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Pronunciation /zɪldav/
Created by Hergé
Date 1939
Setting and usage The Adventures of Tintin
Ethnicity Bordurian people
Users 642,000 (1939) (fictional)
Sources Dutch language
Official status
Official language in
Regulated by unknown
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)

Bordurian is a fictional language, the national language of Borduria, a fictional Balkan dictatorship created by Hergé for the The Adventures of Tintin comics series. Little is known about Bordurian, as it is not extensively presented in the Tintin stories. The neighboring language Syldavian, for example, has been proven conclusively to be a Germanic language, and although few words of Bordurian are known, making it impossible to examine its grammar or orthography as can be done with Syldavian, it is almost certainly Germanic as well. Words of obvious Germanic origin include hôitgang, (cf. Dutch uitgang), mänhir (cf. Dutch mijnheer), ointhfan (cf. Dutch ontvangst) sztôpp, tzhôl (cf. German Zoll) and zsnôrr (cf. Dutch snor). As with Syldavian and other fictional languages and some personal and place names in the Tintin universe, Hergé modeled Bordurian on Marols, a dialect of Dutch spoken in and around Brussels, and therefore Bordurian and Syldavian are arguably not only Germanic, but close relatives. Unlike Syldavian, which also uses Cyrillic, it is written only in the Latin alphabet. Orthography is unclear; although it is arguable that ô is /ɔ/ based on the spelling of sztôpp, tzhôl, and zsnôrr, it is impossible to determine exactly how, for example, s, sz, and zs are supposed to be pronounced, whether /s/, /ʃ/, or some other way. The orthography does give the language a feel vaguely similar to Hungarian, which alone among European languages contains the digraphs sz and zs; in addition, the Bordurian capital of Szohôd is reminiscent in spelling of the real Hungarian city of Szeged.

Almost the complete corpus (except for Müsstler, which may simply be a faux-German name and not meant to be native Bordurian at all) is found in The Calculus Affair.

Known words[edit]

  • amaïh! - "hail!" (from the Flemish/Brussels word "amai" (meaning as much as "wow!")
  • da - "of"
  • hôitgang - "exit" (from Dutch "uitgang" and German "Ausgang")
  • mänhir - "mister" (from German "mein Herr" and Dutch "mijnheer", literal translation of frz. "monsieur")
  • ointhfan - "reception desk" (possibly from Dutch "ontvangst" or German "Empfang")
  • opernska - "opera"
  • platz - "square/plaza" (from German "Platz")
  • Pristzy! - "Darn!" (from French "sapristi!")
  • szonett - "bell" or "bell-push" (from French "sonnette")
  • sztôpp - "Stop!"
  • tzhôl - "customs" (from German "Zoll")
  • zservis - "service"
  • zsnôrr - "moustache" (From Dutch "snor")
  • szplug! - "hey!" (Only in English edition)
  • Polisk - "Police" (Only in Belvision edition)

Place names[edit]

  • Bakhine
  • Szohôd

Names of people[edit]