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Volapük Vifik: Lärnod Jölid

"Forward in reverse gear? No, just simply stargazing!"

If you went one day for a driving lesson, and were instructed to engage forward gear in reverse, you would either think that the world had gone mad, or possibly that you were driving a space vehicle of the future!

Yet this is certainly the case in Volapük, which actually has a FUTURE IN THE PAST TENSE;  that is, we look at events as they WOULD BE orWOULD HAVE BEEN in the past!

All this is done by placing two dots above the O and U of the normal future tense, thus: Ö and Ü. Look at these examples:

Äkredom, das öreinos = He believed that it would rain
Äcedob, das üfinükol bü mudel = I thought thatyou would have finished (completely) before Monday

As you can see, it is simply the FUTURE IN THE PAST!

Hard facts, in other words, and nothing at all to do with stargazing,which has to do very much with an IF ONLY state of mind. By appending –ÖV to the normal form of the verb, we bring into being the CONDITIONAL; this is very much dependent on the IF or IF ONLY state of things. Look at these next examples:

If stom binonöv koldikum, ba nifosöv = If only the weather were (= would be) colder, perhaps it would snow
If ikömomöv, ägivoböv ome givoti = If he had come, I would have given him a present

Certainly not hard facts, but very much depending on whether one thing had happened!

We are already very familiar with the appendage -LI? which asks a question; however, in Volapük there is also a  -LA which indicates a somewhat remote possibility or serious doubt. Just take a look at the following examples:

No sevof, va okömom-la = She doesn't know whether he will come(but it's very doubtful indeed!)
Sagoy, das elogoms-la sneki = One says that they have seen a snake (tell me another!)

This is just to get you used to a concept which is by and large strangeto us in English; by seeing how it functions in Volapük, however,you will soon see the way it works, and when. Just now to sum up:

When to use the FUTURE IN THE PAST:

Make sure that vou are dealing with an event in the past, which looks forward to some time in the future: if you judge that such a future event would be happening beyond doubt, simply prefix -Ö onto the verb; if,on the other hand, you judge that such a future event would already have happened, prefix -Ü onto the verb.

When to use the CONDITIONAL:

Make sure that whatever is in question is so much dependent on something or someone else, that its fulfilment comes into the IF ONLY category. Just simply take any form of the verb in whatever tense and add -ÖV to it.

You will be meeting all the above in the serialized story which follows.Enjoy it!

Here is the vocabulary for the first part of our story. It will get you used to reading a whole text in Volapük without continually searching through the dictionary. You will allso be able to see how the various points of grammar fit into the whole. As usual, speak all the words out loud!

ad = to, into 
atos = this (idea, notion) 
baicedön = to agree 
betikön = to consider 
bofik = both 
büdön = to command 
cedü = in the opinion of 
cif = a chief, a head 
dil = a part 
dilod = a share 
dilön = to share 
dukötön = to cut through 
dugön = to lead 
et = that (= demonstrative) 
feitön = to fight 
fikulikum = more difficult 
fot = a forest, a wood 
frutidön = to make use of 
geridön = to bequeath (in will) 
gidik = equitable, fair 
gidid = responsibility 
gidöfön = to be right and proper 
givön = to give 
ibä = for (= because) 
ini = into (= motion) 
jevod = a horse 
kalkulön = to calculate, to work out 
kikodo? = why? 
kildil bal = one third 
kin? = what? which? (in particular) 
kiöpio? = whither? (= to where?) 
kis? = what? which? (in general) 
laf = a half 
lienetik = mad 
logedön = to glance at 
lülogön = to look at 
ma = according to 
mod = a method, a way 
nek = nobody 
nemögik = impossible 
neveütik = unimportant 
nim = an animal 
od (add on case ending) = each other 
primön = to begin, to start 
ret = (the) remainder 
sagön = to say 
sapan = a sage, a wise man 
säkäd = a problem 
seimik = a certain... 
seväriko = sternly 
sököl = following 
sötön = to 'ought' to do 
spikön = to speak 
stunükölo = in amazement 
stunükön = to amaze, to astonish 
suämön = to amount to 
täno = in that case 
tästum = a last will and testament 
tikamagot = an idea, a concept 
timil = a short time 
tuvedön = to solve, to resolve 
vedön = to become 
ya = already 
züldil bal = one ninth


Sapan Fota

Man seimik igeridom sones kil oka jevodis degvel, ed in tästum okik ibüdom, das ösötoms dilön nimis ma mod sököl: son bäldikün ögetom lafi jevodas; son telid ögetom kildili bal jevodas; son kilid ögetom züldili bal jevodas.  Ädugoms jevodis ini yad, ed äprimoms ad kalkulön; pos timil älogedoms odis stunükölo.

Blod bäldikün älülogom votikanis, ed äsagom:"If no evedob-la lienetik, laf degvela binon jöl e laf, ab no kanobs dukötön jevodi."

"Atos binos neveütik," blod telid äsagom, "ibä kildil bal degvela binon lul e kildils tel, e binos nog fikulikum ad dilön jevodi ad dils kil, ka ad dils tel!"

E cedü blod kilid, züldil bal degvela ya äbinön nemögik.

"Nek kanon frutidön jevodi lafik," blod bäldikün äsagom. "Dilod obik suämon jevodis jöl e lafiki; if ols nu vilolsöv givön obe i lafi votik et, kludo jevodis zül, atos binonöv te gidik -- täno kanolsöv dilön odes reti!"

Ab blods votik no äkanoms baicedön.

Blod bäldikün äbetikom gididi oka as cif famüla,ed äsagom seväriko: "No gidöfos pro obs ad feitön!  Golobsöd lü sapan fota!"

1) Translate the above episode into ENGLISH.

2) Answer the following questions in Volapük:

  1. Kisi igeridom-li sones oka man seimik?
  2. Kisi ibüdom man at in tästum okik?
  3. Kikodo ädugoms-li jevodis ini yad?
  4. Kikodo älogedoms-li sons stunükölo odis?
  5. Son bäldikün labom tikamagoti gudik: Kin binon-li?
  6. Baicedoms-li blods votik tefü atos?
  7. Kikodo blod bäldikün äspikom seväriko blodes oka?
  8. Kikodo no ägidöfos pro oms ad feitön?
  9. Kiöpio mutoms-li golön?
  10. Labol-li tikamagoti gudikum ad tuvedön säkädi?

3) Finally, write a résumé of approximately one third of the length of the original episode.