Manchu/Lesson 2 - Nouns

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Dialogue & Translation[edit]

ere haha oci mini ama. This man is my father.
tere hehe oci mini eme. That woman is my mother.
mini eme oci manju niyalma. My mother is Manchu.
ere oci we i bithe? Whose book is this?
ere oci mini eme i bithe. This is my mother's book
sikse mini ama Harbin de genehe. Harbin de manjusa labdu. My father went to Harbin yesterday. There are many Manchus in Harbin.
mini ama Harbin de ere manju gisun tacire bithe be udaha. In Harbin my father bought this book to learn Manchu.
i ere bithe be mini eme de buhe. He gave this book to my mother.
te mini eme inenggidari manju gisun be tacimbi. Now my mother studies Manchu everyday.
mini eme hendume: "nikan gisun ci manju gisun ja". My mother says that Manchu is easier than Chinese.
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Vocab[edit]

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Manchu Vocabulary English Translation Manchu Vocabulary English Translation
akū Isn't, there isn't ama Father
arara Present/future tense of arambi (to write) -be Accusative case marker
bi To have bithe Book
buhe Past tense of bumbi (to give) -ci Ablative case marker (from)
-dari Repetitive suffix, each, every.. -de Locative/dative case marker (at/to)
eme Mother emu One
ere This genehe Past tense of genembi (to go)
gisun Language gurun Country
haha Man hairambi To love
halukan Hot hehe Woman
hendume Present tense of hendumbi (to say) with converb -me i He/she
-i Genitive case marker (of) ilha Flower
inenggi Day inenggidari Each day
isinaha To have arrived ja Easy
komso A few labdu Many
mafa Ancestoral, grandfather manju Manchu
manjusa Manchus mini My
nikan Chinese niyalma Person
niyengniyeri Spring
oci Is (conditional of ombi - to become) oho Became (past tense of ombi - to become)
-sa Plural marker sikse Yesterday
tacire Present/future tense of tacimbi (to study) te Now
tere That tubade There
udaha Past tense of udambi (to buy) we Who
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Grammar[edit]

Nouns[edit]

Manchu nouns have number and case but do not really have gender. Nouns can consist solely of a stem such as 'bithe' (book), be formed by adding suffixes to other words, or be formed by adding two nouns together such as 'ahūn deo' (brothers).


The most common suffixes that can be added to words to form nouns include:

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Suffixes used with verb stems Examples
-n tacin – Learning. From the verb stem tacimbi (to study)
-gan, -gen, -gon, -han, -hen, -hon nirugan – Drawing. From the verb stem nirumbi (to draw)
-ku, -kū ana - Key. From the verb stem anambi (to push)
-cun buyecun - Love. From the verb stem buyembi (to love)
Suffixes used with nouns and verbs Examples
-si usisi – Farmer. From the noun usin (field)
-ci aduci - Herdsman. From the noun adun (herd)
-ji, -lji, -mji, -nju boigoji – Host. From the noun boigon (family)
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Note: of the above suffixes, the suffixes –ku,-kū are used for instruments, the suffix –cun is used for abstract concepts, and the suffixes –si, -ci, and –ji are used to denote people by what they do (Gorelova, M. P.198). When adding suffixes to nouns, the final ‘-n’ is often dropped.


Gender of Manchu Nouns[edit]

Nouns usually do not have gender, although some obviously masculine nouns have masculine vowels, while feminine nouns have feminine vowels, e.g. haha (man), hehe (woman), ama (father) and eme (mother).


Number:[edit]

There are several ways to express the plural in Manchu:

Through the use of the suffix -sa (-se, -so, -si)

  • E.g. manjusa - Manchus

Through use of one of the suffixes -ta, -te, -ri.

  • This is mostly used for family relationships (note final 'n' is often omitted).
  • E.g. amata - fathers
  • The suffix '-ri' is only used with a few words. E.g. mafari - grandfathers/ancestors

Through the use of adjectives

  • like geren (many/all), eiten (all), tumen (a myriad) or verbally with gemu (all)
  • E.g. tumen jaka - The myriad things (万物)


Case[edit]

Manchu has 5 different cases. Cases can be attached to the proceeding noun or written seperately:

Nominative (no suffix).

  • This is the natural case and has no suffix.
  • E.g. bithe - book

Genitive (-i, -ni after -ng).

  • This case is used to show the possessive. The suffix -i (-ni) can also be used for instrumental case which shows the means or cause of which something happens.
  • E.g. ere oci mini eme i bithe - This is my mother's book (Possessive)
  • E.g. mafa gurun i ilha - The fatherland's flowers (Possessive)
  • E.g. manju gisun i arambi - To write by means of Manchu (Insturmental)

Dative/Locative (-de).

  • This case is used to show location or direction (at/to).
  • E.g. Direction: Harbin de genehe - He went to Harbin (Dative)
  • E.g. Location: Harbin de manjusa labdu - There are many Manchus in Harbin (Locative)
  • E.g. Beijing de niyengniyeri isinaha - In Beijing spring has arrived

Accusative (-be).

  • This case is used to make a noun the direct object of an action.
  • E.g. i ere bithe be mini eme de buha - He gave this book to my mother
  • E.g. te mini eme inenggidari manju gisun be tacimbi - Now my mother studies Manchu everyday.
  • E.g. be mafa gurun be hairambi - We love the fatherland

Ablative (-ci).

  • This case is used to show point of departure or for comparison.
  • E.g. monggo gurun ci jihe niyalma - The people who came from Mongolia (Point of departure)
  • E.g. nikan gisun ci manju gisun ja - Manchu is easier than Chinese (Comparison)
  • E.g. emu inenggi ci emu inenggi halukan oho - Each day is hotter than the one before (Comparison)

Lesson 1 (Pronunciation) ---- Contents ---- Lesson 3 (Pronouns)