Sunday, February 26, 2006

Kathra Lesson #1: Common Expressions

It has been requested that I publish the dictionary of my made-up language, Kathra. Someone seems to think he’ll be able to translate my poem (my poems aren’t comedic, so don’t get your hopes up). However, it’s far too big (169 kB Word document, though it’s both English-to-Kathra and Kathra-to-English). Besides, the dictionary doesn’t contain the rules, which might be handy in understanding things like verb tense. So instead, I’ll write lessons. Proceed at your own risk.

Kathra is an idioglossia, even in my fictional universe. Artemis, Jade, Jo, and Destiny created it as they grew up together (a rather extreme case of forgetting how to talk, I suppose). It's mostly good for replacing common expressions in normal speech and having brief conversations. It’s quite possible you’ve heard Kathra words come out of my mouth, but didn’t realize it or were afraid to ask what I just said. Now, you can just come here, because more than likely, it’s one of these words or expressions. Pronunciation rules are pretty much like Spanish. Vowel sounds are ah, eh, ee, oh, oo. The diphthong “ai” sounds like “eye”. The last syllable is emphasized if the word ends in a consonant, the second to last syllable is emphasized if it ends in a vowel. Exceptions apply when a letter is accented. Blah, blah, blah. Rules lesson over. On to the words!

I – I, me (except it’s said “ee”, like it matters)
Ye – You
Na – she, her
Ne – he, him
Nu – it
We - we
Tem – they, them

Mi – mine
Yi – yours
Tes – theirs
Nas – hers
Nes – his
Nos – ours

Related phrases:
Mi I – myself
Yi ye - yourself

In English, you have the 5 W’s and H. In Kathra, it’s all K’s. I sense a pattern.

Kará – What?
Karí – Who?
Ketí – Where?
Kemí – When?
Koy – Why?
Kiás – How?

Move the accent to the first vowel in the first four questions, and you get whatever, whoever, wherever, and whenever.

From this, you get basic expressions like

Kiás ye? – How are you?
Koy I? – Why me?
Ketí ye? – Where are you?
Kará ocurin? - What’s happening? What’s up?
Kára ye for. – Whatever you say.

Other common utterances:

Béra – but
Draxi de dímite – freak of nature – a favorite alternative to cursing
Guen – good
I nit zim – I don’t know.
Ka – yes
Karimba – stuff - another alternative curse
Ki – okay
Kiek – stop
Kit – cat
Lena – baby
Mal – bad (“In the Latin.” Yes, thank you, River.)
Nit guen – not good
Perso – person
Por - for
Seru – mister, miss, mrs.
Tai – man
Tau – woman
Za - now
Zet - no
Zetí – nothing


Anonymous diana said...

Somewhere around here, I have a copy of the Kathra dictionary. Hmmm...

2/26/2006 7:07 PM  

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