Author Topic: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes  (Read 1461 times)

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Offline 'Oma Tirea

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Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« on: June 06, 2010, 06:37:37 pm »
Kaltxì, ma eylan,

Perhaps some of you can learn better if you can relate what is going on in Na'vi to what is going on in your native language.  The chosen language is English since this forum is primarily an English language forum.  If anyone would like to do what I did for other languages, that would be much appreciated by the LN community.

Here are all the prefixes, infixes, and suffixes I have pulled from the Na'vi in a Nutshell PDF and other LN sources.

Please note that Na'vi is different from English, and so the prefix/infix/suffix usage is a little different as well.  I have pointed out a few cases where Na'vi terms don't have a clear English equivalent, or even no English equivalent at all.  I have also noted that word order, word stressing, and attitude by voicing isn't everything in Na'vi like it is in English, and I have pointed out what is equivalent to what in those circumstances.

Gender
-an            Masculine reference (no English equivalent)
-e            Feminine reference (no English equivalent)

Pluralization
me+            "two" in English when preceding a noun
pxe+            "three" in English when preceding a noun
.
.
.
ay+            "-s" in English preceding a noun (plural)

Word reformation
tì-            "-ness" in English; creates nouns from verbs and adjectives ("fulness" in English)
nì-            "-ly" in English; creates adverbs from adjectives and nouns ("fully" in English)
le-            "-ful" in English; creates adjectives from nouns
verb si         Creates verbs from nouns ("do" in older English, although not modern English)

Task-related
-yu            "-er" in English
-tu            "-ist" in English

Posession
-ä/-(e)yä            "'s" in English; posessive suffix (note: "y's x" = "x of the y" where x and y are both nouns)
            The e in eyä only used in special cases of vowel contraction when the suffix is attached to a pronoun.

Cases
-l/-ìl            Ergative: used to indicate the subject
-t(i)/-it            Accusative: used to indicate the direct object
-r(u)/-ur            Dative: used to indicate the indirect object
(English equivalent uses word ordering)
Go here if you get lost (credits to wm.annis).

Aspects
-er-            "Is/Am/Are/Be verbing"; present aspect
-us-            Descriptive "-ing"; verb becomes an adjective
-ol-            "Have verbed"; perfective aspect
-awn-            Descriptive "-ed"; verb becomes an adjective
Watch out: -er- and -us- have the same wording in English translation, as does -ol- and -awn-. 

Tenses
-a(s)y-            "Will verb" or "Will verb"; future tense
            (s is only used if speaker desires to show determination, such as is the case with the latter statement)
-ì(s)y-            "About to verb" or "Will soon verb"; near-future tense
            (s is only used if speaker desires to show determination, such as is the case with the latter statement)
These have tricky English translations:
-ìm-            "Just verbed"; near-past tense
-am-            "verbed"; past tense

Compounds of Aspect and Tense
-aly-            "Will have verbed"; based off of -ay- and -ol-
-ary-            "Will be verbing"; based off of -ay- and -er-
-ìly-            "About to have verbed"; based off of -ìy- and -ol-
-ìry-            "About to be verbing"; based off of -ìy- and -er-
-ìrm-            "Was just verbing"; based off of -ìm- and -er-
-ìlm-            "Have just verbed"; based off of -ìm- and -ol-
-arm-            "Was verbing"; based off of -am- and -er-
-alm-            "Have verbed"; based off of -am- and -ol-

Be sure not to confuse aspects and tenses like I did :P
Link for the confused thanks to wm.annis

Subjunctives
-iv-            Resembles "would," "could," or "should" in English,
            however, note that there is no clear English equivalent for this infix, as well as its 4 compounds below
-imv-            "Would have verbed" based off of -iv- and -ìm-
-ilv-            "Would have verbed" based off of -iv- and -ol-
-irv-            "Would be verbing " based off of -iv- and -er-
-iyev-            "Would be verbing" based off of -iv- and -ìy-

Attitudes
-ei-            Positive attitude expression
-äng-            Negative attitude expression
-ats-            Unsure attitude expression ("am guessing that")
(Usually indicated by the voicing in English)

Numerical
-ve            "-th" in English, used for ordinal numbers

Relations
fì-            "This" in English
tsa-            "That" in English
fay+            "These" in English (based off of fì and ay)
tsay+            "Those" in English (based off of tsa and ay)

Adpositions (prepositions) ordered by Na'vi
äo-            Under
eo-            In front of
fa-            With (by means of)
fkip-            Up among
fpi+            For the benefit/sake of
ftu-            From (direction)
hu-            With (accompaniment)
ìlä+            By, via
io-            Above, over
ka-            Across
kip-            Among
kxamlä-            Through (based off of kxam and ìlä)
lok-            Close to
luke-            Without (based off of lu and ke)
maw-            After (time)
mì+            In
mìkam-            Between
mungwrr-            Except
na-            Like, as
ne-            To (direction)
nemfa-            Inside (based off of ne, mì and fa)
pxaw-            Around
pxel-            Like, as
pximaw-            Right after (based off of pxi and maw)
pxisre+            Right before (based off of pxi and sre)
ro+            At (location)
sìn-            On, onto
sre+            Before (time)
ta-            From
takip-            From among (based off of ta and kip)
tafkip-            From up among (based off of ta and fkip)
teri-            About, concerning
uo-            Behind
vay-            Up to
wä+            Against (opposition)

Adpositions (prepositions) ordered by English
teri-            About, concerning
io-            Above, over
ka-            Across
maw-            After (time)
wä+            Against (opposition)
kip-            Among
pxaw-            Around
ro+            At (location)
sre+            Before (time)
uo-            Behind
mìkam-            Between
ìlä+            By, via
lok-            Close to
mungwrr-            Except
fpi+            For the benefit/sake of
ta-            From
takip-            From among (based off of ta and kip)
tafkip-            From up among (based off of ta and fkip)
ftu-            From (direction)
mì+            In
eo-            In front of
nemfa-            Inside (based off of ne, mì and fa)
na-            Like, as
pxel-            Like, as
sìn-            On, onto
pximaw-            Right after (based off of pxi and maw)
pxisre+            Right before (based off of pxi and sre)
kxamlä-            Through (based off of kxam and ìlä)
ne-            To (direction)
äo-            Under
fkip-            Up among
vay-            Up to
hu-            With (accompaniment)
fa-            With (by means of)
luke-            Without (based off of lu and ke)

Miscellaneous
-a/a-            Attaches to adjectives, may be used in place of "a lu" (see below for that one)
-äp-            "-self" in English, except it attaches to verbs ("noun verb noun-self" = "noun väperb" in Na'vi)
-eyk-            Causative infix ("x causes/caused y to verb" where x and y are nouns)
kefyak            Convincing questioning marker; like srak(e), but with an "is it?" attitude to it
lu            "Be," "Is," "Am," or "Are" in English
-o            "Some-" in English
-pe+            "What," "Which" in English; questioning prefix or suffix
-ri/-ìri            "As for" in English; topical suffix, attaches to nouns
sä-            (No clear English equivalent)
srak(e)            Yes/No Questioning marker (English equivalent uses word ordering)
tok            "be at," "Occupy" in English
-uy-            Ceremonial infix (no English equivalent)
NOT (YET) APPROVED BY KARYU PAWL:
? ? ?            "X affects/affected Y by verbing (...)" where X and Y are nouns
? ? ?            Sarcastic infix, which when used in srak<>(e) or kefy<>ak, means the question is rhetorical

Hope this helps translations. :) I welcome further corrections.

Eywa ngahu

EDIT: Thanks to your commentary, and further deepened experience with the language, I am able to clean up a lot here.  I also added the adpositions, sorted both ways.

EDIT 2: Moved <iv> and related infixes into their own section, added fì-, fay+, tsa-, tsay+, and cleaned up some more.

EDIT 3: Many suggestions from kemeoauniaea have been taken, yet this is still under construction (ngeyä sap'alute rutxe)

« Last Edit: June 23, 2010, 03:45:47 am by ll.sxkxawng »
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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 07:03:14 pm »
The problem with the tense/aspect stuff is there's no direct equivalent.

am, ìm, ìy and ay are all tense, NOT aspect.
ol and er are aspect NOT tense.  (Neither indicates present or past or anything directly related to when it occurred.)
English uses a combination of tense and aspect, as well as helper verbs to perform the function similar to the above.

As an example, er can occur in a verb that is past or future (Without the associated tense in some cases), as can ol.

You didn't have uy in the list of attitudes, for the ceremonial form.

us and awn aren't tense at all.  They are participles.  us would indeed be -ing in English, but when used descriptively.  (The running man, the swimming fish, the flying bird, etc.)  awn is similar for -ed in English when used descriptively (The hunted man, the crossed river, the killed fish) but again neither say anything about when it occurs.  "tspawnanga tute" could be the killed person, or the person who is being killed, or a person to be killed.  The same goes for the use of us.

-ng isn't a Na'vi suffix.  It's just a contraction of "oe" + "nga" into "oeng".  A suffix implies it would appear somewhere else, but it's only ever on "oe".

eyk doesn't add forcefulness, it completely changes the nature/meaning of a verb.


I don't want to discourage enthusiasm, I love seeing people interested in learning and teaching, but it's important to teach correctly, and I'm sure you can appreciate it with your welcoming corrections.  However this effort could potentially be misleading because many Na'vi concepts just don't have direct English equivelents.
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 07:23:58 pm »
Also -er- and -awn- are, strictly speaking, not tenses.

Also, Na'vi is not necessarily SVO.  It can be but the most common construction is actually SOV, and the language has sufficiently free word order than all combinations are permissible.
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 02:17:30 am »
Why the gap between pxe+ and ay+? Na'vi only has specific numeric prefixes up to trial. And me+ doesn't equal bi-, in most cases (like menari and mepun) it is "s", pxe+ again is best translated as a specific type of "s".

There is an English equivalent to le- (granted the English one isn't entirely productive), but it's -y.

Dative isn't always done with word order in English, it's often done with the preposition "to".

<ats> is roughly equivalent to "I think that" "I believe that" or "I infer that" in English"

<us> and <awn> are both tenseless, one creates an adjective that describes a noun that is doing the verb and the other creates an adjective that describes a noun that is being verbed.

-th is correct, but don't forget -st -nd and -rd

<eyk> doesn't add forcefulness, it's roughly equivalent to "X makes Y verb"

English does have a subjunctive it's just commonly dropped, it's normally done with "were to" although it's important to note that <iv> also incorporates "would verb" and a few other uses.





As has been said though, too many things in na'vi don't have English equivalents so this list is never going to be particularly useful as it will always have massive holes in it.
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010, 03:32:52 am »
Why the gap between pxe+ and ay+? Na'vi only has specific numeric prefixes up to trial. And me+ doesn't equal bi-, in most cases (like menari and mepun) it is "s", pxe+ again is best translated as a specific type of "s".

There is an English equivalent to le- (granted the English one isn't entirely productive), but it's -y.
There's also -ful - eg beautiful, hurtful, wonderful, etc.

Quote
Dative isn't always done with word order in English, it's often done with the preposition "to".

<ats> is roughly equivalent to "I think that" "I believe that" or "I infer that" in English"

<us> and <awn> are both tenseless, one creates an adjective that describes a noun that is doing the verb and the other creates an adjective that describes a noun that is being verbed.

-th is correct, but don't forget -st -nd and -rd

<eyk> doesn't add forcefulness, it's roughly equivalent to "X makes Y verb"

English does have a subjunctive it's just commonly dropped, it's normally done with "were to" although it's important to note that <iv> also incorporates "would verb" and a few other uses.





As has been said though, too many things in na'vi don't have English equivalents so this list is never going to be particularly useful as it will always have massive holes in it.


Tì- is to change most words into nouns, not nouns into verbs. There are a few English equivalents - there is -tion and -sion; -ness; and probably a few more I've forgotten.

EDIT: Wikipedia has quite a large list of examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominalisation#With_derivational_morphology . I don't think tì makes gerunds though, so ignore those ones.

EDIT2: Just read, and yes it can, but only if you combine it with <us>.



The genitive (possession) can also, depending on circumstances, be better translated as "of x"
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 05:39:26 am by Muzer »
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2010, 12:08:09 am »
Posting here to let ma eylan sì smuk about the significant update I did to the first post....

Is it any better?
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2010, 12:19:34 am »
Not so much a correction as a suggestion.  The -iv- infix and its variants (imv, ilv, irv, iyev) can be put in a section of their own with the rest of the verb information.  These infixes indicate subjunctives and-or conditionals.
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2010, 12:23:26 am »
Right.  I was just beginning to think they should have their own section....
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2010, 02:30:34 am »
Not so much a correction as a suggestion.  The -iv- infix and its variants (imv, ilv, irv, iyev) can be put in a section of their own with the rest of the verb information.  These infixes indicate subjunctives and-or conditionals.

And/or optatives as well, but that comes under subjunctives in a few languages. It seems to me that it might be better for us to stop calling <iv> subjunctive and just call it counterfactual given all its other jobs.





tì- can go on adjectives too, not just verbs and there are a ton of other English affixes other that -ness that do the same job.
nì- can go on nouns too, and possibly verbs but that's speculation.
le- "-y" is probably a better English equivalent.

I don't particularly like the -ist you've given as the equivalent for -tu, "man" is a better one (and is the same etymologically) e.g. music-ist doesn't work, music-man is a slightly strange (but still acceptable) way of saying "musician", that said, -tu really doesn't translate well at all.

-r(u)/-ur usually done in English as "to noun", the word order is a secondary colloquial construction, "I gave it to him" as opposed to "I gave him it" essentially, most cases of the dative are those where that noun can have its position changed to final and take the preposition "to" without changing how it participates in the verb.

<er> isn't "now verbing", it's almost exactly "is verbing", there's a big difference, for one thing <er> on it's own can mark a past or future imperfective if that tense has already been established or if I'm using explicit times.

<us> you imply that <er> needs lu, it does not. <us> adjectives always need to use -a- because they are only ever used attributively.

<ol> no, completely wrong translation, it's closest to "verbed" on it's own, a nice simple past/pretirite. Although that isn't 100% true, the perfective (not historical, that would be a tense anyway) aspect doesn't translate well.

<awn> same criticisms as <us>

<ìm>/<am> aren't great translations, they'd often be more correct as <ol> but it'll do because they, like <ol> don't translate well.

<aly> isn't will have verbed, per se, it can be "will verb", the perfective is not the same as the perfect (and certainly not the plu-perfect you translated it as), I think you really need to do some more practice with the perfective because at the moment your understanding of it seems very flawed. It isn't just used for completed actions (although it often is) and when it is, it doesn't draw attention to the consequences like the perfect does, but to the act of finishing, similarly, it can also refer to the start of an action, or both in the case of a momentary action e.g. "oe ke flolä", the opportunity to succeed was only momentary and I failed.

<imv> definitely not could, could would be that preceded by tsivun, that is probably best translated as "would have verbed" although it could also be "may [agent] have verbed" or lots of other forms that don't translate.

<iyev> is definitely not could (as above), <iyev> is "would verb" or "were [agent] to verb".

<ats> is roughly equivalent to an English "I infer that", "I think that" or sometimes "they must __" (e.g. "where is Johnny?" "He must be ill").

-a- isn't a replacement of lu, what -a- does is it introduces a relative clause with an elided lu e.g. txura taronyu = strong hunter because it actually means (lu) txur a taronyu which means hunter that is strong. It doesn't replace lu, it is a different use of the adjective, an attributive one not a predicative one.

<äp> isn't -self because -self inflects reflexive objects, <äp> inflects the verb, it doesn't translate of itself, you'd have to give a generic sentence to show it's use e.g. X verbs Xself = X väperbs

<eyk> the normal way of doing this in English is a modal use of "make", "I made him do it" or "I will make you talk" etc.

kefyak is more like "right?" or "eh?"

-o can also mean "a(n)", unmarked na'vi should usually be translated with a definite article (the).

pe+ how does English use word ordering here instead of the adjectives what and which? "which way" "which house" "what name" etc.

tok definitely is not "to exist", "to exist" is lu, tok is solely "to occupy (a space)".

What are those last two lines for? We've never had any indication from Frommer that a sarcasm infix exists, and if it did it would almost certainly be a position 2 effectual infix and almost certainly not in srak because we've only ever seen infixes in verbs. And you penultimate one sounds remarkably like a passive infix which we know does not exist because Frommer has confirmed that na'vi uses word order for a similar effect.
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2010, 04:12:08 am »
nì- can go on nouns too, and possibly verbs but that's speculation.
Tsun oe ngaru tivìng nì'eyng sìkenongit atxan nìtam...

What are those last two lines for? We've never had any indication from Frommer that a sarcasm infix exists, and if it did it would almost certainly be a position 2 effectual infix and almost certainly not in srak because we've only ever seen infixes in verbs. And you penultimate one sounds remarkably like a passive infix which we know does not exist because Frommer has confirmed that na'vi uses word order for a similar effect.
We've actually had a counter-example to there being a sarcasm/rhetoric mark of any sort.  "Tse'a srak?  Fìpo lu vrrtep mì sokx atsleng!"

The last section seems a bit disjointed - it's a mix of prefixes, suffixes, words, and whatever else, in a seemingly random order.

I haven't really looked over it in detail but I agree with kemeoauniaea.  At the moment I suspect this is helping you learn more than it's helping other people, because oversimplification can potentially be dangerous and counterproductive to people coming to learn.  When you have a better understanding yourself, it might start to become useful to others though.
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2010, 04:23:06 am »

I don't want to discourage enthusiasm ...

But did you actually mean to do it for this thread?
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2010, 04:32:19 am »

I don't want to discourage enthusiasm ...

But did you actually mean to do it for this thread?

I think what Omängum might be trying to say is that whilst your enthusiasm is certainly laudable, it might misguided in this case by trying to make na'vi look like English which it doesn't, and that's one of the things that makes this a real language (and a beautiful one at that) not a cipher.
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Offline 'Oma Tirea

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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2010, 04:33:59 am »
I'm directing my question specifically toward Omängum.
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2010, 04:45:17 am »
If I were going to discourage you, I would just say don't do it and wouldn't bother commenting on anything beyond that.  Rather, I'm just letting you know what you're doing isn't a simple thing, and if done poorly can be potentially misleading.  I think kemeoauniaea said it well when he said Na'vi is not just a cipher.  As There is a lot of people who have learned misinformation from enthusiastic and well meaning people.

Mainly I just have this thing about anything presented as learning material.  Something intended for people to learn from, I tend to think should be held to a very high standard.

But unless someone is doing something actively disruptive, I would never discourage this sort of thing.  As I said in my last post in this thread, you are probably learning a lot for yourself by putting this together.  I recognize the value alone in learning by doing things like this.
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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2010, 04:18:31 am »
For the -yu/-tu/, there are a LOT of irregular versions.

Uvan-si-yu - Play-er
Tsam-si-yu - Warr-ior
Pamtseo-tu - Music-ian
Taron-yu - Hunt-er
Nawm-tu - Great/noble person (nawma tute).


Na'vi shall not be compared to english like that in my honest opinion. It is actually a language that is, unlike english, logical. While english has randomly -ian, -er, -ist, -ior, ..., na'vi has -yu,-tu,-siyu for a reasson. The only thing that is somewhat logical in english is adverbs.


I would have understood this better than an englsih eqvuialent:

-tu
Verbs: direkt object of verbs (i.e taron-tu = prey)
Nouns: Person associated by noun
Adjective: Adj-a tute
The last one is just based on something I saw in the dictionary, be careful not to use it unless you find canonical source to support it.

-yu
Subject agent of a verb.

-siyu
Subject of a noun's si verb (ie. tsam-si-yu, uvan-si-yu, ...)

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Re: Engligh Equivalents for Prefixes, Infixes, and Suffixes
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2010, 09:17:57 am »
-tu
Verbs: direkt object of verbs (i.e taron-tu = prey)
Nouns: Person associated by noun
Adjective: Adj-a tute
The last one is just based on something I saw in the dictionary, be careful not to use it unless you find canonical source to support it.

-yu
Subject agent of a verb.

-siyu
Subject of a noun's si verb (ie. tsam-si-yu, uvan-si-yu, ...)

-tu verbs-ìri, probably need to talk to Taronyu about that, as far as I know our most recent info would contradict that, as far as I know, the latest we've heard from Frommer is that -tu always means "a person associated with" and is a contraction of a compound ending in tute, given this, I'd think that it sometimes shows the direct object (as spe'etu) but in other cases it might overlap or have an identical meaning to -yu (as in a possible etymology of eyktan as eyk-tu-an). I think -tu probably generally creates a noun that would fill the argument of a verb that would most normally be held by a person, with taron, this is going to almost always be the subject, with other verbs it might be the object, and with some, like spe'e both arguments are pretty much just as likely to be a person and so -tu in this one very specific instance is used as a contrast to -yu (well, you could say that in my middle case (where the object would be a person far more commonly than the subject) that it's being contrasted with -yu but that requires that -yu can be used for things and creatures that aren't people) with -tu being the object.

-siyu, in some cases -tu might be more appropriate, for example a player would probably be uvan-tu (a person associated with a game is almost certainly going to be a player of it whereas a person associated with war might not be a warrior but could be a general, civilian victim or many other things) not uvan-si-yu, warrior would seem to be an exception but this might be to distinguish it from tsam-tu which might be a strategist or general who doesn't actually fight.
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hamletä tìralpuseng lena'vi sngolä'eiyi. tìkangkem si awngahu ro
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