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What is Sambahsa?

• Sambahsa is a unique international language mixing the qualities of national
languages used for international communication with the regularity of auxlangs.
• It uses the Roman alphabet, with no diacritics, which are often difficult to write
with keyboards made for different languages. Its regular orthography works with
combination of letters which can produce a rich phonetic system. Furthermore, it
debases very little words from Western European languages, so that they can be
easily recognized.
• Its grammar is based on Indo-European, a family of languages now spoken by half
the world population. It has almost no irregularities and once it is assimilated, you
can deduce immediately the whole conjugation.
• Many auxlangs limit their source-languages to Western Europe, while others are
made out of a patchwork from nearly every language on Earth. On the contrary,
the vocabulary of Sambahsa consists of Indo-European roots, Greco-Latin technical
vocabulary, and selected roots shared by many languages from different linguistic
families from Iceland to Japan. It offers the best balance between neutrality and
real internationality.
• Its grammar is as precise as those of the natural languages, and can render
without any difficulty any text written in such a natlang.
• Unlike some auxlangs which add cumbersome and unnatural endings to
substantives and adjectives, the syntax of Sambahsa rests on a compact set of
pronouns, and loanwords undergo few alterations.

• Problems often disregarded by auxlangers are natural appearence, tersity and
brevity. The result is that many interested people give up the study of auxlangs
and finally get back to English, finding it more “efficient”. On the contrary,
Sambahsa displays these three advantages and can compete qualitatively with
English or any other language used for international communication.

Why should I learn Sambahsa?

• Its grammar is finished, while its vocabulary already contains several thousands of
words. (Who believes that a vocabulary can be finished?)
• You’d like to learn a foreign language, but you don’t know which one? Then learn
Sambahsa!
• Its grammar has preserved the basic patterns of Indo-European (you can see the
work of Carlos Quiles’ team at http://dnghu.org ) but has got rid of irregularities
and useless complicated forms. For example, if you have learnt that the
conjugational present ending of the 3rd person of plural is –ent in Sambahsa, you
won’t be surprised later to discover that it is –and in Parsi. Sambahsa should be
used as an auxiliary administrative language in countries with no previous Indo-
European official language such as China, Korea or Japan.
• Its vocabulary extends beyond Indo-European and includes many loanwords
shared by languages spoken in the Muslim world, as well as some common to Far
East languages. By learning Sambahsa, you learn roots shared by hundreds of
millions, even billions of people, and all this within a coherent system.
• Thus, Sambahsa is able not only to be an efficient instrument of international
communication; it is also an incentive to discover other cultures!

Some examples.

• Is Sambahsa a kind of Lithuanian ? Don’t worry, Sambahsa has neither the
complicated declensions of this beautiful language, nor its irregular conjugations.
Of course, when the matter is of basic things, some similarities can be found in the
wordstock. This applies for Slavic languages too, which are close to the Baltic
linguistic family.

Consider this sentence: “I look at these white birches, at the tall pines, at the
green firs”.

In Lithuanian it is: “Aš žiûriu i, tuos baltus beržus, i, aukštas pušis, i, žalias eglês.

This is relatively similar to Russian: “Ja smotrju na èti belye berjozi, na boljshie
sosni, na zeljonie eli”.

In Sambahsa, it is: “Spehco ta albh birgs, ia buland puiks, ia glend eghels”.

Listen to it said by a robot!

Except for the word “buland”, which is from modern Parsi, all words in this
sentence come from Old Indo-European and can therefore be found in its
offsprings. Here, “spehco” and “albh” can be found in Latin. Notice that Sambahsa
says “to look the trees”. The addition of “at” is often misleading for foreign
speakers. The Sambahsa sentence is shorter than its translations, though it is by
no means less precise.

• So, Sambahsa is really “Indo-European”? Compare the following samples:

In English: I have two sons and two daughters

In Lithuanian: Aš tiriu du sûnus ir dvi dukras

In Russian : U menja dva syna i dve docheri

In Old Greek: Ekhô duo huei kai duo thygatre

In Sanskrit: Mama dvau sûnû ca dve duhitarau

In Icelandic : E’g hef tvo syna og tvae daetur

In Parsi: (Man) do pesâr o do dokhtar dâram

And in reconstructed Indo-European: * Mene dwo sûnu@ dwâkwe dhugtêre@

In Sambahsa, it is: Ho dwo sons ed dwo dugters.

Listen to it said by a robot!

In Italian, it is: Ho due figli e due figlie.

Sambahsa shares its vocabulary with the majority of the list above. Most auxlangs
are not well inspired to rely nearly exclusively on Romance languages!
Some languages use the old Indo-European system and say literally “Of me (are)
two sons and two daughters”. Most of them use complicated declensional endings,
for the accusative, the dual number, etc.... You can see it that the word for “two”
change before “sons” and before “daughters”. Sambahsa has chosen a system
using the verb “to have” because it is the one used by billions of speakers of
Western European languages. Furthermore, Sambahsa accepts a few irregularities
when they concern very common terms. Here, ho is a conjugated form of the verb
habe. Thus, the Sambahsa sentence is even shorter than the English one.

Is this to say that English remains nevertheless simpler than Sambahsa? Don’t
forget that even this simple short sentence displays irregularities of the English
spelling. Most foreigners don’t understand why “o” should be pronounced
differently in “two” and in “sons”. And above all, the first time they read
“daughter”, they pronounce it like “doctor”!

• Does Sambahsa ignore non-European languages? Not at all! When there is no
convenient (Indo-)European word, Sambahsa often include loanwords from the
other major linguistic units of the world, which are the languages spoken in Muslim
countries and languages influenced by the Chinese civilization. Languages
influenced by the Indic civilization are already included within the Indo-European
wordstock. For instance, the name “Sambahsa” is transparent for speakers of
Malay/Indonesia where sama means “same” and bahasa “language”.

For example:

In English: Did your friends travel?

In Bulgarian: Vashite prijateli sa p’tuvali?

In Arabic : Hal safara aSdiKâ’ûkum ?

In Swahili : Wenzenu mawesafiri ?

In Parsi : Dustânetân be safar raftand?
In Sambahsa it is: Hant safert vies prients?

Listen to it said by a robot!

The sambahsa word “prients” is cognate with “friends” in English and “prijateli” in
Bulgarian. The Parsi word “dust” exists in Sambahsa, but it means “comrade”.
Sambahsa “vies” and Bulgarian “vashite” are cognates too.

The sambahsa word “safer” comes from the Arabic stem “safara”, which is
encountered in Parsi and Swahili too. The Swahili “safari” is worldwide known, but
with a restricted meaning.

Another example:

In English: The tomb was built under the shrine.

In Latin: Sepulcrum sub sacrario constructum erat.

In Russian: Mogila byla postroenna pod khramom.

In Sambahsa: Id maghil eet struct sub id schangdien.

Listen to it said by a robot!

“Sub” is common to Sambahsa and Latin, and the verbal stem “strug” can be
found as well in Latin “constructum” as in Russian “postroenna”. “Schangdien”
can be found in Chinese Mandarin “sheng dian”, in Japanese “shaden” and in
Korean “shinjeon”. Sambahsa “struct” is a regular derivation of “strug” + “t” while
English “built” is irregular.
• But is Sambahsa not intelligible to the billions of speakers of Romance languages
and of English?

Don’t worry, Sambahsa includes the greco-latin vocabulary when it is really
international, mostly in the fields of techniques and sciences.

Consider this sentence in English: Though this analysis globally confirms
McLuhan’s hypothesis on the division of History in three periods, it nevertheless
qualifies the idea according to which modernity sees the image supplant the word.

In Spanish: Aunque esa análisis confirma globalmente la hipótesis de McLuhan
sobre la división de Historia en tres épocas, matiza sin embargo la idea según la
cual la modernidad ve la imagen suplantar la palabra.

In (modernized) Latin : Quanquam haec analysis globaliter hypothesin McLuhanis
de divisione Historiae in tres aetates confirmat, tamen ideam variat secundum
quam modernitas imaginem vincere verbum videt.

And in Sambahsa : Quayque tod analyse global-ye confirmet McLuhans hypothese
de Historias division in tri zamans, id lakin nuancet id idee sekwent quod
modernitat vidt id image supplante id werd.