Posts about Reisu every Monday and Thursday

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


So this is cool. Someone shared this lovely link on the list recently, and I had to post it here. It's a database of all those crazy linguistic terms that I can never remember what they mean. I've searched for something like this before, but never come up with anything. Now I have gold. Yay :D

Monday, June 7, 2010


We talked about meats recently, and this week I want to get to some even more basic words of eating. Back on my phonology posts when I started this blog I translated "amu" and "bubu" as verbs for eating and drinking.

This isn't always an appropriate translation, although it will work most of the time. Amu really means closer to 'consume' than 'eat'. We amu food, water, air, medicine and other things (that we probably shouldn't). This is the most basic word of consumption, and most often used in the context of eating.

But it's not only used for animals. Plants also amu sunlight, water and other nutrients from the soil. In fact objects can amu as well. For example my television can amu electricity, and cars amu gasoline.

Since amu can be used in all these ways, what is the word bubu for? I means the same as amu, only specifically to liquids. I use it if differentiation is needed, though it very rarely is. More commonly I use bubu to describe drinking 'ivija' or... alcohol! This is similar to a colloquial usage of drinking in English. Phrases like "Have you been drinking?" or "I've had too much to drink!" would normally refer to alcohol.

Similarly the word for breathing, feni, tends to be used when the context is not clear that we are referring to gasses. In practice, I've found this rarely necessary. If it's clear by the context amu is perfectly fine to use. And similarly to bubu, feni is used to refer to smoking. So a sign saying "ufeninu" would mean "no smoking" not "no breathing".

Unlike bubu for liquids and feni for gasses there is no special word for consuming solids. When speaking of solids always use 'amu'.

Some example sentences~
Amu safisa ono aa. - Eat all of your vegetables (Eat salad-greens you all).
Eka eisa bubu ata-go a. - Let's have one more drink (Let us drink cup-more one)!
Onapiru maino ufeninu - This is a non-smoking building (Building-this has NEG-smoking).