A Quick Guide to Cainite

Cainite is relatively simple to learn, as it consists of a limited number of root words, which are then combined to form more complex words. It is free of the dreaded irregular verb, and many other annoying exceptions to the rules that plague many languages.

Pronunciation of Cainite is a little bit harder for native English speakers, as it is a polysyllabic language, more like German and Hindi. But, as with the grammar, pronunciation has simple, hard-and-fast rules.


A, e, i, and o are all long. You pronounce them in a word the same way you would say the letter by itself.

U is slightly off; when it's the first letter of a word, it's long, but when it's in the middle of a word, it slurs into oo (as in choose).

Y is a vowel and is pronounced the same as the letter y in yes.

Ah and eh are treated as vowels in their own right, and sound exactly like they look.


These fall into standard pronunciations. C's are always hard (like k). Sh and ch are treated as consonants in their own right and are pronounced the same as in English.

Examples and Explanations

Canichmeh is pronounced cain-eyech-meh, with some people pronouncing it more like cain-eyech-may. It is made plural by the addition of ah on the end, and it becomes cain-eyech-meh-ah.

Can is the Cainite spelling of Cain, and refers specifically to Cain of the Old Testament. Nich means descent and meh means person, so nichmeh is descendant. Canichmeh is, therefore, descendant of Cain. Note, there are no double letters in words (double letters can only appear when prefixes or suffixes are added to create plurals or denote tense), so when can and nichmeh are compounded, one of the n?s gets dropped.

Yaechahre is pronounced yay-ee-char-ee, but some people slur it into yay-char-ee, dropping the e in the middle as a distinct sound.

Yaechahre is an example of a fairly complex compound word. As in Spanish and the other romance languages, Cainite adds pronouns (in this case, as a prefix) to verbs. For instance, I want in English can be rendered as a single word in Spanish, quiero, with the o added to the verb to denote I/me.

Ya is the I/me prefix in Cainite, and ech is the you prefix; when combined they are used as a single prefix to denote we. Ahre is the verb to have, so yaechahre literally means we have. There are no separate possessives in Cainite, however, so it can also be used in place of the English word ours.  

When capitalized, however, it specifically refers to the vampires? human associates. The word came to be associated with humans thousands of years ago, when vampires kept human slaves. Slavery ended for the Yaechahre during the decline of the Roman Empire, but the name stuck.

While Canichmeh can--and should--be made plural when the sentence calls for it, Yaechahre, like deer and sheep in English, does not change regardless if the subject is singular or plural. This is because yaechahre is, in actuality, a verb, and therefore has no plural. Using it as a noun is actually considered slang--entrenched though it is in the language.

Imuechmeh is pronounced eyemoo-each-meh. Imu is a negative and translates into no, nothing or not, depending on the context. Ech, once again, is a prefix meaning I/me, and meh means person; together echmeh makes a stand-alone pronoun which can be used in a sentence where I or me would be used. Imuechmeh is literally not me, although the accepted translation into English is other. So the Canichmehah call the new breed of vampires "Others."

Definitions of Additional Words in the Trilogy

Eruj - Literally the number "one." Also used to mean "leader" or something which is supreme.

Erujtah - Literally "the supreme one." (The suffix "tah" enhances or enlarges a word.) This word almost always refers to the Head of the Council, because he is the leader to whom all the other leaders answer.

Naishomeh echahre - My (blood) brother. A biological brother would be naishcho echahre.

Naomehechahre - Literally "man of my blood."" Refers to a vampire's male offspring (son).

Omehechahre - Literally "my blood." Refers to a vampire's offspring. A human child may be an omtu (little human), or mehtu (little soul), or choechahre ("my flesh", meaning a biological child).

Omtu - Literally "little human." Used to refer to a Yaechahre in his or her first year of training/mentorship.

The Lament - Said at the funeral of any Canichmeh or Yaechahre.

Mehah yaechahre te yamah nashomehi, namehyaechahre.
Mehjimaah yaechahre mehnirah tigmu nashmehniri te imumeh yare.
Jermin oco imtah rute, gin erujmeh yaechte.
Shugat dod yae yaechdodte, gin ehgaru yaechahre.

Our souls bleed for you, oh, our kinsman.
Our hearts weep bitter tears for your death.
The world is cold agony, and we are alone.
Until we join with you and find peace.


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Background for the website and the header is from Lilium medicinae by Bernardus de Gordonio, translated into Hebrew by Moses ben Shmaya de Castro in Escalona, Spain, January 11, 1466. The original manuscript is housed at the Bridwell Library at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The female figure in the header is from the Manesse Codex, which is housed at the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany.