Unit 3 : How to Greet People : “Geeting, Shopping, Working”

1. Greetings : Salam, Yaxshimusiz ! 

These are the most common Uyghur greetings, meaning “peace !” or “how are you ?”, where you have to add the particle “mu” when you are asking a question, and in reply you can just say “yaxshi”. We will study how to express yourself when you meet someone, “tonushmaq”. Firstly, have a look at this dialogue, and don’t worry about the new words that we have not study yet, you can check them on the dictionary :

  • Yaxshimusiz ? = Hello / How are you doing ?
  • Yaxshimusiz = Hello
  • Méning ismim Ayshe, sizning ismingiz nime ? = My name is Ayshe, how about yours ?
  • Méning ismim Zafar = My name is Zafar
  • Qandaq ehwalingiz ? = How are you ?
  • Yaxshi rahmet, siz qandaq ehwal ? = I am fine thank you, you ?
  • Menmu yaxshi, rexmet = Fine too, thanks
  • Siz qayerlik ? = Where are you from ?
  • Men Mersinlik. Siz qayerlik ? = From Mersin, how about you ?
  • Men Tashkentlik. = I am from Tashkent
  • Qanche yashta siz ? = How old are you ?
  • Men 20 yashta. Siz qanche yashta ? = I am 20, and you ?
  • Men 23 yashta = I am 23
  • Ishlemsiz ? = Do you work ?
  • Shundaq ishleymen, sizchu ? = Yes I do, and you ?
  • Men ishlimeymen, men oqughuchimen = No I do not, I am a student
  • Nahayiti yaxshi = Great !
  • Siz bilen tonushqanliqim`gha memnun (hursend) boldum. Hazir ketmisem bolmaydu = Nice to meet you / I am glad that I have met you. Now I need to go
  • Menmu memnun (hursed) boldum = Nice to meet you too
  • Yene körüshermiz, xosh aman bolung = See you soon, take care !
  • Xeyri xosh = See you

2. Personal pronouns : 

Here is a list of Uyghur pronouns, be careful to the many pronouns used for “you” (2nd person). Learn them all :

  • Men = I (regular)
  • Sen = You (informal, intimate)
  • Siz = You (polite)
  • Sili = Sen (respectful)
  • U = She/He/It
  • Biz = We (regular)
  • Senler = You (very informal)
  • Siler = You (polite)
  • Sizler = You (very polite)
  • Ular = They

For the use of “you”, Uyghurs distinguish several levels of politeness and formality :

Siz : Learn and use the everyday formal polite form “siz” with most of people : your teachers, classmates, and adult strangers that you meet for once. It is the most common one that you will hear, even girls are addressed with “siz” (which is a sign of respect) and boys with “sen”.

Sen : It is a familiar and intimate form of “you” conveying a very close friendship between the speaker and the hearer, it is all about the relationship (and respect) that you have with the person you are talking. People also tend to use it by anger, which is offensive. Better you wait until a person addresses you, and then you can reply with “siz” or “sen”.

Sili : It is actually used to elders, grandparents or respected leaders of a community, where you can also encounter this word in Uyghur literature.

Siler : It is the most common form of “you” (plural), used in both distant and close relationships. The other forms “senler” (plural and informal) and “sizler” (plural and formal) are less common and only included for references. Anyway, make sure you learn well : men, sen, siz, u, biz, siler and ular.

3. Present-future tense : 

The present-future tense is formed by adding the suffix “i”, “y” or “yi”, immediately after the verb. There are three variants of suffix. Examples :

If the verb ends in a consonant (p, b, f, q, gh, l, n, sh, y and w) use :

  • Qil (do) = qilimen, qilisen, qilisiz, qilidu, qilimiz, qilisiler, qilidu
  • Qayt (return) = qaytimen, qaytisen, qaytisiz, qaytidu, qaytimiz, qaytisiler…
  • Toy (be full) = toyimen, toyisen, toyisiz, toyidu, toyimiz…
  • Kör (see) = körimen, körisen, körisiz, köridu…

If the verb ends in a vowel use :

  • Oqu (read) = oquymen, oquysen…
  • Angla (listen) = anglaysiz, anglaydu…
  • De (say) = deymen, deydu…
  • Ye (eat) = yeymiz, yeydu… (also seen as yeyimiz)

If the verb starts with “yu”, use yi :

  • Yu (wash) = yuyimen, yuyisen, yuyisiz, yuyidu…

3.2 Person endings : 

It looks quite personnal and they agree with the subject of the sentence in person and number. Uyghur has two sets of person endings, but the one described here the most common :

  • -Men (1st person, singular)
  • -Sen, -Siz (2nd person, singular)
  • -Du (3rd person, singular)
  • -Miz (1st person, plural)
  • -Siler (2nd person, plural)
  • -U (3rd person, plural)

Here are some examples and a list of different verbs in the present-future tense, that you can use in everyday life :

  • Bar (go) = barimen, barisen, barisiz, baridu, barimiz, barisiler, baridu
  • Ögen (study) = öginimen, öginisen, öginisiz, öginidu, öginimiz, öginisiler, öginidu
  • Aylan (revolve) = aylinimen, aylinisen, aylinisiz, aylinidu, aylinimiz, aylinisiler, aylinidu
  • Ber (give) = bérimen, bérisen, bérisiz, béridu, bérimiz, bérisiler, béridu
  • Et (make, prepare) = étimen, étisen, étisiz, étidu, étimiz, étisiler, étidu
  • Mang (go, run, operate) = mangimen, mangisen, mangisiz, mangidu, mangimiz, mangisiler, mangidu
  • De (say) = deymen, deysen, deysiz, deydu, deymiz, deysiler, deydu

3.3 Usage of the present-future tense : expresses a present state of affairs

It is used to describe a current, usual state of affairs, a stable ongoing action or situation :

  • Biz bu yerde ishleymiz = We work here

Expresses a likely event in the future : used about a future action or situation, where the speaker is quite certain that the event will happen. The present and future tense can be distinguished by adverbs such as “hazir” (now) or “ete” (tomorrow) for instance :

  • U Ürümchige baridu = She/He will (definitely) go to Ürümchi
  • Men bir kitab alimen = I will (surely) go buy a book

Expresses habitual action : the present-future tense can also render habitual action, something that is done regularly at the present time :

  • Siz her küni oquysiz = You study everyday

4. Noun cases : usages 

Nominative case : a noun in the nominative case is not marked and it is the subject of a sentence as in “öy” :

  • Bu öy yaxshi = This home is good

Locative case : it expresses a location with the prepositions “at, on, in…”. The particle “-da” must be added as a suffix to the noun :

  • U uniwérsitétta ishleydu = She/He works at the university

Dative case : it is used for the direction of a place or purpose. The suffix “-ga” is attached to the noun :

  • Biz bazargha barimiz = We go to the market

4.2 Formation : 

There are different kinds of forms for each case suffix : you must learn well to select which one you must use in your speech, for instance :

  • Tamaq (nominative), tamaqta (locative), tamaqqa (dative)
  • Öy, öyde, öyge
  • Bala, balida, baligha
  • Mektep, mektepte, mektepke
  • Kimde ? ; lughette = On whom ? ; in a/the dictionary
  • Tilda ; sawaqdashta = In a/the language ; on the classmate
  • Kimge ? ; lughetke = To/for whom ? ; to/for a/the dictionary
  • Tala ; talagha = Outside ; (towards) the outside

4.3 Personal pronouns and case : 

Personal pronouns like “men” or “siz” for instance also have their own suffixes personal pronouns :

  • Men (nominative), manga (dative), mende (locative)
  • Sen, sanga, sende
  • Siz, sizge, sizde
  • Sili, silige, silide
  • U, uninggha, uningda
  • Biz, bizge, bizde
  • Siler (sizler), silerge, silerde
  • Ular, ulargha, ularda

5. Language use notes : different verbs and its uses 

  • Buni Uyghurche néme deydu ? = What is this called in Uyghur ?

This verb (“déyish”) can be translated as “it is said/called”, beware that in English you use the past tense whereas in Uyghur you use the present tense.

  • Adil künde öyde öginidu = Adil studies at home everyday
  • Men bu mektepte oquymen = I study at this school

These both verbs mean “study” but they are used differently : “ögen” focuses on study by oneself or skills, whereas “oqu” means to “read” or “recite”, when studying at school with a teacher for instance.

5.2 The interjection maqul (ok !) : 

It usually means “ok” or “agreed” and it is used alone as a one-word sentence. See examples :

  • Öyge qaytayli ! ; Maqul ! = Let’s go home ! ; Ok ! (it is indeed a good idea)
  • Maqul emse. Xosh ! = Ok then, goodbye !

5.3 Time expressions using : kün, künde, küni

“Künde” forms an adjective which means “everyday”, and “her küni” means “each day” :

  • Künde ishleymen / Her küni ishleymen = I work everyday

Exercice & Tips : 

You can make dialogues by yourself and practice your Uyghurche and of course don’t forget to use the particles “-da”, “-gha” or “-de”. Here an example for you :

  • Muellim, siz nerge barisiz ?
  • Men öyge barimen, siler nerge barisiler ?
  • Biz bazargha barimiz
  • Siler bazarda néme qilisiler ?
  • Bir kitab, ikki depter we üch zhurnal alimiz
  • Xemet nede ?
  • U öyde, künde öyde öginidu
  • Adil bilen Zafar öydimu ?
  • (Shundaq), ularmu öyde.