Languages of Security in the Asia-Pacific

College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

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Shan – Sang Lawg Marn Jai

May 27th, 2011 · No Comments · Confidence, Shan

Sang Lawg Man Jai

Relates to confidence-building

Jai is used to indicate a state of mind or feeling when it is used as a suffix to a verb. Here, placed with man – ‘stable, firm, permanent’ – it becomes ‘to be certain or convinced.’  The prefix kwam, which on its own means ‘words, speech, language or song’, when applied to verbs indicates a state resulting from an action, thus ‘to be certain’ becomes ‘confident.’  Sang means ‘to build’ both in the real sense of building a structure such as a house and in a figurative sense as when applied to kwam man jai to become ‘building confidence’.

While man jai, ‘confidence,’ is widely used, sang lawng man jai – ‘confidence building’ – is only used by politicians. For most Shan the construct would be alien.

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