Finngreek Stories: The Fox and The Bear, Part 1

Finngreek Stories are designed to help readers learn the Finngreek language. These stories contain comparative texts in Finnish and Greek, to make learning easier. However, as Finngreek is based on ancient etymological comparisons, and has a different grammar from both languages, the Finnish and Greek texts appearing in these stories are not always grammatically correct. Please do not use these texts to study the Finnish and Greek languages: These texts are only for studying Finngreek.

The Fox and The Bear
Kettu ja Karhu
Kerdo ka Harku
Κερδώ και Αρκούδα

The fox is red, and the bear is dark.
Kettu on puna ja karhu hämärä on.
Kerdo on pura ka harku hamaraa on.
Κερδώ όν πυρρά και αρκούδα αμαυρά όν.

The red fox sees the berry-tree.
Puna kettu näkee marja-puun.
Pura kerdo noheei morja-phueen.
Πυρρά κερδώ νοέει μορέα-φυήν.

The dark bear sleeps, but then hears the fox.
Hämärä karhu nukkuu, mutta sitten kuulee ketun.
Hamaraa harku nukheuuei, muunno kiithen kluuei kerdon.
Αμαυρά αρκούδα νυχεύει, μούνο κείθεν κλύει κερδώ.

“Look, fox! It is my food.”
Näe, kettu! On ruoka mun.
Noe, kerdo! On rooga mu.
Νόε, κερδώ! Όν ρώγα μου.

“But I want it, bear! It is red, and a fox is red, so it is suitable for a fox.”
Mutta ton tahdon, karhu! On puna, ja kettu on puna, joten on oikeia kettuihin.
Muunno ton tatto, harku! On pura, ka kerdo on pura, pjothen on oikeia kerdoisin.
Μούνο τον τάττω, αρκούδα! Όν πυρρά, και κερδώ όν πυρρά, πόθεν όν οικεία κερδώισιν.

“It’s mine, fox, as a bear is strong.”
On mun, kettu, koska karhu on mahdikas.
On mu, kerdo, hos harku mahtikaa on.
Όν μου, κερδώ, ως αρκούδα μαχητικά όν.

“A bear is strong, but a fox is too smart.”
Karhu on mahdikas, mutta kettu on liian nokkela.
Harku on makhetikaa, muunno kerdo on liian noheraa.
Αρκούδα όν μαχητικά, μούνο κερδώ όν λίαν νοερά.

The fox awaits the morning-sun in the dark, thick mist.
Kettu odottaa aurinkoa hämärä paksu usmassa.
Kerdo rodokaa aurino hamaraa pakhu usmaesa.
Κερδώ προδοκά αύριον αμαυρά παχύς ύσμα έσω.

The bear sleeps again, as the sun is almost rising.
Karhu jälleen nukkuu, koska päivä melkein nostelee.
Harku pjallein nukheuuei, hos phoive mellein anostelleei.
Αρκούδα πάλιν νυχεύει, ως φοίβε μέλλειν αναστελλέει.

As the light shines, the fox again sees the red tree.
Koska palo palaa, kettu jälleen näkee puna puun.
Hos phano phanaa, kerdo pjallein noheei pura phueen.
Ως φανός φανά, κερδώ πάλιν νοέει πυρρά φυήν.

The fox finds that the bear has shut its eyes*, and then…
Kettu löytää karhu sulkee silmän, ja sitten…
Kerdo leyttei harku sunkleei thalmon, ka kiithen…
Κερδώ λεύττει αρκούδα συγκλείει οφθαλμόν, και κείθεν…

What will happen next? Stay tuned for Part 2!

NOTES:
– All words appearing in this story are considered etymologically related in one form or another, except for Finnish Ja and Greek Και (and), where a proposed connection is instead found with Finnish Kaa. This is the basis for Finngreek Ka(a), meaning ‘and/with, too’.
– Finngreek Harku can also be written as Harko, given Nganasan Ngarka. The actual comparison involved is Karhu = Harko = Άρκος, but since standard modern Greek uses Αρκούδα, Harku is also an acceptable form.
– Κερδώισιν (plural dative form of Κερδώ) is not an attested form, but is constructed based on other nouns with irregular -ώ(-ν, -ς) declension.
– *”Harku sunkleei thalmon” literally means “the bear shuts the eye”.






Finngreek 101: Verbs 1

In order to make the study of Finngreek more accessible, Finngreek.com is now a weekly blog! Every week, a post will be made to provide information and materials for learning the language. These posts will be organized into Categories for relevance. Today’s post is about Verbs 1.

The Finngreek language has a simple way of dealing with verbs, based on comparisons between Greek and Finnish, as well as other Uralic languages. While there is not a complete conjugation system, which will require long-term study of non-Finnic branches, basic sentences can still be formed from proposed etymological links.

Today’s post is a relaxed guide about using basic verbs and productive verb suffixes.

Indicative Present Verbs by Person and Number

The primary verb endings of Finngreek are mainly found in the indicative mood, present tense verb suffixes.
1st singular; -ing = -en = -ein = -ειν
2nd singular = -et = -eis = -εις
3rd singular/plural* = -ee = -ei = -ει
1st plural = -emme = -eme/-eemme = -έμε
2nd plural = -ette = -ete/-eette = -έτε

*In Finngreek, 3rd person plural is the same as singular, because the plural Finnish and Greek suffixes are not connected (-vat and -σιν/-sin, respectively).

With the exception of active infinitive -ειν, all suffixes listed above are indicative present.

Examples:
Noein phanon = I see the light, Seeing the light
Noeis phoivon = You see the sun
Kluuei roglema = He/she/it hears the problem, They hear the problem
Lalaamme lalon = We sing the song
Tektete duulia = You all do the work

As can be seen in Lalaamme, the verb suffix is dependent on the final vowel of the verb root it is attached to: Since the verb ‘to sing’ is Lalaa, it is just Lalaamme, and the -e- of -eme is omitted.


ON

On = On = Όν
On is the copula verb (‘to be, is’) of Finngreek, from the Finnish 3rd person singular indicative present copula On, and the Greek active participle(s) Όν/Ών. In Finnish, On means ‘is/are’ (plural [Puhekieli]); and in Greek, Όν means ‘being’. In Finngreek, ‘is/being/are’ are all On.

Examples:
Usma on pakhu / Usma pakhu on / On usma pakhu / Pakhuusmaon / Pakhúsmån
“The mist is thick”
Usmata on pakhu / Pakhúsmatån
“The mists are thick”


-([O]ISI[N])

-oisin = -oisin = -οίσιν
The suffix -oisin can be broken down into multiple variants, such as -aisin and -iisin. This suffix involves Greek optative and Finnish conditional verbs, but the etymology of Finngreek -oisin is actually from Finnish and Greek plural nouns in the illative and dative cases, respectively. In Finnic languages, debuccalization sometimes results in -isin>-i(h)in; and in modern Greek, the dative case was lost. In Finngreek, however, it’s a productive noun and verb suffix.

Adding -oisin to nouns describes a direction towards/with them; and adding it to verbs gives them a conditional (would) or optative (could) mood.

Examples:
Emperataa = To understand
Emperataaisin = I would/could understand
Noei nommiin = They see the pasture
Noeisi nommiisin = They could see to the pasture
Tattome pjomata = We want drinks
Tattoisime pjomata, kiidos = We would like drinks, thanks


Imperative Verbs

In both Finnish and Greek, the 2nd person singular imperative present verb suffix is -e, and occasionally may be another vowel, like -a. This ending turns a statement into a command.

Noeis rakton = You see the ravine
Noe raktoisin! = Look into the ravine!
Kluueis muusiikkiin = You hear the music
Kluue muusikkooisin! = Listen to the musician!
Rodokaas venoisin = You wait for the boat
Rodoka, vene! = Wait, boat!

If you need a comparative equation for any of the Finngreek words used in this post, feel free to leave your request in the comments!

Finngreek and the Oracle of Delphi

(Top picture: Hercules and Omphale, by Jacopo Amigoni)

The etymological research undertaken for Finngreek suggests a possible connection between Helleno-Uralic contact and oracular activity.

Holy, Sacred = Pyhä = Pythā = Πῡθώ, Πῡθῐ́ᾱ

Pythā (the Finngreek form of Πῡθώ) means ‘Pytho(n)’. Pytho is the ancient name of Delphi, and the Python was the monstrous snake which lived at the Oracle when it was dedicated to Gaia (the Earth), until it was slain by Pythian Apollo, making the Oracle of Delphi instead dedicated to him. The Pythia was the high priestess of the Oracle, and the one who breathed the sacred fumes in order to give prophecies to her supplicants. Finnish Pyhä, from reconstructed Proto-Finno-Permic *pišä (with which I disagree), has an interesting duality along with its Uralic cognates: The descendant terms (except for Finnic and Samic) primarily have a strongly negative meaning, including ‘unholy, heathen, sin, dirty’, and ‘foul’. I wonder about whether this might have implications for the “evil” that was the Python; or even conversion from paganism to other religions. Regardless, the resulting Finngreek term is Pythā (-ā because ä = a, ā = ω). This analysis comes with more terms:

Man, Slave, Servant = Orja = Orjā(n) = Ορεάν/Ορειάν
Perfume, Incense = Tuoksu = Thuosku = Θύος/Θυοσκόος/Θυοσκοπία/θυΐσκη/Θύλημα < Θύω
Storm, Wind, Future; To come = Thulla, Thuuli, etc.* < Θύελλα/Θυέλλη < Θύω
(*There is a great deal of variety to this term: Thullea, Thule, Thulli, and so on.)

Starting with Orjā: The Finnish term Orja (slave) has been compared with ‘Aryan’, but it is unknown where both terms come from. Finngreek offers an alternative etymology for Orja, being Ορεάν(ες), which is the term for ‘men’ in the Pythia’s mystical language that she spoke at the Oracle of Delphi. The semantics of ‘slave, servant’ from Uralic reflexes, if stemming from Ορεάν, would not describe the life of a typical slave, but the male priest attendants of the Pythian high priestess.

The Greek Θύω (To sacrifice, burn, consult [an oracle]; to rush in, storm, rage), may have resulted in a wide array of terms in Finnish and Greek. This includes Greek Θύελλα (Storm), Θύος (Burnt sacrifice), Θυοσκόος (The sacrificing priest), Θυοσκοπία (Divination), θυΐσκη (Incense holder), Θύλημα (Incense), along with many other terms; as well as Finnish Tulla (To come), Tulva (Flood), Tuleva (Future), Tuuli (Wind), Tuulahdus (Breeze, Gust, Waft, Blowing), and Tuli (Fire).

I hypothesize that these terms all illustrate the experience of the Oracle: Receiving a prophecy from the holy “Priestess of the Python”, during which she was intoxicated with the sweetly perfumed, smoky vapors rising from under the earth.

Terpe!