Gothic for Goths Lesson 04: The Script

Gutiska Razda faur Gutans. (Sa Wulþrs Guta Wisan - What it means to be a goth)

In this lesson, we’re going to learn to conjugate the copula, which is usually the most important verb in any language.  No, it doesn’t mean what you’re thinking – the copula in gothic is the verb wisan, which means “to be.”

Guta wisan
To be a goth

Ik im guta
I am a goth

If you’re female, you’d say, 
Ik im gutō

Þu is guta
You’re a goth, when talking to a man, or 

Þu is gutō, when talking to a woman.

Is ist guta
He’s a goth

Si ist gutō
She’s a goth

Wit siju gutans
The two of us are goths.  Gutans is the masculine plural form of guta. Wit is a special pronoun that we no longer use in english that means “we two” or “the two of us”

Jut sijuts gutans
The two of you are goths.  Like wit, jut is the dual form of you, meaning “you two,” or “both of you.”
Weis sijum gutans
We are goths.  Since we’ve already talked about the dual form, you’ll know that weis refers to “we” only when there are three or more.

Jus sijuþ gutans
You all are goths.  Jus is the plural form of you.  I like to think of it as the gothic version of “y’all.”

Eis sind gutans
They are goths. This is the masculine form, which we use only when the goths we’re referring to are all men.

Ijōs sind gutōns
They (those girls) are goths.  Gutōns is the feminine plural form of gutō.

Ija sind gutōna
They are goths.  If you’re referring to both men and women, you use the neuter forms ija and gutōna. So just to review here:

Guta is a single male goth.  Gutō is a single female goth.  Gutans refers to more than one male goth.  Gutōns, more than one female goth.  And finally gutōna refers to more than one goth when both genders are represented.  I won’t usually ask you to memorize much in these lessons, but it’s probably a good idea to pause and figure out where you are on this chart and remember it to avoid any potentially embarassing moments!

Ni-u is þu guta?
Aren’t you a goth? Here we have another really useful particle – ni – which means not.  It can be combined with the interrogative particle -u- to form a yes-or-no question.  Unless combined with a particle like -u or -uh, ni is always placed directly before the main, or finite, verb in the sentence.  Ni-u can also be used by itself to denote a question, like “doesn’t” in english.

Emkat goti – ek em Vīkingr!
I’m not a Goth, I’m a Viking!
Ik nih im guta – ik im Wandals!
I’m not a Goth either!  I’m a Vandal! Nih is a very common construction in gothic, and means “not either,” “neither,” or “also not.” It is constructed from the negative particle ni and the enclitic particle -uh, which, as you remember from previous lessons,  means “and.”

Haíháitu sa guma ugkis nū eimokida??
Did that guy just call us emo kids??

To call

Called. Háitan is a member of the very irregular class seven verbs, which form their past tenses by repeating their first letter or letters followed by -aí-.  Some other examples are

Slēpan – saízlēp
To sleep – slept

Lētan – laílōt
To allow – let

Sa guma
That man

Us, the two of us

Ik im þus gutiza.
I am gother than thou.  Whenever you use the word “than” in english, in Gothic you throw whatever you’re comparing into the dative case and then toss the comparative adjective to the end.  I’ve mentioned before that the dative case implies the word “to,” but in comparisons, it also implies the word “than.” So in this case, what you’re really saying is “I am than-you gother.”

This is a fun phrase to learn for your next Goth’s Night Out, so I’ll decline it properly for you so you can use it with confidence that no one will correct you, creating an uncomfortable situation in a dark bar. “Ik im þus gutiza” is the masculine form, so ladies, be sure to say

Ik im þus gutizei.

If you’re going out in a pair, consider the following:

Wit siju igqis gutizans.
We (two guys) are gother than you two.

Wit siju igqis gutizeins.
We (two girls) are gother than you two.

Wit siju izwis gutizōna.
We (guy and girl) are gother than all y’all.  

If you’re in a group of more than two, be sure to use the appropriate declension with “Weis sijum” instead of “wit siju.” 

Also be sure you’re using the correct grammatical number of “you” – use “þus” when talking to a single person.  “Igqis” should be used only when talking specifically to two people.  Finally, use “izwis” when talking to three or more.

-er, more.  The comparative adjective is formed in gothic by dropping any inflected ending from the adjective and adding –iza to the end,  just like adding -er to the end of an adjective in english, 

-est, most.  Also like in english, the superlative adjective is formed by adding -ists. For example:

riqs – riqiza – riqists 
dark – darker – darkest 

laus – lausiza – lausists 
empty – emptier – emptiest 

However, just like in english, comparatives aren’t always regular, so here are some good ones to jot down:

gōþs – batiza – batists 
good – better – best

mikils – máiza – máists 
much – more – most 

leitils – minniza – minnists 
small – smaller – smallest 

uƀils – waírsiza – waírsists 
bad – worse – worst 

I hope you’ve enjoyed lesson four of Gothic for Goths, and remember this, Gothlings, Weis ni sijum eimōkida! WEIS SIJUM GUTŌNA!