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Re: CHAT: Espo and LOTR

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 28, 2001, 8:23
En réponse à John Cowan <jcowan@...>:

> While reading a nice article on (some) conlangs at > ,
Very nice article! It's the first time (apart from Sally Caves' article, which I consider to be the best article on conlanging ever written) that I read an article about conlanging which is neither depreciative nor over-enthusiastic, but plain unbiased, even about Esperanto. I'm pleased! I
> came across the Esperanto Ring-verse, which I had not seen > before: > > Unu Ringo ilin regas, Unu Ringo ilin prenas, > Unu Ringo en mallumon/ilin gvidas kaj katenas. > > The word "mallumon" for "darkness" is interesting, because it is > plainly "unlight", a word that JRRT used in _The Silmarillion_ > in the phrase "the Unlight of Ungoliant" (a sentient spider). > Evidently, it is rather more than just "darkness", being in > some sense *active* darkness rather than the mere absence of > light. > > Now how do we say "the Unlight of Ungoliant" in Esperanto? >
The difficulty is that since English has 'darkness' to oppose 'light', 'unlight' has another meaning, while in Esperanto 'mallumo' is the opposite of 'lumo', and thus means simply 'darkness' (though one could argue that 'senlumo' is a better word). To translate 'unlight', one has to come with another compound. Maybe 'nelumo'. Compounds with 'ne' often have a negative connotation and are stronger than just an absence of something, like in the triplet: 'sana': sane, healthy, 'malsana': sick, 'nesana': insane, crazy. Yes, I think 'nelumo' would be a good translation of 'unlight'. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role. PS: nice conversation, proving like contrary to a common belief, the presence of the universal opposite marker 'mal-' in Esperanto doesn't prevent it to make shades of meaning between two contraries :))) .