Author Topic: Translate expressions  (Read 2041 times)

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Alizia

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Translate expressions
« on: September 17, 2015, 06:39:30 am »
I'm training me to translate in Dothraki some sentence. I translate "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger" by "Haz (vos) addrivo kisha, haja kisha", but I'm not sure of this. It's correct ?

Qvaak

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Re: Translate expressions
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2015, 12:13:23 am »
Alrighty. Good one. Not an easy one, though. I'll take a teacherish long-form stance on this.

Both kisha are correctly inflected, but they should both be accusatives, and since nominative and accusative happen so be the same with kisha, I can't really tell if this was intentional.

That is a tricky word to translate even on a good day. Depending on where you find it, it can be translated at least as [pardon silly examples]
  • 1a) medial demonstrative modifier: That dress makes you beautiful. -> Haz shor azzheanae yera.
  • 1b) distal demonstrative modifier: That lion is the biggest. -> Rek hrakkar azhokwanaza.
  • 2a) medial demonstrative pronoun (and all the animacy, cases and plurality that follows): That makes you beautiful. -> Hazi azzheanae yera.
  • 2b) distal demonstrative pronoun (and all the animacy, cases and plurality that follows): That is the biggest. -> Reki azhokwanaza.
  • 3) conjunctive clitic: I heard that you are strong. -> Anha char meyer haji.
  • 4) relative pronoun (and all the animacy, cases and plurality that follows): The jug that you gave me broke. -> Heffof fin azh yer anhaan samvo.
Here that is, I think, something stranger, a part of an alternative four, maybe. That is, if you try to keep close to the original, the that which phrase is perhaps best analysed as an indefinite relative. You can see me trying to puzzle the underlying grammar of DJP's earlier translation Me Reki Driva Laz Vo Drivoo Avvos (That which is dead can never die) in the comments of the linked blog post, and the discussion ends with DJP pretty much just saying "It may need revisiting." You may also pick up, that what David more generally recommends for fairly similar cases is to untangle the English-snappy syntax, and advance through "It makes us stronger, which does not kill us." I think in the end this is the hardest part. Different languages prefer to express ideas with different syntaxes. You can often force a syntax that is very close to the original text, but a good translator develops an ear on what syntaxes are natural in the target language. And that is so hard goal to aspire to with a conlang into which we have only partial reach and a small corpus of text.
[Edit: I may well overthink this by a mile. DJP's translation was actually for "what is dead may never die", which would explain why he wanted to do something fancier than a regular relative clause syntax.]

You have vos on parenthesis. When I translate, I hate dropping vos. I feel I'm just begging for massive confusion. But David does drop vos off on fairly regular basis, so it's definitely a Dothraki thing to do, when appropriate, and I feel here it's particulary fitting.
The confusion is, of course, that Dothraki has a multifunctional -o- suffix derivation pattern. Multifunctionality means that the derivation pattern is fuzzy, but mostly the thing is that for many static verbs, like drivat, there is a sort of dynamic counterpart, like drivolat. So if you say, for example "He is not dead", but try to drop vos, You'd say Me drivo, which could also mean "He died." Dothraki more or less dodges this by dropping the vos at least mostly just when there is no -o- counterpert to cause a confusion. But we don't know all the Dothraki words, so we can't really be sure that there isn't a horrid confusion-brewing sister word. But with causatives we can be at least hopeful. You see, causatives imply change of state in themselves, so they are usually derived from stative, not from the -o- form. You might think that "to cause to die" would be derived from drivolat, but it's actually derived from more primitive word form, drivat. And so we can be hopeful that addrivat has no sister word addrivolat, because addrivat pretty much means what addrivolat logically would.

Now you already might guess the next correction. "To cause to be stronger" is a different word from "to be strong". We don't list such a word, but the derivation patterns for both causatives and comparatives are stable and active, so you can try to create the word and be comfortable that the word is real if you created it right: ahhajanat would be my try.

So these would be my probably-more-correct versions:
Me fini addrivo kisha ahhajana kisha. (with a regular relative clause)
Me reki addrivo kisha ahhajana kisha. (copying David's indefinite-relative-clause-esque syntax)
Me ahhajana kisha reki addrivo kisha. (flipping the syntax for hopefully less tangled feel)

Some relevant wiki pages:
causative http://wiki.dothraki.org/Types_of_verbs#Dynamic_Verbs (though should really be included in wiki.dothraki.org/Derivational_morphology)
comparative http://wiki.dothraki.org/Adjectives
relative and demostrative pronouns http://wiki.dothraki.org/Pronouns (See also http://www.dothraki.com/2012/02/demonstratives/)
complex sentences http://wiki.dothraki.org/Syntax
« Last Edit: September 20, 2015, 09:24:24 pm by Qvaak »
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Alizia

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Re: Translate expressions
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 01:26:29 am »
Thank a lot for this explanation ! It's typically what I need !

But why "ahhajanat" ? The primitive word form is probably "hajat", so it don't become "ahhajat" ?

Qvaak

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Re: Translate expressions
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2015, 01:56:00 am »
Comparative verb forms can be turned into verbs.
Anha hajak. = I'm strong.
Anha ahajanak. = I'm stonger.
Anha ahajanazak. =I'm the strongest.
Hadaen ahhajak anna. = Food makes me strong.
Hadaen ahhajanak anna. = Food makes me stronger.
Hadaen ahhajanazak anna. = Food makes me the strongest.
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Alizia

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Re: Translate expressions
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2015, 03:02:02 am »
Oh right, I understand^^

PS : It isn't Hadaen ahhaja/ahhajana/ahhajanaza anna ?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2015, 07:37:32 am by Alizia »

Qvaak

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Re: Translate expressions
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2015, 06:49:58 am »
Quote
PS : It isn't Hadaen ahhaja/ahhajana/ahhajanaza anna ?
It is, of course. I'm just stoopid and make errors. I originally made a series
Anha nem ahhajak. = I'm made strong.
Anha nem ahhajanak. = I'm made stonger.
Anha nem ahhajanazak. = I'm made the strongest.
but then thought it would be better not to confuse the issue with passive, so I added the food and forgot to change the verb conjugation.
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.

Alizia

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Re: Translate expressions
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2015, 08:07:47 am »
Ok, I was afraid of make a mistake with conjugation after many and many hours on my software :p