Introduction to Kardasi:The Cardassian Language


     During the Wars of Unification, Varagasi became the  of
     Kardass^a.  There were more who spoke Kigoli as their native tongue, but
     Varagasi was the language of Petromar Vi^l and Ledav Jerjin, and was used by
     the Unification armies, regardless of origin.  After the final victory of the
     Unification, Varagasi was adopted as the standard language all over
     Kardass^a.  The language that came to be known as Kardasi is essentially
     simplified Varagasi:  the neuter gender was eliminated; declension and
     conjugation patterns were simplified and standardized.  Words that do not fit
     the standard patterns may still be encountered; generally, these are words
     that have come into Kardasi from one of the other languages spoken on
     Kardass^a.  While most non-Varagass^nak still also speak their own
     language(s), Kardasi is spoken by all educated Kardass^anak.  (Regrettably,
     most Varagass^nak now speak only Kardasi; Varagasi has almost disappeared as
     a separate language.)

     Written Kardasi is quite straightforward:  there are 29 letters; each letter
     has one phonemic value, and each phoneme in Kardasi has its own orthographic
     symbol.  As a rule, vowels are only written when they are word-initial,
     word-final, or diphthongs (>ay< >ey<), unless required for clarity.  Kardasi
     has no upper/lower case; out of convention, this text capitalizes the first
     letter of sentences and proper nouns.

     Words are pronounced as they are written, taking into account the normal
     tendency to slur over vowels and even entire syllables when speaking at
     normal speed.  The diligent student will often find that, while official
     announcements are quite comprehensible, simple conversations on public
     transport are gibberish.

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     You will need hard copy to read Kardasi easily
     (because of the diacritics), but for now, I offer a few
     phrases (stressed syllable is uppercase):

     1 = Abrupt, possibly rude; used by superiors to
           subordinates
     2 = Used with small children or very close friends;
           inappropriate use is insulting/derisive
     3 = Polite; standard for most situations
     4 = VERY formal; inappropriate use is insulting/derisive

     Unmarked:  general use

     a = a as in father, call
     o = o as cold, open
     u = as in lunar, rule
     u^ = u as in cut, gul
     e = e as in met, trek
     i^ = i as in glin, intent
     i = i as in ski, marine
     y = y as in yet, youth
     j = s as in pleasure; Bajor; also judge
     s^ = sh as in shepherd, shoot
     c = ts as in tsunami, tsar
     c^ = ch as in choke, challenge
     t/ = th as in thin, path; also this, these
     h/ = ch as in German ach; Gaelic loch
     ay = aisle, buy, aye
     ey = grey, prey
     oy = ploy, annoy

     Other consonants have values equivalent to Standard;
     the  may be trilled, front or back (Varagasi has a
     front trill), or not.

     Basic phrases:

     Hello, hi (2/3)
          pavs-GEN
     Welcome
          tarv gri-LEV (tarvi grilevpar)
     Good morning
          NA-pra C^U-dra
     Good day
          NA-pri YO-ten
     Good evening
          NA-pra ER-c^a
     Good night
          NA-pra NAL-c^a; NA-prala NAL-c^ajay
     Goodbye, au revoir
          dayvs-GE-ve; dayvs-GEN-i
     Farewell
          tarv(al)-ROV-(u) (tarvago c^ualroves^ve)
     See you again (2)
          c^alro-VIZ
          (c^ualroviyevez = we will see each other)

     How are you?
          EY-s^u a-yes? (2)
     How goes it with you?
          EY-s^u [p at-AK-s^u] ye-LEV-et? (3)
          EY-s^u [p kaf-CIR-zans^u/tirge-van-s^u] ye-LEV-et?(4)
     What's new?
          c^i-RES^-o HAD-nido? (2/3)
     How are things?
          EY-s^u p'dal-TAV'cu (dal-tav-sakcu) (2/3)

     How are you feeling?  (Actual inquiry about one's health)
          EY-s^u c^e-MAr-es^? (2)
          EY-s^u at-ak c^e-MAR-es^ve? (3)
          EY-s^u c^e-MAR-et gu^l/moyge-VAN? (4)

     Fine, good, well
          TAR-vu.
     I'm well, thank you
          AN-im TAR-vu, T'JEN-kov.
     So-so
          Ye-LEV-et; h/a-JIF-e.
     Nothing (new)
          Afs c^i-RES^-ni (HAD-nayo).
     Not good
               Afs TAR-vu.
     (Very) bad
               U^Z-me ROH/-po.

     And always remember:

     c^ir afs alBREyet, h/az-KRI-yet.
     (What does not kill, strengthens)



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