Of the Language of the Formosans
The Language of Formosa is the same with that of Japan, but with this difference that the Japannese do not pronounce some Letters gutturally as the Formosans do: And they pronounce the Auxiliary Verbs without that elevation and depression of the Voice which is used in Formosa. Thus, for instance, the Formosans pronounce the present Tense without any elevation or falling of the Voice, as Jerh Chato, ego amo; and the preterperfect they pronounce by raising the Voice, and the future Tense by falling it; but the preterimperfect, the plusquam perfectum, and patio poft futurum, they pronounce by adding the auxiliary Verb: Thus the Verb Jerh Chato, ego amo, in the preterimperfect Tense is Jervieye chato, Ego eram amass, or according to the Letter, Ego eram amo; in the preterperfect Tense it is Jerh Chato, and the Voice is raised in the pronunciation of the first Syllable, but falls in pronouncing the other two; and in the plusquam perfectum the auxiliary Verb viey is added, and the same elevation and falling of the Voice is obsery'd as in the preterit. The future Tense of Jerh Chato is pronounced by failing the Voice in the first Syllable, and raising it in the rest; and the paulo port futuram is pronounced after the same manner, only adding the Verb Viar, as Jerh viar Chato, ego ero amo. But the Japannese say, Jerh Chato, Jerh Chataye, Jerh Chatar, pronouncing the auxiliary Verb always after the same manner.
The Japan Language has three Genders; all sorts of Animals are either of the Masculine or Feminine Gender, and all inanimate Creatures are of the Neuter: But the Gender is only known by the Articles, e.g. oi hic, ey hoec, and ay hoc; but in the Plural number all the three Articles are alike.
They have no Cases, and they use only the singular and plural Number, but not the Dual: As for example, oi hanajo, hic homo, os hanajos, hi homines. But since I do not intend to write a Grammar of the Language but only to give some Idea of it, it may be sufficient to add this general Observation, That it is very easy, sounds musically, and is very copious. If any one shall ask from what Language it is deriv'd ? I answer, That I know of no other Language, except that of Japan, that has any great affinity with it but I find many Words in it, which seem to be deriv'd from several other Languages, only changing either the signification or termination.
TheJapannese wrote formerly in a sort of Characters most like those of the Chineses; but since they have held correspondence with the Formosans, they have generally made use of their way of writing, as more easy and more beautiful; insomuch that there are few now in Japan who understand the Chinese Characters.
But here it is to be noted, that the same Prophet Psalmanaazaar, who delivered the Law to the Formosans, did also teach them this way of writing, as is commonly believ'd.
They use only twenty Letters in their Language, which are to be read from the right Hand to the left; whose Names and Figures are as follows.
They have many particular Rules, as to the use of these Letters, which it would be endless as well as useless here to set down, and therefore I shall only add the names of some things that are most common, and subjoin to them the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and ten Commandments in that Language, to give the Reader some Idea of it.
The Emperor is call'd in that Language, Baghathaan Cheveraal, i.e. the most high Monarch; the King, Bagalo, or Angon: the Vice-Roy, Bagalendro, or Bagalender; the Nobles,
Tanos; the Governours of Cities or Isles, os Tanos Soulletos; the Citizens, Poulinos; the Countrymen, Barhaw; the Soldiers, Plessios; a Man, Banajo; a Woman, Bajane; a Son, Bot; a Daughter, Boti; a Father, Pornio; a Mother, Porniin; a Brother, Geovreo; a Sister, Javraijn; Kinsmen, Arvauros; an Isle, Avia; a City, Tillo; a Village, Casseo; the Heaven, Orhnio; the Earth, Badi; the Sea, Anso; Water, Ouillo.
The reason why the Japan Language differs from that of the Chinese and Formosans, is this, because the Japannese being banish'd from China, setled in the Isles of Japan; upon which account they so much hate the Chinese, that they have chang'd all things they had in common with them, as to their Language, Religion, &c. So that there is no affinity between the Japan and Chinese Language. But the Japannese being the first Inhabitants of Formosa, brought their Language along with them into that Island, which is now much more perfect than it was at their first coming. Yet the Formosans preserve still the purity of their Language without any considerable alteration, whereas the Japannese arecontinually changing and improving it every Day.
But that the Reader may have some Idea of the Formosan Language, I have here subjoin'd the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles Creed, and the ten Commandments in that Language, printed in Roman Characters.
OUR Father who in Heaven art, Hallowed be
Amy Pornio dan chin Ornio vicy, Gnayjorhe
thy Name, Come thy Kingdom, Be done thy Will
sai Lory, Eyfodere sai Bagalin, jorhe sai domion
as in Heaven, also in Earth so, Our bread
apo chin Ornio, kay chin Badi eyen, Amy khatsada
daily give us today, and forgive us
nadakchion toye ant nadayi, kay Radonaye ant
our trespasses, as we forgive our trespassers.
amy Sochin, apo ant radonern amy Sochiakhin,
do lead us not into temptation, hut deliver us from
bagne ant kau chin malaboski, ali abinaye ant tuen
Evil, for thine is the Kingdom, and Glory, and
Broskacy, kens sai vie Bagalin, kay Fary, kay
Omnipotence to all ages. Amen.
Barhaniaan chinania sendabey. Amien.
The Apostles Creed
I Believe in God the almighty Father,
Jerh noskion chin Pagot Barhanian Pornio
Creator of Heaven and of Earth:
Chorhe tuen Ornio kay tuen Badi:
And in Jesus Christ his beloved Son
Kay chin J. Christo ande ebdoulamin bot
our Lord, who conceived was of
arny Koriarn, dan vienen jorh tuen
the Holy Ghost, born of Mary the
gnay Piches, ziesken tuen Maria
Virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was
boty, lakchen bard Pontio Pilato, jorh
crucified, dead and buried, descended
carokhen, bosken, kay badakhen, mal-fien
to the infernal places, on the third day
chinn xana Khie, charby nade
rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven,
jandafien tuen bosken, Kan-fien chinn Ornio,
sitteth at the right hand of God
xaken chin testar-olab tuen Pagot
his Father almighty, who will come to
ande Pornio barhaniaa, dan foder
judge quick and dead
banaar tonien kay bosken.
I believe in the Holy Ghost,
Jerh noskion chin Gnay Piches,
the Holy Catholick Church,
Gnay, Ardanay Chslae,
the Communion of Saints,
Ardaan tuen Gnayji
the Remission of Sins,
Radonayun tuen Sochin,
the Resurrection of the Flesh,
jandaflond tuen Krikin
the Life Eternal. Amen.
Ledum Chalminajey. Amien.