Saturday, November 10, 2012


Ok, I know I recently did a post about a Slavic/Russian conlang but this one is really worth looking at because it allows a very simplistic form, an intermediate form and advanced form of the language. 

«Slovianto» is a highly simplified form of Interslavic, mostly intended for use by non-Slavic people who want to be able to express themselves at the very basic level...

So begins the opening words for the International Slavic Language: Medžuslovjanski jezyk - this language follows a simple, primitive, pidginesque grammar model that is characterized by regularity, minimalism and the absence of anything that is not really needed on the most basic level of communication. It has been constructed in such way that it does not look or sound too awkward to Slavic speakers, but rather like the kind of language used by children.

The working title Slovianto is a portmanteau word for „Slavic Esperanto”. This name, albeit somewhat tongue-in-cheek, refers to the simplicity of Slovianto: it has no gender, no cases, no aspect, little conjugation and no irregularity. Yet, that is where the similarity to Esperanto ends, because Slovianto's means of simplification are in fact far more similar to those used by Interlingua.

Nouns can have the endings -Ø (= consonant), -a, -o and -e. In the Slavic languages they convey information about gender and declension, but in Slovianto gender doesn't play a role. All you need to know is that the plural is formed by replacing the final vowel by -i: muž - muži "man", žena - ženi "woman", jednost - jednosti "unit(y)", slovo - slovi "word". To make it feel a bit more natural, nouns on -o/-e (neuter nouns in Slavic) can have the plural -a instead of -i: slovo - slova.

When a word ends in a consonant, it can happen that the vowel preceding it dropped in the plural: pes - psi "dog", spisok - spiski "list". This is of course not mandatory.


Adjectives always have the ending -i. They are not inflected and should be placed before the noun.

An adjective can be made into an adverb by substituting -i with the ending -o: dobri "good" - dobro "well".

Adjectives are compared by means of the words više- (more), mene- (less), naj- (most) and najmene- (least). These words can best be connected to the adjective with a hyphen: dobri "good" - više-dobri "better" - naj-dobri "best", etc.
ja "I"  | ti "you, thou" | on "he"| ono "it" | ona "she" | mi "we" | vi "you" | oni "they"


The cardinal numbers are:

  • 1-10: jedin, dva, tri, četiri, pet, šest, sedm, osm, devet, deset.
  • The "-teens" (11-19) are formed by adding -nast: jedinnast, "11", dvanast "12"...
  • The "-ties" (20, 30... 90) are formed by adding -deset: dvadeset "20", trideset "30"...
  • The "-hundreds" (200, 300... 900) are formed by adding -sto: dvasto "200", tristo "300"...
  • Higher numbers: tiseč "1,000", milion "1,000,000", miliard "1,000,000,000".

Combinations of these are always made from high to low: pet-tiseč šeststo sedmdeset osm "5678".
Ordinal numbers are formed by adding -i to the corresponding cardinal number, except for the following: prvi "1st", drugi "2nd", treti "3rd", četvrti "4th", sotni or stoti "100th", tisečni "1000th".


Verbs in Slovianto are conjugated for three persons, but not for number. There are three tenses: present tense, past tense and future tense. Furthermore, there are participles, imperatives and verbal nouns. Aspect does not play a role; from the dictionary we take the simplest form (usually the perfective form when a verb has a prefix and the imperfective form when it does not).

There is only one regular conjugation. Irregularity is allowed only when it really cannot be avoided. Endings are unitary, so that every form will be instantly recognisable.


The stem is formed by removing the ending -ti from the infinitive.
ja, midelamprosimnesem
on/ona/ono, onidelatprositneset

The present tense can be obtained by using the ending -t to the stem. If the present tense stem ends in a consonant, -e- is inserted between the stem and the ending. For example: ja delat "I do", vi prosit "you ask", oni kovat "they forge".

To the Slavic ear, however, this sounds clumsy. To prevent that from happening, it would be worth the effort to use -t only in the third person, and learn two additional endings: -m in the first person (singular and plural) and -te in the second person. A confidential second person (for family, friends, children etc.) the personal pronoun ti can be used, in which case the ending is instead of -te.

Past Tense
The past tense in formed by replacing the -ti of the infinitive by the ending -l (singular) or -li (plural).Present Tense

ja, ti, on/ona/onodelalprosilnesl
mi, vi, onidelaliprosilinesli

Future Tense:
The future tense is formed by combining the future tense of the verb biti „to be” with the infinitive. The forms are the same as if a verb *bud-ti were conjugated in the present tense: ja budem delati, vi budete delati, on budet delati, etc.

The conditional is formed by adding the particle bi to the past tense: ja bi delal „I would do/I would have done”.

Imperative: The imperative has the endings -jte for the second person and -jmo for the first person, placed after the stem. If the stem ends in a consonant, -i- is inserted.

Participle The past passive participle is created by adding -ni to the infinitive stem: dela-ni "done". If the stem ends in -i- or consonant, then add -e- between the stem and the ending: govori-eni "spoken".

past passivedelaniprosienineseni

The passive voice
The passive voice is created as in English, by combining a form of the verb biti „to be” with the past passive participle:

ja jesm neseni „I am being carried”
ja bil neseni „I was being carried, I have been carried”
ja budem neseni „I will be carried”
ja bil bi neseni „I would be carried, I would have been carried”
The verb biti „to be”
The only irregular verb in Slovianto is biti "to be". It is conjugated as follows:

present tense: jes-: ja/mi jesm "I am/we are", vi jeste "you are", on/ona/ono/oni jest "he/she/it is, they are"
past tense: bil-: ja bil "I was, we were", mi bili "we were", ...
future tense: bud-: ja/mi budem "I/we will be", vi budete "you will be", on/ona/ono/oni budet "he/she/it/they will be"
conditional: bi bil-: ja bi bil "I would be/would have been", mi bi bili "we..."
imperative: bud-: budte "be!", budmo "let's be!"


The preferred word order is subject – verb – object. It isn't mandatory, but because of the lack of cases in Slovianto any other word order might easily make a sentence unclear or ambiguous. Word order can be altered more easily when the subject or object of the sentence is a personal pronoun or a pronoun like kto, because they have separate accusative forms, so the meaning is always clear.
There are two types of questions:
  • Yes-no questions differ from normal indicative sentences only by intonation. Otec kupil kniga "Father has bought a book". Otec kupil kniga? "Has father bought a book?"
  • Other questions start with an interrogative pronoun or adverb. kotore kniga kupil otec? "Which book has father bought?", Gde otec kupil te kniga? "Where did father buy that book?
The easiest way for expressing possession (expressed by most natural Slavic languages with the genitive) is simply placing the possessor before the possessed: moj otec kniga "my father's book". When this is not clear enough, use the preposition od "from, of": kniga od moj otec.

Likewise, you don't have to use any special accessories for the indirect object (the Slavic languages use the dative): Dajte moj otec to kniga "Give that book to my father". Whenever this is not clear enough, use the preposition k "to": Dajte te kniga k moj otec.

Where the Slavic languages use the instrumental, you can use s "with" or posredstvom "by means of": Ja udaril svoj otec s to kniga "I hit my father with that book".


Babel text

I celi zemja imal jedin jezik i podobni slova. Ale kogda ludi premestili se iz vozhod, oni nahodili ravnina v kraj Šinar i tam osadili se. I oni govorili jedin k drugi: "Hodijte, delajmo cegli i dobro palijmo ih!" I cegli služili dla ih kak kameni, a smola služila dla ih kak cement. I oni govorili: "Hodijte, budovajmo grad i veža, kotori budet dosegati do nebo, i delajmo dla sebe imeno, abi mi ne razsipali se na celi zemja."
Togda Bog shodil v dol, abi videti grad i veža, kotori deti od ludi budovali. I Bog govoril: "Vidijte! Jedin narod i jedin jezik dla vsi, a vidijte čo oni načeli delati. I sejčas ničo ne budet dla ih nemožlivi, čo oni ne hoteli bi delati. Vidijte! Mi shodim i razmešim ih jezik, abi oni ne razumeli se."
I Bog razsipal ih na celi zemja, a oni obstanovili budovati grad. Za to on nazivat se Babel, za to že tam Bog razmešil jezik od celi zemja i odtudi Bog razsipal ih na celi zemja.
И цели земја имал једин језик и подобни слова. Але когда луди преместили се из возход, они находили равнина в крај Шинар и там осадили се. И они говорили једин к други: "Ходијте, делајмо цегли и добро палијмо их!" И цегли служили дла их как камени, а смола служила дла их как цемент. И они говорили: "Ходијте, будовајмо град и вежа, котори будет досегати до небо, и делајмо дла себе имено, аби ми не разсипали се на цели земја."
Тогда Бог сходил в дол, аби видети град и вежа, котори дети од луди будовали. И Бог говорил: "Видијте! Једин народ и једин језик дла вси, а видијте чо они начели делати. И сејчас ничо не будет дла их неможливи, чо они не хотели би делати. Видијте! Ми сходим и размешим их језик, аби они не разумели се."
И Бог разсипал их на цели земја, а они обстановили будовати град. За то он називат се Бабел, за то же там Бог размешил језик од цели земја и одтуди Бог

You can discover more about this beautifully made InterSlavic language as well as the other 2 forms, Intermediate and Advanced, by going to the official website at: Interslavic

Newspaper online in Interslavic!

Interslavic Dictionary

Multilingua Mutterings