Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: All-important phrases

From:Christian Thalmann <cinga@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 31, 2002, 12:54
Whee!  A translation exercise!  We haven't had too many of those
lately.  And the sentences are fun.  =)

In Obrenje:

> Bears don't drink beer, do they?
Tash olje ny mowa u frash, vy? /taS "Olj@ ny "mo:wa M fraS vy/ not drink:3e CAT bear PRE beer, yes/no? |Ny| is the categorical quantifier. Hm. I like the sound of this sentence. I should record it and add it to my homepage as a sample. I already have |Naqze i tse le pwos warve| meaning "I like the fact that a dog bit you". ;-)
> I would like French fries with my painful death.
O ramze u sosse onge laq xim ponda. /O "ramZM "sOS,SONg@ lanzim "pOnda/ OPT receive:1 PRE fry:PST:PSV potato COM POS:1 death |O ramze u ...| "That I may receive ..." is a common formula for ordering something in a restaurant. I assume the tagline is alluding to the classical "Would you like french fries with that?" question one commonly hears in an American restaurant. In |sosse onge|, the participle |sosse| "deep-fried (stuff)" is the head noun, while |onge| "potato" modifies it. A literal translation of the phrase would not be "deep-fried potatoes" but rather "deep-fried food made of potatoes".
> Am I truly like such a fellow?
Vy ow lajoze u tinje (laj)? /vy ?ow la"jo:ZM "tinj@ (laj)/ Yes/no indeed be_akin PRE such (fellow) The |laj| isn't really needed there, since Obrenje doesn't grammatically distinguish adjectives from nouns, so |tinje| can act as a full noun phrase by itself.
> Salutatory phrases are much harder, though, because they change so much > and don't seem to be related to other words. I guess "hello" is related > to "health", but Spanish people don't say "salud" when they meet you. > Germans, I don't know about, even though I have a German language > textbook which is almost as old as my father. Both it and the German > dictionary (which is slightly older than the textbook) seem to agree that > there is no equivalent of "hello", and phrases like "Guten Tag" are used.
"Guten Tag" sounds a bit formal. The German word "Hallo" exists and is applicable over a wide range of social strata, therefore making a good choice when you don't quite know whether to address someone with as "Sie" or "du". As in English, "Hallo" can furthermore be used to catch someone's attention, or even express surprise ("Aber hallo!"). -- Christian Thalmann


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>