Hmong Grammar: Emotional Particles

Travis GoreAudio and Video, Grammar, Hmong Monday, VocabLeave a Comment

hmong grammar emotional particles

What is this video about?

This is a video that describes the emotional particles or words used at the end of sentences and phrases in Hmong which express emotion rather than meaning. Sometimes they express a mix of both meaning with an implied emotion. The purpose of this video isn’t to give a list of all possible particles but to give an overview so you can understand how they work and more easily learn them over time.

Summary for review:

1. Os – softens the phrase
a. Nyob zoo
b. Nyob zoo os
2. Mog – turns a request into a polite request.
a. Koj ua ib taig rau kuv noj thiab
b. Koj ua ib taig rau kuv noj thiab mog
3. Ntag -Exactly!
a. Li ko ntag!
b. Tus ntawd ntag
4. Diam! – That many?
a. Npaum li ko diam?!?
5. Sub, pob – Turns a statement into a doubtful statement, or even a question
a. Yog thiab sub? – I think it’s right, isn’t it?
b. Hnub no koj tuaj thiab pob – You are coming today, too, right?
6. Yuad – Used in a dare or when you want someone to accept.
Peb mus yuad? Let’s go?

Transcript from the Video:

0:00:00.370,0:00:06.360
Nyob zoo ib tsoom kwvtij nkauj muam
sawvdaws! Hello everybody I was going to take a few minutes to go over

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something that can be a bit of a challenge in Hmong

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Being that Hmong is in this way really unique from most western languages

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Since Hmong is a tonal language you can change the tone to change the meaning

0:00:21.820,0:00:24.449
Um, sorry, when you change the tone it does change the meaning.

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But you can’t change the tone to reflect emotion. You cannot do that. In fact well

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It’s bothersome to me personally when people try to do that

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But it changes the meaning drastically when you change the ch– of the tone of something

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so in Hmong one way to reflect emotion is to

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add

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Particles or words at the very end of the sentence it is I’m sure again

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It seems very strange from Western language

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But you can add there are many many words in Hmong that actually changed the feeling they don’t add meaning per se

0:00:59.850,0:01:02.129
But they change the feeling when you add that word at the end

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Or they have a mix they add the word has a meaning

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But it also has a lot of emotion connected to it, and that’s very different. I think than in English for example

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Many of them are really difficult to define and wrap your head around because of that

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There’s no real definition for them. So you just have to hear them in context many times for example the word maj nawj lauj as

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And is the list just goes on but today is going to talk about six different words that

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as you can see on the screen that

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They’re a little more definable or at least they’re a little more easy to wrap your head around and I think it

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Helps get an idea of the big picture

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The first one you’ll see up in the top left. There is the word os

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Doesn’t mean duck. What does mean duck but not in this case

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Os is a word that’s used to soften a phrase so for example ‘nyob zoo’ just imagine a you are

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That’s the word for hello, or like a greeting

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Just imagine that you’re picking up the phone ‘nyob zoo’

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That can it can in some cases be like picking up the phone and saying hello

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whereas if you add that ‘os’ ‘nyob zoo os’

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it’s kind of like hello, or

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Just any way you pick up the phone and all hello hello

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It’s it’s very is much more soft rather than abrupt

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You can use this with the word os on pretty much any statement or phrase they use, but it’s really not necessary all the time

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some languages like tied you’ll use ครับ and ค่ะ for

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Like everything you want to be polite I use it for everything every sentence, sometimes mid-sentence

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But it’s not the same in Hmong. You. Just have to use it as you see fit

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And you’ll see how people use it to overtime

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So os softens the sentence now another one is similar number two is mog

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Mog is used with requests, so let’s say someone says

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Oops, let’s say someone is

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Making food, and you want to say to somebody oh

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‘Koj ua ib taig rau kuv noj thiab’

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Like oh make a plate for me, too

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Without any phrases anything attached to it can be construed as kind of like hey, make a play for me, too. It just is

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very abrupt

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but if you were making a request like this, you could say “koj ua ib taig rau kuv noj thiab mog.”

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Mog will make it go from a real abrupt of almost a command to a

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Very soft request would you mind making a plate for me as well?

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really, that’s the purpose of a

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Command consume weather abrupt in hmong, so when you add them all at the end of it it softens up

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So does it seem so harsh?

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now another word number three ‘ntag’

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It really means exactly but again it has a lot of emotion connected to it so imagine like

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you were trying to explain something to somebody and they just weren’t getting and you kept explaining explaining explaining and

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Finally they said something that shows they got the point

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You could say ‘oh, li kod’ like like you just said or you could say ‘oh! Li ko ntag!

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‘li kod ntag!’ like yes, exactly that or say like the B1

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There you you were looking for somebody in an airport or something you and somebody else, you know

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You can find them you couldn’t find them and suddenly you know there they were you pointed out to the other person

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Oh, ‘Tus ntawd ntag!’

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‘Tus ntawd ntag!’ that person there exactly that person

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So it adds emotion that way

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another one number four if you look at is used when someone gives you a number and

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You’re surprised by how much it is

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So say somebody got a raise, you know when it’s way more than either of you expected

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You say oh, ‘npaum li ko diam!’

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So oh as much as that really?

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So you use it just when its roof as far as I understand this when it’s in reference to a number that you’re surprised about

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It’s kind of funny. It’s so specific

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Now number five if you look at that one ‘sub’

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Or ‘pob’ is… there are actually a handful of words, I just picked out two in hmong that

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They take a statement you make a statement

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It’s not necessarily a question, but a statement of something, but you have doubt like you’re uncertain

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Or it can even come to the point of being in question. There’s ways to ask questions

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Which is separate subject in moment, but in this case?

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It’s kind of like you’re making a statement, but you want to express your kind of unsure about it

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So like the first one there ‘yog thiab sub’

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I think it’s right isn’t it

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‘Yog thiab’ means like that’s right, but if you add ‘sub’ it’s kind of like

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Isn’t it?

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Again, it’s really. It’s not like it’s saying

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Isn’t it because there’s a word for that: ‘lov’ in hmong

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but really this is adding an emotion of

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right

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You’re adding an uncertain feeling

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It’s different subtle, but it’s different and then the second part at the be part of five there, ‘hnub no koj tuaj thiab pob?’

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You’re coming today, too, right?

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Again, it doesn’t. It’s not like we’re adding

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we can we can say the word ‘pob’ means right, but it’s like you’re making a statement you’re coming today, but

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I guess you could say in English is kind of like, You’re coming today. You have that feeling of right?

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Even though it’s not expressed

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so you can use that one for quite a few things and then

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finally number six ‘yuad’ is used in a dare … wow nice typo there…

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Uses it a dare or when you want somebody to accept something so instead of uncertainty

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It’s kind of like you’re like nudging them that uh-huh

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So like you could say ‘peb mus’ : lets go!

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But if you say ‘Peb mus yuad’ it’s like come on. Let’s go. Let’s go

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Or if you were to say you know you were to say day or something like that you want to you want to race for

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It as I feeling of, ‘huh! huh! huh!”

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so

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You see from these examples

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Or hopefully you see from these examples none of these words have a definable meaning per se

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But they express the feeling and all of these particles used at the end really are kind of like that they express a feeling

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rather than giving a definable meaning

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you’ll hear some people say that this is something that

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Non-natives can’t learn I always say more

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It’s something very difficult for non-natives to learn because as it can’t be defined

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It has to be picked up by a great deal of context whether reading or what your movies are talking with people

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but

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Certainly don’t give up it can be learned

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there’s and you can use them and

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You’ll probably make a fool of yourself by using them wrong a few times or the people will help you and in the end

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It’ll come out quite naturally it’ll actually be a feeling that comes from your own heart, so hopefully that’s beneficial

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I thought I’d share it, and thank you very much

 

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