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TRANS: a lament under the rain

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 4, 1999, 23:39
This unnamed poem, with small variants, comes from the
old lament-songs sung by the rice terrace farmers of Tam=FCqan,
in southern Thaqulm. This particular version was recorded
in verse, without music, by a popular local poetess,
Rren-Qolh=F3v L=FCntafir[*]. I thought it could make a nice
exercise... See for yourselves. (The translations are quite
loose, to say the least.)


Tam=FCes i =E1kibv=FCr eilis,
suek ar frar=E1r telim bais.
Bram imil, abl=E1kt arek halth
suek mi=E9nvelqusamp rrenm=FCndh.
Be farful=FCl men al=F3st flihn,
eh=E1v farn=E1iaqeik rrimth!

1. Tam=FCes   i =E1kibv=FCr      eilis,
   rice.GEN * terraces.LOC subtle.3s

2. suek ar    frar=E1r    telim bais.
   over be.3s sad   sun

'Over there above the rice terraces
 the sad sun is and is not, subtle, distant.'

(_eilis_ 'subtle, distant, difficult to grasp, insinuating'
is a borrowing from Teonaht:

        _elyihs_, /'eljIS/; adj. SLIPPERY, SMOOTH, WELL-GREASED,=20

with kind permission. :)

3. Bram    imil,   abl=E1kt arek  halth
   fall.3s drizzle soaked be.3p birds

4. suek mi=E9nvelqusamp rrenm=FCndh.
   over mercury-made  squares

'A drizzle falls, the birds are there, soaked
 over the squares of mercury.'
_mien-velq(u)-sam(p)_ 'water-silver-made'
_rren-m=FCnd_ 'four-corner, a square'

5. Be farf=FCl=FCl     men         al=F3st flihn,
   if NEG.stopping continue.3s cold  rain

6. eh=E1v  farn=E1iaqeik   rrimth!
   light NEG.see.3pFUT sprouts

'If the unstopping cold rain goes on,
 the sprouts will not see the light!'


[*] The name Rren-Qolh=F3v L=FCntafir is etimologically quite=20
transparent so far:
Pod of Pearls [_lunim-tafir_], fourth [_rren-_] daughter of=20
Fresh Water Well [_qol=F3l ah=F3v_].

Dialectal features:

Note the change of long vowels into vowel + underlying /h/, typical of
the southern dialect. In _flihn_ (Std _fl=ECn_) it makes the /n/ almost=20
unvoiced, and it gives _eh=E1v_ /@'hav/ from Old Drasel=E9q /@'ha:b@/,
through /@'hahb@/ > /@'hahb/ > /@'hav/ (Std is _h=E0p_, with final
devoicing and dropping of open-syllable schwa).

The dialect also differs from the standard in _abl=E1kt_, _al=F3st_, both
of which are pronounced with the initial /@/ lost in StdD. The script
doesn't reflect the change of open-syl initial /a/, /e/ > /@/. Also
note the old OVS word order in line 6.

--Pablo Flores