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Lesson 8
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Rata dadau  -  Still counting

In addition to the tens mentioned in the previous chapter, the powers of ten up til one billion are listed below:

 mel - hundred

 pol - thousand

 dua - ten thousand

 wisti - hundred thousand

 bena - million

 nungu - ten million

 gos - hundred million

 kas - billion

Powers of ten are treated the same way as ten and form compounds with basic numerals. Compare:

 sunini - twenty

 yenini - thirty

 panini - forty

 jonini - fifty

 vainini - sixty

 teonini - seventy

 dianini - eighty

 sastanini - ninety

 sumel - two hundred

 yemel - three hundred

 pamel - four hundred

 jomel - five hundred

 vaimel - six hundred

 teomel - seven hundred

 diamel - eight hundred

 sastamel - nine hundred


 sumpol - two thousand

 yempol - three thousand

 pampol - four thousand

 jompol - five thousand

 vaipol - six thousand

 teopol - seven thousand

 diapol - eight thousand

 sastapol - nine thousand

 sundua - twenty thousand

 yendua - thirty thousand

 pandua - forty thousand

 jondua - fifty thousand

 vaidua - sixty thousandd

 teodua - seventy thousand

 diadua - eighty thousand

 sastadua - ninety thousand


8.1 Al kuka tiso  

Dainah: -Hea Ben. Haya akuka na titom?

Dana: -Hey Ben. What's the weather forecast?

Ben: -Al kuka tiso.

Ben: -They predict rain.

Dainah: -Nong weyun shina kakwa.

Dana: -I don't see any clouds.

Ben: -Al kuka. Ka en tiso bon ze banin.

Ben: -It has been predicted. They say it will rain in the afternoon. 

Dainah: -Tontoye tenza tio en pazanu tau, nong ha?

Dana: -In that case it is best to go shopping now, isn't it?

Ben: -Al kai podo yo.

Ben: -All shops are closed. 

Dainah: -Haya? Hamun? Tiso nong kwi bon!

Dana: -What? Why? It isn't raining yet!

Ben: -Al jampi podola.

Ben: -The mall has been set fire to.


 akuka - forecast, prediction

 titom - weather

 kuka - to predict

 tiso  - rain

 bon - to fall

 shina - cloud

 kakwa - any, at all

 banin - noon

 tenza - useful

 tio - best, surpassing all

 pazanu - to shop, go shopping

 tau - now

 kai - to close

 hamun - why?

Another phenomenon in Kah, is the absence of true passive forms. In the first conversation of this lesson, the following phrases occurred:

al kuka - it has been predicted

al kai podo yo - all shops are closed

al jampi podola - the mall has been set fire to

The word al in many instances it can be translated with the impersonal use of the word "they" as in "they say trainsurfing tends to be a bad idea" or "they said it could never be done". With this in mind, the phrases above can be read as:

al kuka - they predicted it

al kai podo yo - they closed all the shops

al jampi podola - they set fire to the mall

To understand the difference between an personal "they" and an impersonal one, compare:

Yunyo ka en rupunto la bandola

They (i.e. a specific group of people) say there are riots in the center.

Al ka en rupunto la bandola

They (i.e. rumours, reports, gossip) say there are riots in the center

The words al is more diverse than this however. It can be described as an "impersonal pronoun", meaning a pronoun not referring to a known or specific person or persons. More examples of it's use are:

al minza nia - my car was stolen / they stole my car

al cheche simbu mimia - the boy was beaten to death

al nong tengi jesa ako yun kochi - you can't judge a book by it's cover

al jo en bau janja jaru meo - it is known dogs tend to fight with cats 

al jo uyu yun lulanyo - a man is known by the company he keeps 

al puyun shiren chumun abas - the end justifies the means  

nia - car

cheche - to beat, hit repeatedly

mimia - to kill

jesa - to judge, have an opinion about

kochi - cover

lulanyo  - company

puyun  - to justify

shiren - method, means

abas - end

Take for example the proverb al nong tengi yun kochi jesa kaiko "you can't judge a book by it's cover". The basic pronoun for the English word "you" is li. Then, why isn't it used?

This is because the "you" in the proverb "you can't judge a book by it's cover" does not refer to someone or in particular, as is the case in a sentence like "You ate pie" (Li kiza kichi) or "Come here you!" (De lo, li!). The "you" in the proverb can be replaced by a word like "one" or "they" to express the same impersonal principle. This priciple causes Kah counterpart of the following saying to use al as well:

Al nong tengi mau nentoza mau tompale

one not can also feast also get rich

One cannot both feast and get rich


 8.2  Titom

Dainah: -Haya? Hamun? Tiso nong kwi bon!

Dana: -What? Why? It is not raining yet!


In the snippet of conversation above, Dana uses the words tiso nong kwi bon  to say "It is not raining yet". The more basic phrase tiso bon can be translated literally as "rain falls".  

In an English sentence like "it's raining", it remains unclear what exactly is raining. The "it" does not refer to something in particular. Kah does not have so called "dummy pronouns". Compare the following phrases:

 tiso bon - it's raining

 mwere bon - it's snowing

 tikos bon - it's hailing

 tihum fum  - it's blowing

 nin dindi  - it's sunny

 amam dindi  - the moon is shining

 lai sham  - it's hot (here)

 achi ven  - it's cold outside

 mwere - snow

 tikos  - hail

 tihum  - wind

 fum  - to blow

 nin  - sun

 dindi  - to shine

 amam  - moon

 achi  - outside, the outside

Similary, the English phrase "it's five o'clock" is translated as ata rio na jom, or "the time is five o'clock". Also compare the following temporal expressions:

 haya rio? - what time is it?

 ata rio na nini sun - it's twelve o'clock

 haya anin? - what day is it?

 anin Teota - it's Saturday

 haya ninka? - what's the date?

 ninka Vaimaro na sunini  - it's June 20th

 haya tiro? - what year is it?

 tiro sumpol sasta  - it's 2009

 anin  - day

 ninka - date


Dainah: -Ahana je tinti paza?

Dana: -Which one do you think we should buy?

Ben: -Nia hana chauku leza?

Ben: -Which car were you just holding?

Dainah: -Anyu.

Dana: -The orange one.

Ben: -Simbu keju nia na fifi hen lo, nong nyuvu hen lo.

Ben: -It's a new toy car the boy wants, not a new carrot. 

Dainah: -Nia nyu nong nen ha? Echu afoyam ha?

Dana: -An orange car won't do? So what about pink one then?

Ben: -Simbu lo nentoza senchuto, nong simwana lo. Nong keju nia foyam.

Ben: -The boy is celebrating, not the girl. He doesn't want a pink car. 

Dainah: -Nen, tontoye asaska wau ke yonen.

Dana: -Okay, then this blue one would be perfect

Ben: -Yonen, nia saska tos usenchuto.

Ben: -Perfect, a blue car for our birthday boy.

Dainah: -Ha usita lo la nentoza eom unaita?

Dana: -Say is it the little one that is celebrating or the big one?


 ahana - which one?

 hana - which?

 leza - to hold

 anyu  - the orange one

 fifi - to play

 hen - new

 nyuvu - carrot

 nyu - orange

 afoyam - the pink one

 simbu - boy

 nentoza - to celebrate, feast

 senchuto - birthday

 simwana - girl

 foyam - pink

 asaska - the blue one

 yonen - perfect

 saska - blue

 tos - for, about, concerning

 usenchuto - person celebrating his or her birthday

 usita - the young or little one

 unaita - the old or big one

A couple of words for colors came up in this section: nyu for "orange", foyam for "pink" and saska for "blue". More color terms in Kah are:










saska lam



The words saska lam literally mean "white blue" or "light blue". Similarly the word sol or "black, dark" can be added to saska in order to form saska sol or "dark blue". More of these combinations are:

 pesan lam - light green

 pesan sol  - dark green

 jin lam  - light yellow

 jin sol  - dark yellow

 yam lam - light red

 yam sol - dark red

 rai lam - light brown, beige

 rai sol  - dark brown

Color terms got marked by a prefix a-  a couple of times in the conversation: anyu means "the orange one". The a-prefix makes a noun from the word it is added to. This noun denotes an object or an action:

saska - blue

wan - big

pya - to jump

kuka - to predict

la  - to be at

asaska - the blue one

awan  - the big one

apya - leap

akuka - prediction

ala  - place

Another prefix much like it, i-,  turns words to nouns as well, but these nouns describe states:

saska - blue

wan - big

dia - free

wi - much, many

isaska - blueness

iwan - size

idia - freedom

iwi - quantity

ihai  - life

Compare the difference between the a- and i- prefix:

anyu gele tio

the orange one (i.e. car, motorbike, something substantial) is the fastest

inyu na kwesho wau la jampi yumbonum

the orange (i.e. the state, the color) of this website is burning my retinas

gele - fast, capable of considerable speed

tio - to surpass all, be the best in

kwesho - website

yumbonum - retina

Furthermore we encountered the au- prefix in the previous lesson in the word audo. This prefix denotes a noun that is the result of an action or "thing that has been...". In order to show you what this means in practice, compare the following examples:

-do-   build, construct

-ko-   writing

-tan-  picture

-tol-  to wrap, swathe

audo - building "thing that has been built"

auko - text "thing that has been written"

autan - drawing "thing that has been pictured"

autol - scroll, roll "thing that has been rolled"

Then there is a prefix -u turning words into nouns denoting an animate being, such as a human being or an animal:

nai - long

Majara - Hungarian

jetum - brilliant

fiti - to win

mumpo - to sell

unai - snake

Umajara - Hungarian (person)

ujetum - genius

ufiti - winner

umumpo - vendor

And lastly there is the prefix wo- denoting an animate being having undergone or undergoing some action:

fono - to accuse

zayun - to test

-nyo-  collective

kwara - to gather, assemble

wofono - the accused (person)

wozayun - guinea pig

wonyo - group, party

wokwara - assembly


8.3  Tiro hiwi le?

Dainah: -Uhana usenchoto ha?

Dana: -Which one is the birthday boy again?

Ben: -Simbu le tiro vai lai.

Ben: -The six year old boy over there.

Dainah: -Nong tengi weyun. Uyo la lilia kwala.

Dana: -I can't see him. There all squirming together.

Ben: -Nong tengi wehim mau? Le kika sil wi.

Ben: -Can't you hear him either? He has a very shrill voice. 

Dainah: -Uyo la wanka. Hashi ke tengi wehim ukwa sisi? Uyo la wanka, pya, papya ai le kika sil

Dana: -They're all yelling. How could I be able to hear only one? They are all yelling, jumping, hopping and have a shrill voice.

Ben: -Wu nyeka sisi en ben nong le.

Ben: -I am just so glad I don't have kids. 

Dainah: -Sus lo! Mea ke wehim!

Dana: -Be quiet! Your sister will hear you!

Ben: -Oi deka yu, deka senka!

Ben: -Come on, call him, call his name!

Dainah: -Haya senka wai?

Dana: -What was his name again?

Ben: -Haya lo?

Ben: -What?!

Dainah: -Ahau sisi. Jash zai, de lo!

Dana: -Just kidding. Josh honey, come here!

Jash: -Luba Ben! Luba Dainah! Haya deza wa? Haya?

Josh: -Uncle Ben! Uncle Dana! What did you bring me? What? 

Ben: -La kuta, ka en tiro hawi pauza?

Ben: -First, tell me how old you have become?

Jash: -Tiro vai le tau. Li ha?

Josh: -I'm six years old now. What about you? 

Dainah: -Wu wanta yu!

Dana: -Oh he's so old!

Ben: -Sunini sasta sisi le.

Ben: -I'm only twenty nine.

Dainah: -Nong him yu. Tato pan kwa ze kwa yu pauza tiro sunini sasta la tau.

Dana: -Don't listen to him He turned twenty nine four times in a row by now.


 uhana? - which one? which person?

 lai - there, over there

 lilia - to quirm

 kwala  - together

 kika - voice

 sil - shrill

 wanka - to yell, scream

 pya - to jump

 papya - to hop, jump up and down

 deka - to call, summon

 ahau - joke

 luba - uncle

 deza - to bring

 kuta - beginning

 la kuta - in the beginning, to start with, first

 pauza - to receive, get

 wanta - old

 him - to listen

 tato - time

 kwa ze kwa - one after another, in a row

In the previous conversation Josh says:

Jash: -Tiro vai le tau.

Josh: -I'm six years old now.

Yet earlier a similar sentence regarding someone's age read:So apparently there are two ways to state one's age. What's the difference?

(wa) le tiro sasta - (I) am ten years old

tiro sasta (wa) le - (I) am ten years old

When it comes to the semantic load, both express pretty much the same. The only difference is the topic. In the first sentence the person is the main subject, whereas the second sentence focuses on the age.

This is called topic-marking. The element the sentence revolves around in meaning, what it is all about in the conversation, is placed in the beginning of the sentence. In the following sentences the topic is underlined:

tiro sasta le -  he is nine years old

remos keju -  I want icecream

haya weyun? -  what did you see?

hata denu de? -  when will you be coming?

kaiko wau nenju tio -  I like this book best.

ahana tinti paza? -  Which one should we buy?

yayang jo -  I don't know anything

yuyung wa -  I'm nobody

Please notice the difference in meaning between groups of sentences like:

uba paza wa fia -  father bought me a toy

uba lo paza wa fia -  it was father who bought me a toy

fia uba paza wa -  father bought me a toy

uba paza wa fia lo -  it was a toy father bought me

uba paza wa lo fia -  it was me father bought a toy for

Just like anything in Kah, the earlier context is vital. Take the following sentences and context for example:

bua hawi le? -  how many brothers do you have?

bua sun le -  I have two brothers

bua nong le, li ha? -  I have no brothers, what about you?

le bua sun -  I have two brothers

mea le ha? -  do you have any sisters?

bua sisi le -  I only have brothers

vawana umukwan le? -  does the teacher have a wife?

vawana le -  he does have a wife

umukwan nong le vawana ha? -  doesn't the teacher have a wife?

eo le vawana -  he does have a wife

haya la kwan? -  what are you studying?

Arabaka la kwan -  I'm studying Arabic

la kwan ha? -  are you studying?

la kwan Arabaka -  I'm studying Arabic

Although topicalization is an aspect of the Kah language which requires a certain sensitivity to the feel of the language, not quite mastering in will not affect the comprehensability of the speaker. Whether one has the sense to answer a question tiro hiwi le? with the age topicalized (tiro sunini le) or not (wa le tiro sunini), the basic meaning will come through in most cases. The bottom line is word order in Kah is flexible as can be.

However, in cases where topicalization itself could confuse the meaning of a sentence, an additional marker be can be placed directly after the topic:

Merih Jan nenju -  John loves Mary / Mary loves John

Merih be Jan nenju -  John loves Mary / *Mary loves John

hayu weyun -  who did you see? / who saw it?

hayu be weyun? -  who did you see? / *who saw it?

haya mun? -  what did you cause? / what caused it?

haya be mun? -  what did you cause? / *what caused it?

8.4  Adauva

  Adauva na Jash - Josh's sums


 kwa mauza kwa tongi sun

 sun mauza yem tongi jom

 pan mauza jom tongi sasta


 sun tusi kwa tongi kwa

 pan tusi sun tongi sun

 dia tusi jom tongi yem


 sun munta sun tongi pan

 yem munta pan tongi nini sun

 yem munta teo tongi sunini kwa 


 pan jambe sun tongi sun

 nini sun jambe sun tongi vai

 sasta jambe yem tongi yem 

 lonya na pan tongi nini vai

 fenya na sasta tongi yem

 mauza - plus, +

 tongi - equals, =

 tusi - minus, -

 munta - times, x

 jambe  - divided by, :

 lonya - square

 fenya - squareroot



1) Please translate the sums below into Kah:

12 + 7 = 19

8 + 7 =15

56 - 23 = 33

278 - 78 = 200

12 x 12 = 144

27 x 35 = 945

256 : 8 = 32

1513 : 89 = 17



2) Please read the manual of the translation device below and learn how to operate it:

Yinkatal - Translation device

1) Jarano nuso bo silucha (A)

2) Yun yunum na nuso (B) en bobeo yobo

3) Pombo vaku (C) bo tipicha

4) Nuda ada (D) deche dinya (E) tori

5) Za kahinya (I)

6) Kum kumpe na kwa (F)

7) Nuku ka bo kahinya (I)

8) Eta kuri, kum kumpe na sun (G)

9) Kum kumpe na yem (H) en wehim ayinka chu kabeo (J)

10) Tara ayinka

11) Tara mau

12) Rata tara...

13) Koyun ayinka lau