“Aras, Vrassas ir, khur Tyisici, Erineas cujide.”
|Category: Left-wing Utopia|
Regional Influence: Apprentice
Location: the South Pacific
Syaqin aren, or 'the beautiful speech' (no nation is without its moments of arrogance), is the official language of Erinor. Whilst the Serevan language has also been granted official status, Erinor is a long way off giving either the language or the people an equal platform. As a consequence, it is Syaqin aren which you are the most likely to encounter during any diplomatic dealings with Erinor or even whilst holidaying there unless you enter the Autonomous Region of Sereva.
Therefore, to help you make the most of your dealings with Erinor, the Erinoran Courts of Foreign and Domestic Affairs, with the help of the Court of Education, have produced the following primer on the language. Whilst every effort will be made to accommodate foreign dignitaries and visitors, we nonetheless hope you find this a helpful resource.
Part I: Pronunciation
Syaqin aren has five vowels, each with long and short pronunciations. Whether or not a vowel is long or short will depend on whether it is part of a stressed syllable or not. The vowels are pronounced as follows:
Long A - like the a in 'fat'.
Short A - like the a in 'father'.
Long E - like the ay in 'day'.
Short E - like the e in 'debt'.
Long I - like the ee in 'feet'.
Short I - like the i in 'fit'.
Long O - like the oa in 'coat'.
Short O - like the o in 'cot'.
Long U - like the oo in 'pool'.
Short U - like the u in 'pull'.
The consonants of Syaqin aren are largely pronounced the same as in English, with a few exceptions worth noting.
C is always pronounced like the c in 'card' and never like the c in 'cellar'.
Q does not need a U like it would in English. It is always pronounced like the combination CW (like in 'queen'), never CY (like in 'queue').
J is pronounced like the j in the French 'je', or the s in 'measure', never like the j in 'juice'.
KH is pronounced like the ch in the Scottish 'loch' or the German 'Ich': an unvoiced guttural sound at the back of the throat.
Y never behaves like a vowel, so in combinations like SY, TY and KHY the consonant before is palatalised, meaning that you sort of roll your tongue off the hard palate of your mouth as you say it, creating a Y sound right after the first consonant. You should not pronounce SY anything like 'suh-yuh'.
NW is also pronounced altogether with no gap. This is called labialisation as you pronounce the initial consonant with a slight closing of the lips afterwards to add the W sound.
The same is true of the Rs and Ls which occasionally appear in the combinations JR, HR and HL. There is no gap between these sounds.
Rs are very slightly rolled, like in french.
The penultimate syllable of a word is usually stressed.
E.g. Revara (The Dream) is stressed [re-‘var-a]
However, the following extra rules apply:
Vowels which are not immediately followed by a consonant are considered to be short vowels and are not stressed, so the preceding syllable must be stressed instead.
E.g. verbs such as rivaduin (he/she/it brought) are stressed as follows [ri-‘vad-u-in] not [ri-vad-‘u-in].
- The vowel e is almost never considered a short vowel.
E.g. Erinea (the world) is stressed [e-ri-‘ne-a].
- E is however considered a short vowel when it forms part of a third person plural ending in a verb.
E.g. otein (they see) is stressed [‘o-te-in] no [o-'te-in].
Sometimes a dieresis is placed above the E to indicate that it is a long vowel and should be stressed, as follows: Ë.