More lessons will be added periodically and in the meantime you can find more learning resources at the Sarus forum, where you can also practice your Sarus by chatting with other Sarus speakers (ok typers).
Choose your lessons or the other links from the Contents margin on the left (well duh, Phillips!)
Beware Outdated Sarus!
Sarus has gone through two complete revisions since its first conception. To be sure you are learning the most current version of Sarus, stick to this page and the learning resources linked to from here. The Sarus forum is the most current and frequently updated resource, and is also the place to go to get your questions answered.
If you use the search field below for Sarus, you may come across old versions and inadvertently learn the wrong things!
Can't have that, huh?
How it works
The roots of Sarus lie in the 7 notes of the musical octave. Most of us learned do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti at school. These can be abbreviated to just one letter each:
These are the letters of Sarus, and we call them syllables.
After those, we move on to the 2-syllable words, of which there are 49. They are:
Every Sarus word is a combination of one or more of these syllables. There are seven 1-syllable words, which, as you've seen are
Next come the 3-syllable words, of which there are 336. I won't list them here because we're still in the beginner's section.
- dd, dr, dm, df, ds, dl, dt
- rd, rr, rm, rf, rs, rl, rt
- md, mr, mm, mf, ms, ml, mt
- fd, fr, fm, ff, fs, fl, ft
- sd, sr, sm, sf, ss, sl, st
- ld, lr, lm, lf, ls, ll, lt
- td, tr, tm, tf, ts, tl, tt
"hang on, 336?.. but 49 x 7 = 343.. what happened to the other 7?"
At this point in time, Sarus doesn't use triple syllables at all, so ddd, rrr, mmm, etc are omitted from the language altogether.
Of course there are 4-syllable words, and eventually you'll be seeing 5 and 6 -syllable words, but these are for an advanced lesson.
Sarus words are written as a combination of any of the 7 syllables.
s - this is a 1-syllable Sarus word that means 'if'.
drt - this is a 3-syllable Sarus word that means 'create' or 'make'.
tl - this is a 2-syllable Sarus word that means 'cannot'
Sentences are written just like in most other languages, with a space separating the words, like so:
- dms m ft frf - today is very windy
Sarus words and sentences may be spoken, sung, whistled, blinked, farted, whatever.. but it's absolutely necessary that you differentiate between words by separating them somehow. You will learn more about how to pronounce spoken Sarus on the Pronunciation page.
Separating written Sarus words is easy to do as you'll see in the next chapter, but in other forms of expression, it's vital that you separate the words somehow, otherwise, the above phrase could become:
Which of course means absolutely bloody nothing.
The language of Sarus is a very limited one.. but that doesn't mean it is limiting. One of the first rules of Sarus is that you shouldn't have two or more words that mean the same thing.
When I was developing the vocabulary, I downloaded lists from the internet of the 1000 most common english words. A huge percentage of that list was synonyms or words very similar to others. After removing those, the list was considerably smaller.
For example, the words: strange, weird, bizarre, odd, queer.. they all mean pretty much the same thing, so in Sarus we have just one word that expresses them all: mrf.
We also mix certain words where it's logical and works in context:
- d = no, not, don't, isn't, won't
- dms = day, today
- smd = night, tonight
- mrf = weird, bizarre, strange
- rfm = small, little
These are a couple of the better examples of using one word to cover many similar definitions, and it's one of the main things you should keep in mind when trying to construct phrases in Sarus.
There are some overlapped definitions in Sarus.
- heavy - light - dark. In English, the opposite of heavy is light. The opposite of dark is also light. Therefore, heavy and dark share the same Sarus word: srf.
- gentle - rough - smooth. In English, the opposite of gentle is rough. The opposite of smooth is also rough. Therefore, gentle and smooth share the same Sarus word: fml.
Incidentally, the latter example also has a double-up definition.. meaning that the Sarus words fml and lmf each have multiple definitions. They are:
- fml = gentle, smooth, clean
- lmf = rough, dirty
Therefore to say in Sarus that the texture feels rough, is the same as saying it feels dirty.
Usually context saves the day in most situations.. suppose for example, you are on a boat and the sea is choppy. If you were to say: "l ltm m lmf dms", it's highly likely that you'd be understood in context as saying "the sea is rough today", and not "the sea is dirty today".
If you're a beginner, all this may seem a little confusing to you at first, but it just boils down to the same basic idea: suppression of synonyms.