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Idioms of Numi
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Idioms, proverbs, metaphors, interjections
This public article was written by [Deactivated User], and last updated on 16 Nov 2018, 01:48.

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Menu 1. Daily life 2. Sayings with prepositions 3. Proverbs 4. Other idioms 5. Days and months 6. Interjections
Some things you just don't say literally, and I want a place to track those kinds of sayings as I come up with them in Numi.

[edit] [top]Daily life

My stomach is eating itself.
きごぜえわ ぬてくし。
Kigozēwa nutekushi.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-eat-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
my-stomach-ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent

Meaning: I'm really hungry.

You can also say simply きごぜえわ!

I spoke first!
のしっぱじ でぞ!
Noshippaji dezo!
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-speak-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
first

Used in the same way obnoxious little siblings whine "I told you so!" after being proven right, or else to claim first rights to something, as in "I called it first!"

A problem has stopped
づはだん。
Dzuhadan.
problem-CESCessative (aspect)
exiting/ending a state

This is a brief but polite response to a sincere apology. It acknowledges that whatever you're apologizing for used to be a problem, but it's not anymore and I accept your apology.

Having years
There are two common ways to say how old you are:

のづおで どっさ「たちら」 ぜぼり。
Nodzuode dossa(tachira) zebori.
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-live-INCHInchoative (aspect)
'beginning, becoming'
before-(number) year

Literally: I started living (...) years before now.

ぬやん 「たちら」 ぜぼり。
Nuyan (tachira) zebori.
have.1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
(number) year

Literally: I have (...) years, or (...) years are mine.

To ask it as a question, you'd typically use the second pattern:
あぶしゅ しゅやん せなぜぼり?
Abushu shuyan senazebori?
how_much have.2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-year

How many years do you have?

Where does the arm point?
めしゅめお きみてっにり まりめあし?
Meshumeo kimitenniri marimeashi?
where-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-point-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
DEFDefinite
"the"
-arm-ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent


This arm refers to the minute hand of a clock, so it's a way of asking what time it is. This idiom is used even if you're referring to digital clocks that don't have physical hands pointing at anything. The question word めしゅ can be used to ask either when or where, which is so appropriate for this question that I'm letting it stand in the accusative case, even though it doesn't normally act as a noun.

On a clock, the hour hand is an えつ (etsu, hand), the minute hand is a めあ (mea, arm), and the second hand is an えて (ete, finger). You can inquire about the second or the hour by substituting the appropriate name in the question.

It too larges you
To say that something is too big for a particular situation, use the modifier as a predicate and attach the excessivity suffix -ご (-go). Then add whatever is being compared against as a direct object in the accusative case.

きもどんばごり こでえしげ ぬとおやめお。
Kimodonbagori kodēshige nutōyameo.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-large-excess-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
house-ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-this
POSSPossessive (case)
owns, has
.1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
-family-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient

This house is too big for our family.

The same structure works for any modifier; I use big only as an example.

I'm the same
のあっまり。
Noammari.
1First person (person)
speaker, signer, etc; I
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-same-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future

Used in conversation to say that you feel the same way. It's like saying, "I know, right?!"

Start being the most
はりそへいで!
Harisoheide!
most-listen-INCHInchoative (aspect)
'beginning, becoming'

Meaning: Listen up! or Listen well! Casual speech only.
はり- can be used this way with any imperative verb, but especially intransitive ones.

Time is slipping
ゐうしゃわ めえ。
Wiushawa mē.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-slip-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
time.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

Meaning: We're wasting time.

Of chicken between wheat
はの みたあじ いくぞえそ。
Hano mitāji ikuzoeso.
please of-chicken between-wheat
Meaning: A chicken sandwich on wheat, please. (context: ordering food)

[edit] [top]Sayings with prepositions

Following the alphabet
やん まりなうろ あけじょづら。。。
Yan marinauro akejodzura...
be_at.3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
.DEFDefinite
"the"
-name
following-alphabet

Meaning: The names in alphabetical order are... (じょづら encompasses any writing system, not strictly alphabets.)

On the Earth's back
ゐつないわ ばちゅう ちょふごさ うぬびと。
Witsunaiwa bachū chohugosa unubito.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-city-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
first on-POSSPossessive (case)
owns, has
.3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-back
GENGenitive (case)
possessive
-Earth

Meaning: It's the best/greatest city in the world. 'On the Earth's back' is along the same lines as 'on the face of the earth'.

It's at/to me
やん らもらあ。
Yan ramorā.
be_at.3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
to-me

Meaning: It's my turn (in a game, when taking turns at an intersection, etc.)
Informally, it can be shortened to らもらあ!

Buzzing within my mind
ゐざよわ あぞんじゃ みざぬにえ。
Wizayowa azonja mizanunie.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-buzz-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
idea.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-that
within-my-mind

Meaning: That idea is on my mind, I keep thinking about it, it keeps coming to my attention.

From a feeling
ゐしゃわんじ ちいがえ。
Wishawanji chiigae.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-dance-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
from-joy

The preposition ちい is used to introduce something that motivated or caused an action.
This sentence would be: He danced for joy/out of joy/in joy.

You breathe it into then breathe it away
すみどおいとろり そみどおいてや。
Sumidōitorori somidōiteya.
2Second person (person)
addressee (you)
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-breathe-into-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
then.SSSame subject (switch-reference)
same subject used between clauses
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-breathe-away

Literally: You breathe it in and then you breathe it out.
Meaning: What you take into your mind is what comes back out in your attitude, words, etc.

[edit] [top]Proverbs

A flower bloomed in winter.
ゐゆみろびいんちゅにじ あんわ。
Wiyumirobiinchuniji anwa.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-bloom-during-winter-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech
flower.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

Meaning: I had an unexpectedly pleasant surprise, or I found happiness where I wasn't expecting it.

Apple trees don't create grapes.
ゑ きっみごん いなんじろし せなゆっめお。
We kimmigon inanjiroshi senayummeo.
NEGNegative (polarity)
not
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-create
apple_tree-ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-grape-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient

A proverb whose exact meaning depends on context, but something like 'You're looking in the wrong place.'

A demon's tongue tells a thousand different stories.
きみざっぽ ふちぇえめんし うぜった ゆぱ をおめお ぐそま。
Kimizappo huchēmenshi uzetta yupa wōmeo gusoma.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-narrate
POSSPossessive (case)
owns, has
.3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-tongue-ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
GENGenitive (case)
possessive
-demon
thousand story-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
different


Some footprints are clearest as soon as they’re made, but others can only be seen truly after many years have passed.
ゐんはりめどいって せなわら じゃに さち じゃてん ゐんでいむあし どぶせなぜぼり ぼじゃに。
Winharimedoitte senawara jani sachi jaten windeimuashi dobusenazebori bojani.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-most-clear-immediate
PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-footprint.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
part but other_part.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-be.abilitative-truly-see
after-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-year
many

The word わら means both physical footprints and the traces or legacy one leaves behind. The proverb means that often the worth of a person or an action can't be judged until after time has passed.

Don't argue with monsters.
ぞはじこにり らせなごるざん。
Zohajikoniri rasenagoruzan.
NEGNegative (polarity)
not
-word-throw-NPSTNon-past (tense)
present, continuous and future
toward-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-monster

It means that there are some situations you can't argue with, you just have to stand up and fight them. Arguing itself is also an idiom within this proverb: it literally means throwing words at someone.

It's an owl who can tell darkness from night.
ゐぞなじわ かい まし きみまてんわ でい なぐらめお めりちめお。
Wizonajiwa kai mashi kimimatenwa dei nagurameo merichimeo.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-owl-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
he.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
that-ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-separate-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
ABILAbilitative (mood)
expresses ability
darkness-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
night-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient


[edit] [top]Other idioms

Teaching a fish to swim
きみかのわ どゆしょん にんそっめお。
Kimikanowa doyushon ninsommeo.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ERGErgative (case)
TRANS subject; agent
-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient
-teach-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
swim-GERGerund
verbal noun
fish-ACCAccusative (case)
TRANS direct object; patient

Meaning: He's telling people things they already know. Similar to 'preaching to the choir'.

A thousand-talent person
ゆぱざばさ
Yupazabasa
thousand-talent-person
Meaning: Someone who's skilled in or knows about a wide array of different things. Like a jack-of-all-trades, but without the implied negativity of "master of none".

Their soul's window is open
ゐみろわ ふらいつ うふめじ。
Wimirowa huraitsu ufumeji.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-open-PROGProgressive (aspect)
be verb-ing
POSSPossessive (case)
owns, has
.3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-window.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
GENGenitive (case)
possessive
-POSSPossessive (case)
owns, has
.3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-soul

Meaning: That person easily allows others to know their true thoughts or feelings.

Locking the door
ゐんづみろりちゃじ。
Windzumirorichaji.
3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
-door-lock-PSTPast (tense)
action occurred before moment of speech

Meaning: They hushed it up, kept it a secret.

Until his story finished
らもゐすわだん ふをお。
Ramowisuwadan huwō.
until-3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument
-finish-CESCessative (aspect)
exiting/ending a state
POSSPossessive (case)
owns, has
.3Third person (person)
neither speaker nor addressee
-story.ABSAbsolutive (case)
TRANS object, INTR argument

Meaning: Until the end of his days, to the end of his life

[edit] [top]Days and months

Days of the week
While not exactly an idiom, this is a metaphor of the language, so I will list the names of the days of the week here. (The metaphor is not my original concept: I picked it up from the language Central Dusun as listed on Omniglot.)

DayぬみNumiMeaningAbbreviation
Mondayやどぬyadonuegg dayぬ (nu)
Tuesdayやどめろyadomerohatch dayめ (me)
Wednesdayやどせぱyadosepacaterpillar dayせ (se)
Thursdayやどっなyadonnacocoon dayな (na)
Fridayやどぞyadozofly dayぞ (zo)
Saturdayやどさぬyadosanurest dayさ (sa)
Sundayやどひるんyadohirunworship dayひ (hi)

Month names
The months are named after characteristics that I associate with them. (Since Numi is a personal language, a couple of these associations might be more opaque than others.)

DayぬみNumiMeaningAbbreviation
Januaryざれじぇえzarejēenter monthざじぇ
Februaryざれでにzaredenifluctuate monthざで
Marchざれすかじょぜzaresukajozebirdsong monthざす
Aprilざれゆみろzareyumirobloom monthざゆ
Mayざれいいばzareiibanest monthざいい
Juneざれべんzarebenvacation monthざべ
Julyざれわひzarewahihot monthざわ
Augustざれごじゃきいzaregojakiipicnic monthざご
Septemberざれしぇんzareshenlearn monthざしぇん
Octoberざれどzaredocolor monthざど
Novemberざれしゃなzareshanacircle monthざしゃ
Decemberざれとおやzaretōyafamily monthざと


[edit] [top]Interjections

Also not idioms, but interjections are just things you say at certain times that don't always have an exact meaning or interpretation.

  • やほ!(yaho!) : Aha! I see! I thought so! This can be either short and clipped with stress on the second syllable, or a slow and drawn out やほおお.
  • かえ (kae) : Here it is. You'd say this when handing or offering something to somebody.
  • だん! (dan!) : Stop! Stop it!
  • け! (ke!) : Ow! Ouch!
  • はっちゃ! (haccha!) : Another way to say Ow!
  • んが (nga) : Ugh. Ick. An expression of disgust.
  • どお、どお (dō, dō) : There there. A comforting word.
  • じぇいご (jeigo) : Oh no, oh dear. Expression of dismay.
  • ぬごら (nugora) : Alas. Expression of sorrow or deep sadness.
  • ちょい (choi) : Hey! Used to get someone's attention.
  • よお (yō) : Well, hmm. Said while thinking. Sometimes pronounced やあ (yā).
  • ゑづ (wedzu) : Oh? Is that so? An expression of surprise.
  • おっちい (occhii) : Yay! Huzzah! Yippee! Expression of happiness or excitement.
  • いあ (ia) : Right. Used to add affirmation or request confirmation.


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