Lesson I


The draga language is written with 25 characters of the Roman alphabet, plus the ", ' and acute accent symbols. The symbol : is used to mark the end of a sentence.

f, l, m, s, t, w, and y are pronounced pretty much as in English. But 't' is always pronounced as in "top" (i.e. followed by a puff of air), and never as in "stop".
Letter IPA Gloss Example Description
a æ A awo similar to "a" in "cat"
e ə UH eña similar to "a" in "about"
i i EE hiña similar to "ea" in "eat"
o U OO hoña similar to "oo" in "look"
ou ɔw AW tyouñ Like the "o" in "on", but round your lips considerably, and say at a low pitch.
r ɚ UR Qhrya similar to "ur" in "purse", always a vowel
Easy to pronounce:
h ʜ H halui Similar to 'h'
j tz TZ jagi "tz" in "hot_zone"
x ʃ SH xapo "sh" in ship
ñ ɲ NY ñagwa "ni" in onion
kw kw KW kweiañ "qu" in aqua
ky kj KY kyeañ "ky" in junkyard
g ɦ GH jaga Like an 'h', but using your vocal cords (i.e. voiced)
' ʔ ' o'ui Glottal stop. Pronounced like the break in "uh-oh", i.e. stopping the flow of air at your throat
Aspirated vs. unaspirated stops:
c c CH ciw Similar to "tch" in "butcher"
ch ch CHH chíaeq Similar to "ch_h" in "beach head"
p p P pawa Like the "p" in spill, or "pp" in pepper
ph ph PH phawui Like the "p" in pan (notice the puff of air)
q q Q quiyo Similar to "k" in "skip", but with the back of the tounge further back towards the throat
qh qh QH qhowa draqa 'Q' above, but with the "puff of air" (i.e. aspiration)
Varieties of 't':
d t_ TH dae Like a "t", but pronounced with the tip of the tounge placed between the teeth, la English "th".
t' T? t'ae Similar to the "t" in stop, but at the same time blocking the flow of air by closing off the back of your throat, i.e. glottal stop (together with the "t")
ty tj TY tyou Similar to the "t" in stop, but at the same time pronouncing "y".
Unusual sounds:
b ɓ B! beiwor Like 'b', but sucking the air inward rather than outwards
z ! Z! zeqa The sound of 'sucking your teeth, i.e. Like 't', but sucking the air inward rather than outwards'
klq ǁ Q! klqakwo The sound of clicking your tongue against the side of your teeth.
p" ʙ˚ P" p"poa Bilabial trill, (raspberry), i.e. Hold lips in the position for "p", and blow through them, allowing them to flap together
t" r˚ T" t"ui Like Spanish 'rr' but without using your voicebox, Hold tongue in the position for "t", and blow through the tip,
q" ʀ˚ Q" q"aña Like gargling without using your voicebox, Hold tongue in the position for draga "q", and blow across the back of the tongue .
qhg ˚ QQ" qhgagi Q + Q" above.

Draqa has 6 vowels: a, e, i, o, ou and r.

The vowels e, ou, and r are always pronounced with a little stress.

The vowels a, i, and o can be pronounced with a normal pitch, or with a high pitch. The acute accent is used to represent the high pitch: á í ú. *Note: The high pitch is always part of a pitch contour, i.e. the tone is either rising or falling. A simple high pitched vowel has a falling pitch contour, i.e. the 'ú' in 'mú' is pronounced with a falling tone. The word "ía' is also proncounced with a falling tone. However, the 'ií' in 'p' is pronounced with a rising tone.

The vowels a, i, and o might also be rhoticized:

ar / ár r] "ar" / "AR"
ir / ír [ir] "eer" / "EER"
or [Ur] "oor"

Certain vowel combinations have irregular spellings:

ea [iæ] "ee-a"
eu [iU] "ee-oo"
ae [æe] "a-ay"

Other possible vowel combinations inlcude:

ei [əi] "uh-ee"
ie / íe [iə] "ee-uh"
ui / úi / uí [Ui] "oo-ee"
ái / aí [æi] "a-ee"
ía / iá [iæ] "ee-a"
ío / iú [iO]/[iU] "ee-oo"

Syllables and Words

Examples of some draga words:

draga - [t_ɚ. æ. ɦæ] - "THur-a-GHa"
Draga language, culture, people, etc.

kyíafa - [kji`æ. fæ] - "KYEEa-Fa "
Realize, recognize, understand, "know"

haña - [Hæ. ñæ] - "Ha-NYa"
Human being, person

súaq - [sU`æq] - "SOO-aQ"
Cultivated power, potential and capability

t"oña - [r˚U. ñæ] - "T"oo-NYa"
Strike, hit

*Note: High tone is represented here by ` for IPA, and by CAPITALIZATION (vowels) in the Gloss.

Lesson II

A Basic Interaction:

S: a píawañ ciñ:
L: a píac:
S: mú wañ:
L ía phui: mú wañ:
S: ía phíw:
L: xe'a wañ:
S: a sae: es xama:
L: a wui! jwae, a píawañ ciñ:


S: a píawañ ciñ:
/æ pi`æ. wæɲ ciɲ/
"a PEEa-waN CHeeN" - "Hello!"
L: a píac:
/æ pi`æc/
"a PEE-aCH" - "Hello!"
S: mú wañ:
/mU` wæɲ/
"MOO WaN" - "How are you? What's up with you?"
L: ía phui: mú wañ:
/i`æ phUi - mU`. wæɲ/
"EEa PHoo-ee. MOO WaN." - "I am well, and you?"
S: ía phíw:
/i'æ phi`w/
"EEa PHEEW" - "I'm doing poorly"
L: xe'a wañ:
/ ʃə. ʔæ wæɲ/
"SHuh'a WaN" = "What is it? What's up?"
S: a sae: es xama:
/æ sæe, əs ʃæ. mæ/
"a Sa-ay. uS SHaMa" - "No (i.e. Nothing). It's not important"
L: a wui! jwae, a píawañ ciñ:
/æ wUi - tzwæe, æ pi`æ. wæɲ. ciɲ/
"a Woo-ee! TZWa-ay, a PEEa-WaN CHeeN" - "Oh, sure. Of course. I'll see you later" (roughly)


a píawañ ciñ / a píac
"Hello" or "Goodbye"

This word introduces a question where the subject is "you" (2nd person)

This is the interrogative pronominal Root, meaning "what?, which?, where?, why?, who?, etc." based on context.

This word introduces a 1st person statement describing a subjective experience, such as personal feelings or thoughts.

phui, phuia (interchangeable)
"Joy, Happiness"

"Unhappiness, Unpleasant feeling, Disatisfaction"

This word introduces any general question, where the subject is not necesarily "you" (2nd person)

a sae
"No. Certainly not."

a jwae
"Yes. Certainly"

a wui
This interjection has a wide range of uses, from somthing like "Oh!", to "Wow!" to "Look!" to "Darn!" or "Shucks!" Literally, it translates to something like "There it is!"

This word introduces a negative statement, i.e. "It is not..."

"Chosen, Selected; Important; Select; Sacred, Holy"

Lesson III

ía and mú:

These two words, introduced in the previous lesson, are known as "Speech Act Particles". Every draga sentence begins with one or more of these particles, which indicate what type of information you are providing, and how you know whether it is true/useful or not.

ía is used when describing your own internal feelings, experiences or perceptions.
is used to introduce questions where "you" are the subject.
ía phui:
i`æ phUi
EEa PHoo-ee - "I am happy."

ía kyíafa:
i`æ kji`æ fæ
EEa KYEEa-Fa - "I realize, understand."

ía sfea:
i`æ s. fiæ
EEa S-Fee-a - "I am sad."

ía ñayo:
i`æ ɲæ. jU
EEa NYaYoo - "I ingest (it)."

ía lyañatyíar
i`æ ljæ. ɲæ. tji`ær
EEa LYa-NYa-TYEEar - "I am at home."

ía sei fwae:
i`æ səi hɸʍæe
EEa Suh-ee HFWa-ay - "I do not like it."

mú phuia:
mU` phUiæ
MOO PHoo-ee-a - "Are you happy"

mú kyíafa:
mU` kji`æ fæ
MOO KYEEa-Fa - "Do you understand?"

mú sfea:
mU` s. fiæ
MOO S-Fee-a - "Are you sad?"

mú ñayo:
mU` ɲæ. jU
MOO NYaYoo - "Did you ingest (it/something)?"

mú lyañatyíar
mU` ljæ. ɲæ. tji`ær
MOO LYa-NYa-TYEEar - "Are you at home?"

mú sei fwae:
mU` səi hɸʍæe
MOO Suh-ee HFWa-ay - "You don't like it?"


kyíafa - [kji`æ. fæ] - "KYEEa-Fa "
Realize, recognize, understand, "know"

sfea - [s. fiæ] - "S-Fee-a"

ñayo - [ɲæ. jU] - "NYa-Yoo"
Ingest, eat, drink, smoke, inhale

lyaña - [ljæ. ɲæ] - "LYa-NYa"
Home, House

sei - [səi] - "Suh-ee"

fwae - [hɸʍæe] - "HFWa-ay"
Liking, Affinity

Lesson IV

You may have noticed in the sentences above: ía lyañatyíar and mú lyañatyíar - that the word lyañatyíar means "at home".

The word lyañatyíar is made up of two parts:

LYa-NYa - "Home, House"
-TYEE-ar - "At, In, On"

The first part lyaña is a Root, which is the name for the content words of the draga language. draga Roots can be translated as nouns, verbs, adjectives or adverbs in English depending on context. The only other part of speech in draga is the Particle.

-tyíar is known as a Locative Particle, used to indicate location, direction or motion. The hyphen (-) in front of -tyíar indicates that the word cannot stand alone, and must be joined to the end of another word, typically a Root.

The Locative Particles are extremely important in speaking draga. The locative metaphor is used with great flexibility:

ljæ. ɲæ. tji`ær
LYa-NYa-TYEE-ar - "At Home, In (the) House"

ljæ. ɲæ. jir
LYa-NYa-Yeer - "(Going) Toward Home, Toward (the) House"

ljæ. ɲæ. pjir
LYa-NYa-PYeer - "(Make it successfully) To Home/ the House"

ljæ. ɲæ. swUr
LYa-NYa-SWoor - "Unsuccessfully toward Home" (i.e. Tried, but didn't make it.)

ljæ. ɲæ. tjUi
LYa-NYa-TYoo-ee - "Coming from Home. Originating at Home"

ljæ. ɲæ. fir
LYa-NYa-Feer - "(Going) In the (same) general direction of Home"

ljæ. ɲæ. thə. jɔw
LYa-NYa-Tuh-Yaw - "(Going) (In a general direction) Away from Home"

phUiæ. tji`ær
PHoo-ee-a-TYEE-ar - "At, In Happiness, i.e Happy (presently)"

phUiæ. jir
PHoo-ee-a-Yeer - "Toward Happiness"

phUiæ. pjitr
PHoo-ee-a-PYeer - "Successfully to Happiness"

phUiæ. swUr
PHoo-ee-a-SWoor - "Unsuccessfully toward Happiness" (i.e. Tried, but failed)

phUiæ. tjUi
PHoo-ee-a-TYoo-ee - "Coming from/ Originating in Happiness"

phUiæ. fir
PHoo-ee-a-Feer - "In the (same) general direction of Happiness"

phUiæ. thə. jɔw
PHoo-ee-a-Tuh-Yaw - "Generally moving away from /Leaving /Avoiding Happiness"

So, the Locative suffixes can be summed up:

-tyíar "At, In, On"
-yir "Towards, To"
-pyir "(Successfully) To"
-swor "Unsuccessfully toward"
-tyui "Originating from, Coming from"
-fir "In the (same) general direction of"
-teyou "Away from, Off of, Out of, Generally avoiding"

* See if you can translates the following sentences. You should be thoroughly familiar with the material in Lessons I - IV before you continue:

1. ía lyaña-yir:
2. mú lyaña-yir:
3. mú sfiá-tyui:
4. ía hiemñayo-swor:
5. mú kyíafa-pyir:
6. ía kyíafa-teyou:
7. ía sei lyaña-tyui:
8. mú fwae-fir:

Go on to Lesson V