Rosalie and Master Obi-Wan finally got fed up and made me give you guys (and them!) a Saalisan ‘crib sheet’.  Saalisan is a tolerably complex language.  I’ve heard it said there is a reason the Saalisan species is highly tolerant of alcohol – we can’t afford to be buzzed, we have to cope with the language!

The following may be of help.

We’ll be working on the dictionary over the course of War Stories – keep checking back for updates!

– Nasriel K. Threeb

Pronunciation and Grammatical Points:

  • Saalisan has five vowel sounds and only five: ah (like in father), eh (like in egg), ee (like in green), oh (like in orange), oo (like in lunar).  Y used as a vowel is pronounced exactly the same as i. Where two vowels are written one after the other, as in chaered, they are not pronounced as a blend. Chaered is pronounced CHA-ered. This rule also applies in cases of compound words.
  • In the case of a double vowel, as in Saalis or gehdyii, it is acceptable to pronounce the vowel only once.
  • CH is always the ch of the Basic word lurch, not the Scotch word loch.
  • X is not to be pronounced ts, sk, or indeed in any way but ks. This especially applies at the beginning of words.  (X isn’t pronounced ch, either!)
  • G is always the hard g of gate, not the soft g of general.
  • Where a h immediately precedes an r, the h is silent and the r trilled as in the French language.
  • An apostrophe or hyphen is never used to denote possession or contraction: if either appears in a word, that is how the word is spelled, and does not mean another word is connected thereto.
  • The plural form of any noun is -al, as in ilaraal, daughters; dai-schenal, fools.
  • A noun can be converted into a verb by adding the prefix si-, as to differentiate between iblas, a falsehood, and siiblas, lying or deceiving.
  • A verb can be converted into a noun by adding the prefix eng-, as to differentiate between berekes, grumbling, and engberekes, a complaint.
  • The compounding of words is used, without hyphenation, to turn a word into a phrase, as in xekacher, “inaccurate”; chenilara, “beloved child”.  (E.g. I would have no problem with calling my Master chenray varetki, but if he asked me to translate it might take a while.)
  • Compound words are very common, as in loalxan, “their”. (lo + al + xan)
  • Wira or vehl should be appended to past or future action verbs to denote when the action takes place, as in wira erelyan, will come. If the action takes place in the present, wlen is considered implied.
  • Numbers are “spelled out”, so 72 would be said fitarui, and 100 tehatekateka. After 1,000 the rule changes slightly, so that 1,000,000 is said teha v onoteka, (one and six noughts) and certainly not tehatekatekatekatekatekateka.
  • It is correct to call a stranger chen, but never ray, adnil, ilara, or linda.
  • Because no wlen and closely related phrases are common, but difficult to say, it is considered pardonable to say instead noen. On the whole, contractions are frowned upon in polite society.
  • Above all do not confuse sita and gehdyii. Any half-decent story-teller can explain the reason for this.  (A lexicographer I know said he was pretty sure the words were originally mangled versions of Sith and Jedi, but the meanings have changed over the years since the Shendi invasion.)
  • Skeg is not rude. Yrelt is.
  • To avoid ill-feeling, avoid using the adjective kynanze in relation to Shendi. It will not make you any friends – unless of course you remember to specify that you mean mikri Shendi like Ben and Master Obi-Wan.
  • Pensloe and hedyen are not words to be thrown about carelessly. They have very weighty legal meanings.
  • Concrete nouns are masculine, abstract nouns feminine, except in the case of ships and other vehicles, which are also feminine.  Saalisan has no neuter-gender option – if you don’t know which gender to use, mumble.
  • The words used for “we, our” varies according the gender of the speaker: a male would say yoal, yoalxan, a female yual, yualxan, regardless of the other person’s gender. (e.g. if I had to explain something Ben and I had done, I would still say yual.)
  • The gender of “they” is determined by the prevailing gender of the group, including both animals and people; e.g. Ben, Kijé, Telcontir, Sima, and I would be referred to as loal, but Sima, Cifonabh, Kijé, Zait, and Blaze, as lual. If the numbers are exactly equal lual is used.
  • Wlen can be used to mean “is”, “now”, “am”, or “are”. Unlike wira and vehl, it is never added to verbs in the present tense.


Word Meaning Pronunciation
teha 1 TEH-hah
rui 2 ROO-ee
tora 3 TOH-rah
fa 4 fah
rami 5 RAH-mee
ono 6 OH-no
fita 7 FEE-tah
waro 8 WAH-roe
iwei 9 ee-WEH-ee
teka 0 the-KAH
-al (suffix) denotes a plural -ahl
eng- (prefix) denotes a word as a noun eng-
si- (prefix) denotes a word as a verb see-
adnil son AHD-neel
aliyar home/homecoming AH-lee-yar
alwen serve, assist AHL-wen
alxixian hurry, rapidity alk-SEEK-see-ahn
athemyx a precious jewel ah-THEM-eeks
ben some, several behn
berekes complain, grumble beh-REK-es
b’nedik kill deliberately b-NED-eek
chaered organize CHA-er-ed
chen “dear” – respect/affection chen
dai-shen a fool (lacks morals or wits) da-EE-shen
darai reason dar-AH-ee
darvai thoughts, reflections dar-VAH-ee
dvesnan separation, banishment D-VES-nahn
enkath fault, blame EN-kahth
eran a writer or poet ER-ahn
erelyan come/go er-EL-ee-ahn
ereli where [place] er-EL-ee
exeno/-u sibling (m/f) eks-EH-noh/-noo
fess a disguise fehss
filmtal never FEELM-tahl
gehdyii sorcerer (ambivalent) GEH-dyee-ee
giz commotion, upset geehz
guk die gook
hamlin run HAHM-leen
hanobel boast HAH-no-bel
harexto death har-EKS-toh
hedyen illegitimate, doubtful HED-yen
hestrem to recite poetry/orate HES-trem
hol when hol
hrabe darkness RAH-beh
hroest language, words, speech ROH-est
iblas falsehood EE-blaas
ilara daughter EE-la-rah
ilexien situation, problem ee-LEKS-ee-ehn
ilexno denotes reluctance ee-LEKS-noh
imeltaneska inevitable/-bility ee-mel-tan-ES-kah
irextal forever, always ee-REKS-tahl
iyada loathing, disgust ee-YAH-dah
kaliu rising KAH-lee-oo
kan daring (diff. from courage) kahn
k’burnam a small town k-BOORN-ahm
kersen rescue KER-sehn
ki (suffix) of, from kee
korzu invisible KOR-zoo
kynanze noble, honorable kee-NAHN-zeh
linda mother LEEN-dah
lo he/they (m) loh
l’sagen alive l-SAH-gen
lu she/they (f) loo
merdach a lunatic MER-dach
mikravt keen intelligence MEE-krahvt
mikri peaceful, harmless MEE-kree
mir paper, esp. legal or official meer
mistrauti to tell an unconvincing lie mees-TRAH-oo-tee
miw only meew
mleh [expression of disgust] mleh
mured concrete, permanent (adj) moo-REHD
muredarvai certainty moo-REHD-ar-vah-ee
na again nah
nar who, what nar
narxai great, supreme (of a person) narks-AH-ee
nas boy nahs
nataz light, ‘all right, okay’ nah-TAHZ
netpoba plot, scheme net-POH-bah
nitedarod fight nee-TEHD-ah-rohd
no/nu you (m/f) noh/noo
norex how NOH-rehks
oreth must, need OR-reth
orli may [permission] OHR-lee
parekat naturally pah-REHK-aht
peligro warning PEH-lee-groh
pensloe womanizer, adulterer pehn-sloh-EH
peoren numbers peh-OHR-ehn
pepred a convincing lie PEHP-rehd
pyn in peen
rashl beautiful, lovely rashl(ah)
ray father RA-ee
revaed trust, faith, hope (noun) reh-VAH-ed
riltrex exit REEL-trehks
riyo a species of large tree REE-yoh
samr room, home sahmr(ah)
selat root, origin seh-LAHT
sepris a tree similar to a cypress SEH-prees
serl girl serl
sh but, although sh(ah)
sholto pain, hurting SHOHL-toh
sholok deduce, discover SHOHL-ohk
shulx kill accidentally shoolks
silevri make, create (verb) see-LEHV-ree
sita sorcerer (evil) SEE-tah
skeg ice [archaism] skehg
skre [intensifier, like Latin ego] skreh
smerniat all, every SMEHR-nee-aht
snark steal, or sneak away snahrk
solvi why or because SOHL-vee
stav with stahv
svess relating to the military svehss
T’ (prefix) divine t
taz one day tahz
tac stop tahk
taji-ik one who lives in one place tajee-EEK
temsen teeth, bones TEHM-sehn
ten yes tehn
terezen mean, intend teh-REH-zehn
T’Harexto god of death t-har-EKS-toh
T’Narxai god of the sky, chief god t-NARKS-ah-ee
tre-etim havoc or anarchy treh-EH-teem
treng relating to flying trehng
tsen respect tsehn
T’Varel god of love and marriage t-vah-REL
T’Xan’n god of snakes and hunters t-KSAN-n
tzoro truth TZOH-roh
uscali year oo-SCAH-lee
v and, also v
varel love (verb) vah-REL
varet the heart var-EHT
v’ben devious (literally and then some) v-BEHN
vehl was [past tense] vehl
voi out VOH-ee
vruchlayam a large city VRUCH-la-yahm
weret desire, inclination WEH-ret
wira will be [future tense] WEE-rah
wlek the grand scheme of things wlek
wlen am, are, is [present tense] wlen
w’sagen dead w-SAH-gehn
xacher correct KSAH-cher
xai above ks’ai
xan [possession] ksahn
xan’n serpent KSAHN-n
xek no ksek
xor of, about, involving ksohr
yknalen abandon, throw away eek-NAH-lehn
yo/yu I, me (m/f) yoh/yoo
yrelt evil, [epithet] ee-REHLT

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