The Anyuvin stories use a romanized (latin letter) version of Varindjo, the Anyuvin language. Most readers will find it relatively easy to pronounce Anyuvin words if they remember a few simple things:
- /c/ is pronounced [ts], as in “nuts”
- /č/ is pronounced [tʃ], as in ‘chair’
- /š is pronounced [ʃ], as in ‘shall’
- /ž/ is pronounced [ʒ], as in ‘treasure’
- Some consonants can be ‘palatized’, that is, be pronounced as if they were followed by a ‘y’. So, we’ll follow them with a ‘y’. (Note: there is no separate ‘y’, as in ‘yellow’.)
Beyond this, most of the sound differences are minor. Those interested in going whole hog on the pronunciation can refer to the language section of the Anyuvin Reference, available free, as a PDF: Anyuvin
The other notable difference is that Varindjo has no gendered pronouns. In fact, while the Anyuvin recognize that there are two sexes, the concept of gender roles, or gender specific references, completely baffles them. Translating this into standard English has frustrated me greatly. I have, in the end, borrowed the third person pronoun “per” from Marge Piercy’s Woman at the Edge of Time as a basis for translating the Anyuvin pronoun. Thus,
- Per = he/she. The nominative case. Also used as the possessive determiner, as in “per eyes”.
- Pera = him/her. The accusative case. (My own addition, since Marge Piercy didn’t distinguish the nominative and accusative cases.)
- Pers = his/hers. Possesive pronoun, as in “that is pers”
- Perself = him/her-self . The reflexive case.
None of this really does justice to the pronoun structure of Varindjo, which has almost a dozen (pro)noun cases, however, it comes closest to giving the flavor of the language.