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Ainu for Beginners - Part 4

Lesson 16: Copula

Sentences

ウェンク クネ。
Wenkur ku=ne.
I am poor.

オンネ エカシ クネ。
Onne ekasi ku=ne.
I'm an old uncle.

Grammar

Ne is the standard Ainu copula, and it can combine with the pronominal prefix ku= to express "I am." However, unlike English, ku=ne is used mostly to express the identity: I am something. Pay attention not to say "ク ウェンクル ネ ku wenkur ne" instead of "ウェンク クネ wenkur ku=ne."

Pronunciation

ウェ we is not pronounced as two distinct syllables. This is another pronunciation that may cause troubles to a Japanese learner, who might say ウエ ue with two distinct syllables. It is more like "whe" as in "where" in English.

Examples:

 ウェン  Wen  Bad
 ハウェ  Hawe  Voice
 ルウェ  Ruwe  Trace
 ウェンテ  Wente  To break, invade
 ウウェカ  Uwekarpa  To collect

And note that the stress falls on the second syllable in all cases.

kune (X)
kune (O)

Exercises

Exercises: Translate to Ainu

1) I am a woman.
2) I am a college student from Muroran.

Solutions

1) メノコ クネ  Menoko ku=ne.
2) モルラン ワ エ 大学生 クネ Moruran wa ek Daigakusei ku=ne.

Vocabulary

 ネ  Ne  Copula (to be)
 ク  Ku=  I
 メノコ  Menoko  Woman
 エ  Ek  To come
 モルラン  Moruran  Muroran
 大学生  Daigakusei  College student (Japanese loanword)
 ワ  Wa  From
 ウェンク  Wenkur  A poor person
 エカシ  Ekasi  Uncle, a grown-up man
 オンネ  Onne  Old, aged

Lesson 17: "Your.." (1)

Sentences

エエトゥ ポロ。
E=etu poro.
Your nose is big.

エチセ クヌカ
E=cise ku=nukar.
I see your house.

Grammar

E= is the second person singular pronominal prefix. This is used to express the inalienable possession, analogous to ku= in lesson 5. Note that "house" cise is considered as an inalienable possession.

Pronunciation

トゥ tu may be written as ト゜ or ツ゜ depending on the writer, as this is a sound that doesn't exist in normal Japanese. However, this "tu" has been introduced to Japanese through various English loanwords such as "today" or "tonight", and トゥ became the standard spelling for this sound.

Examples:

 エトゥイ  Etuy  Sea
 エトゥ  Etu  Nose
 トゥイマ  Tuyma  Far
 トゥシ  Tus  Net, network
 トゥ  Tup  Two
 トゥ  Tuk  To feed, raise (children, etc)
 トゥカ  Tukar  Seal (animal)
 トゥ  Turse  To fall down

There is a type of red coloured bird called "puffin" known in Japanese as "エトピリカ Etopirika", but the real Ainu name would be "エトゥピリカ Etupirika." This is an Ainu loanword into Japanese. Here, "etu" means not a rose, but (reasonably enough) a beak.

Exercises

Exercises: Translate to Ainu

1) Your hair is white.
2) I wash your shoes.

Solutions

1) エエトピ レタ E=etopi retar.
2) エケリ クフライエ E=keri ku=huraye.

Vocabulary

 エトピ  Etopi  Hair
 レタ  Retar  White
 エ  E=  You
 フライェ  Huraye  To clean, wash
 ケリ  Keri  Shoes
 ク  Ku=  I
 エトゥ  Etu  Nose
 チセ  Cise  House
 ヌカ  Nukar  To see
 ポロ  Poro  Big

Lesson 18: "Your.." (2)

Sentences

エコ ハポ ポロンノ モンライケ。
E=kor hapo poronno monrayke.
Your mother works a lot.

エコ カメラ ソンノ ピカ。
E=kor kamera sonno pirka.
Your camera is very good.

Grammar

E=kor is used to express the alienable possession of the second person, analogous to ku=kor in lesson 6. This literally translates as "(something) that you have/hold."

Note that e=kor is not used for the body parts such as "エコ エトゥ e=kor etu" (your nose) or "エコ パケ e=kor pake " (your head). Body parts are expressed with simple e= instead, as they are considered to be inalienable.

Exercises

Exercises: Translate to Ainu

1) Your earrings are beautiful.
2) Yesterday your aunt danced.

Solutions

1) エコ ニンカリ ピカ E=kor ninkari pirika.
2) ヌマン エコ ウナペ リセ Numan e=kor unarpe rimes.

Vocabulary

 コ  Kor  To have, to hold
 ニンカ  Ninkari  Earrings
 ピ  Pirka  Beautiful, good
 エ  E=  You
 ウナ  Unarpe  Aunt
 リ  Rimse  Dance
 ヌマン  Numan  Yesterday
 カメラ  Kamera  Camera
 ソンノ  Sonno  Very, truly
 ハポ  Hapo  Mother
 ポロンノ  Poronno  A lot, many, much
 モンライケ  Monrayke  Work, to work

Lesson 19: "You do.." (sg.)

Sentences

ウポポ エイェ。
Upopo e=ye.
You sing a song.

カ 車 エコ
Pirka kuruma e=kor.
You have a good car.

Grammar

The pronominal prefix e= could be placed before a verb to mark the subject of the predicate as well, analogous to the usage of ku= in lessons 7 and 8. Ainu verbs has no time tense, and additional temporal adverbials are added to indicate the time when it is necessary.

Exercises

Exercises: Translate to Ainu

1) You see a big mountain.
2) You will arrive in London tomorrow.

Solutions

1) ポロ ヌプリ エヌカ Poro nupuri e=nukar.
2) ニサッタ ロンドン タ エシレパ Nisatta London ta e=sirepa.

Vocabulary

 ヌカ  Nukar  To see
 ヌプリ  Nupuri  Mountain
 エ  E=  You
 ポロ  Poro  Big
 ニサッタ  Nisatta  Tomorrow
 ロンドン  Rondon  London
 タ  Ta  Locative case particle
 シレパ  Sirepa  To arrive
 イェ  Ye  To say, speak, sing
 ウポポ  Upopo  Song
 車  Kuruma  Car (Japanese loanword)
 コ  Kor  To have, hold
 ピ  Pirka  Good, beautiful

Lesson 20: Independent Pronoun "I" (1)

Sentences

クアニ クオマン。
Kuani ku=oman.
I go.

クアニ ポロンノ クアプカシ。
Kuani poronno ku=apkas.
I walk a lot.

Grammar

Ainu has the independent pronouns beside the pronominal prefixes. The first person pronominal suffix is ku=, and the independent pronoun is kuani or its contracted form kani. (Kani form is used more often in Saru, Mukawa and Chitose areas.) This is analogous to French moi or Latin ego, and the Ainu independent pronouns are used in a similar way to emphasise the subject pronoun.

But you can't omit the pronominal prefix even if you have an independent pronoun, just like you can't say *Moi suis instead of Moi, je suis in French.

 ・ I go.
  ○ クアニ クオマン。 Kuani Ku=oman.
  × クアニ  オマン。 Kuani oman.
  ○     クオマン。 Ku=oman.

 ・ I walk a lot.
  ○ クアニ ポロンノ クアKuani poronno ku=apkas.
  × ク   ポロンノ  アKu poronno apkas.
  × クアニ ポロンノ  アKuani poronno apkas.
  ○     ポロンノ クアプPoronno ku=apkas.

Exercises

Exercises: Translate to Ainu

1) I play a lot.
2) I am very tired.

Solutions

1) クアニ ポロンノ クシノッ Kuani poronno ku=sinot.
2) クアニ ソンノ クシンキ Kuani sonno ku=sinki.

Vocabulary

 シノッ  Sinot  To play (having fun)
 ポロンノ  Poronno  A lot, many, much
 クアニ  Kuani  I
 ク  Ku=  I
 シンキ  Sinki  To be tired
 ソンノ  Sonno  Very
 アプカ  Apkas  To walk
 オマン  Oman  To go

End Of Part Four

This is the end of part four. You can continue with part V of this course.

Continue to part V

Thanks for your interest in this course! If you discovered any mistakes or you just want to say something then please let us know . We do need feedback!

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