Salmoneus wrote: ↑
11 Sep 2020 16:44
I would hypothesise that mistranslations go through a cycle:
fraying > patching > reworking > fraying
A very good summary of what happens in a relay!
Salmoneus wrote: ↑
11 Sep 2020 13:06
Maybe next time we need to get a bit more on the same page with the concept? I thought we were just translating the text, but some participants appear to have thought that we were each writing our own new texts loosely based on the same narrative - so in many cases you can't follow particular expressions as they evolve through the text, because they're just dropped or added to willy-nilly.
Surely the point of the exercise is to see how wildly the text can change accidentally, through translation, rather than how much we can intentionally embellish or alter the story?
I agree with the goal of the exercise, but apparently I interpret the role of the translator differently, focusing on delivering a coherent text that could plausibly exist in the conculture, while still preserving as much as possible of the text I receive. Unfortunately, the latter is a bit difficult when parts of the text already start to get beyond the patching phase...
For instance, and not to pick on them, but Cedh's story, while evocative, is clearly in no way a 'translation' of the text he was given. It appears, for example, that he took a clause that he translated as "they left", and replaced it with a clause that he translated as "the people continued to dance and sing in their ritual, walking away towards the sacred megalith". That's not a translation, that's a new story!
Likewise, "it was easy to steal a full pile of things" becomes "I easily managed to find the amulet among the magical herbs and other strange things". And "I needed to go to the party" becomes "I needed to take my chance right now while everyone else was away at the celebrations for the spring equinox".
I mean, I know that some words will have to be changed to fit the cultural demands the language has to meet - I get "aristocrat" becoming "shaman", for instance. But I can't believe that any real language lacks a word or phrase for "to leave" that doesn't literally translate to "to continue to dance and sing in one's ritual as one walks away toward the sacred megalith". That's not "a small amount of semantic elaboration to make it make sense"! No wonder this one stage increased the text by 50%!
If you were called to the stand in court and asked to translate "they left" into Ronc Tyu, would you really under oath give that translation?
No. The shortest possible translation would simply be twín kein zúc
"people move_away_from_speaker walk", but even there I'd have to specify both the point of departure and the manner of motion, and it would still feel like a fairly incomplete sentence in many contexts, especially in the third sentence of a narrative when no scene has yet been set, like here. And the second reason why I added the ritual and the megalith was that I felt I needed an explanation for having both a large celebration and a deserted dancefloor at the same time. This is also why my protagonist doesn't "go to the party" anymore; doesn't stealing things make much more sense when nobody is around? But I have to admit that after having seen Jackk's original text, now I understand much more of the text I received. And maybe I shouldn't have focused that much on producing a narrative that can stand alone.
Salmoneus wrote: ↑
11 Sep 2020 14:39
The Red Dot Far Away, Moving
[...] this expression literally means "the farther(most) red fleck", intended to be taken in a sense like "the final visible speck of red", but Click has not unreasonably gone with the more literal "the farther-away red spot". This then seems to have become "a red speck... from far away" (the adjective getting mislaid), which cedh translated nicely as "a red dot somewhere far away". But Cedh then took a gamble and replaced this with "the sun... like a red gemstone". [I don't know whether 'dot' translates regularly as 'gemstone' in Ronc Tyu, or if that's an embellishment].
Meanwhile, because I changed 'had lost all red' to 'all red had gone', we developed some motion. The word I used translates to 'leave (not to return), disappear (from), die, be extinguished', but Click understandably went with a more literal "move away from". This then went back to 'disappear from', then 'descend', then 'hurry', and so on. [Cedh momentarily had the more intriguing "I disappeared as a red dot", but evidently thought better of this fanciful notion and replaced themselves with the sun...]
So "lost all trace of red" becomes "the sun rises into the sky like a gem"
"gemstone" in Ronc Tyu is indeed an embellishment, but not a big one. A more abstract word that literally means "dot, point" didn't feel quite right for a pre-literate culture, and a word meaning "speckle, stain" didn't seem to fit for the sun. And the first person reference in my translation of the previous text was actually not a pronoun, but the literal interpretation of a same-subject affix that might have been either a transcription error of my predecessor or a translation error on my part, so I changed it into something that made more sense in context.
The cloudless clouds
[...] I didn't want to have to say "the cloudless clouds", so I went with what I think OW would have used in practice: the blue clouds. Unfortunately, the word for "blue" is also the word for "green", so I literally translated "the cloudless sky" as "the green clouds". Fortunately, Click realised this and stuck with 'blue'. However, this introduces clouds into what should be a cloudless story.
I don't understand really what happens to them. They gain a collective noun, becoming a herd of clouds (nice!), before Cedh claims to have eradicated them entirely, translating them as simply "the sky". And yet ixals, after Cedh, is talking about a herd of clouds again, so unless that's a massive coincidence, I don't think Cedh's story itself is a direct translation of the Ronc Tyu text!
Well, I did translate the "herd of clouds" literally (zèc vei léi
), but the next sentence had yet another switch-reference affix with no obvious plausible referent (neither "I" nor "the sun" are likely to turn blue and dark), so I reintroduced the "sky" (myòu
), but missed that it could have been the intended subject in the previous sentence too. This word, by the way, is polysemous with the notion of "weather (in general)", so in certain circumstances it can indeed mean "clouds", but that's a secondary effect.
Iyionaku wrote: ↑
12 Sep 2020 11:07
Jackk, is it possible for you to also post the full torches of every participant? It's always interesting to me how other people structure the torches, and it might also shed some light on certain mistranslations if you can see how the torch was structured and its vocabulary is described.
For anyone who's interested, my full torch is here, including an interlinear gloss: http://www.frathwiki.com/User:Cedh_audmanh/CBBCRXII