Various useful expressions in Ingush

Expressions below are set out in three lines:  the Ingush expression; a linguistic interlinear (word meanings in lower case, grammatical information -- abbreviations -- in capitals); and the translation.  Abbreviations are given at the end.


-  Hello
-  Other greetings
-  Greetings in special social contexts
-  Goodbye
-  Please, thank you, etc.
-  Miscellaneous requests
-  Phone call
-  Ordering in a restaurant
-  Miscellaneous
-  Abbreviations

(1)  "Hello."          Da dika xalda hwa.      (reply)  Hwa 'a xalda da dika.

         Da  dika   xalda         hwa.
         day  good may it be  you
         day good be.SBJ.D  2s.GEN
         'Hello',  'Good day'.  (Lit. 'May you have a good day'.  'May your day be good.')

         Hwa       'a  xalda  da  dika.
         2s.GEN  &  be       day  good
         (Lit. 'May you have a good day too.')

         Intonation and prosody of this expression:  Prosodically, it is broken down into two phrases.  The first word of each phrase has phrasal accent (high pitch), the second low pitch.  The second phrase starts (and ends) lower than the first.  In the following notation    = high pitch,  ` = low pitch, and the height of the accent marks indicates the overall declination.

        da_dika.gif (1121 bytes) 

         Da  dika   xalda  shyn.
         'Hello' (to two or more people)

(2)  Other greetings.

         Wijra      dika  xajla            ; hwa.                   Reply:   Hwa 'a xajla wijra dika.
         morning good be.SBJ.-J  you-GEN
         'Good morning'

         Sejra  dika xajla hwa.                                   Reply:  Hwa 'a xajla sejra dika.
         'Good evening'

         Biisa  deaq'ala  xajla  (hwa).
         night  peaceful
         'Good night'

(3)  Greetings in special social contexts.

Form of greeting used only between men (from Arabic):

         Assalaam walejkum.      Reply:   Vaa walejkum salaam.

When a youth or young adult has said 'good morning', 'good day', or 'good evening' to an older person, the elder answers like this:

         Duqa vaaxalva      (hwo).                  Plural:   Duqa daaxalda  (sho).
         May you live long (to man)

         Duqa jaaxiila  (hwo).
        M live long (to woman)

When a person in (say) his or her 30's has greeted the older person, the elder's response is:

         Maarsha-ca vaaxalva (hwo).                  Plural :    Maarshaca daaxalda (sho).
         lit. May you live with peace.                                 (same, said to two or more people)

(4)  Goodbye.

         Guddy  vaj.
         see.D.FUT 1pIN
         'See you.'   (lit. 'We'll see (each other)')

         Wa dika xajla
         remain.INF  good be.SBJ.J
         Goodbye.  (Lit. 'May your remaining be well')

(5)  Please, thank you, etc.

         Thanks.   (e.g. when someone has just handed you something)

         Barkal  xalda     hwuona
         Thanks be-SBJ you-DAT
         Thanks.  (In general.)   (Lit. 'Thanks be to you')

         Saagha xalda hwa.
         mercy/charity be.SBJ.D 2s.GEN
        Thank you very much.  God bless you.  (Expression of deep gratitude, or gratitude for food or hospitality.)

         Deala reaza xalda hwuona.
         God.GEN  agreement be.SBJ.D  2s.DAT
         Thank you very much.

'Excuse me', 'pardon me' is literally 'Don't take offense'.  It is used to excuse yourself for small social offenses (stepping on someone's foot, walking in front of someone at a concert) and for initiating a conversation with a stranger or person you don't know well.

 Biexk my baaqqalahw.
 offense NEG B.take.IMPV
 Excuse me.

There is no word for 'please' in Ingush.  Where English uses 'please', Ingush uses the mild, or polite, imperative.

        Plain imperative:     Niw hwajiela!
                                      Open the door!   (Command, warning, order, etc.)

        Polite imperative:     Niw hwajielal.
                                      (Please) open the door.  (Request, suggestion.)
                                      (The mild imperative suffix is -al, with high pitch.)

        Even more polite, for a person you don't know well:
                                      Biexk my baaqqalahw, niw hwajielal.
                                      Excuse me, could you please open the door?

The phrases boqq'al and deallahw, both roughly 'for heaven's sake', underscore a request more strongly.  Either of the following could be said to ask someone to quiet down, quit swearing, turn down a blaring radio, or otherwise stop behaving disruptively:

         Boqq'al, sacal.
         Please stop.  For heaven's sake stop it.

         Deallahw sacal.

(6)  Miscellaneous requests

         Tilifon tuoxa megagjii?
         phone  strike.INF may.FUT.J=Q
         May I use your phone?

         OK.  (Yes.)  (lit. '(you) may')

(7)  Phone call.  (Musa calls to speak to Ahmed or Ahmed's brother Mahmud.  Ahmed's wife Aisha answers the phone.)

Aisha:        Aloo?

Musa:     Wyjra dika xejla hwa.
                   morning good be.SBJ 2s.GEN
                   'Good morning.'

                 So Muusaa vy  (Axriijev).
                   1s  Musa  (Akhriev)
                   This is Musa.
(If he knows they have more than one acquaintance named Musa he adds his last name after an intonation break.)

      or:         So  Axriijev Muusaa vy.
                    This is Musa Akhriev.
  (If he knows them less well he gives his full name at the start.)

                 Fy diezh dy sho?
                   what 2p
                   How are you (all)?   (Lit. 'What are you (all) doing?')

Aisha:        Hwama diezh daac.
                   Fine.   (Lit. 'We're not doing anything.)

Musa:        Mogazh dii?
                   Are you (all) well?

Aisha:        Dwadoax.
                   We're fine.  (Lit. 'We're living.')

                 Hwo fy diezh vy?
                   2s  what V.PRG
                   How are you?

Musa:        Hwama diezh vaac.
                   I'm fine. (Lit. 'I'm not doing anything.')

                 Ahwmad c'agha vii?
                   Ahmed  home
                   Is Ahmed at home?

Aisha:        Vaac.            ;               or:   C'agha vaac.
                   No.                       ;             He's not home.

      or:      Vaac.  Balxa vy.
                 No, he's at work.

      or:      Balxa vaxaa c'agha vaac.
                 work.ADV V.go.CV home
                  He's not here, he's gone to work.

Musa:        Mahwmud vii c'agha?
                   Mahmud  home
                   Is Mahmud there?

Aisha:        Vy.  Aaz handz hwaviex.
           1s.ERG  now
                   Yes.  I'll call him.

                 (to Mahmud)       Muusaa vy hwuoga tilifon jiettazh.
                                             Musa 2s.ALL  phone J.strike:CV
                                           'It's Musa.'  (lit. 'It's Musa (for) you, calling.)

(High pitch on progressive tense auxiliary vy, since it has been moved away from its normal position after the verb.  Following it, hwuoga has markedly low tone.  Tilifon is back up to the normal pitch for a phrase-initial word.)

Mahmud (on phone):     Wassalaam walejkum.

Musa:       Vaa walejkum salaam.  Fy diezh dy sho?
                   Hello.    How are you?

Mahmud:   Hwama diezh daac.

Musa:        Mogazh dii?
                   Are you (all) well?

Mahmud:   Dwadoax.  Sho fy diezh dy?
                   We're fine.  How are you?

Musa:        Hwama diezh daac.
                   We're fine.

Mahmud:   Kerda hwama dii?
                   new  (any)thing
                   Is anything new?

Musa:        Hwama daac.
                   No, everything's fine.

                 Mahwmud, Suultaan mogazh voacazh c'agha vy.
                   Mahmud      Sultan  well home
                   Mahmud, Sultan is home sick.

                 Qoana cynna hwalxar balxa vaxa vwaashtahw_daga_dar=ii hwa?
                   tomorrow 3s.DAT instead work.ADV V.go.INF substitute=Q 2s.GEN
                   Could you work in his place tomorrow?

Mahmud:   Biexk cy boaqqazh xalalahw,
                   offense NEG B.take.CV be.IMPV.FUT
                   I'm very sorry,

                 qoana Pwleaq'ongjii jurta vaxa viezazh
                   tomorrow  Plievo  town.ADV V.go.INF V.should.CV

                 ch'woagha cwa ghulaq dar sy.
                   very           one   matter  1s.GEN
                   tomorrow I have to go to Plievo on some urgent business.

                 Ahwmad qoana hwamanaga vaxa viezazh vaac.
                   Ahmed  tomorrow  (any)thing.ALL V.go.INF V.should.CV
                   Ahmed doesn't have to go anywhere tomorrow.

                 Aaz cynga addy hwuona.
                   1s.ERG 3s.ALL say.D.FUT  2s.DAT
                   I'll ask him (if he can do it).   (Lit. 'I'll tell him'.)

   (Note:  hwuona  is not an indirect object but an ethical dative indicating very generally that this statement affects Musa.)

Musa:        Barkal.  Aaz yz chyviecha tilifoona tuoxagjy cynga.
                   Thanks.  1s.ERG 3s  in-V.come.CV phone strike.FUT 3s.ALL
                   Thanks.  I'll call when he gets back.

                 Wa dika xejla.

Mahmud:   Wa dika xejla.

(8)  Ordering in a restaurant.  C = customer, W = waiter.

 C.       Biexk my baaqqalahw, hwaviel uquza.
 W.      Fy ieshar shoana?
 C.       Cwa piela kuofii=je, cwa piela chej=je, pichienii=ji, cwa ch'iegalgj tort=je.
 W.       Megead.  Aa qy hwama jiez=ii shoana?
 C.       Jiezac. Or:  Barkal, qy hwama jiezac.   Or:  Barkal, handz qy hwama jiezac.
 (Waiter brings order)
 C.       Barkal.

Translation and comments, line by line:

 C.      Biexk my baaqqalahw, hwaviel uquza.
          offense NEG B.take.IMPV  DX-V.come.IMPV  here
          Excuse me, could you please come over here?  (Customer calls waiter over.)

 W.      Fy ieshar shoana?
            what need.IMP 2p.DAT
            How can I help you?  (Lit. 'What would you like?')

        If the waiter comes over by himself and initiates the conversation he says:

          Hwama iesh=ii shoana?
          (some)thing need=Q 2p.DAT
          Can I help you?  (Lit. Do you need anything?  Is there anything you'd like?)

 C.   Cwa piela kuofii=je, cwa piela chej=je, pichienii=ji, cwa ch'iegalgj tort=je.
        one  cup    coffee  &  one  cup  tea   &   cookie(s) &  one  piece        cake=&
        One coffee, one tea, cookies, and a piece of cake.

 W.    Megead.  Aa qy hwama jiez=ii shoana?
          OK.             else (any)thing 2p.DAT
          OK.  Would you like anything else?

 C.   Jiezac.
         No, we wouldn't.

         Or:     Barkal, qy hwama jiezac.
                    thanks  else (any)thing
                    No thanks.  Thanks, that's all.

         Or:    Barkal, handz qy hwama jiezac
                    thanks  now   else (any)thing
                    Not for now, thanks.  Thanks, that's all for now.

 C.   Barkal.

        If the customers are older and the waiter younger they may say instead:

        Duqa vaaxalva.  Or: Barkal, duqa vaaxalva.
        long   thanks  long
        May you live long.

(9)  Miscellaneous

        Ghalghaaj  mott   (dika)  xaac   suona.
        Ingush       language     well   know.NEG  1s.DAT
        'I don't know Ingush (very well)',  i.e. 'I don't speak Ingush'

        Uqaza bolx byr        maarkjaa  qy   suona    hwama      xaac.
        here    work do.NZ  except     else 1s.DAT (any)thing know.NEG
        'I don't know, I just work here.'


1s         first person singular (i.e. 'I', 'me')
1pIN    first plural inclusive (inclusive 'we': speaker plus hearer)
2p         second person plural (i.e. 'you', 'you all')

B         gender class with b- prefixal agreement
D         gender class with d- prefixal agreement
DAT    dative case
DX      deictic prefix ('here', 'there', 'up', 'down')
FUT    future tense
GEN   genitive case
IMP     imperfect tense
IMPV  imperative
J          gender class with j- prefixal agreement
NEG   negative
NZ      nominalization, nominalizing suffix
PRS    present tense
Q         interrogative (question) enclitic particle
SBJ     subjunctive
V         gender class with v- prefixal agreement

Boundaries:      .  inflectional        -  derivational        =  clitic