Dunian is a constructed language that is designed to be relatively easy for everyone. You can learn it fast with this practical course.
English speakers will find it easy to make basic sentences in Dunian as the word order is generally the same as in English, there are no definite or indefinite articles, no verb "to be", and no complicated rules about changing the form of words to express singular and plural or the tense of verbs.
The course consists of short lessons. Each lesson introduces one new word, which is used in several different phrases in the lesson. This is to teach you how the word works as part of sentences. Possibly you will encounter also other new words in the same lesson but don't worry about them! You don't have to learn all of them at once. Just memorize the phrases that are useful for you! Maybe the rest will go to your memory subconciously.
You can study this course together with one or several friends. Read the phrases together and try to make small conversations. You can also study alone. Even then it's useful to read out loud and create conversations. Repeat the same phrases several times today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and so on. As they say, repetition is the mother of learning.
Note! Many lessons include also tips and notes like this. They are there to clarify grammatical details for those who are interested. You can skip over them if they are not helpful. You don't have to know the theory of the language. You can just speak Dunian!
salam suba! Good morning!
salam den! Good day!
salam xam! Good evening!
salam noce! Good night!
salam nyam! Bon appetit!
salam laye! Welcome!
salam cute! Goodbye!
salam safar! Have a safe journey!
salam son! Sleep well!
As you can see from the range of expressions, salam is a general word for well-wishing. Use it any time!
Salam is a popular greeting that is used by both religious and non-religious people in many different countries around the world.
Etymology. salam is from Arabic: سَلَام "salām", Hebrew: שָׁלוֹם "šalom", Turkish: selam, Hindi: सलाम "salām", Swahili: salaam, Indonesian: selamat.
mi sara. I'm Sara.
mi tomas. I'm Thomas.
You can introduce yourself simply by saying mi and your name. You don't need a verb for saying it in Dunian!
mi salama ma. I greet mother.
mi salama pa. I greet father.
The word salam is a noun and salama is the corresponding verb. The basic word order in Dunian is subject-verb-object.
sara salama tomas. Sara greets Thomas.
salam ma! Greetings, mother!
salam pa! Greetings, father!
Etymology. mi is from English: me, Italian: mi, Swahili: mimi, Zulu: -mi-.
tu tomas. You are Thomas.
mi salama tu. I greet you.
tu salama mi. You greet me.
Pronouns don't ever change their form in Dunian. That's why mi is the same in subject and object positions while English has two different forms, 'I' and 'me'.
mi ama tu. I love you.
Etymology. tu is from Spanish: "tú", Italian: "tu", French: "tu", Hindi: तू "tū", Farsi: تو "to", Tajik: ту "tu".
ye man. He is a man.
ye fem. She is a woman.
ye pingo. It is an apple.
ye is the general third person pronoun. It is used for people (irrespective of gender) as well as for things.
mi salama ye. I greet him/her.
Etymology. ye is from Lingala: yé, Swahili: yeye, Chichewa: iye, Zulu: -ye-, Hindi: यह "ye".
kia tu tomas? Are you Thomas?
kia tu doktar? Are you a doctor?
Tip: Yes/no questions frequently begin with kia. It is just a regular verb, not a special question tag. In fact, the previous question is simply abbreviated from mi kia tu doktar. (I ask, you doctor?) by dropping out the first word.
kia tu bon? How are you? (Literally: Are you good?)
mi bon. I'm good.
kia tu? And you?
mi no bon. I'm not good.
Etymology. kia is from Hindi: क्या "kyā", Urdu: كيا "kyā".
kia tu tomas? Are you Thomas.
si, mi tomas. Yes, I am Thomas.
kia ye doktar? Is he/she a doctor?
si, ye doktar. Yes, he is a doctor.
The word si can be used also for stating something as a fact. Then it is used in place of "to be".
mi si tomas. I am Thomas.
tu si sara. You are Sara.
pingo si pal. The apple is a fruit.
Note: It is necessary to use si in the latest phrase because, without it, the phrase would look like a compound word: pingo pal (an apple fruit).
Etymology. si is from Spanish: si, Portuguese: sim.
mi no sara. I'm not Sara.
mi no doktar. I'm not a doctor.
kia tu bon? Are you well?
si. mi bon. Yes, I'm well.
kia tu bon? Are you well?
no, mi no bon. No, I'm not well.
You can use no to deny anything. It is placed before the word that is denied.
ye no salama mi. He/she doesn't greet me.
Etymology. no is from English: no, Spanish: no, French: non.
Add men to a singular pronoun to make it plural.
mimen salama tumen. We greet you all.
tumen salama yemen. You greet them.
yemen salama mimen! They greet us.
mimen fem. We are women.
tumen man. You are men.
yemen pingo. They are apples.
Etymology. men is from Mandarin: 们 "men", English: men (people in general).
tu ke? Who are you?
mi tomas. I'm Thomas.
ye ke? Who is he/she?
ye sara. She is Sara.
tumen ke? Who are you people?
yemen ke? Who are they?
Etymology. ke is from Spanish: qué, Portuguese: que, Italian: che, Bengali: কী "ki".
li si ke? / ke si li? What's this?
li si pingo. This is an apple.
li si ros pingo. This is a red apple.
li pingo ros. This apple is red.
Note: When an adjective, like ros, is placed before a noun, it works as a modifier. When it follows the noun, it works as an adjectival verb.
ye ros. It's red.
li ke? What's this?
li si mi da fon. It's my phone.
li si ke da? Whose is this?
li si mi da. It's mine.
Note: Possessive particle da is put between the owner and the owned thing. So mi da means "my", tu da means "your" and so on.
ye ke? Who's he/she?
ye si mi da doste. He/she is my friend.
mi si sara da doste. I am Sara's friend.
Etymology. da is from Punjabi: ਦਾ "dā", Mandarin: 的 "de".
tu da nam si ke? What's your name?
mi da nam si tomas. My name is Thomas.
ye namu ke? What he/she is called?
ye namu sara. She is called Sara.
mi namu tomas. I'm called Thomas.
Etymology. nam is from Hindi: नाम "nām", Farsi: نام "nām", Thai: นาม "naam", Indonesian: nama, Japanese: 名前 "namae", German: Name, English: name.
mi ada bon dom. I have a good house.
ye no ada pesa. S/he doesn't have money.
mi wol ada nowi fon. I want to have a new phone.
kia tu ada bace? Do you have children?
mi ada do bace. I have two children.
mi jan ye. I know him/her.
kia tu jan li ren? Do you know that person?
kia tumen jan bici? Do you know each other?
mimen jan bici ze long. We know each other for long.
mi nida mede. I need help.
kia tu ken meda mi? Can you help me?
kia mi ken meda tu? Can I help you?
kia tu wol nyama yo? Would you like to eat something?
ye nyama pingo. He/she eats an apple.
yemen nyama pingo. They eat apples.
Note: Unlike English, Dunian doesn't have separate singular and plural forms. Therefore a word like pingo can refer to one or more apples.
kia tu nyama kafe? Do you drink coffee?
mi nyama kafe. I drink coffee.
Tip: Meaning of nyama covers both eating and drinking. It can feel odd at first but soon you will see that it is quite handy! Usually the object of the verb tells is it about eating, drinking or both.
mi nyama kafe i pan. I'm having coffee and bread.
kia tu wol nyama? Would you like to eat?
tu wol nyama ke? What would you like to eat?
Tip: While English puts the "what" at the beginning of a question, in Dunian the word order is not affected by the ke.
mi wol nyama kafe. I want to drink coffee.
kia tu wol nyama ca? Would you like to drink tea?
no. mi no wol ca. mi wol kafe. No, I don't want tea. I want coffee.
tu wol ke pingo? Which apple do you want?
li ros. This red one.
mi cing tu nyama ca. I ask you to drink tea.
mi cing tu lay dom. I ask you to come home.
mi cing tu meda mi. I ask you to help me.
Tip: To make direct requests, drop all the pronouns.
cing nyama ca. Please, have some tea!
cing nyama kafe. Please, have some coffee!
cing lay dom. Please, come home!
cing meda mi. Please, help me.
danka tu. Thank you.
mi danka tu. I thank you.
mi danka tu meda mi. I thank you for helping me.
danka tu meda mi. Thanks for helping me.
tu keci. You're welcome. (Literally: You're polite.)
hayda nyama! Let's eat!
hayda enda nyama! Let's go eat!
hayda enda dom. Let's go home.
mi nida mede. I need help.
mi nida nyama. I'm hungry.
kia tu nida nyama? Are you hungry?
kia tu nida suy? Are you thirsty?
sori! mi no aha. Sorry, I don't understand.
sori! li ke? Excuse me, what's this?
sori. tu namu ke? Excuse me, what's your name?
kia tu aha mi? Do you understand me?
mi aha. I understand.
sori. mi no aha tu. Sorry. I don't understand you.
mi no bas aha tu. I didn't quite understand you.
mi aha nul. I don't understand at all.
mi ken gida gar. I can drive a car.
ye no ken gida gar. S/he doesn't know how to drive a car.
kia tu ken xula ye? Do you know how to fix it?
kia tu ken dunian? Do you speak Dunian?
mi ken dunian. I speak Dunian.
mi ken lil dunian. I speak a little Dunian.
mi no ken englix. I don't speak English.
sori. mi no ken tu da baxa. Sorry, I don't speak your language.
tu loga ke? What did you say?
mi loga ko tu. I talk to you.
mimen loga ko bici. We talk to each other.
se loga "cat" na ke yang na dunian? How do you say "cat" in Dunian?
"cat" si ke na dunian? What is "cat" in Dunian?
mau loga miau. Cat says meow.
mi no ken auda tu. I can't hear you.
cing loga forti. Please speak louder.
mi auda musike. I listen to music.
tu auda ke yang da musike? What kind of music do you listen to?
suku wida tu. Pleased to see you!
wida tu re! See you again!
wida tu nale! See you tomorrow!
mi wida ye yer. I saw him/her yesterday.
li loge mana ke? What does this word mean?
"mau" mana ke? What does "mau" mean?
ye mana yang du hewan. It means a kind of animal.
mi no aha ye mana ke. I don't understand what it means.
cing kitaba tu da adres. Please, write your address.
cing kitaba ye na li. Please, write it here!
kia tumen baxa dunian. Do you speak in Dunian?
mimen baxa dunian. We speak in Dunian.
kia tu ken baxa engli? Can you speak English?
frans, espanya, portugal, ruski French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian
putong han, nipon, indonesia Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian
arabi, turki, farsi, urdu, hindi Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Urdu, Hindi
swahili, hausa, yoruba, amara Swahili, Hausa, Yoruba, Amharic
tu enda ke? Where are you going?
mi enda dom. I'm going home.
mi mus enda ke? Where should I go?
mi mus enda ko ke ren? To whom should I go?
haida enda! Let's go!
haida enda na ped Let's go by foot!
cing lay! Come here!
tu lay ze ke? Where do you come from?
mi lay ze dubai. I come from Dubai.
mi lay dom nale. I will come home tomorrow.
kia tu safara na tren? Do you travel by train?
mimen safara ze london ko paris. We travel from London to Paris.
safar multi long. The voyage is very long.
hotel na ke? Where is the hotel?
hotel na li daw. The hotel is on that road.
tu na ke? Where are you?
mi na dom. I'm at home.
ye na ke? Where is he/she?
ye sidu na kamar. He/she sits in the room.
Tip! You can use na as a preposition or alone as the verb.
mi gong na... I work at ...
tu doma ke? Where do you live?
mi doma singapur. I live in Singapore.
kia tu doma li hotel? Do you live in this hotel?
Tip: It is also okay to say "tu doma na ke?" instead of "tu doma ke". However doma already covers the meaning of being at somewhere, so na is not necessary.
cing denga! Please wait!
yemen denga mimen. They wait for us.
mi denga tu na hotel. I wait for you in the hotel.
cing dona pesa. Please give some money.
cing dona ye ko mi. Please give it to me.
mi dona li ko tu. I give this to you.
mi dona buke ko yemen. I give a book to them.
ye no wol dona ye ko mi. He/she doesn't want to give it to me.
mi toma un kafe. I will take a coffee.
cing toma un kafe ko mi. Please take one coffee for me.
tu pas toma pesa ze mi. You already got money from me.
All words of Dunian are loan words from other languages that are spoken around the world. Probably you can recognize many Dunian words from English and other languages that you may know. Usually one Dunian word is shared by many languages. For example ma and pa are known in hundreds of languages. However, only one source word is included in this word list as an example.
a but (Russian а)
ada have; there is (Indonesian ada)
bai white (Mandarin bái 白)
batu stone (Indonesian batu)
bazar marketplace, bazaar (Persian bāzār بازار)
bax language; communication (Hindi bhāśā भाषा)
baxa speak, communicate
blu blue (English blue)
bon good (French bon)
ca tea (Mandarin chá 茶)
cing ask, request (Mandarin qǐng 请)
den day (Russian den' день)
dom home, residence (Russian dom дом)
doma live, reside
enda to go (Swahili kuenda)
fem woman (French femme)
gata to tell (japana kataru 語る)
gon before, earlier, former(ly) (Thai gɔ̀ɔn ก่อน)
haber news (Malay khabar)
i and (Polish i)
jan know (Hindi jānnā जानना)
kafe coffee (German Kaffee)
kal black (Hindi काला kāla)
kata cut (Hindi kāṭnā काटना)
ke what? who? (Spanish qué)
ken can (English can)
keci polite (Mandarin kèqi 客气)
kia ask, question (Hindi kyā क्या)
ko to, until (Hindi -को ko)
lay come (Vietnamese lai)
ma mother (Mandarin māma 妈妈)
man man (English man)
mana to mean (Swahili maana)
meda to help, to assist (French aider)
mede help, assistance
mi I, me (Swahili mimi)
na at, in, on, with (Lingala na)
nida need (English need)
no no, not (Spanish no)
noce night (Spanish noche)
pa father (Russian papa папа)
pingo apple (Mandarin píngguǒ 苹果)
ren person (Mandarin rén 人)
ros red (Italian rosso)
si this; that
safar travel, journey (Arabic safar سفر)
salam greeting; hello (Arabic salām سلام)
si yes (Spanish sí)
suba morning (Wolof subba)
tu you (Spanish tu)
tumen you all
u or (French ou)
wang yellow (Cantonese wong)
wida see, look (Russian videt' видеть)
wol want (Italian volere)
xam evening (Hindi śām शाम )
ye he, she, it (Lingala yé)
zay currently, at present (Mandarin zài 在)
ze from, since (Czech z, ze)