Friday, July 27, 2012

Learning Solresol, Lesson 3: Nouns

This is part of a series of lessons for learning Solresol. To start at lesson 1, click here.

In this lesson, we will learn how nouns are formed in Solresol, in addition to some new vocabulary.

First, to review, try to translate these sentences into English. Try to do it completely from memory, but if you can't remember a word, check your own notes or the previous lesson - check the answers when you're completely done. I encourage you to actually write down your responses; it will really help you learn.

Sidosi    -    To learn

Domi milasi dore.
Dofa do domilado Solresol.
Domi re dore fasifa sidosi Solresol.
Dofa do milasi domi.
Dore faremi.
Dofa sidosi domilado Solresol.


You love me.
He does not speak Solresol.
You and I want to learn Solresol.
He doesn't love you.
I am.
He learns to speak Solresol.

How did you do? If you had to go back and look up some words, that's okay - but memorization is very important to learning Solresol, so keep working on the vocabulary. There will be new vocabulary every lesson, so you'll want to keep up.

In Solresol, the same word is used for the verb, noun, adjective, and adverb - the various forms are distinguished by emphasizing specific syllables.

To form nouns, you accent the first syllable:

To speak
To be, exist
Existence, being
To love (a person)
Love (n) (for a person)

The accent over the letter indicates that you should emphasize that syllable - Sudre uses the term rinforzando, which is a sudden increase of emphasis, or another word for the musical term sforzando.

The notation for said accents isn't really set in stone - I like to use the accents I used above because they resemble an accent in music, but using 'normal' accents is also a popular choice (dó, ré, mí, fá, sól, lá, sí). You will occasionally see the accented syllable written in all caps (DOmilado), but try to only use that if there is no other option, because, frankly, it looks terrible.

In order to further the cause of this lesson, you will need some new vocabulary. I suggest you focus on each word carefully, and write them all down.

Redo    -    My, mine
Remi    -    Your, yours
Refa    -    His, its
Fare    -    That, that one
Fami    -    This, this one

These first five words are usually used to label nouns - they always come before the noun they label (redo mîlasi - my love). All these words, however, can also be used as nouns themselves (fare faremi redo - that is mine).

Note that the possessive pronouns are related to the corresponding subject pronouns:

Dore - I, me
Redo - My, mine
Domi - you
Remi - your, yours
Dofa - he, it
Refa - his, its

Also note that fare and fami are next to each other alphabetically, because they are related words.

Famisol    -    Have, possess, own
Milasol    -    Love (for things)
Solsisol    -    Smile, grin
Ladofa    -    Read
Remila    -    Give
Dosido    -    Help, aid, assist
Solmila    -    Remember, recollect
Resolsido    -    Need, require

These seven words are all verbs - but they can become nouns by accenting the first syllable: Solsisol - to smile; La sôlsisol - the smile. In the same way: la fâmisol - the possession, the thing owned; la mîlasol - the love (for a thing); la lâdofa - the reading, the read; la rêmila - the gift or present; la dôsido - the assistance, help, or aid; la sôlmila - the memory, the recollection; la rêsolsido - the need, the necessity.

Note the difference between milasi and milasol. Milasi is used to say you love a person; Milasol is used to talk of loving objects, animals, and activities. One may use milasi with poetic license in other contexts, but on a literal level it should only be used for people (or other sentient lifeforms, or fictional anthropomorphized creatures of some other nature).

Ladosol    -    Book (n.)
Fadofasol    -    Tree

These last two words, ladosol and fadofasol, are implicitly nouns - so they don't need the initial accent to be used that way.

Notice that ladofa - to read, and ladosol - book, are next to each other alphabetically, because they are related words.

The best way to learn is through examples and practice (citation needed). So, some examples:

Fare faremi redo ladosol.    -    That is my book.
Dore remila la rêmila fa domi.    -    I give the gift to you.
Dore milasol remi sôlsisol.    -    I love your smile.
Dofa fasifa ladofa fami ladosol.    -    He wants to read this book.
Fami faremi remi.    -    This is yours.

Now that you see how these words work in sentences, try to translate some on your own. As always, try to do as much as you can without checking, and do actually write down what you come up with. This is as much a test of vocabulary as it is of grammar, so be familiar with the new words from this lesson before doing the exercises (It's not really a test, though, don't worry).

Translate these into English:

Dofa milasol fare ladosol.
Domi famisol redo mîlasi.
Fare do faremi Solresol.
Dore resolsido dôsido!
Dofa famisol remi sôlsisol.
Domi resolsido solsisol.

And these into Solresol:

He has a tree. [Solresol doesn't have a word for 'a' or 'an' - just leave it out.]
You have my book!
That is mine.
This book is yours.
I don't remember his smile.
He has your gift.
You remember his love.


English Translations:

He loves that book.
You have my love.
That is not Solresol.
I need help!
He has your smile.
You need to smile.

Solresol Translations:

Dofa famisol fadofasol.
Domi famisol redo ladosol!
Fare faremi redo.
Fami ladosol faremi remi.
Dore do solmila refa sôlsisol.
Dofa famisol remi rêmila.
Domi solmila refa mîlasi. [Using mîlasol here wouldn't necessarily be wrong, but it would imply that his love is for something else, such as an activity or object.]

That's all for this lesson! Be sure you have all the vocab so far memorized, and that you understand everything from this lesson. If anything is unclear to you, feel free to leave a comment with your question.

To go on to the next segment of this series, click here.


  1. Is the usage of accent (on first syllable) for words like "ladofa" a mistake?

    1. My interpretation of accenting the first syllable of "ladofa" (to read) would be to turn it into a noun like "the reading", referring to the act of reading or something that is read. Some words are trickier to define than others when you accent different syllables, or even just not as useful - but that's how I would interpret "lâdofa".