Usator:Almafeta/Enough Interlingua To Fake It

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If you're using any of the web-based Interlingua resources out there, such as this Interlingua Wikipedia: Interlingua was designed to be able to be easy to spot-read. However, if you want to use it actively, such as to contribute to our wiki, you'll need a bit to go on.

This article doesn't go into the design decisions or a technical explanation of the language; it's just a barebones howto, designed with the English speaker in mind. After using this article, however, you should be able to read our own article about Interlingua and start to learn about the design decisions for yourself!

Interlingua bits are in bold, with the explanations in italics after them.

Nouns[modificar | modificar fonte]

Nouns in Interlingua only change for number. Nouns come in singular by default, and add on an ending to form a plural ('-s after a vowel, -es after most consonants, or -hes after the letter c).

Before a noun, there are articles. The two articles are le (the) and un (a or an; before a plural, it can also mean some). Articles are used a little more often in Interlingua where English would do without either of them, and sometimes Interlingua uses a definite article where English would use a capital letter to designate a proper noun (le anglese: English, as in the language).

Adjectives can come before or after the noun, but they have to come after any article, and before any clauses (see below). Adjectives don't change to match the noun for number: le cattos nigre, the black cats.

Verbs[modificar | modificar fonte]

Verbs in Interlingua end in -ar, -er, or -ir. This is the basic, or infinitive verb. For examples, I will use parlar, "to speak"; esser, "to be"; and audir, "to hear".

To mark the present, take off the final letter -r. parla, (something) speaks; esse, (something) is; audi, (something) hears. This is also the form you use for commands: audi! Listen!

To mark the past, change the final -r to -va. parlava, spoke; esseva, was; audiva, heard.

To mark the future, add on -a to the end. parlara, will speak; essera, will be; audira, will hear.

To mark that the subject would do something, add on -ea to the end. parlarea, would speak; esserea, would be; audirea, would hear.

Participles[modificar | modificar fonte]

There are two participles in Interlingua; just like English, they are used to make adjectives out of the verbs.

The present participle (English's -ing) is formed by changing the -r to -nte, with one irregularity: -ir verbs add -ente after the -i- instead.

The past participle (English's -ed) is formed by changing the -r to -te, with one irregularity: -e- changes to -i- in verbs ending in -er.

Handy verbs[modificar | modificar fonte]

The three most important verbs are esser, to be; vader, to go; and haber, to have. The can be used to form compound verbs just like in English: habe essite vidite, '(something) has been seen'. These three verbs also have optional abbreviated present tense forms, which are formed by just using the first syllable: es, is; va, go; ha, has.

Haber is also used for one important function: to translate "there is." You can translate "there is" (are, was, were, would be) with the pronoun il (he/it, optional form), with the verb haber: il habe duo libros, there are two books.

Two very common verbs that don't quite match up to a single English word are deber (should, ought, have to, need to) and poter (can, may, is able to, has the ability to).

If you want to link multiple verbs, instead of using a linking particle like English's to, put the other verbs after the first in its basic form: Io vole saper, I want to know; Tu debe vader, You should go.

Adverbs[modificar | modificar fonte]

When you want to build an adverb out of an adjective, add on the ending -mente, or -amente after an adjective ending in c. fortemente, strongly; unicamente, uniquely.

Just like in English, adverbs can modify adjectives as well, and can go before or after the adjective they modify. If needed, commas (in text) or pauses (in speech) are used to "break up" lists to make sure the right adverb is visually grouped with the right adjective.

Constructing a sentence[modificar | modificar fonte]

Sentences in Interlingua are almost always subject-verb-object.

Noun clauses[modificar | modificar fonte]

When you build a clause, you combine a preposition (such as de, a, or pro) with a normal noun phrase. Interlingua only uses prepositions, never postpositions (such as English's single-letter postposition 's to mark possession).

Prepositions and Conjunctions[modificar | modificar fonte]

The prepositions in Interlingua don't line up perfectly with those in English; they're closer to Latin prepositions.

  • a causa de: because of
  • a fin de: in order to
  • ab: from; usually used to mark a source
  • ad: to; usually used to mark a destination. ab (x) ad (y) indications a transition from state X to state Y.
  • ante: before
  • ben que: although
  • como: as, how, like
  • como si: as though
  • con: with
  • contra: against, opposite
  • depost: after
  • depost que: since (in time)
  • despecto de: in spite of
  • dum: while
  • durante que: while
  • ergo: ergo, thus
  • ex: from; usually used to mark what something is physically coming out of. Note ex- is sometimes used as a prefix in exactly the same way that it's used in English.
  • foras: outside of
  • in: in
  • in loco de: instead of
  • in plus: furthermore, in addition
  • in vice de: instead of, rare form
  • intra: within
  • ma: but
  • malgrado: in spite of, rare form
  • per: by; not just the English sense of per, but it also marks where you went through (per le strata, by the street) and what was used to do something (per auto, by car).
  • pro: for; usually marks the reason something was done
  • que: what, as a question word; and that, in the sense of starting a clause (le libro que io legeva, the book that I read).
  • secun / secundo: after; can also mean according to
  • sed: but
  • si: if
  • sin: without
  • sub: under, below
  • ubi: where; usually for starting clauses, can be used for asking questions
  • ultra: beyond, on the other side of
  • ultra que: besides the fact that

Particles[modificar | modificar fonte]

These words aren't prepositions and don't necessarially start new phrases, but are handy to know.

  • al: abbreviation of a le, to the
  • ancora: still, yet
  • antea: previously
  • con: with
  • del: abbreviation of de le, of the
  • e: and
  • etiam: also
  • forsan: perhaps, maybe
  • hic: here
  • illac: there
  • minus: less; le minus, the least.
  • multo: very
  • nihil: none whatsoever
  • non: no, not
  • nunc: now
  • nulle: not any, none whatsoever
  • nunquam: never
  • o: or
  • ora: now
  • plus: more; le plus, the most
  • sin: without
  • tamben: also; less frequent nowadays
  • totevia: still, nevertheless; depending on the context, can also mean "despite it all" or "come what may"
  • trans: across, beyond, over
  • troppo: too; only in the sense of "too much"
  • tunc: then
  • ulle: any, whichever
  • unquam: ever
  • ya: indeed, truly, certainly

Questions[modificar | modificar fonte]

Unlike English, which uses reordering to ask questions, Interlingua just relies on the tone or question markers. You build the sentence like normal, then add on a question pronoun or a question marker.

An is a very common question marker, meaning roughly Does...? when we put it at the start of the question; an before the verb poter (to be able to, to be capable of) is the way Interlingua speakers ask if they may do something.

Esque is the second most common question marker, roughly meaning Is it that...?

Nonne, which means right? or isn't that so?, is the third most common question marker. It's often used in a doubtful or sarcastic manner.

These are used to ask simple, yes-or-no questions; just like English, there are also "question pronouns" used to ask who, what, when, where, why, how, et cetera.

Pronunciation[modificar | modificar fonte]

After you have mastered the text uses of Interlingua, you may feel like some of the audio uses -- such as YouTube. Luckily, 99% of the time, the sound of Interlingua follows the pronunciation. If you have trouble with these rules, the general rule is fake a spanish or italian accent and you'll do just fine.

Consonants[modificar | modificar fonte]

Most of the consonants are just like in English. A few consonants change pronunciation; they are one value before "hard" vowels (a, o, u), and another before "soft" vowels (e, i). The ones that do this are:

  • c: It sounds like k before hard vowels and s before soft vowels: "cat, cow" vs. "cell, cinder."
  • ch: It sounds like ch before hard vowels and k before hard vowels: "chapter, choose" vs. "chimera"
  • g: It sounds like g before hard vowels and j before soft vowels: "go, game" vs. "gem".
  • qu: It sounds like kw before hard vowels and k before soft vowels: Spanish "quatro" vs. "qué?"

Vowels[modificar | modificar fonte]

Interlingua uses the five "classical" vowels of Spanish, Italian, and Japanese: a as in "father", e as in "bed", i as in "see", o as in "go", and u as in "thru".

Irregular pronunciation[modificar | modificar fonte]

A very few words have irregular pronunciations, especially if they come from "American" English, Greek, or one of the odd Chinese words in Interlingua. These are always marked as irregular in the dictionaries, and will have pronunciation guides and remarks about unusual forms.