Lesson 3

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Тыва Дыл Үшкү Kичээл

Tyvan Lesson 3: Describing Things

Dialog - Чугаалажыр

Олар чүл? Olar сhül? What are those?
Олар аъттар-дыр. Olar a'ttar-dyr. Those are horses.
Кандыг аъттар? Kandyg a'ttar? What kind of horses?
Олар хүрең аъттар-дыр. Olar khüreŋ a'ttar-dyr. Those are brown horses.
Каш аъттар? Kash a'ttar? How many horses are there?
Чеди аъттар. Chedi a'ttar. There are seven horses.
Болар чүл? Bolar chül? What are these?
Бо эрги номнар-дыр. Bo ergi nomnar-dyr. These are old books.
Олар-биле? Olar-bile? And those?
Олар чаа номнар-дыр. Olar chaa nomnar-dyr. Those are new books.

Vocabulary - Сөстер


хүрең кара ак кызыл кызыл-сарыг сарыг ногаан ягаан-көк көк өкпең ягаан
khüreŋ kara ak kyzyl kyzyl-saryg saryg nogaan jagaan-kök kök ökpeŋ jagaan

Numbers 1-10 - Саннар

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
бир ийи үш дөрт беш алды чеди сес тос он
bir iji üsh dört besh aldy chedi ses tos on

More Adjectives

ulug/biche big/small
anyjak/kyrgan young/old
bedik/chavys tall/short
uzun/choldak long/short
borbak/kalbak round/flat
chaa/ergi new/old
delgem/kyzaa broad/narrow
izig/chylyg/sook hot/warm/cold
khoglu:g/chalgaaranchyg happy/sad
semis/argan fat/skinny
чараш charash/? beautiful/ugly

Grammar - Дүрүмнери

Pronouns - ат орнулар

The following chart shows the nominative pronouns. Tyvan does not have grammatical gender so instead of three different words for he, she, and it, only one word (ol) is used.

мен men I
сен (силер) sen (siler) you (or polite you)
ол ol he, she, it
бис bis us
силер siler you all
олар olar they

Many languages have polite forms of address and Tyvan is no exception. Use 'siler' for 'you' when speaking to strangers, elders, or others who you are not on familiar terms with. Siler is also used as a plural pronoun.

Noun Plurals - Хойнуң саны чүве ади

The plural suffix has several different forms depending upon vowel harmony and consonant assimilation. It utilizes front/back vowel harmony. The following chart shows examples of the relationship between the sound at the end of words and the consonant to begin the plural suffix with.

For words that end in a vowel or р г й, use лер/лар. Front words чер (land) -лер черлер
Back words тыва (tyva) -лар тывалар
For words that end in a nasal (м н ң), use нер/нар. Front words хүн (day) -нер хүннер
Back words ном (book) -нар номнар
For words that end in л, use дер/дар. Front words өреел (room) -дер өреелдер
Back words хол (hand) -дар холдар
For words that end in a voiceless consonant (т п с ш к ч), use тер/тар. Front words инек (cow) -тер инектер
Back words аът (horse) -тар аъттар

Word Order

Adjectives usually come before nouns. Adjectives do not have a plural agreement with the plural nouns they modify.

көк куш kok kush blue bird
ногаан куштар nogaan kushtar green birds
ак аъттар ak a'ttar white horses
кара диис kara diis black cat

In full names, the family name comes before the given name. In this way, the family name is like an adjective and this conforms to the idea that adjectives come before nouns. It's a bit like 'Little John' in English.

Koshkendej Igor
Tamdyn Aldar

Subject - Object - Verb
The basic word order of a Tyvan sentence is SOV. Compare this with English SVO. If you used Tyvan word order when speaking English, instead of saying 'I bring the pail', it would be 'I the pail bring'.

The person/number indicator.
In a lot of languages, the verb is conjugated to indicate the person (first, second, third) and number (singular, plural) of the subject. This also occurs in Tyvan, but most of the time it doesn't. Therefore the verb needs a word after it in order to communicate this information. This word is called the person/number indicator, and luckily, it is the same as the pronouns: men, sen, siler, etc. In the below example, you can see the first word is the Subject of the sentence, the second word is the Object, and the final word is the Person/Number Indicator. In this case, -dir is acting like the verb 'to be'.

Subject Object Verb + Person/Number Indicator
Men Stacey -dir men
I Stacey am

In sentences with the third person (ol and olar), we don't need to use the person/number indicator.

Subject Object Verb
Ol kham -dyr
He shaman is

Interrogative Pronouns - Айтытыгның ат орнулар

Кымыл - Who is it?

Who is it?

Кымыл? Kymyl? Who is it?
Ол эмчи-дир. Ol emchi-dir. It is the doctor.
Мен-дир мен. Men-dir men. It's me.
Ол-дыр. Ol-dyr. It's him (her, it).


Каш - How many?


Каш ном?
Беш ном.

Kash nom?
Besh nom.

How many books?
Five books.
Каш аът?
Дөрт аът.
Kash a't?
Dört a't.
How many horses?
Four horses.
Каш емчи?
Алды емчи.
Kash emchi?
Aldy emchi.
How many doctors?
Six doctors.