Introducing yourself

Dialog

☻: tu si ke? = Who are you?
☺: mi si yusef. tu si ke? = I am Yusef. Who are you?
☻: mi si maria. ye si ke? = I am Maria. Who is that?
☺: ye si mi da doste. = That is my friend.
☻: ye da nam si ke? = What's her name?
☺: ye da nam si sara. = Her name is Sara.

Grammar

Pandunia's sentences normally follow the topic-comment structure. The topic indicates who or what is being talked about. The comment tells something about the topic. For instance in ye si mi da doste the topic is the pronoun ye (he, she, it), which is followed by the comment si mi da doste (is my friend).

In Pandunia, the word si functions like to be in English. The same word is used for all persons. And to say the opposite, simply replace it with no (which is the word for no).

ye si sara. - She is Sara.
ye no sara. - She is not Sara.

maw si hewan - The cat is an animal.
dom no hewan - The house is not an animal.

Exercises

Try translating these sentences from English to Pandunia. The correct answers are after the word list.

  1. Who are you?
  2. I am Thomas.
  3. Who is your friend?
  4. She is Sara.
  5. What is your name?
  6. My name is ...........

Word List

mi I, me. mi da my.
tu you. tu da your.
ye he, she or it. ye da his, her, its.
ke who or what.
si to be (am, is, are, etc)
si yes. no no.
bon good. doste friend. nam name.
fem woman. man man.
maw cat. hewan animal.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. tu si ke?
  2. mi si tomas.
  3. tu da doste si ke?
  4. ye si sara.
  5. tu da nam si ke?
  6. mi da nam si ...........

Saying hello

salam = Hello!

This is how people greet each other in Pandunia. They say salam. It is used for saying both hello and goodbye.

salam = Bye!

The word salam means "greeting". It is originally an Arabic word, which means peace, and it is a common greeting in many parts of the world, especially in Africa and Asia. Pandunia is a constructed world language, which borrows words from all parts of the world.

The verb form of salam is salama, which means "to greet".

mi salama tu. = I greet you.
tu salama mi. = You greet me.

These are active sentences. In active sentences the subject does the action to the object. In mi salama tu the first word, mi, is the subject, salama is the verb (action word), and tu is the object. The order of subject, verb and object is the normal word order in Pandunia.

Word order in active sentence: Subject + Verb + Object

Pandunia's personal pronouns are: mi = I, tu = you, and ye = he, she, it. Note that the pronouns stayed the same in the previous example sentences. Words never change in Pandunia. They always stay the same regardless of their position in sentence.

In Pandunia sentences can be made shorter by leaving out pronouns that are obvious in the present situation.

mi salama tu! = I greet you.
salama tu! = Greetings to you! (It is obvious that the speaker is the one who greets.)
salama! = Greetings! (It is obvious that the listeners are greeted.)

The pattern in salam tu is convenient for addressing people by name, kinship term or profession.

salam toni! = Hello, Tony!
salam mamá! = Hello, mother!
salam papá! = Hello, father!
salam xefe! = Hello, chief!

Another Pandunia word for greeting is haló. It is also a very international greeting. You can choose freely, which word to use when you greet people.

haló! - Hello!

Exercises

Try translating these sentences from English to Pandunia. The correct answers are after the word list.

  1. You greet him/her.
  2. Mother greets father.
  3. Hello, mother!
  4. Goodbye!

Word List

salam, haló greeting, hello, hi, salaam, ciao, etc.
mamá mother, mom. papá father, dad. xefe chief, boss.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. tu salama ye.
  2. mamá salama papá.
  3. salam mamá!
  4. salam!

Making requests

Dialog

☻: salam! = Hello!
☺: salam! cing sida. = Hello! Please sit!
☻: danke. = Thank you.
☺: cing nyama kafé u ca. = Please have some coffee or tea.
☻: mi nyama ca. danke. = I will have some tea, thank you.
... ☺: cing salama tu da mamá! = Please tell greetings to your mother.
☻: mi salama ye. salam! = I will. Bye!
☺: salam! = Bye!

Grammar

Pandunia's personal pronouns are: mi = I, tu = you, and ye = he, she, it. Pandunia is a gender-neutral language. It doesn't distinguish between sexes in the third person pronoun or any of the pronouns. All the personal pronouns are present in the following example sentence.

mi cing tu salama ye. = I ask you to say hello to him/her.

This sentence has a pivot structure. The first verb, cing = to request, addresses tu as its object. At the same time tu serves also as the subject of the second verb, salama = to greet, whose object is ye. So tu has a double role: (1) object of the first verb and (2) subject of the second verb. Hence, it is the pivot or hinge between the two verbs.

Pivot Stucture: Subject + Verb¹ + Object/Subject + Verb² + Object

The pivot structure is a common structure in Pandunia.

Remember that it is allowed to leave out pronouns that are known in the context. In other words the speaker can safely assume that the listeners know who he or she is talking about. So it is unnecessary to keep on repeating them. In this manner phrases can be made shorter.

mi cing tu salama ye. = I ask you to say hello to him/her.
cing salama ye. = Please say hello to him/her.

See how the translation of cing changed between the two sentences? The meaning of the word, the concept, did not change, but its use did. English reflects this change by using different words, to ask and please. Pandunia can cope with changes like this without resorting to different words. It is a principle in Pandunia that there is always exactly one word for one concept. Different words are not created just because the grammatical role of a concept changes.

The phrase cing salama ye has a useful pattern that can be used for making polite requests.

cing sida. = Please be seated.
cing dona kafé. = Please give me some coffee.
cing dona ca. = Please give me some tea.
cing nyama ca. = Please have some tea.
cing safa kamar. = Please clean the room.

Commands are introduced with manda = to command. They employ the same pivot structure as requests with cing.

manda dona ca. = Give (me) some tea!
manda safa kamar. = Clean the room!

In practice, direct commands can be also made with just one verb and a commanding voice.

safa ye! = Clean it!

Exercises

Try translating these sentences from English to Pandunia.

  1. He drinks tea.
  2. The boss asked her to sit down.
  3. Please have some coffee or tea.
  4. Mother asked me to clean the room.
  5. The boss sits and drinks coffee.

Word List

ca tea. cing to ask; please. dona to give. danke thanks. i and. kafé coffee. kamar room. manda to command. u or. safa to clean. sida to sit. nyama to eat or drink.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ye nyama ca.
  2. xefe cing ye sida.
  3. cing nyama kafé u ca.
  4. mamá cing mi safa kamar.
  5. xefe sida i nyama kafé.

Yes or no questions

Dialog

☻: salam! eska tu nyama kafé u ca? = Hello! Would you like to have coffee or tea?
☺: ca. = Tea.
☻: i tu? = And you?
○: mi no baxa pandunia... = I don't speak Pandunia...
☻: pardon! eska ye nyama ca? = Pardon! Will he have tea?
☺: no. ye no nyama ca. ye nyama kafé. = No, he won't. He would like to have coffee.
☻: eska tu nyama supe? = Would you like to have soup?
☺: nyama. = Yes. (I eat.)
☻: eska ye nyama supe? = Would he like to have soup?
☺: no nyama. = No.
☻: danke. mi dona un ca i un kafé i un supe na bade du des minut. = Thank you. I will bring one tea, one coffee and one soup in ten minutes.

Asking questions

Questions that can be answered by saying yes or no have the same pivot structure as requests with cing, which you learned in the previous lesson. Question sentences are introduced with eska = to ask.

mi eska tu nyama ca. = I ask (do) you drink tea.
eska tu nyama ca? = Do you drink tea?
eska nyama ca? = Drink tea?

Requests usually concern the one or the ones spoken to, but questions are often about other people. Therefore the second pronoun is usually needed. It can be left out only when it is clear who is the topic of discussion.

eska ye nyama ca? = Does he or she drink tea?
eska tu nyama supe? = Do you eat soup?
eska mimen nyama suy? = Do we drink water?

Of course common and proper nouns can also be used.

eska xefe nyama kafé? = Does the chief drink coffee?
eska papá safa kamar? = Does the father clean the room?
eska niki baxa pandunia? = Does Nicky speak Pandunia?

Giving answers

Yes/no questions can be answered with si = yes, and no = no.

eska tu nyama supe? = Do you eat soup?
si. = Yes.
eska ye nyama supe? = Does she eat soup?
no. = No.

Also more complete answers can be given.

eska tu nyama kafé? = Do you drink coffee?
si. mi nyama kafé. = Yes, I drink coffee.
eska ye nyama kafé? = Does he drink coffee?
no. ye no nyama kafé. = No, he doesn't drink coffee.

It is also possible to answer yes by repeating the main verb of the question.

eska tu nyama suy? = Do you drink water?
nyama. = (Yes, I) drink.

Exercises

Try translating these sentences from English to Pandunia.

  1. Do you speak Pandunia?
  2. Yes, I speak Pandunia.
  3. Does the mother drink coffee?
  4. No, she doesn't drink coffee.
  5. Does she eat soup?
  6. She doesn't.

Word List

bada after. pardon pardon, sorry. minut minute. no not. baxa speak; language. su water. supe soup. un one (1). des ten. eska to ask a question. si yes.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. eska tu baxa pandunia?
  2. si. mi baxa pandunia.
  3. eska mamá nyama kafé?
  4. no. ye no nyama kafé.
  5. eska ye nyama supe?
  6. (ye) no nyama.

Saying no

In the previous lesson you learned to answer si and no to questions. The word no is used for denying something. Adding no in front of the verb turns an affirmative sentence to negative.

mi salama tu. = I greet you.
mi no salama tu. = I do not greet you.

Conceptually negation means the absence or non-existence of the negated word. In the phrase mi no salama tu the negative word no denies the existence of greeting. In Pandunia the negative word affects the word that follows it. Different scopes of negation may result depending on the location of the negative word.

mi cing tu safa kamar. = I ask you to clean the room.
mi no cing tu safa kamar. = I do NOT ask you to clean the room.
mi cing tu no safa kamar. = I ask you NOT to clean the room.

The negated word can be of any type: verb, pronoun, noun, adjective and even numeral.

ye no ada maw. = She doesn't have a cat.
ye ada no maw, ama waf. = She has no cats but dogs.
no ye, a mi ada maw. = Not she but I have cats.
mi ada no un, a do maw. = I have not one but two cats.

Exercises

Translate these sentences from English to Pandunia. Sometimes there is more than one correct answer.

  1. He didn't clean the room.
  2. One cup is not empty.
  3. Two dogs don't eat soup.
  4. She has neither dogs nor cats.
  5. The chief drinks tea but not coffee.
  6. The mother has no dogs but (she has) two cats.

Word List

kupe cup, glass, mug. hali empty. ada to have. maw cat. waf dog. do two. nul zero. a but.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ye no safa kamar.
  2. un kupe no hali.
  3. do waf no nyama supe.
  4. ye no ada waf i maw. / ye ada no waf i no maw.
  5. xefe nyama ca a no kafé.
  6. mamá ada no waf a do maw.

Past, present and future

Expressing time

There are no verb conjugations in Pandunia. All verbs have only one form. In a way they are similar to some English verbs, such as "to hit", which is the same in all tenses.

mi darba ye. = I hit it.

In Pandunia all verbs are like that! For example, mi nyama nan can mean both "I eat bread" and "I ate bread", but usually only one or the other meaning makes sense in the context of the discussion. For example when people talk about that morning's breakfast, the sentence tells about the past time.

mi nyama nan na subá nyam. = I ate bread for morning meal.

There are also specific time words.

gang - just, recently
zay - currently, at the moment
hay - still
sun - soon
wil - later, in the future

The adjectives for past, present and future are pas, zay and wil. They can be used for modifying nouns.

sara si mi da pas xefe. = Sara is my former boss.
yusef si mi da zay xefe. = Yusef is my current boss.
maria si mi da wil xefe. = Maria is my future boss.

The same words are used when you talk about actions and events in time. Simply put the word before the verb.

mi pas darba ye. = I hit it (in the past).
mi zay darba ye. = I am hitting it (currently).
mi will darba ye. = I will hit it (in the future).

Alternatively the time word can be placed last in the sentence.

mi darba ye pas.
mi darba ye zay.
mi darba ye wil.

It's also possible to use longer phrases like na pase (in the past) etc.

mi darba ye na pase. = I hit it in the past.
mi darba ye na zaye. = I hit it at present.
mi darba ye na wile. = I hit it in the future.

It is not necessary to repeat the time expressions all the time. It would be awkward. It is enough to set the stage once in the beginning with a time expression. Another time word will not be needed until the tense changes or until it becomes useful to stress that you are still talking in the same tense.

mi pas ada un maw. = I had a cat in the past.
ye bon maw. = It was a good cat.
mi ada un waf zay. = I have a dog now.

Any expression of time is good for expressing the tense. When one time expression is present, other markers are not needed.

mi jenu na nen 2003. = I was born in 2003. ye safa kamar na badi den. = He will clean the room tomorrow.

Word List

pas past, former. zay present, current. wil future. darba to hit, to beat. nan bread. subá nyam morning meal, breakfast.

Exercises

Try translating these sentences from English to Pandunia. The correct answers are at the bottom of this page.

  1. My boss will celebrate in the future
  2. I used to have two dogs.
  3. You are eating soup right now.
  4. She cleaned the room the day before.
  5. The cat will drink coffee tomorrow.
  6. Your mother partied last night.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. mi da xefe festa na wile.
  2. mi ada do waf na pase.
  3. tu nyama supe zay.
  4. ye safa kamar na befo den.
  5. maw nyama kafé na badi den.
  6. tu da mamá festa na befo noce.