Friday, March 20, 2009

Eight sentences

Teliya Nevashi has no marking for collective/mass plurals like "birds", nor does it have marking for habitual actions, so these first ones were pretty straightforward...
Sort of.

1. Birds sing. Eci selis shanan.
2. Children play. Eti voya mishtun.[1]
3. Dogs bark. Eci buf kevrin.
4. Bees hum. Eci zhun mintan. 
5. Baby laughed. Ji talala Bene.[m]; Ji talala Bena. [f.]  
6. The sun shines. Si donu ya cea. 
7. The wind blows. Si feyu ya shushu.
8. The car started. Luti muzhu ya otomo. [2]

[1] Speakers of Nevashi are apparently much more age and gender conscious than speakers of English, because there are words for boy and girl at different age ranges (infant, toddler, preschooler, school kid (5-11), teenager (12-17)) that would be in far greater circulation than mishtu, which is a gender neutral word for a minor (non-adult). And though some people might consider it sexist and awful, the male form would probably be used for mixed groups and mass plural as well. So, while this is a correct and straightforward translation, a native speaker might well say "Eti voya levten." (Levte = boy, 5-11.) 
[2] Ha! A use for the inceptive! Muzhu refers to the running or working of engines, motors and machines, so this could be translated back as "The car began to run."

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