Skip to content

Lessons

Introducing yourself

Dialog


Image designed by Freepik

sal! = Hello!
salam! = Hello!
tu si ke? = Who are you?
mi si Yusef. tu si ke? = I am Yusef. Who are you?
mi si Sara. ya si ke? = I am Sara. Who is that?
ya si mi su dosti. = That is my friend.
ya su nam si ke? = What's her name?
ya su nam si 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 ya si mi su dosti the topic is the pronoun ya (he, she, it), which is followed by the comment si mi su dosti (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 put no before it.

ya si Sara. = She is Sarah.
ya no si Sara. = She is not Sarah.

mau si hevan. = The cat is an animal.
dom no si hevan. = The house is not an animal.

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

mi si bon. = I'm good.
mi si man. = I'm a man.
mi si fem. = I'm a woman.
mi si nobi. = I'm non-binary.

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

mi I, me
mi su my
tu you
tu su your
ya he, she or it
ya su his, her, its
ke who or what
si to be
no no; not
bon good
dosti friend
nam name
fem woman
man man
mau cat
hevan animal

Answers to the Exercises

  1. tu si ke?
  2. mi si tomas.
  3. tu su dosti si ke?
  4. ya si Sara.
  5. tu su nam si ke?
  6. mi su nam si ...........

Saying hello

sal = Hello!

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

sal = Bye!

The word sal means 'hello' or 'hi'.

It has two origins. On one hand, it comes from Latin salve and related greetings like French salut. Also English salute and Spanish saludo are related to it. On the other hand, it comes from a common 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 and blends together international words from all parts of the world.

The word salam means greeting or to greet.

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

These are active sentences. In active sentences the subject does the action to the object. In mi salam tu the first word mi is the subject, salam 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 ya = 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 tu! = I greet you.
salam tu! = Greetings to you! (It is obvious that the speaker is the one who greets.)
salam! = Greeting! (It is obvious that the listeners are greeted.)

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!

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

halo, toni! – Hello, Tony!
salam, mama! – Hello, mother!
halo, papa! – Hello, father!
salam, xefe! – 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

sal hello, hi, salaam, ciao
halo hello (said especially on the phone)
salam greeting(s), to greet.
salam to greet
mama mother, mom
papa father, dad
xefe chief, boss

Answers to the Exercises

  1. tu salam ya.
  2. mama salam papa.
  3. salam mama!
  4. sal!

Making requests

Dialog


Image designed by macrovector

halo, cin pa! = Hello, grandfather!
halo! cing side. = Hello! Please sit!
xukur. = Thank you.
cing yam kafe o cai. = Please have some coffee or tea.
a mi yam un di cai! xukur. = But I drink only tea! Thank you.
...
cin pa, mi mus ga a zai. = Grandfather, I have to go now.
bon. cing salam tu su mama! = OK. Please tell greetings to your mother.
mi salam ya. sal cuti! = I will. Bye!
sal ga! = Bye!

Grammar

Pandunia's personal pronouns are: mi = I, tu = you, and ya = 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 salam ya. = 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, salam ('to greet'), whose object is ya. 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 salam ya. = I ask you to say hello to him/her.
cing salam ya. = 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 salam ya has a useful pattern that can be used for making polite requests.

cing side. = Please be seated.
cing da yo kafe. = Please give me some coffee.
cing da yo cai. = Please give me some tea.
cing yam yo cai. = Please have some tea.
cing safi la kamar. = Please clean the room.

Commands are introduced with amir ('to command'). They employ the same pivot structure as requests with cing.

amir da yo cai. = Give (me) some tea!
amir safi la kamar. = Clean the room!

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

safi ya! = 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

amir to order, to command
cai tea
cin pa grandfather
cing to ask; please
da to give
e and
ga to go
kafe coffee
kamar room
la the
mus must, have to
o or
safi to clean
xukur thanks
side to sit
un di only
yam to eat or drink
yo some, a(n)

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ya yam cai.
  2. la xefe cing ya side.
  3. cing yam kafe o cai.
  4. mama cing mi safi kamar.
  5. xefe side e yam kafe.

Yes or no questions

Dialog


Image designed by pikisuperstar

sal! sual tu yam kafe o cai? = Hello! Would you like to have coffee or tea?
cai. = Tea.
tu ne? = And you?
mi no baxa pandunia... = I don't speak Pandunia...
maf! sual ya yam cai? = Pardon! Will he have tea?
no. ya no yam cai. ya yam kafe. = No, he won't. He would like to have coffee.
sual tu yam supe? = Would you like to have soup?
ye. = Yes.
sual ya yam supe? = Would he like to have soup?
no yam. = No.
xukur. mi da un cai e un kafe e un supe pos des 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 cing, which you learned in the previous lesson. Question sentences are introduced with sual = to ask.

mi sual tu yam cai. = I ask (do) you drink tea.
sual tu yam cai? = Do you drink tea?
sual yam 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.

sual ya yam cai? = Does he or she drink tea?
sual tu yam supe? = Do you eat soup?
sual mimen yam sui? = Do we drink water?

Of course common and proper nouns can also be used.

sual xefe yam kafe? = Does the chief drink coffee?
sual papa safi kamar? = Does the father clean the room?
sual niki baxa pandunia? = Does Nicky speak Pandunia?

Giving answers

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

sual tu yam supe? = Do you eat soup?
ye. = Yes.
sual ya yam supe? = Does she eat soup?
no. = No.

Also more complete answers can be given.

sual tu yam kafe? = Do you drink coffee?
ye. mi yam kafe. = Yes, I drink coffee.
sual ya yam kafe? = Does he drink coffee?
no. ya no yam kafe. = No, he doesn't drink coffee.

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

sual tu yam sui? = Do you drink water?
yam. = (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

pos after
maf pardon, sorry
minute minute
baxa speak a language
ne sentence-ending tag for asking the other's point of view
sui water
supe soup
un one (1)
des ten
sual to ask a question
ye yes

Answers to the Exercises

  1. sual tu baxa pandunia?
  2. ye. mi baxa pandunia.
  3. sual mama yam kafe?
  4. no. ya no yam kafe.
  5. sual ya yam supe?
  6. (ya) no yam.

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

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

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

ya no ten mau. = She doesn't have a cat.
ya ten no mau, ama vaf. = She has no cats but dogs.
no ya, ama mi ten mau. = Not she but I have cats.
mi ten 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

kupa cup, glass, mug
hali empty
ten to have
mau cat. vaf dog
du two
siro zero
ama but

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ya no safi kamar.
  2. un kupa no hali.
  3. du vaf no yam supe.
  4. ya no ten vaf e mau. / ya ten no vaf e no mau.
  5. xefe yam cai ama no kafe.
  6. mama ten no vaf ama du mau.

More Questions

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

ya si ke? = What is that? / Who is (s)he?
ya si ke jen? = Who is he/she?
ya si ke xe? = What (thing) is it?
ke jen lai? = Who is coming? (jen = person)
tu yam a ke zaman? = When do you eat? (zaman = time)
men danse a ke yang? = How to dance? (yang = manner, style)

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

ke sababe tu suka mau? = Why do you like cats?

Questions asking about the cause or reason of something, are answered by adding sababe before the cause or reason.

ke sababe tu suka mau? = Why do you like cats?
de sababe yamen si kavai. = Because they are cute.

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

mi suka mau de sababe yamen si kavai = 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 and soup.

Word List

danse to dance
lai to come
a at, in, on
jen person
suka to like
yang manner, style
zaman period of time

Answers to the Exercises

  1. ke jen suka supe?
  2. papa suka.
  3. ke zaman ya lai?
  4. pos des minute.
  5. ke sababe ya no yam?
  6. de sababe ya no suka kafe e 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.

mi darba ya. = I hit it.

In Pandunia all verbs are like that! For example, mi yam 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.

mi yam pang a yi suba yam. = I ate bread for this breakfast.

There are also specific time words.

zai = currently, at the moment
xa = later, in the future

They can be used for modifying nouns.

Sara si mi su pas xefe. = Sarah is my former boss.
Yusef si mi su zai xefe. = Yusef is my current boss.
Maria si mi su xa 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 ya. = I hit it (in the past).
mi zai darba ya. = I am hitting it (currently).
mi xa darba ya. = I will hit it (in the future).

It's also possible to use preposition phrases of time.

mi darba ya a pas. = I hit it in the past.
mi darba ya a zai. = I hit it at present.
mi darba ya a xa. = 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 ten un mau. = I had a cat in the past.
ya si bon mau. = It was a good cat.
mi ten un vaf a zai. = 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 be jene a nen 2003. = I was born in 2003.
ya safi la kamar a pos 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 milk tomorrow.
  6. Your mother partied last night.

Word List

pas past, former
zai present, current
xa future
pre before
den day
noce night
darba to hit, to beat
pang bread
suba yam morning meal, breakfast
milke milk

Answers to the Exercises

  1. mi su xefe festa a xa.
  2. mi ha du vaf a pas.
  3. tu yam supe a zai.
  4. ya safi kamar a pre den.
  5. mau yam milke a pos den.
  6. tu su ma festa a prenoce.