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Re: CHAT: Hello

From:Adam Walker <dreamertwo@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 2, 2001, 14:34
I have only translated the Bable text into one of my languages, though I
keep intending to translate it into a number of others.  I found it great
fun trying to translate some of the concepts that were utterly foreign, and
I spent THREE days trying to figure out what to do with place names like
Shinar and Babel, since the phonology of the lang in question included NONE
of the relevant sounds.  I think I opted for inserting a meaningless series
of sounds that I decided would be how the speakers would percieve these
oddball sounds.


>From: Muke Tever <alrivera@...> >Reply-To: Constructed Languages List <CONLANG@...> >To: CONLANG@LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU >Subject: Re: hello >Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 01:33:45 -0400 > >From: "David Peterson" <DigitalScream@...> > > In a message dated 5/1/01 7:10:21 PM, tb0pwd1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU writes: > > << I think it's a matter of working styles. I do not approach my >languages > > logically, but by emotional response. The phonological shape arises >from > > intuition before it is codified, and I see the entire language as a >whole > > existing in harmony. This is why I rarely finish a language; I often >lose > > the thread, the emotional tone, of the language before finishing it. > > > > If, I've discovered, I translate a text inconsistant with the emotional > > tone of the language too early, I lose the thread earlier. > > > > Now, once a language is more or less solidly in mind, like, say, >Hatasoe, > > I can translate anything I like into it and not be the least bit >troubled. > > I've translated bits of the bible itno Hatasoe without any difficulty. > > > > But not Hrondu. I can translate Buddhist things into Hrondu, because > > that's consistant with the flavor, but not Christian, not yet. >> > > > > Now this, to me, makes sense. I don't operate along the same >principles, > > exactly, but I can definitely see where you're coming from, Pat. As for >the > > other... > >It also has something to do with the problem that happens when the >translator is >the conlanger. > >A native speaker can't *invent* words[1] when translating to his language. >But >the conlanger is almost always inventing. And it's a challenge [a very >difficult one, sometimes] to discern whether a word-concept that appears in >a >'foreign' work *would have been* in the native culture already [and would >deserve a word] or not [and would have some other manifestation, such as a >short >description] [2]. > >To take a quasi-real-world example: the reconstructed ancestor of most >European >languages, Proto-Indo-European, didn't [AFAIK] have a common word for >'lion'.[3] >Therefore the linguist working with PIE would (and should) have difficulty >in >'translating' a lionned document into that language. If a word for 'lion' >is >discovered [through the relevant cognate action, etc.] then he can do it. >My >dilemma--and I speak here about my method personally, as I tend to be >strict >with myself over these things--my dilemma as a conlanger is, not knowing >the >whole of the conculture and -lang at once, being that I have to be in >charge of >saying, ex cathedra, whether the word absolutely did or did not exist. > >And as a conlanger being a conlanger I would probably be more inclined to >inventing a word that may not 'actually' have justification for its >existence. > >That's my take, anyway. Or not. > > *Muke! >[1] Well, there's 'inventing' words by >derivation/compounding/blends/whatever >and by phonaesthemes/onomatopoeia, but you can't just generally invent a >new >root truly ex nihilo and expect clender use. >[2] A native speaker would, however, plausibly be able to borrow the word >for a >foreign concept from the original. This is possible in many conlangs also >but >not, of course, all of them. >[3] I may be wrong and it may have had. In such case, substitute this >example >for a parallel one that would be true.
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