Salar Language Materials

by MA Quanlin, MA Wanxiang, and MA Zhicheng

edited by Kevin Stuart



These materials were prepared by Ma Quanlin with the assistance of Ma Wanxiang and Ma Zhicheng; all are Salar living in Xunhua Salar Autonomous County in eastern Qinghai Province, PR China.

The entire manuscript was then edited by Kevin Stuart. These materials reflect the Mengda Salar dialect. The alphabet was devised by Ma Quanlin. A recent study of the Salar, with comments on language, may be found in Li and Stuart (1990).

"English 900" was somewhat useful in the preparation of these materials. We have tried throughout to ensure that the materials reflect Salar culture.


Li Xuewei and Kevin Stuart
1990 "The Xunhua Sala." Asian Folklore Studies. 49:1, 39-52.



Note: A line under a letter indicates it is voiced clearer and somewhat longer than a letter without such a line. Bold face indicates it is voiced softer and shorter.

Useful Salar-English Sentences

  1. Sai yehxi derei? How are you?
  2. Mai yehxia eira. I'm fine.
  3. Sai Ali eira rei? Are you Ali?
  4. Eira. Yes, I am.
  5. Sei abang houciderei? How is your father?
  6. Houcia. He's very well.
  7. Boji sainaiqiu ara? How are you this evening?
  8. Yehxia! Fine!
  9. Gerideigei. Come in, please.
  10. Oteri. sit down.
  11. Hoteigei. Stand up, please.
  12. Shuni axi. Open your book.
  13. Shuni peidugu. Close your book.
  14. Shuni axiguma. Don't open your book.
  15. Sai bilijimao? Do you understand?
  16. Biliji. I understand.
  17. Mai bilimaji. No, I don't understand.
  18. Dangni, nainai bugaizi yexia. Listen and repeat.
  19. Enji aohou. Now read it.
  20. Yehxia. That's fine.
  21. Enji eipusi aohou. Let's begin now.
  22. Bu eilinqiugei eira. This is Lesson One.
  23. Bugong kan geimamxi? Who's absent today?
  24. Yisao geimamxi. Joseph is absent.
  25. Ali, heiban cala dugu. Ali, clean the blackboard.
  26. Kuo dosiji. Class is over.
  27. Bu nang derei? What's this?
  28. Bu shu eira. This is a book.
  29. Bu seinigei shu eiramei? Is this your book?
  30. Eideri. Yes, it's mine.
  31. Bu shu yuguasi seinigei eiramei? Are these your books?
  32. Eimsideri. No, they aren't.
  33. Bu kanmnigei shu deri? Whose book is this?
  34. Dogo seinigeishu eira. That's your book.
  35. Kannigei deri? And what's that?
  36. Dogo shu eiramei? Is that a book?
  37. Eimsa. No, it isn't.
  38. Ao qinbi eira. It's a pencil.
  39. Ao seinigei dero? Is it yours?
  40. Eimsa, ao anigei eira. No, it's his.
  41. Guo gada vara? Where's the door?
  42. Dao anda vara. There it is.
  43. Seishu galavara? Where are your books?
  44. Kezhuo xinda vara. They are in the desk.
  45. Bule nangderi? What are those?
  46. Dogole shu eira. Those are books.
  47. Naimsi aoderijiani aomxi. The service is over.
  48. Sei gagbi gali? Where are your pens?
  49. Dao anda vara. They're over there....