Lang25 Vocabulary and the Unish Wordlist

So far as the choice of vocabulary is concerned, the only sure criterion is current "global" usage, as in "international" words such as 'otel, taksi, bank, telefon etc.. Yes, many of these words are "English", but so they should be according to the "global pidgin" theory.

This says that, since every historically-successful pidgin has been mainly based upon the language of the corresponding commercial power, so the "global pidgin" should be largely based upon the language of the still globally-dominant English-speaking peoples.

In my former website I suggested a number of additional criteria for vocabulary selection. Unish has also produced a useful list. I have copied both lists on to a single page here

I have attempted to inaugurate a core vocabulary limited by Ogden's "Basic English" list. Further contributions are welcome and will be acknowledged. This page is now here

As stated on their "Lexicon" page, Unish have always endeavoured to find the word common to the most languages, with regard to brevity, etymology and a few other factors. Their orthography is the same as English except that [c] = /ts/ as in German, [g] is always plosive (hard), and [j] is /dzh/ as in English. The fact that the Unish process of selection has culminated in a mostly English or English-derived wordlist seems to be further confirmation of the LangX theory.

Quite often the Unish list presents two alternative words: usually one English and the other non-English. Due to the great preponderance of English words, the non-English word has always been chosen in this case. Where two non-English alternatives are presented the first has been chosen. The list below contains the minority of non-English words, together with a few English-derived words, which are included to illustrate the Unish approach to abbreviation and orthography.

Many common English words containing [th] are retained in Unish, except that [th] is replaced by [d] or [t], depending upon whether the sound is voiceless or voiced: thus "that, both, theater" become "dat, bod, teater".

Thanks to Jens Wilkinson for identifying most of the words. He adds:

(1) In the cases where I put a J after the word, I definitely know it's Japanese. However, there are words that are spelled the same in Japanese and Korean, so some of them may be both Korean and Japanese.

(2) I don't know Korean, but I can guess pretty well, so I think my guesses on Korean are pretty accurate, though they can't be trusted 100%. The same goes with Chinese. In cases where I was confident, I just added a K or M, but in cases where I wasn't sure I put a question after the letter.

If I get a chance, I can go through them some more. I'm hoping, though, that with the mulivo project started by Risto, we can get a good resource for finding words from different languages.


J = Japanese, K = Korean, E = English, F = French, G = German, S = Spanish, I = Italian, M = Mandarin, H = Hindi


absence   buzai K

abundant   fengfu M

accident   sago ?

accomplish   dadao M

account   konto (probably a shortened version of account)

accumulate   tameru J

ache   tong M

achieve   iruda K?

acknowledge   rekon (reckon!)

acorn   dotori K

acquire   eru J

add   jia M

afraid   haipa M

afterwards   ihu M

again   zai M

against   anti (Latin, I guess, like in antinuclear)

agree   doi J

ailment   bing M?

alley   gari

almost   qasi (quasi!)

aloud   laut G

already   deja F

although   daga J

alive   viv (Latin?)

always   imer G

among   (between etc.) inter (Latin?)

ancestor   sonzo K

ancient   antik (antique, French?)

and   e F

any   eni E

ankle   tobil K?

antecedant   shian M?

anticipate   prever L?

apology(gise)   skusa (a shortened from of excuse?)

apparatus   gigu K?

apple   seb H

appoint   nomer F?

arithmetic   sansu J

around   um

ascend   subir K?

ascertain   sert (a shortened form of ascertain?)

ashamed   hont F

ass   asno

astonish   eston (a shortened form of astonish?)

at   a F

atmosphere   degi K?

attempt   tentar F

attract   atir F (attirer)

auction   okso (probably a foreign pronuncation of English)

aunt   tia S

authority   genri K?

automobile   oto ("auto")

autumn   aki J

average   mezzo (Latin or Greek?, as in mezozoic)

avoid   evit F (eviter)

awake   okiru  J

aware   konsia (L? conscious)

ax   ono J


backbone   spina L?

bald   kalvo S

banister   rampe

bare   nud ("nude")

barely   apen

barley   bori

bath   bano S

be   es S

beach   playa S

bead   bizu (J pronunciation of English, I think)

beak   buri

bear (urs.)   gom K

beard   barb F?S

beast   bete F

beauty   belo I

because   koz E (I guess it's American English, I like it "coz it's sweet")

become   naru J

behind   dera

belongings   averi

below   sub L? (submarine)

between   inter L

bird   tori J

birth   nasim born nasin L? (as in "nativity")

bitter   amar S?

black   hei blackboard heiban M (I think "hei" is Chinese)

blackmail   shantaz (I'm guessing Arabic)

blacksmith   fabro

blade   lame F

blame   vina

bleak   kalt

blister   blase

board   ban J (K?)

body   badi E

bone   os L?

borrow   jie M

bough   ramo

bowel   jang

brain   nao M

bread   pan I

breakdown   falo

breakfast   acim K?

breath   sum

breathe   spiro

bride   sposa - bridegroom sposo

bridge   pont F

bright (lum.)   liang

brother   bruder G

brown   braun G

bull   toro S - cow tore

burden   jirn

butterfly   nabi K

by   de J


candle   cho

care   soin F

cast (?)   gips (This is the word for a cast you put on a broken arm. It's used in Japanese, and I think it's from Dutch)

castle   shiro J

catch   zua M

caterpillar   campi

cause   riyu J

cease   yamu J

ceiling   teto

ceremony   shik K

chair   izu J   - armchair   amizu 

chalk   gis

chamber   bang

chasm   abism (from abyss?)

cheek   jia M?

child   ai - childhood aidai

circle   yuan M?

cloth   bu

cloud   yun M?

cloudy   nube

coast   kosta S

cod   tara J

comb   kushi J

comprehend   kapir I?

compromise   tushi K?

concern   kanshin J

conquer   zengfu M?

consequence   keka J

consider   kaolu

conversation   daiwa K?

correct   ret

cough   tos S?

counterfeit   izo K?

countryside   rus

courage   yuki J

cow   tore - bull toro

crawl   rampi

cricket   grilo

crisis   wigi K?

crowd   gunjon K?

cucumber   kukmo K

currency   tonho K?

cycle   siklo S


damage sonhe M?

dangerous wigi K/M?

dare gan

daughter fila - son filo

dawn alba

day di

deaf sord

declare senon

decoration jansi

deed koi

deeply shen

deer veado

defeat ying

descendant Jason K

detergent seje

device sochi J

dew ros

dictionary motbuk F &E

die mori - dead mort F

digest soha

disadvantage buli K/M?

discussion tolon

disease maladi F

display zansi

distance gori

dream meng

dragon lon

draw (art) tir

drop luo

duck ori

duty-free mense K?

dwell zu


each ge

early zao M

earth tera I

earthquake jisin K? (In Japanese it's "jishin")

Easter paska

eel angula

eggplant gaji

eight ot

either idso

element voso J

eleven tenun

empty vago

engineer giso K?

equivalent dodo

essay gisa

essence benzi

essential benzi

evil malo S

exact zus

examination josa K?

excavate kavar (from cave?)

excellent usu

excess choga

exchange kohan K?

exclamation gamtan K?

exclude baije

exercise undong

expect gidai

experiment sigen

expert jonmun

expire mangi

explain somin

explode popa

explore tangen

exposure rochu

extent bani

extinguish sio

extra yobun

extravagant ranbi

exuberant fengfu

eye ojo

eyelash sil

eyelid nunbro


fable guwa

face kao J

facility siso

fact sasi

factor yoin J

factory gonjan

faculty jainen

fail sibai K?

fairy feo

fame famo

family gajo

famous vumen

farmer nobu 

fascinate mihuo

father pa

fatigue piro

fear dar

fee bosu

feel sentir F

fertile dasan

few poko

fiction sosol

figure suzi

finger dito (contraction of digito?

fingerprint jimun K

first unme

fisherman obu

five pent

fixed befix

flag ki

flaw kizu J

flesh rou M

floor maru

flour farin F

flower flor S

fool(ish) bobo

forearm ude

forehead ima

foreigner weguin

former antes

fossil hasi

found jedan

four sa

freedom jiyu

frequent lusi

Friday goldi

friend ami F

fright kyofu J

frog rana

frozen leto

function funso

furniture kagu J


gambling tobo

garage jako

gather jihe

generation side

giant goin

girl nina S

gloves gant F

goat kabra S

goods guz

grandparent zobu K?

grape uva

grief pena S

guilt kulpa S

gulf wan J


hand mano S

handmade sugon

harmony joha

hatch buha

he (she, it) el - they els S

headache duton

health sant F?

healthy genkan

hear oir

heel eri

helicopter helgi

high alt S - tall alta L?

hippopotamus hama K (they seem to have chosen Korean for a lot of the animal names!)

hire koyon

hole ana J

horror konbu

horse uma J

hour hora S

house haus G

how wi

however aber G

hundred sent L?

husband mario - wife maria L


I mi E

ignorant muji

immense goda

immigrate iju J - immigrant ijuja

important juvo

impression insan

incident sagen

indeed ja

inject jusa

injury sonsan

insect konju

instrument kigu J

insurance boken K?

internal nebu

intersect koja

investigate josa K?

iron fer L

island isla S

isolate goli

issue isu (shortened form of issue?)

it el

itch zud

ivy hera


jewel juya

journey jomi

judge juji - judgment jugo

junction junkso


key kle F

kitchen kuzin F

knee genu F

knife dao

knot nodo

know sab S/L?

knowledge zisi


lake lago S

language lang L?

large da

last (remaining) dura S

late tard S F?

launch lansi

law lei S

lawyer loio

leaf ha J

league liga

leap salta S

learn narau J

leather koza

lEngth longo

level supin

life vida

light lum L?

lion leo

liver gan

lounge salon F

luck gluck

lung pulmo S


manufacture sezo

marble marmo I

masculine masku

material matier F

maybe ama K

meadow prato I

means meso

measure mera

meat karne I

mechanical mashin E

medium medi L

member membro S

mention shuo M

mermaid ino

military lugun K?

miner maino

mistake silsu

misunderstand ohe

moan gemi

moon luna I  - Monday lunadi

monkey saru J

monster monstro S

month mes S

mother ma

motion moso

mountain mont F

mouse maus G

moustache sharib

mouth ib

mud lama

muscle muskol

museum muze F

mushroom mogu M

myth mito


name nom F

nation nara

navy hegun

near jin

neck mog

negotiate nego (shortened form of negotiate)

neighbor ninju

nephew nefo

nerve nervo

neutral nutro

nevertheless sed

niece nise

nine nov

North nord F

nose noz E

nowadays naudi (nau is from English, di from French?)

nurse nurso


occupancy janu - occupant januo

of ov E

once unmal

one un F

opinion igen

opportunity gihe

orchard pomar

organisation zosi

ostrich straus

other odro S? - unodro another

overseas hewe

oyster ostra


pail tong

pale palid

paralysis mabi

parent bumo

parliament ihe

past hou M

path gil

peace paz S?

peach tao M

pear pera

pearl perla S?

pedestrian piedo

peninsula bando K?

people gens F

pepper pepe

permanent perma (shortened form of permanent)

piece pezo

pigeon hato J

pineapple ananas F

platinum platin

playground undojo J

plot trama

population ingu

portion porso

position poz

premium premi

pretty joli F

pumpkin zuka

puppet pupa

purple purpur

purse bolsa S


queen rani Hindi

quite ganz


raise lev F

range sierra S

rare raro L?

rather bal

raw ro

read ler S

refrigerator frigo

reign tochi J

remember jide

require yogu

responsibility zeren

rhinocerous rino

rhythm ritmo S

right rait

riot motin

ripe mur

river rio S

robber robo

rotten berot

route lu

row rang

rubber gomu (J, but actually this is originally from gomme, French)


sacred sacre F

saint san

Saturday landi F

sauce sous F?

saw sega

scale lin

scared bescar

scholar sabio ("know" in Latin?)

scissors gawi

sculpture jogag

sea mer F

seal selo

seasoning masala H

seaweed alga L

second (ord.) dume

secretary biso

security boan

see ver

seed seme

seven sep

sew sina

shade ombra I

share fen M

she el

sheep yang M

sheet situ

shore hean

shortage buzu

shortly sugu

shoulder omos

shrimp ebi J

sick malad F

sidewalk bodo

sight vista I

sightseeing kanko J

site sito S

six ses

skull krani (Latin? As in cranium)

sleep dormir S

sleeve manka

slice feta

smooth liso S?

snake bem K

soap savon F

soon skoro

sour asida S (acid?)

South sud F

spear lans (lance)

spider arana S

Spring bom K

sprout brot

square sagag

squid kalmar I (calamari)

stairs scala I

stare mirar S

stomach wi

stream sine

straight rekt

such tal

suitcase valiz F

summer ete F

sun sol - Sunday soldi

swan sisme

sweat sudor

sword epe F


tail koda

taste gust S

tea cha M

teacher ticho (from teacher?)

tear(drop) larm F

temperature ondo J

than dan E

that dat E

thaw degel

theft furt

they els

thirsty soifa F

thorough doro

thousand mil L?F?

thread filo I

throat gola

through dru

throw pao M

tide mare F?

tip punt

tire taya E

together junt S (junto?)

tomorrow nedi

tongue lingua L

tool dogu J

tooth dent F

tower tor

tree namu - K Thursday namudi

trouble munje M/K?

trousers pantalon F

Tuesday firedi

turtle turto

twelve tendu

two du - second dume


umbrella usan

under sub L (as in submarine)

understand wakaru J


vibrate vibra (shortened form)

view vu

village mura J

vocabulary voka (shortened form)

voice voz L

voyage viaje S


waist yao

walk zou M

warn avis F

warehouse soko J

waste nangbi M?

water aqa L - Wednesday aqadi 

waterfall pogpo

watermelon arbuz

wave ola

way lu

we mis

weak ruo

wealth jesan M/K?

wear foro

Wednesday aqadi

weed zaso J

weep naku J

weigh pes - weight peso S

welfare benes

well bien F

whale balen F

wheat grano L? (grain)

wheel roda

white &nbp; blan F (?)

who wu

whole todo S

why we

wire waio

witch manu

with wid

wizard mago

wolf lobo S

wool lana

world mond F

worth kachi K,J

wrinkle ruga

write kaku J


year an F

yellow yelo E

you du, dus (pl.)


zeal zelo



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