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Re: _Goodnight Moon_ in Iltârer

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Saturday, June 2, 2001, 6:22
In a message dated 6/1/01 10:57:22 PM, tom@TELP.COM writes:

<< I find it a useful exercise to translate kids' books at the early stages of

making a language; it flushes out embarrasing gaps in the lexicon (I can't

believe I didn't have a word for "and" yet!) and gets one comfortable with

basic sentence patterns and vocabulary. >>

    Hey, I loved it!  Really takes me back...  I haven't read that one in
awhile.  Also, as you had no word for "and", this just made me realize that
my largest language has no words whatsoever for "hello" or "goodbye".  I'll
have to fix that.

<<This one came out a bit amusing; I'd designed Iltârer as a literary

language, thinking of philosophical and poetic eloquence. It seems almost

comically overstyled and long-winded for the simple sentences of a

children's book. I don't dare to count how many syllables the Iltârer

version has compared with the English! That's partly a consequence of the

limited phonemic system, which makes for more polysyllabic root words, but

more a result of the lengthy inflectional ending ("-silithin") for the

collective referential of -l class nouns, and some other lengthy

    This was my initial problem with my language, where the only
mono-syllabic words were personal pronouns and prepositions.  Maybe this is
because I'm just too used to English, though.  Like you, I got used to it.
And I love your baby mouse.  ~:)