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Bussimi Naapinneq By Maaliaaraq Vebæk

This book ("A Meeting on the Bus") is about a Greenlandic woman who went to Copenhagen to live with a Danish lover, but whose life there is less than happy.

The extracts below in bold are the from the first two pages of the book. Each extract is followed by vocabulary notes and in the case of the first three extracts, a suggested English translation.

Andy Buisson


Ullut ilaanni illoqarfimmi suliffinni inerama
pisiniaqattaalaasinnarlunga angerlarniarlunga Nørreportimut
ingerlavunga, taanna bussit assigiinngitsorpaaluit aqqutigisarmassuk

Ullut: days
ilaanni: on one/some (of them)
illoqarfik: town
-mi: in(/at)
suliffik: workplace
-n-ni: at my
ini-: to be finished/to finish
-rama (/-gama): when (past tense) (/because) I ...
pisinia-: to go shopping (pi-: thing, -si-: buy, -nia- to go
and.../to intend to...)
-qattaa-: repeatedly/the whole time
-laar-: a little (also softens the tone)
-sinnar: after doing X (NB not to be confused with -sinnaa: can)
-lunga: while I ... / and I ...
angerlar-: to go home
Nørreport: a street in Copenhagen
-i- : epenthetic vowel to allow -mut ending to be added to foreign
word/word ending in a consonant
-mut: to
ingerla-: go (on foot)
-vunga: I ... (indicative)
taanna: this/that
bussi(t): bus(es)
assigiingitsut: different
-paaluit: a great many
aqqutigi-: travel along it (lit. to have it as a road)
-sar- (-tar-): tend to (frequentative)
-massuk: because (when) they...it
iki- : get on board
-artor-: to intend do/make an effort to
-figi: to have something as a place of...
-gaju(k)-: a lot
-kakku: because (when) I ... it

"One day, when I was finished at work in town, and I was heading
home after doing a bit of shopping, I walked to Nørreport, since I
often went there to catch a ride because of the many different buses
that passed by there."Aarimmi linie 5 tikiuppoq, tassungalu ikivunga, bussi taanna
angerlartillunga ilaaffigalugu pitsaanerpaat ilagimmassuk

The last wordlist was in order of the words appearing. This one is
in alphabetical order and I have omitted words/particles explained
in the previous list to make things less straightforward. If want to
try this without the translation don't look below the wordlist. If
you have difficulty with just this I give a breakdown and a
translation with some hints as to how to analyse the bits, the last
few words are quite tricky:

aarimmi: just as I thought!, as you can see!
-(f)figi- (-ffigaa): to have X as the place/object of my action
-gi-: to have X as...
iki-: to get on board (object takes -mut/nut case)
ila: part
ilagi-: to have X as a part/as one of it
ilaa-: to be a passenger
linie 5: "line 5" i.e. the number 5 bus
-lu: and
-lunga: while [unstated subject] [verbs] me (NB note that in the
last sentence -lunga meant "while I [verb]". It has two meanings
intransitive where -nga means "I", and a transitive meaning where
the ending signifies the object, "me")
-nerpaaq: most(plural: -nerpaat)
pitsaa-: good
tassunga: to this (=tassa+mut)
tikiu*-: to have arrived (cf tikippoq: to come)
-ti*: to cause

Word for word breakdown

"Just.as.I.thought line 5 has.arrived, to.this-and board-I, bus this
go.home-cause-while.me [i.e. taking me home] be.a.passenger-
have.as.place.of-while.it(object) [having it as my transport] good-
most(pl) [the best ones] part-have.as-because.they...it [because
they (the best ones) have it as part of them , as one of them i.e.
because it is one of the best]

"Just as I thought, the number 5 had arrived, which I boarded,
because this bus was one of the best to be taken home by (to go home

Ualeq aallartilaaginnarsimavoq, taamaammat angallatit suli
inoqaruluunngillat. Issiaviit sanileriittarissat ilaanni arnaq
kalaaliugunartoq kisimiilluni issiasoq takullugu sanianut

aallarti-: begin
angallat: vehicle (plural -it)
arnaq: woman
-ginnar: only/just (same as -innar, -annar)
-gunar: apparently, seemingly
ingippoq: to sit down
ino-: stem of inuk: person
issiavik: seat (plural -[/k/]it)
issiavoq: to be sitting
kalaaleq: greenlander (stem: kalaali-)
-kiartor, iartor, jartor, riartor: to go [there] to ...
kisimi: alone
kisimiippoq: to be alone
-luni: while [subject of main verb] does X (kontemporativ 4ps)
-qa-: to have, to exist, there is, there are
-riaq: the place where... (plural -rissat)
-ruloor: hard, forcefully (ruluu- where final "r" is removed by
following affix)
sani: side
sanileriipput: to be next to one another, side by side
-sima-: perfective affix: similar to "to have X'd".
-soq/toq: nominal verb form: who does X, that does X.
suli: still/yet
taama: so, such;
taamaappoq: to be such;
taamaammat: because it was such= therefore
taku- : see
-tar-/-sar-: affix denoting a habitual/usual action
ualeq: afternoon

Further comments:

-ruluu- in this case I believe expresses the fact that later in the
afternoon there would normally be a lot of people in the buses (but not
In this case the sitting down by her side is as a result of what she has
seen, so I would put that afterwards in the translation.
Sanianut = sani-a-nut > to her side.
sanileriit-ta-rissat: the places which were [habitually] side by side,
i.e. one of the row of double seats in a bus.
The subject of kisimiilluni agrees with issiasoq, which is the main verb
for that phrase of the sentence, so the rule isn't broken.

"The afternoon had only just begun, so there was not yet a great number
of people in the vehicles [buses]. Seeing a woman who appeared to be
Greenlandic sitting alone on one of the double seats, I went to sit down
next to her."

Igalaap killingani issiavoq silammut isigaluni. Paasivara
ilisarisimanngikkiga. Taamaattoq sanianut inginniarpunga
kalaaliusorilluinnarakku nalinginnaq oqaloqatigiissinnaagatta, soorlu
taamaakkajuttartugut. Aammami angallatini taamaattuni
ingerlarusaarluni oqaloqateqarluni ingerlaneq sivikinnerusutut

aamma: and
aammami: and indeed
-gatta/ratta/kkatta: because we...
igalaq : window (-ap: relative case)
ilisarisimavaa: know X
isigaaq: look (from "isigavoq")(isigaa: look at X)
-kaju*-: often (cf -gaju* in extract 1)
-kkiga/-giga/riga: transitive nominal mood, (that) I...her
killeq: edge/border (killinga: its edge/border)
-ki*: small/few > sivi-kip-poq: short lasting
-mat: because it...
misigi-: feel
nalinginnaq: general/one or other
-nar-: "be such as to". So in the example the
translation is along the lines of: "because travelling on a slow bus
having a chat with someone is such as to make the journey feel

-neq/-neruvoq: more
oqaloqat: someone to speak with
oqaloqatigiip-put: they have a conversation (plural subjects only)
paasivaa: understand it/realise it
-qat: a fellow X
-rakku/gakku/kkakku: because I...her
-rusaar-: without hurry
silak: sky (silammut: outside)
-sinnaa: can
sivisooq: long lasting
soorlu: just like, as if
-sori-: think that
-sutut: intransitive nominal mode -soq + "aequalis" case -tut.
taamaappoq: be such (nominal mode>taamaattuni: in such (plural))
taamaattoq: however (set phrase)
-tugut: intransitive nominal mode, (that) we...
-tut/-sut: "aequalis" case = as X (also used of languages:
kalaallisut oqarpunga - I speak as a Greenlander i.e. I speak


ingerlaneq "the travelling" - is the subject of misigisimanartarmat

sivikinnerusutut - is the sort of object of misigisima- "feel"

Lit. "like a shorter one"
-tut : like
sivikinneru-: shorter
-su-: one/that (which is)




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ainu lesson ,4

I want to..

English Sound Ainu
What do you want to eat? Hemanta ee rusuy ya?
I want to eat candy. Topenpe ke rusuy
What do you want to drink? Hemanta eku rusuy ya?
I want to drink tea. Oca kuku rusuy
I want to go home soon. x Tane kuhosipi rusuy
I want to rest because I am tired. Kusinki kusu kusini rusuy


English Sound Ainu
I hope it would be fine tomorrow. Nisatta sirpirka yak pirkap!
One part of a poetry below
I would be wind.., I would be bird.. Rera ta kune,... cikap ta kune,...
If I could be, ki wa ne yakun
I could meet my lover in this day. Kuyupo tananto or ta kunukar oka!

Ainu English
e- you
e eat (foods)
ki do (something)
ku- I
ku drink (beverage)
kusu in order to, because
ke < ku-e
sini take rest
sirpirka fine
sinki tired
- ta - oka (It means hope which is unlikely to realize)
tananto or ta today (It is used in verse. In usual sentense,"tanto")
tane already,no longer
cikap bird
topenpe candy
nisatta tomorrow
nukar meet (person)
ne be,become
hemanta what
hosipi go home
ya (It means question)
yak (It means condition)
yakun in case,if
yupo lover (It is used in verse to man. To woman,"tures". In usual sentense,it means older brother)
rusuy want to
rera wind
wa and
pirka good
-p (It nominalizes verb which is completed by vowel. By consonaunt, "-pe")

ainu language lesson 6

My name is..

English Sound Ainu
What is your name? Erehe mak aye?
My name is ______ Kurehe anakne ______ ne
How old are you? Epaha hempakpe an?
I am Twenty eight years old Kupaha anakne tupesan pa ikasma hotne pa ne

note Let's practice with your name and years

You see "Number"

I come from..

English Sound Ainu
Where do you come from? Hunak wa eek?
I come from Sapporo Sapporo wa kek
Do you come alone? Sinen ne eek?
I come with mother Hapo turano kek
Where do you go to tomorrow? Nisatta hunak un earpa?
I go to Biratori Biratori un karpa
Please go with me! Entura wa enkore!
Let's go! Uturano payean ro!
(To leave men)
Good bye!
Apunno paye yan!

note Let's practice with your places

dic. Number
Ainu English
a- somebody
-an we
anakne (It present subject)
apunno peaceful
arpa go(It is singular form. cf.;paye)
e- you
ek come
en- me
hempakpe how many
hunak where
karpa < ku-arpa
kek < ku-ek
kore give (them goods)
ku- I
mak how
ne be,become
ne (It means situation. cf.;sinen ne)
nisatta tomorrow
pa year
paha (one's) year
paye go(It is plural form. cf;arpa)
re name
rehe (one's) name
ro (It means temptation)
sinen one parson
sinen ne alone
tura bring (them) with
turano together with
un to (place)
uturano together
wa from (place)
wa and
ye tell

Water please!

English Sound Ainu
Water please! Wakka enkore
Chopsticks please! Pasuy enkore
Bowl please! Itanki enkore
Two bowls please! Tu itanki enkore
Here you are. x O

Please help me!

English Sound Ainu
Please put me up! x Enrewsire wa enkore
Please help me! Enkasuy wa enkore
Please take me with you! Entura wa enkore
Please wait for me! Entere wa enkore
Please show me! Ennukare wa enkore
Please tell me! Ennure wa enkore
Please say it again! Na arsuyne ennure wa enkore
Ok Pirka wa

Ainu English
arsuyne once
en- me
itanki bowl
kasuy help (them)
kore give (them goods)
na more
nukare show (them goods)
nure make (them) listen
o Here you are
pasuy chopsticks
pirka good
rewsire put (him) up (It is singular form)
tere wait (them)
tu two
tura bring (them) with
wa (the word soften them voice)
wakka water

Let's go!

English Sound Ainu
Let's go! Uturano payean ro!
Let's eat! Uturano ipean ro!
Let's talk about! Ukoisoitakan ro!
See you again! Suy unukaran ro!

Why don't you..?

English Sound Ainu
Why don't you drink water? Wakka eku hike makanak ne wa?
Why don't you wait a moment? Na atere hike makanak ne wa?

Ainu English
a- we (It is used with transitive verb. cf;-an)
-an we (It is used with intransitive verb. cf;a-)
e- you
ku drink (beverage)
hike which (person do)
makanak how
na more
ne be,become
paye go(It is plural form)
ro (It means proposal)
suy times
tere wait (them)
ukoisoitak talk with
unukar meet
uturano together
wa (the word soften them voice)
wakka water