A piece of Tonoryu

Unless you aret deep into Russian folk songs, chances are that you’ve never heard of one called Korobeiniki (which means peddlers or travelling salesmen who sold fabrics, singular Korobeinik). It’s much less probable that you ever heard or read its lyrics by Russian writer Nikolay Nekrasov! However… you’re almost sure to have listened to its melody and probably remember it well, because it’s the most famous (instrumental) song of one of the most popular video-games ever: it’s Tetris type-A music (this is the melody).

Some days ago, I arrived by chance to Wikipedia’s article about this song. There I found some curious information about its origins, it’s lyrics (I didn’t even know it had lyrics before then) in Russian and, fortunately (since I speak no Russian) an English translation. It was about a peddler and her girlfriend. It really appealed to me, so I looked for the song (the original song, as sung in Russian) in the Internet but, to my disappointment, I didn’t like it so much. Anyway, the lyrics (at least their meaning) were good and I decided to translate it to one of my conlangs. Tonoryu, which descends from Tengoko, another conlang of mine, seemed to be the perfect target-language.

Note: This is not a literal translation.

Korobeinika – Nusåmur

O! Kebajem bade no;
Kevade borokåtå tse chintsia.
Vajee pon, tsu sur iney,
Kudåwror o sa yunuu!

Korutor dus nir benraskena
Tse keseker jamir.
Kowm kevider iney’e ku rita,
Keviddevajer reyer res i kevade.

No rin kevades saer,
Saar, mo sejee vad nii.
Konvåjee keer saf tsibapa
Tse rutoo konus sa yunuuor!

Panirbakwi jamirar ay såruto,
Yunuur i riseje no, riseke.
Sedee! Rey saye! Iney veyar rurutos!
Tse nusåmur nus ryomonå.

Katya sjee pon rinneni.
Ri mo seje vad uj.
Yunuu e bapa take rye ineyar
Tse ritene nirus rinneer.

Nur gu jamir savije
Noå i tokum ratenes.
Nirer rutoo, tsu benraskena!
Nuboo renaer rae nuddon!

O! Kebajem bade nii!
Kokudåwr pon ay sayo.
Tse monåj i keiney tases
Nur sjumårnu san tunnuhu sayo.

As usual, I’ll analyze each line of this text, providing IPA pronunciation, glosses and translations for each one.

Korobeynika – Nusåmur (tittle)
/ko.ɹo.beɪ’ni.ka | nu.sɒ’muɹ/
korobeynik-ä | nus-äm-ür
Korobeinik-PL | sell-person-DEF
Korobeiniki – The Salesman
Korobeynik is nothing but the Russian word korobeinik (that kind of peddlers, plural: korobeiniki) more or less adapted to Tonoryu’s orthography and phonetics.
All Tonoryu words (except loan words (such as korobeynik) and some compounds) present what it’s known ad Vowel Harmony: Tonoryu’s vowels (a, å, e, i, o and u) are divided in two groups (which are called high vowels or nir (unrounded vowels such as a, e and i) and low vowels or (rounded vowels such as å, o and u), and each word can only contain vowels from one group. Due to this, prefixes and suffixes change their vowels so as to fit the vowel-type of each word. Thus, vowels in affixes are often writen as ä, ö, and ü which should be replaced by the corresponding vowel in each word:

Affixes

Nir: High vowels

: Low vowels

Ä-ä

A-a /a/

Å-å /ɒ/

Ö-ö

E-e /e/

O-o /o/

Ü-ü

I-i /i/

U-u /u/

PL means plural. Tonoryu’s plural marker is ä, so it changes to a for nir words (ken (plant) → kena) and to å for words (nusåm (vendor) → nusåmå).
DEF means definite, because suffix ür marks definiteness in a similar way to English article the. Both plural and definite suffixes are optional.

1st stanza:

O! Kebajem bade no;
/↗ ‘o ‖ ke.ba’dʒem ‘ba.de no/
O! kö-bajem bad-ö no
Oh! my crate contains-PRES many
Oh! I carry so many  things in my crate
PRES: present.

Kevade borokåtå tse chintsia.
/ke’va.de bo.ɹo’kɒ.tɒ tse tʃin’tsi.a/
kö-vad-ö borokåt-ä tse chintsi-ä
I-have-PRES brocade-PL and chintz-PL
I’ve got chintz and brocade
Both borokåt and chintsi are loan words related to English brocade and chintz.

Vajee pon, tsu sur iney,
/va’dʒe: pon tsu suɹ i’neɪ/
vaj-öö pon, tsu sur iney
do-IMP good, you sweet girl
(Please) do a favour, sweety,
IMP:Imperative (order).

Kudåwror o sa yunuu!
/ku.dɑw’ɹoɹ o sa ju’nu:/
kud-åwr-ör o sa yunuu
shoulder-PL_DEF-to of this lad
to this lad’s shoulders!
Plural and definite suffixes can interact with each other:

Nir: High vowels

På: Low vowels

DEF (the)

ir

ur

PL (plural)

a

å

DEF+PL

air

åwr

There are many ways of saying A belongs to B in Tonoryu:

  • O: works similarly to English of, A o B = A of B, A belongs to B
  • E:  works the other way round, it’s similar to English ‘s : A e B = A’s B, B belongs to A.
  • är suffix (actually means from).

2nd stanza:

Korutor dus nir benraskena
/ko.ɹu’toɹ dus niɹ ben.ras’ke.na/
kö-rut-ör dus nir benraj-ken-ä
I-go-FUT through high rye-plant-PL
I’ll go into the tall rye plants
Rye (benraj) actually means ‘Bread barley’.

Tse keseker jamir.
/tse ke.se’keɹ dʒa’miɹ/
tse kö-sek-ör jamir
and I-wait-FUT night
And I’ll await the night.
Jamir (night) never takes -ür suffix (alternatively, it could be said that jamir always takes it and that *jam is never used).

Kowm kevider iney’e ku rita,
/kowm ke.vi’deɹ i’ne.je ku ‘ɹi.ta/
kowm kö-vid-ör iney e ku rit-ä
when I-see-FUT girl-‘s darl eye-PL
When I see the dark-eyed girl

Keviddevajer reyer res i kevade.
/ke.vid.de.va’dʒeɹ ‘re.jeɹ res i ke’va.de/
kö-vid-döväj-ör rey-ör res i kö-vad-ö
I-see-let-FUT she-to all that I-have-PRES
I’ll show her all my goods
More literally: I’ll let her see all the things I have (with me).

3rd stanza:

No rin kevades saer,
/no rin ke’va.des sa’eɹ/
no rin kö-vad-ös sa-ör
much money I-give-PAST that-to
I paid a lot for that

Saar, mo sejee vad nii.
/sa:ɹ mo se’ʒe: vad ni:/
sa-är mo sej-öö vad nii
that-from no want-IMP give few
So don’t want to pay too little

Konvåjee keer saf tsibapa
/koɱ.vɒ’dʒe: ke:ɹ saf tsi’ba.pa/
konvaj-öö ke-ör saf tsü-bap-ä
bring_closer-IMP I-to red your-lip-PL
Bring your red lips to me

Tse rutoo konus sa yunuuor!
/tse ru’to: ‘ko.nus sa ju’nu:.oɹ/
tse rut-öö kon-üs sa yunuu-ör
and  go-IMP near-more this young_man-to
And come closer to this young man.

4th stanza:

Panirbakwi jamirar ay såruto,
/pa.niɹ’ba.kwi dʒa.mi’ɹaɹ aj sɒ’ɹu.to/
på-nirbak-wi jamir-är ay sä-rut-ö
low-cloud-with night-from now it-go-PRES
Foggy night has come,

Yunuur i riseje no, riseke.
/ju’nu:ɹ i ri’se.dʒe no ri’se.ke/
yunuu-ür i rü-sej-ö no rü-sek-ö
young_man-DEF that he-want-PRES many, he-wait-PRES
The daring lad is waiting

Sedee! Rey saye! Iney veyar rurutos!
/se’de: | reɪ ‘sa.je | i’neɪ ve’jaɹ ru’ɹu.tos/
sed-öö! rey sä-y-ë! iney vey-ar rü-rut-ös
hear-IMP | she it-be-PRES | girl dream-from she-go-PAST
Listen to that! It’s she! The desired girl has come!

Tse nusåmur nus ryomonå.
/tse nu.sɒ’muɹ nus ɹjo’mo.nɒ/
tse nusåm-ür nus ryö-mon-ä
and salesman-DEF sell his-thing-PL
And the salesman sell his goods

5th stanza:

Katya sjee pon rinneni.
/‘ka.tja ɧe: pon rin’ne.ni/
Katya sje-ö pon rinne-nü
Katya look_for-PRES good price-a
Katya is looking for a good price

Ri mo seje vad uj.
/ri mo ‘se.dʒe vad uʒ/
ri mo sej-ö vad uj
she no want_PRES give too_much
She doesn’t want to pay too much

Yunuu e bapa take rye ineyar
/ju’nu: e ‘ba.pa ‘ta.ke ɹje i.ne’jaɹ/
yunuu e bap-ä tak-ö ryö iney-är
lad-‘s lip-PL touch-PRES his girl-from
The young man’s lips touch his girl’s

Tse ritene nirus rinneer.
/tse ri’te.ne ‘ni.ɹus ri’ne.eɹ/
tse rü-ten-ö nir-üs rinne-ör
and he-speak-PRES high-more price-to
And he asks for a higher price

6th

Nur gu jamir savije
/nuɹ gu dʒa’miɹ sa’vi.dʒe/
nur gu jamir sä-vij-ö
only dark night it-know-PRES
Only the dark night knows

Noå i tokum ratenes.
/’no.ɒ i to’kum ra’te.nes/
no-ä i tokum rä-ten-ös
quantity-PL that finally the-say-PAST
The final price they agreed.

Nirer rutoo, tsu benraskena!
/ni’ɹeɹ ru’to: tsu ben.ras’ke.na/
nir-ör rut-öö tsu benrasken-ä
up-to go-IMP you rye_plant-PL
Grow high, rye plants!

Nuboo renaer rae nuddon!
/nu’bo: re.na’eɹ ‘ra.e ‘nud.don/
nub-ö rena-ör rae nuddon
occult-IMP everybody-to their secret
Keep their secret!

7th (and last) stanza

O! Kebajem bade nii!
/↗ ‘o ‖ ke.ba’dʒem ‘ba.de ni:/
o! kö-bajem bad-ö nii
Oh! my-crate contain-PRES few
Oh! I carry so few things in my crate!

Kokudåwr pon ay sayo.
/ko.ku’dɑwɹ pon aj ‘sa.jo/
kö-kud-åwr pon ay sa-yo
my-shoulder-PL-DEF well now they-be-PRES
Now my shoulders are fine

Tse monåj i keiney tases
/tse ‘mon.ɒʒ i ke.i’neɪ ‘ta.ses/
tse mon-åj i kö-iney tas-ös
and thing-all that my_girl take-PAST
And all my girl took

Nur sjumårnu san tunnuhu sayo.
/nuɹ ɧu’mɒɹ.nu san tun’nu.hu ‘sa.jo/
nur sjumår-nü san tun-nü-hu sä-y-ö
only ring-a cyan stone-a-with it-be-PRES
Was a ring with a turquoise.

See you or vitsuu!

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Posted on 2011/07/16, in English, Tonoryu (en). Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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