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Re: What is it we are saying in our languages?

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Monday, July 3, 2006, 14:42
On 7/3/06, Sally Caves <scaves@...> wrote:
> From: "Carsten Becker" <carbeck@...>
> > ..... I also have some very private journal entries in > > Ayeri. The problem here is that I'm not fluent in Ayeri, so > > I tend to think of a sentence in German first and then > > translate it into Ayeri with the help of my dictionary. > > That's what I mean. I have some of the same problem, and I'm trying to > correct that. To think of the Teonaht expression first, and not write it in > English first, is a goal of mine. I wonder what would happen to my writing > if I were to start it in a language of my own creation, and conversely, what > would happen to Teonaht. How would it develop, how would I be able to say > things that are uniquely expressive in that language only? The process is > starting, since I've worked on it for so long, but it has a long way to go.
I've gotten to that point in gzb when writing in my journal about routine occurrences, -- I can think somewhat fluently in it, not at the same speed I think in English or Esperanto, but about as fast as I can write anyway. But when I write about some unusual event in my life, or write an original story (a fortiori when I translate something materially or stylistically complex) I come across concepts I haven't expressed in gzb before, and often have to fall back on English or Esperanto to think about how gzb should handle these concepts. Sometimes, in writing my journal, I'll pause and coin a word, and make a footnote giving an English gloss which I'll later go back and enter in the lexicon; other times I'll simply trust I can figure the word out again by context when re-reading, and just make a marginal indication to say "new word here". It's very satisfying when I write something in gzb and realize that it would have been more verbose and less precise in English. That's not terribly frequent, though. In the gzb lexicon a handful of words (so far) have definitions or glosses in gzb itself rather than (or in addition to) English or Esperanto. Mostly these are words of the kinds that an old Greek dictionary would have glossed in Latin; the decent obscurity of [another] learned language. Others are words that are a bit easier to gloss in gzb than in another language. -- Jim Henry