Vong: A Tonal Language by Nonong[]

First published in 2001
a priori



Like Singing[]

Inspired by tonal languages like Chinese and Vietnamese, I have created an art language that is tonal. In Vong, there are three tones: the even tone, the rising tone, and the falling tone. The rising tone is indicated by an acute accent (like vóng), and the falling tone is indicated by a grave accent (like vòng). The even (mid-level) tone has no accent (like vong). The tone changes the meaning.


The consonants (C) are: b, ch, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, ng, p, r, s, sh, t, th, v, z. These are close to English sounds; however, see the Phonological Chart, which explains more exactly the pronunciations of letters. The vowels (V) are: a, e, i, o, u. These are pronounced as in English "father, bet, tot, machine, lunar." The diphthongs (D) are: ai, au, ei, oi, ou, ia, ie, io, iu, ua, ue, ui, uo. The nasal consonants (N), which can occur finally in a syllable, are: m, n, ng. A syllable can have the structure: V, D, CV, CD, VN, DN, CVN, or CDN. There are 4536 possible syllables with the three tones.

In Vong, each native morpheme, the smallest meaningful unit of language, is a single syllable.


The Vong sentence is of the SVO type (Subject Verb Object). No words are inflected. Vong has no grammatical tense, but it has a system of aspect markers. Time reference is given by context or by placing adverbials, which are optional, anywhere before the verb:  cháim (future), kiò (recent past), guam (far past), mái (yesterday), vèim (tomorrow), ron ruim (last year), and others. Adjectives, like dèm ('yellow', 'to be yellow'), can stand as stative verbs:  Sóung dèm. ('The sunflower is yellow.') The particle 'e' ends an imperative phrase:  Sóung dèm e! ('Let the sunflower be yellow!') The particle 'a' ends a question phrase:  Sóung dèm a? ('Is the sunflower yellow?')

The distinction between plural and singular nouns is not usually made. Placing tín (many) or ting (few) before a noun can indicate the plural. Or reduplication of the word can also show plurality:  sóung sóung (sunflowers). There are no words for 'the', 'a', and 'an'.

The pronouns are:  nong (I, me), viong (you), fueng (he, she, it, him, her), ting nong (we, us), ting viong (plural you), ting fueng (they, them).

Words may be compounded to form new terms wherein the attributes come before the element being modified:  tì shú ('bird cage', birdcage), lèm zò ('guess calculate', estimate), sué ngí ('sword man', swordsman), Suà be ('bright religion', Buddhism).

Borrowings or loanwords, which may be polysyllabic, from other languages like English are possible with the condition that they follow the phonology of Vong:  ká-mè-ra ('camera'), bài-ió-lò-ji ('biology').

My Poetry[]

by Viktor "Nonong" Medrano

Tín lè sóung nie thá
suè vong, ping, sim díng vì zàin
—tín dèm rìng ù zá.

Tall sunflowers stand funnily
in the big, wide, country field of green
—yellow faces to the sun.

Hè bua min tín kóm
ang chó muon á tín lè tuàng
—sui, hàin zá, hú liang.

Strong wind blows leaves
from the grassy earth between tall pine trees
—cold, but sunny, winter day.


Poems submitted by Allan Doodes[]

Shiong ngài suè duon.
Fueng shiong zuén hòm.
Lè ning lím kìm,
Tín tiom dim tiam.

Seeking the master in the forest.
He is looking for simples.
The mountains are high, the clouds low,
Many questions unanswered.

Ngáin méi vì hió ngí
Shuim ang rong To-kio.
Sué ngí vio tha kèm.
Nèi vì ngàin méi vio.

A merchant has two daughters
Beauties from Tokyo city.
A swordsman kills with his sword.
The two girls slay with their eyes.

Poem submitted by Joey Hartline[]

ngáin sué ngí
kèm ve
rum sué ngí

two swordsmen
blade's edge
one swordsman

Poem submitted by Kevin Bello (in Vong, English, and Esperanto)[]

Rièm shòu fién lé
Suè nèi vì fùng.
Bua min ié vòm
Jìn rièm fién duom.

The dragon soars so high
In the eyes of the skies.
The wind blows with myst'ry
and the dragon, away it flies!

La drako flugas alte
En la okuloj de l' ĉiel'.
Kun mistero la vento blovas
Kaj la drako flugas en hel'! 

Vong: Phonological Chart[]

Phonemic equivalents in CXS are given within slashes.


   labial dental alveolar postalveolar retroflex palatal velar glottal
voiceless unaspirated p /p/    t /t/       ch /tS/ k /k/   
voiced unaspirated b /b/    d /d/       j /dZ/ g /g/   
nasal m /m/    n /n/          ng /N/   
voiceless fricative f /f/ th /T/ s /s/ sh /S/          h /h/
voiced fricative v /v/    z /z/               
lateral       l /l/               
flap             r /r`/         


a /a/ e /E/ i /i/ o /O/ u /u/


ai /aj/ au /aw/ ei /Ej/ oi /Oj/ ou /Ow/ ia /ja/ ie /jE/ io /jO/ iu /ju/ ua /wa/ ue /wE/ ui /wi/ uo /wO/

Vong: Verbal Aspect[]

Vong grammar lacks distinctions of tense as such: that is, the notions past, present, and future are not encoded grammatically by forms of the verb. However, there is a relatively complex system of verbal aspect, distinguishing notions such as events, states, and processes. Unlike tense in English, aspect markers are grammatically optional. Aspect markers are placed immediately after the verb.

uang perfect (retrospective) uim experiential oin continuous iong habitual aun iterative ieng contemplative uong simultaneous

Fueng léng diám. He eats fish. He ate fish. He will eat fish.

Fueng léng uang diám. He has eaten fish. He ate fish.

Fueng léng uim diám. He has eaten fish before. He had the occasion to eat fish.

Fueng léng oin diám. He is eating fish. He is in the process of eating fish.

Fueng léng iong diám. He eats fish all the time. He usually eats fish.

Fueng léng aun diám. He eats fish regularly. He eats fish, then something else, then fish again.

Fueng léng ieng diám. He intends to eat fish. He will eat fish.

Fueng léng uong diám cháung. While eating fish, he talked.

It must be stressed that aspect markers are not indicators of tense. For example, a perfective action may take place in the past or future.

Mái ngàum fueng léng uang diám, fueng kú. Yesterday after he had eaten fish, he slept.

Vèim ngàum fueng léng uang diám, fueng kú. Tomorrow after he eats fish, he will sleep.

Vong: Vocabulary[]

As Vong is an isolating language, words are not inflected or do not change form, so if you are searching for a word that is not in the vocabulary, but there is another close word, then use that word. For example, if you cannot find the Vong word for "beauty," a noun in English, then use the Vong word for "beautiful," an adjective in English.

1600 Words[]

about (pertaining to; on the topic of) above, over gùm across (at / to the other side of) òi after (later than; in the future of) ngàum around, encircling, surrounding bàu at (in the same location as) chiun because of, due to uo before, in front of, ahead of (spatially) before, prior to, earlier than behind, in back of, to the rear of fàn between, among, amidst, inter- á beyond, farther than, exceeding jang by means of, via, per, with (using; through instrumentality of) tha during except for, besides, apart from, other than, excluding thú for (to benefit; destined for; for the purpose of) ua for (in exchange for) siung from, out of, away from ang in (located inside of) suè instead of, rather than kiòn like, similar to near, close to shu of (owned by; belonging to; associated with; = genitive) of (containing the measured quantity: "two liters of water") ò on (resting on; touching the top or other surface of) iu outside of, exterior to chèn than, compared to vià through au to, towards, at (moving toward) ù under, below, beneath chì whether eing  with (accompanied by) without, with no ..., lacking no be (intransitive predicative copula) suo be (passive marker; "be X-ed") aung  exist bùn become (begin to be; acquire the quality...) nuè cause (induce something to be/happen) sòu make, render (impart quality X to Y; e.g. "I make you happy") ta do, perform, engage in (specified activity) mo have (possess / be furnished with) giom can (is/are able to ...) should, ought to (is/are expected/advised to ...) vúng this (demonstrative) zien that (demonstrative) and, plus jìn but, however hàin if (on condition that...; supposing that...) giòn or shiù that (e.g. "I know that you are right") luèm also, additionally, too nguám apart, separately here (in/to this place) ziùm how? (in what manner?) shíng how much/many? ueng maybe, perhaps, possibly ziè not dim only, solely, exclusively óng there (at/to that place) together buí what? uam when? (at what time?) è where? (at/to what place?) thiè which/who? uom why? (for what reason?) búng any (no particular one of) mau every, each ngà person, human being ou self eim  baby, infant ai child nió boy uèn girl méi man (adult male person) ngí woman (adult female person) kím family o father sun mother lom marriage (spousal relationship) tou husband ia wife son giun daughter thuèng brother ien sister shí chief, leader oing king choi queen kòing president nguá prime minister àm dictator, tyrant master, lord ngài slave kiúng soldier vìm ambassador na member (of group/organization) pong friend thí enemy ing Mister, Mr. juo Ms., Miss/Mrs. tue Miss gùn Mrs. éi club, society (voluntary association re: a common interest) bàm committee (group appointed to do a task) thái community (individuals sharing space / culture) zuè culture (the customs and beliefs of a people) miòng individual (one considered separately from one's species) kàn people (a people), folk, the members of an ethnic group / nation dong public, populace, the people (as in People's Republic) ue race (group of people with similar characteristics) sháu team, crew, squad po abdomen í anus dòng arm (shoulder to hand) rùm back (dorsal area) beard ói blood vió body hiù bone ui brain breast, mammary ú buttock chi cheek (side of face below eye) dún chest (upper front of torso) chin pie ear lòng egg chò eye nèi face rìng feather feces, dung, excrement bíng fetus (foetus), embryo soi finger thùng fist tai foot (on which something stands) zàm forehead léi gene shò hair (a strand of fibrous material growing from the body) liú hair (the hairs atop one's head thought of as a collective entity) ngi hand muem head ì heart (coronary muscle) téng heel juí hip siòn horn (bone-like growth from animal's head) sàng intestines, gut(s), viscera ngei iris (of eye) hóu kidney bóu knee shi leg io lip áu liver pùng lung eng meat, flesh mouth muscle mióng nail (fingernail) jié navel chai neck nerve tuang nose ngiàn organ (of body) palm (of hand) viù penis mi shell chen shoulder huè skeleton shoim skin jèi spine, backbone gièng stomach cha sweat, perspiration tail làng tear(drop(s)) liùn testicle throat vìn thumb toe tongue (body-part) gúng tooth tòm urine sén vagina fém vein, blood vessel pin waist lèng wing (of bird etc.) kein wound tié wrist nià berry (small pulpy fruit) do bud (of flower/leaf) ngèin flower hio fruit súm leaf kóm nut (hard-shelled fruit/seed with separable shell and kernel) gung pod (seed pod) nion root (of a plant) ruing seed òu sprout (young shoot of plant) ku alive le dead ngom birth mature, adult puin healthy tiung disease, illness, sickness ròi fat, obese, plump záng sex, gender hoi female dei male niú neuter (neither male nor female) fin sense (ability to perceive a given kind of stimuli) pain vóm pleasure kon tired, weary shòn refreshed, zesty, perky shé sleep awake tuàn fever bite zuà breathe kaing catch (stop the motion of and seize in the hands) climb fuá copulate, have sex (with) bam crawl cry out, shout, yell kiam cry, weep vié dance piong die drink hiùm drown (die/kill via immersion) pón eat léng feel (perceive with the tactile sense) la gesture èi hold, grasp kié hunt, pursue (with intent to capture and/or devour) he jump, leap thiùm kick kill vio kiss chuá laugh mon lie (recline horizontally) pi live (be alive) run thuim shave thùm sit (be in a sitting position) ngian smile sneeze zem spit shang squat più stand thá swallow góing swim kin taste (perceive the flavor of) throw, toss thuón touch diè vomit fúng walk jèm wrestle váu animal (non-vegetable creature) shian ant (insect of family Formicidae) giá bear (animal of Ursidae family) zuó bee (member of genus Apis) ngiu bird (egg-laying feathered animal with wings) butterfly buáng cat (Felis catus) gám chicken nám cockroach (insect of order Blattaria) di cow/bull, cattle (bovine animal of either sex) fói deer (animal of family Cervidae) u dog (Canis familiaris) óu donkey, ass (Equus asinus) hiá dragon (winged serpent with crested head and large claws) rièm fish diám fly (small winged insect) vám fox (member of genus Vulpes) mong frog (web-footed tailless leaping amphibian) thèn goat (animal of genus Capra) kìng grasshopper horse (Equus caballus) rión insect guóng lion (Felis leo) mèn lizard dién lobster mammal miu mantis (insect of order Manteodea) hueng monkey, small primate ngeng mosquito fiá mouse kiém pig, swine (omnivorous mammal of family Suidae) kuè rabbit (animal of family Leporidae) zoi reptile muò sheep (Ovis aries) snake, serpent (reptile of suborder Serpentes or Ophidia) tam spider, arachnid suóng squirrel (rodent of family Sciuridae) ei tiger (Felis tigris) féing turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) kuon turtle (reptile of order Testudinata) chué virus kòng whale (large marine mammal of order Cetacea) záim wolf (Canis lupus) nio worm shue apple (tree/fruit of genus Malus) geing bamboo (plant/stem of genera Bambusa / Arundinaria / Dendrocalamus) bòi banana (plant/fruit of genus Musa) fiú bean (lima/snap/etc.: plant/seed of genus Phaseolus or similar) chiém cabbage (plant/leaves of sp. Brassica oleracea capitata) ra carrot (plant/root of sp. Daucus carota sativus) rue coffee (plant/seeds of sp. Coffea arabica) chòum cork (tree/elastic tissue of sp. Quercus suber) fu corn, maize (plant/seeds of sp. Zea mays) cotton (plant/fibers of genus Gossypium) jáing cucumber (Cucumis sativus) nau date (tree/fruit of sp. Phoenix dactylifera) fèng fig (tree/fruit of genus Ficus) záing flax (Linum usitatissimum) sem garlic (herb of sp. Allium sativum) rám ginger (plant/rhizome of genus Zingiber) lué ginseng (plant/root of genus Panax) rian gourd (plant/hard-rinded fruit of genera Lagenaria & Cucurbita) grape (plant/fruit of genus Vitis) vòng grass (monocotyledonous plant of family Gramineae) chó hemp, marijuana (plant/material of sp. Cannabis sativa) gen kelp (seaweed of orders Laminariales and Fucales) luíng lentil (plant/seeds of sp. Lens culinaris) é lettuce (plant/leaves of genus Lactuca) luà mandarin, tangerine (tree/fruit of sp. Citrus reticulata) sáing mint (plant of family Labiatae) mushroom (a complex aerial fleshy fruiting body of a fungus) fei mustard (plant of sp. Brassica hirta / B. nigra / B. juncea) liém oak (tree of genus Quercus) bui oat (plant/seed of genus Avena) jóm olive (tree/fruit of sp. Olea europaea) kuím onion (plant/bulb of sp. Allium sepa) vèn orange (tree/fruit of Citrus sinensis / related spp.) fa pea (plant/seed of sp. Pisum sativum) thém peanut (plant/seed/pod of sp. Arachis hypogaea) fen pepper (hot/sweet/bell pepper -- plant/pod of genus Capsicum) pepper (black -- plant/seed of sp. Piper nigrum) lèi pine (coniferous tree of genus Pinus) tuàng plum (certain trees/fruits of genus Prunus) bo potato (plant/tuber of sp. Solanum tuberosum) jòm rice (plant/seed of sp. Oryza sativa) zang rose (plant/flower of genus Rosa) pio safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) thué sesame (plant/seed of genus Sesamum) bùng soya, soybean (plant/seed of sp. Glycine max) thón spinach (plant/leaves of sp. Spinacia oleracea) je squash, melon (plant/fruit of genus Cucurbita grown for edible fruit) guè sunflower (plant/bloom of sp. Helianthus annuus) sóung tea (plant/leaves of sp. Camellia sinensis) chiè tobacco (plant/leaves of sp. Nicotiana tabacum) tèm tomato (plant/berry of genus Lycopersicon) jèng wheat (plant/seed of sp. Triticum aestivum) jèin bush, shrub miam garden sèn grain(s), cereal crop(s) and their seed(s) harvest, reap jàim plant (a vegetable life-form) hòm tree pia bay (small body of water offset from lake or sea) róing beach, shore vàng cave cliff ruàn cloud kìm desert ngòu earth (terra firma contrasted with sea and heaven) muon earthquake nìm eclipse field (unbroken expanse of land) díng flood, deluge shìm fog bun forest duon hail thuì hill (smaller than a mountain) vái island koin lake lightning làn moon (natural satellite of a planet) the mountain ning nature (that which occurs spontaneously; the non-artificial world) chuàm planet rain rùn rainbow kom river piá sea, ocean chìng sky fùng snow gue star siè storm ding sun swamp, marsh luè thunder kúm tide fiu tornado ngu universe, cosmos rián valley volcano shìn weather biú wind bua world shèn arrow (sharp-tipped shaft shot from a bow) ru axe fièn balloon zái bar, rod barrel, cask fòi basket nuíng bed fou bell lam blade kèm blanket (large piece of soft material used as a cover) fau board bu bomb biò bottle noi bow (for arrows) káung bowl (deep round dish) chie box (rigid rectangular receptacle) tiá brake meng brick (hard clay block) kón broom brush thàn bucket, pail so bullet chuéng button (on a shirt etc.) cage shú can (presealed metal container) {British: tin} zuèng candle jói cannon rói chain (connected series of rings or links) shà chair (furniture for one person to sit on) thói cigarette vuìng clock vin club, cudgel kùn coin miám comb shai computer (electronic instruction-obeying information-handler) nán container shiòm cord, cable (thicker than wire) de cover (thing put onto or extended over something else) ha cup (small bowl with handle) rim curtain thié dial (circle marked with numbers/symbols) siúm dish (any shallow concave container) poim doll, effigy heng dome (anything shaped like an upside-down bowl) nóm drain (device that removes unwanted liquid) kuì drill hièm drum (hollow musical instrument beaten with sticks or hands) ngèi envelope (folded paper covering a letter) viá fan (device to create air current) pòu fence (outdoor barrier supported by posts) file (tool for abrading) roum flag, banner jaum fork (instrument with >=2 prongs for picking up something) me frame (structure supporting or surrounding something) kín furniture rua gear (toothed wheel) jóum guitar (stringed instrument played with the fingers) zio gun (ballistic weapon) hammer thòing handle (part of tool by which it is held) fi hinge ngè hook fiom horn (makes noise when blown) vuà hourglass siun jar, jug (big wide-mouthed bottle) nem key (metal device for operating lock) rem knife ngóng knob ze ladder lamp ái lens sàm lever shuó lock (device for securing doors) goum machine (device with moving parts) choum match (little fire-stick) king microscope thòun mirror hèm motor, engine zéi nail (pointy fastener) góu needle tàn net oven riù package, packet, parcel ngú paddle, oar (stick with broad end) shou pan (broad shallow cooking dish) shia patch (a piece used to cover/repair a flaw) nuàng pedal ngóun pen (writing tool that uses ink) pencil, crayon (writing tool that uses semi-solid substance) pillow, cushion guom pipe (a hard tube for transporting liquid) thiúng plate (shallow dish, usually round) póu plow (plough) ché pocket vén pole, stick (long bar) vín post (vertical pole anchored in ground) zón pot (deep round vessel) naum pulley pump sha rack (framework of bars for storage) jéi radio apparatus, wireless set shì rail (usually horizontal bar for restraining/supporting things) háu rake ài razor tiú rope vàu rug, mat pueng sack, bag sail ngoum saw (tool) tho scale (device to measure weight) bie scissors fe screen, mesh vìng screw (threaded fastener) nèin sign (board with public notice written on it) gén shelf shaum shield (a protective implement) jìng shovel hém spear, lance huì sponge (real/synthetic corpse of animal of phylum Porifera) puà spool, reel (cylinder onto which something is wound) thám spoon guò spring (metal helix) luón staple (fastener) viém strap shuà string (thicker than thread and thinner than rope) nia stylus nging sword sué syringe rein table (piece of furniture with flat top) duóm telephone lio telescope reng television set kuèng toilet, water closet vuom tool, utensil, implement buòn tongs nèng towel váung toy, plaything mu trap veim tray (shallow rectangular dish) chàun umbrella hén valve (flow-controller) baung weapon dio wheel rien wire (long thread-like piece of metal) ngon wrench {British: spanner} gan apron sáun belt piú coat (heavy outer garment with sleeves) hàng collar chú eyeglasses mén garment (item of clothing) káu glove vuàn harness gún hat, cap kèi helmet pué jacket (a short and/or lightweight coat) dió necktie biom pants, trousers shèm shirt ki shorts, trunks (trousers extending no lower than knees) fóin shoe duí skirt, kilt, dress (any torso-garment open at the bottom) sock, hose, stocking zuá uniform (special garments worn by members of a group) veil building, edifice (structure with walls and roof) buè attic, garret ceiling fáu cellar, basement chan chimney vèin door elevator {British: lift} fireplace, hearth deim floor (bottom of room) muà roof sua room, chamber fo stair(s) puèm wall window hàn church (building or institution of public worship) jion factory chóm hospital siém hotel, inn ngiú house (a free-standing man-made dwelling-building) jei library pai mill (place where raw materials are processed) fuè prison, jail fiù school chuam store, shop, boutique hió tavern, bar, pub shom theater university hìng bridge don farm tóin park (public outdoor area) lói market (place where goods are bought/sold/traded) rái tower páim agency, bureau tém army sho authority (the right/power to command) huón campaign (for political office) chin constitution (charter of an organization) diún control píng court (of law) chiò crime pion elect (select by voting) suòng free (at liberty) pói government zió independent ban international da jury hi law (a rule enforced by a government) zùm military von nation, state (political entity) puám obey shóm official (issued with authority) huóng organize (bring X's together to perform a task) lin parliament, congress (legislative body of elected officers) vuam party (political), sect (religious) permit, allow, let police (organization to enforce laws) chuà politics níng prohibit, forbid, contra-permit zui province (of Canada etc.), prefecture, state (of USA etc.) chueng resign thi rule, regulation pu submission, surrender ràing tax bià trial (in court) chéi unite ngóin vote juèng war kiom accept (willingly receive) account (record of money received/paid/owed) zóum bank (monetary institution) thúm bill, invoice (statement of money owed) gu borrow tàung business, commerce thù buy, purchase thiá cheap, inexpensive shim check (written order directing a bank to pay from an account) shuèn company (a business organization), firm ráu contract (agreement-document) ge credit (permission to borrow money) debt, obligation to pay chùng exchange, trade, swap hiú expensive, costly ji frugal, thrifty nguén generous, charitable get, acquire, gain, obtain bóng give nuí insurance (protective contractual arrangement) roim invest fiò job, employment sóm keep, retain, go on having (e.g. "you should keep this book") chù lack (be without) tàing lend niúng lose (cease having; contra-acquire) vam merchandise, goods, wares chim money offer (present for acceptance or rejection) chèng own (possess according to law or custom) pay poor, impoverished thò price, cost kià private (contra-public) che prize, award báu profit, gain provide, supply, furnish sai public (available to most or all persons) teng punish chài receive niong reject, refuse (contra-accept) luem responsibility, liability, accountability ging reward giò rich, wealthy dém sell seim steal (take in a criminal way) bém store, cache, reserve, reservoir pou take (in the sense of E-o "preni", G "nehmen", Sp "tomar") ticket, coupon zong value (the quality of being useful and/or desirable), worth fuéng angel, fairy (supernatural flying humanoid) hàing bless (wish good upon) ni curse, damn (wish evil upon) làung ghost (manifestation of dead person's soul) mèm god, diety gòi heaven, celestial realm, Valhala etc. féi hell, Hades ngiòn holy, sacred shòu magic, sorcery vang pray (communicate with god(s)) lien priest, clergyman máin religion be revelation, mystical vision thiòn ritual, rite, ceremony theng soul, spirit (believed to outlive the body) shuì admire alert sòn angry zàn approve (of) zìn art (creative craft; productive use of talent) attention (active perception) ziung behavior, conduct liún believe (accept as true) bong blame shuin boring, tedious ngùm calculate, reckon care, concern (about someone / something) báing caution, prudence, carefulness luòn celebrate, rejoice thó choose, pick (out), select one of many possibilities lium comfort (freedom from pain and/or worry) gém compare hón conscious, aware chuòn courage, bravery gom dear, precious, cherished lìn decide ziéng disappointment fuím distinguish, differentiate, tell one from another nuóm doubt chià dream tìm embarrassment kiáng enthusiasm, zeal gèm expect, anticipate (believe that X will come/happen) thín experience (consciously live through an event) favor, prefer fear (be afraid of) hia feel (experience an emotion/sentiment) dán foolish lín forget (contra-remember) gi forgive, pardon dum funny, comical nie grateful, thankful pió greedy thóing guard, monitor, watch over guess, conjecture lèm guide, lead chìm guilty, blame-worthy ngón habit, custom, routine practice móu happy lei hate shèi hope niùm humble, modest kuém idea, concept (thought-bundle) zei imagine bóim important sún innocent, contra-guilty ba insane, crazy, mad intelligent zùn intend, mean to, do deliberately, have as a purpose lám interest (desire to pay attention to something), fascination bàin invent (plan something which has never been made before) jealousy, envy lán judge (compare something to criteria), form an opinion about kui know te knowledge ko learn lèn like, enjoy (derive pleasure from) kio logic (formalized process of reasoning) róm lonely (feeling undesirable solitude) kión love loyal pòm mercy heim mind róu mystery vòm neglect, negligence, apathy nice, kind, affable nian notice, observe ruò opinion féng patience ngé peace (freedom from fighting or turmoil) leing perceive, detect ziúm pity, feel compassion toward, feel sorry for luó plan, design foin play (performed by actors on stage), drama lan pretend, act, feign pride (proudness; self-respect) muìng reason, explanation, justification, rationale reasoning, rational thought pen recognize nga regret remember hum respect, venerate, esteem juò revenge, vengeance, retribution, getting even shuè sad, unhappy, melancholy zoung satisfaction va seek, search (for), look for shiong seem, appear to be, give the impression of ngaung serious, earnest, grave chuèng shame kuòm study pe stupid nàu subject, topic of discussion shiùm suppose, presume surprise, startle tham talent, skill, knack teach chéng tempt ráng theory shuèm think siù trust bán understand, comprehend róin want, wish, desire shau whim, caprice zu wise péim worry, anxiety shong address (postal co-ordinates) thiú admit, confess juó advertisement ri advice chóum alphabet pàung announce, proclaim mung answer, reply to a question or argument tiam article, essay (piece of text about one topic) ján ask, inquire móung book jung call, summon hám chapter (main division of book) she chart, diagram ráum claim, assertion (statement of unknown accuracy) kài code (cryptographic system) nìng command, order, directive shím communication (exchange of information) tiò consonant (non-vowel) shá criticize luìng deny (say that X is not true) jíng describe pàu dictionary sum discuss, talk about luí document chà emphasize, accentuate, stress gòng fact (undisputed datum) fiction kuo file (dossier; loose bundle of data) mua grammar (rules and structure of a language) history (organized account of past events), chronicle tium indicate huéng information bai insult liá invite ke issue, edition (of periodical etc.) péng label niàng language (the verbal communication technique of a people) tau letter (a message written and mailed) vièn lie (utter a known falsehood) mai list ráim magazine (periodical publication) biòm mail (transmit postally) map (drawing of planet's surface) pem meaning (semantic content of a word) zéng message (batch of transmitted information) fun movie, motion picture buìng name ngóu news, tidings bòm newspaper kau noise (confused/randomized sound/stimuli) nguen note, annotation thom page (one side of a sheet of paper in a book) photograph liòng poem hué praise, compliment, laud re print (to copy marks by pressing inked objects on paper) maim promise (a claim about one's future actions), pledge fuo protest, objection kèng question, query hoim quote, cite vuè read record (a cache of information) niu request, ask for say, tell, express in words chòm secret thìn sentence (of words) huá sing àu speak, talk cháung story, report li suggest, propose (offer an idea) siùng syllable symbol, sign, token pàng thank (express gratitude toward) vai vocabulary (sum of words available to a person/people) thàin voice guén vowel chá warn joi word ruáng write jiàn game (a rule-governed system of competitive amusement) thió game, match (one particular encounter between competitors) dóin athletics (games involving physical skill), sports score (the tally of points in a competition) puó umpire, referee, official tháim ball (spheroidal plaything) tùn bat, stick, racket/racquet (any ball-hitting tool) sáng ski hím baseball vaim basketball tháng football (association f~), soccer vún football (American/tackle f~) lun gymnastics hockey bím pool, billiards dóim tennis pùm chess song play, recreate, frolic dòm same, identical góum similar sín different miùm other, another shó change (become/make different), vary kúng imitate, mimic zuong original, non-imitative prototype, exemplar, archetype, model (for all Xs) nòun copy (a duplicate) sie zero thòi one rum two ngáin three four sue five six dièng seven biá eight daun nine ngàm ten jui hundred cheing thousand juíng million go half (1/2) ruàng quantity (amount / number / magnitude) puìng number, numeral (a word or symbol indicating quantity) count, enumerate siò measure nueng ratio, rate, proportion kòung add, append, join so as to cause an increase thì remove, subtract, take away, delete luì increase (become or make greater in quantity) shuòng decrease (become or make lesser in quantity) kíng multiply juóm divide púng total, sum, aggregate ngù rest (of ...), remainder, leftovers, remnant mòim whole, entire, complete thuá all (the whole number or entire sum of) many (a large number of) tín few (a small number of) ting much (a large quantity of) tèi more (a larger quantity of) thang most (the largest quantity of) thuán little (a small quantity of) fem less (a smaller quantity of) dué least (the smallest quantity of) jué part kie piece (a part broken/cut/separated from something larger) shiún section, segment (a part somehow different/separated from others) shuèng allocation, allotment, portion (someone's share of X) shoi group ju batch (quantity of things done/produced at one time) tièm bundle, bunch (group of things tied or grouped together) móm majority jiúng minority zèim density shuòm dense (of much density), concentrated, thick, intense ruòn rarefied, tenuous, diffuse, dilute, sparse, wispy gie full, filled dúng empty tóm degree (the extent/intensity/scope of an action/condition/relation) kún at least, not less than (>=) cho at most, only, just, merely, not more than (<=) sáu much, very (to a large degree; with great intensity) zàun more (to a larger degree) ním most (to the largest degree) chiu little (to a small degree; with almost no intensity) shìng less (to a smaller degree) fón least (to the smallest degree) zòi enough, sufficiently nóu almost, nearly thio too much, excessively fóung too little, insufficiently rím size (degree of largeness or smallness) juang huge, enormous, gigantic shen big, large (of much size) vong small (of little size) zìng tiny, minuscule expand, grow chún shrink, contract zaung distance (amount of space from X to Y) shóng far (at / to a great distance) póun near (at / to a little distance) vuím present (existing in the indicated place; contra-absent) rúm absent jou place, location shiu length (distance from one end to the other) juim long (of much length) lóin short (of little length) shiúm width (degree of wideness or narrowness) wide, broad (of space between objects) ping narrow, of little width (of space between objects) jùn thickness (of a solid object, etc.) dòum thick, fat (large from one surface to the opposite surface) hom thin, slender (small from one surface to the opposite surface) fuìng height (distance from ground / baseline to top) toing high, tall (of much height) low, short (not tall; of little height) lím depth (distance from ground / baseline down to bottom) nòu deep, profound (of much depth) rúng shallow (of little depth) horizontal juá vertical thu diagonal, slanted ngia sloped, inclined/declined (not horizontal) diàng angle (the relation of two lines radiating from a point) tie position (location relative to others) sòm region, area (a quantity of space within boundaries) véng space, room, void zun connection, joint, junction mán environment, surroundings, context mio front jió rear, back part of thia side, flank, lateral area middle, center móim top, peak, summit giùng bottom puang edge ve inner, internal, interior zaing outer, exterior, external tièng limit, boundary jeng find (discover the location of) jài misplace (lose; become unable to find) gia direction (orientation of motion) giàn up dáum down mió north ne south hùn east rau west tiù right(-hand) left(-hand) chaung away (from this or that place) duom back (to previous place / condition) zue inverted, upside-down thin backward (in reverse order) moing direct, immediate (with no intermediaries or obstacles) hiu serpentine, meandering, convoluted muí city rong land, country, territory oim  village zuòng rural area, countryside sim source, origin ram route, path, course liòn destination gáing aim (to point/direct X toward Y) múm attract avoid, evade, keep away from gau barrier, obstacle kue base, node, station (point from which things go or are done) séim bring (cause something to come along with one toward a place) tóing capture, seize sang carry (move while supporting) lui come, arrive (at indicated place) drift, wander chón drive, impel, propel zuám emit (to send out any form of matter/energy in any manner) shàm enter, go into fuò escape, flee from tím fly (move through the air) fién forward, ahead nuà gather, collect (bring or come together) lòm go (move from starting point to elsewhere) journey, trip, voyage thióm leave, depart, go away from load, burden diem meet, encounter, come across lóim miss, fail to hit/reach/see etc. thei move (engage in motion / cause to engage in motion) liam put, place, translocate reach, extend as far as hin release (quit keeping/restraining) fóing remain, stay nguím repel shièm restrain, inhibit, hold back guó retrieve, fetch (go to X and bring it back) zòm return (go or send back to previous place/condition) ngém ride (sit/perch in/on a vehicle/horse/etc. and travel) roll (move like a ball/cylinder by turning over and over) tiè send, dispatch, transmit chuìng slide, slip, glide gué stretch, extend turn, divert (send in a different direction) vuì turn, rotate, revolve déng visit piúm airplane, aircraft kòu bicycle fai boat kuen bus vèing canal, channel, ditch jàun car, automobile (wheeled motor vehicle) se cart, carriage, wagon (wheeled vehicle; not self-propelled) jua motorcycle port giè railroad zing road nuo rocket ngói ship buà street thìng train (of railroad) to truck {British: lorry} (motor vehicle for cargo-carrying) shuìn vehicle gàu age (degree of oldness / youngness) zíng young (of little age; having existed/lived for a brief time) pieng old (of much age; having existed/lived for a long time) théi new, novel, recent (having been known for a brief time) hong old (of long standing; having been known for a long time) gian permanent, perpetual lái constant, invariant, stable sio temporary, transient jiang interval (quantity of time between events X and Y) ngòm irregular, sporadic, intermittent puo regular, periodic (at uniform intervals) gai rhythm time (e.g. "do it 3 times"), occasion, instance, iteration ngou again, once more, re- giú alternate, take turns (do X then Y then X then Y) roi cycle (one complete performance of a periodic process) kèin frequency (degree of oftenness or seldomness) mòn frequently, often pau seldom, rarely puè duration (amount of time consumed) long (of much duration) húm short, brief (of little duration) ren gradual léin sudden, abrupt zain begin, commence, start tói continue, keep on doing/being chàu pause, hesitate, suspend action temporarily end, conclude, finish tài cease, stop doing, quit ming delay, retard, tarry, postpone nàin rush, hurry, hasten chei period, era, epoch thui moment, an instant always (at all times) vòn ever (at any time) ngum never ngìng time (the dimension/continuum of past-present-future) bum past (the p~), earlier time shòum present (the present time; the now) véi future (the f~) cháim already (prior to the time mentioned) béi still, yet (even until the time mentioned) dóng yesterday mái today zai tomorrow vèim long ago (in the far past) guam recently (in the near past) kiò now (at this time) vuing soon (in the near future) liàm eventually (in the far future) niò early, premature thuo timely, prompt, on time miàn late, tardy shuí speed, velocity (degree of fastness or slowness) kòn quickly, rapidly, swiftly (with much speed) fòm slowly (with little speed) za series (a number of similar things following one another) sequence, order (temporal arrangement of events in a series) dun last, final (after all others) ron prior, preceding, previous, contra-next zòn next (coming immediately after; "tomorrow" = the next day) hàum season shòin spring (the season) zi summer puòng autumn, fall bing winter century thaim year ruim month week pái day (24-hour period) gèim date (coordinates of a day given in some timekeeping system) ngoi day (daytime -- as opposed to night), diurnal period liang night veng morning (dawn to noon) gaum noon chiùn afternoon (noon to dusk) nguàn evening (dusk to midnight) kuò midnight ziu graveyard shift, middle of the night (midnight to dawn) ríng hour (60 minutes) siàm minute (60 seconds) guòng second (1/60th of a minute) nen holiday dan sabbath (day of week with religious significance) réi wait (for), await dìng air dàng alcohol róum ash fuón brass (copper-zinc alloy) carbon puín chalk gáu chemical (substance made by or used in chemistry) fiun clay ngiùm cloth, fabric (material made of threads) coal ngó copper pàn dirt, earth (tangible), soil miá dust táng element (substance of irreducible simplicity) bung fat (oily/greasy material from animal adipose tissue or plant seeds) jéin fuel pín glass zo gold (the precious metal) ice diom ink thài iron mié jade (the tough green gemstone) bén jewel, gem siú lead (the metal) jiám leather (prepared hide) muen medicine (substance that makes one healthy) zuén metal ngá mineral, ore gum mud bim neon daung nitrogen ga oil (a combustible fatty liquid that will not mix with water) vu oil (crude oil), petroleum duán oxygen gin paint puì paper sàing plastic (synthetic/processed moldable material) guá poison, toxin lian potassium ràun quartz vóng rock, stone zen rubber huám salt tong sand jiú silk néi silver (the metal) zín soap viò sodium guàm steam nun steel ngun sulfur fòng tar (dark viscous liquid obtained by destructive distillation) tin (the metal) ngì water voi wax ngo wood (the substance) jáu wool thim beer dom bitter lai bread bòn butter chúng cheese chùn chocolate nàn flavor, taste ngáng flour (grain-powder) zèn food huím honey hiè milk jiù pasta, noodles luáng pizza giàm salad tén sandwich chìn sausage viám soup jin sour pei spice, seasoning shein sugar gòin sweet fuìm vinegar lúng wine vùng arch puén band, tape, flat strip kam block (solid flat-surfaced mass of material) mùn branch (small part going out from main part) fuòm bump, protrusion dèing card (stiff rectangle of material) fóu circle piùng coil dàin cone jueng crack, fissure chòi cross (perpendicular intersection of linear items) foi crystal kuam cube dang curve cylinder lùng dent, nick, indentation ngiong disk, disc déing drop (of liquid) pang film (very thin layer) vuon flared (opening up or spreading out from axis) shè foam, froth fiàn form, shape sau furrow, rut, groove ngai garbage, trash, rubbish ruèng gas chió helix (any corkscrew-shaped object) sià hole thóu jelly (gelatinous semi-solid material), gel thóum juice (fluid extracted from something) jùng layer ruè line (series of contiguous points) houn liquid ruem loop, circuit, closed curve thòm lump, clod, blob, piece of no particular shape luo mark (visible traces left behind) chàim matter, material, substance hòn object (concrete tangible thing) zuìm opening, orifice duó oval, ellipse riùn parallel chiàng paste (any thick soft dough-like material) lieng pattern (apparent systematic interrelationship) duim pile, heap, stack of things or of a substance shiám plane (flat surface) jan plug, seal, stopper fum powder tuéng pyramid tua ray rectangle zuìn ring, torus jóu rust, corrosion lon scratch sin sheath chong sheet (thin rectangle of paper/cloth/etc.) kuàn shower, sprinkle dèn smoke thèm solid (not a gas or liquid) tuì sphere rún spike, barb, cleat, thorn vi spiral, whorl máng square dói stripe chio surface suó swelling, inflation mòi tapered (becoming narrower toward an end) muìn thread, filament niè triangle chém wave jièm wedge gíng wrinkle, crease sùm flat, planar zoim level, even (on the same level) séin smooth chiem rough, coarse, contra-smooth lum straight (not bent) gài bent ngau pure, unadulterated, uncontaminated màu clean dirty, contra-clean ruíng open (not shut) ran closed, shut guo wet sám dry chuém sharp, keen, pointy, acute gón dull, blunt (of little sharpness) chuè soft, malleable, yielding to pressure chióng hard, firm, resistant to pressure ròing flexible (easily able to bend) sòi stiff, rigid sháum elastic (able to regain shape/size after deformation) hùng durable, resilient, robust, strong (in this sense) fragile, delicate feim weight (degree of heaviness or lightness) heavy (of much weight) kìn light (of little weight) fuong solid (contra-hollow) tuin hollow paing snug (just large enough to contain X), tight (in this sense) shòi loose (contra-snug), baggy béing taut, tight, tense, strained zié loose (contra-taut), slack diáng viscous, thick (of high viscosity) cham runny, thin (of little viscosity) piò absorb men adhere (hold tightly to / stick to something) long beat (repeatedly hit), batter pèn blow (move/cause to move as a current of gas) min boil rèing bounce, rebound zuém break (into pieces) mui build (join materials to create), construct sei burn gèn burst kòi consume, deplete, expend, exhaust, use up jàin contain zùng crush (press on so as to break or re-shape) cut shúng dig suang dissolve réng evaporate ngèn explode ngung float fán flow (travel in a current) fold lóum freeze jie grind shié hang, suspend, dangle jòi hit, strike fàin melt thou mix, blend nguò pollute, contaminate ziong pour (cause to flow) jòng preserve, maintain (keep X in good condition) búm press (do pressure to; push upon with weight or force) juín pry {British: prize} (raise/open/move with a lever) púm pull (draw something toward oneself) fiám push (press on something in order to move it) tuèm rot, decay fia rub, abrade ho sew hùm shake shoot (cause to rapidly go forth) miòn sink suì spill (accidentally emit liquid) puèn spread (begin to cover or cause X to cover more area) kiám stab, jab lie stir, agitate koim suck thàng sweep chéing tear, rip rán tie, bind màn trim, prune (cut off ragged edges) hài wash thòn weave wrap sham acid(ic) záu alkaline riu atom balance, equilibrium duáng basis, foundation (part which supports the rest) ti electricity tòu energy bòun fire báun force kueng gravity ròm magnet zuo molecule leng power fèim smell, odor, aroma ruéng strength (ability to exert physical power) kien stroke, jolt, blow of force hen vacuum hiám vapor, mist béng polarity (electric, magnetic, etc.) shèin positive sion negative zia gentle, mild jue violent, harsh goi see tiòm light (visible electro-magnetic radiation) thàim color fan shadow, shade làun shine (radiate light) shiò picture, image bright (with much light present) suà dark, dim (with little light present) bié black jián gray {British: grey} kiú white ngium red puí orange (having a hue between red and yellow) lòn yellow dèm green zàin blue thue purple liù brown jàng beautiful shuim ugly duòn ornament, decoration shun blemish, blot dià hide, conceal zan reveal, disclose faim examine, inspect guà show, exhibit, display chian sound (audible waves in the air) silent vùn quiet, soft, faint (of little sonic intensity) ka loud (of much sonic intensity) shéing hear hing music chem tone, pitch (frequency of sound waves) ngión whistle liun temperature (relative amount of heat present) chuáng heat, warmth chè cold, chilly, frigid sui cool hie warm luá hot shúm bake (cook or harden by means of dry heat) duong cook (prepare by applying heat) choim happen, occur hàun accident (unintentional and unexpected event) ruá miracle thiom disaster, catastrophe chiùng act, deed chói activity, bustle, ado máu result, consequence ngám agree buám fight, combat bìng protect, defend rín attack chùm good kum bad núng category, classification pióng kind, sort, type, variety (of...) huang certain, sure màim probable (likely to happen/be) rià cooperate, collaborate kùng compete, strive, vie rióng help, assist, aid shum interfere, hinder ziàng succeed zóm fail jàn simple fuóng complex shiàm condition, state, status nián create, make (bring into existence) ngàun destroy (contra-create; cause to cease existing) shiè safety, security ngià danger (situation in which harm is probable) diù easy pén difficult, hard mión true false, untrue mom famous riú obscure, unheard of diú injure, damage, harm kém repair, fix shòng flaw, defect, imperfection dóu native (naturally belonging to a given realm) chon chief, main, primary, principal ngén auxiliary roung normal, ordinary, usual vàm strange, weird, unusual, peculiar shán trouble, difficulty kei real, actual kuí trick, chicanery nom right, correct shù wrong, incorrect sien reside, dwell, live fien camp, bivouac, temporary shelter nu nest, den, lair (an animal's self-made house) mòin represent (act as a substitute for) biòn substitute, surrogate (temporary replacement) shòm replacement (permanent substitute/substitution) neng common, general (shared by all members of a group) kuáng specific, special, particular mum ability, capacity (to do something) guém artificial (deliberately made by humans) gín automatic chái chance, randomicity, luck civilization chiam clear, plain (easy to see/understand) ngòng compromise feing consist of, be composed of kuan depend on, rely on nuim deserve, merit, be worthy of váum detail chua entitle uing  equal méin evil zàim exact, precise fóng example, sample kuén exercise, practice (effort made to improve skills/health) zìm experiment puón fertile ròu harmony (pleasing combination of stimuli) siùn just, fair, equitable táu match (a thing suitably associated with another) kong method, manner, way (of doing), technique thaung mutual, reciprocal thua naked, nude, exposed (without the usual cover) boim necessary, needed, required póm need, require ngòing possible (able to happen or be done) tuam prevent (keep from happening) thàu process, procedure huìn program rióm progress, advancement vuóm project, undertaking, venture thuáng proof, evidence quality, trait, attribute, characteristic fèi ready, prepared for a task / event mieng relationship, association bei right (a right to do/be ...) hua role (an individual's function) théng save, rescue jàm species chui suitable, proper, fit(ting), appropriate chun system tàm task, chore, job, assignment fuíng technology múng tendency, propensity, inclination fuòng try, attempt, endeavor vom use, utilize keim vogue, trend, fad, fashion chòng waste, misuse fung wild, feral, untamed hiùng work, effort, labor, toil sìm riot sèng science kóin serve (provide service to) toi set (complete group of similar items) gáung strike (work stoppage as protest) tiùm support test, check ja torture, torment lé