Lessons

Introducing yourself

Dialog


Image designed by Freepik

πŸ‘©πŸ» halou! = Hello!
πŸ§‘πŸΎ salam! = Hello!
πŸ‘©πŸ» te sa ke? = Who are you?
πŸ§‘πŸΎ me sa Yusef. te sa ke? = I am Yusef. Who are you?
πŸ‘©πŸ» me sa Sara. le sa ke? = I am Sara. Who is that?
πŸ§‘πŸΎ le sa mi doste. = That is my friend.
πŸ‘©πŸ» le namu ke? = What's her name?
πŸ§‘πŸΎ le namu Maria. = Her name is Maria.

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 le sa mi doste the topic is the pronoun le (he, she, it), which is followed by the comment sa mi doste (is my friend).

In Pandunia, the word sa 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).

le sa Sara. = She is Sarah.
le no sa Sara. = She is not Sarah.

mau sa zou. = The cat is an animal.
dom no sa zou. = The house is not an animal.

In the same way you can describe yourself by saying me sa and a word that describes you.

me sa boni. = I'm good.
me sa man. = I'm a man.
me sa fem. = I'm a woman.

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 Sarah.
  5. What is your name?
  6. My name is ...........

Word List

me I, me
mi my
te you
ti your
le he, she or it
li his, her, its
ke who or what
sa to be
no no; not
boni good
doste friend
nam name
namu be called
fem woman
man man
mau cat
zou animal

Answers to the Exercises

  1. te sa ke?
  2. me sa tomas.
  3. ti doste sa ke?
  4. le sa Sara.
  5. ti nam sa ke?
  6. mi nam sa ...........

Saying hello

salam = Hello!

This is how people often 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 a Middle Eastern word for wishing well-being, health and safety. It appears as "shlaam" in Aramaic, the language that Jesus of Nazareth spoke, in Hebrew it is "shalom", and in Arabic it is "salaam". Today it is a common greeting in hundreds of languages in Africa, Asia and Europe. Pandunia is a constructed world language that borrows international words from all parts of the world.

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

me salama te. = I greet you.
te salama me. = You greet me.

These are active sentences. In active sentences the subject does the action to the object. In me salama te the first word, me, is the subject, salama is the verb (action word), and te 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: me = I, te = you, and le = 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.

me salama te! = I greet you.
salama te! = Greetings to you! (It is obvious that the speaker is the one who greets.)
salama! = Greeting! (It is obvious that the listeners are greeted.)
salam! = Hello!

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

halou! = Hello!

You may use both salam and halou to address people by name, kinship term or profession.

halou, toni! = Hello, Tony!
salam, mam! = Hello, mother!
halou, pape! = Hello, father!
salam, xef! = Hello, chief!

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, halou greeting, hello, hi, salaam, ciao, etc.
salama to greet
mam mother, mom
pape father, dad
xef chief, boss

Answers to the Exercises

  1. te salama le.
  2. mam salama pape.
  3. salam mam!
  4. salam!

Making requests

Dialog

πŸ§’ halou! = Hello!
πŸ§“ halou! cinga sida. = Hello! Please sit!
πŸ§’ danke. = Thank you.
πŸ§“ cinga yama kafe o cai. = Please have some coffee or tea.
πŸ§’ me vola cai. danke. = I will have some tea, thank you.
...
πŸ§“ cinga salama ti mam! = Please tell greetings to your mother.
πŸ§’ me salama le. salam reste! = I will. Bye!
πŸ§“ salam cute! = Bye!

Grammar

Pandunia's personal pronouns are: me = I, te = you, and le = 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.

me cinga te salama le. = I ask you to say hello to him/her.

This sentence has a pivot structure. The first verb, cinga = to request, addresses te as its object. At the same time te serves also as the subject of the second verb, salama = to greet, whose object is le. So te 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 + VerbΒΉ + Object/Subject + VerbΒ² + 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.

me cinga te salama le. = I ask you to say hello to him/her.
cinga salama le. = Please say hello to him/her.

See how the translation of cinga 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 cinga salama le has a useful pattern that can be used for making polite requests.

cinga sida. = Please be seated.
cinga dona kafe. = Please give me some coffee.
cinga dona cai. = Please give me some tea.
cinga yama cai. = Please have some tea.
cinga safa kamar. = Please clean the room.

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

amira dona cai. = Give (me) some tea!
amira safa kamar. = Clean the room!

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

safa le! = 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

cai tea
cinga to ask; please
dona to give
danke thanks
e and
kafe coffee
kamar room
amira to order, to command
o or
safa to clean
sida to sit
yama to eat or drink

Answers to the Exercises

  1. le yama cai.
  2. xef cinga le sida.
  3. cinga yama kafe o cai.
  4. mam cinga me safa kamar.
  5. xef sida e yama kafe.

Yes or no questions

Dialog

πŸ‘©β€πŸ³ salam! suala te yama kafe o cai? = Hello! Would you like to have coffee or tea?
πŸ§” cai. = Tea.
πŸ‘©β€πŸ³ e te? = And you?
πŸ§“ me no baxa pandunia... = I don't speak Pandunia...
πŸ‘©β€πŸ³ maf! suala le yama cai? = Pardon! Will he have tea?
πŸ§” no. le no yama cai. le yama kafe. = No, he won't. He would like to have coffee.
πŸ‘©β€πŸ³ suala te yama supe? = Would you like to have soup?
πŸ§” ha. = Yes.
πŸ‘©β€πŸ³ suala le yama supe? = Would he like to have soup?
πŸ§” no yama. = No.
πŸ‘©β€πŸ³ danke. me dona un cai e un kafe e un supe va bade da desi minute. = 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 cinga, which you learned in the previous lesson. Question sentences are introduced with suala = to ask.

me suala te yama cai. = I ask (do) you drink tea.
suala te yama cai? = Do you drink tea?
suala yama cai? = 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.

suala le yama cai? = Does he or she drink tea?
suala te yama supe? = Do you eat soup?
suala mes yama sui? = Do we drink water?

Of course common and proper nouns can also be used.

suala xef yama kafe? = Does the chief drink coffee?
suala pape safa kamar? = Does the father clean the room?
suala niki baxa pandunia? = Does Nicky speak Pandunia?

Giving answers

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

– suala te yama supe? = Do you eat soup?
– ha. = Yes.
– suala le yama supe? = Does she eat soup?
– no. = No.

Also more complete answers can be given.

– suala te yama kafe? = Do you drink coffee?
– ha. me yama kafe. = Yes, I drink coffee.
– suala le yama kafe? = Does he drink coffee?
– no. le no yama kafe. = No, he doesn't drink coffee.

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

– suala te yama sui? = Do you drink water?
– yama. = (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

bade after
pardon pardon, sorry
minute minute
baxa speak a language
sui water
supe soup
un one (1)
desi ten
suala to ask a question
ha yes

Answers to the Exercises

  1. suala te baxa pandunia?
  2. ha. me baxa pandunia.
  3. suala mam yama kafe?
  4. no. le no yama kafe.
  5. suala le yama supe?
  6. (le) no yama.

Saying no

In the previous lesson you learned to answer ha 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.

me salama te. = I greet you.
me no salama te. = I do not greet you.

Conceptually negation means the absence or non-existence of the negated word. In the phrase me no salama te 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.

me cinga te safa kamar. = I ask you to clean the room.
me no cinga te safa kamar. = I do NOT ask you to clean the room.
me cinga te 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.

le no tena mau. = She doesn't have a cat.
le tena no mau, a vaf. = She has no cats but dogs.
no le, a me tena mau. = Not she but I have cats.
me tena no un, a duli mau. = 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. kali empty. tena to have. mau cat. vaf dog. duli two. nol zero. a but.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. le no safa kamar.
  2. un kupe no kali.
  3. duli vaf no yama supe.
  4. le no tena vaf e mau. / le tena no vaf e no mau.
  5. xef yama cai a no kafe.
  6. mam tena no vaf a duli mau.

More Questions

To ask questions beginning with what, which, how, who and when, the interrogative pronoun ki is normally used. The question can be made more specific by adding words for person, time, manner or thing if needed.

le sa ke? = What is that? / Who is (s)he?
ki ren laya? = Who is coming? (ren = person)
ki zaman te yama? = When do you eat? (zaman = time)
ki yang dansa? = How to dance? (yang = manner, style)

In Pandunia, questions beginning with why are asked using ke saba.

ke saba te suku mau? = Why do you like cats?

Questions asking about the cause or reason of something, are answered by adding sabu before the cause or reason. sabu is actually a passive verb meaning to be caused by.

ke saba te suku mau? = Why do you like cats?
sabu les kavayi. = Because they are cute.

Of course sabu can also be used to express the cause or reason for something, even when not answering to a question.

me suku mau sabu les kavayi = I like cats because they are cute.

Exercises

  1. Who likes soup?
  2. The father does.
  3. When will he come?
  4. In ten minutes
  5. Why doesn't she eat?
  6. Because she doesn't like coffee or soup.

Word List

dansa to dance. laya to come. ren person. suku to like. yang manner, style. zaman period of time.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ki ren suku supe?
  2. pape suku.
  3. ki zaman le laya?
  4. va bade da desi minute.
  5. ke saba le no yama?
  6. sabu le no suku kafe o supe.

Past, present and future

Expressing time

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

me darba le. = I hit it.

In Pandunia all verbs are like that! For example, me yama pang 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.

me yama pang va subi yam. = I ate bread for morning meal.

There are also specific time words.

gango = just, recently
zayo = currently, at the moment
yexo = still, yet
suno = soon
vilo = later, in the future

The adjectives for past, present and future are pasi, zayi and vili. They can be used for modifying nouns.

Sara sa mi pasi xef. = Sarah is my former boss.
Yusef sa mi zayi xef. = Yusef is my current boss.
Maria sa mi vili xef. = Maria is my future boss.

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

me paso darba le. = I hit it (in the past).
me zayo darba le. = I am hitting it (currently).
me vilo darba le. = I will hit it (in the future).

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

me darba le paso.
me darba le zayo.
me darba le vilo.

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

me darba le va pase. = I hit it in the past.
me darba le va zaye. = I hit it at present.
me darba le va vile. = 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.

me paso tena un mau. = I had a cat in the past.
le boni mau. = It was a good cat.
me tena un vaf zayo. = 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.

me jenu va nen 2003. = I was born in 2003.
le safa kamar va badi den. = He will clean the room tomorrow.

Exercises

Try translating these sentences from English to Pandunia.

  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.

Word List

paso in the past, formerly. zayo at present, currently. vilo in future. darba to hit, to beat. pang bread. subyam morning meal, breakfast.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. mi xef festa va vile.
  2. me tena duli vaf va pase.
  3. te yama supe zay.
  4. le safa kamar va predi den.
  5. mau yama kafe va badi den.
  6. ti mam festa va predi noce.