Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   


From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Thursday, August 12, 1999, 19:59
OK, I might be making you people tired, but my muse is tickling me
these days and I have to share. So here goes YATE (yet another
translation exercise). It's a short poem, _Gef_ ('Eyes').

Legend has it that _Gef_ was composed by Det-Halnain Qgenten-Haldun,
Little Lord of Trebalm=E9r, to capture the impression that a beautiful,
abandoned blind girl made on him while he was walking in Dhitolam,
the capital of the province, in his old age. Later he said that, had
he been younger, he'd have made her one of his wives. In any case,
the story says that he went on in amazement, then woke up to reality
when he got home, and sent one of his sons in a hurry to look for her,
but she was never found.

Htam qestel p=E4m
Qgelftherg gef
Pentik gl=FCrrs mair
m=E8bes on dhehandh
Thultan naimpavnerg
farmadnail=FCl gef,
i diniass farg=FCftel,
freth nots=FCr bais i m=E8f!

Free English translation:

A maiden left aside
Eyes like lakes
A bitter teardrop remembers
all the colours of day
Like covered mirrors
eyes that cannot see,
unable to make stars,
never in time a day of sun!

Interlinear translation

ABL abilitive ('can')
ACT actual present tense
AP  active participle
CMP comparative
GEN genitive case
GRP group plural
LOC locative case
NEG negative ('not')
PP  passive participle

1. Htam            qestel p=E4m
   sthg_left_aside be.AP  maiden

        _htam_ [xtam]: something that has been left aside or behind,
        that is trashed and abandoned in a bad condition. This
        sentence twists the usual word order a bit to give emphasis.

2. Qgelftherg gef
   lakes.CMP  eyes

3. Pentik         gl=FCrrs mair
   remember.3pACT bitter tear

        The verb _pentik_ '(it) remembers' includes a certain
        volitional connotation, as if the teardrop itself makes
        an effort to bring back the memory.

4. m=E8bes   on  dhehandh
   day.GEN all colours.GRP

        The use of _on_ and the group plural here suggests an
        emphatic meaning, 'each and every colour'.

5. Thultan  naimpavnerg
   cover.PP mirror.CMP

6. farmadnail=FCl   gef,
   NEG.ABL.see.AP eyes

7. i diniass farg=FCftel,
   * stars   NEG.make.AP

        _g=FCften_ 'to make' is used with this structure
        (_i_ + noun phrase + verb) with several related meanings,
        like 'to create', 'to conceive', and 'to achieve'. This
        particular usage is almost totally ambiguous, seeking
        emotion more than understanding.

8. freth nots=FCr   bais i m=E8f!
   no    time.LOC sun  * day

        This sentence is ambiguous too; the determiner _freth_ at
        the beginning could go with any of the three nouns that follow.
        The usual meaning joins it with the first inflected noun, i. e.
        _nots=FCr_ 'in time'. The particle _i_ joins 'sun' and 'day'
        in 'day of sun', 'sunny day' in a compositive sense; as if the
        day is made of sun or filled with sun all over.

--Pablo Flores