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Waynu ozguim kewayos – A text in Tengoko

Less than a month ago, I posted the translation of a medieval Spanish ballad in (Eastern) Efenol. Now, I’m going to post the very same text: the Romance/Ballad of the Lover and Death (Romance del Enamorado y la Muerte). Is that cheating? I hope it’s not 😉

This time, however, I wrote it in an unrelated language, my dear Tengoko. Unlike Efenol (which was based on Spanish thus easing the translation of an Spanish text), Tengoko is an a priori* conlang, (a language constructed without major influences of others). That leaves room for more innovation and use of creativity… some of the best parts of conlanging! So, I’m confident you won’t mind the fact I’m reusing a text in just a few weeks time 😉
*Most of Tengoko vocabulary was just invented but there are some borrowings here and there, so some may say it’s not a “pure” a priori language.

Here it comes:

– Wibamir Kirirze o Suyemir –

Waynu ozguim kewayos;
beng wayir keruqar.
Keway kewibaar
i weyim kewados.

Widos bak ne i imerrut,
bakus i kop kyozair.
– Simin saimer Wib zurutos,
simin zurutos, kenaq?
Hatair mehatyay ze
tanritair serosiaze.
– Mo Wib keyi, wibam,
Kirir keyi, Qazirar.
– Zu Kirir, suryemmewi
naqdekyoq ke hinnuim!
– Hinnu mo yideker,
kip ton zunaq sakoar.

Ngoyay kaqnok rye kaqer,
ze yayus rinokos.
Rirutay kerirer
yim rye wibne yos.

– Hatyoq sahatir Bakey!
Hatyoq sahatir, kengayir!
– Simin kehater zuer
su yim raw koir?
Keto mo rutos ryankerer,
kema mo zwisay.
– Zu mo keer hateray
nar zu hater mokoim.
Kirir keruq rihyeay.
Zay zuwi naqyerde!
– Rutyoq tanritirer
yim kenoknuwazos.
Kezoqer zersumnu
yer sawi zunirrut.
Zersumir mo ngorde
nar kezosa marerde.

Nyumewi zerir keway.
Kirir, saer rutay:
– Rutyoq, zu wibam
kip ton rutosay.

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Qekhiavë – Naupali Script

I have just created this new constructed script for Naupali:

Click on the image in order to enlarge it


This script is an Abugida, each (consonantal) letter carries an inherent vowel (Ä, /a/), which may be replaced with other vowels by adding a diacritic. In addition to that, other diacritics may be added to each a consonant letter. For instance, a vertical stroke (a little Y) is added below the p’ä in Qenëwp’äylë (Naupali’s native name) to make it p’äy. The letters of a word can be connected, though this is optional.

Qekhiavë (which literally means something like “the script” in Naupali) was influenced by Tibetan script, though no characters were borrowed. Furthermore, this conscript could be considered to be featural to some extent: some characters are systematically derived from others (ejectives, for example, are generally formed by adding a little u-shaped glottal stop (Q) glyph). However, there are some exceptions due to Naupali’s phonological (con)history. Thus, H, Tl, Qh, Ts’ and Tś’ are written as if they where Ĥ’, Tþ, Kĥ, Þ’ and Ś’ (none of the latter sounds does actually exist in Naupali, so this is not ambiguous). Some orthographic irregularities have their roots in Naupali grammar. If one was to read literally the word Qekhiavë in the image above, the result would be Qekhiy. The reason for this is that the ia /iə̯/ in Qekhiavë comes from an i followed by the infix -y- (iy changes to ia so as not to be confused with a long i).

Near the lower right corner there are a pair of examples of Cursive Qekhiavë, a quicker (though not as nice) handscript style.

Un zijn sënabh anët… a poem in Efenol

[Note: So far, I’ve tried to publish weekly (though not always on the same weekday). However, started college a couple of weeks ago so I’ll have much less free time. Because of that, I won’t be able to publish so often.]

Today I’ll share with you a text in Efenol, one of my Spanish-based conlangs. I’ve made some changes to this language since the last time I wrote a post about it, so this text will show you how the as-of-yet most updated version of Efenol looks like.

The text I translated is an old Spanish ballad: Romance of the Lover and Death (in Spanish: Romance del Enamorado y la Muerte, notice that the word ‘romance’ here stands for a kind of ballads which were popular in Spain during the Middle Ages). As usual, a glossed text follows.

Romanth del’Enamoradh i a·Mhyrth

Un zijn sënabh anët,
sijnid de mhi alva.
Sënabh con mis’emër
c’en mi breith lo tenî.
Bi enthar mucher my blanch,
myt ma c’a·nîbh fir.
– Com ath enthadh Amor?
Com ath enthadh Bidh?
A·pyrth ethan therhadh,
binthein i thilëi.
– No së l’Amor, amanth;
së a·Mhyrth, Deo m’emî.
– Â, Myrth tan ryrô,
dech-me bivir un dî!
– Un dî no pydh ser,
un or tîz de bhidh.

My defirz se cgalthabh,
ma defirz se bhethî.
Sea se bha pâr a·gâl
don su amor bivî.

– Aver-mhe a·byrth, Blanca!
Aver-mhe a·byrth nîn!
– Com te podherê seo avir
si l’ogeithôn no ê benidh?
Mi pbadher no fy a·phaleith,
mi mhadher no eth dorvidh.
– Si no m’aver aor
sea no m’avirâ, ceridh!
A·Mhyrth m’eth buchan,
chunth ti, bidh serî!
– Ben-the bach a·bhenthan
don lavarbh i coî.
T’itarê un cordhôn de hedh
par ce hubh arhibh.
I si e·chordhôn no alchanth
mi trinth einadhirî!
A fin sedh se ronf;
a·Mhyrth c’alhi bhenî:
– Bam, enamoradh,
l’or sea eth cunfildh.

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Mizugana – Writing Mizuyu with Kana and Hangul

Last week, I introduced Mizuyu, my latest conlang. While its native script would consist of slightly modified Chinese characters and a native syllabary, it is possible to replace that syllabary with a mix of Katakana and Hiragana (Japanese moraic scripts collectively known as Kana).

As the phonologies of the Mizuyu varieties which may use Kana (Northern, Southern and Classical) and Japanese differ, these scripts had to be adapted. One of the most important changes is that while there is a Hiragana and a Katakana character for each syllable in Japanese (using one or another depends on factors other than pronunciation), they stand for different sounds in Mizuyu. For example, り (Hiragana ri) stands for li in Northern Mizuyu while リ (the same syllable in Katakana) becomes ri (a different Mizuyu syllable).

On the other hand, Damlé Mýný (another Mizuyu dialect which may be considered a language on its own) employs Hangul instead of the Kana. A number of modifications were also necessary to adapt this Korean alphabet to Swams (another name for Damlé Mýný).

Image #1 show Kana characters used for Classical Mizuyu (Misuŋyu Gäden):

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Water Languages

水語, the name of the conlang in Chinese characters

One of the most interesting things about Avatar (the American animated TV series) is its deeply developed world with complex cultures. I have had the idea of constructing a language inspired somehow by the show for months but I hadn’t begun to work on it until a few days ago. It is called Mizuyu (in its most spoken variety).

Of course, I am not associated with Avatar; The Last Airbender‘s creators (which, if I’m not wrong, are a branch of Nickelodeon Animation Studios), nor I claim any rights about anything of the series (such as names, etc). This project was just inspired by it (though the conlang may not be very faithful to some aspects of the series). There may be minor spoilers in this post, but nothing important will be said.

The only language spoken in the series is English (or whatever language it was dubbed into), which is quite a logical choice by the creators (otherwise the audience wouldn’t be able to understand much of the plot :P), but every single piece of text is written in Chinese, consistent with the Eastern-ish setting of the series.

Even though there are four nations (one for each element: Earth, Fire, Air and Water), it is implied that they share a language (people from one part of the world seem to have little if any problems to understand people from other continents, for example). The existence of different languages is not even mentioned. However. names do seem to vary from a nation to another. Sokka, for example, was easily recognized as a Water Tribes’ name by Fire Nation people.

I considered an alternative rendition of that word where different languages do exist (along a common language which would be Chinese, as in the written texts in the show). My conlang, as it can be inferred from the tittle, would be the language of my favorite nation on the series: the Water Tribes.

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A little bit of Lisnäit 9: Time units

As I explained in a previous post, Lisnäit uses base-12 numbers. This affects many areas of the language, one of them being the way Lisnäit speakers divide days and years. Today, I’m explaining Lisnäit time units, which are a rather complex area.

The fundamental time unit is the day, called  Sälna (plural säilna).However a day is consider to start when the sun rises, not at midnight (actually, it rather starts in a fixed hour in the morning, not at the actual sunrise).

Just like we do, Lisnäit speakers have weeks, but they are 12 days long. This groups of a dozen days are called yeselna (plural yeseilna). The first two days of a yeselna are free days (sort of a weekend), then there come 4 workdays, another free day and 5 more workdays. Of course, that’s the most usual arrangement, some people’s working schedules may be reorganized just as they are often modified in the real world. The duration of a Lisnäit month is variable, so weekly evaluations are more common than monthly evaluations.

With the exception of the first day (called sälnä’an), weekdays don’t have names. They are just referred as “second day” (sälna et) and so on.

Lisnäit’s is actually a lunisolar calendar: both moon and seasonal cycles are taken into account. A new month starts with the closest sälnä’an (the first day of a yeselna) to a night with a full moon. Should two sälnä’an be equally away from a full moon, the month would start with the last one. Because of this definition of a month, all months (and also all years) begin a new week (so there is no need for a calendar to know the weekday of a date), but the duration of a month can vary greatly, being either 2 yeseilna long (24 days) or 3 (36 days). The average duration of a month is roughly 2.5 yeseilna or 30 days (not unlike ours).

Years (called ‘äitayï, singular ‘ätayï) begin with the month whose first day is the closest to March equinox (when spring starts in the north hemisphere and autumn begins in the south). The duration of a year also varies, so a 365.25 days long tropic year (called i’ätayï) is often used for science, economy, astronomy, etc.

Not only a Lisnäit year may have a different amount of days, but also a different numbers of months. It can be either 12 or 13 months long. Unlike weekdays, months are named from the first to the last. Name etymologies are usually associated with Southern Hemisphere seasons.

  1. Lämna Nowi, young month (for being the first one). Near March.
  2. Lämna Rosnï, orange month (because of falling autumn leaves). Near April.
  3. Lämna Mämïräi, month of memory (there is a celebration where the past, ancestors and those who have passed away are commemorated during this month). Near May.
  4. Lämna Gälse, cold month (near (southern) winter). Approximately in June.
  5. Lämna Gäläis, ice month (winter). Near July.
  6. Lämna ʔäitäir, the month of the storms. Near August.
  7. Lämna Isäntäi, sunrise month (southern spring is coming, plants sprout again, which makes for a (metaphorical) sunrise). Near September.
  8. Lämna Kräinou, the month of passions (because of a celebration similar to St. Valentine’s day). Near October.
  9. Lämna Räisäil, flower month. October-November.
  10. Lämna Säläin, Sun’s month (because it is close to the southern Summer solstice). November-December.
  11. Lämna Fäinäir, fire-month (because of the bonfires of the December solstice celebrations). December-January.
  12. Lämna Kolïr, hot month (because of summer). January-February.
  13. Lämna Sonïm, additional month, leap month (because not all years have a 13th month). February-March

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Ejectives, ejectives everywhere!

Yet another language! I’m glad to introduce you to… Naupali.

Naupali is an a priori conlang and has two interesting features: its phonology and its grammar. What’s special about Naupali’s phonology? Well, that it is quite complex and that it has clicks and an unusually high amount of ejectives, including the ejective fricatives which are only used in a handful languages.

Naupali’s phoneme inventory is large: it consists of 58 consonants and 8 vowels plus diphthongs, vowel length, nasal vowels and some consonant clusters. Some Naupali words can be quite challenging to pronounce. The conlang’s native name, for example, is Qenëwp’äylë /ʔenɤwˈpʼajlɤ/ which, while not being so difficult to pronounce, is a bit too complicated to handle (that’s why I shorten it to Naupali). However, Naupali is much more restrictive than English as far as consonantal clusters are concerned.

This is the complete Naupali phoneme inventory (as well as an orthography key):

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Many countries, many conlangs

Some days ago, I started to translate the names of every single country in the world to four of my conlangs. It was rather a hard task… and a long one, there are so many countries out there! Nonetheless, it was a really interesting translation exercise. I also decided to include the names of the continental landmasses, some territories in dispute as well as the word for Earth itself. A full toponyms guide for alternative-word journalists 😉

I chose four conlangs which different ways o dealing with country names. The first one is Efenol. It’s based on Spanish, and so are its toponyms. However, many of them have been modified so much that it’s hard to recognize them (like Wân which bears little resemblance with “Uganda”). The second one is Inlush which, just as the former, is also based on an actual language (English), but sometimes with hardly recognizable results (who would say that Vanatu would end up being Fanwetó?). Then it comes Romanice. It’s a clearly Romance-based conlang and most toponyms are similar to those of other languages (Corea del Sur is also Spanish for South Korea, whereas Istati Uniti is almost Italian for US). The last conlang I chose is Tengoko, a mainly a priori language. Most Tengoko toponyms are based on the pronunciation of the name in the local language, with some exceptions such as Nuyem-Ryan’gek (Union Kingdom) for the United Kingdom.

(The list is after the read more tag)

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A little bit of Lisnäit 8: Sikäitt script

It’s been quite a long time since I last wrote a post about Lisnäit (the las little bit of Lisnäit was written in November!). As I promised back then, I’ll talk about Lisnäit’s native script: Sikäitt (it’s pronounced /siˈkäi̯tɨt/). Let’s go on to the following image:

On the top there lie the Sikäitt characters for S, I, K, Ä, I, T and T. On the bottom, the word Sikäitt.Well… we’ve got something odd here, haven’t we? Even though both are (in theory) the same letters, they look completely different from each other (except for the vowels, which didn’t seem to have changed at all)! How can that be?  That is one of the most important features of Sikäitt script: consonantal letters change their shapes according to their position, attaching to other letters next to them. Read the rest of this entry

Happy 2012!

Happy new year! Some time ago (last year, actually) I made a post on numbers across my conlangs. Since then, I’ve made many other languages (it’s hard to believe Lindavor was my latest conlang in July!), so it’s time I updated that list. In that post I used a relatively low number as an example: 15. This time, I’ll go for a larger one… 2012!

Note: If a language uses a base other than 10, it will be indicated in brackets after its name.

Eiduul sul (Modern Aiedain), Eituul suli (Old Aiedain)
/ei̯ˈduːl sul/, /ei̯tuːl ˈsuli/
Analysis: Eidh (2) × tul (1000) + sul (12)

Yan-ey ayebi
/janˈnej aˈjebi/
Analysis: Yan (13) × ey (144) + aye (132) + bi (8)

BARTXE (mixed 6, 12 and 10)
Tsusuq suraŋ
/t͡suˈsuq suˈɾaŋ/
Analysis: Su (2) × tsuq (1000) + su (2) × ra (6)

Analysis: N (number), C (2) × V (1000) + M (10) + C (2) Read the rest of this entry