Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shan Phrases: Greetings



Today, let's learn some basic Shan phrases.
1. mày sǔng khaa = hello
mày = to be new
sǔng = to be high, to  be tall
mày sǔng = Good day! Hello! Lit. "(may you be) renewed and prosperous" (cf. Thai mài.sǔung ใหม่สูง)
khaa = polite particle. Lit. "slave, servant" Antonym of "English sir, ma'am" So, instead of saying "good day, sir" you say "good day, servant" by addressing yourself as "servant". In other words, by putting yourself down, you are automatically lifting the person you're addressing up. This is politeness system is very common among SW Tai languages. Furthermore, it cognates with Thai khâa (ข้า), cf. modern day khâ (ค่ะ) for women, but unlike Thai, it can be used with both genders. And it also cognates in use with (archaic royal) Lao khȁa.nâui (ຂ້ານ້ອຍ), e.g. sa.bàai.dìi.kha.nâui (ສະບາຍດີຂ້ານ້ອຍ). Since it is a polite particle, it is often dropped when speaking informally.

Thus,

mày sǔng khaa means "Good day, sir/ma'am."

2. yù lǐ khaa háa = how are you?
= to stay, to remain
= to be good, to be nice (cf. Thai dii ดี)
yù lǐ = to be well, to be healthy Lit. "live well" (cf. Thai yùu.dii อยู่ดี)
khaa = polite particle (see (1))
háa = question particle. Somewhat cognates is use with Thai rěu (หรือ, ฤๅ) but probably direct cognates with Lue haa.

háa khaa = question word combined with polite particle. The order of the words is the same as that in Thai: rěu.khá (หรือค่ะ, หรือเจ้าข้า)

or

khaa háa = question word combined with polite particle. This order of the words is the same as that in (archaic royal) Lao: kha.nâui.lěu (ຂ້ານ້ອຍຫຼື).

Thus,
yù lǐ khaa háa = "Are (you, sir/ma'am) well?" (cf. Thai อยู่ดีหรือค่ะ, Lao ຢູ່ດີຂ້ານ້ອຍຫຼື)

3. sǔ caw yù lǐ khaa háa = how are you?
= you (plural). When used to address one person, it is formal (which is similar to French vous). (cf. Lao sǔu ສູ)
caw = lord, master. (cf. Thai câw เจ้า, Lao câw ເຈົ້າ)
sǔ caw = you (polite) Lit. "you lord/lady"  (cf. Old Thai sǔu.câw สูเจ้า)

Thus,
sǔ caw yù lǐ khaa háa = "Are you, sir/ma'am well?"

4 yù lǐ khaa = I am fine
yù lǐ = to be well, to be healthy Lit. "live well" (cf. Thai yùu.dii อยู่ดี)
 = continuing aspect marker. Progressive aspect marker. (cf. Thai yùu อยู่)

yù lǐ yù = (I) am well

Thus,
yù lǐ  khaa = (I) am well (polite). (cf. Thai yùu.dii.yùu.khâa อยู่ดีอยู่ค่ะ, archaic royal Lao yuu.dìi.yuu.kha.nâui ຢູ່ດີຢູ່ຂ້ານ້ອຍ)

5 kǎw khaa yù lǐ yù khaa = I am fine (polite)
kǎw = I; me (very informal). This cognates with Thai kuu (กู) and Lao kùu (ກູ).
khaa = slave, servant (see (1))
kǎw khaa = I the servant (an expression to show politeness)
yù lǐ  khaa = (I) am well (polite).

Thus,
kǎw khaa yù lǐ yù khaa = I am well (polite).

or

khaa yù lǐ yù khaa = I am well (polite). kǎw can be omitted. The first khaa is used as a pronoun. The second khaa is used as a polite particle. (cf. Thai khâa.yùu.dii.yùu.khâa ข้าอยู่ดีอยู่ค่ะ)

6 sǔ caw kau yù lǐ nǎu = you are also fine?
sǔ caw = you (polite) Lit. "you lord/lady"  (cf. Old Thai sǔu.câw สูเจ้า)
kau = also; placed before verbs. (cf. Thai kâu ก็, Lao kau ກໍ)
yù lǐ = to be well, to be healthy Lit. "live well" (cf. Thai yùu.dii อยู่ดี)
nǎu = question word "isn't it?" (cf. Thai náu เนาะ)

Thus,
sǔ caw kau yù lǐ nǎu = "You are also well, right?"

7 au yù lǐ khaa = yes, I am fine
au = yes (polite) (cf. Thai ôe เอ้อ)
yù lǐ  khaa = (I) am well (polite). (cf. Thai yùu.dii.yùu.khâa อยู่ดีอยู่ค่ะ, archaic royal Lao yuu.dìi.yuu.kha.nâui ຢູ່ດີຢູ່ຂ້ານ້ອຍ)

Thus,
au yù lǐ  khaa = "Yes, (I) am well (polite).

1 comment:

Dr. Hemanta Kumar Gogoi said...

Very good. Please post more.