Ainu proverbs

Hey, I got an intra-cocoon link from Marxy. (Specifically, the post I may as well have entitled "I will now burn all bridges with the magazine publishing world". Figures.) Better post something new that everyone can enjoy.

The revised and expanded edition of Kayano Shigeru's 『アイヌ語辞典』 (Ainugo jiten, Ainu Dictionary) includes extra phrases, proverbs, and even riddles. Here's one for you:

Par ka sak, sik ka sak, tek ka sak, kema ka sak. Honi-porop hemanta an.

It lacks a mouth, it lacks eyes, it lacks hands, it lacks legs. What is this big-bellied thing?

I asked this one of a co-worker, and she guessed: "a dead body in the river?" That's why I love her, of course. (The expected answer is "an egg".)

Another word of interest from the appendix: aynu-o-hoppa ("person" + [reciprocal reflexive] + "leave behind"), which sounds like it should just mean "leaving each other behind" but actually means "punching your wife before you go on a trip". The idea apparently is that if you punch your wife before you leave, she won't miss you.


I hope that's just some kind of Ainu in-joke.

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'she guessed: "a dead body in the river?" That's why I love her'

Maybe she was recalling the last time she met her now ex-boyfriend.

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