A simple grammar of The Femmish Tongue as it is spoken on the streets, in modern times, in the city of Rödby the capital of The Republic of Femland.
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AN INTRODUCTION TO THE FEMMISH LANGUAGE
- Femmish (known as fjämsk [fjɛmʃ] or deð fjämsk språgið [dɪθ fjɛmʃ ’spʁɔ:xɪθ] in the language itself) is a North Germanic language, spoken by the 550,700 inhabitants of the island nation of Femland. It is a member of the Northern Germanic (Scandinavian) family of languages and is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. Femmish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking era. Femmish has also absorbed vocabulary from Dutch with whom the island was a trading partner during the middle ages.
- The name Fjämö [fjɛ:mœ], which translates literally as Fjäm Island, is possibly from the old Norse fjaraland meaning “land of the ebb-tide” as parts of the island are low-lying and the seasonal tides cause the sea to go out a long way exposing vast beaches and mudflats. Another possible explanation, at least according to Icelandic historian Magnus Rasmusson’s book, is that one of the earliest Scandinavian settlers was a farmer called Fiamm and the settlement grew up around his homestead becoming known simply as “Fiamm’s island” or “Fiammey”. Fiamm himself has become something of a folk-hero among the Femmish and although accounts of his life are entire apocryphal (as with Robin Hood in England), people still celebrate him as their nation’s founding father.
- In English, the name of the island has always been simply Femland which is likely to have been passed down from Dutch traders who knew the island as Veemland as early as the 11th century. The Germans referred to it on early maps as Fehmland, and in Icelandic it is referred to as Fémmey.
- Although history shows us that the Vikings had settlements in Femland by the middle ages, these were merely fleeting fishing camps and summer visitations and there is no evidence of permanent Scandinavian settlers until Swedes began to arrive on Femland’s northern coastline by 1300. In fact, there is some evidence that the earliest permanent settlers on Femland were Irish monks who established a monastery as early as the tenth century in an area now known as Klosterið [’klo:stəʁɪθ] where substantial medieval ruins stand to this day.
- Standard Femmish (standardfjämsk, also known colloquially as Rödbysmål as it is the form spoken in Rödby, the capital city), is the national language that evolved from various dialects in the 18th century and was well established by the beginning of the 20th century.
- The spoken and written language today is mostly uniform and standardized but there are still some variations of the spoken language in rural areas, and a noticeable difference in accent and vocabulary on Norðlandið known as norðlandsk [nɔ:θlɑnʃ].
- One notable feature of modern Femmish is that unlike in Swedish and Norwegian, the tonal word accent that distinguishes certain minimal pairs is not present in Femmish.
- The standard word order is subject–verb–object (svo), though this can often be changed to stress certain words or phrases or in certain adverbial sentences.
- Femmish morphology is similar to English; that is, words have comparatively few inflections. There are two genders, the so-called common and neuter; often known as neuter and non-neuter or ð-words and n-words.
- There are two grammatical cases, and a distinction between plural and singular.
- Adjectives are compared as in English, and are also inflected according to gender, number and definiteness.
- The definiteness of nouns is marked primarily through suffixes (endings), complemented with separate definite and indefinite articles.
- The pronunciation of Femmish heard in the capital town of Rödby (known colloquially as Rödbysmål), is considered to be the standard pronunciation of the language. The language does not have much phonological diversity across the whole nation apart from a noticeable difference in accent and vocabulary in the dialect known as norðlandsk [nɔ:θlɑnʃ] spoken around the town of Norðvik.
- Femmish, unlike English, does not have a lot of complex vowels within words. There are front and back, long and short combinations of vowels.
- The general rule of vowel-length is that any vowel which stands in an open-syllable is long whereas a vowel in a closed-syllable is short. A monosyllabic word usually has a long vowel unless the word ends in a doubled-consonant. A monosyllabic word which ends in a vowel, is always pronounced long. Unless preceding another vowel, all unstressed vowels are short.
- bot [bo:t] salary, is pronounced long
- bo [bu:] to reside, is pronounced long
- del [de:l] department, is pronounced long
- fri [fʁi:] free, is pronounced long
- frass [fʁɑs] strawberry, is pronounced short
- full [fɶl] full, is pronounced short
- hemel [he:məl] heaven, has a long root vowel and an unstressed final vowel.
- When following a vowel at the end of a syllable, v often reduces to a semi-vowel creating a diphthong or glide, /ɑ̞ʊ/ which is realized in words such as ravn [’ʁɑ̞ʊn] (raven) and avn [’ɑ̞ʊn] (ram) as well as in automobil [’ɑ̞ʊto.mobi:l] (automobile) and revmatisme [rɛ̞ʊmɑtismə] (rheumatism).
|c|c|c|l| & IPA & Example & Explanations
b & [b] & boll & devoices to [p] at the end of words
c & [ts] & centrum &
& & dotter &
& & stad & devoices to [t] at the end of words
ð & [ð] & glað & devoices to [θ] at the end of words. ð can never appear at the beginning of a word
f & [f] & förrig &
& [g] & gammel & always a hard [g] as in English “get”
& [x] & rogen & becomes [x] between two vowels
& [j] & göre; görsom & see the section on allophony, below
& [w] & säg; ög & becomes [w] or vanishes completely, at the end of words
h & [h] & harfisk &
j & [j] & jogurt &
& [k] & kartoffel &
& [tʃ] & kött &
& [c] & skatt & the combination [sc] is only found at the beginning of words
& [l] & land &
& [ɭ] & mjölk & becomes [ɭ] before another consonant
m & [m] & medlem &
& [n] & nuskelse &
& [ŋ] & säng; dögn & see the section on allophony, below
p & [p] & på &
& [ʁ] & frass &
& [r] & händer &
& [s] & siðan & the Femmish s is never voiced to [z], as it sometimes is in English
& [ʂ] & sjuk &
t & [t] & tenn &
þ & [θ] & þing & þ only ever appears at the begining of a word or part of a compound word
v & [v] & venn & see the section on allophony, below
x & [ks] & växel & the Femmish x is never voiced to [gz], as it often is in English
Allophony is the variation in the phonetic realizations of a phoneme. Although Femmish is mostly a phonetically regular language, when different consonants come into contact with one another, their sounds often change unexpectedly (at least to English speakers) depending on their placement within the word.
The best way to illustrate this is with examples:
b becomes voiced to [p] at the end of a word or syllable as in knab [knɑp] (button) and knabbord [knɑp.bɔ:ʁ] (keyboard)
'd vanishes in the combinations -nd and -rd at the end of a word, as in land [lɑn:] (land), bord [bɔ:ʁ] (table), and ord [ɔ:ʁ] (word); however it reappears as /d/ ' when the word is suffixed by a vowel, as in landið [’lɑndɪθ] (the land), bordið [bɔ:ʁdɪθ] (the table), and ordið [ɔ:ʁdɪθ] (the word).
dj becomes [dʒ] as in djup [dʒu:p] (deep)
g becomes [j] before ä/e/i and ö as in gäta [’jɛ:tɑ] (to guard)
g becomes [w] or is lost completely following ä/e/i and ö at the end of a word as in ög [ɶw] (eye), and sig [siw] (victory) and in speech even the [w] may become swallowed at the end of a word such as in the pronoun eg which may become [æɪ]. After a vowel and before ä/e/i and ö, g becomes [x] as in hage [’ha:xə] (flowerbed), and säga [’sɛ:xɑ] (to say)
the combination gn, is always pronounced [ŋn] as in regn [re:ŋn] (rain) and dögn [dɶ:ŋn] (a 24 hour period)
the combination ng, is always pronounced [ŋ] as in haning [’ha:nɪŋ] (rooster) and stingande [stɪŋɑndə] (pungent). It is never pronounced [ŋg] as in English finger
both hj and kj become [ʂ] as in hjol [ʂo:l] (wheel), hjälp [ʂɛlp] (help) and kött [ʂɶt] (meat)
single l remains [l] at the end of a word as in hjol [ʂo:l] (wheel) and doubled ll is always held longer as in snäll [snɛl:] (fast). before another consonant, l often becomes vocalized to [ɭ] as in mjölk [mjɶɭk] (milk) and såld [sɔɭt] (gallon)
lj becomes [j] as in ljus [ju:s] (light) and pälj [pɛ:j] (knife)
r which is usually gutteral [ʁ], can become [r] before another consonant as in merje [merjɛ] (maiden) and att mörda [ɑt mɶrdɑ] to murder
sj also becomes [ʂ] as in sjuk [ʂu:k] (sick) and kråsj [kʁɔʂ] (pear-tree)
at the beginning of a word, sk becomes [sc] as in skatt [scɑt] (tax) except before ä/e/i and ö when it becomes [ʃ] as in sköd [ʃɶt] (swift). Elsewhere it becomes [ʃ] as in människ [mɛn.nɪʃ] ( masculine). -rsk becomes [ʃ] as in norsk [nɔ:ʃ] (Norwegian) and -skt becomes [ʃt] as in fiskte [fɪʃtə] (fished)
stj becomes [ʃ] at the beginning of syllables as in stjärna [ʃɛrnɑ] (star)
tj becomes [tʃ] as in tjald [tʃɑlt] (tent)
v becomes [f] when word-final as in körv [kɶrf] (plaza), and before another consonant as in vred [fʁet] (angry) and beskrevning [bəʃʁe:fnɪŋ] (description) but it becomes a semi-vowel in a few rare words such as avn [ɑʊn] (ram) and övn [ɶwn] (oven) and it also in the prefix av [ɑʊ] but only when it is adjoined to the root word as in avskatt [ɑʊ’scɑt] (duty)
a frequent irregularity is the ending -ti which is often pronounced [tsi] and is found in words such as reparati [ʁəpa:ʁɑtsi] (repair) and politi [poli:tsi] (police)
- Gemination, or consonant elongation, happens when a spoken consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short consonant. In general, consonants in Femmish are geminated if they are written doubled, except if they are word-final:
- rogen (the rye) [ʁo:xən] → roggen (the rug) [ʁox:ɪn]
- frass [fʁɑs] (strawberry) the doubled -ss is not geminated, coming at the end of the word, but frassen [fʁɑs:ɪn] (the strawberry) the doubled -ss is geminated as it precedes another syllable
EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULES
- There are some words which are pronounced contrary to the phonetic rules and must simply be learned.
- inte (not) is usually pronounced as [ɪntʃ]
- også (also) is usually pronounced as [ɔsɔ:]
- ov (too) is usually pronounced as [uw]
- The definite article noun endings -en, -ið and -ene are pronounced different than these combinations would be in other words.
- mannen (the man) is pronounced as [mɑn:ɪn]
- husið (the house) is pronounced as [hu:sɪθ]
- husene (the houses) is pronounced as [hu:sɪnə]
- Femmish makes abundant use of semantic stress, as in English, that is, words can be stressed arbitrarily in sentences depending on their emphasis related to the meaning of the phrase.
- Most native Scandinavian words (the bulk of the core vocabulary) are stressed on the root syllable, which is usually the first syllable of the word. Femmish follows this pattern, so that the word tvåmal would be pronounced [tvɔ:mɑl].
- In Femmish compound words, secondary stress falls on the second stem so that sporvagn would be pronounced [’sporˌvɑŋn].
- Native words may also be stressed on the second or later syllable if certain unstressed prefixes are added (particularly in verbs).
- Non-root stress is common in loanwords, as such words are generally borrowed with the stress placement unchanged.
- The Femmish personal pronoun system is almost identical to that of English. Pronouns inflect for person, number, and, in the third person singular, gender. Differences with English include the inclusion in Femmish of a separate third-person reflexive pronoun sig (himself, herself, itself, themselves) analogous to French se, and the maintenance of distinct 2nd person singular þu (thou), I (you, plural), and objective forms of those, which have all merged to you in English. The reflexive forms are not used for the first and second person, although sjölv (self) and egen/egeð/egna (own) may be used for emphasis, and there are no absolute forms for the possessive.
- Femmish uses the pronoun man as an impersonal pronoun in much the same way that German uses it, and French uses on.
- man ankommer kvardags klocken tiu → one arrives at ten o’clock every day
- As in many other European languages, the second person plural form (þi) is also used when formally addressing an individual. Children will use this form when addressing teachers, grandparents, their friends’ parents and most other adults. Adults themselves will use it to address officials, business associates or their boss. It is common for acquaintances, once acquainted, to revert to þu as a sign of mutual acceptance and trust.
- þi is often written with a capital letter in correspondence as a mark of respect.
- On notices and in advertisements, either form may be used depending on who the target audience is intended to be.
|c|c|c|c|c|c| & Nominative & Oblique &
1 & eg & mig & min & mið & mina
2 & þu & þig & þin & þið & þina
& han & hem &
& hon & har &
& den|deð & sig & sin & sið & sina
1 & vir & vus & vor & vort & vära
2 & þi & þus & þor & þort & þora
3 & de & dem &
- Femmish possessives do not behave in a uniform way. The form of some possessives relates to the gender and number of the possessed item. The other possessives have only one form, which consequently is used for all genders and for singular and plural objects:
- min bil (my car); mið efternavn (my surname); mina låg (my onions)
- þin bil (your car); þið efternavn (your surname); þina låg (your onions)
- hans bil (his car); hans efternavn (his surname); hans låg (his onion or onions)
- hons bil (her car); hons efternavn (her surname); hons låg (her onion or onions)
- sin bil (its car); sið efternavn (its surname); sina låg (its onions)
- vor bil (our car); vort efternavn (our surname); vära låg (our onions)
- þor bil (thy car); þort efternavn (thy surname); þora låg (thy onion or onions)
- derra bil (their car); derra efternavn (their surname); derra låg (their onion or onions)
- In the 3rd-person, the forms sin, sið, and sina, are used when the possessed noun reflects back to the subject of the phrase. For example in English, if one says “The man broke his arm”, although it is grammatically ambiguous, it is usually understood by convention whose arm was broken but it is not immediately obvious whether he broke his own arm or someone else’s!
- In Femmish, this is overcome by replacing hans and hons with sin, sið and sina (depending on gender and number) if the patient of the action is the same person as the agent performing the action.
- han brötte armen hans (he broke his arm, meaning someone else’s rather than his own)
- han brötte armen sin (he broke his [own] arm)
- When speaking of body parts, it is usual for the possessive pronoun to follow the noun, which is always presented in the definite form. This is a peculiarity of the language which foreigners often overlook. While you will be fully understood if you were to say han brötte sin armen it would sound odd to a native speaker.
- Indefinite pronouns are pronouns whose antecedents are unspecified persons, places, things, and ideas. An antecedent is the noun, noun phrase, or noun clause that a pronoun replaces. Indefinite pronouns with antecedents that refer to a person or people are also referred to as impersonal pronouns. Indefinite pronouns often appear in impersonal sentence constructions, or sentences that make general statements without a specified grammatical agent.
DEÐ → it
- deð är bra → it is fine
- deð ankom klocken tiu → it arrived at ten o’clock
NAKAN → common: anyone; anybody; someone; somebody | neuter: something; anything; somewhat | plural: any; some
- har nakan sett min bror? → has anyone seen my brother?
- har þu sett nakað? → have you seen anything?
- har þu sett naka? → have you seen any?
- nakað ankom för þu! → something arrived for you!
INGEN → common: nobody; no-one | neuter: nothing; no kind of | plural: none → ingenþing
- har ingen sett min bror? → has nobody seen my brother?
- har þu sett ingeð? → have you seen nothing?
- önskar þu inga? → do you want none?
- önskar þu ingenþing? → do you want nothing?
SOMME → some (synonymous with naka)
- önskar þu somme? → do you want some?
- somme geller hem, somme ej → some like him, some don’t
MARGEN → many; much
- ått þu margeð? → did you eat many (unspecified things)?
- ått þu margen? → did you eat much?
- eg såg marga → I saw many (of them)
- margen gäf! → much luck!
ANDEN → common: another | neuter: anything else | plural: others
- en anden må ha deð! → another must have it!
- kan eg få eð andeð äpple? → can I have another apple?
- har þu andeð með? → do you have anything with (you)?
- vir bor på eð andeð hotell → we are staying at another hotel
- andra prövar, somme ej → others try, some don’t
ALL → common: all | neuter: everything | plural: all; everybody
- all Jarðen är gamla → all the Earth is old
- allð är brött → everything is broken
- alla har sett min bror → everyone has seen my brother
KVAR → each; every
- kvarð har sið bröd → each has its own bread
- kvar kan hjälpes → everyone can be helped
- enkvar → anyone; any kind
- enkvar kan ha bröd→ anyone can have bread
- enkvarð kan köbes → any kind can be bought
- In English grammar, a quantifier is a word (or phrase) which indicates the number or amount being referred to. It generally comes before the noun (or noun phrase). Femmish has the following quantifier pronouns:
NOG → enough/plenty
- nog är nog → enough is enough
LITEÐ → little
- liteð är kent om þenna period av sagafräðið → little is known about this period of history
MINDRE → less
- mindre är kent om þenna period av sagafräðið → less is known about this period of history
MARGEÐ → much
- margeð blev rätt på mödeð → much was discussed at the meeting
MARGA → many
- marga blev valt → many were chosen
MER → more
- mer är bädre → more is better
MEST → most
- mest var fyl → most was rotten
FLERA → several
- flera börn blev valt → several children were chosen
FÅR → few
- får blev valt → few were chosen
FÄRRE → fewer
- färre går i kirkjan nudags → fewer are going to church these days
THE EXPLETIVE PRONOUN
- Where English uses “there is” or “there are”, Femmish uses a passive construction with the verb att finna. Where English uses “there” with the verb in the plural, Femmish uses deð:
- deð finns marga folk i högskolan → there are many people in the high-school (lit. there are found...)
- deð finns bröd på bordeð → there is bread on the table (lit. there is found...)
- deð fanns marga folk þarðan → there were many people from there (lit. there were found...)
- Demonstratives are words that direct your attention to certain objects. Some of the demonstratives agree in gender and number with the noun they are connected to, others do not.
- Þenna/þetta (“this”, depending on gender), þessa (“these”, regardless of gender) indicate that the person, object or idea spoken about is close in time or space. When no specific noun is given, þetta is used as the assumed neuter form.
- þenna fruktsaft är kalda → this fruit juice is cold
- þetta kalså smakar läcker → this pancake tastes delicious
- þessa skor är ov stor → these shoes are too big
- þetta smakar läcker → this tastes delicious
- Den/deð, (that, depending on gender), hinn (those, regardless of gender) indicate that the person, object or idea spoken about is distant in time or in space. When no specific noun is given, deð is used as the assumed neuter form.
- den frugtsaft är kalda → that fruit juice is cold
- deð körb har löckar → that boot has holes
- men hinn är perfekt → but those are perfect
- deð är kaldt → that is cold
- Den and deð are also so called determinative pronouns. A determinative pronoun refers forward, which means that we don’t have a lot of information yet and we will now get more information. The new information we usually get in a relative subordinate clause. Compare this to a noun in definite form (bilen, husið etc), which refers backward – we know which house or car we’re talking about, we have information about it. Compare:
- kongen bor i felsen → the king lives in the castle
- kongen bor i den fels som ligger i Rödby → the king lives in the castle which is located in Rödby
- Sådan, sådant, sådanne (such/this/that kind) often refers to something which is mentioned or experienced earlier (an action, an object). Sådan must be in agreement with the noun’s gender and number:
- sådan en bok är kyfa → such a book is expensive
- sådant råd är unbrukalig → that kind of advice is useless
- sådanne perfekta skor → such perfect shoes
- Samma (same) is used to indicate something identical related to to context in question. Samma is not conjugated, it occurs in only one form.
- vir kom samma dag → we came the same day
- vir kommer samma dags → we come [on] the same days
- Sjölv (self) is an indeclinable demonstrative which function is to emphasize nouns or pronouns. Its English counterparts are self/myself/yourself etc.
- Þi har gjorð deð sjölv → you (plural) have done it yourself
- ger deð sjölv (GDS) → do it yourself; DIY
- Egen (own) is a demonstrative which function is to emphasize possession of nouns. Its English counterparts are own. It agrees with the noun’s gender and number.
- Egen has a slightly different usage than in English. Where in English one might say “do you have your own home?” in Femmish you would say «har þu eð egeð hus?» or literally “do you have an own house?”:
- min egen hår → my own hair
- mið egeð hus → my own house
- mina egna katter → my own cats
- Både…og (both…and) connects two or more units of any kind. Både is placed before the first part, and og before the second:
- eg möger både kafé og thé → I like both coffee and tea
- eg möger både kafé, thé og fruktsaft → I like coffee, tea and fruit-juice
- Dembåde (both of them) refers to two persons or two concrete objects, that are countable items.
- eg möð dembåde idag → I met them both today
- dembåde var läcker → both (of them) were delicious
- Både arter (both kinds) relates to uncountable objects (mass nouns), general concepts or actions.
- kva är allerbäst; kafé eller thé? → what is the best of all; coffee or tea?
- eg möger både arter → I like both (kinds)
- kva är allerbäst; kafé eller thé? → what is the best of all; coffee or tea?
- Verbs are words that name what is going on (actions, states of being, what exists). Femmish verbs occur in several forms as a result of conjugation. Femmish verbs are not conjugated in person and number. They inflect for the present tense, past tense, imperative, subjunctive, and indicative mode.
- Other tenses are formed by combinations of auxiliary verbs with infinitives or the past-participle. In total there are six spoken active-voice forms for each verb: infinitive, imperative, present, preterite/past and past participle. Verbs may also take the passive voice. Femmish uses the passive voice more frequently than English. The different forms of a verb can be divided into
- Finite forms, that is forms that express time (past, present) or mode.
- Infinite forms, that is forms that do not express time or mode.
- As in English you will find both regular (weak) and irregular (strong) verbs.
- Regular verbs form preterite (past tense) by adding a suffix to the stem.
- Irregular verbs form preterite without adding a suffix to the stem.
- The infinitive (dictionary form) of any verb in Femmish is given with the particle att → att vara (to be). When stating a verb without its particle, it is referred to as a bare infinitive. The infinitive form is the base form of the verb. This form is used together with auxiliary verbs to make complex verb forms. With auxiliary verbs the infinitive marker att (to) is not used.
- att möga → to like
- eg möger att mala → I like to paint
- eg kan mala → I can paint
- The stem of a verb is based on the present tense of the verb. If the present tense ends in -er, the -er is removed: tjener → tjen—. For short verbs, the -r is removed from the present tense of the verb, e.g., syr → sy—.
THE PRESENT TENSE
- Verbs do not inflect for person or number in Femmish. Therefore with all regular verbs, the present tense ending is either -ar or -er for all persons. Monosyllabic verbs such as att gå (to go) simply add -r in the present tense. Irregular verbs and modals generally have to be learned as there are no specific rules governing their conjugation.
- eg malar → I paint
- þu malar → you paint
- vir malar → we paint
- eg går → I go
- Note that Femmish verbs in the present tense do not conjugate differently to show continuity as they do in English (you paint vs. you are painting). However, Femmish does have a construction similar to English that conveys this meaning using the verb att vara and the infintive of a verb.
- de är att baka → they are (in the act of) baking
- eg är att gå → I am (in the process of) going
- Present tense forms of verbs may also be used in statements related to the future, quite often in connection with time phrases that are referring to the future:
- de kommer imorgon → they are coming tomorrow
THE PRESENT PARTICIPLE
- The present participle form is the adjectival form of the verb, and is used only as adjective or adverb, not as verb.
- In Femmish, the present participle is formed by adding -ande to the stem of verbs which end in unstressed -a in the infinitive, or -ende in those which do not. This form never changes regardless of gender or number:
- dansande gentor → dancing girls
- eð ökande antall → an increasing amount
- en gåttde båt → a going boat
FORMING THE NEGATIVE
- In Femmish, the negative is stated by placing the word inte behind the verb in question:
- eg malar inte → I don’t paint
- de är inte att baka → they are not (in the process of) baking
- A so-called negative infinitive can be formed by placing inte before a bare-infinitive. This form is often on signs and notices as a polite or formal imperative:
- inte mala → to not paint
- inte vara → to not be
- att vara, eller inte vara → to be, or not to be
- att vara, eller att vara ej → to be, or not to be
- INTE AVKRUPPA PÅ VEGKANTEN! → no dumping on the roadside!
THE PRETERITE TENSE
- The preterite (also known as the simple past or aorist) expresses actions that took place or were completed in the past. The focus is on the action itself.
- Weak verbs are those which do not have sound-changes in their stem and instead attach endings to form the preterite. Weak verbs form the past tense with -de, -te, or -ðe depending on the preceding sound:
- The preterite ending will be -te if the stem of the verbs ends in -p, -t, -k or -s. For example, att häta (to be called) has as its stem hät-, and as -t is an unvoiced consonant, the past tense ends in -te, making hätte.
- The preterite ending will be -de if the stem of the verbs has a long vowel and ends in -d. For example, att småda (to slander) has as its stem småd-, and as -d is a voiced consonant, the past tense ends in -de, making smådde.
- The preterite ending will be -de if the stem of the verbs ends in -l, -m or -n. For example, att skemma (to damage) has as its stem skemm- so the past tense ends in -de, making skemmde.
- If the stem already ends in -dd or -tt, no extra -d or -t will be added.
- If the stem of the verb already ends in two different consonants such as -kn, -bn, -nd, -ld, -lt, -sk, -st or -rt, as in att starta (to start), the past tense retains the -a of the infinitive ending making startaðe the past tense.
- If the stem ends in -v as in att häva (to ferment) or -j as in att läja (to loan) the past tense ends in -ðe making hävðe and läjðe.
- If the infinitive ends in a vowel, e.g. att bo (to reside), the past tense is formed with just -ð e.g. boð.
- Strong verbs have sound changes in their stem which looks different in the preterite than in the present tense.
- eg får (I get) ' → eg fik (I got) '
- þu faller' (you’re falling) ' → þu föll (you fell)
- deð fryser (it’s freezing) ' → deð frös (it froze) '
- eg får (I get) ' → eg fik (I got) '
THE PRESENT PERFECT TENSE
- The present perfect tense, as in English, expresses actions that took place or were completed in the past and are no longer going on.
- “I have eaten breakfast”, indicates that breakfast is now eaten, and I have moved on to something else. Im Femmish this is constructed using the present-tense of the verb att ha (to have) and the past participle of the verb, sometimes known as the supine which is formed thus:
- If the stem of the verb contains a long vowel, as in att mala (to paint), its past participle is formed by adding -að making malað. However if the stem of the verb contains a long vowel and ends in -s, as in att visa (to show), its past participle is formed by adding -t making vist.
- If the stem of the verb already ends in two consonants such as -kn, -bn, -nd, -ld, -lt, -sk, -st or -rt, as in att verka (to work), the past participle is formed by adding -að making verkað.
- Verbs with stems which end in a consonant+t, as in att avkorta (to abbreviate) have a past participle formed by adding -að making avkortað.
- Verbs with stems which end in a doubled-consonant such as -ll, -mm or -nn, for example att förheffa (to elevate) have a past participle formed by removing one of the consonants and adding -t making förheft. If a verb already ends in -tt as in att retta (to direct), then so does its past-participle: rett. If a verb ends in -dd as in att redda (to rescue), then its past-participle becomes: redt.
- Verbs with stems which end in -v or -j have a past participle formed by adding -d: att leva (to live) becomes levd and att läja (to rent) becomes läjd.
- If the infinitive ends in a long vowel as in att bo (to reside), the past participle adds -tt to become bott. (Note that the -o is still pronounced as // in this case).
- If the infinitive ends in -na as in att öppna (to open) or att dregna (to trawl), the past participle adds -að to become öppnað and dregnað accordingly.
- Strong verbs often have irregular past participles which just have to be learned individually: e.g. att möda (to meet) → mött; att dycka (to dive) → duckað; att äta (to eat) → ätað.
- Unlike German or Dutch, the word order in the perfect tense follows the same pattern as English.
- eg har ätað görten → I have eaten the chicken
- þi har sett mig → you (polite) have seen me
- en segelbåt har avgått → a sailing-boat has departed
THE PRETERITE PERFECT (PLUPERFECT) TENSE
- The preterite perfect tense, as in English, expresses actions that had already taken place or were completed in the past. I had eaten breakfast, indicates that breakfast was already eaten prior to the narrative. Im Femmish this is constructed using the preterite of the verb att ha (to have) → hað; and the past participle (or supine form) of the verb. Again, unlike German or Dutch, the word order in the preterite perfect follows the same pattern as English.
- eg hað ätað görten → I had eaten the chicken
- þi hað sett mig → you (all) had seen me
- en segelbåt hað avgått → a sailing-boat had departed
- att vara (to be), att ha (to have), att få (to get), and att bliva (to become) are the most useful auxiliary verbs. As in most languages, all these verbs are irregular:
- Modal, or auxillary verbs, are used extensively in Femmish in place of various verb moods used in other languages. For example, to express the conditional and the optative. Modal verbs are also used to construct the future tenses which are not conjugated. There are five modal verbs in Femmish:
- att skulla' → skal ' → skulðe → *skullað → shall/should
- eg ska komma → I shall come
- både skulðe ha redan avgått → both (of them) should have already left
- att villa → vil → vilðe → *villað → would
- eg vilðe möga att vara här → I would like to be here
- att måtta → må → måð → måen → to have to
- flaskor må inte kastes! → bottles must not be thrown!
- deð måð ske → that had to happen
- deð ha måen ske → that has had to happen
- att burda → bör → burðe → *burdað → ought/should (denotes obligation)
- eg bör sova → I ought to sleep
- þu burðe inte komma → You ought not have come
- att kunna → kan → kunðe → *kunnað → to be able to
- eg kan bila tysk → I can speak German
- eg kunðe inte komma → I could not come
- att skulla' → skal ' → skulðe → *skullað → shall/should
THE FUTURE TENSES
- The future may be expressed in several ways. It is quite common to combine present tense of one of the modal auxiliaries att villa → vil or att skulla → skal (usually ska, at least in spoken Femmish) with infinitive of the main verb. Skal is used when the subject has a plan or purpose whereas vil often expresses an element of will or wish.
- eg ska gå i skolan → I will/shall go to school
- eg vil gå i skolan → I will/want to go to school
- The present future may also be expressed simply with the present tense in many cases:
- ikvöld, kommer eg rett frå skolan → tonight I will come straight from school
- This tense is expressing an action that was planned or went on in the past, but after another action. It is formed by preterite of att skulla → skulðe and the infinitive of the main verb:
- eg skulðe gå i skolan þa de kom → I was about to go school when they came
PRESENT FUTURE PERFECT
- This tense is expressing an action that has to be concluded before a certain time in the future. It is formed by present tense of an auxiliary verb + infinitive of att ha + past participle of the main verb.
- eg bör ha gått i skolan för kurseð startaðe → I ought to have gone to school before the course started
PRETERITE FUTURE PERFECT
- This tense is expressing an action that should have been concluded in the past (but was not) or an action that (doubtfully) will be concluded in the future. It is formed by preterite of an auxiliary verb + infinitive of att ha + past participle of the main verb.
- eg skulðe ha gått i skolan för kurseð startaðe → I should have gone to school before the course started
THE MIDDLE VOICE
- The middle voice is a verb form in Femmish that is easily distinguished by its -st endings. In principle, the middle voice is formed by adding -st to the infinitive or conjugated verb forms, as appropriate.
- The middle voice is used to express the following:
- Reflexivity The middle voice can replace a reflexive pronoun, as in, for instance, the following
- By the use of the middle voice verb form in Femmish, an idiomatic reciprocal action may be expressed:
- att mödas (to be met) → vir mödast (we meet each other)
- att vaskas (to be washed) → vir vaskast (we wash each other)
- vir vaskaðest (we washed each other)
THE PASSIVE VOICE
- The middle voice of a verb is used when the action is directed back on the subject rather than on the object. The classic English example: the dog ate the cat is in the active voice but becomes the cat was eaten by the dog when switched into the passive. The passive voice in Femmish is formed in one of four ways:
- By adding -ast to the stem of the verb → stärker (strengthens) becomes stärkast (is strengthened)
- this can even be given as a form of infinitive → att stärkast (to be strengthened)
- The passive is, however, more often formed using a form of att bliva (to become) + the past participle or using a form of att vara (to be) + the past participle:
- deð ble stärkað (it is strengthened)
- ble stärkað! (become strengthened!)
- deð är stärkað (it is strengthened)
- vära stärkað! (be strengthened!)
- Another form of the passive voice is analogous to the English get-passive. This form is used when you want to use a subject other than the normal one in a passive clause. In English you could say “the door was painted for him”, but if you want “he” to be the subject you need to say “he got the door painted”. Femmish uses the same structure using a form of att få (to get) + the past participle :
- han fik deð stärkað (he got it strengthened)
- eg får deð reparerað (I will get it repaired)
- The first form, using the middle voice tends to focus on the action itself rather than the result of it. The second (bliva-passive') stresses the change caused by the action. The third (vara-passive) puts the result of the action in the centre of interest:
- dören malast → the door is being painted (in the process of being painted)
- dören ble malað → the door is being painted (becomes painted), in a new color or wasn’t painted before
- dören är malað → the door is painted
- han fik dören malað → he got the door painted (by someone else)
- Passive impersonals may be formed my putting active personal verbs into the middle voice, as for example:
- att bruka (to use) → att brukast (to be used) → deð brukast (it is used; it is customary)
- att kväda (to say) → att kvädast (to be said)
- deð kvädast att idag är þorsdag (it is said that today is Thursday)
- att se ut (to seem) → att sest ut (to be *seemed)
- deð sest ut att idag är þorsday (it seems that today is Thursday)
- The passive may also be used to express idiomatic phrases:
- kvar finnast mödeð? → where is the meeting? or more literally: where is the meeting found?
- deð sägast att þetta hus är hemsökt → it is said that this house is haunted
THE IMPERATIVE MOOD
- The imperative, which is the form used to give orders, directions and instructions, is most often formed from the stem of the verb; but for many verbs it is the infinitive form. There are a few exceptions, notably vära! (be!):
- att spela → spela bollen! → play the ball!
- att följa → följ den näxta väjen! → follow the next road!
- att sköta → sköt pistoleð! → shoot the pistol!
- att vara → vära gott! → be good!
- att öppna → öppna dören! → open the door!
- Monosyllabic verbs which end in -e, -å or -u in the infinitive, are the same the imperative (although if there is an affixed preposition, it may be separated in the imperative):
- att få → få bollen! → get the ball!
- att utgi → utgi og fördömast! → publish, and be damned!
- An older, mostly obsolete subjunctive mood, formed by adding -e to the stem of the verb, is used idiomatically to refer to actions or states which are hypothetical or anticipated rather than actual, including wishes:
- The negative imperative, like in the present tense, is stated by placing the word inte (not) behind the verb in question:
- spela inte! → don’t play!
- få inte bollen! → don’t get the ball!
- följ inte den näxta vegen! → don’t follow the next road!
- parkér inte här! → don’t park here!
- As mentioned previously, a so-called negative infinitive can also be used on signs and notices as a more polite or formal imperative:
- INTE AVKRUPPA PÅ VEGKANTEN! → no dumping on the roadside!
- INTE LÅSA AV ÞENNA DÖR! → no locking this door!
- There are two noun classes in Femmish: Common and Neuter. At some point in history, the older Masculine and Feminine genders merged to form the common.
- Gender is generally arbitrary and you have to learn which gender a noun is, but there are some rules to help you: natural gender (male/female) usually corresponds to the common gender.
- Some word-types always correspond to a certain gender; the -je diminutive ending always corresponds to common nouns: eð hus → en husje (a house → a cottage) even if the original noun was of neuter gender.
- The common nouns use the en indefinite article and the neuter ones use eð. They are often informally called n-words and ð-words as a result.
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE
- As in other Scandinavian languages, Femmish uses a clitic definite article, which means the word for the is joined to the noun it refers to rather than stands before it. The definite article agrees with gender and number. For common nouns it is -en and for neuter nouns it is -ið in the singular.
- man → mannen (the man)
- hus → husið (the house)
- kvenna → kvennan (the woman)
- merje → merjen (the maid)
- However, when an adjective precedes the noun, the definite article circumfixes the noun. Femmish exhibits what is known as double-article placement, that is, both the definite article and the clitic article are used:
- den glada kvennan → the happy woman
- deð sköna husið → the pretty house
- When an adjective precedes the definite plural noun, the definite article þe prefixes the noun-phrase:
- þe glada kvennorne → the happy women
- þe glada merjene → the happy maids
- þe stora husene → the big houses
- þe traveliga spillarne → the busy actors
- Femmish uses the definite article in places where English does not always use it. For example in street names, hospitals and governmental offices: Rådhusgatan (Townhall Street), Stadssjughuseð (City Hospital), and Skattmindigheten (The Tax Authority).
- Femmish also uses the definite article with abstract nouns: döðen (death), naturen (nature) and manniskeheten (humanity), in situations where English does not.
- döðen är en unvelkommen gast → death is an unwelcome guest
- skogar är en avdeling av naturen → forests are a part of nature
- eð ekträ är naturens värg → an oak tree is nature’s guardian
THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE
- Femmish uses an indefinite article in the same way English uses a/an. The indefinite article also agrees with gender. However, unlike the definite article, the indefinite article stands before the noun it refers to. For common nouns it is en and for neuter nouns it is eð. As in English, there is no plural indefinite article, the notion of some is handled by a separate pronoun.
- en kvenna → a woman
- eð merje → a maid
- Femmish does not use the indefinite article when talking about professions, religious/political affiliation, nationality, or medical conditions:
- han är fräðare → he is [a] student
- hon är katolik → she is [a] Catholic
- eg är engelsman → I am [an] Englishman
- eg har hoevond → I’ve [a] headache
- Nouns form the plural in a variety of ways. It is customary to classify Femmish nouns into five declensions based on their plural indefinite endings: -or, -ar, -er, -n, and unchanging nouns. Nouns with short vowels in their final syllable double the final consonant before adding the plural marker.
- Nouns of the first declension are all of the common gender. The majority of these nouns end in -a in the singular and replace it with -or in the indefinite plural and -orne in the definite plural. For example:
- en kvenna (a woman) → kvennor (women)
- blomma (a flower) → blommor (flowers)
- kirkja (a church) → kirkjor (churches)
- A few nouns of the first declension end in a consonant, such as:
- en våg (a wave) → vågor (waves)
- Nouns of the second declension are also of the common gender. This declension include common nouns ending in -e (or -é in French borrowings), -dom, -ing, -el, -en and -er. This declension also includes many monosyllabic nouns ending in a consonant. They all have the indefinite plural ending -ar and definite plural -arne. Examples include:
- en arm (an arm) → armar (arms)
- en hund (a dog) → hundar (dogs)
- en kloster (a cloister) → klostrar (cloisters)
- Second declension nouns which ends in -el, -en or -er in the singular, often syncopate the -e- in the definite form as well as in the plural:
- en äsel (a donkey) → äslar (donkeys)
- viken (vetch) → viknar (vetches)
- vinter (winter) → vintrar (winters)
- Two second declension nouns modify their root-vowel in the plural:
- moder (mother) → mödrar (mothers)
- dotter (daughter) → döttrar (daughters)
- The third declension includes both common and neuter nouns. This declension include common nouns ending in -ad, -an, -d, -t, -st, -het, -else, and -and. This declension include neuter nouns ending in -eum and -ium which are derived from Latin; the polysllabic neuter nouns ending in -eri and a great number of monosyllable nouns of each gender with various endings.
- The indefinite plural ending for nouns of this declension is -er or for nouns ending in -e, it is simply -r. For definite plural nouns of this declension the ending is -erne or -rne. For example:
- en fjand (an enemy) → fjander (enemies)
- eð museum (a museum) → museer (museums)
- museið (the museum) → museerne (the museums)
- eð bageri (a bakery) → bagerier (bakeries)
- en skrivelse (a writ) → skrivelser (writs)
- Third declension nouns ending in -and and -ång change -a- and -å- into -ä- in the plural:
- en hand (a hand) → händer (hands)
- en tand (a tooth) → tänder (teeth)
- en tång (a tong) → tänger (tongs)
- A handful of third declension nouns modify their root-vowel but do not double their final consonant in the plural:
- en natt (a night) → nätter (nights)
- en stad (a city) → städer (cities)
- en fader (a father) → fäder (fathers)
- Third declension monosyllabic nouns change -o- into -ö- and many double their final consonant in the plural:
- en bok (a book) → böcker (books)
- en ordbok (a dictionary) → ordböcker (dictionaries)
- en ros (a rose) → röser (roses)
- en fot (a foot) → fötter (feet)
- en jarðnöt (a peanut) → jarðnötter (peanuts)
- All nouns in the fourth declension are of the neuter gender and end in a vowel in the singular. Their plural ending is -n. For definite plural nouns of this declension the ending is -ene or -ne. For example:
- eð äpple (an apple) → äpplen (apples)
- eð ög (an eye) → ögen (eyes)
- eð öre (an ear) → ören (ears)
- Fifth declension nouns include common nouns ending in -are and -ande and all neuter nouns ending in a consonant which are invariable in the plural (except for neuter nouns containing -a- which become -ö- in the plural). The definite plural marker of fifth declension nouns is -ene or -ne:
- en bagare (a baker) → bagare (bakers)
- eð ärv (an inheritance) → ärv (inheritances)
- eð bär (a berry) → bär (berries)
- eð barn (a child) → börn (children)
- eð land (a country) → lönd (countries)
THE GENITIVE CASE
- The genitive case is marked simply by adding -s to a noun. Unlike in English, it is never marked by an apostrophe-s. Femmish uses the genitive case to denote possession:
- Jans skor → Jan’s shoes
- However, note that with body parts, and family relations, the words are inverted by convention and nouns are always given in the definite form:
- hoen Jans → Jan’s head and not Jans hoen
- modren Jans → Jan’s mother and not Jans mor
- To preserve euphony, sometimes -es is added to a noun which ends in -st, -sk or -sp:
- en fiskes ögen → a fish’s eyes
- en väspes brodd → a wasp’s stinger
- The genitive case can also be marked by using av (of) as in English:
- skorne av Jan → Jan’s shoes (the shoes of Jan)
- modren av Jan → Jan’s mother (the mother of Jan)
- The genitive case, when it refers to proper nouns, buildings or events being of or from a certain place, can also be marked by ved (at):
- Köbmannen ved Veneti → The Merchant of Venice
- Turnið ved London → The Tower of London
- den stora pyramiden ved Giza → The Great Pyramid of Giza
- Slagið ved Hastings → The Battle of Hastings
- The genitive case is also used adverbially in idiomatic expressions:
- with days of the week or months of the year to translate temporal idioms:
- mandags, kommer eg hemma → [on] Mondays, I come home
- arbetar þu onsdags? → do you work [on] Wednesdays?
- junis, har han urlop → he has vacation [every] July
- and with certain set phrases which denote a locative sense:
- han dog till steds! → he died on the spot!
- hemma, sover eg på decken → at home I sleep on the floor
- with days of the week or months of the year to translate temporal idioms:
- An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun by describing, identifying, or quantifying words. An adjective usually precedes the noun or the pronoun which it modifies.
- An adjective can be modified by an adverb, or by a phrase or clause functioning as an adverb.
- Adjectives can come either within nominal phrases (for example, “a large dog”) or in the predicate (for example, “the dog is large”).
- Attributive adjectives which stand alone with their noun or with the definite article do not inflect for gender in Femmish. Instead, they always take the so-called weak ending, -a:
- den nya banahoven → the new railway station
- deð nya svalskåpið → the new refrigerator
- þe nya skolorne → the new schools
- privata skolor→ private schools
- Attributive adjectives retain their unmodified form when they stand between the indefinite article (en|eð) and the nouns which they qualify:
- en goð merje → a good maid
- en goð kvenna → a good woman
- eð ny hus → a new house
- en privat skola → a private school
- Adjectives used predicatively always display gender agreement with a singular subject. It does not matter whether the subject is definite or indefinite. Common gender nouns take the -a ending while neuter nouns take the -t ending:
- kvennan är mjuka → the woman is meek
- en kvenna är mjuka → a woman is meek
- skåbið är tomt → the cupboard is empty
- eð skåb är tomt → a cupboard is empty
- Adjectives used predicatively with a plural subject are always unmodified regardless of the gender of the subject. It does not matter whether the subject is definite or indefinite:
- kvennorne är mjuk → the women are meek
- kvennor är mjuk → women are meek
- skåbene är tom → the cupboards are empty
- skåb är tom → cupboards are empty
- When an adjective ends in -ng, -nk, -rk ,-rm or -rt, it is suffixed by -et with neuter nouns:
- ädikið ble starket → the vinegar becomes strong
- vannið är varmet → the water is warm
- barnið är unget → the child is young
- skåbið är snurtet → the wardrobe is tidy
- The neuter -t is never added to adjectives which end in -sta or -st, including all superlatives:
- barnið är äldasta → the child is the eldest
- wienerbrödeð är törfrust → the Danish pastry is freeze-dried
- It should be noted that the neuter -t is not added to predicate adjectives of nationality:
- klavrið är fjämsk → “the piano is Femmish” and not klavrið är fjämskt
- kvädið var japansk → “the poem was Japanese” and not kvädið var japanskt
ADJECTIVES USED WITH UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS
- If you’re describing an uncountable noun, that is, a noun which cannot be pluralized such as mjölk (milk) or vann (water) within a nominal phrase, the adjective is conjugated based on the gender of the noun it describes:
- kalda mjölk → cold milk
- varmeð vann → warm water
EXCEPTIONS AND NOTES ON ADJECTIVES
- Predicate adjectives which follow a verb without a noun, or adjectives given alone, are always assumed to be neuter:
- goð (good) → vära gott! → be good!
- skön (pretty) → virkeligt skönt! → really pretty!
- In most cases, an adjective which ends in a double consonant loses one before -t is added in the neuter.
- sann (true) →
- deð sanna levakostið → the true cost of living
- sagafräðið var sant → history was true
- nass (wet; soft) →
- deð nassa lakridsið → the soft licorice
- lakridsið är nast → the licorice is soft
- sann (true) →
- When a predicate adjective ends in a long vowel, it is suffixed by -a with common nouns and -tt with neuter nouns and is unmodified in the plural:
- ny → nya → nytt → ny
- flaggen är nya → the flag is new
- deð stora husið var nytt → the large house was new
- þe kvida strompor är ny → the white socks are new
- blå → blåa → blått → blå
- flaggen är blåa → the flag is blue
- deð stora husið var blått → the large house was blue
- þe nya strompor är blå → the new socks are blue
- ny → nya → nytt → ny
- Some adjectives are indeclinable and some do not take the so-called weak ending, -a. For example, the adjective fager (fair) does not change at all and the adjective goð (good) never takes an -a in the singular:
- den fager mädjen → the fair girl; and not → den fagra mädjen
- mädjen är fager' → the girl is ' fair; and not → mädjen är fagra
- den goð savonen → the good soap; and not → den goða savonen
- savonen är goð → the soap is good; and not → savonen är goða
ADJECTIVES FORMED FROM PAST-PARTCIPLES
- Adjectives can be formed from the past-participle of verbs, much in the same way that other Germanic languages do it. However, it must be noted that the past-participle undergoes a change when used as an adjective:
- viglað (“enclosed”; from att vigla) → viglaða; viglett; viglaða
- meldren såg den viglaða bilden → the messenger saw the enclosed picture
- brevið var viglett → the letter was enclosed
- eg har viglaða brevene → I have the enclosed letters
- belagrað (“beseiged”; from att belagra) → belagraða; belagrett; belagraða
- mannen såg den belagraða felsen → the man saw the beseiged castle
- fyrhusið blev belagrett → the lighthouse was beseiged
- hjären anföll belagraða byar → the army attacked beseiged towns
- viglað (“enclosed”; from att vigla) → viglaða; viglett; viglaða
ADJECTIVES IN THE NEGATIVE
- In Femmish, many adjectives have distinct opposite pairs for positive/negative adjectives but some adjectives can often be made negative simply by prefixing them with un- (as in English or German):
- normal (normal) → unnormal (abnormal)
- jävn (even; level) → unjävn (uneven; unlevel)
- siv (pure) → unsiv (impure)
SYNCOPE IN ADJECTIVES
- When a multi-syllable adjective ends in -er, -en, -el etc. the unstressed final -e- is usually syncopated before adding -a with common nouns and plurals, and -ett with neuter nouns and also with comparitive/superlative adjectives:
- vågen → vågna → vågnett → vågna
- donker → donkrare → donkrasta
- Adjectives can be used without a qualifying noun when used nominally. In English one can say “the blue [ones]” without giving the noun and in Femmish you can do something similar by treating the adjective as if it was followed by a neuter gender noun:
- deð blåa → the blue (one)
- eg vil gärna ha deð blåa → I will gladly have the blue (one)
- eð blå → a blue (one)
- eg vil gärna ha eð blåa → I will gladly have a blue (one)
- þe blåa → the blue (ones)
- eg förväljer att ha þe blåa → I prefer to have the blue (ones)
- deð blåa → the blue (one)
- Past-participles of verbs, with the same modification as shown above, can also be used as nominal adjectives as follows:
- þe fördömaða → the condemned/damned (ones)
- ingen kan hjälpa þe fördömaða → nobody can help the condemned (ones)
- þe besvigaða → the deceived (ones)
- jödene var þe besvigaða → the Jews were the deceived (ones)
- þe fördömaða → the condemned/damned (ones)
- When possessive pronouns act like adjectives, they act like indefinite articles and so take unmarked adjectives:
- mina goð kvennor → my good women
- derra ny bilar → their new cars
- vort ny hus → our new house
- When a numeral precedes an adjective or a counter, the numeral is treated as if it were an indeclinable adjective:
- þe tvålv mjuka kvennorne → the twelve meek women
- þe syv stora husene → the seven large houses
- förti gamla hus → forty old houses
- en måss goða män → a few good men
COMPARISONS & SUPERLATIVES
- To form comparitives, that is to say something is as big, as good, as fast as something else, the construction uses så...som with adjectives or adverbs:
- eg geð så drugt som mögligt (I went as slowly as possible)
- kom så snart som þu kan! (come as soon as you’re able!)
- hon var så stor som en kval! (she was as big as a whale!)
- One of the most typical features of adjectives is gradability. An adjective is gradable if it can express comparison, e.g. bigger, better, faster than something else. To form a gradable adjective, one simply adds -are to the existing adjective regardless of gender or number.
- den älda herren (the old gentleman) → den äldare herren (the older gentleman)
- den sköna frun (the pretty woman) → den skönare frun (the prettier woman)
- deð höga stäkið (the tall ladder) → deð högare stäkið (the taller ladder)
- han blev nervösare og nervösare (he became more and more nervous)
- To say something is the biggest, best, fastest, etc., one simply adds -(a)st to the adjective regardless of gender or number.
- den älda herren (the old gentleman) → den äldasta herren (the oldest gentleman)
- den sköna frun (the pretty woman) → den skönsta frun (the prettiest woman)
- deð höga stäkið (the tall ladder) → deð högsta stäkið (the tallest ladder)
- There are exceptions to these rules where separate, irregular forms of comparison and superlatives exist.
- den goð mannen (the good man) → den bädra mannen (the better man) → den bäst mannen (the best man)
- den unga frun (the young woman) → den yngra frun (the younger woman) → den yngsta frun (the youngest woman)
- deð liteð husið (the small house) → deð mindra husið (the smaller house) → deð mindsta husið (the smallest house)
- As in English, you can also use mer (more) and mest (most) with unmodified adjectives to create comparitives and superlatives:
- deð mer mager svinið (the more lean pig) → deð mest mager svinið (the ¨ pig)
- den mer skön frun (the more prettier woman) → den mest skön frun (the most pretty woman)
- deð mer hög stäkið (the more tall ladder) → deð mest hög stäkið (the most tall ladder)
- This form is imperative with adjectives derived from verbal participles:
- nuvarande (present/current)
- deð mer nuvarande dagbladið (the more recent newspaper)
- deð mest nuvarande dagbladið (the most recent newspaper)
- nuvarande (present/current)
- The superlative can be emphasized and enforced by use of aller- (of all), or by use of -mest (-most), which does not inflect:
- deð allergrönsta träið → the greenest tree of all
- deð västmest fyrhusið → the westernmost lighthouse
- deð allermindsta husið → the smallest house of all
- den bortmest grensen → the outermost boundary
- When you compare two objects, X and Y, and X is bigger than Y, you can express the relationship by using änd - than:
- X är storare änd Y → X is bigger than Y
- hon var storare änd en kval! → she was bigger than a whale!
- Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, verb phrases or sentences. They describe circumstances related to the action (how, when, where, to which degree). They report how likely it is that the action reported occurred, and they report the speaker’s attitude to what is being said.
- They may be of two kinds: native adverbs which are indeclinable words and adjectival adverbs which are formed by putting the adjective in neuter singular form: snäll (quick) → snält (quickly)
- eg körar snält → I am running quickly
- komm snält! → come quickly!
- Adjectives ending in -lig may take either the neuter singular ending -t or the suffix -en, and occasionally -ligen is added to an adjective not already ending in -lig:
- stor (large/great) → storligen (greatly)
- årlig (annual) → årligen (annually)
- den älda herren kommer här årligen → the elderly gentleman comes here annually
- vir saknar hem storligen → we miss him greatly
WORD ORDER AFTER ADVERBS
- When an adverb fronts a phrase (usually to place focus or emphasis on the adverb), the usual SV word-order becomes VS:
- eg kom snält körande! → I came quickly running!
- snält, kom eg körande! → quickly, I came running!
- Adverbs of degree are qualifying other adverbs, adjectives or quantifiers. These adverbs are placed in front of the word they modify. They cause the adjective to become unmodified:
- Göran är liteð þrött → Göran is a little tired
- Göran är gäligt þrött → Göran is extremely tired
ADVERBS OF PLACE
- Adverbs of direction in Femmish show a distinction that is lacking in English: some have different forms depending on whether one is heading that way, or already there. For example:
- eg steg upp på täkið → I climbed up on the roof (from down below)
- eg arbetaðe dort uppå täkið → I was working up there on the roof (but I was already up there)
- han travðe inn på eldhusið → he strode into the kitchen (from another room)
- han travðe rond inne eldhusið → he was striding about in the kitchen (already being in there)
- Some prepositions in Femmish have the effect of making the noun with which they are combined take a final -e when the compound word is used adverbially. For example:
- döð (death) → tilldöðe → until death
- liv (life) → innlive → alive; in life
- A wish or hope can sometimes be expressed by using the adverb bara and the subjunctive mood to introduce a sentence with the meaning “if only...”, “as long as...”, “I hope that...”:
- bara deð regne ej! → as long as it doesn’t rain!
- bara þu blive inte sjuk! → you’d better not become ill!
- bara þu biðe! → just you wait!
POINTS OF THE COMPASS
- The points of the compass in Femmish are: östið, västið, norðið and suðið and they are used in phrases like öst för (to the east of), väst för (to the west of), etc. and við norðið (in the north), við suðið (in the south), etc. mot norðið (towards the north), mot suðið (towards the south), etc.
- Adding -lig turns them into adverbs of direction: suðlig (southern), östlig (eastern), etc. Additionally, adding -ligen gives the added meaning of movement in that direction: suðligen (towards the south/in a southerly manner), östligen (easterly/towards the east), etc. These examples might be heard when describing winds in a weather forecast, for example, or in phrases such as: gå västligen! → go west!
- Compounds with frå gives the notion of origin: norðfrå (from the north), suðfrå (from the south), etc.
- han är norðfrå → he is northern (ie from the north)
- han är norðfråman → he is (a) northerner (ie a man from the north)
- en västfrå vind → a westerly wind (ie a wind blowing from the west)
- The additional points of the compass in Femmish are simple compounds: norðöstið, norðvästið, suðöstið and suðvästið.
- Adding -lig turns them into adverbs of direction: suðöstlig (southeastern), norðöstlig (northeastern), etc. Additionally, adding -ligen again gives the added meaning of movement in that direction: suðöstligen (towards the southeast/in a southeasterly manner).
- When giving directions to an even greater degree of accuracy, one can say suð-suðöstligen (towards the south-southeast — SSE) etc.
- In Femmish, numbers are counted in base-ten, or decimal, the same way they are in English or German. In fact, the numbers 1 through 20 are almost the same as their English or German counterparts.
- The number one is declined depending on whether the noun is common or neuter gender; however when counting in general, en is used as the cardinal number.
- Numbers above one are considered indeclinable in Femmish: cardinal numbers are treated as common nouns, and ordinal numbers are treated as indeclinable adjectives.
- 0 null zero / 1 en/eð one / 2 två two / 3 tre three / 4 fir four / 5 fem five / 6 sex six / 7 syv seven / 8 ått eight / 9 negen nine / 10 tju ten / 11 elleve eleven / 12 tvålv twelve / 13 tretten thirteen / 14 fjörten fourteen / 15 femten fifteen / 16 sexten sixteen / 17 sytten seventeen / 18 åtten eighteen / 19 negenten nineteen / 20 tvånti twenty / 21 tvåntien twenty one / 30 tretti thirty / 40 förti forty / 50 femti fifty / 60 sexti sixty / 70 sytti seventy / 80 åtti eighty / 90 negenti ninety / 100 hundrað hundred
- 1a första first / 2a andra second / 3e trede third / 4e fjörde fourth / 5e femde fifth / 6e sexte sixth / 7e syvde seventh / 8e åtte eighth / 9e negende ninth / 10e tjunde tenth / 11e ellevde eleventh / 12e tvålvde twelfth
- en penning → one penny; två penningar → two pennies.
- eð särk → one shirt; fem särk → five shirts.
- tre, två, en, gå! → three, two, one, go!
- Note that the -ten in numbers such as fjörten is pronounced [-ti:n] and the -ti in higher units is pronounced as [-ti:]
- fjörten [fjɶrti:n]
- förti [fɶrti:]
- As in most of Europe, large numbers are separated with a dot (period) rather than a comma as is the custom in English-speaking countries. Conversely, the comma is used to mark decimal fractions.
- 1,000,000 (one million) → 1.000.000
- 3.147 → 3,147
- Some phrases in Femmish involving numbers are idiomatic or so-called set phrases which must be learned as-is.
- þe kom av tvåor → they came in twos / they came two by two
- ägg kommer av tvålvor → eggs come by the dozen
- en firdel → a quarter; a fourth part
- en femmje → a fiver; either a Ð5,00 bill or a five on a playing-card
DOING ARITHMETIC IN FEMMISH
- When doing simple addition, one uses the word på (on) where English would say plus:
- kva är två på elleve? → what is two plus eleven?
- When doing simple subtractions, one uses the word minus (minus) as one does in English:
- kva är elleve minus två? → what is eleven minus two?
- When doing simple multiplication, one uses the word mal (times) as one does in English:
- kva är två mal två? → what is two times two?
- When doing simple division, one uses the word delað av (divided by) as one does in English:
- kva är tju delað av fem? → what is ten divided by five?
QUANTITIES AND MEASURES IN FEMMISH
- Femland is, like most of Europe, a metric nation but in the more rural areas one might still find produce which is sold in older measures. Note that unlike English, the of is not translated when giving a quantity of something.
- en liter bensin → a liter of gasoline
- en skäffel äpplen → a bushel of apples
- eð uns smör → an ounce of butter
- en thélebbel mjöd → a teaspoon of honey
TELLING THE TIME IN FEMMISH
- Traditionally, as in England, the twelve hour clock is used in everyday conversation. If one needs to clarify whether morning or afternoon is being talked about, one can add the idiomatic expression morgons, eftermiddags to mean morning or afternoon, and kvölds or natts to mean in the evening or at night.
- Afternoon is usually considered to run from noon until 6pm and then it is evening from 6pm until 9pm and then until about 3am it is usually considered to be night.
- kva är klocken? → what time is it?
- hur sent är deð? → how late is it?
- klocken är negen → it’s nine o’clock
- klocken är negen morgons → it’s nine o’clock in the morning
- klocken är halv negen → it’s half-past eight o’clock
- klocken är tju över negen → it’s ten past nine o’clock
- klocken är tju över negen kvölds → it’s ten past nine o’clock in the evening
- klocken är fem på tvånti för negen → it’s twenty-five before nine o’clock
- klocken är middag → it’s noon
- klocken är midnatt → it’s midnight
- við klocken negen, kommer vir → at nine o’clock, we’re coming
READING THE DATE IN FEMMISH
- Dates in Femmish are read DD/MM/YYYY, that is to say, the date is given first, then the month and then the year. This is the same way that most of Europe handles dates.
- The days of the week are: mandag', tirsdag, onsdag, þorsdag, fredag, lördag and söndag. ' They are considered common nouns and are not given capital letters as they are in English.
- The months of the year are: januari, februari, mart, april, maj, juni, juli, august, september, oktober, november, desember. They are also considered common nouns and are not given capital letters as they are in English.
- mandag, den 1. april 2013 → Monday, the 1st April 2013
- eg reser till Rödby den 1. juni → I will travel to Rödby on the 1st June
- When talking about in what year something happened, Femmish uses no preposition:
- årið 1066 kom Normänene till England → in the year 1066 the Normans came to England
- Derivation is the process of forming a new word on the basis of an existing word, as in the English happiness and unhappy from happy, or determination from determine. It often involves the addition of a morpheme in the form of an affix, such as -ness, un- and -ation in the preceding examples. Femmish is rich in derived words and will often favor a word built on existing Femmish roots rather than use an internationalism.
- Femmish forms abstract nouns a number of ways the most common being with the suffix -het which corresponds roughly to the English -ness. All nouns in this class are considered common gender regardless of the gender of the noun they were derived from. Nouns of this class can also be formed from adjectives.
- dove (deaf) → dovehet (deafness)
- mödig (proud) → mödighet (pride)
NOUNS FROM VERBS
- Femmish forms nouns from verbs in various ways but one of the most productive methods is with the suffix -ing or -ning. There is no difference between these two endings but some verbs favor one over the other and the correct form just has to be learned. (Verb stems which end in -v always use the -ning form). All nouns in this class are considered common gender.
- att översätte (to translate) → översätting (translation)
- att rette (to direct; to point) → rettning (direction; heading)
- Another way to create nouns from verbs is with the suffix -else. All nouns in this class are considered common gender.
- att begrabe (to bury) → begrabelse (burial)
- att beväge (to move) → bevägelse (movement)
PERSONAL OR AGENTIVE NOUNS FROM VERBS
- By far the most common derivation for agentive nouns, especially for those derived from professions or occupations, are the endings -are and -ör which are derived from verbs or nouns. Some agentive nouns are simply different words though (see engineer below).
- As in English and German, it is possible to find agentive nouns ending in -man (man) or -fru (woman) and increasingly, names of professions or occupations that were once the sole domain of men are now being used in the feminine as well. Additionally, some agentive nouns which are inherently masculine, may have a feminine counterpart ending with either -ska or -inna.
- sömmare (seamster) → sömmarska (seamstress)
- hushållare (janitor; custodian) → hushållarska (housekeeper)
- kunst (art; craft) → kunstare (artist; craftsman)
- verkfräð (engineering) → ingeniör (engineer)
- kongen (the king) → konginnan (the queen)
- hus+fru (house woman) → husfru (housewife)
- köb+man (buying man) → köbman (merchant)
- Femmish also has agentive nouns ending in -ist which usually denotes a person who is an adherant or follower of a philosophy, religion or political system; but is also used for some generic professional agents.
- kommunisme (communism) → kommunist (communist)
- kontor (office; bureau) → kontorist (clerk; official)
- Locative nouns are those which denote the location in which an activity takes place. In Femmish, the most productive derivation for this type is the ending -erei which corresponds to the English -ery. This ending causes locative nouns to also be considered neuter. Added either to a verb, or to an agentive noun, this ending denotes that the new noun refers to where the agent carries out his trade or activity (and in some cases, the trade itself):
- brygge (to brew; make beer) → bryggeri (brewery)
- skrädder (tailor) → skrädderi (tailor’s shop)
- snedkare (carpenter) → snedkeri (carpenter’s workshop but also carpentry itself)
- Other nouns can compound to form what are essentially locative nouns. The word verk (work — in the singular) can compound to form the meaning of works, factory or workshop:
- järn (iron) → järnverk (iron-works; shipyard etc.)
- bil (car) → autoverk (autoworks; garage; workshop etc.)
AUGMENTATIVE NOUNS FROM OTHER NOUNS
- Femmish does not have a productive derivation to denote augmentative nouns but may compound existing nouns using stor- (large; great):
- en by (a town) → en storby (a city; large town)
- en markað (a market) → stormarkaðen (the supermarket)
DIMINUTIVE NOUNS FROM OTHER NOUNS
- The most productive derivation to form diminutive nouns from other nouns is the -je diminutive ending which always corresponds to common nouns:
- These nouns usually have some form of “cute” or “affectionate” connotation associated with them rather than just denoting a reduction in physical size. This ending may also cause sound-changes in the original noun, essentially creating new words.
- eð hus (a house) → en husje (a cottage); even if the original noun was of neuter gender: en katt → en kattje (a cat → a kitty); en hund (a dog) → en hundje (a doggy).
- Other diminutive nouns can be formed by adding små- (small) to an existing noun. This does not change the gender of the underlying noun:
- barnið (the child) → småbarnið (the toddler) → småbörnene (the toddlers)
- småbarnskobnen → the toddler’s play-pen
- varor (goods; merchandise) → småvaror (haberdashery; “smalls”)
- ungfru Else hað en småvarorsbuð i Rödby → Miss Else had a haberdashery shop in Rödby
- fjär (money; cash) → småfjär (change; pocket-change)
- har þu småfjär för en femmje? → do you have change for a five?
- barnið (the child) → småbarnið (the toddler) → småbörnene (the toddlers)
- Diminutive nouns can also be formed by adding -ling to an existing noun. Often nouns of this type are offspring or derivations of whatever the original noun was. All nouns in this class are common, even if the underlying noun was neuter:
- en hund (a dog) → en hundling (a puppy; whelp)
- eð trä (a tree) → en träling (a sapling)
- eð får (a sheep) → en fårling (a lamb)
- Some nouns in this category do not have an inherent diminutive meaning but are merely derived from a noun implying something larger or more important:
- en ädling (a prince) ← ädel (noble; aristocratic)
INSTRUMENTAL NOUNS FROM VERBS
- In Femmish, instrumental nouns are essentially treated as though they were agentive nouns, as it is seen that the tool or device is the agent of the action. Therefore the endings -are and -ör are most commonly employed to this end.
- att krosta (to crush; pulverise) → en steynkrostare (a rock-crusher)
- att beskydda (to protect; cover) → en bokbeskyddör (a book-cover; dust jacket)
NONSENSE NOUNS, OR SO-CALLED -IS WORDS
- In parallel to the English style of putting -thingy on a noun to form a vague, nonsensical noun; Femmish does something similar by adding -is to a root, forming a neuter gender uncountable noun used informally and in speech.
- goð (good) → goðis (candy; sweets; goodies)
- goðisið var unförbiðaðt → the present was unexpected
- þing (thing; object) → eð þingis (a thingamajig; gizmo)
- mannen gerðe eð þingis → the man made a gizmo
- goð (good) → goðis (candy; sweets; goodies)
- An inchoative verb, sometimes called an inceptive verb, shows a process of beginning or becoming. Inchoative verbs are often thought of as objectless verbs. In Femmish such verbs may be formed by adding -na to an adjective or noun to form inchoative verbs:
- röd (red) → att rödna (to redden; become red; blush)
- hon rödnaðe þa eg låð (she blushed when I smiled)
- þruma (thunder) → att þrumna (to thunder; begin thundering)
- deð är att þrumna i dalen (it’s thundering in the valley)
- röd (red) → att rödna (to redden; become red; blush)
ADJECTIVES FROM NOUNS
- Adjectives which are formed from nouns often have the -lig suffix which roughly corresponds to the -like of English. Some adjectives take the ending -lik or -liknande which forms adjectives from nouns with sense of pertaining to or having the characteristic of. Others take the ending -isk which is similar to English -ish.
- moder (mother) → moderlig (motherly)
- träið (the tree) → träliknande (woody; tree-like)
- mann (man) → människ (male; manly; masculine)
ADJECTIVES FROM OTHER ADJECTIVES
- Adjectives which are formed from other adjectives often have the -isk suffix which roughly corresponds to the somewhat- of English.
- blöt (wet; damp) → blötisk (wettish; dampish)
- svart (black) → svartisk (blackish; somewhat black)
- ung (young) → ungisk (youngish)
- Being a Germanic language, Femmish syntax shows similarities to both English and German. Like English, Femmish has a subject–verb–object basic word order, but like German, utilizes verb-second word order in main clauses, for instance after adverbs, adverbial phrases and dependent clauses.
- Adjectives generally precede the noun they determine, though the reverse is not infrequent in poetry.
- Nouns qualifying other nouns are almost always compounded on the fly (as with German, but less so with English); the last noun is the head.
- A conjunction is a part of speech that connects words, sentences, phrases or clauses.
- Coordinating conjunctions, also called coordinators, are conjunctions that join, or coordinate, two or more items (such as words, main clauses, or sentences) of equal syntactic importance.
- Translates “and”
- en katt og en hund → a cat and a dog
- Translates “or”
- en katt eller en hund → a cat or a dog
- Translates “but” or in some contexts, “however”
- deð var stor, men är deð inte storare? → that was big, but isn’t that bigger?
- Translates “that” or “in order that” and “because”
- eg är glað för att þi kom → I am happy that you came
- Translates “yet” or “still”
- de kom hemma, nog de förblev inte → they came home, yet they didn’t stay
- Translates “so”
- de kom hemma, sådan är eg glað → they came home, so I’m happy
- Correlative conjunctions work in pairs to join words and groups of words of equal weight in a sentence. There are six different pairs of correlative conjunctions:
- anveder ... eller (either ... or)
- þu kan ha anveder den här fisk eller ingeþing → you can either have this fish or nothing
- veder ... nog (neither ... nor)
- veder fisken nog krebsen var frisk → neither the fish nor the crab were fresh
- både … og (both…and)
- eg möger både kafé og thé → I like both coffee and tea
- eg möger både: kafé, thé og fruktsaft → I like both: coffee, tea and fruit-juice
- om (if; whether)
- vir frågðe om deð är när frå här → we asked whether it is nearby
- jussom ... så (just as ... so)
- jussom þu kom, så eg avgeð → just as you came, so I left
- anveder ... eller (either ... or)
CONJUNCTIONS OF TIME
- Conjunctions of time:
- når (when; whenever)
- når þu kommer, är eg glað → whenever you come, I am happy
- þa (when – in the past) see [220.127.116.11]
- för (before - in time)
- komm för kvöldmaten! → come before dinner!
- så (then; after that)
- hon såg mig, så stoð opp → she saw me, then stood up
- efter (after - in time)
- kom efter kvöldmaten! → come after dinner!
- meðan (while; as; at the same time as)
- samel hö meðan solen lyser → make hay while the sun shines
- till; ertill (until)
- ertill vir mödes igen → until we meet again
- siðan (since; ago)
- eg är att lära deð frönsk siðan eg var 3 år → I’ve been learning French since I was three
- kvis (if; supposing that)
- kvis þu går, må eg bo? → if you go, must I stay?
- om (whether; if)
- de vet inte, om þu kommer → they don’t know if you are coming
- uten (without)
- han kom inn utan att eg vet → he came in without me knowing
- når (when; whenever)
CONJUNCTIONS OF CAUSE
- Conjunctions of cause
- omdå (because; since - denoting concession)
- omdå þu avgeð → because you left
- för att (because; as a result of)
- för att þu avgeð → because you left
- faständ (even though; although)
- faständ eg är här → even though I am here
- omdå (because; since - denoting concession)
CONJUNCTIONS OF INTENT
- Conjunctions of intent
- för att (in order to)
- för att gå → in order to go
- sköldhusið för att hyra → rental-property to let
- för att (in order to)
CONJUNCTIONS OF COMPARISON
- Conjunctions of comparison
- Translates “than” and “still”
- storare änd mig → bigger than me
- deð blev änd fagare → it became prettier still
JO ... DESTO
- Translates “the __ the __”
- jo storare desto bädre → the bigger the better
- Functioning as a conjunction; used before a comparative to express comparison
- deð är desto fagare → it is all the more prettier
- Translates “as well as”
- norðið, östið, västið irsom sudið → north, east, west as well as south
- Translates “as if”
- deð var som om en dröm → it was as if a dream
[18.104.22.168]ÞA AS BOTH AN ADVERB AND A SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTION
- As an adverb þa means “then”; “at a specific time in the past”. If the sentence starts with an adverb (þa, nu, idag, betån), the verb follows in the second position:
- idag är den internationala kvennadagen → today is international women’s day ← inversion of the verb.
- þa var deð virkeligt kalda → then it was really cold ← inversion of the verb.
- If þa is working as a subordinating conjunction, it can mean “when” and there is no inversion; normal subject-verb word order is used in that clause, but the next clause is inverted if the subordinate clause begins the sentence:
- þa mannen läste dagbladeð, var han i Berlin → when the man read the newspaper, he was in Berlin.
- Unlike the more conservative Germanic languages, the attachment of a preposition to a noun phrase doesn’t alter the inflection, case, number or definiteness in any way.
PREPOSITIONS OF LOCATION
- Prepositions of location
- på → on
- tandpasten är på tandbörsten → the toothpaste is on the toothbrush
- skobutiken är på Kirkjagatan → the shoe-shop is on Church Street
- ved → at
- mannen är ved kirkjan → the man is at the church
- bildar ved en utsättning → pictures at an exhibition
- under → under
- brödräsper är under bordeð → breadcrumbs are under the table
- i → in; on (when referring to islands)
- Johan og Ursula bor i Rödby → Johan and Ursula live in Rödby
- Johan arbetar i Fårö → Johan works on Fårö
- till → to
- eg går till skolan → I go to school
- Johan går till Rödby → Johan goes to Rödby
- frå → from
- eg ankom frå skolan → I arrived from school
- Johan skal avgå frå banahoven → Johan will depart from the station
- på → on
PREPOSITIONS OF TIME
- Prepositions of time
- við → at
- eg kom við klocken tju → I came at ten o’clock
- före → before
- þu kom före stormen → you came before the storm
- om → in (expressions of time); when (another condition is met)
- kan vir ha en rust om en stund? → can we have a break in one hour?
- kan vir ha en rust om hoveden ankommer? → can we have a break when the chief gets here?
- för → for (a duration)
- kan vir ha en rust för en stund? → can we have a break for one hour?
- under → during
- han var soldat under striðið → he was a soldier during the war
- við → at
- Causal prepositions
- över → concerning; about
- han vuste ingenþing över striðið → he knew nothing about the war
- með → with
- han var glað með sin hemoppgave; he was pleased with his homework
- av → of; from
- eg är þrött av þig; I am tired of you
- eg är þrött av nattskiftið; I am tired from the night-shift
- över → concerning; about
- In Femmish, noun compounding can take two forms: if an object exists and is referred to as a known-thing then it can be compounded into a single word:
- stål (steel) + svärd (sword) = stålsvärd → steel-sword; a sword made of steel
- täkel (brick) + hus (house) = täkelhus → brick-house; a house made of bricks
- stål (steel) + man (man) = stålmannen → the steel man; a man made of steel
- But if an object is being described that is less specific, or perhaps only hypothetical, a periphrastic construction is used instead:
- glas (glass) + svärd (sword) = en svärd av glas → a glass-sword; a sword made out of glass
- man (man) + stål (steel) = mannen av stål → the man of steel
EXTENDING THE USE OF THE PRESENT PARTICIPLE:
- The present participle can also express capability:
- vanneð är inte drickande → the water is not drinkable
- etiketten är sparligt läsande → the label is barely readable
- The present participle can also be used nominally, that is, as a noun:
- en dönsktalande → a Danish-speaker
- en överlevande → a survivor
- As an SVO language (subject-verb-object), Femmish is similar to other Germanic languages in its word order. The general rule of thumb is that in a main clause the verb follows its subject, but after certain adverbs, and in subordinate clauses, the subject and verb switch place (invert):
- eg geð i eldhusið, þa ått eg eð smörbröd → I went into the kitchen, then I ate a sandwich
TMP: TIME MANNER PLACE
- Word order in Femmish is generally flexible to the extent it is in English, but one convention of word order is known as TMP or Time Manner Place, which states that adverbs of time come earlier in the sentence than those of manner, and in turn place.
- For example, I went to school this morning on foot. This would be translated by moving the elements around so that Time (this morning) came before Manner (on foot) and Place (to school):
- eg geð imorgon till fots i skolan → I went this morning by foot to school
- At any time, an adverb may be promoted to the head of the clause to draw focus or emphasis away from the subject. Whenever this happens, the S-V relationship is inverted. Consider these examples:
- eg geð i eldhusið snält → I went into the kitchen quickly
- snält, geð eg i eldhusið → quickly I went into the kitchen
- Subordinate clauses can simply be introduced by using som (which) and der (who):
- eg geð i eldhusið som var donkert → I went into the kitchen, which was dark
- han var mannen der till gav eg pengen → he was the man to whom I gave the money
- han der þörs, vinnar → he who dares, wins
- Note that unlike in focus-headed clauses, and adverb-first clauses, there is no inversion of the S-V in the subordinate clause when som is used but there often is when der is used.
- Questions are formed in Femmish in much the same way as in English. An interrogative is used to front the sentence, and then the S-V is inverted:
- kva ger þu? → what are you doing?
- kvar reser þu till? → where are you traveling to?
- når ankommer tågið? → when will the train arrive?
- kvem stryjaðe min buxa? → who pressed (ironed) my pants?
- hur går deð þu till? → how is it going with you?
- kvi stryjaðe þu min buxa? → why did you press (iron) my pants?
THE FEMMISH ALPHABET
- The Femmish alphabet is a 26-letter alphabet, using a subset of the basic Latin alphabet plus the five additional letters Å/å, Ä/ä, Ö/ö, Ð/ð and Þ/þ. These extra characters are not considered to be diacritics within the Femmish application, but rather separate, independent letters.
- The letters c, q, w and z are not used natively and are only found in words borrowed from other languages.
- The German ü is treated as a variant of y and sometimes retained in foreign names and words, e.g. müsli (muesli/granola). A proper diaeresis may very exceptionally be seen in elaborated style (for instance, in the name Aïda).
- The German convention of writing aa for å, ae for ä and oe for ö if the characters are unavailable is an unusual convention for speakers of modern Femmish and due to computer technology, the need to write them thus has diminished over the last decade.
MAJUSCULE FORMS (ALSO CALLED UPPERCASE OR CAPITAL LETTERS) :
MINUSCULE FORMS (ALSO CALLED LOWERCASE OR SMALL LETTERS)
- The above alphabetical order is also the official sorting-order for dictionaries, phone books etc. Because ä, ö and å are considered separate letters and not just variants of a and o, the visitor to Femland looking for Henning Övindsson will find his name towards the back of the telephone directory rather than after Henning Ovendsson.
- Because of its proximity to Scandinavia, and the influence of German literature in the 19th century, the typeface known as Fraktur was commonly used into the early 20th century to write Femmish. Although the use of Fraktur in modern times is practically unheard of, it is still used for writing newspaper banners, certificates and ceremonial inscriptions. It is still possible to find books in libraries and homes printed in Fraktur a few older speakers of Femmish can read, if not write, it.
- If þ and ð are not available, th and dh can replace them, though in modern times, given computer technology, this is practically unheard of. When transliterating place names into English, th is generally used in both cases:
- Norðvik → The town of Northvik
- Femmish uses punctuation in much the same way English and German do. The only notable exception is that the French-style quotation marks «» are preferred.
- «Kom här snält!», kvädaðe kvennan → “Come here quickly!”, said the woman
IDIOMS & SET PHRASES
- As in all languages, idioms and set phrases make up a large part of everyday speech. These idiomatic phrases can be thought of as Lego™ bricks of the language because they can be inserted at appropriate places to convey certain meanings. Idioms in Femmish, as in most languages, are not always grammatically correct or current and this is part of what gives them their charm.
GREETINGS & PLEASANTRIES
- Goð morgon! [’go:θ ’mɔrgon] — Good morning!
- Gott kvöld! [’got kvɶlt] — Good evening!
- Goð natt! [’go:θ nɑt] — Good night!
- Hej! [hej] or Hejðu! [hejðu:] — Ahoy! Hello! Oy!
- Hur har þu deð? [hu:r ha:r θu: deθ] — How are you?
- Hur går deð (þu till)? [hu:r gɔr deθ θu: tɪl:] — How is it going (with you)?
- Kva är þið titt? [kva: ɛ θɪθ tɪt] — What’s happening? What’s going on with you?
- Eg har deð bra, og þu? [æɪ ha:r deθ bra: o: θu:] — I’m fine, and you?
- Þack! [θɑk] — Thanks! Thank you!
- Þack för deð! [θɑk fɶr deθ] — Thanks for that!
- Marga þack! [mɑrgɑ θɑk] — Many thanks!
- Þusend þack! [θu:sənt θɑk] — Many thanks!
- Ellers þack! [el.lers θɑk] — Thanks all the same!
- Varsågoð! [’vɑrsɔˌgo:θ] — Please
- Margen gäf! [mɑrxən jɛ:f] — Good luck!
- Farvel! [fɑrvel] — Farewell! Goodbye! Adieu! (usually implies permanence)
- Ses vir imorgon! [se:s vi:r ɪ’mɔrgon] — See you tomorrow!
- Ertill snart! [ɛrtɪl: snɑrt] — See you soon! Goodbye! See you later!
- Ertill näxta! [ɛrtɪl: nɛkstɑ] — Auf Wiedersehen! Until the next time!
- Kva heter þu? [kva: he:ter θu:] — What is your name?
- Kva om deð? [kva: om deθ] — So what? Who cares?
EXCLAMATIONS, SWEARING & PROFANITY
- Drå till helvete! [drɔ: tɪl: heɭvətə] — Go to hell!
- Serðu här! [sɛrðu: hɛ:r] — Look here, you!
- Herreguð! [her.rəgu:θ] — Good grief! Good Lord! Goodness me!
- Ursäkta mig! [u:r’sɛktɑ mi:] — Excuse me! Pardon me!
- Bara þu ursäkte mig... [ba:ʁɑ θu: u:r’sɛktə mi:] — If you will excuse me...
- Att äte kyren — “to eat the cow” (to admit defeat/failure). From ancient times when a farmer would rather keep his cows for milk than eat them. In a bad winter when food was scarce he would have to decide how many cows he could afford to feed; and then kill the rest — an admission of failure.
- En häst i porcelenbutiken — “a horse in the chinashop”. Same as the English expression “bull in a chinashop”.
- Ören beräd — “ears ready”. Same as the English expression “I am all ears”, I am listening intently to you.
- Slå meðan järnen är het!— “strike while the iron is hot!”. Same as the English expression, do something while it’s the opportune time to do so.
- Hand på hjartið — “hand on heart”. Meaning honestly, sincerely, truthfully; said when there is doubt to be dispelled.
- Bröta benið! — “break a leg!”. As in English, a good luck wish to an actor or performer.
- Att velta spannan — “to knock over the bucket”. As in English, “to kick the bucket”; meaning to die, usually suddenly.
- Att skälla koringen utför käffið — “to separate the wheat from the chaff”. As in English, to clear away anything worthless.
- Inte ha en säling — “to not have a clue”. To be clueless; having no idea or suspicion of something.
- Att kasta en ög på — “to throw an eye on”. To caste a glance at; have a look at; take a peek at.
- Först ved möllen — “first at the mill” (will grind first). As in English “first come, first served”.
- Deð är mig! — “It’s me!” (said when entering a house or on the telephone etc.) This phrase is worth mentioning because it is usually pronounced //.
- Rösa brun som bärar þig över! — “Praise the bridge which bears you across!” — ie: don’t praise anything before it’s been tried.
- Rutschig om blöt! — “Slippery when wet!” — seen on notices for wet floors, wet roads etc.
- Eg är van av penningar — “I am lacking in pennies” — I am broke; I have no money.
- Att gi en grön svar till en blå fråga — “To give a green answer to a blue question” — Avoid answering the question; give an unrelated answer to the question that was asked; something politicians are apt to do.
- Blev þu förlorað bakom vagnen? — “Were you lost behind the wagon?” — Are you stupid? Were you born yesterday?
- Räkna ut! — Go figure! Who’d have thought?
- Att gå underbuxa utan — Go “commando”; to go without underwear.
- Sjukkål — “Sick Cabbage” — name given to someone who takes an abnormal amount of time away from work or school and makes excuses for always being ill. This is a play on words as sjukkål is also the name of a traditional cabbage and potato dish similar to English “bubble and squeak”.
- Sjölvs hand är bäst — literally, “self’s hand is best” — “If you want a job doing well; do it yourself!”
- Att vara i trönga skor — literally, “to be in tight shoes” — to be in trouble.
- Att fara ut på kullen — literally, “to go out on the hill” — to become homeless.
- Fröjden ger en fattig man rik. Ungäfen ger en rik man fattig — “Happiness makes a poor man rich. Unhappiness makes a rich man poor”
- marge bäg ger till en å — literally, “many streams turn into a river” — “Every bit helps”
- Är mig retað — literally, “am I teased?” — “Are you pulling my leg?”
- Kvölds röda hemel: matrosen försvares | morgons röda hemel: matrosen advares — “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight; red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning”
- Eð trä inte fälles ved den första huggen — literally, “a tree is not felled at the first cut” — “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again”
- Den sennaste fisken som sjönk trålaren — literally, “the last fish which sunk the fishing-boat” — “the straw that broke the camel’s back”
- Att komma till nakan við öppeð sköldið — literally, “to come at someone by open shield” — “to take someone by surprise”
ODINS TVÅ RAVN
- «Odin hað två ravn som hättes Hugin og Munin. de avgeð kvare morgon og tilrögfor kvart kvöld för att förtelle fallene geinom den hele verelden» '
- Odin had two ravens which were called Hugin and Munin. They departed every morning and returned every evening in order to recount the goings-on throughout the entire world. Today, someone who is a ’know-it-all’ or seems to have their beak into everyone else’s business is known as a «ravnskvaller»; a Ravengossip.
- «I hemelen, är deð inte en skällning tussen östið og västið; folkið skäffer skellningar utanför deres egna hygg, og davarande, de tröver ðem att vara sann» — Siddharta Gautama
- “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.” — Siddharta Gautama
- «deð var bara eð förspel, dort kvar de brenner böcker, brenner de også endelig folk»
- “Das war en Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.”
- “That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also.” — Heinrich Heine.
TRANSLATION #5 GAMSTE SJÖR
- Gamste sjör är en halvblöt fjämsk kyrsmjälksjör som likner danske Havartisjör. deð är navent för den fjämske byen Gamst, kvar deð var först gjört. deð är en bordsjör som kan blive skivd, grilt eller smoltet. Gamst gjörs som de fleste sjörer, ved att indföre löybe till mjälk för att orsöke klontering. Skyret ble prest inn sjörformer som är andlårt og sådan ble sjören möynt. Gamst är en vaskede skyrsjör, som bedrager till den subtil smakken av sjören. Gamst har en smöråtig smakk og kan vare nået skerp i de starkare sortene, omtrent som svisske sjör. Smakken är nået syt opp till margen syt og deð är liten kjärt. deð är möynt vånligt under tre månder, dog når sjören är äldre, ble deð mer saltig og smakker som hasselnött. Når sjören är förlåtet ved rumtemperatur, deð har tröveligenheten att blötgjöres. Den ursprunglige Gamstsjören är förskellig frå råmegamstsjör, som är frambragt uden höy-pasteuriserte mjälk, så att meiseproteinene som vilde ellers blive ombragt under frambringing, förble i skyret. Dette hever foldene aber påverker smakken og texturen. Råmegamstsjör möyner vånligt spårts liten, vegen de förblivende meiseproteinene orsöker problemer under langvarige möyning (bevantede smakk eller fremde form).
- Gamst is a semi-soft Femmish cow’s milk cheese similar to Danish Havarti. It gets its name from the Femmish town of Gamst, where it was first made. It is a table cheese that can be sliced, grilled, or melted. Gamst is made like most cheeses, by introducing rennet to milk to cause curdling. The curds are pressed into cheese molds which are drained, and then the cheese is aged. Gamst is a washed curd cheese, which contributes to the subtle flavor of the cheese. Gamst has a buttery aroma and can be somewhat sharp in the stronger varieties, much like Swiss cheese. The taste is somewhat sweet to very sweet, and it is slightly acidic. It is typically aged about three months, though when the cheese is older it becomes more salty and tastes like hazelnut. When left at room temperature the cheese tends to soften quickly. The original Gamst is different from cream Gamst, which is made from high-pasteurized milk, so that the whey proteins that would otherwise be eliminated during production remain in the curd. This raises yields but alters the taste and texture. Cream Gamst usually ripens very little, since the remaining whey proteins cause problems (off-taste, odd appearance) during prolonged ripening.
LENA SHOPS FOR SHOES
Lena är i Rödby för att köba skor för Hildes bryloft. Hon har gått rond byen i en stund, og kan inte finda skobutiken. Endelig, fråger hon nakan.
Lena is in Rödby shopping for shoes for Hilde’s wedding. She has been walking around town for an hour and cannot find anywhere to buy shoes. Finally she asks someone.
Hei! Vet þu kvar findes skobutiken?
Hey! Do you know where I can find the shoe-shop?
Ja! Skobutiken är langs þenna här gaten!
Yes! The shoe-shop is along this street!
Takk för deð!
Oh, thank you!
Takk inte på!
betratte skobutiken og ble mött av en assistent.
enters the shoe-shop and is met by an assistant.
Hei! Hur går deð till?
Hey! How are you?
Bra, takk. Eg bör köba naka skor!
Fine thanks. I need to buy some shoes!
Nå, þu ankommer i den riktiga plassen! Kvaför skor önskar þu att köba?
Well, you have come to the right place! What kind of shoes do you want to buy?
Eg går till bryloftet min vennins.
I am going to my friend’s wedding.
Bra! Vilken färg skor önskar þu?
Oh, that’s nice! What color shoes do you want?
Kan þu visa mig þe kviderne?
Can you show me white ones?
Här är naka kvida skor. Þessa är perfekt för eð bryloft!
Here are some shoes in white. These are perfect for a wedding!
Har þu ðem i rosaröd?
Do you have them in pink?
Nej. Vir har hinn enligt i kvid.
No. We only have those in white.
De är skön. Kva koster de?
They are pretty. How much do they cost?
De är inte billig! Þessa är þusend daler!
They are not cheap! These are a thousand Dalers!
Deð är mer fjär änd eg brang! Senare må eg tilrögfara!
That is more money than I brought! I will have to come back later!
KVA SÄGER REVIÐ?
Hund säger «vov»
Katt säger «mjå»
Fugel säger «tviet»
og mus säger «kvitsj»
Kyr säger «mö»
Frosk säger «kväk»
og elefanten säger «tut»
änder säger «rap»
og fisker säger «glöb»
og sälhunden säger «ov ov ov ov ov»
Aber deð är en ljud
Som ingen vet
Kva säger revið?
BARA TÅRAR — EMMELIE DE FOREST (DANMARK) — SIGER AF EUROVISION SÅNGTÄVLINGEN 2013
Hemlen är röde ikvöld
Vir är på kanten ikvöld
Inget stjernfall att väjläde vus
ög för en ög, kvi betärer vus sönder?
förtell mig kvi, kvi vir ger deð så svär?
Opsök till vus nu, vir bara har vus sjölv att beskylde
deð är sånt en skond
Hur marge ganger kan vir vinne og tabe?
Hur marge ganger kan vir bröte reglerne tussen vus?
Hur marge ganger bör vir strides?
Hur mange ganger ertil vir ger deð rett tussen vus?
Så komm og opsök till mig nu
här på bynen ikvöld
Lå’ vus förlate efter vus förtiden
The sky is red tonight
We’re on the edge tonight
No shooting star to guide us
Eye for an eye, why tear each other apart?
Please tell me why, why do we make it so hard?
Look at us now, we only got ourselves to blame It’s such a shame
How many times can we win and lose?
How many times can we break the rules between us?
How many times do we have to fight?
How many times till we get it right between us?
So come and face me now Here on the stage tonight
Let’s leave the past behind us
- «Vereldsrummet... den endelige grensen. Desse är reisene av stjernskibet Enterprise. sið vidergåttde opdrag: att udförske fremde nye verelder, att söke efter nytt liv og nye beskjavninger; att gå djarvligt, kvar ingen har varet för»
- “Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Jöltidsången — Yuletide Song
Vintren har nu avdalet
Og höstens guldene dager har slutt.
Snöflöger danser prå linden
deð är anden Jölsaga.
Bunte ljus lyser með Jöltids herlighet
Og förteller «Ungbarn i en Jate» sagaen.
Klokker ringer ud ~ ding-dong, ding-dong,
deð är anden Jöltidsång.
vära friden og kjärligheten förble þu indom
Og hemels engler lår oppå þu.
Pröv frugten og trink Portvinet
Ha en breynig Jöltiden.
Winter-time has now descended
And Autumn’s golden days have ended.
Snowflakes dance across the vale It’s another Christmas tale.
Bright lights beam with Yuletide glory
And tell the ’Babe in a Manger’ story.
Bells ring out ~ ding-dong, ding-dong,
It’s another Christmas song.
May peace and love abide within you
And heavenly angels smile upon you.
Taste the fruit and drink port wine
Have a marvellous Christmastime.
— Joyce Hemsley
- not to be confused with the German island of Fehmarn
- in monosyllabic words, a final-o is usually pronounced as /u:/ except in norðlandsk where it often pronounced as /ɔ:/
- Synonymous with inte and primarily used in formal texts and announcements meaning “not”.
- Colloquially, this might be rendered as “harðu”
- ej is a less formal alternative to inte used mostly in spoken Femmish.
- Note that the -o is pronounced as /u:/ in this case
- usually pronounced as /eː/
- bliver can also be found as ble especially informally
- skal is often reduced to ska /’scɑ:/ in colloquial speech
- The forms marked with * are not grammatically possible and given here for completion only.
- note that the subjunctive of att vara is väre
- note that the subjunctive of att ha is have
- these become simply -n and -ð if the noun already ends in -e or -a
- Note that nouns ending in -eum and -ium drop the -um before adding the definite article -ið.
- Nouns ending in -eum and -ium drop the -um before taking the plural ending.
- apart from those ending in -eum and -ium derived from Latin which belong to the third declension.
- the -a- is added in cases where pronunciation would be difficult, or rather, it is omitted where it is not needed
- also the name of a 25 penninger coin
- in Femmish, the time is given as half-to the next hour rather than half-past the previous hour, as English does it.
- The word aber also means but and was borrowed from German. Both words are used with the same meaning.
- Note that in Femmish; it translates as I learn or I am learning French since I was three and the implication is that the learning is ongoing
- In Femmish this is not just a rhetorical question as it is in English! If somoene asks you this, they expect an answer!
- not used in Femmish as much as in English. This is why Femlanders can appear rude and stand-offish to British tourists. This phrase also means “here you go” when offerering something to somebody in the way Germans say “bitte...”
- colloquially more like [kvo:m deθ]