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Announcing Relay 10/R

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 20, 2004, 11:33

The summer is among us, wet as it is, and so I hereby announce: RELAY
10/R. (I also hope that this is my last cross-post on the subject)

This relay will be somewhat different from previous relays, because
during the last relay the idea was born to have a special relay with
Romance conlangs only. Now, it wouldn't be nice for the
non-Romlangers to be excluded, and so the two will be combined in one
relay, subdivided in two groups with different rules (see below).

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 time this game was played was
five years ago, in 1999, and since then approximately twelve relays
have taken place. Believe me, folks: it is fun!

Every conlanger is invited to participate. The Romlang Ring is for
Romance conlangs only; it 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 (due to
their intended easiness, IALs like Interlingua are less suitable,
though). The other ring is meant for all other conlangs, naturalistic
or not. Depending on the number of participants, it can be expanded
to more than one ring.

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), and whether it
    is Romance or not;
  - 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 the non-Romlang Ring, this information will usually consist of a
Conlang-English glossary, some information about grammar, and if
necessary an interlinear analysis (i.e. the same as in previous
In the Romlang Ring interlinear analyses will be strictly forbidden,
and the glossary will be etymological 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 beyond an average person's deduction
capabilities, and when the source is not Romance. I'm open to
suggestions for improvement, BTW.

* With all the information you have received, 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,
    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: an announcement that you
    have passed the torch to so and so. IMPORTANT:
    To subscribe, visit this site:

* 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. If you see in advance that you won't be able to remain
within the schedule, please notify the Relay Master and the List
ASAP, so that you can be rescheduled.

* 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. Same goes for version of the
text in conscripts etc.


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

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