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Author Archives: Nostalgoa

Rôchlai, Deva, Pôs

One good turn deserves another Translated literally, it says: “God, you have created me, adopt me”, though the exact sense it conveys is: God, you have created me, now how about taking care of me! Rôchlai, Deva, pôs — just three words — and so pious they almost articulate a sublime prayer! But they are loaded with a wealth of connotations and associations. The proverb is … Continue reading »

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Valichea niban mhôsgak udok

A case of piggybacking Valichea niban mhôsgak udok means that the drumstick tree gets hydrated in the process of the creeper being watered. This is apparently a simple expression, but is open to somewhat differing interpretations depending on the motivation of the parties involved. Val means a creeper, any creeper; nib means an excuse; mhôsgak is the dative … Continue reading »

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Borem mhunn borem

“Thank God” — An expression of relief about what has or has not happened or what has or has not been done Borem mhunn borem literally means “good, hence good” which in slightly better English could be “It’s good, so it’s good”. Borem is neuter singular and both the occurrences of the word in the … Continue reading »

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Khakêk asa cheddo, sôdta sogllo vaddo

In her arm is her child In search of whom she wanders through the wild Khak (fem.) is an armpit and vaddo (masc.) is a section of a village, a sub-village, a neighbourhood or, as it is often known in the west, a (geographical) community in which one lives. Khakêk marunk means to carry something under … Continue reading »

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Regular Conjugations — Conjugation 2

Transitive verbs ending in unk As has been explained under Conjugation 1, in this system, all verbs are to be learnt with their five principal parts: The first principal part is the infinitive which is the key to most uses of the verb. The distinguishing mark of the infinitive of the second conjugation is that it ends … Continue reading »

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Hispa bhair

Beyond reckoning Languages have their own peculiarities, and it may not always be easy or even possible to translate a phrase or sentence from one language to another. At times it is a question of economy of words. We have earlier mentioned the present habitual tense which is embedded so seamlessly in Konkani grammar (Please refer to … Continue reading »

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Mezailem kellem diun filiad zôddlem

Giving away honey with somebody else’s money Mezailem kellem diun filiad zôddlem literally means that one won a god-daughter by giving away a banana from the table, that is, belonging to somebody else. It is a reference to a favour one does, and takes credit for, without having to pay for it oneself, for instance by giving … Continue reading »

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Ghor-zanvui

Resident son-in-law Ghor-zanvui is the lucky man who for whatever reason inherits his parents-in-law’s house and thereby makes it his own. Most often it is because his wife is the only child of her parents. Or it may be that she does have a brother who is either an idiot or a priest. But whatever … Continue reading »

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Regular Conjugations — Conjugation 1

Intransitive verbs ending in onk Before we begin with the regular conjugations, there are a few points I would like to underscore. As I have mentioned earlier, in my system of Konkani grammar, every verb is presented in its five principal parts. These parts have been especially selected because practically all other tenses of that verb are … Continue reading »

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Regular Declensions — Declension 2

The Second Declension When we talk about declensions, we deal mainly with nouns (and also adjectives that are used nominally, i.e., as nouns, as in “The good, the bad and the ugly”). The second declension comprises all feminine words ending in i, with the exception of monosyllabic or disyllabic nouns (not adjectives) having a single consonant before the i, e.g. … Continue reading »

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