Learn Mini III: Mini-Mundo
Note: This article is deprecated.
It’s a small world, after all
Now that you’ve mastered Mini, you may be wondering what’s next. Mini is a complete language, and you really can express nearly anything…but there are limits to how easy it is to speak a language with only a hundred-something words.
Consider the concept of “eye disease.” How would you translate this into Mini? Probably something like bodi mala o boka mira, literally “bad body of sight-mouth”. On the one hand, yes, you can translate it into Mini. On the other, it feels a little cumbersome.
If only there were a supplemental vocabulary which would enable Mini to be used more like a real language…
Look no further! Mini-Mundo is the answer to your prayers. Mini-Mundo adds 880 words to Mini while keeping the same simple grammar. The goal of Mini-Mundo is to be a conversational language that feels as natural as a language like English, while being much, much simpler.
Name nu go tu
Mini-Mundo is a supplemental vocabulary of 880 words to Mini’s 120 words, for a grand total of 1,000 words.
With the introduction of the new vocabulary, most of the original Mini words revert to their narrower, less metaphoric meaning. One example would be the word vasa. In Mini, this would be the word you would use to say humid, liquid, wash, or bath. In Mini-Mundo, you would use the more precise vocabulary of umi, liki, lava, or bano, respectively.
A random sample of the new vocabulary arranged by theme:
- Colors: bulu, ruja, midori, pila
- Animals: gato, dogi, kavalo, muso
- Food: keju, keki, vino, patata
- Furniture: kabinete, sofa, kama
- Emotions: joli, melankoli, furi, fobo
- Technology: konputa, radio, fon
- Clothing: roba, jaketa, sapato, topi
- Abstractions: idea, neso, loji, siensa
- Body: neka, pedi, lunge, rena
- Time: ora, minute, soma, ano
- Direction: direto, sinisa, nore, vese
- People: bebe, kinde, raja, polisa
- Places: kasa, siti, patio, kanpo
The biggest problem with Mini is that there is no way to tell the difference between compound words and ordinary words being modified by adjectives. This seriously impedes the ability to form and discuss more difficult subjects.
Mini-Mundo solves this problem by introducing explicit compounding: Compound words in Mini-Mundo are formed by chaining consecutive words with a hyphen, with the main word occurring last. Note that this is the reverse of the usual Mini word order.
Compound words can make use of prefixes and suffixes but are not bound by Mini’s strict adjective word ordering.
Examples of compound words in Mini-Mundo (in a random order):
Mini-Mundo Englishpasa-pota passport
regen-uti umbrella (rain-tool)
en-mun, eki-mun entrance (in-door), exit (out-door)
gene-loji geneology (gene-ology)
inventi-man inventor (invent-person)
kinde-gaden kindergarten (child-garden)
kula-fusi cold fusion
inveti-banka-man investment banker (invest-bank-person)
en-move-tion immigration (in-move-tion)
sivi-tion civilization (civil-tion)
semi-eleki-pota semiconductor (semi-electric-carry)
mala-tira misfire (bad-shoot)
ale-en-i-savi omniscient (all-knowing)
bon-neso goodness (good-ness)
Common words that can be used as prefixes or suffixes include:
Mini Englishale- anti- anti- / contra-
ego- self- / auto-
en- in- / en-
gen- re- / again-
make- -ify / -ize
mui- multi- / poly-
no- un- / a-
-neso -ness / -ity
semi- semi- / half-
-tion -tion / -sion / -tive
Compounds words have the same semantics as other words in Mini-Mundo and can be used as any part of speech:
Bisinesa-man i en-pota a kilo-gama 200 de vino-beri.
The businessman imports (in-carries) 200 kilograms of grapes (wine-berries).Gen-viva de bete no-mori i de kon-pasa kon ruina de tunba si.
The revival (again-life) of the undead beast coincided (with-happened) with the destruction of his tomb.Siensa-man i pensa ke viru raja-topi i mebi ave veni de kave vola-muso.
The scientist thinks the corona (royal-hat) virus might have come from a bat (flight-mouse) cave.
Mini-Mundo adds a full base-10 number system to Mini.
Numbers can be read off digit by digit or in a Chinese-like fashion by combining a digit with a power of ten.
nin 9ten 10
tera 1,000,000,000,00037 san ten seven
136,789,005 sento san ten sita mega seven sento ba ten nin kilo penta / uno san sita seven ba nin nulo nulo penta
4.01 fo punto nulo uno / fo an uno de peso sento
2/3 duo de peso teri
-42 meno fo ten duo
6th numa sita5+2 penta an duo
6-3 san de sita / sita meno san
4/5 fo de-i peso de 5
3*9 san kon nin
4^5 fo go penta11:30 am ten uno san ten ante-senta
4:55 pm fo penta ten penta afa-senta
7 o'clock seven-oraMonday uno-dia
Dec 5th penta de ten-duo-monato
Less than zero
Less-than comparisons can now be formed with meno:
Mini-Mundo e duro meno go-i pale sama Mini.
Mini-Mundo is less hard to speak than Mini.Si deteki a poma meno.
She finds fewer apples.Da a gato bela meno da ke mi ave mira ni.
That's the least beautiful cat I've ever seen.
If only because
Mini adds a few additional subordinating conjunctions for convenience:
Vaku-man i kan mira a najima ka ventana si i en punto eki de Tera.
The spaceman can see the star because his window is pointing away from Earth.Ka mi odi a tu, mi senti sama en-i open a aero-loka.
Because I hate you, I feel like opening the airlock.Se tu open a mun, mi ale i go e de-i suko en vaku.
If you open the door, we will be sucked into space.Tamen si go mori, si deside open a loka.
Although s/he will die, s/he decides to open the lock.
Each of these conjunctions can be combined with de to function as a compound preposition:
Ka de tu, mi ave no a manja sufi.
Because of you, I don't have enough food.Mi vole bibe a kosa, se de bira, vino, u kafe.
I want to drink something, whether beer, wine, or coffee.Tamen de manja mala, si kipa go tamen a retorante.
Despite the bad food, he nevertheless keeps going to the restaurant.
Back and forth
Many common adverbs in Mini are replaced with more specific words in Mini-Mundo:
English Mini Mini-Mundoback afa baka
forward ante fore
only pero solo
out/away de eki
still/yet kipa ankora
already ante deja
almost ——— kasi
Mini-Mundo also has many shorthand words to replace what would be temporal expressions in Mini:
Mini Mini-Mundo Englishgo tenpo ota gen again
go tenpo ale tuju always
en tenpo no ni never
en tenpo mini sun soon
en tenpo di nun now
en tenpo da den then
Mini-Mundo adds several new determiners / adverbs:
Mini-Mundo Englishani any / whichever
so such / so
some some / few / somewhat
The Mini-Mundo word ego (self) replaces sama as the reflexive pronoun:
E raro ke si pale kon ego si.
It's weird that he talks with himself (his self).Mi ale i joli a ego mi (ale).
We enjoy ourselves (my (our) self).
Drop it like it’s hot
In order to make the language feel more natural, Mini-Mundo (unlike Mini) allows the dropping of the word i in cases where the subject is clear from context: If the subject is a proper noun, a single word pronoun, or a common compound pronoun (like mi ale), then i may be omitted.
This does not apply if the verb is a conjunction or a preposition where the omitted particle could lead to confusion. The same is true for gerunds/participles where the i in en-i may never be omitted.
Mi i go.
=> Mi go.
I go.Mi ale i vole manja.
=> Mi ale vole manja.
We want to eat.Mario i de pasa a pan-botega.
=> Mario de pasa a pan-botega.
Mario passed the bakery (bread-store).Mi i an a si a seri mi.
I add it to my list.Luse i lava en via mi.
Light washes over me.Si mira a mi en-i kuri.
He sees me running.
The word o may also be omitted in comparisons or compound prepositions (formed with en + a location/temporal word):
Mi en uti a gitara o bela ma da.
=> Mi en uti a gitara bela ma da.
I'm using the most beautiful guitar.En lado o kasa mi, mi de mira a naga.
=> En lado kasa mi, mi de mira a naga.
Next to my house, I saw a snake.
Da a ale!
Se tu ave leje en tila di, tu savi a mui mega de Mini an Mini-Mundo. Labora bon! Mi arapan ke ale i ave e duro su no go tu. (Linga di e de-i supose e fasile ma da, tu savi.) Ani-moda, danke a tu, go en-i leje a di ale an en-i etudi a linga di. Tu e redi nun go-i go eki an pale kon mundo ale a Mini-Mundo!
- Mini-Mundo: A Minimal Creole (includes some sample texts)
- Mini-Mundo Glossary