Vol 2 No 2 Spring/Summer 2005

Learning Domari: A Translation Exercise

by Donald Kenrick

Have you read all the Domari lessons so far? Here is a story to keep you going. I have separated the suffixes with a hyphen the first time they occur. More grammar to come in a later number of Kuri.

Gar-om Rihyata.
Laherdom Qlar-eni pand-asma.
Mind-end-im, ferendim,
par-de kiyakom u parde mneshim taran zerd,
Bagerde siriom lau ma laherde kajjeni ar-indi pandasma.
Laherdend-san Qlare, nas-re.
Shtaldendom tate qara-sta, pardendom, nirdendom ahlom-ka.
Pardendom ahlom, gare minjim tmaliesta.
Ktib-kerdas xatak tilla-tmalieska.
Penda gorandele Qlaranka.
Ktif-kerdendsan u nandendsan u tirdossan tilla-tmali elhasma.
Nande Œad kiyakom u plen.


Rihyata = Jericho (Arabic Ar-Riha)
Qlar = Beduin
Zerd = a gold coin
lau ma (Ar.) = if not)
kajja = tat = peasant, fellah
ahl (Arabic)
tmali = official
tilla-tmali (Lit, big official) = regional governor
ktib-ker (write) and ktif-ker (bind) are examples of common word formation in Domari using an Arabic noun followed by ker- (do)
xatak (Ar.) = letter
Œad = (Ar.)
elhasma = irregular locative case of lihi (iron) and was (is still?) the slang word for "in prison"
plen = accusative of ple


I went to Jericho.
I saw Beduin on the road.
They seized me, beat me,
took my things and took from me three gold coins.
They would have broken (lit. they were breaking) my head if they had not seen peasants coming.
The Beduin saw them, they ran.
The peasants lifted me on a donkey, they took me, they carried me to my people.
My people took me, they went with me to the local governor.
He wrote a letter to the regional governor.
He took horsemen to the Beduin.
They bound them and took them and the governor put them in prison.
They gave back my things and money.

Now read the story aloud in Domari

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