Lingwa de planeta/Lesson 0

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Lingwa de planeta - neutral language for international communication[edit | edit source]

What should an international communication language look like?

Perhaps it should be neutral. That is, it should not belong to any special nation (like English does, for example). Perhaps it should be easy from the point of view of grammar. That is, it shouldn't contain many different forms to be learned (like Russian does, for example). Perhaps it should be easy from the point of view of pronunciation. That is, its sound should be easy for native speakers of different languages to pronounce. It should be, perhaps, euphonious. That is, the speech in it should sound beautiful, and the language itself should be pleasant to speak because of that. Perhaps it should contain international and other widely spread words - as they are international indeed. Also it should perhaps be quite natural, without excessive schematization. And finally, it should perhaps resemble native languages for the speaker of any native language... just to be an ideal international language indeed.

Lingwa de planeta, or Lidepla for short, is such a language. It meets all the above-mentioned claims. It was created as a harmonious whole on the basis of the most widespread modern languages (English, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese, as well as Chinese, Russian, Hindi and Arabic).

Certainly, today it is rather difficult to find a Lidepla-speaking person in a foreign country. But the language, and the learning of it, can still be rather useful. Really, you are going to learn how to express yourself clearly in a non-native language, and this is one of the principal tasks that a person learning their first foreign language has to solve. (It is well known that every new language is easier to learn than the previous one.) Also, you are going to learn about 500 words that are very similar (both in phonetics and in meaning) to really frequent words of the most widely spoken modern languages.

So one can even claim that Lingwa de planeta is not a conlang, but rather a whole planet Creole language.

We wish you success and pleasure in acquiring the language Lingwa de planeta!

Alphabet and pronunciation[edit | edit source]

The alphabet of Lidepla is based on the Latin script. It contains 25 letters (q isn't used, c occurs only in ch):

Aa (a), Bb (be), Ch ch (che), Dd (de), Ff (ef), Gg (ge), Hh (ha), Ii (i), Jj (ja), Kk (ka), Ll (el), Mm (em), Nn (en), Oo (o), Pp (pe), Rr (er), Ss (es), Tt (te), Uu (u), Vv (ve), Ww (wa), Xx (iks), Yy (ye), Zz (ze).

Watch and to listen

Lidepla letters are read the same way in all positions. In Lidepla there are 17 basic consonants and 5 vowels.

Vowels[edit | edit source]

letter pronunciation example
a like a in bar ba ([imperative marker]), man (man)
e like e in pet de (of), pet (five)
i like e in we li (they), pi (to drink)
o like o in more to (that), non (no)
u like ou in soup bu (not), sun (soon)

The letters i and y mean the same sounds, but y is never stressed: pyu (more). Also y on the end of the word shows that the word is not a verb: krai (to cry) vs skay (sky).

Consonants[edit | edit source]

All the consonants are pronounced in the same way in any position.

Basic consonants:

letter pronunciation example
b d g like in bar, dog, good, respectively bu (not), de (of), ga (entirely)
p t k like in pen, take, cake, respectively pa ([preposition of general meaning]), pet (five)
w like w in well wel (well (exclamation))
f fai (to do)
s like s in so and rose (between vowels) si (if), also (so)
sh like sh in shoe shu (shoe), shao (little, few)
j like j in jack jan (to know)
z like soft [dz] zun (to go in for)
m n man (man)
l li (they), lao (old)
r like r in rose roli (to role)
h hao (good)

Additional consonants:

letter pronunciation example
ch like ch in chase, but may be pronounced as j chay (tea)
v like v in vote, but may be pronounced as w vino (wine)
  • in the end of a word - like ng in swimming
  • in the middle of a word - like n + g
feng (wind)

Letter x means the k + s combination, but can be a little voiced when between vowels: examen (exam), before a consonant may be pronounced as s: expliki (to explain).

Watch and to listen

Stress[edit | edit source]

The general rule is as follows: the vowel before the last consonant or y is stressed.

Examples: mata mother, dumi to think, materia material, avan forward, krokodil crocodile, baya berry, jaopay signboard, suola sole (of shoe).

In combinations ao; au, eu; ai, oi, ei the first vowel is stressed.

Examples: hao good; audi to hear, maus mouse, euro euro; klaida clothes, fail file, brein brain, meil mail, asteroida asteroid.

There are some exceptions though, as Lidepla tries to keep the pronunciation close to widespread patterns. You don't need to memorize the rule, just read the examples attentively. You can also watch the short special video.

  1. 4 endings are never stressed: -en (inen inside, iven even), -us (virus virus), -um (forum forum, sirkum around), -er (inter between, kompyuter computer)
  2. Endings -ik- and -ul- in (simple) nouns and adjectives are never stressed: gramatika, pedagogika, publika, Afrika, Amerika, politike, logike, unike, psikologike, stimula, angula.
  3. Ending -im is not stressed in minim (least), minimum, maximum.
  4. In some special cases the non-standard stress is indicated by doubled vowel: kwantitaa quantity, kwalitaa quality (and all the abstract nouns with suffix -itaa); namastee how do you do, hello, adyoo bye, bifoo before, malgree in spite of.

The stress doesn't change when forming the following:

  1. the plural form of nouns (-(e)s): kitaba|kitabas book|books, man|manes man|men;
  2. adverbs formed from adjectives: jamile|jamilem beautiful|beautifully;
  3. nouns formed from verbs: lopi|loping run|running.

Compound words retain the stress of the components. Suffixes beginning with a consonant may have additional stress: ginalik womanlike (from gina woman), kusishil tending to bite (from kusi to bite), ofnitul bottle-opener, vidibile visible.

Watch and listen

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