Intended as a fun language game for children to enjoy, learning Pig Latin isn’t a difficult task. There are just a few basic rules to keep in mind when you’re learning how to speak Pig Latin. The rules for translating words vary based on the number of syllables and types of letters.
To translate words that have a consonant as the first letter to Pig Latin, begin by moving the consonant from the beginning of the word to the end of the word. Next, you’ll need to add the suffix -ay to the end of the rearranged word.
To translate the word dog, use this pattern:
- Move the first letter to the end. ogd
- Add suffix. ogd-ay
The English word dog becomes ogday in Pig Latin.
Words that begin with a consonant cluster start with a pair of consonants. Plant is an example of this type of word. These words follow the same pattern as words that start with consonants, with one exception. The first two letters of the word are moved to the end rather than just the first letter. The -ay suffix is still added to the end.
To translate the word plants, use this pattern:
- Move the consonant cluster (pl) to the end. antspl
- Add suffix. antspl-ay
The English word plants becomes antsplay in Pig Latin.
For words that begin with a vowel, there is no need to move any letters to the end of the word. Instead, translating these words into Pig Latin simply requires adding -yay to the end of the word.
Follow these steps to translate the word am.
- Recognize the first letter as a vowel. A is a vowel; leave the word as am
- Add suffix. am-yay
The English word am becomes amyay in Pig Latin.
For compound words, which are words formed by combining two or more smaller words into a new word with a different meaning, an extra step is required. You’ll need to separate these words into the individual words that have been combined and apply the rules of Pig Latin to each one.
To translate the word bathroom, follow these steps.
- Separate the compound word into individual words. bath room
- Apply the appropriate rule for each word. athbay oomray
The word bathroom becomes athbayoomray in Pig Latin
There are some special Pig Latin translation considerations for words that include the letter "y," which sometimes functions as a consonant and sometimes as a vowel.
- words that start with "y" - Use the rule for words that begin with a consonant. For example, you would become ouyay.
- words with "y" as the second letter - Follow the rule for words that begin with a consonant rather than the rule for words that starts with a consonant cluster. For example, typed would become ypedtay.
Now that you understand the pattern of turning everyday words into Pig Latin terms, get comfortable applying the rules to some common sayings. Find a partner to practice with so you can polish your Pig Latin skills and have someone to interact with using this new (to you) way of communicating.
Can you help me?
Ancay ouyay elphay emay
When is lunch?
Enwhay isyay unchlay?
Did you study?
Iday ouyay udystay?
Am I winning?
Amyay Iyay inningway?
What’s for dinner?
Atswhay orfay innerday?
Call me later.
Allcay emay aterlay.
Please send money.
Easeplay endsay oneymay.
Let’s go to the store.
Etslay ogay otay ethay orestay.
Playing baseball is fun.
Ayingplay asebayallbay isyay unfay.
Moonlight is lovely.
Oonmayightlay isyay ovelylay.
I need a new toothbrush.
Iyay eednay ayay ewnay oothtayushbray.
Learning Pig Latin is a fun way for kids to enjoy communicating with their friends. It’s not a super-secret code that no one else will be able to decipher, nor is it a real language. It is a fun activity that can also be educational. By learning the rules of Pig Latin, kids will be able to practice their language arts skills and enhance their ability to think in a way that prepares them to master the basic rules of grammar. If you find Pig Latin fun and beneficial, you may also want to explore some examples of gibberish.