600 Phrases in the Liangshan Yi Dialect

Lesson 7 : Going to Bed


New Vocabulary

  1. ꇬꀀ go it : to go to bed
  2. ꁦꋠ bbox zze : friend, mate (a term of address between men who are on close terms)
  3. ꌋꐓ si qyx : night-time
  4. ꀀꑌꇴ it nyi gu : to nod off, to doze
  5. qi : want to, be willing to (sleep, etc.)
  6. ꐙꄏ jjix do : tired, sleepy
  7. ne : in the case of, if
  8. ꀀꅉ it dde : sleeping quarters, a bed, bunk
  9. wep : to have, to get
  10. ꀀꀨ it bop : quilt
  11. ꈈꇉ ko lo : thin roll-up mattress
  12. ggu : [measure word for mattresses, quilts, etc.)
  13. ꀁꁧ ix bbo : thin
  14. ꀊꄖ a du : thick
  15. ꀑꈑ o kup : pillow
  16. bbyx : to give
  17. ꑞꃅ xix mu : why ?
  18. yi : cigarette
  19. ga : [measure word for cigarettes]
  20. ndo : to smoke (a cigarette)
  21. ꂷꇭ ma gop : lamp, lantern, torch
  22. sit : to put out, extinguish (a light)
  23. ꄆꄒ diep de : electric light [Chinese diàndēng 电灯]
  24. ggot : to turn off




















Datti : It's getting very late, my friend. We should go to sleep now.

Muxga : I don't feel like going to sleep yet.

Datti : I'm tired, and want to go to sleep.

Muxga : If you want to sleep, then please go to bed.

Datti : Have you got somewhere to sleep or not ?

Muxga : Yes, I have got somewhere to sleep.

Datti : Do you have a mattress and quilt ?

Muxga : I've got one mattress and two quilts.

Datti : Your mattresses are too thin !

Muxga : They're not thin, they're very thick.

Datti : Have you got a pillow ?

Muxga : I've got two pillows.

Datti : I haven't got a pillow yet, come and give one to me.

Datti : Why aren't you sleeping ?

Muxga : I'll smoke a cigarette and then go to sleep.

Datti : Are all of you fast asleep now ? Can I put out the lamp ? (Can I turn off the light ?)

Muxga : You can put out the lamp. (You can turn off the light.) We're all fast asleep now.


1. ꁦꋠ (bbox zze) : This is a form of address used between men, and normally between men who are on quite close terms. It is something like British English "mate". Note that this term of address is never used by women, as the word also means "husband" in other contexts.

2. ꆏꀀꏾꆏ (ne it qi ne) : In this sentence the second (ne) is a conjunction placed at the end of one clause to indicate a condition that is fulfilled by the following clause. It is equivalent to English "if ..., then ..."., for example :

3. ꈈꇉꋍꈬ (ko lo cyp ggu) : (ggu) is a measure word for clothing and by extension bedding.

4. ꀁꀋꁧ (ix ap bbo) : The syllable (ix) is actually pronounced (i). In words comprising two syllables, the first in the secondary high tone (i.e. ending in "x") and the second in the mid level tone (i.e. not ending in "t", "p" or "x"), if it is negated by the interpolation of the negative particle (ap) then the first syllable normally mutates to the mid level tone, for example :

5. ꀑꈑꑍꂷ (o kup nyip ma) : Note that in Yi measure words and associated numerals come after the noun that they qualify, so ꀑꈑꑍꂷ (o kup nyip ma) "pillows two", ꀀꀨꑍꈬ (it bop nyip ggu) "quilts two".

6. ꋍꂷꄻꉢꁳꇁ (cyp ma ddie nga bbyx la) : (ddie) introduces the indirect object of a verb, in this case (bbyx) "to give", for example :

7. ꂷꇭ (ma gop) : The original meaning is "torch, firebrand", but in modern Yi this word can be used to refer to any source of illumination, including "oil lamp" and "electric light".

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