Basic words and phrases
Pandunia is a constructed language that is designed to be relatively easy for everyone. You can learn it fast with this practical course.
English speakers will find it easy to make basic sentences in Pandunia as the word order is generally the same as in English, there are no definite or indefinite articles, no verb "to be", and no complicated rules about changing the form of words to express singular and plural or the tense of verbs.
The course consists of short lessons. Each lesson introduces one new word, which is used in several different phrases in the lesson. This is to teach you how the word works as part of sentences. Possibly you will encounter also other new words in the same lesson but don't worry about them! You don't have to learn all of them at once. Just memorize the phrases that are useful for you! Maybe the rest will go to your memory subconciously.
You can study this course together with one or several friends. Read the phrases together and try to make small conversations. You can also study alone. Even then it's useful to read out loud and create conversations. Repeat the same phrases several times today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and so on. As they say, repetition is the mother of learning.
Note! Many lessons include also tips and notes like this. They are there to clarify grammatical details for those who are interested. You can skip over them if they are not helpful. You don't have to know the theory of the language. You can just speak Pandunia!
Part 1: Greeting and basics
salam greet, greeting
salam sube! Good morning!
salam den! Good day!
salam suar! Good evening!
salam noce! Good night!
salam yam! Bon appetit!
salam lai! Welcome!
salam cute! Goodbye!
salam safar! Have a safe journey!
salam son! Sleep well!
As you can see from the range of expressions, salam is a general word for well-wishing. Use it any time!
Salam is a popular greeting that is used by both religious and non-religious people in many different countries around the world.
Etymology. salam is from Arabic: سَلَام "salām", Hebrew: שָׁלוֹם "šalom", Turkish: selam, Hindi: सलाम "salām", Swahili: salaam, Indonesian: selamat.
multo danke! Thanks a lot!
ha, danke. Yes, thank you.
no, danke. No, thank you.
danka te. Thank you.
me danka te. I thank you.
me danka te helpa me. I thank you for helping me.
danka te helpa me. Thanks for helping me.
te keci. You're welcome. (Literally: You're polite.)
sa to be
The word sa can be used also for stating something as a fact. Then it is used in place of "to be".
me sa Tomas. I am Thomas.
te sa Sara. You are Sarah.
aple sa pal. The apple is a fruit.
me I, me
me sa Sara. I'm Sarah.
me sa Tomas. I'm Thomas.
me salama mame. I greet mother.
me salama pape. I greet father.
The word salam is a noun and salama is the corresponding verb. The basic word order in Pandunia is subject-verb-object.
Sara salama Tomas. Sarah greets Thomas.
salam mame! Greetings, mother!
salam pape! Greetings, father!
Etymology. me is from English: me, Hindi: मैं (meṇ), Spanish: me, French: me.
te sa Tomas. You are Thomas.
me salama te. I greet you.
te salama me. You greet me.
Pronouns don't ever change their form in Pandunia. That's why me is the same in subject and object positions while English has two different forms, 'I' and 'me'.
me ama te. I love you.
Etymology. te is from Hungarian: te, Russian: ты (ty), Italian: te, French: te.
le he, she or it
le sa man. He is a man.
le sa fem. She is a woman.
le sa aple. It is an apple.
le is the general third person pronoun. It is used for people (irrespective of gender) as well as for things.
me salama le. I greet him/her.
Etymology. le is from French: il/le, Spanish: él/le.
suala to ask a question
suala te sa Tomas? Are you Thomas?
suala te sa mediker? Are you a doctor?
Tip: Yes/no questions frequently begin with suala. It is just a regular verb, not a special question tag. In fact, the previous question is simply abbreviated from me suala te mediker. (I ask, you doctor?) by dropping out the first word.
suala te boni?
How are you? (Literally: Are you good?)
me boni. I'm good.
suala te? And you?
me no boni. I'm not good.
Etymology. suala is from Arabic سؤال (su'āl), Hindi सवाल (savāl), Malay soal, Swahili swali.
suala te sa Tomas? Are you Thomas.
ha, me sa Tomas. Yes, I am Thomas.
suala le sa mediker? Is he/she a doctor?
ha, le sa mediker. Yes, he is a doctor.
no no, not
me no sa Sara. I'm not Sarah.
me no sa mediker. I'm not a doctor.
suala te boni?
Are you well?
ha. me boni. Yes, I'm well.
suala te boni?
Are you well?
no, me no boni. No, I'm not well.
You can use no to deny anything. It is placed before the word that is denied.
le no salama me. He/she doesn't greet me.
Etymology. no is from Spanish: no, English no, French: non.
Plural pronouns are created like this:
te (you) → tes (you all)
le (he, she, it) → les (they)
mes salama tes. We greet you all.
tes salama les. You greet them.
les salama mes! They greet us.
mes sa fem. We are women.
tes sa man. You are men.
les sa aple. They are apples.
ke? what? who?
te sa ke?
Who are you?
me sa Tomas. I'm Thomas.
le sa ke?
Who is he/she?
le sa Sara. She is Sarah.
tes sa ke? Who are you people?
les sa ke? Who are they?
Etymology. ke is from Spanish: qué, Portuguese: que, Italian: che, Bengali: কী "ki".
ye & ve this and that
ye sa ke? What's this?
ye sa aple. This is an apple.
ve sa ke? What is that?
ve sa oranje. That is an orange.
ye sa kirmi aple. This is a red apple.
yi aple sa kirmi. This apple is red.
Note: When an adjective like kirmi is placed before a noun, it works as a modifier. When it follows the noun, it works as an adjectival verb.
ye sa kirmi. This is red.
Note: The demonstrative pronoun has two forms. The forms ye and ve are used as stand-alone words. The forms yi and vi are used when they modify a noun.
les ya ke? Where are they?
les ya ye. They are here.
les ya ve. They are there.
du 's (possessive particle)
ye sa ke? What's this?
le sa me du telfon. It's my telephone.
ye sa ke du? Whose is this?
le sa mi. It's mine.
Note: Possessive particle du is put between the owner and the owned thing. So me du means "my", te du means "your" and so on.
le sa ke? Who's he/she?
le sa mi doste. He/she is my friend.
me sa Sara du doste. I am Sarah's friend.
Etymology. du Mandarin: 的 (de).
ti nam sa ke? What's your name?
mi nam sa Tomas. My name is Thomas.
li nam sa ke? What is his/her name?
li nam sa Sara. Her name is Sarah.
me nama tomas. I am called Thomas.
Etymology. name is from Hindi: नाम "nām", Farsi: نام "nām", Thai: นาม "naam", Indonesian: nama, Japanese: 名前 "namae", German: Name, English: name.
me tena boni dom. I have a good house.
le no tena pese. He/she doesn't have money.
me vola tena novi telfon. I want to have a new phone.
suala te tena pute?
Do you have children?
me tena duli pute. I have two children.
sava to know
me sava le. I know him/her.
suala te sava vi jan? Do you know that person?
suala tes sava ses? Do you know each other?
mes sava ses longo. We know each other for a long time.
me nida helpe. I need help.
suala te abla helpa me? Can you help me?
suala me abla helpa te? Can I help you?
me vola helpa te. I want to help you.
Part 2: Eating
yama consume, eat, drink
suala te vola yama koi? Would you like to eat something?
le yama aple. He/she eats an apple.
les yama aple. They eat apples.
Note: Unlike English, Pandunia doesn't have separate singular and plural forms. Therefore a word like aple can refer to one or more apples.
suala te yama kafe? Do you drink coffee?
ha. me yama kafe. Yes, I drink coffee.
Tip: Meaning of yama covers both eating and drinking. It can feel odd at first but soon you will see that it is quite handy! Usually the object of the verb tells is it about eating, drinking or both.
me yama kafe e pang. I'm having coffee and bread.
suala te vola yama? Would you like to eat?
te vola yama ke? What would you like to eat?
Tip: While English puts the "what" at the beginning of a question, in Pandunia the word order is not affected by the ke.
me vola yama kafe. I want to drink coffee.
suala te vola yama cai?
Would you like to drink tea?
no. me no vola cai. me vola kafe. No, I don't want tea. I want coffee.
te vola ki aple?
Which apple do you want?
yi kirmi. This red one.
cinga request, please
me cinga te yama cai. I ask you to drink tea.
me cinga te laya dom. I ask you to come home.
me cinga te helpa me. I ask you to help me.
Tip: To make direct requests, drop all the pronouns.
cinga yama cai. Please, have some tea!
cinga yama kafe. Please, have some coffee!
cinga laya dom. Please, come home!
cinga helpa me. Please, help me.
haida yama! Let's eat!
haida gova yama! Let's go eat!
haida gova dom. Let's go home.
me nida helpe. I need help.
me nida yama. I'm hungry.
suala te nida yama? Are you hungry?
suala te nida sui? Are you thirsty?
Part 3. Communication
maf sorry, pardon
maf! me no aha. Sorry, I don't understand.
maf! ye sa ke? Excuse me, what's this?
maf. te nama ke? Excuse me, what's your name?
suala te aha me? Do you understand me?
me aha. I understand.
maf. me no aha te. Sorry. I don't understand you.
me no baso aha te. I didn't quite understand you.
me aha nol. I don't understand at all.
me abla xofa gar. I can drive a car.
le no abla xofa gar. He/she doesn't know how to drive a car.
suala te abla reibona le? Do you know how to fix it?
suala te abla pandunia? Can you speak Pandunia?
me abla pandunia. I can speak Pandunia.
me abla lilo pandunia. I can speak a little Pandunia.
me no abla engli. I can't speak English.
pardon. me no abla ti bax. Sorry, I can't speak your language.
loga to say, speak, talk
te loga ke? What did you say?
me loga va te. I talk to you.
mes loga va ses. We talk to each other.
se loga "cat" ko ya pandunia? How do you say "cat" in Pandunia?
"cat" logu ko ya pandunia? How is "cat" said in Pandunia?
mau loga miau. Cat says meow.
auda to listen, hear
auda me! Listen to me!
me no abla auda te. I can't hear you.
cinga loga forto. Please speak louder.
me auda musike. I listen to music.
te auda ki yang du musike? What kind of music do you listen to?
vida to see
suku vida te. Pleased to see you!
vida te reyo! See you again!
vida te badodeno! See you tomorrow!
me vida le cendeno. I saw him/her yesterday.
mena to mean
yi loge mena ke? What does this word mean?
"mau" mena ke? What does "mau" mean?
le mena yang da zou. It means a kind of animal.
me no aha le mena ke. I don't understand what it means.
cinga kitaba ti adres. Please, write your address.
cinga kitaba le ya ye. Please, write it here!
baxa speak a language, communicate
suala tes baxa pandunia. Do you speak Pandunia?
mes baxa pandunia. We speak Pandunia.
suala te abla baxa engli? Can you speak English?
fransi, espani, portugali, rusi French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian
cini, niponi, indonesi Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian
arabi, turki, farsi, urdi, hindi Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Urdu, Hindi
suahili, hausi, yorubi, amari Swahili, Hausa, Yoruba, Amharic
Part 4. Going around
gova to go
te gova ke? Where are you going?
me gova dom. I'm going home.
me musu gova ke? Where should I go?
me musu gova va ki ren? To whom should I go?
haida gova! Let's go!
haida gova ya fute Let's go by foot!
laya to come
cinga laya! Come here!
te laya la ke? Where do you come from?
me laya la Dubai. I come from Dubai.
me laya dom badodeno. I will come home tomorrow.
safara to travel
suala te safara ya tren? Do you travel by train?
mes safara la London va Paris. We travel from London to Paris.
safar polo longi. The voyage is very long.
ya in, on, at
hotel ya ke? Where is the hotel?
hotel ya vi dau. The hotel is on that road.
te ya ke? Where are you?
me ya dom. I'm at home.
le ya ke? Where is he/she?
le sida ya kamar. He/she sits in the room.
Tip! You can use ya as a preposition or alone as the verb.
me kara ya... I work at ...
doma to live, reside
te doma ke? Where do you live?
me doma Singapur. I live in Singapore.
suala te doma yi hotel? Do you live in this hotel?
Tip: It is also okay to say te doma ya ke? instead of te doma ke. However doma already covers the meaning of being at somewhere, so ya is not necessary.
denga to wait
cinga denga! Please wait!
denga me! Wait for me!
les denga mes. They wait for us.
me denga te ya hotel. I wait for you in the hotel.
Part 5. Time expressions
me zayo salama ti doste.
I am greeting your friend.
man zayo vida fem.
The man is looking at the woman.
le zayo sa xef.
He or she is currently the chief.
le zayo ya dom.
He or she is currently at home.
paso in the past
me paso salama te du doste.
I greeted your friend.
man paso vida fem.
The man looked at the woman.
le paso sa xef.
He or she was the chief.
le paso ya dom.
He or she was at home.
fino already, completed
me fino salama ti doste.
I have greeted your friend.
man fino vida fem.
The man has looked at the woman.
le fino sa xefe.
He or she has been the chief.
le fino ya dom.
He or she has been at home.
vilo (future action)
me vilo salama ti doste.
I will greet your friend.
man vilo vida fem.
The man will see the woman.
le vilo sa xefe.
He or she will be the chief.
le vilo ya dom.
He or she will be at home.
Part 6. Doing business
cinga dona pese. Please give some money.
cinga dona le va me. Please give it to me.
me dona ye va te. I give this to you.
me dona buke va les. I give a book to them.
le no vola dona le va me. He/she doesn't want to give it to me.
kapa take, get
me kapa un kafe. I will take a coffee.
cinga kapa un kafe va me. Please take one coffee for me.
te ceno kapa pese la me. You already got money from me before.
me kapa un bir. I will take a beer.
kire rent, lease, hire
kire sa 500 dolar ya mes.
The rent is 500 dollars in a month.
le no abla peya kire.
He/she can't pay the rent.
me vola kapa un gare ya kire.
I want to take a car for rent.
me vola kirokapa un gare. I want to rent a car.
le kirodona kamar va safarer. He/she rents rooms to travelers.