Adapting international words to Pandunia

Western words

Majority of international Western words are from Greek and Latin. Pronunciation of several letters have changed since the Antiquity. Pandunia uses modern pronunciation and phonemic spelling. Therefore, for example the soft c is witten with an s and the hard c is written with a k.

Latinate Pandunia Notes and examples
c (hard) k café > kafe, copy > kopi, cup > kupa
c (soft) s city > siti
g g logic > logika
s s / z sol > sol, massage > masaje, rose > roza
ch (Greek) h chaos > haos, cholera > holera
ch (French) sh chic > shike
th t theme > tema
ph f philosophy > filsofi
qu k mosquito > moskite
x ks galaxy > galaksi
-tion si nation > nasi, function > funsi

Sinitic words

Sinitic words are borrowed from East Asian languages, that include different varieties of Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, etc.), Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and sometimes also Malay, Filipino and Thai. The common ancestor of Sinitic words in these languages is Middle Chinese, which was spoken in ancient China.

Middle Chinese had three nasal finals, -n, -m and -ng, and three stop finals, -p, -t and -k. All of them are preserved by Cantonese, Vietnamese and Korean. Mandarin has lost all final stops and it has merged -m to -n. Japanese has kept only one final nasal and a helping vowel is added after the final stops.

Middle Chinese was a tonal language like the modern varieties of Chinese and Vietnamese. The tone of a syllable is very important because it can differentiate one word from others. For example, the syllable ma means 'mother' in the first tone and 'horse' in the third tone in Mandarin. Mandarin has four tones, which are numbered from 1 to 4. The tone is often marked with a number after the syllable. Pandunia is not a tonal language. Therefore the Chinese tones are transformed into Pandunia in a changed form.

Every Sinitic word is borrowed to Pandunia in a form that is a compromise between the aforementioned languages. The recipe for building a Sinitic word for Pandunia is the following:

  1. Select the common initial consonant from Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean. Typically at least 2/3 of them agree. Japanese and Vietnamese have frequently changed it.
  2. Select the medial vowel(s) from Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese.
  3. Select the final nasal or stop consonant from Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and/or Vietnamese. Typically at least 3/4 of them agree.
  4. Transform the Mandarin tone into a final vowel.
    • Tone 1 → vowel i
    • Tone 2 → vowel u
    • Tone 3 → vowel o
    • Tone 4 → vowel a

Some examples of this word building process are shown in the table below.

Mandarin Cantonese Japanese Korean Vietnamese Pandunia
发 fa1 發 faat3 発 hatsu 발 bal phát fati
罚 fa2 罰 fat6 罰 batsu 벌 beol phạt fatu
板 ban3 板 baan2 板 ban 판 pan bản bano
术 shu4 術 seot6 術 jutsu 술 sul thuật shuta

Mapping syllables from Mandarin to Pandunia

What follows are tables that include transformation of all existing Mandarin syllables into Pandunia's phonology and spelling. The header row and column include all Mandarin initials and finals, respectively, in Hanyu Pinyin. The data cells include the Mandarin syllables transformed into Pandunia spelling.

The tables can be used when an adaptation of a Mandarin word is needed in Pandunia or when a Mandarin word is added to the pool of all Sinitic cognates. The final word in Pandunia can be affected by other languages and the tone-to-vowel transformation rules.

Vowels and diphthongs

- b p m f d t n l g k h j/zh q/ch x/sh r z c s
a a ba pa ma fa da ta na la ga ka ha ja cha sha za ca sa
o o bo po mo fo
uo vo do to no lo go ko ho jo cho sho ro zo co so
ou ou pou mou fou dou tou nou lou gou kou hou jou chou shou rou zou cou sou
u vu bu pu mu fu du tu nu lu gu ku hu ju chu shu ru zu cu su
e e me de te ne le ge ke he je che she re ze ce se
ai ai bai pai mai dai tai nai lai gai kai hai jai chai shai zai cai sai
ei ei bei pei mei fei dei tei nei lei gei kei hei jei shei zei
i ji chi shi ri zi ci si
i i bi pi mi di ti ni li gi/ji ki/chi hi/shi
ie ye bie pie mie die tie nie lie gie/jie kie/chie hie/shie
ia ya dia lia gia/jia kia/chia hia/shia
iao yo bio pio mio dio tio nio lio gio/jio kio/chio hio/shio
iu you miu diu niu liu giu/jiu kiu/chiu hiu/shiu
ü yu nu lu gu/ju ku/chu hu/shu
üe yue nüe lüe gue/jue kue/chue hue/shue
ao au bau pau mau dau tau nau lau gau kau hau jau chau shau rau zau cau sau
ua va gua kua hua jua chua shua rua
uai vai guai kuai huai juai chuai shuai
ui vei dui tui gui kui hui jui chui shui rui zui cui sui
er er

Finals with -n

- b p m f d t n l g k h j/zh q/ch x/sh r z c s
an an ban pan man fan dan tan nan lan gan kan han jan chan shan ran zan can san
en en bon¹ pon¹ mon¹ fon² don non gon³ kon³ hon³ jon chon shon ren zen cen sen
ian yen ben pen men den ten nen len jen chen shen
in yin bin pin min nin lin jin chin shin
un vun dun tun nun lun gun kun hun jun chun shun run zun cun sun
ün yun jun chun shun
uan van duan tuan nuan luan guan kuan huan juan chuan shuan ruan zuan cuan suan
üan ven juen chuen shuen

Additional specifications for initials that have incomplete set of finals (i.e. empty space in the table):

(1) (2) (3)
Tone 1 bon, … fon gon, …
Tone 2 bun, … gon, …
Tone 3 bun, … fun gon, …
Tone 4 bon, … fen gen, …

Finals with -ng

- b p m f d t n l g k h j/zh q/ch x/sh r z c s
ang ang bang pang mang fang dang tang nang lang gang kang hang jang chang shang rang zang cang sang
eng eng beng¹ peng¹ meng¹ feng¹ deng teng neng leng geng keng heng jeng cheng sheng reng zeng ceng seng
ing ing bing ping ming ding ting ning ling jing ching shing
ong dong² tong² nong² long² gong² kong² hong² jung chung rong² zong² cong² song²
iong yong jong chong shong
ueng veng
uang vang guang kuang huang juang chuang shuang
iang yang niang liang jiang chiang shiang

Additional specifications:

(1) (2)
Tone 1 bong, … dong, …
Tone 2 bung, … dung, …
Tone 3 bung, … dung, …
Tone 4 beng, … dong, …