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Re: [elfscript] Re: yeah yeah, another translation request

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... above sender thinks that it would be according to Helge s F. site which is about *his* views of the matter and is (in my opion) far removed from
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 2, 2002
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      > > > Yeats': "I have spread my dreams beneath your feet."

      Gildor Inglorion offered these Quenya and Sindarin renderings:

      > > Apaalien olorinyar nuu taalulyat
      > >
      > > Peliannen ely niin di-dail lin

      Laurifindil wrote:

      > This "translation" is by no mean a Quenya or Sindarin text but what the
      above sender thinks that it would be according to Helge's F. site which is
      about *his* views of the matter and is (in my opion) far removed from
      Middle-earth's Elvish as made up by J.R.R. Tolkien.

      Let us hope there are at least some tenuous connections between Tolkien's
      Elvish and our current reconstructions of it. But JRRT being dead, any
      present-day Quenya or Sindarin text by definition represents merely the
      writer's "views" or understanding. Non-Tolkien Eldarin texts could only
      attain the same level of "authority" as Tolkien's own texts if he were to
      look over them and say "yeah, this is correct Elvish"...and for the
      post-1973 part of eternity, that is not an option. So we use what we have
      and do the best we can.

      I largely agree with Gildor's translation. _Nuu_ should be _nu_, I guess,
      and _taal_ "foot" has the stem-form _tal-_. Using the dual marker _u_ as a
      connecting vowel before the ending _-lya_ is a plausible extrapolation
      based on the general system (though of course we can't be sure that "this
      is how Tolkien would have done it"). _Apaalien olorinyar nu talulyat_ is
      certainly understandable and generally "plausible" Quenya, which is really
      all we can aim for.

      Same with the Sindarin suggestion. _Ely_ "dreams" is a Sindarin update of
      the Noldorin plural _elei_. _Lin_, or rather _lîn_, as a word for "your"
      represents an extrapolation also used in Movie Sindarin. Apparently we will
      soon have a Tolkien-made Sindarin word for "your", since Tolkien's partial
      Sindarin translation of the Lord's Prayer is supposed to be published in
      the next issue of VT; Tolkien must at least have gotten to "your name" in
      the second line. (Any updates on the next VT, by the way? I believe it is
      now more than a month since if was first announced as "upcoming"...)

      _Peliannen_ for "I spread" is based on three assumptions: that the past
      tense of _pelia-_ is _peliant_ (certainly many A-stem verbs are seen to
      take the ending _-nt_ in the past tense), that _peliant_ becomes _peliann-_
      before a vowel (this is in accordance with the most typical version of
      Grey-elven phonology, though Tolkien might also have used _pelianth-_ if he
      was in that mood), and that before a pronominal ending like _-n_ "I" we
      would see the connecting vowel _e_ (this is supported by Tolkien's form
      _ónen_ "I gave"). If this line of deduction is sound, _peliannen_ would
      work for "I spread". It is not "certain", of course, but it is not the
      product of wild, unfounded speculation either.

      The greatest uncertainty has to do with the preposition _di_ "beneath"; I'm
      not sure what kind of mutation we have in Tolkien's phrase _di' nguruthos_;
      the _'_ may indicate something peculiar. Perhaps _di dail_ is a correct
      rendering of "beneath...feet", but then it could also be _di thail_ or
      something even weirder. I'd say, rather use _nu_ here, since this
      preposition is almost certainly followed by the soft mutation.

      _Peliannen ely nîn nu dail lîn_, then. For _lîn_ substitute Tolkien's own
      word for "your" if it does become available soon (assuming that he did use
      another word...in several cases, post-Tolkien extrapolations have turned
      out to be very close to his own ideas, when more material became
      available!)

      Sorry, this was more about the languages as such than about the scripts...

      - HF
    • laurifindil
      ... I reccomend a change to the last line to something like : I, Helge, use these languages as I see it fit to the best of what I would like that these
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 3, 2002
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        --- In elfscript@y..., "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@n...>
        wrote:
        > > > > Yeats': "I have spread my dreams beneath your feet."
        >
        > Gildor Inglorion offered these Quenya and Sindarin renderings:
        >
        > > > Apaalien olorinyar nuu taalulyat
        > > >
        > > > Peliannen ely niin di-dail lin
        >
        > Laurifindil wrote:
        >
        > > This "translation" is by no mean a Quenya or Sindarin text but what the
        > above sender thinks that it would be according to Helge's F. site which is
        > about *his* views of the matter and is (in my opion) far removed from
        > Middle-earth's Elvish as made up by J.R.R. Tolkien.
        >
        > Let us hope there are at least some tenuous connections between Tolkien's
        > Elvish and our current reconstructions of it. But JRRT being dead, any
        > present-day Quenya or Sindarin text by definition represents merely the
        > writer's "views" or understanding. Non-Tolkien Eldarin texts could only
        > attain the same level of "authority" as Tolkien's own texts if he were to
        > look over them and say "yeah, this is correct Elvish"...and for the
        > post-1973 part of eternity, that is not an option. So we use what we have
        > and do the best we can.
        >

        I reccomend a change to the last line to something like :

        I, Helge, use these languages as I see it fit to the best of what I
        would like that these languages were.

        And forget the "we", will you...
      • silverfingered_fling
        ... what the ... which is ... from ... Tolkien s ... any ... merely the ... only ... were to ... the ... we have ... I don t mean to sound impertinent, but I
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 3, 2002
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          --- In elfscript@y..., "laurifindil" <ejk@f...> wrote:
          > --- In elfscript@y..., "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@n...>
          > wrote:
          > > > > > Yeats': "I have spread my dreams beneath your feet."
          > >
          > > Gildor Inglorion offered these Quenya and Sindarin renderings:
          > >
          > > > > Apaalien olorinyar nuu taalulyat
          > > > >
          > > > > Peliannen ely niin di-dail lin
          > >
          > > Laurifindil wrote:
          > >
          > > > This "translation" is by no mean a Quenya or Sindarin text but
          what the
          > > above sender thinks that it would be according to Helge's F. site
          which is
          > > about *his* views of the matter and is (in my opion) far removed
          from
          > > Middle-earth's Elvish as made up by J.R.R. Tolkien.
          > >
          > > Let us hope there are at least some tenuous connections between
          Tolkien's
          > > Elvish and our current reconstructions of it. But JRRT being dead,
          any
          > > present-day Quenya or Sindarin text by definition represents
          merely the
          > > writer's "views" or understanding. Non-Tolkien Eldarin texts could
          only
          > > attain the same level of "authority" as Tolkien's own texts if he
          were to
          > > look over them and say "yeah, this is correct Elvish"...and for
          the
          > > post-1973 part of eternity, that is not an option. So we use what
          we have
          > > and do the best we can.
          > >
          >
          > I reccomend a change to the last line to something like :
          >
          > I, Helge, use these languages as I see it fit to the best of what I
          > would like that these languages were.
          >
          > And forget the "we", will you...

          I don't mean to sound impertinent, but I will ask this again because I
          have read most of your postings and know you are very knowledgeable
          about JRRT's languages. However, my interest (outside of my very
          humble, very unoriginal project) is to learn, which I do best by
          picking brains. Your point is quite well taken; now, could you please
          advise what your translation, even an incomplete one (to avoid the
          possibility of impurity by invention)would be? I realise that if one
          adheres strictly to what has been written by JRRT himself there will
          be holes but at the same time either the words mean something or they
          don't and everybody here is wasting time that could be spent learning
          a "real" language. If the words do mean something I/we/you should be
          able to at least "translate" one word; if they don't it's merely
          gibberish and doesn't matter anyway. I suppose I just don't
          understand how your reply is anything other than a personal attack
          that doesn't really answer the question. I confess this disappoints
          me when I read some of your comments regarding other subjects.
          Opinions mean more to me when they are based on something more solid
          than mere "disagreement." Again, I am not trying to be rude; I have
          the utmost respect for your position. I am just trying as
          well as I can to understand...please advise.
        • Helge K. Fauskanger
          ... like that these languages were. Not quite. If I felt free to actually _change_ the languages beyond the range of variation found in Tolkien s writings, I
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 7, 2002
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            Laurifindil wrote:

            > I reccomend a change to the last line to something like :
            > I, Helge, use these languages as I see it fit to the best of what I would
            like that these languages were.

            Not quite. If I felt free to actually _change_ the languages beyond the
            range of variation found in Tolkien's writings, I would certainly have
            suggested certain "improvements" long ago. For instance, for the sake of
            clarity I would have changed the Quenya ending for dual allative from
            _-nta_ to **_-nnat_, since the ending _-nta_ can have other meanings as
            well (past participle as in _envinyanta_ "renewed"; there may also be an
            ending *_-nta_ "their"). But I do not feel free to "improve" the basic
            structure of the languages with no support in Tolkien's own writings. At
            most I will suggest which ideas _within the range of variation found in the
            primary sources_ that would fit best together in a unified system. It is of
            course a major problem that so much material is still unpublished, so all
            too often we have to fall back on conjecture and extrapolation. Yet even
            now the main outlines of the grammar are clear, despite minor or even major
            fluctuations in Tolkien's conception.

            > And forget the "we", will you...

            I did speak of "our current reconstructions" of Tolkien's Elvish -- and
            this is not a royal "our" really meaning "my". Many people have been
            working for decades to reconstruct the unstated (or at least unpublished!)
            grammatical ideas underlying Tolkien's Elvish languages as we know them
            from various samples, and I have read much of what others have written on
            this subject. True, I have tried to make my own contributions; I do not
            always agree with the conclusions of others and others don't always agree
            with my conclusions, and in any case I take full responsibility for the
            ideas expressed on my web-page. However, it would be quite improper of me
            to imply that I owe nothing to the work of others. For instance, "my"
            presentation of Sindarin reflects David Salo's research rather than my own;
            David allowed me to draw on his unpublished work.

            If others totally disagree with the reconstructions of Tolkien's Elvish
            that appear on Ardalambion, there is plenty of room on the web for other
            ideas and other reconstructions.

            - HF
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            On 7/7/02 3:23 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger ... First, of course no one has to do any such thing; you choose to do so. Second,
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 7, 2002
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              On 7/7/02 3:23 PM, "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@...>
              wrote:

              > It is of course a major problem that so much material is still unpublished, so
              > all too often we have to fall back on conjecture and extrapolation.
              >
              First, "of course" no one "has" to do any such thing; you choose to
              do so.

              Second, your assertion assumes that there is one clear, unequivocal
              answer to all your questions in the unpublished papers. This is almost never
              the case, as has been now demonstrated repeatedly. The more that is
              published, the _less_ certain you will be about what you (think) you know
              about Quenya and Sindarin (the moreso because you determine your "knowledge"
              on a more-or-less arbitrarily selected portion of all the available data
              that conforms to your preconceived notions and extrapolations. Thus, for
              example, before the latest _VT_, you and many others would have said that
              "of course" the Sindarin word for "name" is *_ess-_: even though the (or, at
              any rate, _a_) _correct_ answer to that particular question was published
              years ago in the Gnomish Lexicon.)


              |======================================================================|
              | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
              | |
              | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
              | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
              | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
              | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
              | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
              |======================================================================|
            • Helge K. Fauskanger
              ... unpublished, so all too often we have to fall back on conjecture and extrapolation. CFH possibly felt that some kind of accusation was implied here, so he
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 12, 2002
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                I wrote:

                > > It is of course a major problem that so much material is still
                unpublished, so all too often we have to fall back on conjecture and
                extrapolation.

                CFH possibly felt that some kind of accusation was implied here, so he
                responded:

                > First, "of course" no one "has" to do any such thing; you choose to do
                so.

                No one "has" to do any kind of work on Tolkien's languages, or study them
                for any purpose or from any angle (including the one preferred by CFH
                himself). The survival of the human race is not at stake here. But I try
                not to be completely nonchalant about what most people actually _enjoy_
                about Tolkien's languages, and that goes beyond the potentially dry
                academic study which CFH often seems to imply is the only proper angle.

                > Second, your assertion assumes that there is one clear, unequivocal
                answer to all your questions in the unpublished papers.

                If I ever assumed such a thing, it was a long time ago. Yet there must be
                _some_ answers to _some_ of the remaining questions, and I (and many
                others!) would often be happy to have just _one_ genuinely Tolkienian
                answer -- preferably an answer that seems to represent a long-lasting idea
                or feature.

                > Thus, for example, before the latest _VT_, you and many others would have
                said that "of course" the Sindarin word for "name" is *_ess-_ [whereas
                Tolkien actually used _eneth_]

                I would never say that any unattested word must "of course" be whatever
                reconstruction I or others could offer. Before the latest VT, my _best
                guess_ would have been that the Sindarin word for "name" is *_ess_,
                especially since the closely related verb _esta-_ "to name, call" is
                attested in the King's Letter. For Neo-Sindarin purposes, *_ess_ would be
                an entirely plausible word even now, especially if we presuppose a
                Quenya-influenced form of Sindarin. Now that a Tolkienian word is
                available, I would certainly use that if I wanted to compose in Sindarin.
                However, not even Tolkien himself ever put together a definite, universal
                Eldarin dictionary. When translating a text, it is obvious that he
                developed much of the required vocabulary as he went along. I think he saw
                the individual languages primarily as a certain diachronic development, a
                kind of phonological _story_; details of grammar and vocabulary were less
                important and could be filled in (i.e., made up) as the occasion required.
                To the extent we understand the phonological development of the individual
                languages, we can also expand the vocabulary by starting from Tolkien's own
                roots. In most cases we would probably be filling genuine gaps, though we
                must of course see all of Tolkien's manuscripts before we can be certain.

                > even though the (or, at any rate, _a_) _correct_ answer to that
                particular question was published years ago in the Gnomish Lexicon.)

                The word _eneth_ does not appear in the Gnomish Lexicon. Certainly the
                Gnomish verb _entha-_ "to call, name" is a conceptual predecessor involving
                a similar stem, but no one could have deduced a Sindarin form like _eneth_
                from Gnomish _entha-_. In most cases, extrapolating Sindarin words from
                (the more developed forms of) Quenya is certainly much safer than trying to
                base Sindarin words on the Gnomish Lexicon.

                Yes, this is of course getting OT for this list.

                - HF
              • Carl F. Hostetter
                On 7/12/02 7:59 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger ... Precisely my point. No one has to use Quenya; it is a choice. If people engage
                Message 7 of 11 , Jul 12, 2002
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                  On 7/12/02 7:59 PM, "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@...>
                  wrote:

                  > I wrote:
                  >
                  >>> It is of course a major problem that so much material is still unpublished,
                  >>> so all too often we have to fall back on conjecture and extrapolation.
                  >>>
                  > CFH possibly felt that some kind of accusation was implied here, so he
                  > responded:
                  >
                  >> First, "of course" no one "has" to do any such thing; you choose to do so.
                  >>
                  > No one "has" to do any kind of work on Tolkien's languages,
                  >
                  Precisely my point. No one "has" to "use" Quenya; it is a choice. If people
                  engage in conjecture and extrapolation, that is a choice, not a necessity.

                  > that goes beyond the potentially dry academic study which CFH often seems to
                  > imply is the only proper angle.
                  >
                  I may "often seem to imply" such a thing to you, but that is due to your
                  prejudices, not to my words. I have never said that there is an "only
                  proper angle". What I _am_ saying is that one should not confuse choice with
                  necessity, or conjecture with fact, or Quenya with *Quenya.

                  >> Second, your assertion assumes that there is one clear, unequivocal answer to
                  >> all your questions in the unpublished papers.
                  >>
                  > If I ever assumed such a thing, it was a long time ago. Yet there must be
                  > _some_ answers to _some_ of the remaining questions,
                  >
                  Yes, of course there are. (Really, you seem not to be reading my posts with
                  much care or thought. Perhaps all that squeaking in your head is too
                  distracting?) That's my point: many (most) of the questions you'd like
                  answered have _many_ answers; which means that there really is no canonical
                  or platonic "answer" for most questions, only processes.

                  > and I (and many others!) would often be happy to have just _one_ genuinely
                  > Tolkienian answer -- preferably an answer that seems to represent a
                  > long-lasting idea or feature.
                  >
                  I am certainly not responsible for producing answers to your questions, and
                  most especially not responsible for the manner in which Tolkien worked, his
                  choices and reconsiderations, or the nature of the work he left behind
                  unpublished.

                  > For Neo-Sindarin purposes, *_ess_ would be an entirely plausible word even
                  > now, especially if we presuppose a Quenya-influenced form of Sindarin.
                  >
                  But the _Adar Nín_ seems to be composed in a "Quenya-influenced form of
                  Sindarin", as can be seen from Tolkien's remarks about _le_ and _menel_ in
                  _The Road Goes Ever On_, and the occurrence of these specific forms (_lín_
                  being an oblique form of _le_) in the prayer.

                  No matter how "plausible", *_ess_ is only conjecture; _eneth_ is fact.

                  > When translating a text, it is obvious that he developed much of the required
                  > vocabulary as he went along. I think he saw the individual languages primarily
                  > as a certain diachronic development, a kind of phonological _story_; details
                  > of grammar and vocabulary were less important and could be filled in (i.e.,
                  > made up) as the occasion required.
                  >
                  I'm inclined to agree; and would further add that those elements could be
                  (and often were) reinvented when the next occasion arose. So again, you are
                  making my very point.

                  > To the extent we understand the phonological development of the individual
                  > languages, we can also expand the vocabulary by starting from Tolkien's own
                  > roots.
                  >
                  You cannot expand the vocabulary of Quenya; only Tolkien could do that. What
                  you can do is create and use words that follow (what you think to be)
                  Tolkien's patterns, and then claim that they are consistent with what we
                  know of Quenya phonology, morphology, etc. And I have no problem with that
                  whatsoever. But the resulting vocabulary is _not_ Quenya; it is at best
                  *Quenya. Useful, yes, for certain purposes, and not without interest or
                  appeal; but also _not nearly_ as interesting or appealing (to me, and if you
                  are honest about all this, to you either) as Tolkien's inventions.

                  > Yes, this is of course getting OT for this list.
                  >
                  Ah, but see, now we've come back on topic!


                  |======================================================================|
                  | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
                  | |
                  | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
                  | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
                  | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
                  | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
                  | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
                  |======================================================================|
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