600 Phrases in the Liangshan Yi Dialect

Lesson 8 : A Guest Arrives


New Vocabulary

  1. ꄹꃥ ddip vip : guest
  2. ꃥꌋ vip si : host
  3. ꇫꐥ gox jjo : to be at home
  4. ꄓꎸ dep she : to get up early; (by extension as a courtesy expression) an infrequent visitor
  5. kop : crowd
  6. muop : [grammatical particle indicating affirmation]
  7. ꄓꑎ dep nyiet : to get up late; (by extension as a courtesy expression) a frequent visitor
  8. ꇬꀥ go bot : to visit often
  9. ꈜꑽ gga yot : to take a wrong turn; (by extension as a courtesy expression) an infrequent visitor
  10. ꈊꏹ ket jyp : to be late; (by extension as a courtesy expression) an evening visitor
  11. ꏹꄮꈧꀋꁨ jyp te ggex ap bbop : it's not so late; (by extension a courtesy expression in reply to ꈊꏹ
  12. nyi : to sit
  13. ꀉꑳ ax yi : child
  14. ggep : to play
  15. hna : to be willing
  16. sse : son
  17. ꀋꃋ ap my : daughter
  18. zha : a little
  19. ꃀꌠ mop su : old person
  20. yy : water, soup
  21. ndo : to drink
  22. dda : normal, OK
  23. ꎆꃅ rre mu : pastures, grazing land
  24. ꀋꉊ ap hxiet : in the past
  25. syr : trees, firewood
  26. get : to lack, to be short of


































Guest : Is the master of the house at home ? A visitor has arrived.

Host : At home, please come in.

Host : You're an infrequent visitor ! (literally "You're up early")

Host : So many infrequent visitors have come ! (literally "You have all got up early to come here !")

Guest : We're frequent visitors. (literally "[We've] got up late")

Guest : We don't count as infrequent visitors, we're often visiting.

Host : You're a rare sight. (literally "You must have taken a wrong turning")

Guest : We're always bothering you. (literally "[We] didn't take a wrong turning")

Host : Good evening ! (literally "it's late")

Guest : And a good evening to you too ! (literally "it's not so late")

Host : Please sit, please sit !

Host : Take the upper seat, take the upper seat !

Host : Have a cigarette.

Guest : I won't smoke. (I'll have a smoke)

Host : Your family is well ?

Guest : Very well, everyone is fine.

Host : The children are well-behaved ?

Guest : Vey well-behaved.

Host : How many children do you have ?

Guest : I have two children.

Host : How many boys, and how many girls ?

Guest : One boy and one girl.

Host : Do the grandfathers and old folk eat and drink without any problems ?

Guest : No problems at all.

Host : How was the harvest this year ?

Guest : It was a very good harvest.

Host : Is the pasture in your district good ?

Guest : In the past it was not good, but now it is better.

Host : Is there a shortage of firewood ?

Guest : We neither lack for wood nor for water.

Host : Ah, in this district you're really well off !


1. ꄓꎸ (dep she) : this expression literally means "get up early", and is used as a morning greeting, "You're up early!" or loosely "Good morning". The conventional reply to this greeting is ꄓꑎ (dep nyiet), literally "get up late". These two phrases are also used by extension as courtesy expressions between hosts and guests. ꄓꎸ (dep she) is used to address an unexpected visitor from afar or someone who is an infrequent visitor; whilst ꄓꑎ (dep nyiet) is used by the visitor in reply to indicate that he is not an infrequent visitor and so does not deserve any special treatment.

2. (muop) : this is a particle that is used to affirm and strengthen the statement that it is attached to, so in the sentence ꆍꋍꈉꄓꎸꇁꀐꂼ (nop cyp kop dep she la ox muop) the particle (muop)gives the meaning "You really are so many unexpected guests !".

3. ꈜꑽ (gga yot) : this expression literally means "to take a wrong turning", but is used in the Yinuo district to refer to an infrequent visitor, and corresponds in usage to the expression ꄓꎸ (dep she).

4. ꈊꏹ (ket jyp) : this is a courtesy expression used by a host to a visitor who arrives in the evening, loosely "Good evening !".

5. ꏹꄮꈧꀋꁨ (jyp te ggex ap bbop) : this is the conventional reply to ꈊꏹ (ket jyp) by an evening visitor.

6. ꉎꑌ (hxat nyi) : this is a courteous expression, literally "sit at the top", that is used by the host to a guest in order to invite him to take the upper seat at the table. The more important or senior the guest the more the host will press him to take the seat of honour.

7. ꈩꅲ (ggep hna) : this expression literally means "willing to play", but has been extended to act as a courteous expression of interest in other people's children, with the meaning "well behaved" and "healthy",

8. ꋙꋠꒉꅝꄾꀕ (zzax zze yy ndo ddax w) : literally "are [they] eating and drinking normally ?", this is a courteous expression of interest in the health of old folk.

9. ꌩꑌꀋꇮ,ꒉꑌꀋꇮ (syr nyi ap get, yy nyi ap get) : the mid high tone syllables (syr) and (yy) are pronounced in the secondary high tone, as if they were (syrx) and (yyx) respectively. See Lesson 5 Note 4 for an explanation.

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