8 – «Darpileib asma»


Darpileib asma

Abdullah pu mansuda gasta gosasi Constable (peresotis mouda sendebbono bus) au anden yoyevo e go marnuis ama esnulá ayoi sabanda aher otuqada. Peresotis uzeutti palout qoisuo nuyole sasi Constable xirarda ibousya betaro.

«He, gintanda yole nun vayole sunga qoisu nuyole vapileibda pasiyohato!» yoyenda liyi.

«Anlos,» sasi Constable bepeqda. «Vadidiyo ye darpileib respocyá nuri. Cyurai abu vayole nuni tou.»

«Ava, vasediadi darpileib asma,» tou aisyanda mepa riqouda asyuni.

«Maudu! Vamoudicyanda eher rah budas moudaya aicyoda.»

Tou sejir ayoi yorgatti nuri veqi palout jame gon nuyole pu yolesubda ai syacya noussano. Ayoi yosavada piyoi e habdaisyirdi jaqi palout ai abueq. Sasi Constable aibesdi cannu nura.



Abdullah was sitting with Mrs Constable (she is also staying at the boarding-house) on the front steps when a friend of his happened to drop by. He noticed the jewelled ring Mrs Constable was wearing on her little finger.

mansuda, sit, be sitting

peresotis, the latter: seresotis, the former

au, on (governs inflexion: –i for movement; i.e., on to; –o for position)

anden yoyeu, front steps: au anden yoyevo, on the front steps (au anden yoyevi, on to the front steps)

marnu, one, a: marnuis/maris, one, a [certain person]

ama, [out] of: marnuis ama esnulá [(beqi) ayoi], a friend of [his]/one of [his] friends (NB, use the genitive after ama)

sabanda aher, happen to

otuqada, drop, stop or call by or in

palout, ring: palout qoisuo, jewelled ring [lit, ring with a gem]

xirardi, wear sth

ibousya betar, little finger: ibousya betaro, on [her] little finger. (Au would mean “on top of”, and so is not used: cf., auje quseda au ibousya betari ayoi, a butterfly flew onto her little finger.)

“Hey, I’m sure that’s the gemstone I sold last month!” he said.

“I don’t know,” replied Mrs Constable. “I bought it from a secondhand dealer. You must be that person.”

“I am a street vendor,”

he, hey

sunga qoisu, gemstone

pileibdi, sell sth

pasiyohato, last month

anlos, it’s not certain that (here, I’m not certain of that)

didi, buy sth

darpileib respocya, secondhand dealer (seller of shoddy goods): darpileib asma, street vendor, hawker, pedlar

cyurai abu vayole, you must be

tou, person, man, woman: butou, man; gotou, woman

the man explained, offended a little. “Sorry! I didn’t mean to cause you any offence.”

The man began to show her some other rings which he had in his trouser pocket. He spoke for a long time carefully describing each ring. Mrs Constable chose three.

sediadi, be s.o. (of professions)

aisyandi, explain sth

riqouda, take offence

asyuni, a little

das, have (in an abstract sense): moudaya aicyo, insult; das moudaya aicyoda, take offence

yorgatti, show sth

jame, pluralising particle: palout jame, rings

lesubdi, have sth (in the sense of holding)

ai, in (governs prepositional, –o, and allative, –i, cases)

syacya, pocket

noussan, trousers: syacya noussan, trouser pocket[s]

savada, speak

habdaisyirdi, describe sth/s.o.

abueq, detail[s]: ai abueq, in detail, carefully

aibesdi, pick, choose sth




1. Peresotis and seresotis are used for humans and animals (peresot/seresot for inanimate objects and plants) when third person pronouns might otherwise cause confusion.

2. Moudicyanda, intend (see Lesson # 7), here translates “mean”. The negative is used after the verb: vamoudicyanda eher rah budas moudaya aicyoda, I didn’t mean to cause you any offence; yomoudicyanda eher rah bugaruda, he didn’t mean you should go home. Similarly for zaranda: vazaranda yole epa rah oge vas sezoq, I don’t think it’s going to rain [later]. NB, eher, for, in order to/that, means “to” when linking verbs of volition, demand, etc.: moudicyanda eher, intend/mean to; yerda eher, want to, bahuda eher, ask to.

3. Oher means “to” when linking verbs showing the beginning of an action: sejirda oher, begin to, moudicyanda oher, intend to. Aher means “to” when linking verbs showing the completion of an action: sabanda aher, happen to. A shorter form of this construction is arrived at by dropping the intransitive ending of the first verb and omitting the preposition: vayer[da eher] aibandi nur; vabahu[da eher] rah buboubda; yosejir[da oher] ayoi yorgattiyo; ni busaban[da aher] otuqadiyo?

4. Free-standing subject pronouns: ava, an, abu, ayo. The indirect object pronoun is the same for possessive adjectives: avi, ani, abui, ayoi. The indirect object appears before the verb, while the possessive adjective appears before the noun: ayoi viorgatti avi casari hamoja, I showed him my new rug. An indirect object noun is inflected with –i (it may appear after the direct object or before the verb): viorgatti avi casari hamoja esnuli avi (esnuli [avi] viorgatti avi casari hamoja), I showed my friend my new rug (my new rug to my friend). NB, the possessive adjective must follow an inflected noun; it may be dropped when appearing next to its subject pronoun counterpart: gomayi [ayoi] yojicyadiyo, he gave it to his mother.

5. Jame always follows the noun, regardless of inflexion: palout jame, rings > palouta jame, of the rings.

6. Lesubdi, das and nubdi all mean “to have”. Das is used of relationships and with abstract concepts: vadas yabnu zuaba, I have two brothers (sisters). Nubdi indicates ownership and lesubdi indicates temporary possession: vanubdi palout, I have a ring; valesubdi palout ai syacyo, I have a ring in my pocket.

7. E is a ligative between verbs with the same subject, where in English “as” or the gerund is used: yosavada piyoi e habdaisyirdiyo ai abueq, he spoke for a long time describing (as he described) it in detail.

8. Nura may complement numerals when the noun object is implied: vaibesdi meinu hamojá, I chose four rugs > vaibesdi meinu (nura), I chose four [of them].

9. Sediadi, to be, is used with professions: vasediadi darsede. If qualified, vayole is used: ava rah vayole xayari darsede.

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