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Teach Yourself Memani
by Abdur Razzak Thaplawala

 

Grammer for Memani Language

 

LEARING PROCESS OF A MOTHER TONGUE

One becomes familiar with his or her mother tongue the day he or she is born. As the child grows he picks up the language which is spoken around him and with the passage of time, he starts talking in the language being used by his parents, brothers, sisters and others around him. He does not need any formal lessons to learn his mother tongue. This is how, we all learnt to speak Memani. We can understand and speak Memani fluently without going for any formal education. This is not unique to us. A child born in a Gujrati, Urdu, Hindi or English speaking family learns to understand and speak his respective mother tongue without difficulty. One has to have a formal education and learn a bit of grammar of the language if he adopts a literary pursuit in his mother tongue or when he wants to learn and express in writing or in a foreign language.

 

NEED OF PRINCIPLES OF GRAMMER

Every language has developed a grammar to enable a person not familiar with the language to learn it. Unfortunately, Memani is not a language. It is only a boli or a dilect. It is not written. Naturally, therefore, it does not have a grammar. Now that we have stated converting Memani boli into a language, we have to evolve or develop an understanding of some principles of grammar applicable to it. It has also become essential to teach Memani to youngsters of the families which have taken up residence in countries like, USA, Canada, U.K., Africa and Middle East and have adopted a foreign language as a means of communication within the family. The children born in such families do not understand or speak Memani. Some of these children are very keen to learn Memani but they have no means to do so. This humble attempt is being made to fill that vacume.

SCHEME OF THESE LESSONS

It is expected that these young children will not need elaborate lessons in the Grammer because their elders will always be there to support them in their endeavours to learn Memani. In this article therefore, only simple principles of Grammar are discussed. This is followed by simple guidelines for writing Memani in Roman script. It will be followed by dialogues of day to day conversation in English and translated in Memani in Roman script. You can then go to main menu to read Memani Prose & Poetry. Comments and proposals for improving these lessons will be welcome.

 

 

Grammar

LESSON NO. 1 SENTENCE

1.1.   There can be no sentence without a SUBJECT and VERB. The SUBJECT is the principle person or thing about which something is said in the sentence. For example: “AZIZ IS EATING”. In this sentence, AZIZ is the subject.

 

1.2.   The ‘VERB’ is that essential word in a sentence without which nothing can be said about the subject and this is the word which denotes the doing, being or suffering of an action, as “eating” in the above subject.

 

1.3.   In the following sentences of English language, the subject comes first, the verb in the middle and other words at the end.

 

-                      YOU ARE LAZY

-                      LATIF IS VERY ILL

 

1.4.        In Memani the order of the words will be different. The subject will normally be the first, the verb at the end and other words in the middle.

 

-                      AANY SUST YO

-                      LATIF BHAOO BIMAAR AAE.

 

1.5.        The same difference can be seen in interrogative sentences of English and Memani language.

-                  WHO IS HE ?                           HOO KARE AAE ?
-                 WHAT IS THIS ?                       HEE KURO AAE ?
-                   WHERE IS THE BOY ?        -         CHOKRO KIDA AAE ?

 

1.6.        The following examples confirm that order of the “Subject” and “Verb” in “Memani” is not same as in English language.

-       WHAT IS YOUR NAME ?             - AAENJO NAAM KURO AAE ?
-       IS THIS HOUSE NOT YOURS ?    - KURO HEE GHAR AAENJO NAAE ?

-       WHO IS THAT MAN ?               - HOO MAROO KAIR AAE ?
-
       WHERE IS MY HORSE ?            - MINJHO GHORO KIDA AAE ?
-       HE IS MY BROTHER          
       - HEE MINJHO BHAA AAE.

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LESSON NO. 2 ARTICLES

 

 

2.1.   In English language, there are three articles i.e. ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’. In Memani language, we have no articles. If article ‘a’ or ‘an’ is used in the sense of ‘one’. We use ‘Akro’ in Memani. For example:-

 

-                      A tailor

-                      Akro darzee

 

2.2.        The article ‘The’ is not translated in Memani. Similarly, the articles ‘a’ and ‘an’ are also not translated in Memani except where ‘a’ is used in the sense of one.

 

-       He is a Soldier            -        Hoo Sipahi aae OR

                                                                 Hoo akro shipahee aae

-       Karim is a very lazy man        -        Karim bahooj sust maroo aae.

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LESSON NO. 3 PROPOSITIONS

 

3.1.   In English, the words ‘on, ‘in’, ‘from’ etc are called propositions. They are written before the noun they govern. In Memani, it is just the reverse and the propositions are put ‘after’ the noun governed. See the following examples:

 

        - My house is on a hill          - Mijho ghar pahaari tey aae.

        - Who is in the house ?        - Ghar meiN kair aae ?

        - My office is in Karachi       - Minjhee office Karachi meiN aae.

        - The book is on the table    - Hee chopri table tey aae.

 

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LESSON NO. 4 OTHERS

 

 

4.1.   In Memani, there are only two genders i.e. “Masculine” and “Faminine”. There is no neutral gender in Memani. The gender of neutral gender is determined by the usage of the word.

 

4.2.   A few words of neutral gender are used as “Misculine” and some as “Faminine” genders. Normally, a word ending with “ee” or “I” is regared as Feminine gender but this practice is not followed in all cases. For example:-

 

      “Hee kursi wadde aae”

 

          But we treat “table” also as feminine. For Example:

 

                “Hee table waddee aae.

 

 

4.3.   Normally “Pronouncs” and “Adjecives” in Memani are used in almost same manner as in English.

 

4.4.   These simple principles of grammer are sufficient for elementary knowledge of speaking and writing Memani.

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LESSON NO. 5

WRITING MEMANI IN ROMAN SCRIPT

Roman script is an international script as compared to Urdu or Gujrati. It is therefore, considered desirable that we adopt Roman script as a script for Memani language. Some simple rules about  writing Memani & Roman script are given in the following lines:

We all know that the alphabets of the English language have different phonetic sounds when used in different words. The following are the examples of different phonetic sounds of some of the alphabets:

 

A   = Fat, Advice, Father, Army, Appear

I    = Bid, Private, Import, Bird

U   = Mute, Run, Put   

E   = Me, Bed, Elect

O   = Open, Money, Mouse

C   =  Cat, Centre

G   =  Game, Ginning

N   =  Nine, King,

S   =  Ship, Station

Y   =  Myster, Tyre, Young

 

A very relevant example of different phonetic sounds is the sound of ‘O’ in the word “MEMON’. Apparently, there is no justification of using ‘O’ between ‘M’ and ‘N’ if we look at the word Memon in Urdu or Gujrati. We are therefore starting use of ‘a’ for ‘o’ in “Memon” or “Memoni”. .

To cover these different phonetic sound, we have to adopt specific sound for these alphabets to write Memoni in Roman script. I have developed some simple rules for this purpose.

 

A =   Will be used for its sound in FATHER or for Its sound in  Appear, fear etc.
        We will use ‘E’ for ‘A’ sound in FAT, MAP etc. For ‘As”  sound in ARMY, we         will use ‘AA’

 E =  Will be used for its sound in ‘BED’ and not for its sound in  ‘ME’. For sound in “ME” we will  use double E i.e. MEE.

 U =   Will be used for its sound in “BUT” and not for “PUT”. For its sound  in PUT, we will use “OO”.

 C =   Will be used for its sound in “Circle” or “City” and not “Cat”. For sound of C in CAT we will  use ‘K’.

 G =   Will be used for its sound in “Game” and not for sound in                  “Ginning”. For sound of ‘G’ in GINNING we will use ‘J’.

 I =    Will be for its sound in INK, TIMBER etc but not for its sound in KITE, TIME etc. For this sound, we will use ‘Y’.

 N =   Will be used for its sound in NAME, MANAGER etc and also for “Mindi” (.) used on a Gujrati Alphabet for producing nasal sound or “Noon Gunna” used in Urdu. When ‘N’ is used for its “nasal” sound, it will always be used in capital to provide a distinction between normal sound of ‘N’ and ‘Nasal’ sound of “N”.

 Y =   Will be used for its sound in TYRE and TYCOON etc as well as for its sound in YOUNG, YES etc when used in the beginning of a word. For its sound in MYSTRY, SYMPATHY etc, we will use ‘I’.

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