Posts about Reisu every Monday and Thursday

Monday, May 31, 2010

Case of the cute

Being a girl I am a lover of cute things. Cute animals, cute objects, even sometimes cute babies. I like to think this is sort of universal, being drawn to cute things.

In Reisu the word for this is 'guxi'. It is used not only to describe the cute or adorable quality in things, but the feeling they invoke, or the effect of the cute. Guxi vola xidoki, or the cute melts the soul. In better English, looking at cute things has a soul melting effect.

In these ways guxi is a specific type of larelai, and a specific type of puati. While others may find different things cute, the feeling cuteness invokes is so universal it is it's own two syllables instead of some compound of larelai or puati. And important enough for me to want to do a post just on this word.

Lastly, a helpful phrase. As you might often hear on the internet: Oki bofiru komo-denu guxi! Look at this cute cat picture! Literally, View picture-this kitten(cat-baby) cute!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


After having only a broken grill for almost a year we finally bought a new one. I had the first home grilled steak that I've had in a long time. And boyfriend cooks amazing things on the grill, especially steaks. He's got a Hank Hill like love of propane. So our house was very happy to day. In honor of that, this is going to be a food post, specifically about meats.

In English we have lots of words for animals that we only use when talking about meat. Beef, mutton, pork, etc. We seem to reserve these words for mammals mostly. Birds and fish don't tend to get different words. Chicken is chicken, duck is duck, salmon is salmon etc.

Not all natlangs do this of course. In Chinese the word for beef (牛肉) amounts to "Cow meat". I've taken a cue for Chinese for talking about meat in Reisu. In Reisu I try to think of no animal being above any other, and in this way the language reflects that. There's no special words for the animal simply because it's dead and going to be eaten. When talking about the meat of an animal we must remember the animal itself.

The word for meat is 'fufai', and we can pair that with the name of the animal. So beef in Reisu is 'fufai biho' or 'fufai bihomuka' depending on the context of the conversation. Reason being is 'biho' is a general term that can be used for many different large hooved animals domesticated or wild, although most commonly it refers to cattle. So if you need to specify cow specifically over another large ungulate like a giraffe we can say 'bihomuka', 'muka' meaning domesticated.

Below is a chart of animal names that we might use in a phrase with 'fufai'. 'Muka' is in parentheses if it's optional. If it's not in parentheses it's not optional.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Na'vi in a nutshell

I finally finished reading all of NeotrekkerZ's Na'vi in a Nutshell. It's been out for a few weeks, but I hadn't finished reading it to give my full take, and now I have finished! This is the best guide I have read on learning Na'vi since I started scouring the internet for information after seeing the movie opening night.

Na'vi, like almost any conlang, is simply not developed enough to teach in the traditional classroom sense. In a classroom you learn grammar, exceptions to grammar and idiomatic phrases in a much more roundabout way. Since we can't do that with Na'vi we must take a much more direct approach. Na'vi in a Nutshell is broken down into sections on parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc), and it goes through all of Na'vi's cute little adpositions and infixes in a more or less logical order. There's even a skills test at the end to see how much you've learned. I haven't taken it yet. I want some more time for it to sink in before I'm struck with the realization that I still don't get it :)

The one draw back of course is certain sections are pretty heavy on the linguistic terminology. I'm no professional linguist, so sometimes that terminology goes over my head. There were a few places where I had to read it a few times, but for the most part I was able to get it from a practical perspective. And there's always Wikipedia to remind myself what certain terms mean.

So if you are interested in Na'vi, go check it out! After reading it I feel much more confident in how all the pieces fit together.

The way this guide is layed out is actually my preferred method to introducing myself to a new language. Not having a backbone like this is what caused me to give up on Japanese. I could never understand it because they only teach you the polite forms first, so I couldn't reason out the basic structures that I feel like I should have known after a 101. I definitely want to pick it up again someday, but right now I'll just stick to the random things I've gleaned from watching subtitled anime.

Monday, May 24, 2010

You're hot then you're cold

I know I haven't been posting much. There is no excuse. Mostly it's because we have new people at work which is keeping me from goofing off and conlanging there, and at home I've been playing too much WoW. Totally going to level a new toon when Cata comes out. Probably a female Worgen druid if they don't make their voices too annoying.

Ahem... anyway...

It's started getting really hot here! It actually has been hitting 90 degrees a few days. Now I love the warm weather compared to the cold, but when wishing for summer I always forget how annoying driving is in the hot weather. So I thought it would be a good time to talk about Reisu temperature words.

The main words to describe temperature are rati and fuxu, hot and cold respectively. The proper word for temperature is 'juaratifuxu' or a 'hot/cold scale', often just shortened to ratifuxu.

Like other modifiers in Reisu we can use them as verbs. While in English we would need to use a dummy subject and verb "It's hot", in Reisu we can just say "hot" or "rati".

Temperature especially in relation to the weather is common small talk in English. At least it's what clients always seem to talk about at work. However we don't normally say just hot or cold. We exaggerate saying freezing or sweltering, or we downplay it saying warm or cool. We can use quantifiers in Reisu to do the same thing. On a scale of coldest to hottest the words go this way.

fuxuge > fuxu > fuxutai > ratitai > rati > ratige

So getting into the car I might begrudgingly mumble 'ratige...'

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Directional prepositions

Like demonstratives in Reisu directional prepositions have one more degree than English. For example we can talk about 'below' as directly below (vu) and below with at least some separation by distance (yu).

HaBeside, next to
BiBeside, but not directly next to. Implying an object or some distance is between the two things
VuBelow, directly below, hanging from
YuBelow, with an object or distance seperating
FaOn top of
MaDirectly in front of
BeIn front of, with distance or an object sepearting
DiDirectly behind
FiBehind with distance or an object between

Examples of Ha/Bi:

Po okoko ha okoko eino kuala obani.
Inside House beside house 1S-POSS equals neighbor.
In the house next to mine is my neighbor.

Po okoko bi okoko eino kuala obani.
Inside house beside-with-something-separating 1S-POSS equals neighbor.
In the house down the street from mine is my neighbor.
Bi could mean the house is two doors down, across the street or down the street.

Po okoko bi okoko eino ukuala obani.
Inside okoko far-from house 1S-POSS NEG-equals neighbor.
The people in the house far from me are not my neighbors.
This use of bi implies the other house is very far from the speaker's house, too far to be neighbors.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Information is beautiful

I love this website. It seems they can take any concept and make it into a wonderful visual. Like this one:

It's color meanings in different cultures. It's really interesting, and this site prides itself on giving accurate information. So I trust the margin of error is small.

EDIT: Oh, and some more cool color data.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

All human beings...

Pretty sure I haven't posted this little translation yet, but it's something I have hanging around in my notes.

Emodohaa matanu yofi ya kuala pa odapa ya goja. Esa mainonu roto ya geki ya xipaku lo enosairifu ja xidoki naku.

People-all bornPROG free and equal.same in honor.virtue and fairness. 3S havePROG logic.reason and thought and should-act to each-other using.with spirit club.fraternity.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

I'm not 100% happy with the translation. A lot of the words in this passage have very specific connotations that I simply cannot capture in Reisu. This is translation is the closest I could get. I believe part of the problem is the Reisu words pack a lot more meaning into them than the English ones. The connotations are built into the context instead of the word itself. The is partly because Reisu of course doesn't have the extensive vocabulary of synonyms English does, but I never really wanted it to.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Absolutely hillarious

It's better if I don't explain. Just go read it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Body parts

I've finally gotten enough of my parts of the body words in the wiktionary to introduce them. Because I remember things well by visual cues, I labeled this picture of Ellen Paige:

And for clarification here's a chart:

NaxiHair (on the head only)

Most of these words can have meaning that extend beyond just the parts of the body. For instance naiyo and maida don't just mean chest and back, but can also mean front and back in much more general terms. For example you can say "naiyo huzono" or "maida huzono" for "the front of the table" or "the back of the table". Also kixa doesn't just mean a human foot. The word can extend to paws and hooves. And we can use these words to mean "something that resembles x", like we do in English. For example: the neck of a bottle, the leg of a chair, a low shoulder on a road, etc.