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Olsu stl’í kw’es yeláwels x̲wém kw’el kyó

Illustration for 'I want my car to be faster'

I want my car to be faster.

Olsu stl’í kw’es yeláwels x̲wém kw’el kyó means ‘I want my car to be faster’.

Literally it means: ‘So my want (is) that more fast (is) my car’.

Vocabulary and pronunciation

  • osuso (this is a general sentence connecter, not always translatable into English)
  • -lmy (the ‘full’ form for my is tel, but in some structures it becomes just -l)
  • olsuso I (here the -l ending goes ‘inside’ of osu, to make olsuso I)
  • stl’ía want, a need (see el stl’í kw’es)
  • kw’esthat
  • yeláwelmore (see yeláw)
  • -s – the -s has several uses in the language, in this case it marks that there is a ‘third person’ subject (i.e. the thing we are talking about is not you or me). See futher notes on this ending below in this post.
  • x̲wémfast
  • kw’elmy (you would normally say tel, but you use kw’el when talking about distant objects, or objects that exist as possibilities)
  • kyócar

Audio: Elizabeth Herrling
Note: this is an edited selection from a longer phrase. The full phrase will be covered in a following post.


The structure of this phrase is as follows:


Note that osu means so, but the ending -l (‘my’) can ‘split’ osu to make olsuso my.

See …kw’es yeláwels x̲wém kw’el kyó for more information about the latter part of the phrase.

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