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Re: Tirelat vocabulary from one world to another

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Thursday, September 11, 2008, 14:20

On Wed, 10 Sep 2008 20:39:05 -0400, Herman Miller wrote:

> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote: > > Hallo! > > [...] > > > > This works of course only as much as your world is similar > > enough to ours. It works well, for instance, with Tolkienesque > > fantasy worlds that closely resemble Medieval Europe plus Elves > > and dragons, but not so well with a bizarre world like H. S. > > Teoh's Ferochromon where nothing is the way we are used to. > > The reality of the Zireen and Sangari worlds is fundamentally very > similar to our own in the basics of physics and chemistry at least. > Impossible Gates between worlds do exist, but as they are so rare, we > could be living in a world with Impossible Gates and not even know it. > Biology is carbon-based, and the basics of metabolism are likely to be > very similar.
Yes. With my main conlang Old Albic, it is even simpler: its speakers are humans, and they live in the same world as we do, only quite a long time ago (the Classical Era of Elvendom is around 600 BC). This means that many concepts in Old Albic are the same as in English. For example, the Old Albic word _mordenda_ can easily be translated as 'blackbird' because it refers to the same species as the English word, namely _Turdus merula_. Of course, there are cultural terms which have no simple English counterpart, as the culture of the British Elves is quite different from that of present-day England or America.
> Actually I think in a bizarre world like Ferochromon it's even more > important to have a familiar set of words to get a handle on the alien > ideas, even though the equivalence can only be very rough; starbursts, > whirlpools, rivers, fountains, and so on. Even in our own bizarre > worlds; in quantum physics, particles have "spin", which has some > rotation-like properties.
Yes. On the other hand, such metaphors can cause misunderstandings, especially with people not knowledgable enough to know that the everyday meanings of the words cannot apply. How many physics students, after reading of "spins" of particles, imagine spinning little balls? Probably many, before they realize that what is more like a field than a solid object can hardly "spin" in the same way as for instance a tennis ball does. ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf