/, /e/ /o/ and /u/./i/: In open or closed syllables, pronounced like i in machine; whenever /i/ appears after a consonant and before another vowel, it represents palatalisation and is pronounced like Italian i in bianco. (A syllable beginning with this semi-vowel sound is always represented by /y/.)

/u/: Similarly, whenever /u/ appears after a consonant and before another vowel, it represents a glide and is pronounced like w in water. (Taneraic does not possess any syllables beginning with this semi-vowel sound; however, the imperative form with u followed by a verb beginning with a vowel would probably sound like a w in rapid speech: e.g., avi u inqan! [a/vi win/qan], “forgive me!”.)

2. Diphthongs: /ai/ is pronounced like y in my; /au/ is pronounced like ow in cow; /ei/ is pronounced like French ei in rein; /eu/ is pronounced like French eu in peu; /oi/ is pronounced like oy in boy; /ou/ is pronounced like ow in tow. Diphthongs are given twice the length of single vowels and, almost like triphthongs, contain an “off-glide echo” of the second vowel:

qau (qa-u), “loss”, sounds like English cow

mou (mo-u), “dwelling”, sounds like English mow

peu (pe-u), “life” sounds similar to pearl, minus the l

dai (da-i), “depth” sounds like English die

3. Accented vowels: Any letter marked with an acute accent (lebovi rensa tansya) is to be pronounced with the longest stress of the affected word: i.e., twice the length of single vowels in words lacking diphthongs; thrice the length of single vowels in words possessing diphthongs. (The acute accent does not change the pronunciation of the affected vowel — reasons for the accent will be discussed in future lessons.)

4. /c/ is pronounced like ts in fits; /cy/ is pronounced like a “lean” ch in chat; /g/ is pronounced like g in get (never like g in gem or sing); /m/ is pronounced like m in man; /p/ is pronounced like French p in peu (non-plosive); /sy/ is pronounced like a “lean” sh in shoot.

/cy/ and /sy/ are digraphs. (Because /y/ never stands before any consonant as a semi-vowel sound, there can be no confusing /cy/ and /sy/ with palatalisation.)

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