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Re: A different strategy for conlang design

From:John Leland <lelandconlang@...>
Date:Saturday, July 10, 2004, 5:58
In a message dated 7/9/04 12:44:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
fiziwig@YAHOO.COM writes:

<< Another thread (Starting a translation) triggered a
 random neuron in my brain to fire which lead to this
 idea for creating a conlang.

 Begin with a small book, perhaps even a children's
 book or a "young adult" novel like the Hardy Boys or
 Nancy Drew, (Or maybe Harry Potter!) and starting at
 page one, paragraph one, just write a translation into
 some previously non-existant conlang, right off the
 top of your head, inventing words and grammatical
 principles as you go along.  Don't back track, just
 keep forging ahead, straight through the whole book. >>

As I mentioned back when I joined conlang last year, I essentially did this
by translating the entire book of Genesis into Natece Atechana about 30 years
ago. Until last year,
I still had the manuscript, but I lost it when I moved in September. I hope I
will rediscover it some day. I have rediscovered a number of other Natece
translations of other  shorter Biblical books--Ruth, for example--which I did
afer Genesis. When I began the Genesis translation,  there were alreadya number
of Natece texts, but they were mostly very repetitive religious chants, so the
Genesis was what really made Natece a functional language. In Rihana-ye, the
major text for developing the language was the Dizilali
Wivaroha, the history of the hero Zubiba, which ran about 60 pp. of a small
Being my own invention, it probably did not force me to develop the language
as thoroughly as a translation would, since unless pushed I tended to use a
limited vocabulary and a simple grammar,only adding to them when I really had to.
As I have mentioned here before, I have translated several psalms and prayers
or parts thereof into Jases Lalal, as the religion of that conculture makes
them more appropriate.
Thinking of songs, by the way, I translated "Row, row, row your boat" into
Rihana-ye once. There are also a number of "native" folksongs in that language.
One of the "native" songs uses the tune to London Bridge is Falling Down,
though the meaning is different.
John Leland