Láadan/Lessons/1

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Sounds, Tones, and Euphony
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Letters in Láadan[edit]

Letter Pronunciation IPA
a father /ɑ/
e bell /ɛ/
i big /ɪ/
o hope /o/
u moon /u/
th think /θ/
zh pleasure /ʒ/
sh shine /ʃ/
lh - /ɬ/
b aback /b/
d dream /d/
h high /h/
l wealth /l/
m him /m/
n month /n/
r red /ɹ/
w weep /w/
y you /j/

Note that words cannot end with the letters "h", "w", or "y".

Accented Vowels[edit]

A letter with an accent mark gets pronounced with a slightly higher pitch, and slightly more emphasis.

  • Low tone has no accent mark – o
  • High tone has an accent mark – ó

With two vowels side-by-side, there can be an accent on the first vowel or the second vowel. These have different sounds:

  • Loó – LoO
  • Lóo – LOo

There is no break in-between the vowel sounds, but a change in pitch.

If you're at a computer where you cannot type accent marks, it is usually suggested to write accented characters as caps. For example: LAadan.

Typing accented characters[edit]

If you're on Windows, you can use these keycodes to type accented characters.

  1. Hold the left ALT key and keep it pressed down.
  2. On your numpad, type the number code.
á 0225 Á 0193 é 0233 É 0201
í 0237 Í 0205 ó 0243 Ó 0211
ú 0250 Ú 0218

You can also install keyboards in your operating system, or even add a plugin to your web-browser to allow you to add these letters in while you're typing.

Euphony[edit]

When combining words together in Láadan, specific letters may be added in-between to enforce the rule that no two consonants and no two vowels (of the same tone) touch.

1. Split up double-consonants with the letter "e".

Example: hesh = grass, hoth = place, hesh+e+hoth = heshehoth = park.

2. Split up double-vowels with the same accents with the letter "h".

Example: ra = not, en = understand, ra+h+en = rahen = misunderstand

3. Two vowels next to each other are only allowed if one of them is accented.

Example: Láadan, Aáláan

Note: There are rare words with the "br" sound, and this is allowed. [1] (example, onion = bremeda)

Beginner Phrases[edit]

Let's introduce a few basic phrases so you can practice the sounds!

Láadan English Literal
Wil sha Hello Let there be harmony
Aril Goodbye Later

Practice[edit]

Let's try to transliterate names! Remember these core rules of Láadan:

  1. A consonant must be followed by a vowel
  2. Two vowels cannot be side-by-side, unless they are different tones
  3. Words cannot end with "h", "w", or "y"

Not all sounds will match 1:1 from English to Láadan. You might have to substitute a "ch" sound with a "sh" or "t", depending on preference. There is no 100% "correct" way to transliterate your name - it is your preference!

Transliteration Guide[edit]

Letters that can stay the same are:

b d h l m n r th w

Letters that may change:

English Letter Sound Láadan Suggestion
a "aeh" a, e
a "ay", "ah" a
c "ss", "ch" sh
c "k" h, sh, or remove
e "eh", "ay" e
e "EE" i
f h, sh
g like girl d, b, h, zh, or remove
g like gem zh
i "ih", "EE" i
i "ai" a
j zh
k h, sh, or remove
ng n
o "OH" o
o "aw" a, o
p b
q h, sh, or remove
s "ss" sh
s "zz" zh
t th
u "uh" a
u "yew" yu, u
u "ooh" u
v b, w
x sh
y "yuh" y
y "ai" a
y "ih" i
y "EE" i
z zh

Examples

  • Abbey → Abi
  • Cyrus → Sharash
  • Emma → Ima
  • Ethan → Ithen
  • Holly → Hali
  • Jacob → Zhehab
  • Michael → Mahel
  • Olivia → Olibiha, Oliba
  • Rachel → Reshal
  • Rose → Rozh
  • Scarlet → Shalith
  • Walt → Wal

Alternatively, you could also look up the meaning of your name and find the same word in Láadan.

Examples

  • Rachel → Female sheep → Éesh
  • Rose → Shahina
  • Cyrus → Young → Háa

Notes[edit]

  1. http://laadanlanguage.org/node/9#3