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Toaq with Ease

Héıko chỉetoaı – Lesson 10

Hỉo ka. Zảı jí chô súq níaıbue da. Hello. I hope you like the animal shelter.
Kủaq kỉe ka. Líqfu bı shảo hó kôe hó sa nỉaı da. Thank you. (My) daughter wants to pick out an animal.
M̉. Pủı níaı da. Tỉ sa kủne ru sa kảto da. Right. There are many animals. There are dogs and cats here.
Mả tỉ sa nỉo moq? Are there young ones here?
Mỉu jí tî sa nỉo da. I think there are some young ones.
Tỉopuı bé moq? How many babies are there?
Enı, sảq bé da. Here are three babies.
Chỏ bũ jí ní, hu ába da. Dẻ bũ ní da. Baq hảbı bı hỉa moq. I don’t like those, father. They are not beautiful. How about birds?
Mmm mỏaq bũ jí mâ tỉ sa hảbı da… Uhm, I don’t remember whether there are birds…
Tıu tủa súq kâqgaı míy káto ba. Then show us the cats.
Kảqgaı súq ní ba. Tỉ sa kủo ru sa bảo ru sa rỷaq da. Mỉu súq hı rảı moq? See here. There are black ones, white ones and orange ones. What do you think?
Lỏı jí baq kảto da. I hate cats.
Kủaq shẻo ka. Jỏaı jí baq hảbı ba. I am sorry. Let me look for birds.
Kủaq kỉe ka. Shảo jí jâi líqfu da. Thank you. I want (my) daughter to be happy.
Mả chỏ súq ní moq? Kỏruo ní da. Do you like this one? This is a raven.
[alright] lẻ hûı bũ hó da. I guess it’s probably not bad.
Je hı rảı bı shảo súq chûa ráı hó moq? What would you like its name to be?
Chủa hı rảı beı súq moq? What is your name?
shú Tỏmı! Tommy!
Tıu bũ shú Tỏmı. Then not Tommy.


  1. The compound lıqfu “to be a daughter” has the components lıq “to be female”, and fu “to be an offspring”.

  2. Tỉopuı is another verb question. While hỉa asks what something is, tỉopuı asks how many things a given expression refers to. In Toaq, instead of asking “How many babies are there?”, we ask “How numerous are the babies”, Tỉopuı bé moq?.

  3. Enı is an interjection meaning “here, take this / look at this”. Number verbs express the numerosity of a thing: Sảq bé “The babies are three in number”.

  4. We already met mama “to be a mother”. Now we meet aba “to be a father”.

  5. baq, like sa and tu, turns a verb into a noun. The noun it creates refers generically to the kind of thing the verb describes. baq hảbı “birds in general”, as opposed to any particular animal.

  6. This sentence showcases another indirect question, but instead of it uses . , with a rising-falling tone is the content clause version of mả, and can be translated as “whether”. mâ tỉ sa hảbı “whether some birds are present”.

  7. This sentence is a great example of how much you can already achieve with the little grammar we have introduced. Tủa súq kâqgaı míy káto literally means “you make it the case that we see the cats”, which uses the power of paraphrase to express “you show us the cats”. Using such tricks, we can express things we don’t know the words for. We will also learn easier and shorter ways to say such things soon.

  8. We see beı again, which adds emphasis to the following word. Recall that it is beı that takes the stress in spoken Toaq, often accompanied by a falling tone, while the word following beı remains unchanged.

  9. shú is used to quote and refer to the following word. shú Tỏmı means “the word ‘Tommy’”. An important semantic point here is that the correct way to say “My name is Tommy” is Chủa shú Tỏmı jí da, and not Chủa mí Tỏmı jí da. The word ‘Tommy’ itself is the name. Chủa mí Tỏmı jí da would mean “My name is something named Tommy”, that is, the name has a name!



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