Arsteakskan language reference, yo!
Arsteakskan is a fork of Chinese for Chinese and English speakers. Its primary purpose is to serve as an auxiliary language for representing concepts in Chinese or English when one or more aspects of the Chinese meaning are missing (e.g. knowing how to say a character but not write it, knowing what a character looks like but not how to say it, ...).
Chinese words and grammar remain largely the same, except for the fact that Arsteakskan does not use tones as a primary method of determining meaning (although it can be explicitly specified). Arsteakskan words get their meaning from the context of the surrounding sentence.
There are a few Arsteakskan-specific words and grammar traits which extend Chinese grammar. Many of these are cat noises (it was written as a cat language).
Bopomofo is a character system designed to represent sounds in Chinese. In Arsteakskan, it can be used to represent sounds in Chinese and English, and can also be substituted for entire Chinese characters, English words, or transliterated names.
Onomatopoeia is almost exclusively represented as bopomofo, as well as a few Arsteakskan-specific words which do not exist in Chinese or English.
|Symbol||Sound||Example (Chinese)||Example (English)|
|ㄅ||b||ㄅㄚ (ba) to hold||ㄅㄚㄆ (bap) bap|
|ㄆ||p||ㄆㄠ (pao) to run||ㄆㄠㄋㄙ (paons) pounce|
|ㄇ||m||ㄇㄢ (man) slow||ㄇㄧㄠ (miao) meow|
|ㄈ||f||ㄈㄡ (fou) no||ㄈㄛㄍㄊ (fogt) forget|
|ㄉ||d||ㄉㄢ (dan) egg||ㄉㄛㄍㄡ (dogou) doggo|
|ㄊ||t||ㄊㄡ (tou) head||ㄊㄖㄎㄧ (trki) turkey|
|ㄋ||n||ㄋㄠ (nao) brain||ㄋㄧㄖㄅㄞ (nirbai) nearby|
|ㄌ||l||ㄌㄠ (lao) old||ㄌㄟㄗ (leiz) laze|
|ㄍ||g||ㄍㄡ (gou) dog||ㄍㄖㄟㄊ (greit) great|
|ㄎ||k||ㄎㄢ (kan) to see||ㄎㄚㄊ (kat) cat|
|ㄏ||h||ㄏㄝ (he) to drink||ㄏㄚㄊ (hat) hat|
|ㄐ||j||ㄐㄧㄠ (jiao) foot||ㄐㄇㄆ (jmp) jump|
|ㄑ||q||ㄑㄧㄢ (qian) money||ㄑㄨㄚㄎ (quak) quack|
|ㄒ||x||ㄒㄧㄢ (xian) wire||does not exist in English|
|ㄓ||zh||ㄓㄣ (zhen) real||does not exist in English|
|ㄔ||ch||ㄔㄡ (chou) smelly||ㄔㄧㄨ (chiu) chew|
|ㄕ||sh||ㄕㄢ (shan) mountain||ㄕㄟㄎ (sheik) shake|
|ㄖ||r||ㄖㄡ (rou) meat||ㄖㄧㄉㄨㄙ (ridus) reduce|
|ㄗ||z||ㄗㄠ (zao) morning||ㄗㄧㄖㄚㄎㄗ (zirakz) Xerox|
|ㄘ||c||ㄘㄠ (cao) grass||does not exist in English|
|ㄙ||s||ㄙㄚ (sa) to spray||ㄙㄟㄌㄧㄋ (seilin) saline|
|ㄚ||a||ㄚㄋ (an) peace||ㄚㄊㄚㄎ！(atak) attack!|
|ㄛ||o||ㄉㄛ (duo) many||ㄧㄛㄋ (ion) yawn|
|ㄜ||e||ㄉㄜ (de) virtue||ㄆㄜㄌ (pel) pill|
|ㄝ||ê(h)||ㄉㄧㄝ (die) to fall||ㄅㄝㄉ (bed) bed|
|ㄞ||ai||ㄎㄨㄞ (kuai) fast||ㄨㄞ？(uai) why?|
|ㄟ||ei||ㄅㄟ (bei) north||ㄙㄊㄟㄎ (steik) steak|
|ㄠ||ao||ㄔㄠ (chao) noisy||ㄨㄠ！(uao) wow!|
|ㄡ||ou||ㄔㄠ (chou) smelly||ㄧㄡ！(iou) yo!|
|ㄢ||an||ㄎㄢ (kan) to see||ㄨㄢㄊ (uant) want|
|ㄣ||en||ㄕㄣ (shen) body||ㄔㄝㄎㄣ (cheken) chicken|
|ㄤ||ang||ㄎㄨㄤ (kuang) crazy||ㄅㄤ！(bang) bang!|
|ㄥ||eng||ㄕㄥ (sheng) life||ㄙㄊㄥ (steng) stung|
|ㄦ||er||ㄦ (er)* two, and, son, ...||ㄙㄜㄊㄦ (seter) sitter|
|ㄧ||i||ㄅㄧ (bi) pen||ㄧㄊ (it) eat|
|ㄨ||u||ㄎㄨ (ku) to cry||ㄨㄧㄋㄦ (uiner) winner|
|ㄩ||ü||ㄒㄩ (xü) to sympathize||does not exist in English|
* This is an example of one syllable which contains many character alternatives. The meaning can still be inferred by context, but if not obvious, Chinese characters can always be specified instead.
Arsteakskan bopomofo is context-sensitive -- the meaning of a word is largely dependent on the words around it. This is important, as words can be represented in two different ways using bopomofo: as a representation of the Chinese pronunciation for a Chinese word, and as a representation of the English pronunciation of an English word. In special cases (detailed later), Japanese kana can also be pronounced as Japanese or Arsteakskan based on a subscript marker.
All English words are represented with bopomofo. Any Chinese word can be represented as the original character, as its pronunciation in bopomofo, or as the pronunciation of the English translation of the word in bopomofo.
If bopomofo represents an English pronunciation, there is a many-to-one relationship between bopomofo and English -- as long as it sounds similar, a single English word can be represented multiple ways.
|che||ch e||k er||k a r|
Unlike in Chinese bopomofo, Arsteakskan bopomofo tone markers are optional (the character specified by the pronunciation is chosen based on the context), but can be explicitly specified if needed -- particularly, to hint at the intended word when the surrounded context produces multiple alternatives.
Tone markers are specified below:
|neutral||flat (1)||rising (2)||falling-rising (3)||falling (4)|
Note that first tone is represented by ¯, unlike Chinese bopomofo.
I'm going to (buy?/sell?) a grapefruit knife.
wo yao mai pu tao you spun.
I'm going to buy a grapefruit knife.
wo yao mai3 pu tao you spun.
Cool! I can sell one to you.
ku! wo hui mai4.
As demonstrated above, Chinese words in Arsteakskan are context-free -- they maintain their original Chinese meaning regardless. The practical effect is that if there is any trouble remembering a particular Chinese character or pronunciation, multiple alternatives to represent that concept are available.
A few more bopomofo examples
Words along the same row have the same meaning.
g u eng j i
a t a k
b ao h u
p r ou t e(h) k
j i k u ai
ch e(h) k en n e g t s
n i u p ai
s t ei k
The following sentences all have the same meaning. The word to represent as bopomofo was arbitrarily chosen, and each letter split apart for emphasis.
I walked my cat.
wo gen wo mao zou lu
wo gen wo mao1 zou l u
wo gen wo k a t z ou lu
I could still be at my house, unless I went to the bar.
wo ke yi hai zai wo jia li, fou ze wo qu jiu ba
wo ke yi hai zai wo jia li, fou z e wo qu j i u b a
wo ke yi hai zai wo j ia li, f ou ze wo qu b er
I hate Mondays, and love lasagna.
wo hen xing qi yi, ai chi qian ceng mian
wo hen x i eng q i yi, ai chi qian c eng mian
wo hen m en d ei s, ai chi l a s a g a
Japanese kana can also be used as a pronunciation alternative for Chinese characters, and can be read multiple ways. This is denoted by a subscript.
If the subscript is 1 or omitted, the character is pronounced in the language that it is written.
If the subscript is 2, the character is pronounced opposite to the language that it is written (i.e. kana is pronounced as Chinese or Chinese is pronounced as kana).
This system happens almost exclusively with 的/の and 嘻/へ:
|の(1)||nou (ㄋㄡ)||へ(1)||he(h) (ㄏㄝ)|
|の2||de (ㄉㄜ)||へ2||xi (ㄒㄧ)|
|的(1)||de (ㄉㄜ)||嘻(1)||xi (ㄒㄧ)|
|的2||nou (ㄋㄡ)||嘻2||he(h) (ㄏㄝ)|
In all cases, the meaning remains exactly the same.
My freakin' car is broken. Heh, typical.
wo friken nou che yi huai. he, te you de.
wo friken de che yi huai. he, te you nou.
Not all words in Arsteakskan come from Chinese or English -- some words stand on their own. Some are slang, while others are particles used specific to the context of the sentence.
Particles must be used either at the end of a sentence, or as a standalone expression. Words marked as free below can be inserted anywhere in a sentence.
|ㄇㄧㄡ？||miou?||question particle||ㄋㄧㄝ！||nye(h)!||jeering particle|
|ㄇㄖㄨ！||mru!||excitement particle||ㄖㄝ||re(h)||disgust particle|
* 没办法 (mei ban fa) is an expression which conveys acceptance with a less-than-ideal situation because "nothing can be done about it."
Hey, how's it going?
houi, ni zen me yang?
I'm OK. Are you hungry?
wo shi oukei. ni e miou?
Mya, I haven't eaten since this morning, nyaa.
mia, cong zao shang mei chi dong xi nia.
'Cause someone took a bunch of trophies and stuffed 'em under the hood of my car. It broke.
yin wei you ren ba hen duo hen duo troufi wang houd xia sai1 le. ta huai le.
Oooooh, I think I know who did it!
u~, wo xiang wo zhi dao shei zuo!
Reh. I bet you do.
re(h). wo gan3 shuo.
Particles can also be used to extremes.
Appendix - Excerpt from Alice in Wonderland
"There's certainly too much pepper in that soup!" Alice said to herself,
as well as she could for sneezing. Even the Duchess sneezed
occasionally; and as for the baby, it was sneezing and howling
alternately without a moment's pause. The only two creatures in the
kitchen that did not sneeze were the cook and a large cat, which was
grinning from ear to ear.
"Please would you tell me," said Alice, a little timidly, "why your cat
grins like that?"
"It's a Cheshire-Cat," said the Duchess, "and that's why."
"I didn't know that Cheshire-Cats always grinned; in fact, I didn't know
that cats could grin," said Alice.
"You don't know much," said the Duchess, "and that's a fact."