The Dumb Week – Day 1

The Dumb Week – Day 1

This is the first day of The Dumb Week challenge, which consists of translating grammatically correct sentences that make no sense. Today’s sentence is:

A river a thousand paces wide stands upon somebody else’s legs.

Translate it to your conlang(s) and, optionally, include the IPA transcription, the gloss or other information. Thank you for participating!


6 thoughts on “The Dumb Week – Day 1

  1. This is for my conlang nevira:

    Tuforabi fi galida mavila nela prai vaeda siu u therli vaniana ti

    IPA: /tufɔrabi fi γalida mavila nɛla praj vaɛda siw u θɛrli vanjana ti/

    Literal translation: [A] river that is wide thousand steps is(locative) on the legs of person whichever(= undetermined person).

    That was more difficult than expected! I had to create half of the words used. Phew! Ok, if I feel adventurous I *might* translate it to tarina too.

  2. Let’s see if Beldreeni can handle this. I’ll use the word for “step” to translate “pace” for now, and instead of the word for “thousand” I’ll use the more culturally relevant word for twelve grosses, 1728.


    First, vocabulary review:

    chío [‘tʃi:o] ‘river’  lupa [‘lupa] ‘wide’ haudasa [haʊ‘dasa] 1728 (144×12) tegö [‘tegø] ‘step’  sömi [‘sømi] ‘stand’. On the formal level, this can also be sömya [‘sømja] sak [sak] ‘leg’  gulmin osan [‘gulmin ‘osan] ‘somebody else’

    Now, as for syntax – the second part, ‘stands on somebody’s else’s legs’, is straightforward, I don’t see any reason for Beldreeni to be difficult there. The initial noun phrase is the tricky bit. I don’t think I’ve tried to translate this kind of construction until now.

    If the “wide” wasn’t a part of it, if it was just “a thousand-pace river”, I think I’d go with a genitive construction: haudasa tegö ho chío. But alas, it is not so simple.

    I could use a relative construction, putting in the all-purpose relative pronoun ofa (and also the topical particle to):

    Chío to ofa haudasa tegö lupa wai, gulmin osan ho sak rui sömya. river TOP REL 1728 step wide COP.FORM somebody other POSS leg on stand.FORM ‘The river that is 1728 steps wide stands on somebody else’s legs.’

    But I might also transform “wide” from adjective to noun, as in the just-now-coined kolupa, “width”. Then we might get:

    Haudasa tegö ho kolupa ho chío gulmin osan ho sak rui römya. Lit. ‘the river of the width of 1728 steps stands on somebody else’s legs.’

    This was cool! All the other challenges for this week so far are way beyond my vocabularies, though.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.