Conlang Relay 19/Suraetua

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This is the Suraetua torch for Conlang Relay 19, translated from Jayus by Lars Finsen. The smooth English translation is still missing.

Suraetua text

Os yrawen santami anim karu laintynam ijunji. Esh kake obi ini jai inisatu atla juda laintynineki eranan ajo. Obi ka initi ja asureaki agaili jula.

Asutoen soda kagumi karuam esh janjinje. Karuke usi janjinje. Ini janjainjemi ewejaek angela. Sam janjinjai judati laintynaineki jaga ainjela ure an eranan ala. Soda kagumi judaini ijunji joan ijunjimi.

Soda pemen asanala iju ini jami judamga susun jula san age sure atmi hega eber atmi engene iseu atmi. Esh ka ini ja karu iriujo anjela segedeki ure anjela. Obi ka initi ja ara aben karu ewe ajunjila.

Kagu uroen asanala iju ini jami judamga suan atla wala rumi sure atmi wala lali atmi wala isim atmi. Esh ka ini ja ara karu iriu segedeki ure anjela. Obi ka initi ja karu beti ewe ajunjila.


  • aben - ever
  • agaili - impossible
  • age - river
  • an - walk
  • anim - 2
  • ara - not
  • asanala - return
  • asu - day
  • asurea - finding out, investigating, research
  • beti - always
  • eber - valley
  • engen - tall
  • eranan - hide
  • esh - 1st
  • esh - sit
  • ewe - happy
  • ewejaek - greet
  • hega - green
  • ini - say, talk
  • inisatu - wonder
  • initi - answer
  • iriu - wish
  • ise - tree
  • isim - insect
  • jaga - go, travel
  • joan - leave, go away
  • juda - top, peak
  • judaini - agree, say yes, strike deal, obey voluntarily
  • ka - rock (kar- with endings beginning in vowels)
  • kagu - mouse
  • laintyna - hillside
  • lali - grain, wheat
  • obi - 2nd
  • os - many
  • pem - short time
  • rumi - grass
  • sam - request, ask
  • san - broad
  • sant - old time, past
  • soda - bird
  • sun - fly
  • ure - see, check, investigate
  • uro - long time
  • usi - hear
  • wala - much
  • yra - year


  • a - it is/does to it
  • ai - it is/does to it for it
  • ainje - they are/do for it
  • an - you(pl) are/do to it
  • ange - we are/do to you(pl)
  • anjainje - they are/do to it for them
  • anje - they are/do to it
  • anjinjai - they are/do to them for it
  • anjinje - they are/do to them
  • at - I am/do to it
  • ju - it is/does
  • junji - they are/do

Grammar notes


  • a- future
  • -am locative
  • -ami illative
  • -e plural adjective
  • -eki demonstrative
  • -en instrumental, temporal
  • i- past
  • -in genitive
  • j- past
  • -jo conditional, potential
  • -ke ergative
  • -ki demonstrative
  • -la relative
  • -mga prosecutive
  • -mi comitative
  • s- perfective
  • su- perfective
  • -te ablative
  • -ti allative
  • -to some
  • -u plural
  • -w- plural
  • -wa plural


In Suraetua, the unit of narration is the verb. A statement is made up of clauses of which each must contain one and only one verb. This verb though is most often composite, consisting of a main verb and an auxiliary following it. The main verb and the auxiliary always conclude the clause. The auxiliary contains information about the subject and the direct and indirect object of the verb, its tense, mood and the relationship between clauses. The main verb is marked for aspect and sometimes for mood if the mood does not apply to the clause as a whole. Rather a lot of verbs function both intransitively and transitively, and you must check the auxiliary to find their exact meaning.

There are two auxiliaries, the transitive a and the intransitive ju. Their translation is 'be', 'do', 'have' or 'yes' depending on the content of the clause and the choice of auxiliary. The subject and direct or indirect object of the sentence may or may not be specified inside the clause. If an object is not specified, another following (subordinate) clause could play the object role, or indeed a whole string of sentences if a dialogue is described. If any participant is missing, the form of the auxiliary specifies them, and they may be translated with the corresponding pronouns. Clauses where the auxiliary ends in -la are often preceded by 'that' in English, and those where the auxiliary ends in -jo are often preceded by 'if' in English. But some of the above don't function as direct as all that, and you have to rephrase it to make good English or whatever language you translate into.

In a sentence, attributes generally precede heads. Adjectives precede nouns and adverbs precede verbs. An adjective can follow a noun only when it plays an object role in a clause with an intransitive auxiliary and no main verb. Example: Keson il ju - the man is dead. Adverbs will precede the whole clause if it affects the whole of it, otherwise it precedes only the main verb.

Nouns, pronouns and adjectives are marked for locative, which denotes place, instrumental/temporal, denoting time or means, genitive, denoting possession, ergative, denoting the subject of transitive actions, prosecutive, denoting motion across, comitative, denoting conjunction (may be translated with 'and'), ablative, denoting motion away from, allative, denoting motion towards, illative, denoting motion into, and many others.

Smooth English

Two stones were on a hillside many years ago. The first stone said to the other: I wonder what the top of this hillside hides. The other stone answered: that is impossible to find out.

One day a bird and a mouse sat down on the stones. The stones heard them and bid them welcome. They asked them whether they could go to the top of this hillside to see what it hid. The bird and the mouse agreed and went away.

After a short while the bird came back and said: I have flown across the top and seen a broad river, a green valley and tall trees. The first stone said: The stones might wish to see all of this. The other stone said that the stones never would be happy.

After a long time the mouse came back and said: I have walked across the top and seen a lot of grass, grain and insects. The first stone said: The stones do not wish to see all that. The other stone said that the stones would always be happy.

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