by David J Peterson

The Text

"DaNgennesTef DaNkMJSMja"

1.) volanaz, vet zixM DaNgennesTek ezler.
2.) DaNgennesTedije ZemdZar yluslarDabum willer, ras dZatSot imi beskar beswi.
3.) vet zixM didin l2Zbesler.
4.) DaNgennesTew SejadZaxel evgenler.
5.) DaNgennesTediwiS n2nler, "mas DaNkMJSMlar elle. tSot vedga zase Mji ylkyNwi, DaNgennesTer delp2m."
6.) DaNgennesTedi n2nler, "DaNkMJSM lije".
7.) vet didi d2dZDer iZZMnlar, winjin DaNgennesTedi DaNgennesTef DaJdZajakom jeZ evler

English version

Long ago, an evil man dwelt near a monastery. He had the false belief that the monks had a large treasure, and he would pay any price to have it. The evil man became a police officer. One day, he returned to the monastery. The police officer said, "Give me your key, as is the custom. I want to search the monastery, because a criminal could easily hide there." The monk said to him, "You have the key." [I'm assuming that the joke is that a police officer would have the key to all buildings within his domain.] This angered the evil police officer, but the monk entered the monastery gate.


1.) This text used to be 8 lines. I put lines 5 and 6 together, because, even though they're two sentences, they're one quote by one person.
2.) Zhyler is SOV, and has relative clauses much like Turkish's. For an example, if to say "The king saw a man" in Turklish you said "The king a man saw" (SOV), then to say "The king saw a man who went to the store", you'd say "A man to the store went, the king {him} saw {him}. [The brackets mean that the "him" could occur in either place, depending on whether it's attached to the verb, or whether it appears as a pronoun. In either case, the argument is optional and can be left out completely.]
3.) I apologize for the words "DaNgennesTe" (monastery) and "DaNgennesTedi" (monk). I like short words, like anyone else having to translate a language one doesn't know, but I didn't want to create a new word for this thing, so "monastery" is actually "closed place", and "monk" is "closed-place one". I say just look for the big word begginning with /D/. If it ends in /Te/ it's "monastery"; if it ends in /di/ it's "monk". In fact, I just noticed that many words come from the root /Dan/, which has to do with opening. Dang.
4.) Adjectives directly precede nouns, and adverbs directly precede verbs (the first word is functionally an adverb, but not called an adverb--just like "once upon a time" is functionally an adverb, but in English would be called an NP with a compliment PP--I think).
5.) If no subject is stated in the sentence or indicated on the verb, it'll be third person. There's no gender distinction. The only subject marking you'll get on the verb is if it's either first or second person.
6.) There's no distinction between perfect/imperfect or progressive/punctual. If a phrase sounds better perfect than imperfect, hey, go for it; it's probably intended.
7.) There's no copula for prepositional predicates. So, to say "He's at the store" you say "He at the store".


bes (v.) to pay
beska (n.) price
el (v.) to give
ev (v.) to go
ez (v.) to reside
del (v.) to search
didi (n.) "official" (let's say...police officer)
dZa (pron.) it
d2dZDe (n.) anger
DaJdZa (n.) gate
DaNgennesTe (n.) "monastery"
DaNgennesTedi (n.) "monk"
DaNkMJSM (n.) key
imi (adj.) any
iz (v.) to emote (mandatory phonology rule: /z/ > [Z] / _[Z])
jeZ (adv.) already
li (pron.) you
l2Zbes (v.) to take on the disguise of, to disguise onself as
ma (pron.) I
Mji (adv.) easily
n2n (v.) to say
ras (conj.) consequently, and so, and that, thus
SejadZa (n.) day
tSot (conj.) because
vedga (n.) "criminal"
vet (adj.) evil, wicked, maligned...
volanaz (cp.) "once upon a time" (there's no way to figure this out via derivation)
wil (v.) to believe
winjin (conj.) but, however
yl (v.) to hide (intransitive) [or "to be hidden", if that helps]
zase (adv.) there, at that place
zixM (n.) person
ZemdZa (n.) large treasure

Tense/Aspect Verbal Suffixes

Present: -- (no ending)
Past: -ler, -lar
Irrealis: -wi (a catch-all name: It acts as irrealis, conditional, subjunctive...)
Desirative: -p2 (so if you had a verb /m2t/ meaning "to eat", and you say /m2tp2/, it'd mean "he wants to eat")
Causative: -us, -as, -os, -Ms (can't remember how many forms appear... Anyway, it adds an argument)
Reversive: -gen (something like "re-" in English, in some cases)
Abilitive: -kyn (phon. rule: /n/ > [N] / _[w]) (so, /m2tkyn/ is "he's able to eat")
Inceptive: -ZMn (indicates the start of an action)

Person suffixes

1st Person Subject: -m
2nd Person Subject: -l
1st Person Object/Command: -me, -ma
2nd Person Object/Command: -le, -li, -l2, -ly
3rd Person: -- (null form)


Zhyler has noun classes (that's why there seem to be lots of the same endings on nouns). To turn anything into a noun, you just add a noun class suffix. It doesn't matter what it is: It can be an adjective, a finite verb, an adverb, or even a sentence. When you run across a noun class suffix, you know the previous is a noun. Some helpful noun class suffixes (especially one of them):
(i) -ka/-kM: human beings without titles
(v) -di/-du/-dM/-dy: human beings with titles
(xi) -Da/-De: concepts, ideas, places
(xii) -Sa/-SM/-So/-Su: small manmade objects
(xiii) -dZa/-dZe/-dZo/-dZ2: large manmade objects
The only plural form that appears in the text is the following: -je. It pluralizes a noun. Since it looks identical to the possessive, it might help to note that the plural only appears once in the whole text, and that the possessive has very particular occurrences.

Noun Cases

Nominative: --
Accusative: -r, -er, -ar
Dative: -s
Genitive: -f (these are like Turkish genitives. The possessor precedes the possessed--so rather than "the dog of the man" it's something like "the man's dog". In this example, the man would be marked with the genitive, and the dog would be marked with the possessive [see below], thus forming a compound. If this compound then occurs in some way in a sentence, it gets any additional cases it needs. For example, if you want to say "I see the man's dog", you'd say: I-NOM. see-PRES. man-GEN. dog-POSS.-ACC.)
Benefactive: -wiS (used idiomatically as the object of "say")
Commitative: -n (used to mean "with" when not instrumental, though it's also used with the verb "l2Zbes" to indicate its "direct object" [I really can't think of a better way to describe this)
Locative: -k (can be read to mean "near" or "nearby")
Allative: -w (indicates movement towards)
Rexlative: -bum (generally used to indicate movement past on the right, but can be idiomatically used to indicate incorrectness of action. Think of the phrase "Your guess missed the mark". Now imagine that as "You guessed to the right of the correct answer".)
Translative: -kom (indicates movement through)
Possessive: -ja, -je (if you have noun-ja, it means "on [noun]", as in "I've got cash on me". There's no verb for "to have", so this does it. A quick example: cup-NOM. man-POSS. = "The man has a cup". It's also used in conjunction with the genitive, though [see genitive])
Purposive: -tSot (used with verbs of exchange to indicate the desired object, as opposed to the method used to obtain such an object. So, if you pay for a car with money, "you" is nominative, "money" is accusative and "car" is in the purposive)
Durative: -xel (so if you had noun-xel it'd be "during [noun]")

Final Note

There's no single verb for "to be angry", or "to be happy", or "to be sad", etc. Instead, you have to use the verb which I translate as "emote" with it. To say "I am happy", you have to say: I-NOM. happiness-ACC. emote-PRES." To say that you get happy, you have to use the inceptive.