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John in Terkunan

From:Henrik Theiling <ht@...>
Date:Thursday, August 9, 2007, 3:13

This is the beginning of Gospel John, which is a text feeling a bit
like a domino game.  Quite interesting, I think.  (The Name of the
Rose (Numbre de Ros) starts with it, too):


  N'prinkepi era parul, i parul era ku De, i De era parul.
  L'era, n'prinkepi, ku De.
  Tot es fika p'il, i si'l, nesun es fika k'es fika.
  N'il era vit i vit era luk d'ombrez.
  Luk brela n'tembrez i tembrez no kuprenda'l.
  Es fik'ombre mandat pe De, se numbre Iohan.

Word stress is on penult if last syllable is open and on last syllable
otherwise (|z| is neglected in stress rules).  The alphabet is almost
like IPA, with the exception of |z|=[s] and occasional sandhi: |ng| =
[Ng], |np| = [mp], etc.  The vowels are [a e i o u] in open syllables
and [a E I O U] is closed syllables.  Open syllable vowels are a wee
bit longer.  Except for stress, syllables must be considered across
words, so _i mperi_ (and (a/the) empire) is [Im 'pe ri], not *[i mpe
ri] or *[i m= pe ri] .

And now, wordwise translation.  Terkunan has lost most inflections
(but derivation is quite alive), so English words will be sufficient
glossing, I think.  In fact, morphology is so simple that it feels
like my private fauxlang.


  N' prinkepi  era parul, i   parul era ku   De, i   De  era parul.
  in beginning was word   and word  was with God and God was word

  L' era, n' prinkepi,  ku   De.
  It was  in beginning  with God

  Tot es fika p' il, i   si      'l, nesun   es fika k'    es fika.
  All is made by it  and without it  nithing is made which is made

  N' il era vit  i   vit  era luk   d' ombrez.
  in it was life and life was light of men

  Luk   brela  n' tembrez    i   tembrez    no    kuprenda   'l.
  light shines in darknesses and darknesses don't understand it

  Es fik' ombre mandat pe De, se       numbre Iohan.
  Is made man   sent   by God his_REFL name   John

Quite unexpectedly, maybe, after my last posts, there are not many
plurals in it.  I just felt like translating today. :-)

What do you think?  How does it *feel*?


PS: I translated from Greek as far as I could, comparing to various
    translations (Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French,
    Romanian, German) to see how other people translated.  The goal
    was as literal a translation as possible.