The 13th Conlang Translation Relay

Volapük was the second language in Ring A of this relay.

Native text

Med ta lüg nifüpa

Ün göd semik ün dekul, love süt de stopöp nibuda, kanoy logön jenöpi at.

Pul, kel binom kleiliko pö täv äl jul, stanom fo buid gada, e labom su jot oka hikati bigik e rediki. Nim leigavetom oki skiliko, du pul steifom ad lemufükön oni okao. Nu dalogoy omi plu e plu dredäliki, bi sevom, das nibud vo olükömon us suno. No tupom nonik kati. Balna, pladom lufuti bal oka sui buid, ab jiniko tuvom oni tu koldiki, so rofom oki sui bäkasakäd julana. Ven pos ekovenikom, nibud jula lükömon.

Pos atos, del kata pas enitedikon.

A remedy for winter depression

One morning in December, across the street from a bus stop, you can see this scene:

A boy, clearly on his way to school, stands in front of a garden fence, with a big red tomcat on his shoulder. The creature is balancing skillfully while the boy tries to shake it off. Now you can see him getting more and more worried, because he knows the bus is sure to arrive soon. He isn't bothering the cat at all. At one point he gets one paw onto the fence, but seems to find it too cold, and pulls back onto the student's backpack. Just when he's gotten comfortable, the bus arrives.

The cat's day has just gotten interesting.

Grammar overview


Tense and aspect are indicated by a vowel prefix before the verb stem. Present imperfect is the default tense and usually not marked.

Person and number are indicated by pronominal suffixes on the verb. Moods other than the (default) indicative are indicated by suffixes following the personal suffix, except for the infinitive -ön which takes the place of the personal suffix. The standalone personal pronouns are identical to the personal endings of verbs, and are typically omitted when nominative.


Noun stems end in a consonant. Cases other than nominative are marked with suffixed vowels. Plural number is marked with -s after the case vowel or directly on the stem if nominative.

Compound words are usually formed with the genitive case -a as an epenthetic vowel after the first root, but other case vowels can be substituted according to semantics.


Adjectives are marked with final -ik. The normal position for adjectives is after the noun they qualify. They do not agree with their head noun in case and number unless they precede the noun, or are separated from it by other words.

Adverbs are marked with -o, usually added to an adjectival -ik but sometimes directly to the root. Directional adverbs (quasi-allative and elative, like Esperanto "hejmen") can be formed by adding the accusative -i or genitive -a before the -o (omitting -ik).


a suff. genitive case
ad conj. to, in order to (+ infinitive verb)
an suff. person associated with root (more general than Esperanto -an, -ul)
at dem. this
atos pron. this (thing, event, situation etc.)
bal num. one
bi conj. because
bigik adj. big, thick, fat
binön v. to be
buid n. fence
bäkasakäd n. backpack
dalogön v. to look (at)
das conj. that
de prep. from, away from
dekul n. December
del n. day
dredälik adj. fearful, panicked
du conj. during, while
e conj. and ["ed" before vowels]
e pref. present perfect tense/aspect
e suff. dative case
fo prep. in front of, before
gad n. garden
göd n. morning
hi pref. he-, male, masculine
i suff. accusative case
ik suff. form adjective from noun stem
jenön v. to happen, to appear, to appear
jenöp n. scene, place where something happens
jinön v. to appear, seem
jot n. shoulder
jul n. school
kanön v. to be able
kat n. cat
kel pron. relative pronoun
kleilik adj. obvious, clear
koven n. comfort
labön v. to have
leigavetön n. to balance
lelüg n. sadness, depression
lemufön v. to shake (intr.)
logön v. to see
love prep. across, over
lufut n. paw, foot
lükömön v. to arrive, come to
med n. means, method, way
na suff. forms adverb: happening N times
naed n. time, moment, occasion
nibud n. bus (public transport vehicle)
nifüp n. winter
nim n. animal
nitedik adj. interesting
no adv. no, not
nonik adv. none, not any
nu adv. now
o pref. forms future tense of verb
o suff. forms adverb from noun or adjective stem
ok pron. self, oneself, himself... reflexive pronoun
om pron. he; 3d person masciuline
on pron. it, he, she; 3d person neuter/inanimate/indifferent
oy pron. one (generic 3d-person, like Esperanto "oni")
pas adv. just, only just
pladön v. to put, to place
plu adv. more
pos prep. after (time)
pro prep. for
pul n. boy, youth
prep. at, in, on
pö täv phrase on the way; en route
redik adj. red
rofön v. to pull back
semik adj. certain, specified
sevön v. to know
skilik adj. skillful
so conj. so, thus
stanön v. to stand
steifön v. try, attempt
stopön v. to stop, halt
su prep. on, on top of, atop
sui prep. onto
suno adv. soon
süt n. street, way
ta prep. against
tu adv. too, too much
tupön v. to bother, disturb
tuvön v. to find
täv n. way, voyage, trip
us adv. there
ven conj. when
vo adv. indeed
äl prep. to, towards, directed to
öp suff. place
ük suff. makes intransitive verbs transitive, like Esperanto -ig
ün prep. in, at, on (time)


adj. adjective
adv. adverb
conj. conjunction
n. noun
num. numeral
pref. prefix
prep. preposition
pron. pronoun
suff. suffix
v. verb

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Last updated November 2010