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Translating "Imagine"

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 16, 2007, 2:30
Lars Finsen wrote:
> Here is my attempt in Urianian (rather literal I am afraid): > > Tripniri! > > Tripniri en fu ginuk. > (imagine-refl.imp.2s not be-subj.3s heaven) > Min e da birdin. > (easy is your try-dem.inst) > Nin celved enz nemi. > (no hell under us-dat) > Seb nemi gimun sun. > (over us-dat sky alone) > Tripniri bil dadet > (imagine-refl.imp.2s all > cuvan tunetsui. > (live-act.part.nom today-dem.dat)
I thought about trying a Minza translation, but I run into trouble on the first verse. I've got some ideas how to get across the idea of "heaven" and "hell", but I'd lose the contrast of hell being below us and heaven above, so the line "above us only sky" wouldn't make much sense. Well, not making sense hasn't stopped me translating before (remembering all those wells that can be broken into tiny bits), but I'd like to think that a translation that makes sense is possible. It occurred to me that I could just borrow the _words_ for heaven and hell, as we might borrow foreign words that don't have English equivalents. But from which language? English borrowings would end up as "xeven" ['CEvEn] or "xevøn" ['CEB@n], and "xel" ['CEl], not all that recognizable. But after thinking this over a while, it might be better to borrow an idea from Tirelat (žaadivor) and use the Minza word "mevævyňa" [,mEv&'v1n`A] as a substitute for "heaven". Žaadivor is the mythical place where you go when you're dreaming. Some believe that the spirit is detachable from the body, and can go there at any time, even after death. For "imagine" I discovered a nice back-formation from the word "teityk" (image)! Strictly speaking the correct noun form from the verb "teitix" should be "teitat", while "teityk" should mean "an event of imagining", but little irregularities like that make things interesting. So then I've got a first line: Teito en lunu de mevævyňa teit-o en lun-u de mevæ-vyňa imagine-IMP that exist-PF not dream-realm Then the second line is easy ... or is it? Is "you" singular or plural? Dzaki sin nilorni dzak-i sin ni-lorn-i easy-ABS if 2p-try-SUBJ To preserve at least some of the symmetry, I'll translate "hell" as "kaktuyvyňa" (torture-realm). Teku de kaktuyvyňa zøy łyøt tek-u de kaktuy-vyňa zøy łyø-t sit-PF not torture-realm below us-GEN Tua łyøt, dzyla zuri. tua łyø-t, dzyla zur-i above us-GEN, sky alone-ABS Teito raykiri vuni teit-o rayki-ri vun-i imagine-IMP person-PL all-ABS Kazevi fi žægut ðexa kaz-ev-i fi žægu-t ðex-a live-PART-ABS for day-GEN this-GEN Well, I'm not quite sure about that last line; it means "being alive for the benefit of this day". Actually, "being awake" (zopevi) might be a better fit....