Relay 10/R

List of translations

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Words used

a – (vocative particle)
ai – (prp; marks an out-of-place subject)
ax – (cj) but
anček – (v) exist, be (irregular, see notes)
ba – (cj; closes some types of clauses)
barš – (n) swamp
ček – (v) be (irregular, see notes)
čeno – (n) woman
daze – (cj) because
Demkudarnok – (n) a proper name, “Law-Giver”
dlomax.ak – (v) toss away, discard
dor.ek – (v) dance
druž – (n) friend
entrane – (n) insides, viscera, innards
ganat.ek – (v) sing
hakič – (aj) true, real
her.ak – (v) do
hišom – (av) then, at that time
horša – (n) corpse, carcass
huyuz – (aj) fast
i – (prp) into (with dative case)
jarho – (n) question
jesk.ek – (v) rip, tear
ki – (cj) and
kož – (n) boy
kroš.ek – (v) kill
kur.ak – (v) come
lei – (aj) your, of you-pl.
mu – (av) not
nagyelie – (av) long ago (often starts a story)
noča – (n) life
nora – (aj) beautiful
nui – (pn) that which… (opens a relative clause, see notes)
-nurz – (sfx) that which… (see notes)
ošir.ek – (v) teach
pyelo – (n) skin
rhu – (cj) so…, and so…
šald.ak – (v) hide, conceal
skiraš – (av) evil
sondr.ek – (v) play
sugi – (v) happy
šizn.ek – (v) know
taf.ak – (v) eat
tirz.ak – (v) watch
toya – (aj) this
uny.ek – (v) hear
war.ak – (v) answer
yarz – (n) story
yud – (prp) as; as much as (yud N Aj = “as Aj as N”)
zdub.ek – (v) should, ought to

Rhean (*)

Mike Ellis

Ring A

Toya yarz yud noča hakič če.
A druži, kurye ki unyya!
Demkudarnok šiznišnurz oširir.
Nagyelie, anašez ai skiraš kož ki nora čeno.
Čeno ganate kož tirzaiš.
Ki kož doridve sondridve ganatioš, ki sugi aše.
Ax čenon krošioš!
Huyuzie pyelon jeskidve entranen tafaiš.
Horšan i baršu dlomaxaiš.
Rhu, nuin hišom heraimnurz mu šiznek zdubemu.
Daze šiznimnurz šaldam ba lei jarhen mu warirma.

This story is as true as life.
Friends, come and listen!
The Law-Giver will teach (you) what he knows.
Long ago, there was an evil boy and a beautiful woman.
The boy watched the woman sing.
And the boy danced and played and sang, and was happy.
But he killed the woman!
Quickly ripping her skin, he ate her insides.
He threw away her corpse in a swamp.
So, we should not know what I did then.
Because I hide what I know, I will not answer your questions.

Grammar notes

Rhean is mostly SOV, but ‘inverted’ word orders are possible. A subject placed after the verb is marked with ai. Modifiers precede their heads, but the language uses prepositions, which violates some universal or another. Nouns are inflected for five cases and verbs have a very Indo-European-like conjugation system with six forms (three persons × two numbers) and three basic tenses. There are no indefinite or definite articles.


Most nouns form the plural with –i. Nouns ending in –a drop the –a to add –i. Nouns ending in –o drop the –o and form the plural with –e. Case is marked by a suffix (which goes after the plural ending if there is one). The nominative case is the unmarked form listed in the glossary. Accusative case is marked with –n after vowels, and unmarked after consonants. Dative is marked with –t after vowels and –u after consonants. The genitive and instrumental weren’t used in this text.


Verbs in the infinitive end in –ak or –ek, and all the other verb forms come in pairs as well.

The adverbial participle –adve/-idve links two or more verbs with a meaning like “while doing ...” or “doing ... and ...”. If it helps, this form was ripped off from the Japanese –te forms, and works much like those. -ye/-ya is an imperative suffix.

The verb ček “to be” is irregular. Its past tense forms are based on aše-. Anček “exist” is also irregular; it conjugates as if it were an + ček, so its past tense forms are based on anaše-.

Here are the conjugations for the three simple tenses (compound tenses weren’t needed here, thank Yad).

  Present tense Past tense Future tense
-ak verbs -ek verbs (*) -ak verbs -ek verbs -ak verbs -ek verbs
–aš, –a
–iš, –e
(*) a few semi-regular –ek verbs keep -e- in these forms: -em, -ez, etc.


Relative clauses come before the noun they modify. They are opened with a pronoun nui, which can be omitted. This pronoun can also take prepositions. The verb in the relative clause is suffixed with –na after any conjugation endings. For example,
göci-n taf-am = “I eat a cake”
nui-n taf-am-na göci = “the cake that I eat” (or just tafamna göci without the pronoun)

There is a suffix –urz that can be added to adjectives to make nouns: noon “big”, noonurz “the/a big one”. Combining this with –na gives –n-urz: (nuin) tafamnurz “what I eat / the thing that I eat”

© Jan van Steenbergen, Mike Ellis, 15 Sept. 2004