Notes about Pandunia

This page contains mixed notes that I have written down. They deal with all kinds of questions about Pandunia. Some of the notes can be moved to more appropriate documents later, such as the grammar or questions and answers page.

Word building


Esperanto's mal- prefix means something that is at the opposite end of a continuum. For example, there is a continuum of temperature from cold to hot (malvarma, varma) and there is a continuum of beaty from ugly to beatiful (malbona, bona). A bad side of this idea is that one extreme has to be selected as the unprefixed norm.

That's why I prefer another way, which uses degree words and neutral nouns. Examples:

bon rupi = good-looking i.e. beautiful or handsome
mal rupi = bad-looking i.e. ugly

day badani = big-bodied i.e. large
lil badani = little-bodied i.e. small

In fact these are sequences of two modifiers where the first one modifies the second one. So basically the sequence is adverb + adjective.

On the other hand, rup-bon and badan-day are not possible compound words in Pandunia, because it's not possible to combine a noun to a modifier. That's because the modifier always modifies the noun and never the other way round.

However, it's possible to say:

rupi bon = looking-wise good
badani day = body-wise big, bodily big, corpulent

Word changes


I noticed the conflict between help and medium. That's why help was mede and medium was midi so they have different vowels. However, it's better to use helpe as the word for help and medi as the word for medium.

The call for help should be internationally recognized and English "help" is most widely known (besides international calls for help, S.O.S. and mayday).

helpa mi! = Help me!

Speech sounds


Voiced sibilants, stops and affricates are not allowed in end of word position. Therefore "dez" is impossible word for Pandunia.

Possessives and "zero be"


There is a reason why mi buke is not possessive construction and it has to do with word order variation.

mi buke dugu. = I read the book.

Here mi is the subject, buke is the object and dugu is the verb. The word order is subject–verb–object.

mi ya buke dugu. = My book is read.

Here mi ya buke is the object and the word order is object–verb (i.e. the word order of the "passive" sentence).

So, if mi buke would mean "my book", then mi buke dugu could mean either of the above mentioned things. That's why the simple possessive structure of mi buke is excluded from Pandunia and only mi ya buke is used.

However, so called zero be structure is possible because it is used only in short sentences.

ce buke. = That (is) the book.
mi maria. = I (am) Maria.

These sentences are short and complete. That's why they work.

If you add there a verb ending in -u, then it's not a zero be structure anymore but rather a sentence with SOV word order.

mi maria vidu. = I see Maria.

Why there are two forms of ce, le and ke


There is a similar reason behind the two forms of demonstrative pronouns (ce/ci and le/li) and the interrogative pronoun (ke/ki).

ci apel nyamu. = This apple is eaten.
ce apel nyamu. = This eats the apple.

So here the first sentence uses object–verb word order, where ci apel (this apple) is the object. But in the second sentence the word order is subject–object–verb and ce is the subject and only apel is the object.

You can even say ce ci apel nyamu. = This eats this apple. The same sentence in the more common SVO word order would be ce niama ci apel.



It's polite to use titles when talking about people. Western languages often use gender-specific words like mister and señor (for men) and miss and señora (for women). East Asian languages use so called honorifics, like Japanese san and sama.

In Pandunia you can use the word onori (meaning honorable, respected) for all genders.

onori maria ernandes - Ms. Maria Hernandez
onori yusef malik - Mr. Yusef Malik

Calculating in Pandunia


How to multiply in Pandunia? Interestingly, you can use numbers as modifiers of verbs of calculation.

mi dul mara car.
I two-ly multiply four.
I multiply two and four.

mi dul fena car.
I two-ly divide four.
I divide four by two.

2 × 4 = 8
dul mara car egala bat.
Two times four equals eight.

6 / 2 = 3
sis fenu dul egala sam.
Six divided by two equals three.

Suffixes for word building


  • -ia means an area or space and it can be used for both physical and abstract things.
  • -er means an agent of the action
  • -iste means one who supports to a particular idea, such as a religious doctrine or a political movement.

Note that both -er and -iste are used in a more narrow sense than similar English suffixes -er and -ist. For example, a guitarist is an agent and not a supporter, so it translates to gitarer in Pandunia, not gitariste.

We can combine the above-mentioned suffixes together.

  • -eria is the trade or the place where the action takes place
  • -istia is the ideology or religion that is supported

For example, we can derive budistia (Buddhism) from budiste (Buddhist). So we don't need or use the suffix -ism at all.

In general, it is preferred in Pandunia that we follow the internal logic of the language instead of external models such as the Western languages.

Another example of this are the words nasiste (nationalist) and sociste (socialist). The word stems are nas- (nation, folk) and soc- (society). There's no need to add anything between them and the suffix -iste because the meaning is already complete. So, while these words look a little different than in the Western languages, their meaning is clear and complete.