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Fabian's translation exercise

From:Boudewijn Rempt <bsarempt@...>
Date:Thursday, April 1, 1999, 19:54
Fabian gave us the following exercise:

Even though this text is quite un-Andal in subject-matter, I will try
to brew something up.


poss    possessive
3       third person
s       singular
p       plural
LGH     low grade honorific
MGH     middle grade honorific

AUG     augmentative
DIM     diminutive

TOP     topicalisation
NOM     nominalisation
GEN     genitive
NEG     negativizer
DUP     reduplication (forms the plural of mono- or bi-syllabic words)
IMP     imperative

PT3     third preterite (before the speaker was born)
CRT     certainty aspectivizer
PER     perfective aspect
HAB     habitative aspect
EXP     experiential aspect
RFL     reflexive
DST     distal - away from both speech act participants

REL_obj relative pronoun reflecting an object


Father, what are those lights?

That is the city of the Goyanim. They are a strange people. They light their
cities at night, as if the stars weren't sufficient for their needs. They
fight and kill each other, not realising the greater danger beyond their
small world. And they do not hunt each other with bows and arrows. No, they
have strange devices that kill from far away without arrows. And take care
near their strange iron horses they use to travel. They travel faster than
any natural beast ought to, and ignore the strength of the bow and arrow.
Best if you avoid their cities, my son.

Father, what's a city?


Arda,  hen  pahe wenyi.yi?
father what DST  light.DUP?
Father, what are those lights?

Oi   tan Goyanim ga.  Poim'tau.yidan ga.
city GEN Goyanum NOM. people.NEG.normal NOM.
It is the city of the Goyanim. [they] are a strange people.

Vayn.vayn  tau.penan   e.ras      yunsuru.dir[1]
star.redup NEG.content POSS.3pLGH need.p
the stars do not content their needs

ka  ras   e.ras      wenyi.nyi cenam  oi.oi
TOP 3pLGH POSS.3pLGH light.HAB night  city.DUP
they light their cities at night.

Gigar.zi   e.sar      nil     andal.yi  tau.jonir     ka
danger.AUG POSS.3pLGH outside world.DIM NEG.knowledge TOP
The greater danger outside the world not being knowledge,

ras   bachanza.nyi ras   dilogh, ras   nothaz.ini ras   dilogh.[2]
3pLGH beat.HAB     3pLGH RFL     3pLGH kill.HAB   3pLGH RFL
they beat each other as a habit, they kill each other as a habit.

ras   tau.qenkaz ras   dilogh hye  berkernan hye  belay.
3pLGH NEG.hunt   3pLGH RFL    with bow [3]   with arrow [4]
The don't hunt each other with bow and with arrow

Tau.tau.etand, e.ras      dox'tau.yidan    ga  nothaz tan kal tu.belay.lay     POSS.3pLGH thing.NEG.normal NOM kill   GEN far without.arrow.DUP
No, no, theirs is a strang thing that kills from far without arrows.

Qurkigar.hau tan e.ras      tan afran  ga  cadrav.dir'dukka
carefull.IMP GEN POSS.3pLGH GEN travel NOM dragon.p.iron
Be careful of their iron dragons that exist to travel.

Danran.ran  afran  tan   wuxik.zi
REL_obj.DUP travel GEN animal.dup fast.AUG
Those travel faster than animals[5].

E.ras      oi   tau.karinzu ray.zi.zi,   anu
POSS.3pLGH city NEG.go_in   good.AUG.AUG son POSS.1sMGH
Not going into their city is best, my son

Arda,  hen  ga  oi?
father what NOM city?
Father, what's a city?

I like those exercises :-)

Boudewijn Rempt

Notes to the text

[1] yunsuru < getyun 'take' + suru 'want'
[2] Great! A reflexive!
[3] bent twig...
[4] Actually, simply a twig. While not exactly un-warlike, the profession
    of soldier or hunter is sufficiently depreciated not to let the words of
    the tools of the trade enter polite conversation.
[5] There exist no animals that are not natural - even ghosts are considered