CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - ONGOING (signups remain open)

Post by Iyionaku »

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.
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - ONGOING (signups remain open)

Post by shimobaatar »

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.
Well, I would personally prefer not to have my entire torch posted here. I think that decision should be left up to individual participants.
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - ONGOING (signups remain open)

Post by cedh »

Salmoneus wrote: 11 Sep 2020 16:44 I would hypothesise that mistranslations go through a cycle:

fraying > patching > reworking > fraying
Spoiler:
In phase 1, the text is more or less coherent. Translators feel confident in translating fairly directly. However, over time oddities build up, until the coherence of the text is threatened. During this phase, the sense remains largely intact, although many seeds of future shifts are sown. I've called this "fraying": the text gradually comes apart.

In phase 2, the text is problematic. The translator may still be able to make some sense out of it, but there are things they don't 'get' - nonetheless, they try to translate them as accurately as they can, even though this means the incoherence is maintained, or even added to. However, because they don't understand certain elements, they're no longer translating directly, meaning-for-meaning, but are having to actively try to make sense of what they've been given. During this phase, the core sense largely remains, but the drift becomes quicker, and in particular subunits start to move around, syntactically and semantically, as the translators have, as it were, little jigsaw pieces that individually they can translate, but they're not 100% sure how they're meant to fit together. I've called this "patching": the text has fallen into pieces, but the translators diligently try to keep the pieces stuck together somehow.

In phase 3, the text is unworkable. Something, the translator thinks, has clearly gone wrong here, and if they're going to deliver something that actually makes sense they're going to have to take control of the issue: they start making more guesses, they gamble on what they think it means and rephrase awkward phrasings with simpler expressions that they hope are accurate. At this point, big drifts can take place, if they guess wrong. I've called this "reworking": rather than diligently copying, the translator has felt the need to translate more loosely in order to keep things making sense.

In phase 4, the reworking has produced a coherent text again. However, we are back where we started and it begins to fray again.
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"
Ihtrìc "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
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - ONGOING (signups remain open)

Post by Salmoneus »

cedh wrote: 13 Sep 2020 20:33
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...
No, I agree with that idea - I just don't think that's the idea you applied!
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.
I think there's two separate issues here that I'd disagree with.

First, regarding 'making sense': if you're handed a text in French that says "the man refuses to wear a mask because covid is a hoax", you shouldn't 'translate' that into English as "the man wears a mask because he is a responsible citizen" - even though that English translation would of course, as you say, 'make more sense' than the original. Changing the events in a story because the characters are acting too foolishly for your liking is not translation!

So, I am sympathetic when it comes to making grammatical and conceptual sense. In fact, there's a few translations in this challenge I'd actually have issue with for the opposite reason: I think people should sometimes try harder to deliver actual coherent sentences in their translations, even if that sometimes means more radical reworking of the text. [because if the translation you pass on isn't coherent, what hope does the next person have?]

But I think that that linguistic, 'external' sense is a very different issue from a psychological, 'internal' sense - which is what is lacking when someone tries to commit a burglary on a crowded dance floor, or when someone refuses to wear a mask in a crowded public area. I don't think translators should alter the actions or motivations of characters in a story they're translating, just because they wouldn't have acted like that themselves.



And second, regarding the megalith: what we're dealing with here isn't even sense, but storytelling style. You've added a bunch of details because you feel it's wrong that "no scene has been set yet". You imagine that this text is meant to be the beginning of a narrative, and your aesthetic taste prefers stories that have extensive scene-setting over stories that start in media res. Which is fine, if you're a literary critic. But I don't think it's appropriate for a translation.

Now, I do have some sympathy. I agree with your idea of trying to produce a text that your conculture could plausibly have produced. This is why, for example, after some internal debate I decided to write the whole thing in the past tense - I just don't believe that a narrative of this nature and length would occur in Old Wenthish in a sustained present tense - in writing OR in speech. This is probably on the line of what I think should be done, and I wouldn't be surprised if some people felt I'd gone too far (after all, OW does have a grammatical present tense, so such a text is grammatically possible, probably). But I think it's OK both because a present tense narrative would be so unacceptable, and because the change I introduced is relatively small (eg the other ring also saw the text move to the past tense, and then back again to the present). I wouldn't, for example, be comfortable in rewriting a text in rhymed couplets just because a conculture prefered verse narratives.

But in this case, it's surely not about the conculture. Ronc Tyu speakers are able to say that somebody has left without 'setting a scene' and explaining where they've gone - even if there were an absolute cultural rule against in media res story onsets, the text is clearly meant to be part of a larger narrative anyway, so you'd only have to assume that this extract was not the beginning of the story.


Anyway, I'm not mad at you, I just don't think this is the best way to play the game.
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by Backstroke_Italics »

This was fun! I hope I don't miss the sign-ups for the next one. Any idea on when they might begin?
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by loglorn »

When people either ask for it or propose to run it TBH, but it usually takes at least six months between relays.
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by DesEsseintes »

Backstroke_Italics wrote: 16 Sep 2020 14:24 This was fun! I hope I don't miss the sign-ups for the next one. Any idea on when they might begin?
For the last few years I’d say we’ve averaged two relays a year. One in the summer and another in the winter holiday period. There is however nothing stopping people from organising relays at other times, provided there is interest.
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by anonymous123 »

DesEsseintes wrote: 16 Sep 2020 14:32
Backstroke_Italics wrote: 16 Sep 2020 14:24 This was fun! I hope I don't miss the sign-ups for the next one. Any idea on when they might begin?
For the last few years I’d say we’ve averaged two relays a year. One in the summer and another in the winter holiday period. There is however nothing stopping people from organising relays at other times, provided there is interest.
I'd certainly be interested, so remind me when there's a new relay happening!
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - ONGOING (signups remain open)

Post by sasasha »

Jackk wrote: 11 Sep 2020 13:31 Tune in next time for more Relay ShenanganryTM!
Just want to chime in my thanks to Jackk. This was really fun - it has felt like an epic journey continuingly checking in throughout lockdown to find out how far we have got, anticipating the results. I know Jackk has been on call for any queries for what feels like half a year. The texts were really interesting - both originally, and, of course, in development.

I learned loads about my conlang from creating my torch, so I'm also grateful for that reason. It's my first one and I definitely want to do it again.

The post-relay discussion has been interesting too! I think everyone knows this, but it's important to emphasise the extent to which different languages demand different levels of reframing in translation, especially when the source/target language differs significantly from them. The language I used has no verbs, is intended to ritualistically obscure meaning, currently only uses 144 roots, and is spoken in-world by people who have barely reached the Bronze Age. I get that creating whole new clauses of context is probably pushing the boundaries of the game, but when your tools are atypical cross-linguistically and limited culturally, you're going to develop some strange translation techniques.

And then there's the temptation to 'make it make sense' in a narrative sense. I did a few things to smooth out narrative inconsistencies - for instance, I remember that the torch I received introduced a verb with a pronoun subject at some point whose nominal referent I couldn't work out (which may very well have been my failing! Or perhaps such non-specificity was stylistic in the source lang, or perhaps the person before me was faithfully translating an ambiguity they had received). I decided to make this phrase yet more ambiguous and removed the subject entirely, but the temptation to go the other way and add in a referent was equally strong. What I most didn't want to do was to hand over something which I felt 'didn't make sense': I worried that it would be a bit of a mean translation challenge for the next person, if I couldn't explain my text's meaning fully myself! Maybe I missed the point here, but I felt or imagined a tacit understanding that we would not pass nonsense to each other. Hence I get where some people were coming from in wanting to add some narrative context to aid interpretation.

Another area where things can come apart is pragmatics. I think perhaps I was remiss not to translate what was clearly (in my source) a 'dance-floor' more literally. But I had just been writing up some stuff for my conculture about the mippi, the royal stage. Every Peoppaeq speaker knows that the royal(/sacred) stage is where one dances - and neither would a Peoppaeq speaker really 'get' what a 'dance-floor' is because their society doesn't do special floors solely for the purpose of dance. The next person in the relay chain didn't know all that, though, of course! And technically, Peoppaeq is capable of expressing 'a floor specifically for dance' (albeit clumsily, via calling dancing 'artfully rushingly [moving] with one's body'), so I could have been more literal, bearing in mind that the next person in a conlang relay is not the same audience as the imagined in-world audience from within your conculture!

Anyway, I've really enjoyed pondering the results and indeed the whole process. Thanks everyone, and thanks again, Jackk!
Last edited by sasasha on 17 Sep 2020 18:07, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - ONGOING (signups remain open)

Post by sasasha »

Salmoneus wrote: 11 Sep 2020 16:44 I would hypothesise that mistranslations go through a cycle:

coherent > incoherent > coherent

Or more accurately:

fraying > patching > reworking > fraying

In phase 1, the text is more or less coherent. Translators feel confident in translating fairly directly. However, over time oddities build up, until the coherence of the text is threatened. During this phase, the sense remains largely intact, although many seeds of future shifts are sown. I've called this "fraying": the text gradually comes apart.

In phase 2, the text is problematic. The translator may still be able to make some sense out of it, but there are things they don't 'get' - nonetheless, they try to translate them as accurately as they can, even though this means the incoherence is maintained, or even added to. However, because they don't understand certain elements, they're no longer translating directly, meaning-for-meaning, but are having to actively try to make sense of what they've been given. During this phase, the core sense largely remains, but the drift becomes quicker, and in particular subunits start to move around, syntactically and semantically, as the translators have, as it were, little jigsaw pieces that individually they can translate, but they're not 100% sure how they're meant to fit together. I've called this "patching": the text has fallen into pieces, but the translators diligently try to keep the pieces stuck together somehow.

In phase 3, the text is unworkable. Something, the translator thinks, has clearly gone wrong here, and if they're going to deliver something that actually makes sense they're going to have to take control of the issue: they start making more guesses, they gamble on what they think it means and rephrase awkward phrasings with simpler expressions that they hope are accurate. At this point, big drifts can take place, if they guess wrong. I've called this "reworking": rather than diligently copying, the translator has felt the need to translate more loosely in order to keep things making sense.

In phase 4, the reworking has produced a coherent text again. However, we are back where we started and it begins to fray again.
(I think this is absolutely on point, and it makes sense of the predicament I described above rather well.)
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by kiwikami »

This was great fun - major thanks to everyone who participated! Some neat things I noticed - the torch I received specifically mentioned a "stage", which I interpreted to mean the sort of thing one finds in a theater, and it looks like it was "stage" for a few rounds before that, where once it was a "dancefloor". The literal translation of the word used in Alál for a stage used in theatrical productions is "floor for dancing", and I gave "dancefloor" as a possible synonym/interpretation; this then seems to have led to the reemergence of the word "dancefloor" after its brief foray into "stage".

Also, some interesting things happened with verbs; Yrusia's grammar mentioned a deontic, which I wasn't entirely certain how to translate faithfully (looking at previous iterations, the intended meaning seems to have been "until X"). I made a guess and the English translation ended up with "I want to X" and "may X occur". Alál has its own deontic mood, which is a bit of a catch-all optative/desiderative and imperative, depending on person and a few other factors, so I used that for these. Such verbs are not usually marked for tense in Alál, so there was some ambiguity, and in the next round some of these ended up as future marked ("the gold piece shall be seen by them") and some as present ("the monarch's hoard is taken by me"). It also seems that nearly all of the transitive verbs were interpreted as passive (?) - I'm not sure how that one happened, but I'm sure it made later iterations of the torch a bit more challenging/interesting!

I think one of the things I really like in this kind of challenge is when words have multiple meanings and one has to pick which one is intended from context, either in English or in the conlang. The Alál word for "canyon" is an augmentative form of the word for "wound" and can equally well mean "deep wound/gash", so I provided both meanings; the wound one is what was passed forward, leading to the road later becoming "cracked". Similarly, I remember in a previous relay when a torch defined a word as "spring", which is delightfully semantically ambiguous.
sasasha wrote: 17 Sep 2020 17:28The post-relay discussion has been interesting too! I think everyone knows this, but it's important to emphasise the extent to which different languages demand different levels of reframing in translation, especially when the source/target language differs significantly from them. The language I used has no verbs, is intended to ritualistically obscure meaning, currently only uses 144 roots, and is spoken in-world by people who have barely reached the Bronze Age. I get that creating whole new clauses of context is probably pushing the boundaries of the game, but when your tools are atypical cross-linguistically and limited culturally, you're going to develop some strange translation techniques.
This is a good point; one can (and probably should) avoid creating too much new context, but there's definitely going to be some reframing (and I think that's a great word for it), especially if a conlang is tied to a con-culture. I wonder if a relay comprised entirely of languages without associated concultures would have a more conservative final result...

Good job, y'all!
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - ONGOING (signups remain open)

Post by spanick »

Salmoneus wrote: 13 Sep 2020 22:32 In fact, there's a few translations in this challenge I'd actually have issue with for the opposite reason: I think people should sometimes try harder to deliver actual coherent sentences in their translations, even if that sometimes means more radical reworking of the text. [because if the translation you pass on isn't coherent, what hope does the next person have?]
This is one that I know I'm guilty of. My English translation is a quite literal, sometimes disjointed rendering of my gloss from Asta. Compared to the last Relay, I felt I had a better understanding of Asta but I made some major mistakes which contributed to the disjointed nature of my English translation. For instance, I knew Asta had a couple coordinating conjunctions. I only ever saw one and I incorrectly translated it as 'and' in every instance.

What I find remarkable though is that while my translation was stilted, Jackk's English translation of Yinše is actually pretty close to Frislander's English translation.
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by Salmoneus »

kiwikami wrote: 17 Sep 2020 20:47This is a good point; one can (and probably should) avoid creating too much new context, but there's definitely going to be some reframing (and I think that's a great word for it), especially if a conlang is tied to a con-culture. I wonder if a relay comprised entirely of languages without associated concultures would have a more conservative final result...

Good job, y'all!
All conlangs have concultures, though, because you can't have language without culture.

In this text, for instance, any translator confronted with a phrase like "the baron's treasure chamber" is going to have to resolve some cultural problems: do the speakers of this language have barons? If not, who would be the equivalent? Do they have treasure-chambers? Of course, you can always say 'yeah, sure, whatever English culture has, my speakers will have too!' and make up word-for-word translations... but that's still imposing a conculture on them, it's just a conculture that's more similar to our own culture.



[on which note: thanks, Jackk, for appreciating the jarl! I was quite pleased to have the opportunity to insert a jarl into the story... although I was 99% sure that the jarl would not survive even a single translation (after all, how many of us have conlangs with a word specifically for 'jarl'?)]
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - ONGOING (signups remain open)

Post by shimobaatar »

sasasha wrote: 17 Sep 2020 17:28 Just want to chime in my thanks to Jackk. This was really fun - it has felt like an epic journey continuingly checking in throughout lockdown to find out how far we have got, anticipating the results. I know Jackk has been on call for any queries for what feels like half a year. The texts were really interesting - both originally, and, of course, in development.
[+1] Yes, absolutely! Thank you for organizing all this, Jackk!
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by kiwikami »

Salmoneus wrote: 17 Sep 2020 21:58All conlangs have concultures, though, because you can't have language without culture.

In this text, for instance, any translator confronted with a phrase like "the baron's treasure chamber" is going to have to resolve some cultural problems: do the speakers of this language have barons? If not, who would be the equivalent? Do they have treasure-chambers? Of course, you can always say 'yeah, sure, whatever English culture has, my speakers will have too!' and make up word-for-word translations... but that's still imposing a conculture on them, it's just a conculture that's more similar to our own culture.
Good point - I didn't articulate that idea super well and am not quite sure where I was going with it. I think I meant to express some difference between conlangs where a conculture was specifically created in parallel (such that thought has been given to non-linguistic aspects of that culture for purposes other than determining how a concept would be expressed in the conlang) and those in which this was not the case (e.g. in deciding vocabulary, the creator does indeed have to decide whether there's a specific word for "baron", but if the conculture isn't being developed outside of conlang-driven necessity, they may not give thought to a conculture's nobility system beyond resolving that decision). But these aren't really two camps, more of a spectrum, so it's probably not a useful distinction.

Though I do wonder if a few auxlangs could be considered intentionally "conculture-less" (not an auxlanger myself, so that could be completely wrong), or if certain engineered langs might be designed specifically to translate concepts as faithfully from the source language as possible (though admittedly with varying degrees of success and probably far less cultural "neutrality" that their designers probably intend, if such a thing even exists). Could be interesting to see a relay of auxlangs, or of romlangs or other langs that share some common design idea.
sasasha wrote: 17 Sep 2020 17:28Just want to chime in my thanks to Jackk. This was really fun - it has felt like an epic journey continuingly checking in throughout lockdown to find out how far we have got, anticipating the results. I know Jackk has been on call for any queries for what feels like half a year. The texts were really interesting - both originally, and, of course, in development.
[+1]
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

:eng: :mrgreen: | :fra: [:)] | ASL [:S] | :deu: [:|] | :tan: [:(] | :nav: [:'(]
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by Linguifex »

A few more remarks about my mangling of the relay text. I want to stress that I am not complaining about littlesalmon's torch; I have no negative feelings towards littlesalmon or their work. This is for elucidation purposes.

- Echoing what others have said: Thanks for organizing this, Jackk!
- When I saw a word defined as 'traceur' in an opening statement that basically seemed like it was intended to be "Hi, I'm a traceur", it made me think that the original relay text was something related to a game I've never played, namely Tracer from Overwatch. I believe that may have influenced my understanding of the text (like the "for the sake of a cohesive timeline" part).
- Speaking of, there was a word in that sentence for which the gloss given was 'relating to time; timelike; having time', which is where I think the "cohesive timeline" actually got anchored. Additionally, the word for 'heap' appears to have been a multiple-word construction that I didn't realize was supposed to refer to one noun. There was also a word glossed 'united, unified, etc.'. I remember having significant difficulty with that phrase; what was translated was the best I could do. I suppose that the inner mechanics of how I mistranslated that phrase make more sense than you would gather from how the translations surfaced.
- CT only distinguishes three terms for color: Black/dark/cool, white/light/warm, and red. That's where some of the changes in hue originated.
- The "cramped-feeling sky" was due to the interplay of three lexical entries that meant 'sky', 'big', and 'NEGATION PARTICLE'.
- As I said before, the CT term for 'segment' literally means 'worm-part', the metaphor being it's like the segments of an earthworm or something.
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Salmoneus
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by Salmoneus »

Oh, incidentally: the reason Ring 1 ended up with a box instead of a treasure-chamber is also me. The speakers of Old Wenthish don't have a lot of rooms - they're more the longhouse kind of people - and I decided it would be odd for them to talk about a 'treasure hall' or the like. Instead, I used the word cleobó (here in oblique form as -clibin). This originally comes from the verb "to cleave", and in Proto-Germanic meant an apartment or compartment - that that has been split off from the whole, and in Old Wenthish it can still be used for a distinct room... but it's more likely to be a closet, wardrobe or cupboard. Indeed, in this case, the Jarl is more likely to have a treasure-closet or treasure-cupboard than an entire treasure-vault, Wenthish jarls not being particularly wealthy - although the treasure-cleobó could indeed be a small independent room in some cases.

[The English cognate is 'cleve', although this is a rather obscure word now. I'm all for going back to banks having "mathom cleves" rather than "vaults", though...]

It's a little bit of a shame we didn't have the shaman's magical cupboard throughout the story...
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - FINISHED!!

Post by Iyionaku »

I will give a few more words to the alterations I introduced to ring 2 too. In general I think I did a quite solid job, but still a few things happened.

Changes from shimobaatar's torch to my translation:
Spoiler:
sister --> older sister

This one is clearly my fault. Shimo had the entry āšš-: n. (older) sister and I continued to translate it as "older sister" even though "sister" would have been the default option. Immediately after I passed the torch to alynnidalar, it became apparent to me that this was propably not in the text, but it was too late.

his precious belongings --> their precious possessions

Also my error: shimo used the word ḥunyas which was clearly defined as 3rd person singular possessive, yet I somehow screwed this.

I must find these emeralds (...) and escape under the dark night --> I find these emeralds (...) and I have to escape them under the dark night

What caught me off guard here is the following phrase which I glossed like this:

lib-wuffusulam lōs-sē yēwujarrū.
as-necessity with-1SG be-IND
I have to

Shimo gave some examples to this structure and it appeared to me that it can mean both, necessity or possibility. I went for necessity, which was in fact correct; what I didn't understand is that that last subordinate clause actually refers to the entire monster sentence - not just to its last part! Therefore, the shift above happened. I don't blame myself for that because it was indeed a very difficult structure.

My sister really should give me easier targets. --> My older sister will give me the finds easier.

The only big mistake I did. I don't really understand how this happened, as when I now look at shimo's gloss it looks so clear that it needs to be in a subjunctive mood and therefore the future doesn't make sense. The shift from "target" to "find" was caused by me misinterpreting a word part. The noun in shimo's torch was miccaḫēryat, which can be analysed as follows:

miccaḫēr-iyat
target-PL.ABS

However, I misanalyzed it as follows:

micca-ḫēr-iyat
find-PP-PL.ABS

Therefore, I thought it should mean "the things that have been found" or similar --> the findings. I kinda knew that it was not correct, but I just didn't see the entry for miccaḫēr in the dictionary! (Yes, it was there.)
Changes from Yélian to Parlox (that I can explain easily):
Spoiler:
spinning crowd --> insane crowd

Yélian has a word dezér which I defined in the dictionary as "insane, crazy, delirial; also: spinning, going crazy (at a party)".

alleyway --> narrow street

This one is completely on me unfortunately, because I forgot to give the meaning of acerquot as "alleyway" in the dictionary. I only provided acer "street" and quot "narrow".

that I stole out of the lord’s vault joining the party, and that I scatter their precious possessions -> which was stolen from the chest of the lord until half of their valuable possessions are returned

That one I'm not sure about, especially I cannot see where the "half" came from; also, I never used passive in the text.

My older sister will give me the finds easier. --> Ø

[:)] As described earlier, propably caused by me using a line break to separate the sentence from the rest of the text. I will not do this again in further relays as it didn't really add anything.
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Re: CBB Conlang Relay XII - ONGOING (signups remain open)

Post by Reyzadren »

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 Iyionaku, this is my torch that was batonpassed to the next participant.
There's nothing notable here though, except perhaps king's heap and #reversepolarity

Spoiler:
Image

[Romanisation]
vozh zaeils zhed shur oezpeshan aesk, zhas tuloke eshpludant aesk zher blezendvazhiain coik yurdand aesk. aesk jiskat zhaed yadaind iant shur az guiski, ut az guldi talsi. vozh shuig, zhas flomi thar jiskan aesk zher aesk kunda zher iant daekain thar oejzan. uarki thaeirgae krui vals kauzan aesk zher saethae jursh. zoiroekmulk koen jiskan raeses. gyshgroug koen yuhi iukand zhas 4 tasen, xaskes guld yuhi aeidan.




[Morpheme list]
See below for affixes.

aeid; out
aesk; 1SG
az; is
bleza; crack
coik; road
daeki; big
flomi; small
guiski; white
guldi; dark
groug; place
gysha; dance
iant; sky
iuk; in
jiska; see
jursh; heap
kauza; take
koen; shall
krui; blue
kunda; stand
mulk; shard
oejza; overlook
pesh; sense
plud; group
raes; 3SG
saeth; king
shuig; night
shur; NEG
talsi; purple
tas; side
thaeirg; sibling
thar; moon
tuloke; traceur
uarki; old
ut; but
xask; afterward
vals; jewel
vazh; attribution particle
vozh; during
yada; burn
yuhi; fast
yurda; walk
zaeil; time
zhaed; reversor COMP
zhas; anti-trigger. It removes the effects of triggers.
zhed; reversor REL
zher; then
zoiroek; gold

esh+; reverse prefix
oez+; intra prefix
+a; verb suffix. Susceptible. It is an active trigger by default, unless interrupted by
+n; passive suffix. Susceptible. It is a passive trigger by default, unless interrupted by
+d; circumstantial suffix
+ae; possessive suffix
+e; source noun suffix. Susceptible. Epenthesis.
+s; collective plural suffix
+i; adjective suffix
+t; phasal TAM




[Conlang blurb]
Griuskant is a conlang for a fictional world that includes magic and technology as well as contemporary yet surreal themes. It has agglutinative morphology, SVO word order, trigger alignment, head-final phrases and a phonemic alphabetic conscript. Other features include affixations, prepositions, regular stress, no definiteness, no tenses and no agreement conjugations.


[Trigger mechanics in griuskant]
* All triggers are backwards-facing.
* The stateparameters of the triggers are: active=FORWARD, passive=REVERSE and circumstantial=SINK (aka indirect object or dative).
* All triggers are short-ranged, so they usually have a range of 1 phrase. Also, they do not seek any other (null) markers.
* All triggers are generally unidirectional, but the circumstantial trigger as well as the anti-trigger can be bidirectional.
* All triggers are susceptible to interruptions. The most stablised is the circumstantial trigger, however its forward-redirection function could be interrupted and thus be deactivated by an anti-trigger.
kiwikami wrote: 17 Sep 2020 20:47Such verbs are not usually marked for tense in Alál, so there was some ambiguity, and in the next round some of these ended up as future marked ("the gold piece shall be seen by them") and some as present ("the monarch's hoard is taken by me"). It also seems that nearly all of the transitive verbs were interpreted as passive (?) - I'm not sure how that one happened, but I'm sure it made later iterations of the torch a bit more challenging/interesting!

I wonder if a relay comprised entirely of languages without associated concultures would have a more conservative final result...
There are no tenses in my conlang too. Additionally, the English translation from Alál is based on the torch/gloss that you provided (or what I think it says).
It is easier to time-axisly parse most of those sentences into the passive voice here, transitivities ought not cause problems.

Agreed. It is possible to have a conlang without a conculture. In situations where this may not be true, one would need to define the criteria of "conculture".
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