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Ti keig unjulau

Or, if you prefer:

Oh, you don't read Semborain? Allow me to translate: I am crazy.

(But I'm having fun being that way, and I'm assisted in my madness by Holly Lisle's Create a Language Clinic. One of the best things I got out of this clinic is summed up in her claim: Discover new concepts your characters think and use--that don't translate into English.* The language building has also helped me strengthen existing plot points, discover others, and deepen characters. Insanity and usefulness, that's my cup of tea.)

I have to wrap up this particular brand of craziness today, though, because I have a few other things to see to before I begin actual story-spinning on July 1st. I'm getting antsy to return to drafting prose. Worldbuilding is all well and good, as is planning, but during this last break from writing, I've come to see that my moods are a lot better when I'm able to pen my stories and interact with the characters through Events rather than character sheets and the like.
* HELP! As fun as making languages is, I don't want to go overboard and am therefore having a bit of a dilemma as to when to use an English equivalent and when to employ the invented language name. I'd appreciate it if you could take a moment to give me your feedback. (This is for an alternate world fantasy novel. Tech level and flavor: ancient civilization.)

Example 1: Without going into a lot of detail, in English, I want to use the terms "sympath" and "sapient" to refer to certain people. The invented language equivalents are, respectively--and tentatively--"veleloi" and "wieloi." Sympath and sapient certainly sound very modern to me, but I like that they hint at the abilities of my characters. Veleloi and wieloi are definitely less likely to stick out amidst the other names.

Example 2: I have a part of my world whose name, Sine'drilee, translates to Witherwilds. I love Witherwilds, but again, will it look funny alongside other place names like Vasra Madi, Liloidaa, and Soesra Seo?


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
Jun. 30th, 2008 07:07 am (UTC)
Um, could you be less sparing when you clarify that for me? :D
Jun. 30th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Less is more. >;-)
Jun. 30th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
Less English?

Ok, gotcha.


...kidding, of course.
Jun. 30th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Eek - that's a tough one!

As much as I love Tolkien and admire his invention of languages for LOTR etc, he does always (well, almost) give the English 'translation' alongside his Elvish, Dwarvish etc. If he didn't, it would be much too indigestible. I think the result for non-linguists is to admire the sound of the "foreign stuff" occasionally but generally to stick with the translation.

I think what I'm saying is, I'd stick with the English equivalent (particularly for terms like 'sympath') where you can. The invented language equivalents won't have the same resonance with the readers, but can be sprinkled here and there to give flavour.

~Edited to add a bit & to delete a bit ;-) ~

Edited at 2008-06-30 02:08 pm (UTC)
Jun. 30th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
What foolingagain said.
Jun. 30th, 2008 05:16 pm (UTC)
She is a wise one. :D
Jun. 30th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
WAAAAAAhahahahahahaha!! *splutter, cough, splutter*
Jun. 30th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
Perfect icon for that outburst of glee. :P
Jul. 1st, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
I'm such a sucker for a good icon. Yours are even better, though, because you make your own, you creative person!

I think I may have to buy space for more - suddenly 35 doesn't seem many. Not like it did when I first upgraded....
Jul. 2nd, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)
*lol* I share the icon love. When I got a permanent account, I'll admit that the number of icons was a big draw. However, what really decided me was getting rid of that horrible white screen that all unpaid accounts share. So ugly, so graceless.
Jun. 30th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
*nods* That's my feeling, too. I was just worried about the weirdness of having one term be in the invented language and another in English, ie what impression the reader would have. I don't intend to give long speeches or anything like that in my invented languages--what I'm doing is for my own benefit and amusement--but I do want a little of the exotic flavor to creep through, which is what you said in this edited comment (I had first replied to the other and then thought I'd best see how you'd edited before hitting "post reply). :)

Jun. 30th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
I think that as long as you run them in tandem, making it clear which are place/people's names (and what they mean, if it's appropriate) and which are phrases or terms that are "untranslatable but roughly equivalent to" (like with some French terms & words), you should be okay. In theory *g*

(Wow, long sentence. Sorry!)
Jun. 30th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
We likes long sentences, we do. :P And ones that completely ignore the rules of personal pronouns and verb conjugation.
Jul. 1st, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
Rules? There are rules?
Jul. 2nd, 2008 05:58 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
No, I don't think so. I just said that to scare you. >:)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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