Current Chapter: 3 ("Conflict")

The Language


Feb 7, 2008: Revised version coming...eventually...^^()
The Asfarian language is fairly simple, and made with English-speakers in mind, so it shouldn't be incredibly difficult to learn if you wanted to. :)

Asfarians and their language: The Asfarian language focuses a lot on how much you speak. To them, the more you say, the more respectful or humble you are (that's why formal pronouns can get so long); If you're a person who is shy or quiet, straight to the point, and says very little, in Asfaran they would assume you to be arrogant. (This is one of the reasons Zev doesn't like Rezen-he assumes him to be arrogant.)

The Alphanet

A      B      C      D      E      F      G      H      I      J      K      L      M      N     

O      P      Q      R      S      T      U      V      W      X      Y      Z

There are no upper-case or lower-case, it's just one alphabet. Since this language was made with English-speakers in mind, you may notice some are remarkably similar to the English alphabet...*coughCQAMNcough*
Writing is left-to-right, like English...However, like the Japanese kanji they do have symbols to symbolize words - but I will rarely use them in the comic and thus am not going to bother putting 'em up here. There is a cursive version, but only the rich folk use that anyway, so I'm not going to put that up either...I'm lazy like that :)



.      !      ?      ,      -      (      )      "      "
The Asfarian language is intended to be relatively simplistic, and thus it has a very defined pronunciation. Vowels are taken at max two together, so no three or more vowels could create one sound. Some vowel combinations make the same sound, but other than this, it is very easy to determine how things are spelled from hearing it and even easier to pronounce what one is reading.
along a sound
EXCEPTION: if a follows a y or before is before a w, it is pronounced as "ah"
e"eh"
o"oh"
i"ih"
EXCEPTION: If at the start or end of a word - with no vowels next to it - i pronounced as "EE"
u"ooh"
ai"I"
ia"EE" + "AH"
ei"I"
ie"EE"
iu"YUH"
ui"OOH-EE"
oi"OI"
io"EE-OH"
qu"KWE"
x"X"

Silent "Y"?

The "y" is never "silent" - but on words where an "a" follows "y", the y is often sounded softly or quickly, making it seem to not exist. It isn't necessary though since after a y is really the only time you'd have the "AH" sound. (It's "ah" before a "w", but that makes it more like "aw" anyway, so...)

Names

What language would be complete without some weird quirk, right? Well, the Asfarian people's quirk is that all the nice rules they made about pronunciation they completely throw out the window when they name their children. Most follow the rules, but a few just kind of spell it however they want. Of FC's main characters, all of them have names which follow the rules except two.
Sachi's name is not "SAY-CHI", but "SAH-CHI".
And Nisha (who technically is not an Asfarian anyway) is pronounced "NEE-SHAH".

-que
(-"KWE")
makes possessive
-zake
(-"ZAKE")
An ending usually used by foreigners who know one word but not it's opposite - by adding this to the end of a word they can get away without knowing it and still getting their meaning across
(Many Asfarian citizens hate it when this ending is used!)
-qui
(-"KWIH")
present tense for verbs
-qua
(-"KWA")
past ending for verbs
(surname)-xes
(-"X-ESS")
Miss
(surname)-xesu
(-"X-ESS-OOH")
Mrs.
(surname)-xe
(-"X-EH")
Mr.
(name)-ju
(-"JOOH")
respectful to whoever is being spoken off; generally used only with friends
literal meaning is "...(name), my friend,..."
(name)-tex
(-"TEX")
disrespects whoever you are referring to
(amount)-xu
(-"X-OOH")
dollar amount
(amount)-xya
(-"X-AH")
cent amount
a random note about names: Only upper class citizens have middle names - everyone else has only a first and last name.
AsfarianAsfarian (written)Meaning/Translation
Eshin
("ESH-IN")
I
Formal, used when with people one is not close with or who are of higher status
Esh
("ESH")
I
Informal, rarely used because it's considered disrespectful to yourself
Generally the only it is used without the person their speaking to thinking them as whiny or attention seeking is if they use it when apologizing.
Eju
("EH-JOOH")
I
Informal, commonly used when among friends or family
Ie
("EE")
I
Informal/Slang, similar to eju
Ashinoka
("AYSH-IN-OAK-AY")
You
Formal, used when with people one is not close with or who are of higher status
Ashi
("AYSH-EE")
You
Informal, considered disrespectful, generally used to people you don't like
Ashju
("AYSH-JOOH")
You
Informal, commonly used when among friends or family
Wa
("WAY")
You
Informal/Slang, similar to ashju
Asheka
("AYSH-ECK-AY")
We/Us
Formal, used when with people one is not close with or who are of higher status
Aka
("AY-KAY")
We
Informal, used with friends, family, peers, etc.
Sheh
("Sheh")
She/Her
Heh
("HEH")
He/Him
Keh
("KEH")
It
Ashmas
("AYSH-MACE")
They/Them/Those
Jahn
("JANE")
This
Tahn
("TANE")
That
Osya
("OHS-YAH")
Here
Usya
("OOHS-YAH")
There

Possessive?

To make possessive, all you have to do is at the -que ending after the pronoun! For example, "eshin-que" could be "my" or "mine" and "ashinoka-que" could be "your" or "yours".

Speaking About...

Since Fruitful Confusion is in English, you sadly miss out of little tidbits that reveal more about some of the characters. Each character is a little different when it comes to their usage of pronouns - Zev, for example, speaks the informal/slang versions almost all the time no matter who he's speaking to. Keshi (K.) has a strange habit of using the formal version for the first minute or two of a conversation with a stranger, and then suddenly switch to using informal (like eju). Their pronoun usage also defines their relationships - for example, Zev and Sachi always use ashi when they're talking about the other.

AsfarianAsfarian (written)Meaning/Translation
Bya
("BYAH")
Be
Kam
("CAME")
Did
Kama
("CAME-AY")
Didn't
Kom
("COHM")
Do
Koma
("COHM-AY")
Don't
Latin
("LAY-TIN")
Could
Latina
("LAY-TIN-AY")
Couldn't
Levin
("LEH-VIN")
Can
Levina
("LEH-VIN-AY")
Can't
Patin
("PAY-TIN")
Would
Patina
("PAY-TIN-AY")
Wouldn't
Som
("SOHM")
Should
Soma
("SOHM-AY")
Shouldn't
Tuvar
("TOO-VARE")
Will
Tuvara
("TOO-VARE-AY")
Won't
Vam
("VAME")
Has/Have
Vama
("VAME-AY")
Hasn't/Haven't
Ven
("VEHN")
Is/Am
Vena
("VEHN-AY")
Isn't/Am Not/Not
Venku
("VEN-KOOH")
Was
Venkua
("VEN-KOOH-AY")
Wasn't

Notice Something?

You probably noticed the negative with all of the verbs simply has an "a" added to the end. Many Asfarian words that are opposites are usually similar; for example, "big" is "tasho" and "small" is "nasho".

In Asfaran, if you're being very wordy, they consider that to be speaking formally. If you're too the point, you're being informal. That's the basic gist of it, but our silly little Asfaraians take it a bit farther: If you start speaking what is technically bad grammar, there's nothing wrong with that - now you're just being very informal.

Compare these sentences:

1. Eshin keskai tahn cu bya para, keh levina bya parnai.
2. Eju keskai tahn cu bya para.
3. Ie keskai tahn para.
4. Keskai para.

1. I (formal) believe that to be right, it can't be wrong.
The first one here is being "formal"; it is wordy - the speaker is basically stating the same thing twice.

2. I (informal) believe that to be right.
This would be more "normal" - not necessarily formal or informal. It's stating the main idea only once, but all the necessary words are there. Whether "eshin" was used instead of "eju", it would still not really be considered to be necessarily formal.

3. I (very informal/slang) believe that right.
This is definitely informal - it's to the point like above, but in addition to using the very informal/slang version of "I", it literally translates to "believe that right", which is not grammatical. Still, since the speaker and listening understand what the message, they would automatically translate it into "I believe that is right." even though that is not what they technically said.

4. Believe right.
This an extremely informal sentence. The dropping of so many words only happens when those words are considered unnecessary because the listener already knows what's being talked about. So in this case, saying just "believe right" would only work in a case such as who they are speaking to asked for their opinion. Therefore the speaker here, who was likely already speaking to this person informally, dropped the word "I" because they didn't need to confirm this as their opinion since that is what the question asked for. Since the listener already asked for their opinion on 'this', the speaker doesn't feel the need to reinstate that they think 'that' is right - the listener already knows what they're talking about. So the speaker chose to use "believe" to inform they're not 100% sure, but its what they think, and then "right" because that is their answer to the question they were asked. In extremely informal speak, they speak with as few words as possible that get their meaning across.

To summarize: If you're speaking formally, you speak a lot, even repeat yourself in different ways. The more informal you get, the less words you use, to the point of sometimes dropping words that would make the sentence grammatical.

((to be completed later!!))