In case you have somehow managed to miss it, there was an election in the United States a couple of weeks ago. (If you did manage to miss it, I’d love to know the address of the cave you were hiding in – I could use the vacation!) In the wake of the election results, I found my earlier passing flirtation with Láadan had reignited, and I noticed that in several of the communities, there was an effort to translate certain slogans and messages into Láadan – with mixed results, due to the relatively small size of the lexicon.
My initial thought had been to comb through the available lessons, assemble a vocabulary list of terminology suitable for politics, and post that as my first entry on this blog. Once everything was available in one tidy location, it should be easier to see our options for political speech. Then it would just be a matter of teasing out the grammar.
I may have been a tad bit optimistic.
It took me three hours to translate the title of this post, which was supposed to be just a silly throwaway Monty Python reference. I could probably blame the fact that I’m very new to the language, but the grammar was actually pretty straightforward in this case.
“Come and See The Violence Inherent in the System”
It started with an idea. In one of Amberwind’s lessons, there is an interesting discussion about translating “wiseman” as “wothidá” (doer of male wisdom) as opposed to “wotháhid” (male doer of wisdom). On my way into work yesterday, I thought about the idea of “male violence” versus violence in general, and wondered if that might be an interesting distinction to make. I didn’t have any of my reference materials with me, so I made a note to get back to it later.
Except, in the lexicon, there is no word for “violence.” There also isn’t a neat antonym for it that can be easily negated with “ra-”
Incidentally, there’s also no word for “inherent.” Or “system,” for that matter.
I was beginning to feel the ice cracking under my feet.
Now, of course, I could have decided that trying to translate that phrase was really a waste of time, and just gotten on with my day. But now it was a challenge, and as they say “Mama didn’t raise no quitters.” So, I dug out my references, loaded up a thesaurus, and settled in to work.
Continue reading ““Bóodi meloláad i mehen nen dórashehele rashenidalh bradahé” (Part One)”