Teo ai dadau - Seven and counting
In the previous chapter we encountered the basic numerals from one to ten. When the word for "ten" nini is combined with these basic numerals, the tens are formed:
Basic numerals are placed directly after the tens:
11 - nini kwa
12 - nini sun
13 - nini yem
14 - nini pan
15 - nini jom
16 - nini vai
17 - nini teo
18 - nini dia
19 - nini sasta
21 - sunini kwa
22 - sunini sun
23 - sunini yem
24 - sunini pan
25 - sunini jom
26 - sunini vai
27 - sunini teo
28 - sunini dia
29 - sunini sasta
34 - yenini pan
45 - panini jom
56 - jonini vai
67 - vainini teo
78 - teonini dia
89 - dianini sasta
92 - sastanini sun
7.1 Hala Yunus?
hashi - how? like what? in what manner?
yunkule - to look like
wen - to be tall, high
shau - like this
fafau - close to, near, nearly, about
chaido - teahouse
lu - next to
nukodo - post office
chauta - just, right then
nuchi - to leave, get out of a building
lai - there
parado - bank
nuvu - to walk
sintai - then, that very moment
lara - to stay, keep
deche - until
nuno - road, way
him - to listen
lutum - to pass, go past, pass by
kaudo - coffee house, café
kizado - restaurant
pekido - greengrocer's
fanaila - train station
nubo - to enter, take (a means of transportation)
fanai - train
podo - shop, store
kele - to look for, search
Nam - God
jamia - to kill
hachu - where from?
As you see, a lot of words turned up ending in -do in the text above:
Now please compare these words with the following:
It looks like the -do suffix denotes the notion "buiding" or "house". In fact, it means "build, construct" and adding it to another root produces a compound word. Compare the following words containing the root do with the roots that were added to it::
The entire Kah vocabulary is built with roots like these which are coined together in order to form words. Most words consist of two or three roots joined together forming a new semantic unit:
7.2 Sankane nong tengi lara
lera - to keep, hold on to
dozua - to keep, tend
meo - cat
win - horse
kokwo - chicken
wiwinya - a "zillion", a whole bunch of, myriad
yuyung - nobody, noone
boyun - to notice
tinki - to starve, die in need of food
lia - worm
ewe - even, still
boi - dirt, smudge
unga - animal
nenje - smart, intelligent
chele - to find, discover
layo - everywhere
munki - to feed
bau - dog
pesa - skinny, thin
chumun - because, since
nenju - to like, love
nenyun - to be beautiful, pretty, handsome
toyo - all the time, always, everytime
mosone - pigeon, dove
eom - or
milulua - peacock
kwita - ever, ever before
tas - to be free, loose
otinki - to be starved
mia - to be dead
lara - to stay, remain, keep
dochu - to belong, belong to
zachu - to take away, take from, remove from
randun - to bite
wanen - great, fantastic, wonderful
This conversation contains a lot of words for domestic animals. Some more animals are listed below:
bau - dog
wil - pig
mul - cow
kal - crow
gau - donkey
kwo - chicken
win - horse
goi - frog
kal - crow
mambau - wolf
naim - rabbit
When the word for "dog" bau is combined with the root -ka- for "speech" we get bauka meaning "to bark". There are quite some combinations of animal names with the root -ka- producing such compounds:
bauka - to bark
wilka - to squeal
mulka - to moo
kalka - to crow
gauka - to bray
kwoka - to cluck
winka - to whinny
meoka - to meow
goika - to croak (like a frog)
7.3 Sankane mau weka Faransaka
pon - to push, press
dodil - doorbell
tehau - to be ridiculous
muhim - to sound, make heard, ring, play (a song, instrument etc.)
gevu - to run
ge - quick, fast
jeho - to believe
to - to happen
jamil - to open
doki - door
pepye - to tremble, shiver
odoi - in trouble
le - to have, own, hold
tiro - year
tunti - than
jejeng - dumb, stupid
ahenje - idea, new conception
hopu - honest, fair
jetum - to be brilliant
tontoshi - as if
ujetum - to push
eno - in order that, that, so
mulara - to leave, leave behind
tenum - sign, board
wanen - great, splendid, wonderful, fantastic
kaza - to speak, use a language
chauku - just, just before
weka - to speak, know a language
Faransaka - French, the French language
chechau - to nail it, hit the nail right on the head, to get it just right
A new use for the word lo came up in the previous conversation. It seems to emphasize the word it was placed after:
Nur: Wa lo odoi.
Nour: It's me who is in trouble.
Nour: -Echu mama lo jamil doki ha?
Nur: -So it was mom who opened the door huh?
More examples of such emphasis are:
wa lo kiza shuki yo - it's me who ate all the candy
vuvu lo pepye it's my legs that are trembling
sankane lo kaza Faransaka - it was the parrot who spoke French
Yunus lo nong mulara unga - it wasn't Yunus who left the animal
upopo lo nong nuchi chaido - it wasn't the vendor who left the teahouse
Jan lo nenju Merih - it is John who loves Mary
This word lo can be placed after verbs too in order to form an imperative-like form. A sentence like gevu lo! can be translated as "run I tell you!".
gevu lo! - run!
yun lo! - look!
nuchi lo! - get out of here!
tustu lo! - let go!
nura lo! - sit down!
de lo! - come here!
Also, it can be combined with adjectives:
sus lo! - be quiet!
nunung lo! - sit still!
hopu lo! - be honest!
eo lo! - am too! is too!
nong lo! - is not! not so!
hea lo! - watch it! attention!
ha lo! - huh? you don't say!
ho lo! - yes, really! I'm telling you!
Of course the translations presented are a mere description and not a literal translation, as there are no direct translations possible between two languages in many instances.
In the text, we also encountered the word Faransaka "french". It is coined together from the roots faransa "french" and ka speech to form Faransaka "French (language)". Compare the following words:
The following words have been coined together from familiar roots:
A very important root in the perspective of the numeral system, is -mbe designating "part". When combined with the word for "three" yem it looks like yembe "half", "a third part". Compare the combinations of a numeral with -mbe and their meaning below:
And with these numbers, we can extend our vocabulary regarding telling the time. We already encountered round figures such as::
And now we can expand this with:
These are the short forms. A sentence like ata nini ku ajom (literally "the time is ten before five") can be specified as well: ata sirio nini ku rio na jom (literally "the time is ten minutes before the fifth hour"). Similarly the full forms of the phrases above are:
ata sumbe ze ayem (short form)
ata sumbe ze rio na yem (long form)
it's half past three
ata sumbe ze adia (short form)
ata sumbe ze rio na dia (long form)
it's half past eight
ata pambe ze ateo (short form)
ata pambe ze rio na teo (long form)
it's a quarter past seven
ata nini ze ajom (short form)
ata sirio nini ze rio na jom (long form)
it's ten past five
ata nini yem ze ayem (short form)
ata sirio nini yem ze rio na yem (long form)
it's three thirteen
ata sunini jom ze avai (short form)
ata sirio sunini jom ze rio na vai (long form)
it's twenty five minutes past six
ata pambe ku anini-kwa (short form)
ata pambe ku rio na nini kwa (long form)
it's a quarter to eleven in the evening
ata nini ku ajom (short form)
ata sirio nini ku rio na jom (long form)
it's ten to five
ata jom ku anini-sun (short form)
ata sirio jom ku rio na nini sun (long form)
it's five to twelve
AM en PM are obsolete terms as Kah uses a 12-hour clock which starts at dawn (6:00 AM according to the convention in most countries) and again at dusk (6:00 PM).
When a 24-hour notation is needed, dawn is set to 0:00, dusk to 12:00 and counting up to 24:00 / 0:00 at dawn again. This has the consequence a new date starts at dawn.
In the 12-hour system, the phrases la ninta for "in daytime" and la manta "at night" are added in order to specify which part of the day is talked about. Of course specifications like la ninku "in the morning", la baninta "in the afternoon" or la zekita "in the evening" can be used as well.
Now please make the following exercises:
1) Please translate the following lines to Kah:
1. Do you speak Kah?
2. Not at all. I think constructed languages are ridiculous.
3. Even smart animals do not really speak a human language.
4. Do parrots really understand French?
5. What does your mother look like?
6. I would like 68 grams of stuffed raisins.
7. Let's come to the tea house at three o'clock
8. Do you think you can run faster than me?
9. There are pigeons everywhere at the train station.
10. Do you speak Kah?
11. Not at all. I think constructed languages are ridiculous.
12. Even smart animals do not really speak a human language.
13. Do parrots really understand French?
14. What does your mother look like?
15. I would like 68 grams of stuffed raisins.
16. Let's come to the tea house at three o'clock
17. Do you think you can run faster than me?
18. There are pigeons everywhere at the train station.
2) Please finish the directions through the labyrinth:
-Nubo nuno na kwa de zano
3) Please check the example below:
Now arrange the roots on the jigsaw pieces below in order in order to produce the Kah equivalents of the following words:
go vehicle house
long water speech
4) Please translate the following times to Kah:
2. 2:37 PM
4. 1:25 AM
7. 3:30 PM
5) Please translate the following lines into English:
1. Ata pambe ze ajom.
2. Ata sunini sasta ku asasta.
3. Ata sirio yem ze rio na pan.
4. Ata rio na sasta la manta, echu hamun nong zon ha?
5. Tinti wa tonzon la rio na dia
6. Om nuku kiza la rio na vai.
7. La Sastamaro na nini la sirio kwa ku rio na pan la zekita.