Jutean – Tropical Saa. The Wave Language

Atoato nadefa, saini a uke!Welcome!

This website is all about Jutean, a constructed language (or conlang for short) I started in June 2015.
Similar to how Tolkien's Elvish languages from Lord of the Rings had a home in Middle Earth, Jutean has a home on set on the tropical island called Jute as well as a few small surrounding islands. A lot of information on the setting can be found here or in PDF form here.

"Saa" means wave in the language, but is also a core part of their traditional philosophy and religion, which can be read about here. Many words in Jutean are derived from 'wave', such as to think, person, science, health or space. See here for a more exhaustive, but not complete list.

It is to a large degree inspired by Hawaiian, especially regarding sounds and basic grammar, but also takes from Tagalog (one of the main languages of the Philippines) and lesser known quirks of English grammar. The English-Jutean dictionary currently has more than 5,900 entries, and a grammar document (PDF) outlining the rules of the language is available as well.

Notable characteristics of the language include an absence of tenses and possessive pronouns, but three noun genders - common, abstract and ‘wild’ and an abundance of personal pronouns not found in English, such as four different ways to say "we". The syntax, including word order, is rife with uncommon features as well, such as the Austronesian alignment borrowed from Tagalog and characteristics of active-stative languages based on extrapolating the behavior of some unusual English verbs.

The language also has its own script, a syllabary where each syllable is represented with one or two symbols, rather than each sound as in most European languages. It is based on no particular Earth script, and was created in collaboration with a talented fontmaker online. An example of the script can be seen on the right, where an article from a Jutean newspaper is visible. A transcription into the Latin alphabet and a translation into English is available here.

Other featured articles:

  • Read a poem written in Jutean here
  • See texts written in Jutean about various subjects, ranging from romance, to a recipe for a sweet breakfast, to a mythical story on the origin of coconut fiber here (PDF)
  • A demonstration of the nuances of the grammar: Example sentences with relative clauses, syntactic pivots, quoting and reported speech and more, translated and simple grammar glosses can be found here (PDF). How to read the grammar glosses and abbreviations used is explained here (external PDF, not writen by the author of this website).
  • Find a translation of the script of the famous 'history of Japan' video here
  • Hundreds more translations can be found here (PDF)
Jutean newspaper article on political clashes regarding the construction of an airport with a photo of a building below the text

(Photo credit: Gossipguy on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)
(Header credit: Photo by Shamim Munshi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons here

Feel free to message any questions or comments to jute [at] posteo.de or come talk to me on Discord (discord.gg/JZjVbaJ), I’d really enjoy getting to know more people interested in conlanging!

See also my other works at https://jute.carrd.co/, where I post links to stories and other writing I do, some of it set on Jute.