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1151Re: An experiment in translation

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  • tyrhael_idhraen
    Jul 4, 2014
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      Here's my version, as I've finally thought on it enough where it's reached a level I'm willing to show to others. As it is a text from Tolkien, I expect there could be words derived from previously-unattested roots, morphology we wouldn't have expected (such as using a-infixion for present-continuative taula in PE17:99), etc. Nonetheless I'll try my hand, and while I'm at it use some forms I wouldn't normally have chosen, in an attempt to see if any of them pay off.

      The parentheses represent letters which may or may not be included.

      Loar(on) yucainen célier i anda sír
      Ar alen mi coivienya nanwenuvar nin var-ëar.
      Ai, loar yasse(n), palantirya, cennen yéni andané
      Yá en' aldar lostaner rávië yánanóriessë.
      Ai, an sí illi yesta quelë súlenen

      Some notes:

      , as I don't think Tolkien had thought of changing "ten" to kwaya(m) yet in 1958; its occurrences in VT42 and VT48 are from texts dating to 1968 and after.

      *célier is a possible perfect-tense form for a verb from √kel(u), echoing the one from PE14:58. Though Tolkien had certainly thought of using an augment when conjugating the perfect before 1958, in some (earlier?) texts it wasn't always adopted. Thus vánier in the 1st edition of LotR, as well as (a)mátie, mátie (PE17:13), vánie and (a)vánie (63, 74, 77). Now, why kelu- ? Though UT glosses it as "flow out swiftly," PE17:156 has "flow (down)," PE18:58,103 have "flow, flow away, run (of rivers)," VT45:19 has "flow away downhill." I therefore thought it more appropriate than using √sir and trying to add elements for "down" and "away."

      However, given that it is sometimes especially written as √kel-u and not just √kel, a perfect form *célier may not be appropriate after all. Note PE18:86 as well as other forms like pal-u, smal-u, tel-u. √kel-u seems to have derived words both using -u- (as kel-u-me) and without (such as etkelē > ehtele). If -u- shows up in conjugation, the past tense might be *celune (following nicune in PE17:168, instead of celūne in PE14), and the perfect either (e)kelwie (kelwie is actually listed as a possible pa.t. in 14:58) or (e)kelunie based on the pattern of ortanie and ehentanie.

      *alen is a reconstruction "not again, not once more." I had planned to use *allume (based on the assumption that in 1958 Tolkien was still using √al/la for negation and not ), formed off words like illume (VT44:5) and Patrick/Arden/Carl's interpretation of ullume possibly being "not-ever, not-always" (9). However, the appearance of úlume (PE17:156) with the opposite meaning of "never" led me to think that *allume wouldn't be such a good idea after all. Therefore I reconstructed this, though knowing that Tolkien may very well have created a word that we don't know about yet. *alen is therefore a placeholder in the meantime.

      coivie: I was undecided whether to use cuile, coivie, or cuivie. Given that cuile from Etym. seems to be the most popular selection for neo-Quenya, I figured I'd pick one of the others.

      var-ëar: normally I would have used eärello, but chose var- from Átaremma Ib (VT43:10) because of the existence of preposition forms like sē "at" for -ssë (VT43:30) which aren't used often in neo-Quenya. My hopes are that by straying from common practices I will increase the chance of hitting on something unexpected Tolkien had chosen.

      en': I wasn't sure whether "when still trees bloomed" is an inversion of "when trees still bloomed," or if "still" is actually an adjective modifying "trees." I translated it as if it were the former, but if it is the latter, I would expect that if Tolkien didn't form an adjective from a root we don't know about yet, "still" would either be from √lur "be quiet, still, calm" (VT45:29) or related to even earlier √RU'U (PE12:80) or QḶŘḶ (PE12:78), if not √sib (VT44:35).
      Certainly I would expect it to be an adjective from a root related to calm/tranquility, instead of trying to form a compound such as "motionless." Tolkien sometimes took roots from earlier Eldarin and transplanted them into later conceptions with some changes, such as how qilda, qilde, qildi- seem similar to qilir in PE21:34, though its etymology of ku̯ilẹz is a bit changed from its incarnation in the QL. If Tolkien translated the adjective "still" in 1958 as something from a root somewhat inspired by those earlier ones, it might be similar but not identical.

      rávie: though something from √lek or √ler was tempting, I think an adverb from rāva "free, unfettered, uncontrolled, lawless" (PE17:78) is more appropriate. Tolkien may not have formed it with -ie, though.

      : yanda or palla might also have been chosen for "wide," and though using nórie as in sindanórie was too tempting to pass over, Tolkien marks the latter as archaic/poetic in PE17:72, with the more-usual form being sindie-nóre or nóre-sindiëo. Thus he very well may have used nóre instead of nórie ... if not *yandessë from yandē "a wide region, or country" (PE17:42)!

      illi: ilyar
      might have been used instead

      : I realize that this is a noun in yestarë, but it could possibly have had a verb homonym.
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