Introducing yourself

Dialog

☻: ti e ke? = Who are you?
☺: mi e yusef. ti e ke? = I am Yusef. Who are you?
☻: mi e maria. ta e ke? = I am Maria. Who is that?
☺: ta e mi ge panyo. = That is my friend.
☻: ta nam ke? = What's her name?
☺: ta nam 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 ta e mi ge panyo the topic is the pronoun ta (he, she, it), which is followed by the comment e mi ge panyo (is my friend).

The word e means to be in Pandunia. The same word is used for all persons. And to say the opposite, simply add no (which is the word for no) before it.

ta e sara. - She is Sara. ta no e sara. - She is not Sara.

But e is always needed between two nouns. If you say, for example, mau hewan (word for word: cat animal), people probably can guess what you mean. But they also could get confused and think of it as a compound word. So it's better to add the word e in the middle.

mau e hewan - The cat is an animal. mau no e hewan - The cat is not an animal.

Personal pronouns like mi, ti and ta don't always need e after them. So you can introduce yourself simply by saying mi followed by your name. Try it!

mi .............. !

Good! Likewise you can describe yourself by saying mi followed by any word that describes you.

mi bon. - I'm good. / I'm well.
mi man. - I'm a man. mi 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 Sara.
  5. What is your name?
  6. My name is ...........

Word List

mi I, me. mi ge my.
ti you. ti ge your.
ta he, she or it. ta ge his, her, its.
ke who or what.
e to be (am, is, are, etc) ye yes. no no.
bon good. panyo friend. nam name. fem woman. man man. mau cat. hewan animal.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ti (e) ke?
  2. mi (e) tomas.
  3. ti ge panyo e ke?
  4. ta (e) sara.
  5. ti nam ke?
  6. mi nam ...........

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.

Salam can also be a verb. Then it means "to greet".

mi salam ti. = I greet you.
ti salam mi. = You greet me.

These are active sentences. In active sentences the subject does the action to the object. In mi salam ti the first word, mi, is the subject, salam is the verb (action word), and ti is the object. The order of subject, verb and object is important and it never changes.

Word order in active sentence: Subject + Verb + Object

Pandunia's personal pronouns are: mi = I, ti = you, and ta = 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 salam ti! = I greet you.
salam ti! = Greetings to you! (It is obvious that the speaker is the one who greets.)
salam! = Greetings! (It is obvious that the listeners are greeted.)

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

salam toni! = Hello, Tony!
salam mama! = Hello, mother!
salam papa! = Hello, father!
salam cef! = Hello, chief!

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

halo! - Hello! mi halo ti. - I say hello to you.

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, halo greeting, hello, hi, salaam, ciao, etc.
mama mother, mom. papa father, dad. cef chief, boss.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ti salam ta.
  2. mama salam papa.
  3. salam mama!
  4. salam!

Making requests

Dialog

☻: salam! = Hello!
☺: salam! bite sit. = Hello! Please sit!
☻: danke. = Thank you.
☺: bite yem kafe u tca. = Please have some coffee or tea.
☻: mi yem tca. danke. = I will have some tea, thank you.
... ☺: bite salam ti ge mama! = Please tell greetings to your mother.
☻: mi salam ta. salam! = I will. Bye!
☺: salam! = Bye!

Grammar

Pandunia's personal pronouns are: mi = I, ti = you, and ta = 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 bite ti salam ta. = I ask you to say hello to him/her.

This sentence has a pivot structure. The first verb, bite = to request, addresses ti as its object. At the same time ti serves also as the subject of the second verb, salam = to greet, whose object is ta. So ti 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 bite ti salam ta. = I ask you to say hello to him/her.
bite salam ta. = Please say hello to him/her.

See how the translation of bite 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 bite salam ta has a useful pattern that can be used for making polite requests.

bite sit. = Please be seated.
bite dar kafe. = Please give me some coffee.
bite dar tca. = Please give me some tea.
bite yem tca. = Please have some tea.

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

tca tea. bite to ask; please. dar to give. danke thanks. i and. kafe coffee. kamar room. u or. saf to clean. sit to sit. yem to eat or drink.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ta yem tca.
  2. cef bite ta sit.
  3. bite yem kafe o tca.
  4. mama bite mi saf kamar.
  5. cef sit i yem kafe.

Yes or no questions

Dialog

☻: salam! kia ti yem kafe u tca? = Hello! Would you like to have coffee or tea?
☺: tca. = Tea.
☻: i ti? = And you?
○: mi no baca pandunia... = I don't speak Pandunia...
☻: maf! kia ta yem tca? = Pardon! Will he have tea?
☺: no. ta no yem tca. ta yem kafe. = No, he won't. He would like to have coffee.
☻: kia ti yem sup? = Would you like to have soup?
☺: yem. = Yes. (I eat.)
☻: kia ta yem sup? = Would he like to have soup?
☺: no yem. = No.
☻: danke. mi dar un tca i un kafe i un sup na bada de 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 bite, which you learned in the previous lesson. Question sentences are introduced with kia = to ask.

mi kia ti yem tca. = I ask (do) you drink tea.
kia ti yem tca? = Do you drink tea?
kia yem tca? = 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.

kia ta yem tca? = Does he or she drink tea?
kia ti yem sup? = Do you eat soup?
kia mimen yem sui? = Do we drink water?

Of course common and proper nouns can also be used.

kia cef se yem kafe? = Does the chief drink coffee?
kia niki se baca pandunia? = Does Nicky speak Pandunia?

Giving answers

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

kia ti yem sup? = Do you eat soup?
ye. = Yes.
kia ta yem sup? = Does she eat soup?
no. = No.

Also more complete answers can be given.

kia ti yem kafe? = Do you drink coffee?
ye. mi yem kafe. = Yes, I drink coffee.
kia ta yem kafe? = Does he drink coffee?
no. ta no yem kafe. = No, he doesn't drink coffee.

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

kia ti yem sui? = Do you drink water?
yem. = (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. maf pardon, sorry. minut minute. no not. baca speak; language. sui water. sup soup. un one (1). des ten. kia to ask a question. ye yes.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. kia ti baca pandunia?
  2. ye. mi baca pandunia.
  3. kia mama yem kafe?
  4. no. ta no yem kafe.
  5. kia ta yem sup?
  6. (ta) no yem.

Saying no

In the previous lesson you learned to answer ye 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 salam ti. = I greet you.
mi no salam ti. = I do not greet you.

Conceptually negation means the absence or non-existence of the negated word. In the phrase mi no salam ti 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 bite ti saf kamar. = I ask you to clean the room.
mi no bite ti saf kamar. = I do NOT ask you to clean the room.
mi bite ti no saf kamar. = I ask you NOT to clean the room.

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

ta no ha mau. = She doesn't have a cat.
ta ha no mau, ama waf. = She has no cats but dogs.
no ta, ama mi ha mau. = Not she but I have cats.
mi ha no un, ama du 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

kop cup, glass, mug. xali empty. ha to have. mau cat. waf dog. du two. nul zero. ama but.

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ta no saf kamar.
  2. un kop no xali.
  3. du waf no yem sup.
  4. ta no ha waf i mau. / ta ha no waf i no mau.
  5. cef yem tca ama no kafe.
  6. mama ha no waf ama du mau.

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 ta. = I hit it.

In Pandunia all verbs are like that! For example, mi yem pan 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 yem pan na suba yem. = I ate bread for morning meal.

There are also specific time words.

gon - in the past ja - already, prior to some time gang - just, recently nun - now, at the moment hai - still sun - soon futur - in the future

The adjectives for past, present and future are gon, nun and futur. They can be used for modifying nouns.

sara e mi ge gon cef. = Sara is my former boss. yusef e mi ge nun cef. = Yusef is my current boss. maria e mi ge futur cef. = 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 gon darba ta. = I hit it (in the past). mi nun darba ta. = I am hitting it (currently). mi futur darba ta. = I will hit it (in the future).

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

mi darba ta gon. mi darba ta nun. mi darba ta futur.

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 gon ha un mau. = I had a cat in the past. ta bon mau. = It was a good cat. mi ha un waf nun. = I have a dog now.

Word List

gon past, former. nun present, current. futur future. darba to hit, to beat. pan bread. suba yem morning meal, breakfast.