būm lán
Type IAL
Alignment nominative-accusative
Head direction head-final
Tonal Yes
Declensions No
Conjugations No
Genders No
Nouns decline according to...
Case Number
Definiteness Gender
Verbs conjugate according to...
Voice Mood
Person Number
Tense Aspect
Progress 96%
Nouns 100%
Verbs 100%
Adjectives 100%
Syntax 100%
Words 400 of 4000
Creator LukoCerante


Bumlan (būm lán) is an IAL (International Auxiliary Language) based partly on Chinese, in fact it's isolating and tonal just like Chinese. It also has influence from European languages and Esperanto. Its words originate mainly in the world's five most spoken languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English, Spanish, Hindi and Arabic, but there are also many a priori words and words from smaller languages.

I only recently started this project, so the language may still change a lot. I'm still discovering what I want to do with it, though the main purpose is to create a functional tonal IAL that is mostly monosyllabic (I may add 2 or 3 syllable words made by word combinations, but roots will always be monosyllabic).

In short: it is an a posteriori isolating tonal SVO IAL.


Bumlan uses letters of the basic Latin alphabet. Additionally, it uses three markers on vowels to show tones (the lack of a marker is the fourth tone).

Bumlan has four tones: high, falling, low, rising, which largely correspond to Chinese first, fourth, third/lacking, second tones, respectively. Unlike in Chinese, tones don't change according to context, they are always the same.

For examples see the Pronunciation examples section at the end of this page.



Bilabial Labio-dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive p   b t   d k   g
Fricative f s ʃ h
Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ
Approximant j w
Trill r
Lateral app. l



Front Near-front Central Back
High i u
High-mid e o
Low a

Writing System

Letter a b c d e f g h i k l
Sound a b t͡ʃ (d͡ʒ) d e f g h (x) i k l
Letter m n o p r s t u w x y z
Sound m n (ŋ) o p ɾ (r) s (z) t u w ʃ (ʒ) j t͡s

The tones are shown with diacritics:

1st high
2nd falling
3rd low ma
4th rising

The ideal pronunciation for r is the tapped r, but any similar sound that's distinguishable from the rest of the alphabet is fine.

Notice that apart from tones, the phonology is very much not Chinese in nature, this is because my purpose is not to create a Chinese clone, but to use some interesting features of Chinese. It's likely that the end result will sound a lot like Chinese, but this is because the tonal system is very similar.

Most IALs that try to take words from non-European languages usually leave out Chinese, because it's phonology is so different, but Bumlan is able to take a lot of words from Chinese thanks to tones, resulting in a better representation of the most spoken language.


Because Bumlan is an isolating language and all words are single syllables, spaces do not convey a lot of meaning, something like "tà kól" (university) can be written as "tàkól" and it doesn't change the meaning or pronunciation. In fact, a whole phrase could be written like that (separating two syllables with ' when there is ambiguity as to whether a letter is part of one syllable or the other), and it could be understood the same way:

  • wo āw zù san al = woāwzù'san'al (my car is red)

I personally prefer separating all syllables with spaces (except for proper names), not using spaces at all can make it pretty difficult to read, and I like that spaces stress the isolating nature of the language. It may be useful to join words that are very related to each other or that represent one concept together (e.g. wo'rē = we; tàkól = university), so feel free to do so.


Words can end in vowels, semivowels, or the following consonants: m, n, f, s, x, h, r, l (i.e. nasals, fricatives and liquids).

Allowed consonant clusters for the "onset" (o as example vowel):

l r w y
f flo fro fwo fyo
p plo pro pwo pyo
k klo kro kwo kyo
t tro two tyo
b bro bwo byo
d dro dwo dyo
g gro gwo gyo
h hwo hyo
s swo syo
x xwo xyo
m mwo myo
n nwo nyo
c cwo cyo
z zwo zyo
l lwo lyo
r rwo ryo

Allowed diphthongs:

vowel+w w+vowel vowel+y y+vowel
a aw wa ay ya
e ew we ey ye
o ow wo oy yo
i wi
u uy yu

Allowed triphthongs:

a way
e wey
o woy

Overall structure:

FL = [fl,pl,kl,fr,pr,kr,tr,br,dr,gr] (these can't be followed w or y).

C = [f,p,k,t,b,d,g,h,s,x,m,n,c,z,l,r]

A = [a,e,i,o,u]

N = [f,h,s,x,m,n,l,r]

W = [w,y]

FL-A-W, FL-A-N, C-W-A-N, C-W-A-W, (onset-nucleus-coda)

More specifically:

[fl,pl,kl,fr,pr,kr,tr,br,dr,gr,°][a,e,i,o,u,aw,ew,ow,ay,ey,oy,uy] = 132 combinations

[fl,pl,kl,fr,pr,kr,tr,br,dr,gr,°][a,e,i,o,u][f,h,s,x,m,n,l,r] = 440

[f,p,k,t,b,d,g,h,s,x,m,n,c,z,l,r,°][wa,we,wi,wo,ya,ye,yo,yu,a,e,i,o,u][f,h,s,x,m,n,l,r,°] = 1989

[f,p,k,t,b,d,g,h,s,x,m,n,c,z,l,r,°][way,wey,woy] = 51

where ° represents empty.

Including the four tones, this phonology allows for 10448 different syllables. Considering Chinese does well with 1522 different syllables, it is a pretty good number.



In the third person there is no distinction of gender, but there is distinction of animate or inanimate things. This can be interpreted in many ways. Usually, one would use "tā" for humans and "só" for any other thing. But more generally "tā" can be used for anything that is capable of communicating, however it can be used for animals, plants or inanimate things for stylistic reasons, such as speaking to or about pets.

Plural pronouns are created adding the word "rē" which means "group".


Bumlan English Spanish Esperanto
1st person singular wo I yo mi
2nd person singular ni you (singular) vi
3rd person singular (beings) he/she él/ella ri, li, ŝi
3rd person singular (not beings) it eso ĝi
1st person plural wo rē we nosotros/as ni
2nd person plural ni rē you (plural) ustedes vi
3rd person plural (beings) tā rē they (beings) ellos/as ili
3rd person plural (not beings) só rē they (things) esos/as ili
impersonal pronoun be one uno/a oni
reflexive pronoun si X-self, own sí, propio si
dummy pronoun ti it - -

The impersonal pronoun

The impersonal pronoun "be" is in fact the word "person", and according to context it can be used like the English pronoun "one", although English also used "you" and "they" sometimes instead of "one". This pronoun represents an unimportant or generalized person.

  • be dwā cī sē be dēs bì = one has to eat if one wants to live (generalized person)
  • be mày pān zày plás = they sell bread in the square (unimportant person)

The reflexive pronoun

Bumlan has the reflexive pronoun "si" which can be used as the reflexive pronoun for all other grammatical persons (not just 3rd person as in some languages). These are its uses:

To make the sentence reflexive for any subject (not mandatory):

  • wo līm si = I wash/bath myself
  • ni hēl si cī = You feed yourself
  • māw sī si = The cat sees itself

To specify or emphasize who is the owner of something:

  • tā sī si te dōm = He saw his own house
  • wo ày si te mèy = I love my sister

The dummy pronoun

The dummy pronoun "ti", also known as expletive or pleonastic pronoun, is a pronoun that carries no meaning, instead it is used as a placeholder when the grammar requires a pronoun but a verb or expression does not. In English the pronoun "it" and the word "there" are sometimes used as dummy pronouns in sentences such as "it rains", "it appears that ...", "there is bread", etc. Let's see its different used in Bumlan:

The verb takes no argument, it carries all the meaning by itself:

  • ti plú = it rains
  • ti him = it snows
  • ti tēm = it is time

The verb takes arguments but requires a dummy pronoun (appears, seems, turns out, happens):

  • ti sím ni kān cī twō = it looks like you ate a lot
  • ti sùl tā rē dór = it turns out they were sleeping
  • ti kur wo nō kàn dú só = it happens that I can't do it
  • ti sòn an rē ay àw = it sounds like there are animals outside

The argument is a phrase that is displaced syntactically:

  • ti bén ni dú dà = it's good that you did that (that you did that is good)
  • ti twō mey kúr wa = it is very beautiful to run (running is very beautiful)


Nouns don’t change according to number, tough one can specify plurality adding "rē" after the noun (this should not be overused).


Verbs don’t change, when alone they can be interpreted in many ways according to context, so for example, one would say “wo zù hu” to mean “I am a human”, although in some context that might mean “I was a human” or “I will be a human”.

There are words that can specify different information about a verb’s meaning: adverbs, pronouns, other verbs, etc. For instance, some verbs like “līm” (to clean) can be transitive or reflexive (just like some English verbs), so a sentences like “wo līm” can either mean “I clean” or “I clean myself”, but adding the reflexive pronoun “si” makes it only mean “I clean myself”, “wo līm si”.

These are some words that can add context to a verb’s meaning, this is a very incomplete list of them:

  • fìn: this is a verb that means “finish” or “end”, and it can be used before another verb to mean that that action or state has finished. This can be used to mean “no longer ...”, “finished ...”, “did ...”, “have ...ed”, etc.
    • wo fìn zù hu = I am no longer human
    • tā fìn līm si = She has cleaned herself
  • si: as mentioned before, the reflexive pronoun can be used after a verb to clarify that it has a reflexive meaning. It can be used no matter what the subject of the verb is. When context is clear enough, it can be dropped, and the transitive verb can be understood as intransitive or reflexive.
    • ni līm (si) = you clean yourself
    • klás fìn (si) = the class is over
  • ya: this adverb means "already" and can be used to express the perfect aspect (have ...ed).
    • wo ya dór = I (already) slept
    • wo ya kòx wo xū = I've found my book
  • kōn: this verb means “to continue” or "still" and can be used to make a represent a continuous action.
    • wo kōn līm = I am cleaning
  • : this verb means “to go” and can also represent the future tense.
    • wo cù līm = I will clean
  • : this verb means “to do” and can used for the structure “make s-one do x-action”
    • wo dú ni cī = I make you eat (i.e. I feed you)
  • hēl: this verb means “to help” and can be used similarly to “dú” but with less “forceful” connotations
    • wo hēl ni cī = I help you eat (i.e. I feed you)
  • kām: this verb means to become, and is used in a similar way
  • kān: just, recently
    • ni kān cī = you (just) ate
  • : this verb means "to get/receive", but it is also used to make sentences in passive voice
    • wo gè nóm Lū = I get called "Lu"
    • só gè dú = it gets done / it is done
    • dà xū gè lé = that book is being read
  • These words can be combined.
    • wo cù kōn līm si = I will be cleaning myself
  • Time word. Words like "dà tēm" (then), "cè tēm" (now), etc. Can be used to specify the time in which the action happens. This usually makes other markers unnecessary.

The conditional structure

This mood is expressed with the structure “sē (condition) den (cause)” which corresponds to English “if (condition) then/, (cause)”. Additional information can be added to clarify it's talking about a past condition, a future one, etc.


  • sē wo nów den wo wèr = If I knew how, I would work.


  • sē wo (dà tēm) nów den wo wèr = If I had known how, I would have worked.

However, in other languages this "past conditional mood" is used outside conditions too, used to express something that could or should have been done, bat wasn't. In this cases, Bumlan usually uses the bare verb if context allows, or adds a word to indicate past if necessary (such as "dà tēm").

  • wo dwā nō cī só, tàn wo cī = I shouldn't have eaten it, but I did
  • wo (dà tēm) kàn kúr, tàn wo nō kúr = I could have run, but I didn't


There are no participles per se in Bumlan, but let's see some ways in which it covers the same functionalities:

Form Example sentence Translation
ày wo nō dēs ày ni I don't want to love you
ày ày be zù mey A loving person is nice
ày wey ày tā wey wo ēs Loving him, I learn
ày be tā zù wo te ày be She was my lover
po ày wo zù po Lū ày I am loved by Luke / I am Luke's loved one
po ày wey po ày wey wo zù mò bén Being loved, I'm better
po ày be tā zù po wo ày be He is my loved one

We will learn more about that "po" and "wey" later. "be" simply means person/being/individual.

Adjectives and adverbs

Adjectives and adverb are basically the same, the only difference being that adjectives modify a noun while adverbs modify a verb or another adjective. Because of this, in Bumlan the same word can be used for both functions. They go strictly before what they modify:

  • bén mā = good parent
  • fàs kúr = run fast

Unless they are the argument of a verb.

  • wo kām fàs = I became fast

When there is a chain of adjectives/adverbs, they are interpreted to modify the same noun/verb:

  • bén fàs āw = a good fast car
  • mey tà māw = a beautiful big cat

If you want to say something like "beautifully big" instead, use the word "wey" (way) to make the first adjective modify the second one:

  • mey wey tà māw = a beautifully big cat

This "wey" can also be used to make adverbs out of verbs, nouns and phrases:

  • wo hēl wey dú = I act helpfully
  • wo kām nán mā wey = I become fatherly



Possession is shown using the "te" particle, which comes from the Chinese particle "de" and works pretty much like it works for possession ("de" has other uses in Chinese that "te" in Bumlandoesn't, though), it's similar to 's in the English language, but also used with pronouns. For example:

  • wo te āw = My car
  • tā zù Lū te mí = She/He is Lucas' friend
  • dōm zù ni rē te = The house is yours
  • po dōm zù tà be zù wo te mí = The person, whose house is big, is my friend.

The particle "te" can be omitted if context allows:

  • wo āw = my car
  • tā zù Lū mí = she is Lucas' friend
  • ni nów tā fē mā = you know his mother


Yes/No questions (or questions that give you a definite amount of answers) are created adding the particle "ma" at the end of the sentence.

  • ni zù bén = You are good
  • ni zù bén ma? = Are you good?

Ma can also be used in negative sentences.

  • ni nō zù nán mā ma? = You're not a father?

Questions that give you the possible answer usually use the "o" (or) connector. Examples:

  • ni dēs kaf o cá ma? = Do you want coffee or tea.
    • (Hày,) kaf. = (Yes,) coffee.
    • (Hày,) cá. = (Yes,) tea.
    • Nu, xyè. = None, thanks.

Another example:

  • ni dēs míl, kàr o èy ma? = Do you want milk, sugar or something else in your coffee?
    • Hày, míl. = Yes. milk.
    • Nō, nu. = No, nothing.
    • Hày, dù tin = Yes, both.

Other questions are made with "ké", in these questions "ma" is not necessary. Unlike many languages but like Chinese, the order of the sentence does not change (although it is allowed) when asking questions, the ké word​ is in the place where the answer will be. For example:

  • ni cī ké? = What are you eating? (You eat what?)
  • ni nóm ké? = What is your name?
  • só zù ké lù? = Where is it? (It is where?)
  • ni zù ké be te fē mā? = Whose mother are you? (You are whose mother?)

Imperative marker

The word "pa" is used to express the imperative mood, which is used to make requests or commands. The marker is not mandatory. In English the imperative mood is usually expressed dropping the pronoun "you", "you clean the house" becomes "clean the house". In Bumlan the pronoun is not dropped, this is because many verbs can be interpreted as adjectives or nouns if there is no subject before them, instead, the marker "pa" can be used.

  • ni līm dōm = you clean the house ➜ ni līm dōm pa = clean the house
  • ni rē cī sāy = you all eat vegetables ➜ ni rē cī sāy pa = eat vegetables

Word order

Basic word order

Terwene follows the order SVO, but in some cases (if context allows) it is also possible to use OSV (Yoda's order) and VSO. These three orders are allowed because out of the six possible orders one can only choose three and still be able to differentiate subject from object. The one-phrase rule is "the nearer to the left of the verb, is the subject", in SVO and OSV the subject is already to the left of the verb, and in VSO the subject is closer to the left of the verb than the object.

SVO was chosen because it's the most widespread order in the world (in number of speakers), which includes English, Spanish and Chinese, the three most spoken languages. It's also helpful to have the verb separate the subject from the object, which makes understanding the sentence much easier.

Apart from order, there is nothing differentiating subject from object, so even pronouns stay the same when they are the object of the sentence:

  • wo ày ni = I love you
  • tā ày tā = She/He loves him/her
  • wo rē sī tā rē = We saw them
Adjectives and other modifiers

As explained before, adjectives and adverbs go before what they modify unless they are the argument of a verb.

In general modifiers are written before what they modify. This means that, for instance, the word "nō" (no/not) can be placed before the word that it wants to negate. If it is placed before the main verb, the sentence is negated. If it is placed before the subject, only the subject is negated:

  • nō wo cī só = I didn't eat that (someone else did)
  • wo nō cī só = I didn't eat that (maybe someone else did, maybe I ate something else, doesn't matter)
  • wo cī nō só = I didn't eat that (I ate something else)
  • wo nō dwā cī só = I do not have to eat that (I could, but I am not obligated)
  • wo dwā nō cī só = I must not eat that (it is my obligation not to eat that)


There is no definite (the) or indefinite article (a, an) but the number "ūn" (one) can be used as a quantifier if necessary, for example there are words which can be either countable or uncountable, adding "ūn" states that it is being used as countable:

  • wo cī pòm = I eat apple (maybe one, maybe a slice, maybe mashed, maybe many)
  • wo cī ūn pòm = I eat an apple
  • wo cī pòm rē = I eat (the) apples

Instead there are words that can't be either countable or uncountable, in those cases "wan" should be avoided:

  • wo zù be = I am a/the person

The definite article does not exist because its usage would vary depending on the speaker's mother tongue, it doesn't exist in very important languages such as Chinese and Russian, so for the sake of simplicity Bumlan doesn't have it either.


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 100 1000 1000000 1000000000 1000000000000
nu ūn sān yòn tén pay mīl ūn lōn dù lōn sān lōn

Numbers are combined just like in Chinese:

  • 10: tén
  • 20: dù tén
  • 30: sān tén
  • 400: yòn pay
  • 800: cō pay
  • 9 000: ná mīl
  • 323 456: sān pay dù tén sān mīl yòn pay fí tén lò

After 999 999 there are words created in a similar way to "million", "billion", "trillion": ūn lōn, dù lōn, sān lōn, etc. Terwene follows the same scale English does, each new word after thousand adds 3 zeros. Unlike English, the word "ūn" can be omitted just like it is done for "deg", "pay" and "mil".

  • pay = one hundred
  • mīl = one thousand
  • (ūn) ūn lōn= one million
  • dù ūn lōn = two million
  • sé dù lōn = seven billion

It's also allowed to simply read the numbers, like Chinese speakers do for years and phone numbers. This can also be combined with the words “pay”, “mīl”, etc. to be able to speak faster when there are many zeroes. This is only when context allows it. For instance:

  • 1998 = ūn ná ná cō
  • 2001 = dù nu nu ūn
  • 1300 = ūn sān pay
  • 23 000 = dù sān mīl
  • 233 445 = dù sān sān yòn yòn fí
  • 945 000 000 = ná yòn fí ūn lōn

Ordinal numbers are created adding the word "pòs" which means "position", but most of the time this is not necessary and it can be omitted.

  • ūn pòs = first
  • pay dù tén cō pòs = one hundred twenty eighth
  • ūn pòs wey = firstly / in the first place
  • dù wey = in pair/s
  • tén wey = in groups of ten
  • dù rē = a pair, a duet
  • ...


  • Comparative: the comparative uses "mò" (more) or "lés" (less) plus "dan" (than).
    • tā zù mò bén dan ni = He is better than you
    • tā zù lés tól dan ni = He is less tall than you
  • Superlative: the superlative uses "màx" (most/maximum) or "mīn" (least/minimum).
    • tā zù màx bén = She is the best one
    • tā zù mīn tól = She is the least tall
  • Equals: equality is expressed using either "wey" after the second subject being compared, or by connecting the two phrases with "dà wey".
    • tā zù mey ni wey / tā zù mey dà wey ni zù = She is beautiful like you (lit. she is beautiful in your way / she is beautiful in that way you are)
    • tā fàs kúr ni wey / tā fàs kúr dà wey ni kúr / tā fàs kúr dà wey ni dú = He runs fast like you

Subordinate sentences

Subordinate sentences that refer to a question are simply added as such (the "ké" word has to respect word order, when possible, it's usually at the beginning, but when it's the object of the subordinate sentence, it has to respect it's place; the ma word goes at the end as always).

  • wo nō nów ké lù tā zù = I don't know where he is
  • wo tēn ké káw tā dú dà  = I understand why he did that
  • ni nów wo cī ké pòm ma = Do you know which apple I ate?
  • wo nō nów tā zày si dōm ma = I don't know whether he is in his home
  • wo kwés tā xwō būm lán ma = I ask whether she speaks Bumlan

To connect sentences that do not refer to a question just place them after the verb, or add the word "dà" (that)

  • wo nów (dà) tā zày si dōm = I know he's in his own house
  • wo tēn (dà) só nō bèl = I understand that's not possible
  • wo pì (dà) tā kú èy = I ask that he cook something else

Subordinate sentences that through a phrase add information to (modify) a noun, use the word "po" (in this case the subject is omitted, "po" represents the noun/subject/pronoun that it's giving information about, the "te" particle can also be omitted). In a way, "po" contains the meaning of "who" and "whose" when used to connect sentences, but unlike those, "po" usually appears before the noun because it creates an adjectival phrase.

  • tā zù po (te) dōm zù san al ēs be  = She is the student whose house is red (here "po" adds information to " sē be")
    • = tā zù sē be po dōm zù san al
    • = tā zù sē be, tā dōm zù san al
  • po āw zù tà fē zù wo te mí = The woman, whose car is big, is my friend. (here "po" relates to "fē")
    • = fē po āw zù tà zŭ`wo mí (the woman, whose car is big, is my friend)
    • = dà fē wo mí, tā āw tà (that woman is my friend, her car is big)

Mood markers

Because Bumlan uses tones for lexical meaning, it can not use tones in the same way some other languages use it, namely, to express non-lexical meaning, such as feelings when saying something. That is, many languages use tones/pitch in a sentence or word to express things like doubt, anger, happiness, cuteness, fear, etc. Bumlan finds other ways to express these meanings, chiefly by adding words at the end of a sentence that expresses that information. These are the most important ones:

  • fù: expresses surprise or anger
    • ni cī wo te cī fù! = you ate my food!
    • wo dú nu fù! = I did nothing!
    • wo hèy tā fù! = I hate him!
  • mē: expresses happiness or euphoria
    • wo twō ày ni mē! I love you a lot!
    • tā zù mey mē = she is so beautiful
    • ni bén dú mē! = you did well!
  • mo: expresses cuteness, softness, friendliness
    • wo twō ày ni mo = I love you a lot
    • hēl wo mo = could you please help me?
  • : expresses doubt
    • tā zày si dōm gú = she's at home, I guess
    • wo nō xi tā gú = maybe I don't like him
    • tā kàn hēl wo ma gú = do you think he can help me?
  • fēn: expresses fear
    • zù dar fēn = it's dark (and I'm scared)
    • cè lù wéy fēn = this place is dangerous

Repetition for emphasis

There are many times when people want to emphasize some part of a sentence, be it the verb, the subject, an adjective, etc. Many languages use some form of pitch or change in word order to do this, but Bumlan instead uses repetition, which basically means you repeat the word that you want to put emphasis on. Let's look at the sentence "wo cī pān":

  • wo wo cī pān = I am the one eating bread / the one who eats bread (as opposed to someone else)
  • wo cī cī pān = I *eat* bread (as opposed to cooking it or doing something else with it)
  • wo cī pān pān = I eat *bread* (as opposed to something else)

Repetition can also be used to add intensity to the meaning of a word, think of the difference between "love" and "adore", "beautiful" and "gorgeous", "hate" and "loathe", "big" and "giant". In a sense, it's not that different from using the word "twō" (very), but

  • wo ày ày ni = I adore you
  • só tà tà = it's giant
  • tā láy sùn sùn = she'll come very soon


The many uses of words

In Bumlan, words are not strictly verbs, strictly prepositions, etc. Instead, they usually have a main meaning or function, but according to the position and context it finds itself in, it can take different functions (a preposition might be used as a verb, a noun might be used as an adjective, etc.). Let's see some common examples:

  • zày
    • As verb: wo zày dōm = I am home (to be at a place)
    • As preposition: wo cī zày dōm = I eat at home (at)
    • As verb: wo hē cá = I drink tea (drink)
    • As noun: ni hà hē ma? = do you have drinks? (drinks)
    • As adjective: só zù hē kwá = it is drinkable water (drinkable, for drinking)
  • mey
    • As adjective: ni zù mey = you are beautiful
    • As verb: ni mey = you are beautiful
    • As noun: mey zù bén = beauty is good

Additionally, many words in Bumlan have wider meaning than their English counterparts. For instance, let's see the different meanings of "xwō":

  • wo xwō būm lán = I speak būm lán
  • wo xwō xyè = I say thank you
  • wo e ni xwō = You and I talk

When context is not clear enough and a word can be interpreted in different ways, some words can help us clarify: "wey" for adverbs, "lèy" for adjectives, "be, tin, taf, wa" and others for nouns. For instance, the word "kàn" has a lot of functions:

  • wo kàn = I can / I am capable
    • wo kàn be = I am a capable person
    • wo kàn (lèy) = I am capable
    • wo kàn = I can
  • fàs āw cù = a fast car goes / a car goes fast
    • fàs lèy āw cù = a fast car goes
    • fàs wey āw cù = a car goes fast


Correlatives are special words which consist of certain beginnings and endings and are ordered in a table.


















ké which/what

ké tēm


ké lù


ké káw


ké wey how

ké kwān

how much/many

ké be


ké lèy

what type



dà tēm


dà lù


dà káw because of that

dà wey so/like that

dà kwān

that/so much/many

dà be

that one

dà lèy

that type

This cè


cè tēm


cè lù


cè káw because of this

cè wey so/like this

cè kwān

this much / this many

cè be

this one

cè lèy

this type

Some som

som some(thing)

som tēm

ever/in some moment

som lù somewhere

som káw

for some reason

som wey somehow

som kwān some quantity

som be someone

som lèy some type



nu no(thing)

nu tēm


nu lù nowhere

nu káw

for no reason

nu wey

no way

nu kwān

no quantity

nu be nobody

nu lèy

no type

Every ōl

ōl every(thing)

ōl tēm


ōl lù everywhere

ōl káw

for every reason

ōl wey

in every way

ōl kwān

all of it

ōl be everyone

ōl lèy

every type

Many twō


many (things)

twō tēm many times

twō lù

in many places

twō káw

for many reasons

twō wey

in many ways

twō kwān

a great amount

twō be many people

twō lèy many types

Few fyú


little, few (things)

fyú tēm

few times

fyú lù

in few places

fyú káw

for few reasons

fyú wey

in few ways

fyú kwān

little amount

fyú be

few people

fyú lèy

few types

Other èy


other (thing/s)

èy tēm

in another moment

èy lù

in another place

èy káw

for another reason

èy wey

in another way

èy kwān another amount

èy be someone else

èy lèy other type

Any kū

kū any(thing)

kū tēm

at any time

kū lù anywhere

kū káw

for any reason

kū wey

in any way

kū kwān

any amount

kū be anyone

kū lèy

any type

Notice that the correlatives for "things" are the same as the basic ones, just like the word "what" in English can represent a thing ("what is that?") or be an adjective that means "which" ("What dog is that?"). In Bumlan the same happens for all the basic correlatives (the ones in the column "CORR."), however, the word "tin" (thing) can be used for the specific "unknown thing" correlatives:

  • ké tin? = what (thing)?
  • dà tin mey = that (thing) is nice

The same structure used to create correlatives like "dà lù" can be used to create more correlatives, for instance, using the word "mò" (more) at the beginning, you can get correlatives like "mò tēm" (more times), "mò be" (more people), etc. Adding a word at the end, such as "fru" (fruit), you can get words like "ké fru" (which fruit), "ōl fru" (all of the fruit), etc.

All of that is possible because the correlatives are created using the same rules as the rest of the language uses, the first word is an adjective that modifies the second word.

Examples of correlatives in use

  • Bare as adjective:
    • ni lé ké xū? = Which book are you reading?
    • dà dōm zù wo te = That house is mine
    • ni lé cè xū ma? = Have you read this book?
    • ni cù lé som xū ma? = Will you read some book?
    • nu an dú dà = No animal would do that
    • sē bèl wo lé ōl xū = If possible, I would read every book
    • twō an cī ròw = Many animals eat meat
    • fyú xū bén = Few books are good
    • wo dēs èy xū = I want another book
    • wo dēs lé kū xū = I want to read any book
  • Bare as noun:
    • dà zù ké? = What is that?
    • cè zù āw = This is a car
    • som ay on tá ma? = Is there something on the table?
    • wo dú nu fù! = I did nothing!
    • ōl bén pu cè lù = Everything is bad here
    • wo dēs twō = I want many things
    • wo dēs fyú = I want few things
    • ni dēs èy ma? = Do you want another thing?
    • kū zù bén = Anything would be good now
  • + tēm
    • wo rē cī ké lù? = When will we eat?
    • wo dà tēm nów = Then I knew
    • láy cè tēm! = Come now!
    • ni som tēm cù Argen ma? = Have you ever come to Argentina?
    • wo nu tēm dór = I never sleep
    • wo ōl tēm ày ni = I'll always love you
    • wo cù dà lù twō tēm = I've gone there many times
    • wo cù dà lù fyú tēm = I've gone there few times
    • tā cù cù èy tēm = She will go in other moment
    • láy cè lù kū tēm = Come here at any time
  • + lù
    • wo āw zày ké lù? = Where is my car?
    • wo na dà lù = I was born there
    • pān ay cè lù = There is bread here
    • wo sōw wo xū som lù = I'll find my book somewhere
    • wo xū zày nu lù = My book is nowhere
    • wo ya dór ōl lù = I've slept everywhere
    • wo cù twō lù = I've gone to many places
    • wo kàn cù fyú lù = I could go to few places
    • wo dēs cù èy lù = I want to go to other place
    • dór kū lù = Sleep anywhere
  • + káw
    • ké káw ni dú dà? = Why did you do that?
    • dà káw wo bèl cù Mē'hi = Because of that I would go to Mexico
    • wo nō bén dór cè káw = I didn't sleep well because of this
    • wo som káw nō sōw wo āw = For some reason I haven't found my car
    • nu káw wo bèl dú dà = For no reason I'd do that
    • wo ày tā ōl káw = I love her for every reason
    • wo ày tā twō káw = I love him for many reasons
    • wo bèl cù fyú káw = I'd go for few reasons
    • wo bèl dú dà èy káw, nō dà = I'd do that for another reason, but not because of that
    • wo kū káw cī = He eats for any reason
  • + wey
    • ni rē ké wey dú dà? = How did you do that?
    • tā tól tā nán mā wey = He is as tall as his father
    • cè wey som be dú kēy = This is how one makes cakes
    • som wey tā nō tēn = Somehow he didn't understand
    • nu wey wo dú dà = No way I would do that
    • wo dór ōl wey = I've slept in every way
    • wo twō wey kàn cù = I can go in many ways
    • wo kàn cù fyú wey = I could go in few ways
    • wo rē kàn cù èy wey ma? = Can we go in another way?
    • ni rē kàn láy kū wey, tàn láy = You can come in any way, but come
  • + kwān (notice this word is sometimes superfluous, especially if the noun is uncountable like coffee)
    • ni báy ké kwān pān? = How much bread did you buy?
    • wo nē dà kwān = I need that amount
    • cè kwān kaf nō zù = This amount of coffee is not enough
    • wo nē som (kwān) kaf = I need some coffee
    • wo hà nu (kwān) kaf = I have no amount of coffee
    • wo hà ōl (kwān) kaf = I have all the coffee
    • wo hà twō (kwān) cá = I have a great amount of tea
    • wo hà fyú (kwān) cá = I have a small amount of tea
    • wo hà èy kwān = I have another amount
    • wo xi kū kwān dà = I'd like any amount of that
  • + be
    • ké be rē zù dà? = Who are those?
    • dà be zù wo nán mèy = That one is my brother
    • cè be zù wo mí = These ones are my friends
    • som be dú dà = Someone did that
    • nu be dú dà = Nobody would do that
    • wo ày ōl be = I love everyone
    • twō be cī pān = Many people eat bread
    • fyú be nów wo = Few people know me
    • èy be kān láy, nō tā = Someone else arrived (here), not her
    • kū be kàn dú dà = Anyone can do that
  • + lèy
    • ni hà ké lèy āw? = What type of car do you have?
    • ni hà dà lèy āw ma? = Do you have that type of car?
    • ni nów ōl cè lèy pān? = Do you know every one of these types of bread?
    • som an cī ròw = Some types of animals eat meat
    • wo hà nu lèy pān = I have no type of bread
    • wo hà ōl lèy pān = I have every kind of bread
    • wo hà twō lèy cá = I have many types of tea
    • wo hà fyú lèy kaf = I have few types of coffee
    • wo nō hà dà lèy, tàn èy lèy = I don't have that type, but I have another type
    • kū lèy bén = Any type will be good


The names of the days are created in a similar way to Chinese and Portuguese, with numbers. Months too. Monday is considered the first day of the week. The system is really simple: number + day/month. There are two words for "day" in Bumlan, one with the meaning of "rotation" for the 24 h day (de), and one which represents the hours of light of one day (sól), which also means "Sun".

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
ūn de dù de sān de yòn de fí de lò de sé de

Months are created the same way but with the word "lún" which means both "moon" and "month".

January February March April May June
ūn lún dù lún sān lún yòn lún fí lún lò lún
July August September October November December
sé lún cō lún ná lún tén lún tén ūn lún tén dù lún

The word for year is "án". The order of dates is dd/mm/yyyy, let's see some examples:

  • wo ná 1998 yòn lún te 20 dù de 3:30 (wo na ūn ná ná cō án yòn lú dù tén de dù de sān hō sān tén mì) = I was born at 3:30 Tuesday the 20th of April 1998
  • Mi dormel dur lunabe = I slept during one week

Now, it's important to notice something: the numbers in these expressions are working as ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc), not as cardinal numbers (one, two, three, etc.), this is intentional, as context usually lets us understand what the intended meaning is. If it's necessary to clarify, the word "pòs" can be used to express the ordinal number, and the word "kwān" can be used to express the cardinal number:

  • ūn pòs de = Monday
  • ūn kwān de = one day
  • yòn pòs lún = April
  • yòn kwān lún = four months

Common phrases

All phrases can be slightly modified, for example adding "mo" to make them softer, or "mē" to express happiness.

  • hāy = Hi/Hello
  • bén de = Good day (at any time)
  • bén sól = Good day (during daytime)
  • bén no = Good night
  • bén zaw = Good morning
  • bén xam = Good afternoon
  • til zùn = See you soon
  • til né de = See you tomorrow
  • bāy = Bye
  • xyè = Thank you
  • zù nu = You're welcome
  • pì mo = Please
  • sa mo = Sorry
  • bén láy = Welcome
  • ni ké wey? = How are you? (sing.)
  • ni rē ké wey? = How are you? (pl.)
  • bén, ni ma? = Good, and you?
  • bén cī! = Bon appetit!
  • bén bya! = Bon voyage! (Good trip!)
  • bén sán! = Health!
  • lè án! = Happy new year!


Important note: when prepositions are used alone (they are not working as prepositions), it is recommended to place them at the end of the sentence, or in the place where they create the least misunderstandings, or a comma is placed after them to represent a silence.

Prepositions can be left out when the context is clear, mainly when the verb already carries that meaning. For instance, the verb "cù" carries the meaning of going to a place, so the word "a" (to) can be omitted.

a “to” direction

  • tā cù lái a cì = she will come to the city
  • tā xwō a tā rē = he speakes to them

i adds a complement to a transitive verb, it adds information about the object

  • sól dú tā i cú si te klòw = the sun made him take of his coat
  • ni rán dōm i syēl al = you paint the house blue

zày “at” relatively in the same position but not exactly

  • wo mí zày mén = my friend is at the door
  • wo mèy zày tá = mi brother is at the table
  • tā zày gúl = she is at the corner

zón “from/since”, position or time

  • wo cù zón gúl a wo dōm = I went from the corner to my house
  • tā rē zù róy zón 1998 = They are kings since 1998
  • tā zù zón Argen = She is from Argentina
  • só zù zón mù = It is made of wood

te “ 's ” possession

  • Lū te xū = Luke's book
  • cè āw zù tà kól te = This is the university's car

dur “during/while”

  • dur wo cī, tā hē = While I was eating, he was drinking
  • wo nō fū dur zaw = I don't walk in the morning

in “in” necessarily inside, can be metaphorical or figurative

  • wo lì in dà dōm = I live in that house
  • wo ēs in tà kól = I study in a university
  • ni in o àw ma? = Are you inside or outside?

àw "outside"

  • ni àw dōm ma? = Are you out of the house?
  • wo rē cù àw = Let's go outside

til "until” both for time and place

  • wo cī til ná hō = I ate until 9:00
  • wo rē kúr til dōm! = Let's run up to the house!

ko “with”

  • wo cī pòm ko xus = I eat apples with juice
  • ko ni wo mò bén sén si = With you I feel better
  • tā lì ko tā mèy rē = He lives with his siblings

sìn “without”

  • wo hē kaf sìn míl = I drink coffee without milk
  • wo màr sìn màr = I hit without hammer

par “for”

  • wo dú dà par ni = I did this for you
  • tā dú kēy par mày = I make cakes for selling
  • pēy par ū cyo = a cup/glass for wine

kos “because (of)”

  • kos dà wo nō mày pòm = Because of that I don't buy apples
  • tā nō lái kos tā ìl = She won't come because of her illness
  • wo nō cī kos wo nō xi dà = I'm not eating because I don't like that

ba “under”

  • kí zù ba tá = A child is under the table
  • wo cù (a) ba āw = I went under the car
  • tā zù ba = He is below

on “on”

  • pòm ay on tá = There are apples on the table

"over" over something but not touching it

  • pá fēy sū wo rē āw = Birds fly over our car

kám “instead”

  • wo hē kám ni = I drink instead of you
  • wo hē kám cī = I drink instead of eating
  • kám, wo cī = Instead, you eat

ám "in front of" place

  • wo zù ám ni dōm = I am in front of your house


  • wo zù dè ni = I'm behind you

pre "before" only for time

  • pre zaw = early morning
  • wo na pre twō tēm = I was born a long time ago
  • pre wo dór, wo cī = Before I fell asleep, I ate
  • pre dór, wo cī = Before falling asleep, I ate
  • wo pre tēm nō sén dà = I'd never felt that before

pos "after" only for time

  • pos fìn dór, wo cī = After waking up, I ate
  • pos wo sin dór, wo cī = After I woke up, I ate
  • wo dú dà pos (tēm) = I'll do that after/later

pán "next to"

  • wo zù pán āw = I am next to a car
  • ké zù pán ni? = What is next to you?

far "far from/far/away"

  • wo zù far = I am far
  • dà zù far wo rē = That is far from us
  • cù far! = Go away!


  • wo nì ni = I'm near you
  • wo rē cù nì lù = Let's go somwhere nearby
  • dà nì kaf lù bén = That nearby cafe is good

baw "about"

  • ni nów baw ké? = What do you know about?

tra "through"

  • Tra winteporde encanan winte = Through the window enters wind

cir "around"

  • cir sān tén = around thirty
  • cir cù = to go around
  • cir dōm āw ay = Around the house there are cars

ter "between/among"

  • ter nā = international
  • wo zù ter mù = I'm between the trees

àn "against"

  • àn ìl = against (for) an illnes
  • àn mur = against the wall
  • wo zù àn ni = I'm against you

us "by/using"

  • wo us āw cù = He'll come by car
  • wp màr us màr = I hit with a hammer

tran "crossing/at the other side of"

  • wo dōm zù tran ru = My house is at the other side of the street
  • tran dà hé èy kwó ay = Crossing that river it's another country

bey "beyond"

  • wo rē cù bey cì = Let's go beyond the city
  • hu rē nu tēm cù bey lún = Humankind has never gone beyond the moon

xe "except, appart from, other than"

  • wo cī ōl xe pòm = I eat everything except apples
  • ōl be láy xe ni = Everyone came except you


Bumlan is an isolating language, so affixes as such do not exist, but there are words that can express similar meanings as affixes do in other languages, but they work like normal adverbs, adjectives, nouns or verbs, and follow the same rules.

*I am using the page of my most developed conlang (Terwene) as a guide, as a result, everything beyond this is about that language because I haven't reached this far yet*

  • dis disseminating, separately
    • dá = to give ➜ dis dá = distribute
  • ex ex-, former
    • kwó lī = president ➜ ex kwó lī = expresident
  • pre before, pre-, long ago in time
    • his = history ➜ pre his = prehistory
    • sī = to see ➜ pre sī = to anticipate (to have a vision)
    • zaw = morning ➜ pre zaw = early morning
    • mā = parent ➜ pre mā = ancestor
  • gèn to repeat, to do again
    • sèn = to send ➜ gèn sèn = to resend
    • xwō = to say ➜ gèn xwō = to repeat
    • gèn ➜ again
  • mis to do incorrectly
    • tēn = to understand ➜ mis tēn = misunderstand
    • us = tu use ➜ mis us ➜ to misuse
    • mis = mistakenly/wrongly
  • far from afar
    • sī = to see ➜ far sī tor = television (the object)
    • far sī = television
  • haf half-, semi-
    • hō = hour ➜ haf hō = half an hour
    • cir = circle ➜ haf cir = semicircle
  • sèw almost, quasi-, pseudo
    • nóm = name ➜ sèw nóm = pseudnim
    • dèw = god ➜ sèw dèw = demigod
    • í = son/daughter ➜ sèw í = stepson/daughter
  • a bigger or stronger counterpart of the root
    • lè = to laugh ➜ tà lè = to laugh a lot or very hard
    • wín = wind ➜ tà wín = a very strong wind
    • rè = warm ➜ tà rè = hot
    • frī = cool ➜ tà frī = cold
    • tēm = time ➜ tà tēm = a long time / eternity
    • bo = ship / boat ➜ tà bo = ship
  • pe a smaller, softer or less intense counterpart of the root
    • lè = to lough ➜ pe lè = to smile
    • wín = wind ➜ pe wìn = a breeze
    • hú = lake ➜ pe hú = lagoon
    • hé = river ➜ pe hé = stream / creek
    • rè = warm ➜ pe rè = warm but more temperate
    • frī = cool ➜ pe frī = cool but more temperate
    • bo = ship / boat ➜ pe bo = boat
  • mul multiplication
    • mul dù = double / multiplied by two
    • mul sān = to triple
    • mul yòn = quadruple
    • mul = to multiply
  • fraction
    • pè dù = a half / divided by two
    • pè sān = to divide in three parts, a third
    • pè yòn = a quarter
    • pè = to divide / fraction
    • sān pè yòn = three fourths / three divided by four


  • pu "un-" the opposite meaning or the closest approximation of it, this can be used even if the intended meaning already has a separate word
    • báy = to buy ➜ báy pu = to sell
    • tōn = east ➜ tōn pu = west
    • sur = south ➜ sur pu = north
    • sèn = to send ➜ sèn pu = to receive
  • wa to refer to the action or state that the verb represents but treat it as a noun, it is not necessary to add this word in order to use a verb as a noun, but it makes it much more clear.
    • báy = to buy ➜ báy wa = (the action of) buying
      • wo nō xi báy wa = I don't like (the action of) buying
    • dwā = must ➜ dwā wa = (the state of) having to do something
      • dwā wa ēs zù màl = (the state of) having to study is bad
    • mey = beautiful / to be beatiful ➜ may wa = being beautiful
      • mey wa nō wíh = being beautiful is not important
  • kàn capable
    • bisar = ➜ sī kàn (or "po kàn sī") = blind
    • swim = to swim ➜ swim kàn = that can swim
    • kàn = to be able, can
    • kàn (lèy) = capable
  • bèl possible, the passive counterpart of abl
    • sī bèl = visible
    • cī = to eat ➜ cī bèl = edible
    • bèl = possible
  • be individual characterized by the root
    • Argen = Argentina ➜ Argen be = an argentine
    • àn = against ➜ àn be = an oppositor
    • rí = rich ➜ rí be = a rich person
    • wèr = work ➜ wèr be = worker
    • mày = sell ➜ mày be = sales person
  • lán language
    • Inglan = England ➜ Inglan lán = English (lang)
    • Frànse = France ➜ Frànse lán = French (lang)
    • Cī'na = China ➜ Cī'na lán = Chinese (lang)
    • Isrèl = Israel ➜ Isrèl lán = Hebrew
    • Būm = world ➜ Būm lán = Bumlan
    • Some languages that can not be derived from a place or people may not take -wen- and be proper names instead
      • Esperanto = Esperanto
      • Latin = Latin
      • Klingon = Klingon
  • tin thing or material related to the root
    • cī = to eat; cī = meal ➜ cī tin = food
    • kàr = sugar/sweet ➜ kàr tin = a sweet/candy
    • mù = tree ➜ mù tin = wood
    • in = in ➜ in (lèy) tin = content
  • es state, essence or abstract quality related to the root
    • mey = beautiful ➜ mey es = beauty
    • rè = warmth ➜ rè es = temperature
    • kwal = equal ➜ kwal es = equality
    • fri = free ➜ fri es = freedom
    • hu = human; hu es = humanity
  • tul tool to do the verb of the root or related to it
    • mūs = music ➜ mūs tul = a musical instrument
    • cī = eat ➜ cī tul = utensils (for eating)
    • tul = tool
  • group of the root
    • mù = tree ➜ mù rē = trees
    • wo = I ➜ wo rē = we
    • yán = sheep ➜ yán rē = a flock of sheep
    • hu = human ➜ hu rē = humankind
    • wès = bone ➜ wès rē = skeleton
  • tendency or inclination to do somthing (not all -ive English words end with this!)
    • krey = to create ➜ krey tì = creative
    • xwō = to talk ➜ xwō tì = talkative
    • gèn xwō = to repeat ➜ gèn xwō tì = repetitive
    • gín = to imagine ➜ gín tì = imaginative
  • zi worthy
    • lé = to read ➜ lé zi = read-worthy
    • ás = to accept ➜ ás zi = acceptable (worthy of acceptance)
    • xyè = to thank ➜ xyè zi = worthy of being thanked
  • ēn recipient or container of the thing or characterized by the root
    • món = money ➜ món ēn = wallet
    • frī = cool/cold ➜ frī ēn = fridge
    • ēn = recipient
  • is professional of follower of a doctrine (can be interchangeable with -ul- in some words)
    • dén = tooth ➜ dén is = dentist
    • sán = to treat/cure ➜ sán is = physician/doctor
    • pyan = piano ➜ pyan is = pianist
    • Buda = Buddha ➜ Buda is = buddhist
  • im doctrine, idea, religion
    • Kristo = Christ ➜ Kristo im = christianity
    • Buda = Buddha ➜ Buda im = buddhism
    • Marxu = Marx ➜ Marxu im = marxism
    • sós = society ➜ sós im = socialism
  • tor machine, part of machine, or system that does the verb of the root (it's NOT used for people who do a work, "is" or "be" are used instead)
    • fàs = fast ➜ fàs tor = accelerator
    • mó = move ➜ mó tor = engine /motor
    • fēy = to fly ➜ fēy tor = flying machine, aircraft
    • kal = to calculate ➜ kal tor = calculator
  • al color, any word that has a certain color related to it can be used with this word to refer to that color, there might even different ways to refer to the same or similar color, and the "al" word might be omitted if it's clear the word is being used for the color it represents.
    • san = blood ➜ san al = red
    • bán = banana ➜ bán al = yellow
    • syēl = sky ➜ syēl al = blue
    • ràn = orange ➜ ràn al = orange
    • plán = plant ➜ plán al = green
    • ū = grape ➜ ū al = purple/violet
    • lūs = light ➜ lūs al = white
    • dar = darkness ➜ dar al = black
    • ax = ashes ➜ ax al = grey
    • kaf = coffee ➜ kaf al = brown
    • By the way, to say "light blue" or "dark blue" and similar combinations, if there is no clear word to derive them from, the words "lūs" and "dar" are used:
      • lūs syēl al = light blue
      • dar syēl al = dark blue
      • lūs ax al = light grey
      • lūs san al = pink (one could use something like flamingo for this)
  • place
    • báy = to buy ➜ báy lù = store
    • cī = to eat ➜ cī lù = restaurant
    • xū = book ➜ xū lù = library
    • món = money ➜ món lù = bank
    • sah = sand ➜ sah lù = desert
  • tēm time, moment, season
    • rè = warm ➜ rè tēm = sommer
    • frī = cool ➜ frī tēm = winter
    • hwā = flower ➜ hwā tēm = spring
    • yè = leaf ➜ yè tēm = autumn
  • ci a part or particle of the whole or of the material
    • sah = sand ➜ sah ci = a grain of sand
    • sál = salt ➜ sál ci = a grain of salt
    • him = snow ➜ him ci = a snowflake
    • kex = hair (the whole) ➜ kex ci = a single hair
  • leader, ruler, boss
    • cì = city ➜ cì lī = mayor
    • pran = province/state ➜ pran lī = governor
    • kwó = country ➜ kwó lī = president or prime minister
    • bo = ship ➜ bo lī captain
  • í offspring, son, daughter
    • hu = human ➜ hu í = child
    • māw = cat ➜ māw í ➜ kitten
    • már = butterfly ➜ már í = caterpillar
    • róy = king/queen ➜ róy í = prince/princess
  • fē, nán, èn the first one is for women the second one for men and the third one is for non-binary people
    • mā = parent ➜ fē mā = mother; nán mā = father; èn mā = non-binary parent
    • nó = boy/girlfriend ➜ fē nó = girlfriend; nán nó = boyfriend; èn nó = non-binary partner
    • í = son/daughter ➜ fē í = daughter; nán í = son; èn í = non-binary child
    • fē (hu) = a woman (for humans, female for other living beings)
    • nán (hu) = a man (for humans, male for other living beings)
    • èn (hu) = non-binary person
    • These suffixes should not be used in excess, only when it's really necessary to mention gender/sex of the person/living being in question.
  • sày means science or pseudoscience that studies X field (most words that in English end in -ics and -logy)
    • sày = science
    • núm = number ➜ núm sày = mathematics
    • lán = language ➜ lán sày= linguistics
    • dèw = god ➜ dèw sày = theology
    • sán = health ➜ sán sày = medicine
    • bì = life ➜ bì sày = biology

"nō" and "pu"

The word "nō" can be used in a similar way to "pu" but they are not the same, the first one is the negation of the meaning, while the second one is the opposite meaning. Sometimes both arrive at the same meaning, in those cases either one can be used.

Notice that Bumlan does not use as many word combinations as other IALs do, not nearly as many as my other conlang Terwene does, and probably not as many as Esperanto does (at least on the basic level of words like "hot" and "cold"). This is mainly because I care about keeping the language isolating, and using too many words for one meaning can become counterproductive, since Bumlan heavily relies on context and word order to express meaning.

Another reason is that tonal languages are spoken more slowly than other languages in terms of syllables per second, so it might be useful to have separate short words for common concepts, though it makes sense to use word combination for uncommon concepts, since in those cases speed of learning is more important than practicality. This applies for instance to scientific words, one could theoretically use a word like "mās*" for mathematics, but the two word phrase "núm sày" (number science) is easier to learn and probably good enough.

Family words

There are four main family words:

  • mā = parent
  • í = offspring (son/daughter)
  • mèy = sibling
  • éx = spouse

There are some additional word that may be useful

  • bū = grandparent
  • tí = uncle
  • prī = cousin

With those, the fē/nán/èn suffixes for gender, and the tà/pe suffixes for age, we can create most of the family words that a culture may need. For example:

  • bū = grandparent
  • nán mā fē mā = the mother of my father
  • mèy í = nephew/niece
  • pe fē mèy = younger sister
  • tà fē mèy = older sister
  • pe prī = younger cousin
  • nán mā mèy = sibling of my father
  • mā mèy éx = uncle's/aunt's spouse
  • í í = grandson/granddaughter
  • tà èn mèy = older enby sibling
  • mèy nán éx = a sibling's husband
  • and many many more...

Short words not worthy of being classified

Some words and phrases in many languages like "very", "too", "and", "but", "al least", "still" and so on, are difficult to classify and fulfill different functions, many of them are adverbs or connectors. Here is a list:

  • e and
    • wo cī pān e hē cá = I eat bread and drink tea
  • o or
  • tàn but
  • twō very
    • ni twō mey = You are very beautiful
  • tày too (in the sense of too much)
    • dà zù tày tà = That one is too big
  • dù / ōl both
    • dù ni nów = ōl ni nów = both of you know
  • ye also, too
    • wo ày kow, wo ày ye māw = I love dogs, I love cats too
    • ni cī pān, ye wo cī pān = You eat bread, I also eat bread
  • plus, more, anymore
    • Plus in maths: ūn mò dù zù sān = One plus two is three
    • More: wo dēs mò pān = I want more bread
    • More and -er in comparisons: ni mò tól dan wo = You are taller than me
    • nō + mó Anymore: wo nō mò bén dór = I don't sleep well anymore
  • màx
    • Most and -est in comparison
    • Maximum (noun): ké kwān zù màx? = How much is the maximum?
    • Maximum (adj): màx kwān zù tén = The maximum amount is ten
    • + wey At most: wo xi màx wey tén = I want at most ten
  • lés
    • Minus in math: sān lés dù zù ūn = three minus two is one
    • Less: wo xi só ko kàr = I like it with less sugar
    • Less in comparison: tā lés tól dan ni = she is less tall than you
  • mīn
    • Least in comparison: ni zù mīn gén = You are the least intelligent
    • Minimum (noun): ké kwān zù mīn? = How much is the minimum?
    • Minimum (adj): mīn kwān zù tén = The minimum amount is ten
    • + wey At least: mīn wey tén be láy = At least ten people came
  • sèw
    • Almost: wo sèw láy = I'm almost arriving
    • + nō barely: wo sèw nō dór = I barely sleep
    • Still: tā tō cī = He's still eating
    • + nō yet: ni tō nō cī = You haven't eaten yet
  • ya
    • Already: wo ya tēn = I already understand
    • Yet: ni ya cī cè lù ma? = Have you eaten here yet?
    • + nō no longer: wo ya nō cī ròw = I no longer eat meat
  • sún soon
  • né de yesterday
  • cè de today
  • là de tomorrow
  • de wey daily
  • wí wey weekly
  • lún wey monthly
  • án wey annualy
  • klù even
    • klù ni tēn dà = Even you understand that
  • kān just (recently)
    • wo kān dú só = I just made it
  • fàs immediately
    • láy fàs! = Come immediately

Pronunciation examples

Example text

The North Wind and the Sun

The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveler came along wrapped in a warm cloak.

They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveler take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other.

Then the North Wind blew as hard as he could, but the more he blew the more closely did the traveler fold his cloak around him; and at last the North Wind gave up the attempt.

Then the Sun shined out warmly, and immediately the traveler took off his cloak.

And so the North Wind was obliged to confess that the Sun was the stronger of the two.

Nór Wín e Sól

Nór Wín e Sól cēn baw ké be zù mò cyán, den bya be láy, tā po láf en klòw.

Tā rē grì dà, be ūn pòs prā dú tā i cú si te klòw, dà be zù mò cyán dan èy be.

Nór Wín blòw cyán dà wey tā kàn, tàn mò tā blòw den mò cin wey bya be láf klòw cir si; e fìn wey Nór Wín hal trày.

Den Sól pe rè xan, e bya be fàs cú klòw.

E dà káw Nór Wín dwā būl dà Sól zù mò cyán ter dù.

Mars (planet) Wikipedia article

"Màrsu (plàn).

Màrsu zù yòn plàn zón Sól e dù plàn màx pe en Sól Sís pos Mērkur. Só hà Ro'ma dèw te nóm, e só bā tēm gè nóm "san al plàn" ..."


Dictionary with English, Spanish and Esperanto translations and examples.


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