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Re: Translating Cortazar - into Valdyan

From:Irina Rempt <ira@...>
Date:Monday, April 26, 1999, 8:48
On Sat, 24 Apr 1999, FFlores wrote:

> Irina Rempt <ira@...> wrote:
> > Well, I had to make up a lot of words, even "sun" (I did have "star", > > "moon" and "planet") and there was one very awkward sentence in it. > > "Sun" is a very strange word to find oneself lacking it > after a time.
Probably because I didn't start out (as seems to be a common way to go about it) by translating the first chapter of Genesis :-)
> > tamustin ili ruyen len le denayt > > DIM.armies two to-right.side to-his they.go > > "Two regiments go [over] to his side." > > Is that the standard order, noun + number?
Yes; the Valdyan "daily prayer" is called Tainene Hestin Moch god-ill-p prayer-p four the four invocations of (or "to") the gods or just "Hestin Moch" "the Four Invocations". It consists of four parallel stanzas, each to one god. It's to be found on my web page, currently in the "religion" file (check the table of contents) but I've been learning better HTML so I'm about to restructure it. I'll probably post it here after I finish all those translation exercises :-)
> So "they go to his right side"? If they go to his left side, > does that mean they go to his enemy's side?
They'll probably end up on his side but he won't be able to trust them. There's no taboo on being left-handed in Valdyas (no forced right-handed writing or swordfighting; for swordfighting it's even considered an advantage because nine out of ten of your opponents have you on their wrong side, and you've had so many right-handed opponents that *you* are prepared) but in the abstract sense the left side does have a connotation of "not for real, not serious". Clerks sign their copies with _esh <furei> r.r._ (for _rainei ruyi_) "by the right hand of <name>" even if it's been written with the left hand. King Vegelin the Great's historian, who started out as an apprentice clerk at the age of nine or so, wrote a book of folk tales in her old age and called it _Mailei Hallei rainei lhayi gylsin_ "Book of Maile's [daughter] Halla's Left Hand".
> > cyne airenan lushean hyrna gylat > > presently ruler message other writes > > "Then the general writes another message." > > > > (meaning "a different message", not "one more message") > > Very interesting distinction.
It also exists in Dutch: "nog een bericht" (one more message) and "een ander bericht" (a different message). My aunt, who is English, had a lot of trouble with that when she was learning Dutch, asking people whether they wanted "een ander kopje thee" (English: "another cup of tea", but the Dutch means "a different cup of tea") and got answers like "no, thanks, the one I've got is perfectly all right".
> If I understood right what you said once about _lea_, > it's not passive voice but an impersonal construction, > is it?
Yes, exactly. I finished the writeup of the impersonal construction last night and it's a matter of days before it appears on my web page. I've taken to calling this use of it "pseudo-passive", though.
> How do you pronounce <gyrn>?
I pronounce it "gyrn" :-) /g/ as in "gull", /y/ is {high, central, unrounded} (small i with a stroke in IPA, i-circumflex in Romanian, small 61 in Russian), /r/ is a velar trill (Valdyans *can* do the thing with the tongue but consider it an affectation) but pronounced as little more than a flap before another consonant, and /n/ the usual voiced alveolar nasal. In some dialects /i/ and /y/ are both pronounced [i] (fronting the /y/) but /i/ palatalizes preceding velar consonants and /y/ doesn't.
> Very nice work. You got an A. :)
Thanks :-) Irina Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastinay. (myself) (English) (Nederlands)