Relay 10/R (introduction)

List of translations

Original text


(non-English characters orgainized as if they were only base character)

Adanu proper noun God
am i.v. to be
äyibam t.v. to prevent
äyibam von t.v. to prevent from
bänye noun house
bänotram t.v. to devour
bavon see grammar notes
bernam modal v. to be supposed to; should
bïfa see grammar notes
blodov adj. wary
dehu adv. currently, for now
dusčam t.v. to tear (into pieces)
em conj. and (listing objects)
en conj. and (connecting phrases)
ertam i.v. to start
pronoun him/her/it (3rd person singular primary accusative)
pronoun he/she/it (3rd person singular primary nominative)
fi ¿prep.: dat? possessive of
gafbi noun (male) baby
grav(e) prep.: acc. about
gunsatuham t.v. to entertain
hiltam t.v. to hold, to keep
jivam i.v. to come
karam t.v. to take care of, look after
lehor adj. beautiful
lon pronoun us (1st person plural dative)
luhïčme noun question (č + s → ţ, č + š → č)
mänta noun girl
mel pronoun to him/her/it (3rd person singular secondary dative)
meť pronoun he/she/it (3rd person singular secondary nominative)
možeho adj./adv. quiet, still (no movement)
muwel noun window
na particle negation particle
pronoun which (accusative interrogative)
polisi noun police
pram t.v. to do
pagam i.v./t.v. to know (someone/something)
rať prep.: dat. with
raž adj. young
redam modal v. to be able to; can
rëlahifrä modified adj. with en: and so on*
ri prep.: acc./dat. into/in
ša pronoun that/this (accusative)
tëlit noun child
ťis prep.: acc./dat. out
tisvu conj. nevertheless
to conj. but
ťo pronoun I (1st person singular nominative)
ťon pronoun we (1st person plural nominative)
tožram t.v. to play
ťu pronoun what (nominative interrogative)
ťurtam i.v. to happen
untešan pronoun yesterday
uranu noun remains, rest, remnents*
vrënam t.v. to attack
yejam t.v. to throw
zeţam t.v. to ask
zinam i.v. to sing
zo conj. so

Quick notes on word formations

rëlahifrä : rëla adj. far + -hif comparative ending (English/German -er) + -rä No direct translation, loosly translated as 'like' or 'as'

uranu : ura adv. still (as in 'He's still working') + -nu adjective/adverb->noun transformation ending


Justin Michalczak

Amtin blodov grave gafbisa!

O Adanu, ťu ťurtev? Untešan jivev mäntahu lehor raž ri bänyesa filon, bïfa gafbisa karam. Eť prev ša, oš eť redev pradu, bïfa tëliţa gunsatuham: Eť tožrev rať mel, zinev mel, en rëlahifrä. To tisvu vrënevem meť eš, dusčevem eš, bänotrevem eš, en yejevem meť uranusa ťis muwelsa. Ťu ‘me bernako pradu? Ťo pagi na. En zo hiltin ťon dehu ťurpäša možeho, bïfa polisisan äyibam, bavon ertepäla luhïţun zeţam.

Beware the baby!

O God, what happened? Yesterday a beautiful young girl came into our house to care for the baby. She did what she could do to entertain the child: She played with it, sang to it, and so on. But nevertheless it attacked her, tore her into pieces, devoured her, and it threw the rest out the window. What shall be done? I don’t know. And so for now we keep this quiet to prevent the police from starting to ask questions.

Strict translation

Be wary of the baby!

O God, what happened? Yesterday came a girl beautiful young into the house of us, in order to care for the baby. She did that, which she could do, in order to the child entertain: She played with it, sang to it, and so further. But nevertheless attacked it her, tore her (into pieces), devoured her, and threw it the rest out the window. What shall be done? I don’t know. And so hold we currently this happening quiet, in order to the police prevent, from starting to questions ask.

Ok, nothing real special about the language. I just felt like making one, and put it together piece by piece. It has influences from German and English, some of which are obvious and some more subtle. The syllabic structure is a simplistic (C(l, r))V(C). Because of this some endings have an extra vowel in parenthesis (such as -(a)du from the verb section) which is added if needed to keep the syllabic structure in tact.

Quick notes on grammar

  • Follows conjugated-verb-has-second-position rule, as in German, except it is much more consistent. Unconjugated verbs appear in varying positions based on the type of construction they are in. For the most part, this will normally result in a SVO word order.
  • Nouns and pronouns have 3 cases: Nominative, accusative, and dative; and two numbers: singular and plural. Nouns (but not pronouns) also have 4 additional forms that are similar to articles: Absolute singular (this/that one cat), definite specific (the cat), definite general (this/that cat, these/those cats), and indefinite (cat or a cat). Pronouns have no gender. Finally, nouns drop the ending -me when any ending is added.
  • Verbs are fully conjugated by person, number, and tense, but still require the subject in all cases EXCEPT multiple actions done by the same subject, listed using en (and) or ke (or). Progressive and repeated/habitual actions are handled using particles.
  • Second person has familiar and formal forms. Third person also has two forms, simply providing a way to keep track of two objects at once using pronouns. (The translation above provides an excellent framework for this; and refer to the girl, and meť, meš, and mel refer to the baby.) This helps to make up for the lack of gender distinction in pronouns.
  • Prepositions follow German style; they are accusative, dative, or two-way (accusative to show motion, dative to show location). This will be indicated in the vocabulary.
  • Adjectives follow the noun, and are completely uninflected. Once again following German, there is no difference between adjectives and adverbs.

Verbs always end in -am, which is removed to form the stem (exception am (to be), which is its own stem). The following verb forms are used:

  • -tin : Formal imperative (command); Note verb moves to 1st position since it's doing the job of both verb and subject
  • -ev : Third person singular primary, past tense
  • -evem : Third person singular secondary, past tense
  • -e : Third person singular primary, present tense
  • -i : First person singular, present tense
  • -in : First person plural, present tense

Also of note is the present tense conjugation of am, which is slightly irregular:

  • ťo ami : I am
  • di 'ma : you (familiar) are
  • ti amam : you (formal) are
  • eť 'me : he/she/it (primary) is
  • meť 'mem : he/she/it (secondary) is
  • ťon amin : we are
  • din 'man : you (familar plural) are
  • tin amano : you (formal plural) are
  • neť 'men : they (primary) are
  • men ameno : they (secondary) are

Also seen are the following forms:

  • Modal: The modal verb is conjugated, followed by the main verb with the ending -(a)du.
  • Passive: am is used as the conjugated verb, followed by the main verb with the ending -(a)ko.
  • ba phrases: Corresponds to English 'to _____' or German 'zu ______'. Verb keeps stem, but is moved to the end of the phrase. If the phrase is an object of a preposition, then the preposition is concatenated to ba (as in bavon above).
  • bïfa phrases: Corresponds to English 'in order to _____' or German 'um zu _____'. Verb keeps stem, but is moved to the end of the phrase.
  • Gerund: Add the ending -(e)pä- + noun case/article ending.

Here is the full list of noun endings (listed as nominative, accusative, dative). Plural simply appends -n. Note that č + s/z → ţ, j + s/z → ds, č + š/ž → č, and j + š/ž → j:

  • Absolute singular (no plural): -det, -des, -der
  • Definite specific: -ha, -sa, -ra
  • Definite general: -ťa, -ša, -la
  • Indefinite: -hu, -su, -ru

That should be all that's needed for translation with the vocabulary.

© Jan van Steenbergen, Justin Michalczak, 18 Oct. 2004