How to Speak Wenja: Common Expressions

The following are some common expressions in Wenja.  (Note that not all of them are translated literally.)


Greeting: Smarkaka!  ‘Hello!’ / ‘Goodbye!’
Response: Smarkaka.  ‘Hello.’ / ‘Goodbye.’
Greeting: Su sada.  ‘Farewell.’
Response: Gwarshta.  ‘Thank you.’

Greeting: Shaja su dajri martiyi. ‘Today is a good day to die.’
Response: Nay! Marita! ‘No!  YOU die!’

Common Questions

Question: Kwarim hayta?  ‘Where are you going?’
Response: Waycham hayam.  ‘I’m going to the village.’
Question: Kwati sasta?  ‘How did you sleep?’
Response: Su sasam.  ‘I slept well.’
Question: Tiyi, kway nashman?  ‘What’s your name?’
Response: Miyi nashman Takkar.  ‘My name’s Takkar.’
Question: Kway ta?  ‘Who are you?’
Response: Mu Takkar.  /  Takkar hasam. ‘I am Takkar.’ (first: informal, second: formal)
Question: Kwati shalta?  ‘How’s it going?’
Response: Su shalam. / Dus shalam.  ‘It’s going well.’ / ‘It’s not going well.’
Question: Ku-ta su?  ‘Are you good?’
Response: Mu su.  /  Hasam.  ‘I’m good.’ (first: informal, second: formal)

Question: Kwacha mansi tiyi?  ‘How old are you?’
Response: Dabu mansi miyi. ‘I’m young.’    Palhu mansi miyi. ‘I’m old.’

Small Talk

Question: Shaja, shwadra kala.  ‘Today the weather is beautiful.’
Response: Shrash, sashwal lawka!  ‘Yes, the sun is bright!’
Question: Gwarshta, Takkar!  ‘Thank you Takkar’
Response: *grunt*  /  *silence*  (no response to thank you in Wenja)

Surprise / Astonishment

Ba!                     ‘Ah!’, ‘Hey!’
Galbaba!            ‘Awesome!’
Pazda!                ‘Shit!’
Pazda mazga!     ‘Holy shit!’
Langta!              ‘Dammit!’

13 thoughts on “How to Speak Wenja: Common Expressions

  1. Reofive says:

    Thanks for this useful phrase guide! I was wondering… From what PIE root have you reconstructed "smarkaka"? And knowing that "smarka" means "goodbye", is the "-ka" at the end of the former a postposition?

  2. Andrew Byrd says:

    The -ka suffix isn't a postposition, it's actually a "diminutive" suffix (cf. nasanka "tapir; little rhino" from nasan "rhino"). You can use smarkaka for both 'hello' and 'goodbye'

  3. Andrew Byrd says:

    It's a combination of smara "lucky" (related to Greek méros 'portion' and moíra 'fate') + -ka- (diminutive suffix), so it roughly translates as "may you have good luck". Note that smarkaka has a double diminuitive.

  4. Farting Squirrel says:

    Thanks for the post! Actually, for the whole site, it's awesome!

    I was wondering about the informal/formal forms. When do they use formal language? I guess, speaking to a stranger is formal, but would they use it when speaking to an elder man, as a sign of respect? Because in my language, Hungarian, we do, so I thought it's possible…

    Also, what does the "mu" mean? Is it a personal pronoun?

  5. Andrew Byrd says:

    Gwarshta, pardan mus! (Literally farting mouse — I have no word for squirrel).

    For the formal language, it's used in ceremonies (such as Tinsay's cave painting scene ) and all the time by Sayla (except when she's angry).

    Mu means "I, me". It can be the subject: "Mu Takkar." (I am Takkar) The direct object: "Mu kaydata." (You hit me.) or the indirect object. "Mu gwaru dafata." (You gave me a spear.)

  6. Farting Squirrel says:

    Pardan mus – I like it.

    Okay, that's good to know, thanks.

    Actually, I figured that out in the meantime. But thanks for the explanation. 😉

  7. MAC says:

    Hey i was wondering how do you say the four cardinal directions in wenja?

  8. Winjapati says:

    Excellent question. Interestingly, the directions in PIE are based on their religious practices, with the north (laywa) also meaning the left, the south (dakisitra) the right, the east (parshay) in front/before, and the west (nartar) behind.

  9. 4everwolfsrain says:

    Smarkaka brashtar,
    I wanted to know if there was a word for "please" in wenja or if it was like the answer(*grunt) of "gwarshta"?


  10. Winjapati says:

    Smarkaka, Emilie!

    It's actually a word you'll hear frequently in the game. For Wenja, it's "pracham" in Izila it's "prskox". Both mean "I ask" and both are directly related to Italian prego.

    U su!

  11. iker says:

    Smarkaka Winjapati.
    I wanted to know if there is any book or document, apart from the phrasebook from the special edition, to learn Wenja. I'm very interested. Also, are enough resources in this blog to learn the lenguaje completely?

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