Mando'a is the Mandalorian language invented by Karen Traviss for use in the novels of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

Mando'a has a grammatical and syntax structure virtually identical to that of simplified English, and the majority of its vocabulary consists of words relating to soldiers and military life, food and cooking, and space travel. Sentence structure is Subject-Verb-Object in declarative statements, with modifiers usually going immediately before the words they modify. Parts of speech are interchangeable overall, with prefixes and suffixes providing indication of whether a word is a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or a particle used to modify other words into one of these. The suffixes la and yc indicate an adjectival or adverbial quality in the root word. Prepositions, adjectives, and adverbs are treated as virtually interchangeable in all circumstances, with no rules constraining a single word from doing the work of all three. Laam, for example, means 'up,' and laamyc means 'high,' but these words are regarded as essentially the same word, the difference between them generally being one of intensity. A Mandalorian might say "Laam laamyc," to indicate something is very high up.

Mando'a contains no grammatical gender, and words which would imply a personal gender in English do not exist in Mando'a: instead of 'mother' and 'father,' there is only 'parent,' buir. Instead of 'son' and 'daughter,' there is only 'child,' ad. Plurality is usually indicated by appending /e/ to a noun, so ade is 'children.' There are no fixed grammatical numbers in Mando'a; a singular noun might actually be used as a paucal noun or a collective noun depending on context, and a plural noun might receive the same treatment, somewhat similarly to how English treats 'water' as singular but can use 'water' to refer to all water in existence.

Verbs in Mando'a come with two basic moods and the present tense, and additional moods and tenses can be achieved by connecting verbs with other words or word particles. The infinitive mood is represented by any verb ending in the letter /r/, such as vorer, 'to accept.' The indicative mood is represented by removing the /r/ from the end of a verb, such as vore, 'accepts.' Past tense is given by adding ru or r' to the beginning of a verb, with the contracted form used only with verbs that begin with a vowel, and the uncontracted form used only with verbs that begin with a consonant. Future tense is given by adding ven to the beginning of a verb. Subjunctive mood or uncertainty is given by adding ret 'perhaps,' conditional statements are given by adding meh 'if,' and interrogative mood is given by adding tion. Imperative prefixes are ke and k', and negative prefixes are nu, ne, and n'.

Mando'a has its own alphabet containing 26 letters and 10 numerals corresponding to the Roman alphabet and Arabic numerals for base 10 mathematics; Mando'a itself does not use the letters F, X, or Z. These letters are still included in the alphabet to allow transcription of 'foreign' words into Mando'a. The phonic system of Mando'a contains no sounds which are not present in modern English.

In Karen Traviss' canon regarding Mando'a, knowledge of the language is considered one of the Resol'nare, the six tenets or commandments that exist in every branch of Mandalorian society. The language itself was specifically designed to express sentiments common to the Mandalorian characters of Traviss' books, including Boba Fett and Kal Skirata. The language is also designed to be easy for native English speakers to adopt, and there are several small communities on the Internet where Mando'a is used frequently as a supplement to English language communication. Mando'a notably lacks any words meaning 'hero,' because a Mandalorian is supposed to take it for granted that all Mandalorians would act in self-sacrifice for their family and culture. Mando'a also notably features a great many words and idioms solely intended for use as insults and profanities.

Iron Noder Challenge 2014, 9/30

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.