Wenedyk

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Wenedyk
Created by Jan van Steenbergen
Date 2002
Setting and usage A thought experiment in the alternate history, Ill Bethisad, if Latin had replaced Polish's ancestor.
Purpose
Sources constructed languages
 a posteriori languages
(Romance language based on Polish)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None

Wenedyk (in English: Venedic) is a made-up language. Jan van Steenbergen, a linguist and translator from the Netherlands, made it in 2002. The idea behind it is this: what would have happened if the Polish language had developed from Latin instead of Old Slavic? Wenedyk is a possible answer to that question. It is a Romance language, so almost all words are family of words in French, Italian, Romanian, and so on. But they look very different and much more like Polish. The rules for spelling and pronunciation are completely based on Polish. Other parts of the language, like grammar and sentence structure, are a mixture of Polish and Romance.

Together with other made-up languages like Brithenig (which does the same thing with Welsh), Wenedyk is part of the group of so-called "alternative languages", languages that could have existed if history had been different. With Brithenig, it is the best known example of this sort of languages. Wenedyk became known in Poland after it was written about on the Internet and in the monthly paper Wiedza i Życie ("Knowledge and Life").

Wenedyk is used in Ill Bethisad, a made-up world in which the Roman Empire was stronger than in real history. It is the most important language of the Republic of the Two Crowns, a country similar to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but not broken up by partitions like Poland was.

Spelling and pronunciation[change | change source]

Wenedyk uses the same letters as Polish does:

A Ą B C Ć D E Ę F G H I J K L Ł M N Ń O Ó P R S Ś T U W Y Z Ź Ż

Also, there are seven sounds written by two letters:

Ch Cz Dz Dź Dż Rz Sz

Wenedyk is pronounced just like Polish. Stress almost always falls on the second-last syllable. A preposition and a pronoun are treated as one word, so when the pronoun has only one syllable, the preposition is stressed.

Grammar[change | change source]

Wenedyk does not have articles, words like "a" and "the". This is an important difference with the other Romance languages and also with made-up languages like Esperanto and Ido. The reason is that Polish and most other Slavic languages do not have those words, and even in Vulgar Latin they were not so strong yet.

Words in Wenedyk can have many forms. English words have only a few (cat, cat's, cats; work, working, works, worked), but in Wenedyk a lot of forms exist where English would have used other words, like prepositions or modal verbs. In the case of nouns, pronouns and adjectives these forms are called "cases". Wenedyk has three cases:

  • the direct case: used for both the subject and the direct object of a sentence. In the sentence: Miej poterz leże libier "My father reads a book", Miej poterz "my father" and libier "a book" are both in the direct case.
  • the genitive: used when English uses 's or of, for example: siedź potrze "my father's chair", rzejna Anglie "the queen of England".
  • the dative: used when English uses (or can use) to, for example: Da mi ił libier "Give me that book", Da mi łu "Give it to me".

Wenedyk also has a vocative (used for calling someone). Often it has the same form as the direct case, but not always: O potrze! "Oh father!"

There are three genders and four declensions (different ways of making forms). They are very much like the declensions in Latin:

  • the first declension are all words on -a, almost all of them are feminine;
  • the second declension are mostly masculine and neuter words ending with a consonant. It is a mixture of the second and fourth declension in Latin;
  • the third declension are mostly feminine words ending with a soft consonant;
  • the fourth declension are words on -ej, it matches the Latin fifth declension.

Here is a chart of the pronouns (words like I, you, we, they, and so on) in Wenedyk:

Pronouns
singular (one) plural (more than one)
first second third first second third
men women things men women things
English I
me
mine
to me
thou (old), you (modern)
thee, you
thine, yours
to thee, to you
he
him
his
to him
she
her
hers
to her
it
it
its
to it
we
us
ours
to us
you
you
yours
to you
they
them
theirs
to them
Wenedyk jo
mie
miej
mi
ty
cie
ciej
ci

łu
łu
li
ła
łą
lej
lej
łu
łu
łu
li
nu
nosz
nosz
nów
wu
wosz
wosz
wów
li
łosz
łór
lew
le
łasz
łar
lew
le
le
łór
lew

Verbs have a lot of forms, too. Every pronoun has its own form:

jemu – I love
jemasz – you love
jema – he/she loves
jemamy – we love
jemacie – you love
jemą – they love

Most tenses have special forms:

jemar – to love
jemu – I love, I am loving
jemawa – I loved
jemie – I have loved
joru jemar – I will love, I will be loving
jemaru – I will have loved
jemarsi – I would love, I would have loved
jem – love!
jemęć – loving
jematy – beloved

Word list[change | change source]

The word list of Wenedyk, made public on the internet, has more than 4000 words. This chart of 30 words shows what Wenedyk looks like when compared to other Romance languages:

Ten Romance languages compared
English Latin Portuguese Spanish French Italian Rhaeto-Romance Romanian Brithenig Wenedyk
arm brachium braço brazo bras braccio bratsch braţ breich brocz
black nĭger negro negro noir nero nair negru nîr niegry
city, town cīvĭtas cidade ciudad cité città citad oraş ciwdad czytać
death mŏrs morte muerte mort morte mort moarte morth mroć
dog canis cão perro chien cane chaun cîine can kań
ear auris orelha oreja oreille orecchio ureglia ureche origl urzykła
egg ovum ovo huevo œuf uovo ov ou ew ów
eye ŏcŭlus olho ojo œil occhio egl ochi ogl okieł
father pater pai padre père padre bab tată padr poterz
fire ignis, fŏcus fogo fuego feu fuoco fieu foc ffog fok
fish pĭscis peixe pez, pescado poisson pesce pesch peşte pisc pieszcz
foot pĕs pie pied piede pe picior pedd piedź
friend amīcus amigo amigo ami amico ami prieten, amic efig omik
green vĭrĭdis verde verde vert verde verd verde gwirdd wierdzi
horse ĕquus, cabăllus cavalo caballo cheval cavallo chaval cal cafall kawał
I ĕgo eu yo je io jau eu eo jo
island īnsŭla ilha isla île isola insla insulă ysl izła
language, tongue lĭngua língua lengua langue lingua linguatg, lieunga limbă llinghedig, llingw lęgwa
life vīta vida vida vie vita vita viaţă gwid wita
milk lac leite leche lait latte latg lapte llaeth łoc
name nōmen nome nombre nom nome num nume nôn numię
night nŏx noite noche nuit notte notg noapte noeth noc
old vĕtus velho viejo vieux vecchio vegl vechi gwegl wiekły
school schŏla escola escuela école scuola scola şcoală yscol szkoła
sky caelum céu cielo ciel cielo tschiel cer cel czał
star stēlla estrela estrella étoile stella staila stea ystuil ścioła
tooth dĕns dente diente dent dente dent dinte dent dzięć
voice vōx voz voz voix voce vusch voce gwg wucz
water aqua água agua eau acqua aua apă ag jekwa
wind vĕntus vento viento vent vento vent vînt gwent więt

Samples[change | change source]

The Lord's Prayer:

Potrze nostry, kwały jesz en czałór, sąciewkaty si twej numię.
Owień twej rzeń.
Foca si twa włątać, komód en czału szyk i sur cierze.
Da nów odzej nostry pań kocidzany.
I dziemieć nów nostrze dziewta, komód i nu dziemiećmy swór dziewtorzór.
I nie endycz nosz en ciętaceń, uta liwra nosz dzie mału.
Nąk twie są rzeń i pociestać i głurza, o siąprz. Amen.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]