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Romlang Relay!

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Friday, July 16, 2004, 18:17
<delurking and cross-posting>


During the last Conlang Translation Relay, the idea was born to do
the following experiment: to have a relay Romance conlangs only.
After a number of people reacted enthousiastically to that idea, I
hereby announce: the ROMLANG RELAY.

A short explanation for those of you who don't know what a "relay
game" is. It is essentially a variation on the telephone game: one
writes a poem or a short passage in his conlang, and sends it to
another with linguistic instructions. That person sends a translation
in his or her language to the next in line, and on and on until it
returns full circle, altered, transformed, as it were, by the gods,
and containing new wisdom. The first this game was played was five
years ago, in 1999, and since then approximately twelve relays have
taken place. Believe me: it is fun!

I would like to invite everybody who has built a Romance conlang to
participate. The relay is primarily aimed at hypothetical offspring
of Latin; but other languages are welcome too, provided that the bulk
of the vocabulary is Latin- or Romance-based. IALs like Interlingua,
on the other hand, seem less suitable for a relay. Anyway, if you are
interested, please drop me an email, either privately (ijzeren_jan
[at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk) or on-list, and tell me:
  - your name and/or email address;
  - the name(s) of your conlang(s);
  - if there are any limitations or preferences
    regarding your place in the schedule;
  - eventually, if there are any conlangs in
    particular you would like to follow or not
    to follow (for example, because you already
    have been on its receiving side it in a
    previous relay).

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, don't hesitate to
ask them to me. Unless someone has a serious problem with the month
of August, I would like to start in the second week of that month.

This is how it works:

* First, you receive the latest iteration of the relay text with all
the instructions and information necessary to translate it. In a
normal relay, this information will usually consist of a glossary
with some information about the grammar and if necessary an
interlinear analysis. In the case of this Romlang Relay an
interlinear analysis will not be necessary [1].

* Then, start decyphering it. If you are really struggling (or if the
stuff you received lacks some vital info), you may query the
preceding conlanger by private email, but remember that he/she may
not give you a sustained translation.

* Then, translate it into your own conlang. If there are things you
still don't understand in the source language, make an educated
guess: it's better to have a consistent story based on a
more-than-free translation than a word-for-word translation that
makes no sense.

* After you have made a version in your own language, send three
  - to the next participant: the new text in
    your language, glossary and grammatical
    instruction, but NO SMOOTH ENGLISH
    TRANSLATION. Important: do not give more
    information than necessary for decyphering
    the text (so no complete grammars or links
    to them).
  - to the Relay Master (moi, in this case):
    the same as above, but INCLUDING A SMOOTH
  - to the Relay list [2]: an announcement that
    you have passed the torch to so and so.
    THE LIST!!

* You have no more than 48 hours to complete your task; if nobody has
heard anything from you after that period, you will mercilessly be
passed over.

* After the completion of the Relay, the Relay Master publishes the
results of the Game on a website.

* For the website, soundbytes of all versions of the text are
encouraged, but of course not required.

[1] Note: I would like to hear suggestions of the participants about
what the glossary should look like. In my opinion, a full
Conlang-English glossary would make the task too easy. What I propose
is an etymological glossary instead: when possible, give the Latin
(or other Romance) word that served as a source for the word in your
conlang, and give an English translation only when the meaning has
diverged very much, or when the source is not Romance.

[2] At least, I thínk the Relay list would be the most suitable place
for it. To subscribe, visit this site:


"If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed
room with a mosquito."

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