Saphah

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Saphah is the de facto language of the Milky Way Galaxy. Everyone who interacts with other species knows it, or has it as their default ARI language. The Saphan language is very fluid, one word flows continuously into the next with very little interruption. This can make it difficult for a beginner to understand it.

This page and its subpages contain all you need to learn the language!

History

No one knows where Saphah originated. It was used in official Prae ExoNet pages and on Tethers predating the Prae. After the Unai found Prae artifacts with the language in or on it, they started to recreate it and later used it when communicating with the Meroe, who had done their own translations.

Pronunciation

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Letter Pronunciation Notes
A A as in Are -
Ae Ae as Ay in Mayan -
B B as in Beer -
C C as in Car -
Ch Ch as in Loch -
D D as in Door -
Dh Dh as Th in The -
E E as Ay in Way When followed by a consonant the sound changes to E as in Merry.
F F as in Forest -
G G as in Great -
H H as in Hello -
I I as Ee in Beer -
J J as in James -
K K as in Milk -
L L as in Love -
M M as in Mouth -
N N as in Nose -
O O as in On -
P P as in Part -
Ph Ph as F in Film -
Q Q as in Aqua -
R Rolling R Voiced alveolar trill
S S as in See -
Š Sh as in Short -
T T as in Tent -
Th Th as in Tenth -
U U as Oo in Book -
V V as in Very -
W W as in Water -
Y Y as in Yoghurt -
Z Z as in Zero -
' No sound in Galactic Saphah, Arabic Ayn sound in the Verge Systems. Different sound in dialects. There is one exception to this rule, which is i'i, which is pronounced like ee-i (ee as in deer and i as in I).
- No sound, except when it connects two vowels. See the table below for more information.

Connected vowels

Letter Pronunciation Notes
A-a A-a as A in Pad -
A-e A-e as A in Made -
A-u A-u as Aw in Dawn -
A-i A-i as Ai in Laid -
A-o A-o as Ow in Flower -
E-a E-a as E in Fern -
E-e E-e as A in Square -
E-u E-u as U in Cure -
E-o E-o as Ye in Employer -
E-i E-i as Ay in Aye -
I-a I-a as Ya in Yard -
I-e I as Ee in Seed and E as Ay in lay, Eeyay -
I-i I-i as Ea in Sea -
I-o I-o as Yo in Mayonnaise -
I-u I-u as U in Huge -
O-a O-a as Oa in Boar -
O-e O-e as Owe in Mower -
O-i O-i as Oi in Choir -
O-o O-o as O in Moral -
O-u O-u as Ou in Flour -
U-a U-a as Oo as in Book and A as in Water, Oowa -
U-e U-e as Wa in Way -
U-i U-i as the French word Oui -
U-o U-o as Au in Maud -
U-u U-u as Ou in (UK) Nourish -

Numerals

Click here for a list of Saphan numerals.

Grammar

Saphah word order is underlyingly SOV (subject-object-verb), but like in Dutch, there is an additional rule, which moves the finite (inflected for subject) verb into the second position in the sentence. Because of this, sentences with only one verb appear with SVO (subject-verb-object) or VSO (verb-subject-object) order.

Questions

Saphah doesn't have a question mark. Instead when a question is asked, the word question (Ma-lun) is added in front of the sentence and the interrogative word is added as a suffix of the subject of the sentence. For example: What is that? in Saphah is: Ma-lun a di-enam, literally translated this means: Question is that-what.

Plural

When a word is plural, the -a suffix is added to the word. For example: Butterflies in Saphah is: Laga-a.

Present tense

When an action is going on right now, or happens regularly, add -i as a suffix. For example: He walks in Saphah is: Šeh lay-i, and He is walking in Saphah is: Šeh a lay-i. We are flying in my spaceship in Saphah is: Achna nahra-i dar de en'eleppi menzen qa. However, when talking in first person, the suffix -i is not used. For example: I walk in Saphah is: E'o lay.

Past tense

To make a word past tense, add ja- as a prefix. For example: We were in Saphah is: Achna ja-a, and We travelled through the galaxy in Saphah is: Achna ja-sunodae pech de ankišua.

Diminutive

To get the diminutive version of a word, add -tur at the end of that word. For example, So means bird; So-tur means little bird.

Possessive

To make a statement about the possession of an object, you have to describe whose object it is. For example:

John's spaceship = De en'eleppi menzen John. Literally translated, this is The spaceship of John.

My spaceship = De en'eleppi menzen qa. Literally translated, this is The spaceship of me.

In colloquial language My spaceship, De en'eleppi menzen qa changes to Menzen'qa en'eleppi.

Your spaceship would become Menzen'zae en'eleppi.

John's spaceship would become Menzen'John en'eleppi.

That spaceship is mine would become Di en'eleppi a menzen'qa. Literally translated, this is That spaceship is of me.

Colloquial language is widely accepted and only the most official documents use the official word order and spelling.

Articles

Saphah word English translation Notes
E A, An -
At (Aot) The Used when speaking about a person, a group of people or a species
De The -
La No, Not a, Not any, Neither When a vowel follows La, it becomes L'.

There is a negative indefinite article la ("no, not a, not any"). It declines the same as E and has no distinctions for gender or number.

For example:

I am not a little man in Saphah is: E'o a la Di'i-tur.

I am not a traitor in Saphah is: E'o a la qallu.

That is not a small fortress in Saphah is: Di a l'anzaqar-tur.

You are not an engineer in Saphah is: Zae a la yatsarae.

Were you not ready? in Saphah is: Ma-lun zae-ja-a l'amade.

Example Sentences

Click here for a list of example sentences.

List of words

Click here for a list of Saphah words.