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Mando'a sentence structure is very similar to English/Basic: that is, subject-verb-object. There are a few points to remember, though. Keep in mind that Mando'a is intended primarily as a spoken language, and rules are put in place to make it easily pronounceable.
Most words in their plural form look the same, but with an e at the end. If the singular noun ends in a vowel, the plural will then end in se. There are exceptions, however, like Gett'se.
The plural diminutive form of ad would be Ad'ike because the diminuative is Ad'ika. One should drop the a and put an e there instead.
Word merging in Mando'a
Many words in Mando'a are merged out of two or more other words, but the translation is usually only one word. Literally, those merged words have a normal, sensible meaning. A good example is dar'jetii which, literally translated, is "no longer a jedi", but which is actually used to mean "Sith". There is no stated rule about word merging, but it remains an important aspect of Mando'a.
An apostrophe is used in words to indicate that two have been put together, as in compound nouns. When a compound word is difficult to say, the speaker elides; Mando'a is primarily a spoken language, so ease of pronunciation is paramount. Instead of saying vore entye, for example, the phrase becomes Vor'entye, which is transformed into Vor'e.
The letters x, z, and f are not in Mando'a, although a sound similar to that of f presents itself with vh, and z is made into s.
In Mando'a, prefixes are freestanding, and precede other words in a sentence. For example, tion is the interrogative prefix, so Karen, tion mhi hibira Mando'a iviin'yc? means: Karen, are we learning Mando'a quickly?
Use of "the" and "a/an"
The words "the" and "a/an" aren't used much in Mando'a, except for emphasis. There are a few Mando'a words for "the," the main one being te.
There are two forms of most verbs: the infinitives, which end in r, and everything else, which does not use the r. For example, you wouldn't say Ni vorer, but Ni vore. When using auxiliaries like ven or liser, the auxiliary is conjugated and then followed by the infinitive of the full verb. An example would be: "Gar lise jorhaa'ir." ("You can speak.")
Adjectives from nouns
To turn a noun into an adjective, the suffixes -la (lah) and -yc (sh) can be used, either of which may be chosen depending on ease of pronunciation. A popular example of this is Di'kut. Di'kut itself means, essentially, idiot. But to turn it into an adjective, the -la suffix is added, resulting in Di'kutla. The suffix -la is used merely because it merges more easily with Di'kut than would -yc; such remains the case under all similar circumstances.
Superlatives and Comperatives
Comparatives and superlatives tend to be constructed from adjectives with the suffix -shy’a for the comparative (e.g. dralshy’a: brighter, stronger) or -ne for the superlative (e.g. jatne: best).
- Note: The following section contains words that some may consider to be unsuitable for younglings.
The following are all known Mando'a words, and the most accurate possible translations thereof. It should be noted that Mando'ade are a garrulous people, and Karen Traviss is British, and as such, the following list includes both obscenities and British slang.
As a special note, it needs to be said that there is no word for "hero" in Mando'a - only a word for those who are not heroes, but "cowards": hut'uun/e.
- Atiniir (ah-teen-EER) - to endure, to stick with, to tough it out
- Baatir (BAH-teer) - to care, to worry about
- Beten - to sigh
- Brokar - to beat (heartbeat, drumbeat)
- Cuyir - to be, to exist
- Dinuir (DEE-noo-eer) - to Give
- Duraanir - to look down upon, to hold in contempt, to despise
- Duumir - to allow
- Ganar -to have
- Hettir - to burn
- Hibirar - to learn
- Hukaatir (HOO-kaht-EER) - to protect, to cover, to shield
- Jorso’ran - shall bear (archaic)
- Jurir - to bear, to carry
- Jorhaa'ir - to speak
- Jurkadir - to mess with someone (lit: to brandish a saber)
- Kar'taylir - to know
- Liser - to be able to, can
- Motir - to stand
- Narir (nah-REER) - to act (carry out), to do
- Nartir (nah-ree-TEER) - to place, to put
- Nau'ur (also: sometimes seen as naur) (now-00R) - to light up
- Nau'ur kad - to forge a saber
- Nynir - to hit, to strike
- Parjir - to win, to be victorious
- Shabiir - to screw up
- Shukur - to break, to smash/tear apart, to crush
- Solus - each, individual, alone
- Susulur - to hear, to listen
- Takisir - to insult
- Trattok’o - fall, fail
- Udesiir - to relax, to rest, to be peaceful
- Verborir - to buy, to hire, to contract
- Vorer - to accept
Adjectives & Adverbs
- A'denla - vengeful
- Adenn - merciless
- Aruetyc (ah-roo-ay-TEESH) - traitorous
- Atin (ah-TEEN) - stubborn
- Briikase - happy
- Dar (dahr) - no longer
- Darasuum - eternal/eternally, forever
- Di'kutla - foolish, idiotic (severe)
- Draar (drahr) - never
- Dral - bright
- Dralshy'a (drahl-SHEE-ya) - stronger, more powerful
- Ge'tal - red
- Hettyc - burning
- Hut'uunla (hoo-OON-lah) - cowardly
- Iviin'yc - fast, quickly
- Jatne (JAT-nay) - best
- Kandosii - indomitable, noble, ruthless
- Mirdala - clever
- Nau - before
- Ne'tra - black
- Ori (OH-ree) - big, extreme, very
- Racin - pale
- Shabla - modifier used for emphasis, comparable to "fucking" (severe)
- Shukla - crushed
- Talyc - bloody (can be used to describe meat as "rare")
- Teroch - pitiless
- Tome - together
- Tracyn'la - grilled, chargrilled, scorched
- Troch - certainly
- Ures - without
- Solus - one, alone, each, individual, vulnerable
- Usen'ye - rudest way to tell someone to go away (same root as osik)
- Abesh - east
- Abiik - air
- A’den - wrath, rage
- Adu - sons (archaic)
- Ad - son, daughter, child
- Ad'ika - kid, lad, boy, sweetie, darling
- Aka (AH-kah) mission
- Akaan - war
- Akaan'ade (AH-kahn-AH-day) army
- Aliit (ah-LEET) - family, clan
- Aruetii (ah-roo-AY-tee) - traitor, outsider, comparable to "them"
- Aruetiise (ah-roo-ay-TEE-say) - Aruetii, plural
- Ba'buir - grandfather
- Beroya (bair-OY-ah) bounty hunter
- Beskar - Mandalorian iron
- Beskar'gam - Mandalorian armor
- Behot - a citrus-flavored herb, antiseptic, and mild stimulant
- Birgaan - backpack
- Buir (boo-EER) - father
- Burc'ya (BOOR-sha) - friend
- Buy'ce - helmet; colloquial: pint, bucket
- Ca - night
- Chakaar - thief, petty criminal, scumbag, bitch, bastard, bugger, (lit: "grave robber")
- Chig (CHEEG) - any kind of hot drink, an infusion
- Coruscanta - Coruscant
- Cyar'tomade - fans, a group of people with affection for something
- Darasuum (dah-RAH-soom) - eternity
- Dar'buir (DAHR boo-EER) - no longer a father (very shameful)
- Dar'manda (dahr-MAHN-da) - a state of being "not Mandalorian"; not an outsider, but one who has lost his heritage, and so his identity and soul
- Dar'jetii - no longer a Jedi (Sith, dark Jedi)
- Dar'yaim - a hell, a place you want to forget
- Dha (dah) - Dark
- Di'kut (dee-KOOT) - a foolish, idiotic, useless individual (severe); context-dependent: can mean dickhead, wanker, dumbass, jerk, moron, idiot, etc.
- Droten (DROH-ten) - people, public.
- Entye (ENT-yay} - debt
- Gal - ale
- Gayi'kaab - radio
- Gett - nut
- Ge'verd (ge-VAIRD) - almost a warrior
- Gihaal (gee-HAAL) - fish-meal
- Gra'tua (gra-TOO-ah) - revenge, vengeance
- Hut'uun (hoo-TOON) - coward
- Ib'tuur - today (lit: "this day")
- Jai'galaar - shriek-hawk
- Jetii (Jay-tee) - (the) Jedi
- Jetiise - (the) Republic, plural "Jedi"
- Ka’ra - stars
- Ka’rta - heart
- Kad - saber
- Kad'au (kahd-OW) - lightsaber
- Kama - backside, back, belt-spat
- Kaminiise - Kaminoans
- Ke'gyce - command, order
- Kom’rk - gauntlet
- Kando (KAHN-do) - importance, weight
- Kot - strength
- Kote - glory, might
- Kyr’am - death
- Mand'alor - Mandalore
- Manda'yaim - Mandalore
- Mando'ad - Mandalorian (lit: Son/Daughter/Child of Mandalore)
- Mirshe - brain, brains
- Mirsh - brain cell
- Ne'tra gal - black ale
- Or'dinii - complete lunatic
- Osik - equivalent of "poodoo"
- Parjai - victory
- Prudii - shadow
- Rang - ash
- Runi - soul
- Tal - blood
- Tar - starfield, space, star, sky
- Tat - brother (Concord Dawn dialect for vod)
- Taungsarang - the ash of the Taung
- Tor - justice
- Tracinya - flame
- Tracyn - fire
- Troan - face
- Tsad - alliance, group, organization
- Tuur - day
- Shebs - backside, ass
- Siit - Sith
- Shuk'om - Crushgaunt
- Uj'alayi (OOH-jah-LIE-ee) - a very dense, very sweet cake made from crushed nuts, dried fruit and spices, and then soaked in a sticky scented syrup called uj'jayl. Colloquially known as an Uj cake.
- Uj'Jayl (ooh-JAI-ul) - a sticky scented syrup
- Ven - future
- Verd - warrior
- Vhett - farmer
- Vod (VOHD) - brother, sister, comrade
- Vode (VOH-day) - brothers, sisters, comrades
- Vod'ika - little brother, little sister
- Werda - shadows (archaic)
- Aliit ori'shya taldin - "Family is more than blood." Mandalorian Proverb.
- "Aruetyc Jetii'la hut'uun! Mhi Mando'ade ven shuku gar shebs." - "Traitorous cowardly Jedi. We Mandalorians will beat your ass.”
- Copaani gaan? - Need a hand?
- "Gar aruetyc jetiise lise nau'ur ca ti jetii'kade, a'a'denla Siite hibira atiniir darasuum." - "You traitorous Jedi can light up the night with your lightsabers, but the vengeful Sith learn to endure forever."
- Gedet'ye - please
- K'atini - Suck it up!
- Kandosii! - "Awesome!"
- Ke'pare, ke baslana meh mhi Kyrayc - "Stand by, (and) get out if we don't make it."
- Ke'pare - "Stand by"
- Udesii - "calm down", "take it easy"
- Su'cuy! - a friendly greeting (lit: "still live," i.e. "so you're still alive.")
- Re'turcye mhi! - goodbye, equivalent to the French au revoir
- Ret'ini - Just in case
- Cuy'val Dar - "Those who no longer exist"
- Vor’e (VOHR-ay.) - thanks, short form of vor entye
- Vor entye - thank you (lit: "I accept your debt")
- Mir'osik - something undesirable where your brains ought to be, i.e. "Shit for brains"
- Wayii, ni mirdala dalal'ika! - "Golly gosh, what a jolly clever girl I am!"
- Haili cetare (HI-lee ket-AH-ray) - Eat up, equivalent to the French Bon appetit
- Mar'e (MAH-ray) - expression of relief colloquial: "At last!"
- Ke'sush (Keh-SOOSH) - "Atten-shun!", the good old army command
- Verd ori'shya beskar'gam. - "A warrior is more than (his) armor" (Mandalorian proverb)
- Ner vod (nair vohd) - "my brother" colloquial: "(my) buddy/pal/lad/chap"
- Duraani, burc'ya? - "Are you looking at me funny, pal?" (colloquial)
- Usenye (oo-SEN-yay) - "Go away!"
- Tion'ad hukaat'kama? (Tee-ON-ahd HOO-kaht-KA-ma) - "Who's watching your back?"
- Ori'jate - "Very good"
- Mirsh'kyramud (MEERSH-keer'AH-mood) - boring person (lit: "brain killer")
- Ke nu jurkad sha Mando'ade, burc'ya! - "Don't mess with Mandos, mate!" (lit: "Don't wave your saber at Mandolorians, mate!" )
- Ke nu jurkad ti Mando'ade, burc'ya! - "Don't cross swords with Mandos, mate!"
- Nu jurkad Mando'ade, burc'ya! - a reassurance, comparable to "Steady, mate"
- N'jurkad - "Don't mess with me"
- Tsad droten - Republic, democracy, even government; context-dependent (lit: "people's organization")
- Ib'tuur jatne tuur ash'ad kyr'amur. - "Today is a good day for some other bugger to die." (lit: "This day (is) the best (for) another person to die.")
- Ke narir haar'ke'gyce rol'eta resol! - "Execute Order 66!" (not a Mando'a saying)
- Ni kar'tayli gar darasuum (nee kar-TILE garh dah-RAH-soom) - colloquial: "I love you."
- Mirdala Mird'ika! - "Clever Mird!" (spoken to Walon Vau's pet Strill, Lord Mirdalan)
- Haat, Ijaa, Haa'it - Truth, Honor, Vision —said when sealing a pact
- Hukaat'kama (hu-KAHT-ka-MAH) - Watch my back, watch my six
- K'uur - Hush, Be quiet
- Nar dralshy'a - Try harder
- Gar ru kaymaru kaysh, di'kut: tion'meh kaysh ru jehaati? You killed him, you moron: what if he was lying? (Said by Kal Skirata to Walon Vau in Star Wars Republic Commando: Triple Zero)
- Ni ru kaymaru Niktose. Meh Orjul jehaati, kay kar'tayli me'ni ven kaymaru kaysh I killed the Nikto. If Orjul's lying, he knows I killed him. (Walon Vau to Kal Skirata)
- Ke barjurir gar'ade, jagyc'ade kot'la a dalyc'ade kotla'shya. - "Train your sons to be strong but your daughters to be stronger." Mandalorian saying.
- N 'oya 'kari gihaal, Buir. (Noy-ah KAR-ee gee-HAAL, boo-EER) - I've been hunting fish-meal, Father.
- Kom'rk tsad droten troch nyn ures adenn, Dha Werda Verda a'den tratu. - They were the wrath of the warrior's shadow and the Gauntlet of the Republic (A line Mandalorian war song adapted for the Republic Commandos).
- A - but
- An - all
- Ashi - other
- Ast - itself
- Bal - and
- Bah - to
- Be - of
- Cuun (koon) - our
- Kaysh (kaysh) - him, his
- Ke - imperative prefix
- Ke nu - "Don't" prefix
- Kyr' am (kee-RAHM) - death
- Lo (loh) - into
- Elek (EL-eck) - yes (colloquial: lek, comparable to "yeah")
- Gar - you, your
- Haar - emphatic definite article (rare)
- Ibic - this
- Jate - good
- Jatne - best
- Juaan - beside
- Meg (mayg) - which, that
- Meh (mey) - if
- Mhi (mee) - we
- Nayc (NAYSH) - no (colloquial: shh, comparable to "nah")
- Ner (nair) - my
- Ni - I
- Par - for
- Sa - as, like
- Sha or shal - at (when used in front of a consonant)
- Te - the
- Teh - from
- Ti - with
- Tion - interrogative prefix, equivalent to the French "Est-ce que"
- Tion'ad - who, interrogative
- Vaii - where
- Val - they, their, theirs
- Ven - future prefix
- Solus (SOH-loos) - one
- Tad (tand) - two
- Ehn (ayhn) - three
- Cuir (KOO-eer) - four
- Rayshe'a (ray-SHEE-ah) - five
- Resol (reh-SOL) - six
- E'tad (EH-tad) - seven
- Sh'ehn (shayn) - eight
- She'cu (SHAY-koo) - nine
- Ta'raysh (ta-RAYSH) - ten