Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Several messages

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Friday, December 27, 2002, 22:31
Padraic Brown scripsit:

> OK. You talk in Wenedyk, I'll talk in Kerno, and > we'll see if John can figure out what's going on.
This reminds me of that conversation which my friend Joe Zitt (yes, that's his real name; his grandfather, who always tended to overdo things, shortened it from Zhitomerski) and *his* friend had. His friend spoke to Joe in Spanish; he replied to her in Hebrew, and so they went. Unfortunately, the content of the conversation is not known, as no one who knew both Spanish and Hebrew was on the spot to interpret it. Tim May scripsit:
> This reminds me - did John Cowan ever reveal the source and nature of > this text to the list? If so, I think I missed it. (I know what it > is, myself - recognized the English version, which I'd seen quoted - > but I remember reading something about "not blowing the gaff".)
Well, the text is the opening paragraph of _La Disparition_, a French novel written entirely without using the letter "e". Iron Jan scripsit:
> A related phenomenon I have heard a few times, is the art of imitating a > language without actually using it. For example, not so long ago I heard a > Dutch trombonist, Nico Nijholt, deliver a whole speech in something that > sounded absolutely like Dutch, even to Dutch ears, with the only difference > that nobody could understand it. A remarkable experience!
There is a name for this: a gramelot. Back in 1997, conlanger Maurizio Gavioli said that Quenya sounded to him like an Italian gramelot,and defined it thus: # "Gramelot" is a performing technique typical of burlesque theatre, where an # actor "speaks", usually at great speed and with exagerated gesture, using # words or sounds which for the [most part] are simple nonsense but, to the # audience, "sound like" a given language; the gestures and a few # strategically placed words which are intellegible make clear the global # meaning of the tirade. The gramelot was one of the technique used by # performers of the Commedia dell'Arte and is one of the strong points of the # Italian actor Dario Fo (who just won the Nobel Prize for Literature, if I # may remember it...). Christophe Grandsire scripsit:
> LOL!!! ;))) You're the best at this kind of "satirical" translations ;))) . It > should be a recognised discipline, as interesting and valuable as accurate > translation itself :)))) .
There's a neat bit in Shakespeare's _Taming of the Shrew_ (III.i) where Lucentio, disguised as a lecturer, demonstrates his facility at translation by "construing" two lines from Ovid's _Heroides_: BIANCA. Where left we last? LUCENTIO. Here, madam: 'Hic ibat Simois, hic est Sigeia tellus, Hic steterat Priami regia celsa senis.' BIANCA. Construe them. LUCENTIO. 'Hic ibat' as I told you before- 'Simois' I am Lucentio- 'hic est' son unto Vincentio of Pisa- 'Sigeia tellus' disguised thus to get your love- 'Hic steterat' and that Lucentio that comes a-wooing- 'Priami' is my man Tranio- 'regia' bearing my port- 'celsa senis' that we might beguile the old pantaloon. HORTENSIO. Madam, my instrument's in tune. BIANCA. Let's hear. O fie! the treble jars. LUCENTIO. Spit in the hole, man, and tune again. BIANCA. Now let me see if I can construe it: 'Hic ibat Simois' I know you not- 'hic est Sigeia tellus' I trust you not- 'Hic steterat Priami' take heed he hear us not- 'regia' presume not- 'celsa senis' despair not. The Ovid passage should read "hac ibat Simois, haec est Sigeia tellus" and means "Here flowed the Simois, here is the Sigeian land, here stood the high palace of old Priam". -- There is / One art John Cowan <jcowan@...> No more / No less To do / All things With art- / Lessness -- Piet Hein