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:
Nyob zoo ib tsoom kwvtij nkauj muam
sawvdaws! Hello everybody I was going to take a few minutes to go over
something that can be a bit of a challenge in Hmong
Being that Hmong is in this way really unique from most western languages
Since Hmong is a tonal language you can change the tone to change the meaning
Um, sorry, when you change the tone it does change the meaning.
But you can’t change the tone to reflect emotion. You cannot do that. In fact well
It’s bothersome to me personally when people try to do that
But it changes the meaning drastically when you change the ch– of the tone of something
so in Hmong one way to reflect emotion is to
Particles or words at the very end of the sentence it is I’m sure again
It seems very strange from Western language
But you can add there are many many words in Hmong that actually changed the feeling they don’t add meaning per se
But they change the feeling when you add that word at the end
Or they have a mix they add the word has a meaning
But it also has a lot of emotion connected to it, and that’s very different. I think than in English for example
Many of them are really difficult to define and wrap your head around because of that
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
And is the list just goes on but today is going to talk about six different words that
as you can see on the screen that
They’re a little more definable or at least they’re a little more easy to wrap your head around and I think it
Helps get an idea of the big picture
The first one you’ll see up in the top left. There is the word os
Doesn’t mean duck. What does mean duck but not in this case
Os is a word that’s used to soften a phrase so for example ‘nyob zoo’ just imagine a you are
That’s the word for hello, or like a greeting
Just imagine that you’re picking up the phone ‘nyob zoo’
That can it can in some cases be like picking up the phone and saying hello
whereas if you add that ‘os’ ‘nyob zoo os’
it’s kind of like hello, or
Just any way you pick up the phone and all hello hello
It’s it’s very is much more soft rather than abrupt
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
some languages like tied you’ll use ครับ and ค่ะ for
Like everything you want to be polite I use it for everything every sentence, sometimes mid-sentence
But it’s not the same in Hmong. You. Just have to use it as you see fit
And you’ll see how people use it to overtime
So os softens the sentence now another one is similar number two is mog
Mog is used with requests, so let’s say someone says
Oops, let’s say someone is
Making food, and you want to say to somebody oh
‘Koj ua ib taig rau kuv noj thiab’
Like oh make a plate for me, too
Without any phrases anything attached to it can be construed as kind of like hey, make a play for me, too. It just is
but if you were making a request like this, you could say “koj ua ib taig rau kuv noj thiab mog.”
Mog will make it go from a real abrupt of almost a command to a
Very soft request would you mind making a plate for me as well?
really, that’s the purpose of a
Command consume weather abrupt in hmong, so when you add them all at the end of it it softens up
So does it seem so harsh?
now another word number three ‘ntag’
It really means exactly but again it has a lot of emotion connected to it so imagine like
you were trying to explain something to somebody and they just weren’t getting and you kept explaining explaining explaining and
Finally they said something that shows they got the point
You could say ‘oh, li kod’ like like you just said or you could say ‘oh! Li ko ntag!
‘li kod ntag!’ like yes, exactly that or say like the B1
There you you were looking for somebody in an airport or something you and somebody else, you know
You can find them you couldn’t find them and suddenly you know there they were you pointed out to the other person
Oh, ‘Tus ntawd ntag!’
‘Tus ntawd ntag!’ that person there exactly that person
So it adds emotion that way
another one number four if you look at is used when someone gives you a number and
You’re surprised by how much it is
So say somebody got a raise, you know when it’s way more than either of you expected
You say oh, ‘npaum li ko diam!’
So oh as much as that really?
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
It’s kind of funny. It’s so specific
Now number five if you look at that one ‘sub’
Or ‘pob’ is… there are actually a handful of words, I just picked out two in hmong that
They take a statement you make a statement
It’s not necessarily a question, but a statement of something, but you have doubt like you’re uncertain
Or it can even come to the point of being in question. There’s ways to ask questions
Which is separate subject in moment, but in this case?
It’s kind of like you’re making a statement, but you want to express your kind of unsure about it
So like the first one there ‘yog thiab sub’
I think it’s right isn’t it
‘Yog thiab’ means like that’s right, but if you add ‘sub’ it’s kind of like
Again, it’s really. It’s not like it’s saying
Isn’t it because there’s a word for that: ‘lov’ in hmong
but really this is adding an emotion of
You’re adding an uncertain feeling
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?’
You’re coming today, too, right?
Again, it doesn’t. It’s not like we’re adding
we can we can say the word ‘pob’ means right, but it’s like you’re making a statement you’re coming today, but
I guess you could say in English is kind of like, You’re coming today. You have that feeling of right?
Even though it’s not expressed
so you can use that one for quite a few things and then
finally number six ‘yuad’ is used in a dare … wow nice typo there…
Uses it a dare or when you want somebody to accept something so instead of uncertainty
It’s kind of like you’re like nudging them that uh-huh
So like you could say ‘peb mus’ : lets go!
But if you say ‘Peb mus yuad’ it’s like come on. Let’s go. Let’s go
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
It as I feeling of, ‘huh! huh! huh!”
You see from these examples
Or hopefully you see from these examples none of these words have a definable meaning per se
But they express the feeling and all of these particles used at the end really are kind of like that they express a feeling
rather than giving a definable meaning
you’ll hear some people say that this is something that
Non-natives can’t learn I always say more
It’s something very difficult for non-natives to learn because as it can’t be defined
It has to be picked up by a great deal of context whether reading or what your movies are talking with people
Certainly don’t give up it can be learned
there’s and you can use them and
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
It’ll come out quite naturally it’ll actually be a feeling that comes from your own heart, so hopefully that’s beneficial
I thought I’d share it, and thank you very much