This page requires Unicode. A version of this page that uses inline GIFs is here.
Kiŕezagi 語茶企 is the language of the Tanja 人茶, as they call themselves, or "silk fairies" 精絹 (šujii), so-called because of their thin coat of fine, silky fur. The Kiŕezagi writing system is a complex one that bears a strong family resemblance to Japanese writing, although it can be misleading to assume that Kiŕezagi characters mean the same as their Chinese or Japanese equivalents. The frequently used character 茶, for instance, pronounced ča, ja, sa, or za, sometimes does mean "tea", as in Japanese, but it can also stand for "chocolate", "fairy", or "delightful". Wrens, for instance, are called 燕茶 (ÿeza), or "delightful swallows", because of their melodious songs. My own adopted Kiŕezagi name, 燕茶带尾長 (Ÿeza Okaniyai), means "a long-tailed wren". And in many words, such as the name Kiŕezagi itself, and in the name 的茶四 (Texas), the 茶 character just represents the sound "sa" or "za". Foreign names and borrowed words can also be written phonetically, in a mixture of katakana and hiragana: カラマズー在ミシぃガん在ぐえセい "Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA".
い i [i] as in "machine"
え e [e] as in "they" (but without the "y" glide)
あ a [a] as in "father"
お o [o] as in "so"
う u [u] as in "rule"
イ ' [ʔ] glottal stop (like the brief pause in the word "uh-oh").
キ k [k] as in "keep", ギ g [ɡ] as in "give"
き x [x] like the ch in "loch", or the name "Bach", ぎ y [j] as in "year"
ゐ ÿ [ɥ] like French "u" in "nuit"
み ŋ [ŋ] like "ng" in "sing"
チィ č [tʃ] like "ch" in "cheese", ヂィ j [dʒ] as in "jet"
シぃ š [ʃ] like "sh" in "sheep", ジぃ ž [ʒ] like "s" in "measure"
ニぃ ň [ɲ] like Spanish "ñ" in "piñata"
チ t [t] as in "tea", ヂ d [d] as in "deer
シ s [s] as in "see", ジ z [z] as in "zebra"
し ł [ɬ] like Welsh "ll", じ ĺ [ɮ] the voiced equivalent
リ l [l] as in "leaf" り ŕ [ɾ] as in Spanish "para"
に r [ɹ] like English "r" in "reach", but unrounded
ニ n [n] as in "neat"
ち θ [θ] as in "think", ぢ ð [ð] as in "these"
ヒ h [h] as in "heat"
ピ p [p] as in "pink", ビ b [b] as in "bean"
ひ f [f] as in "fake", び v [v] as in "viola"
ミ m [m] as in "mouse"
ヰ w [w] as in "week", ヰ゛ ğ [ʕ] like Arabic 'ayn
Basic word order for sentences is subject - verb - object. Owls (鳥猫) eat (食) mice (鼠): 鳥猫食鼠 (timui θeki yama), rabbits (兔) and deer (鹿) eat grass (草): 兔和鹿食草 (kija ułaki θeki paša). Verbs are optionally inflected for tense: a rabbit is eating (食現) the grass 兔食現草 (kija θekÿa paša), I saw (見後) a butterfly 私見後虫茶 (kutikwe mozai). Notice that there is ordinarily no difference between singular and plural, but it is possible to make the distinction: 猫一 (muzi) a cat, one cat, 猫多 (mudaka) or 猫猫 (mumui) more than one cat, some cats.
Adjectives and prepositional phrases follow the nouns they modify. The town (町) by (近) the big (大) river (川): 町近川大 (čaka lesama xui). To say "the big town by the river", you could rearrange the phrase like this: 町大近川 (čaka xui lesama), but it is also possible to make the adjective modify the entire phrase, "the town by the river", by adding the particle 也 (ŋa): 町近川也大 (čaka lesama ŋa xui). This construction allows Kiŕezagi to distinguish two meanings, "the (big town) 町大 (by the river) 近川" and "the big 大 (town by the river) 町近川", which are not easily distinguished in English.
Questions are expressed by beginning the sentence with 嗎 (li), or putting it after the word in question. Do you speak Kiŕezagi? 嗎你話語茶企？(li mešoni kiŕezagi?) Yes, I do. 正私為。 (ta kusai.) Can you read Chinese characters? 你可嗎読字漢？ (melaili kayu siğani?) No, I can't. 否私可不。 (ša kulaiða.) What is your full name? 何嗎是名長你？ (čuili ye sakiyaime?) (My full name is) Ÿeza Okaniyai. 是燕茶带尾長。 (ye ÿeza okaniyai.)