Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Translation exercise from the CONLANG list

The following is from the CONLANG list. (I hope Amanda doesn't mind being quoted here.) I was pretty happy about this translation for a few reasons. The first is that it plugged a couple of glaring holes in my vocabulary ("cook" and "enjoy").

As I was looking through the words I do have, I found "fire (n), burn (v)" and related words, and also "warm (n, v)", but decided to go with something completely different for "cook". It gives me something else to build new words with. (For instance, "pwenulam" (fire+cook) could be used for grilling or barbecuing.)

Anyway, here's the post with the quoted part in italics and my response in bold:

On 3/12/2011 10:50 PM, Amanda Babcock Furrow wrote:
> I've been meaning to put out this translation exercise ever since Penzey's
> sent my husband the bumper sticker he couldn't resist "fixing" - from
> "Love people. Cook them tasty food." to "Love people. Cook them. Tasty!
> Food!"
> So, the exercise is: show us how different these two sentences are IYCL!

In Teliya Nevashi:

Hulishi jenenam. Ulamishi nashiyam anási vonesh.
Like(neighborly love)-IMP people-ACC. Cook-IMP food-ACC delicious them-DAT.

Jemishi jenenam. Ulamishi vonet. Anási! Nashiya!
Enjoy-IMP people-ACC. Cook-IMP them-ACC. Delicious! Food!

I was really torn about whether or not to use the imperative here, since
I also have an optative (which would suggest that it is desirable to do
these things) and a couple of varieties of 'should' that vary by the
degree of obligation (or the degree to which you'd feel guilty if you
didn't). In the end, I think I am happy with the way it turned out. And
they are pretty fun to read aloud too. (And I do need the practice
speaking the language aloud.)