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The Starling's Song Revisited

From:DOUGLAS KOLLER <laokou@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 9, 2000, 6:27
Irina wrote:

Could all of you who ever sent me a direct translation of the
Starlings' Song (not a relay translation) check if they're in the
list below:

     * Aniesé - Iisem
     * Chleweyish - Carlos Thompson
     * Demuan - Fabian
     * Elet Anta - John Fisher
     * Jarrda - Herman Miller
     * Sakatda Ka Kadomo - Barry Garcia
     * Sawila - Rob Nierse
     * Teonaht (from Demuan) - Sally Caves
     * Vendi - Chris Ashton
     * Yufora - Mia Soderquist

If you sent a translation and it doesn't appear in the list, please
remind me of it! I want as complete a set as possible. Of course, if
you never sent me a translation and you still want to do one, you're
also welcome (Sylvia? I just happen to like Kelen :-)

Hi Irina --

This is a direct translation into my language, Géarthnuns. The first is a literal,
natural, conversational translation:

Che jrelöths la sök shíabsöd ésh chök dvatrebsöng ngíman,
Cha funsav cha segensas chau mídars las röth,
Chö shebsöv chí shíbals la chauk latursauch çíl,
Cheths la chí veshkalsít chök ömbíötsöing hötel? 


che jrelöths la sök shíabsöd ésh 
the starling-nom present indef-art-pl deed-postpositional/pl about 

chök dvatrebsöng ngíman,
the-pl hero-genitive/pl sing 

cha funsav cha segensas chau mídars las röth,
the rain-locative the morning-gen the heron-nom pres/reflexive wash

chö shebsöv chí shíbals la chauk latursauch çíl,
the night-loc the lark-nom pres the-pl sta-acc/pl worship

cheths la chí veshkalsít chöik ömbíötsöing hötel?
who-nom pres the true.nature-acc the/pl bird-gen/pl see-interrogative

Pounded into a poetic format, it might look like this:

Jrelöths che dvatreböshíabsöch chök ngíman la, 
Segenafunsav cha mídars chau röth las,
Shíbals chí shebsöv chö latursauch chauk çíl la, 
Cheths chí veshkalsít ömbíötsöing chöik hötel la?

starling-nom the hero.deed-acc/pl the/pl sing pres
morning.rain-loc the heron-nom the wash pres/refl
lark the night-loc the star-acc/pl the/pl worship pres
who-nom the true.nature-acc bird-gen/pl the/pl see-interr pres

Condensing some nouns into compounds, placing most articles after their nouns (a standard
Géarthnuns poetic device), and placing the verbal particle at the end of the
line (archaic/poetic, but legitimate usage) seem to do the trick. With a little
fudging, this could probably even be set to the melody you've written AND this
preserves the "a" sound in the last syllable of each line as in the original