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Re: HELP: Translating the Babel Text

From:Carsten Becker <naranoieati@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 2, 2004, 20:50
BEWARE: May contain traces of nuts (and Ayeri Babel Text)!


On Monday 01 November 2004 07:30, B. Garcia wrote:

 > [...] However, this
 > idea of a supreme god, with a lower but still ever
 > present god helped make a transition into Christianity
 > easy for Filipinos, supposedly (and possibly for Muslim
 > converts in the south as well). I've read that the
 > Spanish were surprised that the native culture had words
 > to express all the important Christian terminology and
 > they had little need for explanation.

Interesting. If I'll ever get the hang of actually doing
conculturing with conreligion etc.? ATM, I only have basic
ideas in the back of my head, not very worked out. I don't
get the hang to write them down -- I don't know how or
rather don't want to know how to write things down. I know
I could write things as a story, but names and places are
still missing, or I could write things like kind of an
anthropologic report viewed from my own perspective, so
early 21st century Western world/European. But here, also
names and places are missing. I'm currently working on a
naming language to get names from finally.

 > As to the problem of translating the clay brick issue, i
 > think the text explains pretty much what they are. Do the
 > Ayeri not have pottery? If so, they'd understand that
 > burning bricks makes them hard. You'd have to maybe add
 > in that they'd be used as stone blocks are used.

I don't know why they should not know pottery. OK, you all
conivinced me to translate "bricks" as "bricks"! Otherwise,
things could be annotated as they use to be in the Bible
anyway. Now I'll only have to make up a ton of words,
though I could give you an interlinear already, with mostly
English words, though.

So I'm going nuts (see beginning) and translate this for
you. Be warned, I haven't got the NIV at hand. It's
upstairs and I'm too lazy to fetch it from my parents'
office :P ... So "Gute Nachricht" (Deutsche
Bibelgesellschaft 1997) must suffice for the moment. Same
contents, I'm only translating from German instead of from

You have been warned!

I'm trying to do at least a couple of verses now. The used
abbreviations (sticking mostly to Leipzig Rules):

*   - not approved
^V  - iyV(t/n), for ability to use "variable" vowels
A   - agent
DEF - definite article
GEN - genitive
INC - inclusive
EXC - exclusive
MOT - motion (Ayeri's only true adposition, "motion")
TRG - trigger
P   - Patient
pl  - plural
RP  - remote past
sg  - singular

DEF Book Moses.GEN 11:1-9 -- Tay Coya Moséng B:1-9
==========================   =====================

1) every=People.A TRG:P RP.have.3pl^a <RP>.time language.TRG
   P.same and RP.use.3pl^a P.same

   <People>enang sira vatahiyàn tavala naranoin a<same> nay
   va<use>iyàn <word>iein a<same>ye.

2) temporal-when [1] MOT.come east.LOC TRG:A RP.set=off.
   (3pl^a.TRG), RP.come.3pl^a [2a] MOT inside=of
   Shinar=land.LOC and there RP.settle/dwell.3pl^a [2b]

   <when> mangasaha <east>ea ang va<set-off>iyàtin,
   vasahaiyàn manga cong Sinarsimilea nay adaea mitaniyàn.

And now for something more hairy:

3) TRG:A RP.speak.(3sg^a.TRG) each=other.P, "MOT.go
   work.LOC! [3] TRG:P <<Let's>> [4] make.(1pl.INC.A) made=of clay.?GEN [5] and burn.1pl.INC [2c]
   3sg^e.P!" TRG:P want RP.use.3pl^a.A [6] and asphalt.PAT like.mortar.PAT.

   Ang vanaraiyàtin sitanyáris, "Mangasara <work>ea! Ang
   <let's> *atiaynang <brick>iein <made-of> *<clay>ena nay
   <burn>ayn iyèaris!" Aris <want> va<use>iyàtang
   <brick>iearis *cu<brick>iein nay <asphalt>aris

I surrender for now. It's quite exhausting and took me about
an hour to type up this interlinear and the translation!

[1] Als sie _nun_ von Osten aufbrachen, ... -- "nun" is a
    filling word and would not be translated in this style
    in English, I have not thought about filling words in
    any of my conlangs yet. Translating "nun" here would
    give, "Now, when they set off from the east, ..."
[2] (a/b) I'm not sure if I should keep the case article
    (TRG:A) and the trigger marker in this case. It's
    already clear, that the sentence is about the _people_
    and that they're agents. So for the sake of
    narrativeness, I'd keep it I think, but for the sake of
    smoothness I'd leave it out. I must think about that.
    (c) s.a., grammatical role etc. is already clear here.
[3] lit. "to (the) work!" -- lit. from German, "Ans Werk!"
    -- maybe "Let's go to work" would suit better?
[4] Don't ask me how to translate "let's" -- in German the
    passage reads, "Wir machen Ziegel aus Lehm ..." (lit.
    "We're making bricks of clay ..."). Maybe "Come and..!"?
[5] "To be made of/from sth" -- compound expression or verb
    made from the compound ran together and eroded a bit?
[6] "Sie wollten die Ziegel als Bausteine verwenden [...]"
    -- English has (I think) only "bricks" for "Ziegel" and
    "Baustein" ("building element", lit. "builidng stone")
    here. I *must* look that up and find a solution!

Translating is a hard business as you can see! Especially
when the conlang still lacks idioms, expressions and lots
of words anyway.



I spare you the usual quote. Enough Conlanging for today! :P