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Re: Alien Conlang

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 27, 2007, 23:43
Mark Reed wrote:

> What's "best" depends entirely on the cultural context. If I recall > correctly, the Klingon Bible Translation Project assumes human > missionaries - in that case, there was also established contact > between the aliens and the humans, and the language already has words > for "Earth", "human", etc. Nevertheless, if the intent is to win > alien converts to a religion, it might be best not to translate things > in a human-biased way. :)
This problem always arose when I considered translating bits of the Bible into Kash, who are not physically "Homo Sapiens", though they correspond in most other ways-- upright, bilateral symmetry, sentient, speaking, call themselves by a term that can be translated as "human" etc. etc. About the only part they'd be sympathetic to would be the Genesis Creation story, but everything thereafter wouldn't gibe with their belief that, having created/set in motion the Universe and all things in it, the First Cause/Power/Mind/Deity?/whatever no longer takes any interest in it, and certainly does not guide, influence, or in any way intervene in the affairs of one measly planet or one special people. The Spirits supposedly do, of course, but they aren't "gods", having power only in their particular domain. Adaptations might work-- perhaps in the Babel story, it could be the Sky Spirit who's offended at the intrusion into his domain. Further, lacking the concept of Original Sin, they don't feel the need for redemption. I think missionaries would be quite frustrated among the Kash. They might have some luck amongst the Gwr, if they don't mind cold weather. :-))))


Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Dave Rutan <rutan3@...>