by Philip Newton

The Text

So ansel azhcite

Zhesne zut uestu co azhcitan. Rhedce dy soî suloroi tencu bolyáshä alcalä er ilat idurne.
So zut uestu zarhezne she ciluomán. Anán dënán, keshne suloram ke sicha onzhanne azhcitan. Ilun mizhe, "Sen danai ansel lë! Vulu pertróuen esli travëtomi zam kashü im azhcitan."
So suloro advedne, "Rho tenao suim ansel."
So ciluom osne lyö fashe, ac so suloro voitce im azhcita sa rhoberul dher.

English version

The key of the monastery

There lived a wicked man near a monastery. He believed that the monks possessed a large treasure and he desired it.
The wicked man began to work as policeman. One day, he stopped a monk who was returning to the monastery. He said to him, "Give me your key! I want to discover whether criminals are hiding in the monastery."
The monk answered, "I have no key."
The policeman became very angry, but the monk entered into the monastery through the unlocked door.


This interlinear shows the base form and inflection for each word used in the text, enabling you to look it up in the glossary. For compouns words or words with affixes, these are also given separately.

Abbreviations used

So       ansel   azhcite
so.N.S.M ansel.N azhcita.G

Zhesne      zut       uestu   co azhcitan. Rhedce      dy soî
zhesan.3S.< zut.N.S.M uestu.N co azhcita.D rhedec.3S.< dy so.N.P.M
suloroi    tencu      bolyáshä       alcalä   er ilat  idurne.
suloro.N.P tenec.3P.< bolyáshe.A.S.F alcalë.A er ila.A iduran.3S.<
So       zut       uestu   zarhezne       she ciluomán. Anán
so.N.S.M zut.N.S.M uestu.N za-rhezen.3S.< she ciluom.D  an.D.S.M
dënán, keshne      suloram  ke   sicha onzhanne      azhcitan. Ilun
dën.D  keshen.3S.< suloro.A ke.N sicha onzhanen.3S.< azhcita.D ilu.D
mizhe,    "Sen  danai    ansel   lë!  Vulu     pertróuen     esli
mizec.3S.< se.D dan.2S.! ansel.A le.G vulir.1S pertróuen.INF esli
travëtomi    zam    kashü     im azhcitan."
travëtom.N.P ze.A.P kashir.3P im azhcita.D
So       suloro   advedne,     "Rho tenao    suim      ansel."
so.N.S.M suloro.N advechen.3S.< rho tenec.1S suy.A.S.M ansel.A
So       ciluom   osne      lyö fashe,      ac so       suloro
so.N.S.M ciluom.N ocan.3S.< lyö fashe.N.S.M ac so.N.S.M suloro.N
voitce      im azhcita   sa rhoberul        dher.
voitec.3S.< im azhcita.A sa rho-berul.A.S.M dher.A


(prep. = preposition; m./f. = masc./fem. noun; adj. = adjective; v. = verb [vt. = transitive verb; v.irr. = irregular verb]; adv. = adverb; pron. = pronoun; conj. = conjunction)

ac              conj. but
advechen        v. to answer
alcalë          f. treasure
an              adj. one
ansel           m. key
azhcita         f. monastery
berul           adj. locked
bolyáshe        adj. large
ciluom          m. policeman, guard
co              prep. near, by, alongside
dan             v.irr. to give (object = acc., recipient = dat.)
dher            m. door
dy              conj. that (starts a subordinate clause)
dën             m. day
er              conj. and
esli            whether
fashe           adj. angry
iduran          v. to desire
ila             pron. she, it (with feminine nouns)
ilu             pron. he, it (with masculine nouns)
im              prep. in (+dative), into (+accusative)
kashir          v. to hide
ke              pron. who (can be either interrogative or relative)
keshen          vt. to stop
le              pron. you (singular)
lyö             adv. very
mizec           v. to say
ocan            v. to become, to turn (temporarily)
onzhanen        v. to return, to go back
pertróuen       v. to discover
rhedec          v. to believe
rhezen          v. to work
rho             adv. not
rho-            prefix: non-, un-
sa              prep. through
se              pron. I
she             prep. as, in the function of
sicha           adv. (marks a verb as progressive or continuous)
so              the (definite article; inflects like an adjective)
suloro          m. monk
suy             adj. none, not any, not one, no (used together with "rho")
tenec           v. to have, to possess
travëtom        m. criminal
uestu           m. man
voitec          v. to enter
vulir           v. to want
za-             prefix: marks that a verb begins (e.g. ivrec, to read;  zaivrec, to begin to read, to start  reading)
ze              pron. himself, themselves (third person reflexive pronoun)
zhesan          v. to live, to dwell (somewhere)
zut             adj. wicked


1. Verdurian is a fairly Indo-European-oid language with two genders, two numbers, and four cases. The sentence order is typically SVO, though pronominal objects always precede the verb; due to caseendings, the order can be varied.

2. The pronoun "ke" (inflected for number and case) can be either interrogative ("Who killed Kenny?") or relative ("I saw the man who killed Kenny"). When it starts a subordinate clause, it takes the case which the referent has in the subordinate clause (in the example, nominative in the first case "who killed Kenny", even though the subordinate clause describes a noun in the accusative).

3. The definite article is inflected for gender, number, and case. There is no indefinite article. So "so dalu" = "the king" and "dalu" = "king, a king".
The definite article is generally not used in genitive constructions, so "soî brigoshî daluë" could be either "the weapons of kings" or "the weapons of the kings".
The definite article is also generally not used in locative constructions, so "im azhcita" can be either "into a monastery" or "into the monastery".

4. The adverb "sicha" (progressive) is used with verbs to express certain distinctions which might be expressed by auxiliary verbs or endings in other languages, for example, an imperfect form.

5. Certain prepositions take the dative case to describe location and the accusative case to describe motion. For example, "im azhcitan" (dative) is "in a monastery", while "im azhcita" (accusative) is "into a monastery".
The dative case, when used after a verb of motion, describes the destination of the motion: "lädan alcalen" = "to go to the treasure".

6. Reflexive verbs are expressed, in the third person, with the pronoun "ze" in the appropriate number and case. For example, from "badhir", to hit, is derived "zet [acc.] badhir", to hit oneself.
Sometimes this would be translated in English with an intransitive verb, e.g. "kashir" = "to hide (something)" vs "zet kashir" = "to hide oneself" or simply "to hide".

7. Expressions of time use the dative to describe when something happens, e.g. "utro" (nom), morning; "utron" (dat), in the morning.