A 30-Day Constructed Language
Txtana (ch-TAH-na) /ʧ-tana/
Building a entire new language from scratch in 30-days
by Gary J. Shannon

Created Oct. 31, 2010
Last Modified Nov. 21, 2010

The Project

Inspired by the 30-day novel writing challenge NaNoWirMo or "National Novel Writing Month" this project aims to create an entirely new constructed language in 30 days, from Nov 1, 2010 to Nov 30, 2010.

The specific goal of the project is to translate a selected piece of text from English into this new language. To accomplish this a new grammar and new vocabulary must be created. This is not to be a relexification of English, but a new language with a grammar that is significantly different from English grammar. It would be a rather trivial matter to simply substitue new words for the English, keeping the same word order, grammar and semantics as the English original. This project aims to go beyond that and construct a language that is truly different from English. Exactly how it will be different I don't yet know as I write this on October 31. Tomorrow, Nov. 1, I will begin the translation, and only then will I begin to figure out how this language will differ from English.

The Translation Text

The text I'm using as my translation exercise is approximately 2200 words taken from the Chapter Nine of the novel The Land that Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Here is the translation text:

These people also were cave-dwellers, but their caves showed the result of a higher intelligence that brought them a step nearer to civilized man than the tribe next "toward the beginning." The interiors of their caverns were cleared of rubbish, though still far from clean, and they had pallets of dried grasses covered with the skins of leopard, lynx, and bear, while before the entrances were barriers of stone and small, rudely circular stone ovens. The walls of the cavern to which I was conducted were covered with drawings scratched upon the sandstone. There were the outlines of the giant red-deer, of mammoths, of tigers and other beasts. Here, as in the last tribe, there were no children or any old people. The men of this tribe had two names, or rather names of two syllables, and their language contained words of two syllables; whereas in the tribe of Tsa the words were all of a single syllable, with the exception of a very few like Atis and Galus. The chief's name was To-jo, and his household consisted of seven females and himself. These women were much more comely, or rather less hideous than those of Tsa's people; one of them, even, was almost pretty, being less hairy and having a rather nice skin, with high coloring.

They were all much interested in me and examined my clothing and equipment carefully, handling and feeling and smelling of each article. I learned from them that their people were known as Band-Lu, or spear-men; Tsa's race was called Sto-lu--hatchet-men. Below these in the scale of evolution came the Bo-lu, or club-men, and then the Alus, who had no weapons and no language. In that word I recognized what to me seemed the most remarkable discovery I had made upon Caprona, for unless it were mere coincidence, I had come upon a word that had been handed down from the beginning of spoken language upon earth, been handed down for millions of years, perhaps, with little change. It was the sole remaining thread of the ancient woof of a dawning culture which had been woven when Caprona was a fiery mount upon a great land-mass teeming with life. It linked the unfathomable then to the eternal now. And yet it may have been pure coincidence; my better judgment tells me that it is coincidence that in Caspak the term for speechless man is Alus, and in the outer world of our own day it is Alalus.

The comely woman of whom I spoke was called So-ta, and she took such a lively interest in me that To-jo finally objected to her attentions, emphasizing his displeasure by knocking her down and kicking her into a corner of the cavern. I leaped between them while he was still kicking her, and obtaining a quick hold upon him, dragged him screaming with pain from the cave. Then I made him promise not to hurt the she again, upon pain of worse punishment. So-ta gave me a grateful look; but To-jo and the balance of his women were sullen and ominous.

Later in the evening So-ta confided to me that she was soon to leave the tribe.

"So-ta soon to be Kro-lu," she confided in a low whisper. I asked her what a Kro-lu might be, and she tried to explain, but I do not yet know if I understood her. From her gestures I deduced that the Kro-lus were a people who were armed with bows and arrows, had vessels in which to cook their food and huts of some sort in which they lived, and were accompanied by animals. It was all very fragmentary and vague, but the idea seemed to be that the Kro-lus were a more advanced people than the Band-lus. I pondered a long time upon all that I had heard, before sleep came to me. I tried to find some connection between these various races that would explain the universal hope which each of them harbored that some day they would become Galus. So-ta had given me a suggestion; but the resulting idea was so weird that I could scarce even entertain it; yet it coincided with Ahm's expressed hope, with the various steps in evolution I had noted in the several tribes I had encountered and with the range of type represented in each tribe. For example, among the Band-lu were such types as So-ta, who seemed to me to be the highest in the scale of evolution, and To-jo, who was just a shade nearer the ape, while there were others who had flatter noses, more prognathous faces and hairier bodies. The question puzzled me. Possibly in the outer world the answer to it is locked in the bosom of the Sphinx. Who knows? I do not.

Thinking the thoughts of a lunatic or a dope-fiend, I fell asleep; and when I awoke, my hands and feet were securely tied and my weapons had been taken from me. How they did it without awakening me I cannot tell you. It was humiliating, but it was true. To-jo stood above me. The early light of morning was dimly filtering into the cave.

"Tell me," he demanded, "how to throw a man over my head and break his neck, for I am going to kill you, and I wish to know this thing before you die."

Of all the ingenuous declarations I have ever heard, this one copped the proverbial bun. It struck me as so funny that, even in the face of death, I laughed. Death, I may remark here, had, however, lost much of his terror for me. I had become a disciple of Lys' fleeting philosophy of the valuelessness of human life. I realized that she was quite right--that we were but comic figures hopping from the cradle to the grave, of interest to practically no other created thing than ourselves and our few intimates.

Behind To-jo stood So-ta. She raised one hand with the palm toward me--the Caspakian equivalent of a negative shake of the head.

"Let me think about it," I parried, and To-jo said that he would wait until night. He would give me a day to think it over; then he left, and the women left--the men for the hunt, and the women, as I later learned from So-ta, for the warm pool where they immersed their bodies as did the shes of the Sto-lu. "Ata," explained So-ta, when I questioned her as to the purpose of this matutinal rite; but that was later.

I must have lain there bound and uncomfortable for two or three hours when at last So-ta entered the cave. She carried a sharp knife--mine, in fact, and with it she cut my bonds.

"Come!" she said. "So-ta will go with you back to the Galus. It is time that So-ta left the Band-lu. Together we will go to the Kro-lu, and after that the Galus. To-jo will kill you tonight. He will kill So-ta if he knows that So-ta aided you. We will go together."

"I will go with you to the Kro-lu," I replied, "but then I must return to my own people 'toward the beginning.'"

"You cannot go back," she said. "It is forbidden. They would kill you. Thus far have you come--there is no returning."

"But I must return," I insisted. "My people are there. I must return and lead them in this direction."

She insisted, and I insisted; but at last we compromised. I was to escort her as far as the country of the Kro-lu and then I was to go back after my own people and lead them north into a land where the dangers were fewer and the people less murderous. She brought me all my belongings that had been filched from me--rifle, ammunition, knife, and thermos bottle, and then hand in hand we descended the cliff and set off toward the north.

For three days we continued upon our way, until we arrived outside a village of thatched huts just at dusk. So-ta said that she would enter alone; I must not be seen if I did not intend to remain, as it was forbidden that one should return and live after having advanced this far. So she left me. She was a dear girl and a stanch and true comrade--more like a man than a woman. In her simple barbaric way she was both refined and chaste. She had been the wife of To-jo. Among the Kro-lu she would find another mate after the manner of the strange Caspakian world; but she told me very frankly that whenever I returned, she would leave her mate and come to me, as she preferred me above all others. I was becoming a ladies' man after a lifetime of bashfulness!

At the outskirts of the village I left her without even seeing the sort of people who inhabited it, and set off through the growing darkness toward the south. On the third day I made a detour westward to avoid the country of the Band-lu, as I did not care to be detained by a meeting with To-jo. On the sixth day I came to the cliffs of the Sto-lu, and my heart beat fast as I approached them, for here was Lys. Soon I would hold her tight in my arms again; soon her warm lips would merge with mine. I felt sure that she was still safe among the hatchet people, and I was already picturing the joy and the love-light in her eyes when she should see me once more as I emerged from the last clump of trees and almost ran toward the cliffs.

It was late in the morning. The women must have returned from the pool; yet as I drew near, I saw no sign of life whatever. "They have remained longer," I thought; but when I was quite close to the base of the cliffs, I saw that which dashed my hopes and my happiness to earth. Strewn along the ground were a score of mute and horrible suggestions of what had taken place during my absence--bones picked clean of flesh, the bones of manlike creatures, the bones of many of the tribe of Sto-lu; nor in any cave was there sign of life.

Closely I examined the ghastly remains fearful each instant that I should find the dainty skull that would shatter my happiness for life; but though I searched diligently, picking up every one of the twenty-odd skulls, I found none that was not the skull of a creature but slightly removed from the ape. Hope, then, still lived. For another three days I searched north and south, east and west for the hatchetmen of Caspak; but never a trace of them did I find. It was raining most of the time now, and the weather was as near cold as it ever seems to get on Caprona.

At last I gave up the search and set off toward Fort Dinosaur. For a week--a week filled with the terrors and dangers of a primeval world--I pushed on in the direction I thought was south. The sun never shone; the rain scarcely ever ceased falling. The beasts I met with were fewer in number but infinitely more terrible in temper; yet I lived on until there came to me the realization that I was hopelessly lost, that a year of sunshine would not again give me my bearings; and while I was cast down by this terrifying knowledge, the knowledge that I never again could find Lys, I stumbled upon another grave--the grave of William James, with its little crude headstone and its scrawled characters recording that he had died upon the 13th of September--killed by a saber-tooth tiger.

I think that I almost gave up then. Never in my life have I felt more hopeless or helpless or alone. I was lost. I could not find my friends. I did not even know that they still lived; in fact, I could not bring myself to believe that they did. I was sure that Lys was dead. I wanted myself to die, and yet I clung to life--useless and hopeless and harrowing a thing as it had become. I clung to life because some ancient, reptilian forbear had clung to life and transmitted to me through the ages the most powerful motive that guided his minute brain--the motive of self-preservation.

At last I came to the great barrier-cliffs; and after three days of mad effort--of maniacal effort--I scaled them. I built crude ladders; I wedged sticks in narrow fissures; I chopped toe-holds and finger-holds with my long knife; but at last I scaled them. Near the summit I came upon a huge cavern. It is the abode of some mighty winged creature of the Triassic--or rather it was. Now it is mine. I slew the thing and took its abode. I reached the summit and looked out upon the broad gray terrible Pacific of the far-southern winter. It was cold up there. It is cold here today; yet here I sit watching, watching, watching for the thing I know will never come--for a sail.

To complete the translation of the above text in 30 days I will need to average a little over 73 words translated per day. The first few days will probably be taken up by basics like phonology and morphology, so I will need to make up for that by translating more like 80 words a day or so.

There are a little over 680 unique words in the text selection, so that will require that I coin an average of 23 new words each day. The first day will require considerably more new coinages since there is no previous lexicon to draw upon. But as the days roll by the existing lexicon will grow larger and the need to coin new words will decline. In the last few days there may not be any need for new words to be coined at all.

What follows below will be my day-by-day journal as I create this new language and work out the details of the translation.




Nov. 1, 2010 -- First 75 words to translate

These people also were cave-dwellers, but their caves showed the result of a higher intelligence that brought them a step nearer to civilized man than the tribe next "toward the beginning." The interiors of their caverns were cleared of rubbish, though still far from clean, and they had pallets of dried grasses covered with the skins of leopard, lynx, and bear, while before the entrances were barriers of stone and small, rudely circular stone ovens.

Since I have never done a VOS language I will make that the general template of sentences. That way I won't be tempted to borrow grammar from any of my previous conlangs. The conlang doesn't have a name yet so I will just call it "X" until I discover the native word for "speech" or "language" or something like that.

The first few sentence translations can be anything at all because there is no greater corpus that the new sentences have to be consistent with. That makes them easier, but if the sentences are not constructed in a reasonable way then future sentences could be that much more difficult.

After fooling around with the gloss for a little while I decided on a variation on word order: VPOTS where V is the verb, P is zero or more optional prepositional phrases, O is the optional direct object, T is the tense-marking particle or auxiliary verb, and S is the subject. This kind of reminds me of Yoda-speak: "Think that I am small you do." Although it's not quite the same.

Since the sentence structure is unsual, and unfamiliar to me, I will initially divide the longer sentences into two shorter sentences, roughly like this:

Live in caves also do(PRES) these people, but reveal more intellegent design do caves belong-to they.
Thus be nearer-to civilized man and further-from next (are closer to beginning).ADJ tribe are they.

Somehow the phrase "are closer to beginning" needs to be marked collectively as an adjective. In addition, with the subject clear at the end it will be important to know what a pronoun refers back to. To help in this I think I will need to distinguish between an animate and inanimate "it/they/them".

As far as the phonology goes, I will wait until I have a decent collection of sentences that I can speak out loud. Only then will I be able to observe what the language actually sounds like. In other words, the phonology, like the morphology, will be descriptive, not prescriptive. But I will need something to describe first.

So here, then is my translation for the first 75 words worth of text. Keep in mind that all languages change and evolve, and this one will have to change and evolve very rapidly in order to reach some degree of completion in only 30 days. Many words and usages may, therefore, be subject to modification as the language grows. So tomorrow's version of this translation may well be different from today's version. I will, however, make note of anything that changes along the way, although I won't have time to go back and retroactively correct earlier translations. So if this translation becomes obsolete in a few weeks, then it will have to remain in its obsolete form here.

Today's Translation

Miro kinta ka'anui susa bane ganxu, go viado ola tawikai luyatu ka'anui pa hali. Dota edo ola pona sofalai yamu a ma jamosa pola raharu hali. Vago rabasa muza ka'anui dali, go ma numpa xumbai tave daki. Bazo kiza futanui dali a hayatui pa dozai peli, lukenai peli, a uradi unze daki. Tepira dekari da piatai wakiri a tena xungai dumurai piatai kuzai sumpi.

These people also were cave-dwellers, but their caves showed the result of a higher intelligence that brought them a step nearer to civilized man than the tribe next "toward the beginning." The interiors of their caverns were cleared of rubbish, though still far from clean, and they had pallets of dried grasses covered with the skins of leopard, lynx, and bear, while before the entrances were barriers of stone and small, rudely circular stone ovens.

And the English gloss:

Miro kinta ka'anui susa bane ganxu, go viado ola tawikai
Live within caves also these people, but reveal more intellegent
luyatu ka'anui pa hali. Dota edo olapona sofalai yamu
design caves belong-to they(animate). Thus be moreclose to civilized man
a majamosa pola raharu hali.
and more...thanfar-from previous tribe they(animate).
Vago rabasa muza ka'anui dali, go manumpa
Remove rubbish from-inside caves PAST-they(animate), but fardifferent from
xumbai tave daki. Bazo kiza futanui dali a
clean still PAST-they(inanimate). Have dry-grass pallets PAST-they(animate) and
hayatui pa dozai peli, lukenai peli, a uradi unze daki.
skins of leopard, lynx, and bear upon PAST-they(inanimate)
Tepira dekari da piatai wakiri a tena
In front of entrances PAST stone barriers and small,
xungai dumurai piatai kuzai sumpi.
rough circular stone ovens.

Cumulative Lexicon

On day two I dusted off an old dictionary building program I wrote many years ago and from now on the cumulative lexicon will be the one built by that program. There are two pages, English to Conlang and Conlang to English. Nouns are shown with their singular and plural versions since pluralization is turning out to be irregular. E.g: "pelu:pelui"

Some Observations

To keep things simple I intended to have one, and only one way to pluralize a noun, but while I wasn't looking, a few rebelious words snuck in under the fence. Now there seem to be three different ways to form a plural. Nouns ending in -u can take either a -ui ending or a plain -i ending. Nouns ending in -a, which weren't even supposed to exist, are pluralized by appending -n. Nouns were supposed to only end in -u, but like many good intentions, that one fell by the wayside.

It appears that in order for the language to reach "maturity" in 30 days it will need to be allowed to evolve at a breakneck pace, and since I don't have time to argue with stubborn words that seem to want their own way, I will simply have to accept what ever happens and leave it at that. Languages can't always be neat and tidy.

Nov. 2, 2010 -- Day Two

Today's sentences total 94 words, of which 38 are new. Here are a few discoveries concerning these sentences:

The structure of adjectival clauses is unusual. The English noun phrase "the king of the elves who occupy the forest" is rendered using the conjunction "and" in a way very different from English: "king of elves and occupy forest do they(animate)". The first difference is that there is no definite article. Second, the clause which in English is "who occupy the forest" has, in language X, the same structure as a sentence: VSTO, "occupy forest do they", and it needs to be joined to "king of elves". The conjunction "and" fills that function, rather than English equivalents "who", "which", or "that".

It seems that only a very short prepositional phrase can stand between the verb and object or subject. Since prepositional phrases are marked by the presence of the preposition they could be moved anywhere within the sentence and still be found. Longer prepositional phrases seem to have a tendancy to migrate to the end of the sentence. Thus the structure VPOTS becomes VOTSP with a postponed prepositional phrase. "Taken to the king was I." (No subject because of the passive verb.) becomes "Taken was I to the king." While the short prepositional phrase may be postponed, a longer prepositional phrase must be postponed: "Taken I was to the king of the elves and occupy the forest do they." rather than "Taken to the king of the elves and occupy the forest do they was I."

Today's Translation

Namino datu axa ka'anu a nasopo da waku pa mayu kua zoku unze piatai nasa tokoni. Midu da tokona ki oxa maga bindui, fantui, pekini pelui, a sobina vudui. Midu, ampa pola raharu, ixi da gendui a venua yamui. Bazo tose jampui, ya jampui uta tose mankui ene yamui pa bane raharu. Bazo tose mankui ene voti pa hagaru pa hali go numpa raharu Tsa a bazo ane manku ene kila voti pa hali, jemba "Atis", "Galus", a ola nisi sobini.

The walls of the cavern to which I was conducted were covered with drawings scratched upon the sandstone. There were the outlines of the giant red-deer, of mammoths, of tigers and other beasts. Here, as in the last tribe, there were no children or any old people. The men of this tribe had two names, or rather names of two syllables, and their language contained words of two syllables; whereas in the tribe of Tsa the words were all of a single syllable, with the exception of a very few like "Atis" and "Galus".

Namino datu axa ka'anu a nasopo da waku pa
Be taken PAST-I into cave and be covered were walls of
mayu kua zoku unze piatai nasa tokoni. Midu da
it(inanimate) with scratch upon sandstone drawings. There PAST (be)
tokona ki oxa maga bindui, fantui, pekini pelui, a sobina vudui.
drawings of giant red-deer, mamoths, tigers, and other beasts.
Midu, ampa pola raharu, ixi da gendui a venua yamui.
Here, like previous tribe, not PAST (be) children and old people.
Bazo tose jampui, ya jampui uta tose mankui ene yamui pa bane raharu.
Have two names, or names with two syllables PRES men belong this tribe.
Bazo tose mankui ene voti pa hagaru pa hali go
Has two syllables PRES words of language of them but
numpa raharu Tsa a bazo ane manku ene kila voti
different-from tribe Tsa and have one syllable PRES all words
pa hali, jemba "Atis">, "Galus", a olanisi sobini.
of they(animate), except "Atis", "Galus", and veryfew others.

Cumulative Lexicon

On day two I dusted off an old dictionary building program I wrote many years ago and from now on the cumulative lexicon will be the one built by that program. There are two pages, English to Conlang and Conlang to English. Nouns are shown with their singular and plural versions since pluralization is turning out to be irregular. E.g: "pelu:pelui"

Nov. 3, 2010 -- Day Three

I'm translating by the seat of my pants right now. I'm not sure what the grammatical rules are, but after I have more sentences to disect I hope to be able to figure it out and discover what the rules are that I am applying "instinctively". The word order is like no other language I have ever learned, and certainly nothing like English word order, yet it is beginning to "feel" right, and I'm beginning to develop a sense of how the pieces work together. This is a very curious phenomenon! It feels strange, yet familiar.

Today's Translation

Bazo jampu To-Jo da jabaru. A bazo gene nabui da halu pa halude lindu. Ma elane, ya xu togai nabui pa Tsa ganu da bane nabui. Payase elane da ane pa hali, a bazo xuma fola a payase amele hayata a lukenai golam dali.

Bazo ola mamaru dua hali ki tau a igoro jetela a gotama pa tau dali Fialo kua pakor a papolo a kyazo kila gotamu dali. Viado ura tau anemanu dali; bazo jampu Band-Lu, ya alatai ganu da bane ganu. Bazo jampu Sto-Lu ya kyakai ganu da ganu pa Tsa. Xu apente kyakai ganu da Bo-Lu, ya bajamai ganu. Lela bazo ixi saboli a ixi hagaru da A-Lu.

The chief's name was To-jo, and his household consisted of seven females and himself. These women were much more comely, or rather less hideous than those of Tsa's people; one of them, even, was almost pretty, being less hairy and having a rather nice skin, with high coloring.

They were all much interested in me and examined my clothing and equipment carefully, handling and feeling and smelling of each article. I learned from them that their people were known as Band-Lu, or spear-men; Tsa's race was called Sto-lu--hatchet-men. Below these in the scale of evolution came the Bo-lu, or club-men, and then the Alus, who had no weapons and no language.

BazojampuTo-Jodajabaru. Abazogenenabuidahalupa haludelindu.
HavenameTo-JoPASTchief.And havesevenwomenPASTheof hishousehold.
The chief's name was To-jo,and his household consisted of seven females and himself.
Maelane,yaxutogainabui paTsaganudabanenabui.
More...thanpretty (than),orless...thanugly (than)women ofTsapeoplePAST (be)thesewomen.
These women were much more comely, or rather less hideous than those of Tsa's people;
Payaseelanedaanepa hali,abazoxumafolaapayaseamele hayata
AlmostprettyPAST (be)oneofthem, andhavelesshairandalmostgoodskin
one of them, even, was almost pretty,being less hairy and having a rather nice skin,
alukenaigolamdali.Bazo olamamaruduahalikitauaigoro
andshinycolordidshe.Havemuch interestPAST-they(anim)concerningmeandexamine
with high coloring.They were all much interested in me and examined
jetelaagotamapataudali Fialokuapakorapapoloa
clothingandequipmentbelonging tome PAST-they(anim).Handlewithcareandfeeland
my clothing and equipment, carefully, handling and feeling and
kyazokilagotamudali.Viado uratauanemanudali;bazojampuBand-Lu,
smelleachitemPAST-they. RevealformesomethingPAST-they; havenameBand-Lu,
smelling of each article. I learned from them that their people were known as Band-Lu,
yaalataiganudabaneganu. BazojampuSto-Luyakyakaiganuda ganupaTsa.
orspear-ADJmenPASTthesepeople.Have nameSto-luorhatchet-ADJmenPASTpeople ofTsa.
or spear-men;Tsa's race was called Sto-lu, hatchet-men.
Xuapentekyakaiganuda Bo-Lu,yabajamaiganu.Lelabazoixi saboli
Less...thanevolved (than)hatchet-ADJmenwere Bo-Lu,orclub-ADJmen.Nexthaveno weapons
Below these in the scale of evolution came the Bo-lu, or club men, and then the A-lus,
aixihagarudaA-Lu.
andnolanguagePASTA-Lu.
who had no weapons and no language.

Cumulative Lexicon

There are two pages, English to Conlang and Conlang to English. Nouns are shown with their singular and plural versions since pluralization is turning out to be irregular. E.g: "pelu: pelui".

Day Four -- Nov. 4, 2010

Some Notes on Pronunciation

The consonant 'G' is a voiced velar plosive, the so-called "hard g" in English, as in "giggle".

The consonant 'J' is a voiced postalveolar affricate (ʤ), the so-called "soft j" in English "judge" and "jury".

The letter "X" is "SH" (ʃ).

The consonant cluster "TX" is (ʧ) as in the English word "church".

When "Y" is in a vowel position it is not quite a real vowel, but rather a sort of "voiceless vowel" which separates two consonant sounds and marks the second consonant sound as being aspirated. E.g. txytavo/v/recognize; realize/[ʧtɑvo]

The cluster "ZL" is a voiced alveolar lateral fricative (ɮ) borrowed from Zulu.

It is still not clear where the stress falls in all words. Some have the stress on the intial syllable, but many others have the stress in other places in the word. As the patterns emerge and stabilize I will also mark stress on each word in the dictionary.

Today's Translation

Txytavo anemanu ki bane votu datu a vayo oxa hajeda taude widaxu unze Caprona daku. Uwido votu datu seta nazlano ida ane ta ane sobina daku ida malo unze eduru da anxampai hagaru. Nazlano ida ane ta ane sobina daku poa myaronai miyuli, a pento koma tiamu daku. Ile tave ampa vibiru pa ola venua danjunu da bane votu moi nayoyolo da sofalu moi venua miyuli moi inuzai lewalu da Caprona unze oxa maga txpunu a nasopo daku kua aboza. Gumo ola sawa diada daku kua isumenai yu. Koma ile igeju daku, a viado atau amele jena igeju daku a bazo jampu Alus Caspak ura ihagarai ganu, a bazo jampu Alalus ura hali rune txpunu poa bane suma.

In that word I recognized what to me seemed the most remarkable discovery I had made upon Caprona, for unless it were mere coincidence, I had come upon a word that had been handed down from the beginning of spoken language upon earth, been handed down for millions of years, perhaps, with little change. It was the sole remaining thread of the ancient woof of a dawning culture which had been woven when Caprona was a fiery mount upon a great land-mass teeming with life. It linked the unfathomable then to the eternal now. And yet it may have been pure coincidence; my better judgment tells me that it is coincidence that in Caspak the term for speechless man is Alus, and in the outer world of our own day it is Alalus.

Txytavoanemanukibanevotudatu avayooxahajedataudewidaxu unzeCapronadaku.
Recognizesomethingaboutthisword PAST-Iandseemmostremarkablemydiscovery uponCapronaPAST-it.
In that word I recognized what to me seemed the most remarkable discovery I had made upon Caprona.
Uwidovotudatusetanazlano idaanetaane sobinadakuida malounzeedurudaanxampaihagaru.
FindwordPAST-Ithatbe givenfromone toanotherPAST-itfrombeginonearth didspokenlanguage.
I had come upon a word that had been handed down from the beginning of spoken language upon earth.
Nazlanoidaanetaane sobina dakupoamyaronaimiyuli,apento komatiamudaku.
Be givenfromonetoanotherPAST-it formillionsyears,andchangeperhapslittle PAST-it.
It had been handed down for millions of years, perhaps, with little change.
Iletaveampavibirupa ola venuadanjunudabanevotumoi nayoyolodasofalumoivenuamiyuli
Onlystilllikethreadofancient tapestryPASTthiswordwhilebe born PASTcultureduringoldyears
It was the sole remaining thread of the ancient woof of a dawning culture
moiinuzai lewaludaCapronaunze oxa magatxpunuanasopodaku kuaaboza.
whileflaming mountainPAST (be)Capronaupongiant landandbe filledPAST-itwithlife.
which had been woven when Caprona was a fiery mount upon a great land-mass teeming with life.
Gumoolasawadiadadaku kuaisumenaiyu.
ConnectverydeeppastPAST-itwith eternalnow.
It linked the unfathomable then to the eternal now.
Komaileigejudaku,a viadoatauamelejenaigejudaku
PerhapsonlycoincidencePAST-it,andtell to-megoodjudgementcoincidencePAST-it
And yet it may have been pure coincidence; my better judgment tells me that it is coincidence
abazojampuAlusCaspak uraihagaraiganu,
thathavenameAlusCaspakfor no-language-ADJpeople,
that in Caspak the term for speechless man is Alus,
abazojampuAlalusurahali runetxpunupoabanesuma.
andhavenameAlalusforthem realworldin/atthistime.
and in the outer world of our own day it is Alalus.

Some Notes on Plurals

There are what seem to be two kinds of plural. There is the usual plural, usually marked by -i, -ui, or -ia, and a "mass noun" plural that changes the noun into a collective singular. For example, "folu" is a single strand of hair, "folui" refers to several strands of hair, and "fola" refers to hair as a substance. Thus you might say "one hair", "ane folu"; "two hairs", "tose folui"; and "much hair", "olai fola".

Other examples include: vudu: vudui: vuda for animal; animals; wildlife, and rabasu: rabasui: rabasa for a single item of trash or litter, two or more individual items, and trash or rubbish as an undifferentiated mass, as in a heap of rubbish.

Cumulative Lexicon

There are two pages, English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Five -- Nov. 5, 2010

Some Lexicon Notes

A few early words were changed (thank goodness for search-and-replace) and a feminine pronoun seems to have come into existence: hwalu: hwali as opposed to the formerly gender-neutral pronoun halu: hali, which now seems to be a male gender pronoun.

There seem to be a lot of constructions like "has gratitude" for "is grateful", and "has curiosity" for "is curious". Nouns seem to be used in place of adjectives, the inventory of which seems lacking compared to English. Apparently that's the way it's done in this conlang.

Today's Translation

Bazo jampu So-Ta da itogai nabu ada gapo ki datu a bazo olai mamaru ki tau dota ikosato hamude mamaru da To-Jo a viado halude vagoru a furolo So-Ta a bento hamu axa ginaru pa ka'anu dalu. Zluto emana hali datu moi tave bento So-Ta dalu, a txkunzo halu lufa datu, a xiapo halu muza ka'anu datu a bento a gayayo ki deleru dalu. Devaro halu datu seta salemo dalu seta ixi devaro deleru o'ola So-Ta hwalu yota netxyko ahalu vedatu. Viado prexiu unze magu ta tau da So-Ta, go viado kyetu a atxetu da To-Jo a halude nabui.

Viado ta tau moi xayu da So-Ta seta itxaso raharu haza xamu.

Xyxaso garuna damu, "Kro-Lu haza hwi So-Ta." Atxto ahamu datu bazo Kro-Lu kwi ajitu a atemo avedo damu, go ixi xenato seta txtato ahamu datu.


The comely woman of whom I spoke was called So-ta, and she took such a lively interest in me that To-jo finally objected to her attentions, emphasizing his displeasure by knocking her down and kicking her into a corner of the cavern. I leaped between them while he was still kicking her, and obtaining a quick hold upon him, dragged him screaming with pain from the cave. Then I made him promise not to hurt the she again, upon pain of worse punishment. So-ta gave me a grateful look; but To-jo and the balance of his women were sullen and ominous.

Later in the evening So-ta confided to me that she was soon to leave the tribe.

"So-ta soon to be Kro-lu," she confided in a low whisper. I asked her what a Kro-lu might be, and she tried to explain, but I do not yet know if I understood her.

BazojampuSo-Tadaitogai nabuadagapokidatu
HavenameSo-TaPASTnot-uglywoman thattalkaboutPAST-I
The comely woman of whom I spoke was called So-ta,
abazoolaimamarukitau dotaikosatohamudemamarudaTo-Jo
andhavemuchinterestaboutmetherefore object toherinterestPASTTo-Jo
and she took such a lively interest in me that To-jo finally objected to her attentions
aviadohaludevagoruafurolo So-Taabentohamuaxaginarupaka'anu dalu.
andrevealhisangerandstrike-down So-Taandkickherintocornerofcave PAST-he.
emphasizing his displeasure by knocking her down and kicking her into a corner of the cavern.
Zlutoemanahalidatumoi tavebentoSo-Tadalu,atxkunzo halulufadatu,
JumpbetweenthemPAST-Iwhilestill kickSo-TaPAST-he,andholdhim quicklyPAST-I,
I leaped between them while he was still kicking her, and obtaining a quick hold upon him,
axiapohalumuzaka'anudatu abentoagayayokideleru dalu.
anddraghimout-fromcavePAST-I andkickandscreamaboutpainPAST-he.
dragged him screaming with pain from the cave.
Devarohaludatusetasalemo dalusetaixidevarodeleruo'ola So-Tahwaluyotanetxykoahaluvedatu.
CausehimPAST-IthatpromisePAST-he thatnotcausepainagainSo-Ta FUTURE-hebecausepunishACC-himshall-I.
Then I made him promise not to hurt the she again, upon pain of worse punishment.
Viadoprexiuunzemagutatau daSo-Ta,goviadokyetuaatxetu daTo-Joahaludenabui.
RevealgraditiudeonfacetomePAST So-Ta,butrevealresentmentandmenace PASTTo-joandhiswomen.
So-ta gave me a grateful look;but To-jo and the balance of his women were sullen and ominous.
Viadotataumoixayuda So-Tasetaitxasoraharuhazaxamu.
RevealtomeduringeveningPASTSo-Ta thatleavetribesoonshall-she.
Later in the evening So-ta confided to me that she was soon to leave the tribe.
Xyxasogarunadamu, "Kro-LuhazahwiSo-Ta."
WhisperquietlyPAST-she,"Kro-Lu soonwillSo-Ta."
"So-ta soon to be Kro-lu," she confided in a low whisper.
AtxtoahamudatubazoKro-Lu kwiajituaatemoavedodamu, goixixenatosetatxtatoahamudatu.
AskACC-herPAST-IhasKro-Luwhat meaningandtry toexplainPAST-she,but notknowthatunderstandACC-herPAST-I.
I asked her what a Kro-lu might be, and she tried to explain, but I do not yet know if I understood her.

Misc. Notes

Translation is becoming easier and going much faster. The sentence structures are becoming more familiar and much of the lexicon comes to me as I translate without needing to refer back to the dictionary. The more I translate the more I begin to see the problem and inadequacies of the first few day's translations. Time permitting at the end of the 30 days I will go back and re-translate the first few days, and review the rest of the text for coherence and consistency.

The goal, of course, is to arrive at the point where I am translating "instinctively", and without giving any conscious thought to how I am constructing sentences. Only then will I be ready to go back and examine analytically what I have written, and to describe the grammar that has come into existence by whatever mysterious unconcious process.

The translation so far consists of 564 words of original English text out of 2198, or 26 percent of the text. The cumulative dictionary has 400 English words for 190 conlang-X words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Six -- Nov. 6, 2010

Viado anemanu da hamude keyani. Bazo aji soboli txiyu a tsaru Kro-Lu, a aji gamisa kuzai ugati, a miro kinta gati ya sobina xatu, a bazo semajenai vudia hali. Abuste a ivisuda da hamude voti, go vayo viado damu seta ma apente Band-Lu da Kro-Lu. Bazo olai suma ura junui datu ki naviado atau manui, paxa naabeto searu atau.

From her gestures I deduced that the Kro-lus were a people who were armed with bows and arrows, had vessels in which to cook their food and huts of some sort in which they lived, and were accompanied by animals. It was all very fragmentary and vague, but the idea seemed to be that the Kro-lus were a more advanced people than the Band-lus. I pondered a long time upon all that I had heard, before sleep came to me.

Viadoanemanudahamudekeyani. BazoajisobolitxiyuatsaruKro-Lu,
RevealsomethingPASThergestures. Haveforweaponsbowsandarrows Kro-Lu,
From her gestures I deduced that the Kro-lus were a people who were armed with bows and arrows,
aajigamisakuzaiugati, amirokintagatiyasobinaxatu,
andforfoodcook-ADJbowls, andliveinhutsorother kind ofshelter,
had vessels in which to cook their food and huts of some sort in which they lived,
abazosemajenaivudiahali. Abusteaivisudadahamudevoti,
andhavecompanion-ADJanimalsthey. BrokenandunclearPASTherwords,
and were accompanied by animals. It was all very fragmentary and vague,
govayoviadodamusetamaapente Band-LudaKro-Lu.
butseemed torevealPAST-shethatmore...than advanced (than)Band-LuwereKro-Lu.
but the idea seemed to be that the Kro-lus were a more advanced people than the Band-lus.
Bazoolaisumaurajunuidatuki naviadoataumanui,paxanaabetosearu atau.
HavemuchtimeforthoughtsPAST-Iabout be revealedto methings,thenbe come sleepto me.
I pondered a long time upon all that I had heard, before sleep came to me.

Notes on the Irregular Copula (Note: more recent changes have made this section obsolete.)

It started out as VOS word order which had no provision for tense: "Be careless hunter." "Be angry bear." "Be dead hunter."

Later it developed tense particles/auxiliaries from sort of adverb-like words: "Be careless then hunter." "Be angry now bear." "Be dead soon hunter." And the word order became VOAS where 'A' is the Aux/Adverb.

Later still when the main verb was the copula it was dropped: "Careless then hunter." "Angry now bear." "Dead soon hunter."

Before long those Aux/Adverb words, that had unrelated origins, were being thought of as copulas with tense: "Careless be-then hunter." "Angry be-now bear." "Dead be-soon hunter."

Now what were three unrelated words with unrelated origins are being analyzed as irregular conjugations of the same verb "to be". And while the principle word order is still VOS when the verb is the copula the word order has become OVS with an irregular copula, and that very copula also serves as the tense marker for other verbs. Which, considering that it was originally JUST a tense marker is rather strange; strange in the sense that the next generation of speakers might wonder why the copula is irregular, and why it does double duty as the tense marker when in reality the three unrelated tense markers are doing double duty as copulas and are "irregular" simply because they are not actually related.

The translation so far consists of 644 words of original English text out of 2198, or 29 percent of the text. The cumulative dictionary has 433 English words for 205 conlang-X words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Seven: Nov. 7, 2010

Atemo uwido datu gumanu emana bane sobina ganui seta viado unzitai gematu pa kila hali seta ane adenu uxato Ga-Lu hwali. Viado anemanu datu da So-Ta, go ola idesa da jenu a jento mayu da titxa, go kapela anxampa gematu pa Ahm mayu, a kapela taude widaxu ki tiamu pa pientu pa olai ganui seta uwido tau, a kapela sobina pielu kinta kila rehari. Vayo oxa kule ki pienta da So-Ta a sobina pielu pa Band-Lu a uma pona mataku da To-Jo, a bazo sobina yamui ola ilama nazikui a ola maga kapadui a olai fola unze balisi. Avitxa datu ki oritu. Koma na akino kinta balisu pa Sphinx kinta sobina txpunu da hataru. Janeo kwi? Janeo ixi tau.

I tried to find some connection between these various races that would explain the universal hope which each of them harbored that some day they would become Galus. So-ta had given me a suggestion; but the resulting idea was so weird that I could scarce even entertain it; yet it coincided with Ahm's expressed hope, with the various steps in evolution I had noted in the several tribes I had encountered and with the range of type represented in each tribe. For example, among the Band-lu were such types as So-ta, who seemed to me to be the highest in the scale of evolution, and To-jo, who was just a shade nearer the ape, while there were others who had flatter noses, more prognathous faces and hairier bodies. The question puzzled me. Possibly in the outer world the answer to it is locked in the bosom of the Sphinx. Who knows? I do not.

Atemouwidodatugumanuemanabane sobinaganuisetaviadounzitaigematupa kilahali
Try-tofindPAST-Iconnectionbetweenthese variouspeoplesthatexplainuniversaldesireof allthem
I tried to find some connection between these various races that would explain the universal hope which each of them harbored
setaaneadenuuxatoGa-Luhwali.
thatonedaybecomeGa-LuFUTURE-they.
that some day they would become Galus.
ViadoanemanuataudaSo-Ta, goolaidesadajenuatitxa dajentomayu,
Revealsomethingto mePASTSo-Ta,but verystrangePASTideaanddifficultPASTponder it,
So-ta had given me a suggestion;but the resulting idea was so weird that I could scarce even entertain it;
gokapelaanxampagematupaAhm maku,akapelataudewidaxukitiamu papientupaolaiganui
buttrue-tospokenhopeofAhmit, andtrue-tomydiscoveryaboutstepsof advancementofmanypeoples
yet it coincided with Ahm's expressed hope, with the various steps in evolution I had noted in the several tribes
setauwidotau,akapelasobinapielu kintakilarehari.
thatfindI,andtrue-tovariouskindsin alltribes.
I had encountered and with the range of type represented in each tribe.
Vayooxa kulekipientadaSo-Ta asobinapielupaBand-Lu
SeemhighestinevolutionPASTSo-Taand similarothersofBand-Lu
For example, among the Band-lu were such types as So-ta, who seemed to me to be the highest in the scale of evolution,
aumaponamatakudaTo-Jo,
andslightlycloser-toapesPASTTo-Jo,
and To-jo, who was just a shade nearer the ape,
aolailamanazikuibazosobinayamui aolamagakapaduiaolaifolaunzebalisi.
andmoreflatnoseshaveotherpeople andmorebigjawsandmorehairuponbodies.
while there were others who had flatter noses, more prognathous faces and hairier bodies.
Avitxakioritudatu.
ConfusedaboutquestionPAST-I.
The question puzzled me.
Komakintasobinatxpununaakinokinta balisupaSphinxdahataru.
Perhapsinotherworldbehiddenin bosomofSphinxPASTanswer.
Possibly in the outer world the answer to it is locked in the bosom of the Sphinx.
Janeokwi?Janeoixitau.
Knowswho?KnownotI.
Who knows? I do not.

Notes

I'm not sure if the grammar has begun to stabilize yet. It still seems to me that some sentences have the wrong structure and word order. Hopefully, as I do more translations the sentence structure will become more consistent so that by the end of the project I can re-translate the poorly structured sentences and arrive at a consistent grammar and syntax.

Day seven marks the completion of 798 words out of 2198, or 36%. At this rate of 114 words per day I should complete the translation by day 20, leaving 10 days for editing and revising the earlier translations. The dictionary now contains 229 conlang words and 498 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Eight: Nov. 8, 2010

Uta jenui ampa takara yamu ya bejanai yamu mino searu datu; a moi itxaso searu datu, nagumo taitxa da akali a patamui, a namino jamosa da saboli. Ixi tibalo viado tau kua kwi nyagu dali. Xagave daku, go satxytu. Saito upira tau da To-Jo. Uma lukeno axa ka'anu dua oloka pa adena patu.

Nioko dua halu, "Viado hwi nau; gipano yamu upira ziru a devaro abuste kivu kua kwi nyagu? paxa maredo nau hwi tau, go pura namaredo hwi nau, janeo bane nyagu gematu pa tau."

Thinking the thoughts of a lunatic or a dope-fiend, I fell asleep; and when I awoke, my hands and feet were securely tied and my weapons had been taken from me. How they did it without awakening me I cannot tell you. It was humiliating, but it was true. To-jo stood above me. The early light of morning was dimly filtering into the cave.

"Tell me," he demanded, "how to throw a man over my head and break his neck, for I am going to kill you, and I wish to know this thing before you die."

Utajenuiampatakarayamuyabejanai yamuminosearudatu;
Withthoughtslikecrazypersonordrug-ADJ persontakesleepPAST-I;
Thinking the thoughts of a lunatic or a dope-fiend, I fell asleep;
amoiitxasosearudatu, nagumotaitxadaakaliapatamui,a naminojamosadasaboli.
andwhenleavesleepPAST-I,be fastened tightPASThandsandfeet,andbe taken awayPASTweapons.
and when I awoke, my hands and feet were securely tied and my weapons had been taken from me.
Ixitibaloviadotaukuakwi nyagudali.
Notable-tosayIwithwhatmeans PAST-they.
How they did it without awakening me I cannot tell you.
Xagavedaku,gosatxytu.Saito upirataudaTo-Jo.
HumiliatingPAST-it,buttruth.Standabove mePASTTo-Jo.
It was humiliating, but it was true.To-jo stood above me.
Umalukenoaxaka'anudaoloka paadenapatu.
SlightlyglowingintocavePASTlightof earlymorning.
The early light of morning was dimly filtering into the cave.
Niokodalu,"Viadohwani; gipanoyamuupiraziruadevaroabustekivu kuakwinyagu?
DemandPAST-he,"RevealFUTURE-you;throw manoverheadandmakebrokenneckwith whatmethod?
"Tell me," he demanded, "how to throw a man over my head and break his neck,
paxamaredonauhwatu,gopura namaredohwani,janeobanenyagu taudegematu."
thenkillyouFUTURE-I,butbefore be killedFUTURE-you,knowthismethod mywish."
for I am going to kill you,and I wish to know this thing before you die."

Notes:

I've decided to streamline a bit the task of discovering words. Since I have a good feel for the morphology, even though I haven't yet formalized it, all I really need is a little inspiration for each new word. A couple consonants will usually do the trick to get the creative juices flowing. For this purpose I have decided to consult a Pali dictionary for inspiration. For example, needing a word for "hand" I consult the Pali and find:

      hand : (m) hattha; bhuja; kara; sahayakammakara (f) disa
    

So I picked "kara" and fiddled with it a bit until it became "akalu", which is different enough from the Pali to be original, yet still somewhat inspired by the Pali, so that I don't have to stare at a blank wall each time I need a new word.

So if some words seem to have a resemblance to words of Indo-European origin, this is the reason. For example the verb "to kill; murder" is "maredo" which seems like it might have been inspired by the English "murder", but was actually inspired by the Pali:

      kill : (vt) mareti; ghateti; hanati (pp) marita; ghatita; hata
    

On day eight I have 895 words out of 2198, or 41% of the original text translated. The dictionary now contains 251 conlang words and 548 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Nine: Nov. 9, 2010

Naxato tau tawikai sibonui, go bane oxa tawikai. Vaso da marana datu, tave ola yasonai daku dota yasato data. Namino ida marana ola gasatu ura tau. Vizato datu seta viado da Lys; vesasu seta ipayune yama afosa. Uwido datu seta satxa da hwalu; seta ile yasonai yamui taui moi zluto ida rakadu da sanxu, a mamaru bazo payase ixi sobina manu ki tui jemba atui a nisa pona semaji.

Of all the ingenuous declarations I have ever heard, this one copped the proverbial bun. It struck me as so funny that, even in the face of death, I laughed. Death, I may remark here, had, however, lost much of his terror for me. I had become a disciple of Lys' fleeting philosophy of the valuelessness of human life. I realized that she was quite right--that we were but comic figures hopping from the cradle to the grave, of interest to practically no other created thing than ourselves and our few intimates.

Naxatotautawikaisibonui,go baneoxatawikai.
Be heard (by)mecleverdeclarations,but thismostingenious.
Of all the ingenuous declarations I have ever heard, this one copped the proverbial bun.
Vasodamaranadatu,taveola yasonaidakudotayasatodatu.
LookatdeathPAST-I,stillveryfunny PAST-itthuslaughPAST-I.
It struck me as so funny that, even in the face of death, I laughed.
Naminoidamaranaolagasatu uratau.
Be takenfromdeathmuchterrorfor me.
Death, I may remark here, had, however, lost much of his terror for me.
VizatodatusetaviadodaLys; vesasusetaipayuneyamaafosa.
BelivePAST-IwhatrevealPASTLys;belief thatvaluelesshumanlife.
I had become a disciple of Lys' fleeting philosophy of the valuelessness of human life.
Uwidodatusetasatxadamu
DiscoverPAST-IthatcorrectPAST-she;
I realized that she was quite right;
setaileyasonaiyamuitauimoi zlutoidarakadutasanxu,
thatonlycomicfigureswewhilehop fromcradletograve,
that we were but comic figures hopping from the cradle to the grave,
amamarubazopayaseixisobinamanu kitawijembaatuianisaponasemaji.
andconcernhasalmostnootherthingfor usexceptourselvesandfewclosefriends.
of interest to practically no other created thing than ourselves and our few intimates.

Notes:

Some idioms have been translated by paraphrasing their meaning. Clearly "that cops the bun", apparently a British version of "that takes the cake" cannot be translated literally. Since the language isn't yet mature enough to have idioms of its own, paraphrasing will have to do for now.

On day nine I have 987 words out of 2198, or 45% of the original text translated. The dictionary now contains 267 conlang words and 595 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Ten: Nov. 10, 2010 -- Shaking Things Up

Today's update is something completely different. To get a better feel for the sound of the language I've been practicing speaking the sentences with as natural a flow and rhythm as I can manage and some of the sounds and some of the words just aren't working. So today's project will be a minor overhaul of the lexicon and phonology. For historical perspective I've made a complete copy of the page as it appeared at the end of day nine.

This page, the main page, will get all the changes retroactively all the way back to day one. The changes will also be applied to the cumulative dictionary pages, since those need to reflect the latest state of the language.

The irregular plurals have settled down and changes are applied retroactively to reflect the new forms. As a general rule, nouns end in ~u with simple plural ending in ~i or ~ui. When the mass noun is needed the ending becomes ~a. The particle ai which signaled an adjectival use of a noun or noun phrase has attached itself to the noun as a suffix: ~nai. For example, nasu: a single grain of sand; nasui: plural grains of sand; nasa: sand as a mass substance; nasenai: sandy, sand-like. The same construction is used for compound nouns: piatenai nasa (sandstone; lit: stony sand)

The possessive particle pa has mutated into pa and a possessive suffix ~de has appeared that is affixed to the possessor, which is then placed before the possessed: semaja pa jambaru (the friend of the cheif) can optionally become: jambarude semaja (the cheif's friend). This same suffix is used to form the possessive pronouns.

The passive particle has attached itself to the following verb as a prefix na~. No other change is made to the verb stem for the passive: xato (to hear) vs. naxato (to be heard).

KH, the voiceless uvular fricative (χ), and YH, the voiceless palatal fricative (ç) are perfectly good sounds in many languages, but they simply don't fit with the way this language is developing. I originally included them just for a touch of the "exotic" and to prove to myself that I wasn't just letting myself be limited by English phonology. But I still have ZL, the voiced alveolar lateral fricative (ɮ) borrowed from Zulu.

As KH and YH disappeared they were replaced by G and KY For example, what used to be: "hatchet people" yhaku khanui /çɑku χɑnui/ is now kyaku ganui /kjɑku ɢɑnui/.

In addition to these generalized changes, 16 individual words have undergone one kind of mutation or another, either picking up a syllable, dropping one, or experiencing some vowel or consonant changes. Between those specific changes and the general changes outlined above nearly every sentence of the translation and well over half the entries in the dictionary have been affected in one way or another. Because of the major nature of the changes, the translated word count has not changed today, and remains where it was yesterday on day nine.

Normal translation will resume tomorrow.

Day Eleven: Nov. 11, 2010

Saito pepasa To-Jo da So-Ta. Kareto ane akalu dalu, hatu datu. Abina txaleto ziru ampa ixi bane keyanu of Caspak.

"Naotxako tau jenu ki bane," ado datu, a ado da To-Jo agamo ratxanu hwalu. Otxako hwalu bane adenu aji taude jenui; a itxaso d'alu, a d'nabui. Itxaso da byadu d'matxi, a viado paxa da So-Ta seta itxaso da nabui ta tepai jalui sotamu aji nabetu ampa nabui pa Sto-Lu. Atxto ahwalu paxa datu kwi geju aji bane patai putxanu. "Ata" ado da So-Ta.

Agaro gumenai a ixukena poa koa tose ya kise kodui datu. paxama deko ka'anu da So-Ta. Nyato tekina txeku, taude txeku, dalu, a txedo gumani.

Yanto "anego atau" dalu. "Fatxato ta Galus uta nawi hwi So-Ta. Itxaso Band-Lu hwi So-Ta. Bane umu. Fatxaso ta Kro-Lu hwati tosenau, a paxama, Ga-Lu. Maredo adau bane ratxanu hwi To-Jo. Maredo susa So-Ta setxe uwido seta anubo adau da So-Ta. Itxaso hwi tosenau."

Behind To-jo stood So-ta. She raised one hand with the palm toward me--the Caspakian equivalent of a negative shake of the head.

"Let me think about it," I parried, and To-jo said that he would wait until night. He would give me a day to think it over; then he left, and the women left--the men for the hunt, and the women, as I later learned from So-ta, for the warm pool where they immersed their bodies as did the shes of the Sto-lu. "Ata," explained So-ta, when I questioned her as to the purpose of this matutinal rite; but that was later.

I must have lain there bound and uncomfortable for two or three hours when at last So-ta entered the cave. She carried a sharp knife--mine, in fact, and with it she cut my bonds.

"Come!" she said. "So-ta will go with you back to the Galus. It is time that So-ta left the Band-lu. Together we will go to the Kro-lu, and after that the Galus. To-jo will kill you tonight. He will kill So-ta if he knows that So-ta aided you. We will go together."

SaitopepasaTo-JodaSo-Ta.
StandbehindTo-JoPASTSo-Ta.
Behind To-jo stood So-ta.
Karetoaneakaludalu,hatutatau. Abinatxaletoziruampaixibanekeyanu paCaspak.
RaiseonehandPAST-she,palmtowardme. Same-asshakeheadlikenothisgesture ofCaspek.
She raised one hand with the palm toward me-- the Caspakian equivalent of a negative shake of the head.
"Naotxakoataujenukibane,"adodatu, aadodaTo-Joagamoratxanuhwalu
"Be allowedto methoughtaboutthis,"say did I,andsayPASTTo-Jowait-fornightFUTURE-he.
"Let me think about it," I parried, and To-jo said that he would wait until night.
Otxakohwalubaneadenuajitaude jenui;aitxasod'alu,adanabui.
AllowFUTURE-hethisdayformythoughts; andleavePAST-he,andPASTwomen.
He would give me a day to think it over;then he left, and the women left.
Itxasotabyadudamatxi,
LeaveforhuntPASTmen,
the men (left) for the hunt,
aviadopaxa daSo-Tasetaitxasodanabuitatepaijalui sotamuajinabetuampanabuipaSto-Lu.
andreveallater PASTSo-TathatleavePASTwomenforwarmwater poolforbathlikewomenofSto-Lu.
and the women, as I later learned from So-ta, for the warm pool where they immersed their bodies as did the shes of the Sto-lu.
Atxtoahamupaxadatukwigejuaji banepataiputxanu."Ata"adodaSo-Ta.
Askto herlaterPAST-Iwhatreasonforthis morning-ADJritual."Ata"sayPASTSo-Ta.
"Ata," explained So-ta, when I questioned her as to the purpose of this matutinal (morning) rite; but that was later.
Agarogumenaiaixukenapoakoatose yakisekoduidatu.paxamadekoka'anuda So-Ta.
Layboundanduncomfortableforperhapstwo orthreehoursPAST-I.After-thisenteredcave PASTSo-Ta.
I must have lain there bound and uncomfortable for two or three hours when at last So-ta entered the cave.
Nyatotekinatxeku,taudetxeku,dalu, atxedogumani.
Carrysharpknife,myknife,PAST-she,and cutbonds.
She carried a sharp knife--mine, in fact, and with it she cut my bonds.
Yanto"anegoatau"dalu."Fatxatota GalusutanawihwiSo-Ta.
Command"followACC-me"PAST-she."Goto GaluswithyouFUTURESo-Ta.
"Come!" she said."So-ta will go with you back to the Galus.
ItxasoBand-LuhwiSo-Ta.Baneumu.Fatxaso taKro-Luhwatitosenau,apaxama,Ga-Lu.
LeaveBand-LuFUTURESo-Ta.Thistime.Goto Kro-LuFUTURE-weboth,andafter-this,Ga-Lu.
It is time that So-ta left the Band-lu.Together we will go to the Kro-lu, and after that the Galus.
MaredoadaubaneratxanuhwiTo-Jo.Maredo susaSo-Tasetxeuwidosetaanuboadauda So-Ta.Itxasohwatitosenau."
KillACC-youthisnightFUTURE-weTo-Jo.Killalso So-TaifdiscoverthathelpACC-youPASTSo-Ta.Leave FUTUREwe-both."
To-jo will kill you tonight.He will kill So-ta if he knows that So-ta aided you.We will go together."

Notes: (These notes are mostly obsolete.)

The tense particles have started fusing to their pronouns and nouns as contractions. For example, dua hwalu has become d'walu, and dua nabui has become d'nabui.

One other observation: I'm not sure why it happened, because it's not something I planned, but as I was writing the translation the pronoun tau in an accusative usage came out atau, which felt like that's how it was supposed to be. So I guess pronouns are trying to pick up accusative markers. Don't ask me how that happened, It wasn't my fault! This only seems to happen to pronouns and only to objects that are not already marked by a preposition.

On day eleven I have 1176 words out of 2198, or 54% of the original text translated. Yay! I'm half way there! The dictionary now contains 306 conlang words and 703 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Twelve: Nov. 12, 2010

"Fatxato uta dau ta Kro-Lu hwatu," ado datu, "go paxa fatxato ta taude ganu 'ta amalu' pue tau."

"Fatxato amidi ixi tibalo dau," ado dalu. "Iotxako e'mayu. Maredo atau wwali. Abeto abane jamu dati, ixi fatxato da amalu."

"Fatxato amalu pue tau," ado o'ola datu. "Miro amidu taude ganu. Fatxaso amidu peu tau a jabano ahali da bane disanu

Ado o'ola dalu a ado o'ola dati; paxama baio sente dati Fatxaso uta hamu hwatu da txpunu pa Kro-Lu a paxama fatxaso hwatu ta taude ganu a jabano ahali rena axa xuma nitenai txpunu ada bazo xuma maredinai yamui. Nyato ta tau dalu kila taude manui ada naminiro ida tau; parilu, txankui, txeku, a tepana metambu, a fatxaso koena besipu txkunzo akalu kua akalu dati, a fatxaso ta renu malo dati.

"I will go with you to the Kro-lu," I replied, "but then I must return to my own people 'toward the beginning.'"

"You cannot go back," she said. "It is forbidden. They would kill you. Thus far have you come--there is no returning."

"But I must return," I insisted. "My people are there. I must return and lead them in this direction."

She insisted, and I insisted; but at last we compromised. I was to escort her as far as the country of the Kro-lu and then I was to go back after my own people and lead them north into a land where the dangers were fewer and the people less murderous. She brought me all my belongings that had been filched from me--rifle, ammunition, knife, and thermos bottle, and then hand in hand we descended the cliff and set off toward the north.

"FatxatoutadautaKro-Luhwatu,"ado datu,"gopaxafatxatotataudeganu'ta amalu'puetau."
"GowithyoutoKro-LuFUTURE-I,"sayPAST-I, "butthengotomypeople'towardbeginning' mustI."
"I will go with you to the Kro-lu," I replied,"but then I must return to my own people 'toward the beginning.'"
"Fatxatoamidiixitibalonau,"adodalu. "Iotxakomaku.
"Gotherenotableyou,"sayPAST-she."Forbidden it.
"You cannot go back," she said."It is forbidden.
Maredoatauhwali.Abetoabanejamu danu,ixifatxatotaamalu."
KillyouFUTURE-they.ComethisdistancePAST-you, notgotobeginning."
They would kill you. Thus far have you come--there is no returning."
"Fatxatoamalupuetau,"adoo'oladatu. "Miroamidutaudeganu.
"GobackmustI,"sayagainPAST-I."Dwell theremypeople.
"But I must return," I insisted."My people are there.
Fatxasoamidupeutauajabano ahalitabanedisanu
GotheremustIandleadthem towardthisdirection."
I must return and lead them in this direction."
Adoo'oladaluaadoo'oladatu;paxama baiosentedati
SayagainPAST-sheandsayagaindid I;after-this seemiddlePAST-we.
She insisted, and I insisted;but at last we compromised.
Fatxasoutahamuhwatutatxpunupa Kro-Luapaxamafatxasohwatudataudeganu
GowithherFUTURE-ItolandofKro-Luand after-thisgoFUTURE-Itomypeople
I was to escort her as far as the country of the Kro-lu and then I was to go back after my own people
ajabanoahalirenaaxaxumanitenai txpunuadabazoxumamaredinaiyamui.
andleadthemnorthintolessdangerousland thathavelessmurder-ADJpersons.
and lead them north into a land where the dangers were fewer and the people less murderous.
Nyatotataudamukilataudemanuiada naminiroidatau;parilu,txankui,txeku,atepana metambu,
Carrytomedid-sheallmythingsthatbe-stolen fromme;rifle,ammunition,knife,andthermosbottle,
She brought me all my belongings that had been filched from me; rifle, ammunition, knife, and thermos bottle,
afatxasokoenabesiputxkunzoakalukua akaludati,afatxasotarenumalodati.
andgodowncliffholdhandwithhand PAST-we,andgotowardnorthbeginPAST-we.
and then hand in hand we descended the cliff and set off toward the north.

On day twelve I have 1322 words out of 2198, or 60% of the original text translated. The dictionary now contains 325 conlang words and 752 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Thirteen: Nov. 13, 2010

The present tense marking particle ene seems to have disappeared, except for its use as a stand-in for the copula. It seems that the lack of a tense marker in a sentence implies the present (I run) or present progressive (I am running). There doesn't seem to be a way to distinguish between those two tenses. But when the true copula is dropped ene still appears in its correct position as present tense marker, but has taken on the role of an auxiliary copula. This change has been propagated retroactively throughout the translated text above.

In the early translations there seems to have been some confusion bewteen "more" and "more...than". The usage of those two constructions was checked and repaired where necessary. In addition, two senses of the English word "that" seem to have gotten crossed here and there. There is seta that introduces a subordinate clause ("I saw that he left.) and ada that introduces an adjectival clause (I saw the man that left.) Those were double checked and repaired.

The biggest change today, however, has been to the system of pronouns. They were rather haphazard, and I've never bothered to lay them out in a systematic way. A few of them have mutated slightly, but the fusion of tense/aspect/mood markers with the pronouns has become complete, while those same markers, once attached to subject nouns by an apostrophe, have reasserted their independence and stand alone as separate words once more. Here, then, is a table of personal pronouns, and how they combine with various tense, aspect, and mood (TAM) particles.

Forms of the Personal Pronouns

TAM particles

Personal Pronouns
English Base Form + da + hwa + veda + xa English Base Form + da + hwa + veda + xa
I, me tau datu hwatu vedatu xatu we, us tawi dati hwati vedati xati
you nau danu hwanu vedanu xanu we, us nawi dani hwani vedani xani
he, him halu dalu hwalu vedalu xalu they (animate) hali dali hwali vedali xali
she, her hamu damu hwamu vedamu xamu ---          
it maku daku hwaku vedaku xaku they (inanimate) maki daki hwaki vedaki xaki

Day Thirteen Translation

Fatxato bane disanu dati poa kise adeni, yava abeto moi ipatue pona gatanu dati uta kizai pitu gati. ado da So-Ta seta deko ile xamu. Nabaio ixi hwatu setxe anesumu itxaso xatu. yota iotxakenai seta itxaso abozenai halu paxama abeto bane jamu da. Dota itxaso atau damu. Maite nabenu a tiere semaju damu; ola ampa matxu ixi nabu. Sofalai a idusakai damu kua mise nyagu pa kiratu. Deramu pa To-Jo damu. Sopo kinta Kro-Lu sobina deru kua nyaga pa idesa txpunu pa Caspak; go ado atau uta ola satxanai seta moi abeto o'ola ta bane txpunu hwatu, itxaso hamude deru a abeto ta tau damu; yota raxo atau ma kila sobina matxi. Irimane kila abozenai sunu datu, paxama naraxo nabui tau!

For three days we continued upon our way, until we arrived outside a village of thatched huts just at dusk. So-ta said that she would enter alone; I must not be seen if I did not intend to remain, as it was forbidden that one should return and live after having advanced this far. So she left me. She was a dear girl and a stanch and true comrade--more like a man than a woman. In her simple barbaric way she was both refined and chaste. She had been the wife of To-jo. Among the Kro-lu she would find another mate after the manner of the strange Caspakian world; but she told me very frankly that whenever I returned, she would leave her mate and come to me, as she preferred me above all others. I was becoming a ladies' man after a lifetime of bashfulness!

Fatxatobanedisanudatipoakiseadeni, yavaabetomoiipatueponagatanudatiuta kizai pitugati.
GothisdirectionPAST-weforthreedays,until comeatduskclose-tovillagePAST-wewith thatchedhuts.
For three days we continued upon our way,until we arrived outside a village of thatched huts just at dusk.
adodaSo-Tasetadekoilexamu. Nabaioixihwatusetxeanesumuitxasoxatu.
SayPASTSo-Tathatenteraloneshall-she; Be-seennotwill-Iifeverleaveintend-I.
So-ta said that she would enter alone; I must not be seen if I did not intend to remain,
yotaiotxakenaisetaitxasoabozenaihalu paxamaabetobanejamuda.Dotaitxasoatau damu.
becauseforbiddenthatleavealiveheafter comethisdistancePAST.ThusleaveACC-mePAST-she.
as it was forbidden that one should return and live after having advanced this far. So she left me.
Maitenabenuatieresemajudamu; olaampamatxuixinabu.
Dearwoman-DIMINandsteadfastcompanionPAST-her; morelikemannotwoman.
She was a dear girl and a stanch and true comrade-- more like a man than a woman.
Sofalaiaidusakaidamukuamise nyagupakiratu.DeramupaTo-Jodamu.
CulturedandpurePAST-shewithsimplemanner ofbarbarian.WifeofTo-Jopast-she.
In her simple barbaric way she was both refined and chaste. She had been the wife of To-jo.
SopokintaKro-Lusobinaderukua nyagapaidesatxpunupaCaspak;
FindwithinKro-Luanotherhusbandwithmanner ofstrangeworldofCaspak;
Among the Kro-lu she would find another mate after the manner of the strange Caspakian world;
goadoatauutaolasatxanai setamoiabetoo'olatabanetxpunuhwatu, itxasohamudederuaabetotataudamu;
butsaidto-mewithmuchhonestythatwhen comeagaintothislandFUTURE-I,leaveher mateandcometomePAST-she;
but she told me very frankly that whenever I returned, she would leave her mate and come to me,
yotaraxoataumakila sobinamatxi.Irimanekilaabozenaisunudatu, paxamanaraxonabuitau!
becauselikeACC-memore...thanallothermen. BashfulalllifetimePAST-I,thenbe-desired-by womenI!
as she preferred me above all other men.I was becoming a ladies' man after a lifetime of bashfulness!

Notes:

I'm getting to the point where I can read the language fairly well. Going back to the first few days efforts I was appalled by how awful those translations were! I couldn't resist the urge to re-translate the first four day's passages. Tomorrow, in addition to the regular translation, I'm going to go back and re-translate days five and six, at least.

On day thirteen I have 1468 words out of 2198, or 67% of the original text translated. The dictionary now contains 347 conlang words and 816 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Fourteen: Nov. 14, 2010

Day fourteen was a clean-up day. A lot of the changes that have been happening to the grammar have not been put into the earlier translations so I used today to go back through all the previous translations and make all the necessary gramatical corrections in the translations and in all the interlinears.

Regular translation willl resume tomorrow.

Day Fifteen: Nov. 15, 2010

Itxaso ahamu tepira gatanu datu, a ixi taso aji baio kwi pielu ganu miro midu datu, a fatxato ta redina uta pasytai ratxanu datu. Valo ta renipatu moi kise adenu datu, a txahato txpunu pa Band-Lu, yota ixi gemato ekatu uta To-Jo datu a naramado ahalu. Abeto ta besipi pa Sto-Lu moi adenu sepe datu, a padamo sija da taude situ moi abeto pona maki yota Lys midu. Linko ahamu tiatxa kua taude bujui haza hwatu, papolo hamude tepai otui kua taude otui haze hwatu. Vizato datu ada kema tave uta kyakai ganu damu, a mananeto hamude nenda a luku pa maidu ida hamude lukari datu moi baio atau o'ola hwamu moi abeto muza antire ekata pitapui hwatu a uma havato ta besipi.

At the outskirts of the village I left her without even seeing the sort of people who inhabited it, and set off through the growing darkness toward the south. On the third day I made a detour westward to avoid the country of the Band-lu, as I did not care to be detained by a meeting with To-jo. On the sixth day I came to the cliffs of the Sto-lu, and my heart beat fast as I approached them, for here was Lys. Soon I would hold her tight in my arms again; soon her warm lips would merge with mine. I felt sure that she was still safe among the hatchet people, and I was already picturing the joy and the love-light in her eyes when she should see me once more as I emerged from the last clump of trees and almost ran toward the cliffs.

Itxasoahamutepiragatanudatu,aixi tasoajibaiokwipieluganumiromidudatu,
LeaveACC-herin-front-ofvillagePAST-I,andnot stayforseewhatkind-ofpeoplelivetherePAST-I,
At the outskirts of the village I left her without even seeing the sort of people who inhabited it,
afatxatotaredinautapasytai ratxanudatu.
andgotosouthwithgrowingdarknessPAST-I.
and set off through the growing darkness toward the south.
Valotarenipatumoikiseadenudatu, atxahatotxpunupaBand-Lu,
TurntowestatthreedayPAST-I,and avoidcountryofBand-Lu,
On the third day I made a detour westward to avoid the country of the Band-lu,
yotaixigematoekatuutaTo-Jodatu anaramadoahalu.AbetotabesipipaSto-Lu moiadenusepedatu,
becausenotwishmeetingwithTo-JoPAST-I andbe-stoppedby-him.Cometocliffsof Sto-LuatdaysixPAST-I
as I did not care to be detained by a meeting with To-jo. On the sixth day I came to the cliffs of the Sto-lu,
apadamosijadataudesitumoi abetoponamakiyotaLysmidu.
andbeatfastPASTmyheartwhencome close-tothembecauseLyshere.
and my heart beat fast as I approached them, for here was Lys.
Linkoahamutiatxakuataudebujui hazahwatu,papolohamudetepaiotuikuataude otuihazehwatu.
EmbraceACC-hertightwithmyarmssoon FUTURE-I,touchherwarmlipswithmy lipssoonFUTURE-I.
Soon I would hold her tight in my arms again; soon her warm lips would merge with mine.
Vizatodatuadakemataveutakyakai ganudamu,amananetohamudenendaaluku pamaiduidahamudelukaridatu
BelievePAST-Ithatsafestillwithhatchet-ADJ peoplePAST-she,andimagineherjoyand glowoflovefromhereyesPAST-I
I felt sure that she was still safe among the hatchet people, and I was already picturing the joy and the love-light in her eyes
moibaioatauo'olahwamumoiabeto muzaantireekatapitapuihwatuaumahavato tabesipi.
whenseeACC-meagainFUTURE-shewhencome out-fromlastgroup-oftreesFUTURE-Iandsemi- runtocliffs.
when she should see me once more as I emerged from the last clump of trees and almost ran toward the cliffs.

Notes

Under the heading of happy accidents, as I was doing today's translation I was trying to decide whether to express a certain passage with the verb "stay; remain" and the negative particle ixi, or to use the verb "leave; depart". That's when I noticed that "not stay" is ixi taso and "leave" is itxaso. It's almost as if itxaso was derived from ixi taso even though the two verbs were coined independently. Happy accidents like that are one of the many interesting things about building a conlang in such an unplanned manner as this.

On day fifteen I have 1616 words out of 2198, or 74% of the original text translated. The dictionary now contains 375 conlang words and 889 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Sixteen: Nov. 16, 2010

Venua patu da. Deso datu seta Abeto ida sotamu da nabui, go ixi baio senkui pa aboza txa anepadenu datu. "Taso ola sumu dali" da taude jenu; go moi abeto ola pona gedau pa besipi datu, Nagipano ta txama da taude gemata yota baio anemanu datu. Napatiro unze txama da ola inuse a gasunai senkui seta abeto da anemanu moi txa sobina padenu datu; ktiki ada naminiro da mamuza, yamanai ktiki, ktiki pa ola pa raharu Sto-Lu. Ixi uwido senkui pa aboza kinta ane ka'anu datu.

It was late in the morning. The women must have returned from the pool; yet as I drew near, I saw no sign of life whatever. "They have remained longer," I thought; but when I was quite close to the base of the cliffs, I saw that which dashed my hopes and my happiness to earth. Strewn along the ground were a score of mute and horrible suggestions of what had taken place during my absence--bones picked clean of flesh, the bones of manlike creatures, the bones of many of the tribe of Sto-lu; nor in any cave was there sign of life.

Venuapatuda.DesodatusetaAbeto idasotamudanabui,goixibaiosenkui paabozatxaanepadenudatu.
OldmorningPAST.ExpectPAST-Ithatcome frompoolPASTwomen,butnotseesigns oflifeatany-placePAST-I.
It was late in the morning. The women must have returned from the pool; yet as I drew near, I saw no sign of life whatever.
"Tasoolasumudali"dataudejenu; gomoiabetoolaponagedaupabesipi datu,
"RemainmoretimePAST-they"PASTmythought; butwhencomeveryclose-tobottomofcliffs PAST-I,
"They have remained longer," I thought; but when I was quite close to the base of the cliffs,
Nagipanotatxamadataudegemata yotabaioanemanudatu.
Be-throwntogroundPASTmyhopebecause seesomethingPAST-I.
I saw that which dashed my hopes and my happiness to earth.
Napatirounzetxamadaolainusea gasunaisenkuisetaabetodaanemanumoi txasobinapadenudatu;
Be-scatteredupongroundPASTmanysilentand horriblesignsthathappenPASTsomethingwhen atanotherplacePAST-I;
Strewn along the ground were a score of mute and horrible suggestions of what had taken place during my absence--
ktikiadanaminirodamamuza,yamanai ktiki,ktikipaolaparaharuSto-Lu.
bonesthatbe-takenPASTflesh,human-ADJbones, bonesofmanyoftribeSto-Lu.
bones picked clean of flesh, the bones of manlike creatures, the bones of many of the tribe of Sto-lu;
Ixiuwidosenkuipaabozakinta aneka'anudatu.
Notfindsignsoflifeinany/one cavePAST-I.
nor in any cave was there sign of life.

Notes

On day sixteen I have 1719 words out of 2198, or 78% of the original text translated. The dictionary now contains 388 conlang words and 922 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Seventeen: Nov. 17, 2010

Igoro numade datu gasunai ktiki. Bazo gasata moi kila sumu datu seta uwido kumale ziru ktiku hwatu a nabusto taude nenda moi taude abosumu. Ryeto numade datu, a kareto kila pa todise ziru ktiki, go uwido datu seta kila ziru ktiki pona matakenai pielu dali. Tave abozenai taude gemata. Moi kise atika adeni ryeto rena a redina, repata a renipata ki kyaku ganu pa Caspak datu, go ixi uwido anesumu senku pa hali datu. Visano yu olai sumi, a xisira da txelaga; vayo pona oxa xisira anesumu pa Caprona.

Closely I examined the ghastly remains fearful each instant that I should find the dainty skull that would shatter my happiness for life; but though I searched diligently, picking up every one of the twenty-odd skulls, I found none that was the skull of a creature but slightly removed from the ape. Hope, then, still lived. For another three days I searched north and south, east and west for the hatchetmen of Caspak; but never a trace of them did I find. It was raining most of the time now, and the weather was as near cold as it ever seems to get on Caprona.

Igoronumadedatugasunaiktiki.
ExaminecarefullyPAST-Ighastlybones.
Closely I examined the ghastly remains
Bazogasatamoikilasumudatu setauwidokumaleziru ktikuhwatua nabustotaudenendamoitaudeabosumu.
HavefearduringalltimePAST-Ithat finddaintyskullFUTURE-Iandbe-brokenmy happinessformylifetime.
fearful each instant that I should find the dainty skull that would shatter my happiness for life;
Ryetonumadedatu,akaretokila patodiseziru ktiki,
SearchdiligentlyPAST-I,andpick-upallof twentyskulls
but though I searched diligently, picking up every one of the twenty-odd skulls,
gouwidodatuseta kilaziru ktikiponamatakenaipieludali.
butfoundPAST-Ithatallskulls close-toape-ADJkindPAST-they.
I found none that was not the skull of a creature but slightly removed from the ape.
Taveabozenaitaudegemata.
Stillalivemyhope.
Hope, then, still lived.
Moikiseatikaadeniryetorena aredina,repataarenipatakikyakuganu paCaspakdatu,
Duringthreemoredayssearchnorthand south,eastandwestforhatchetmenof CaspakPAST-I,
For another three days I searched north and south, east and west for the hatchetmen of Caspak;
goixiuwidoanesumusenku pahalidatu.
butnotfindeversignof themPAST-I.
but never a trace of them did I find.
Visanoyuolaisumi,axisirada txelaga;vayoponaoxaxisiraanesumupaCaprona.
Rainnowmosttimes,andcoldPASTweather; seemsclose-tomostcoldeverofCaprona.
It was raining most of the time now, and the weather was as near cold as it ever seems to get on Caprona.

Notes

On day seventeen I have 1824 words out of 2198, or 83% of the original text translated. The dictionary now contains 402 conlang words and 953 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Conlang and Conlang to English.

Day Eighteen: Nov. 18, 2010

Name That Language

I've decided that the name of the language should have at least one of the unusual sounds of the language, and I've settled on the name Txtana (ch-TAH-na) /ʧ-tɑna/ that uses the "voiceless vowel" implied in the cluster "txt". The name is derived from the verb txtato (to understand, to comprehend) and means, roughly, that which is understandable. When I first derived the word it came out Txtazu, but that was too close to the name of a conlang I started in 2004 called "Tazhu", so I changed it to Txtana which still means "understandable".

Aside from discovering the name, I'm afraid I didn't get any translation done today. Real world duties kept me away from the project today.

Day Nineteen: Nov. 19, 2010

Paxa ramado ryato datu a itxaso ta Fort Dinosaur*. Poa ane gedenu ada nasopo kua gasati a nitui pa ola venua txpunu daku, fatxato datu ta vizato dusanu redina datu. Ixi luko anesumu adiku. Datxe ramado visano. Vudui ada ekato datu xuma go bazo olai gasunai sesalu dali; go abozenai datu yava abeto atau da txtavanu seta kane jemba gemata datu, Bazo gasatu datu seta ixi uwido taude disani o'ola uta ane miyulu pa adikai oloku a moi nafurulo bane gasunai janama, janama seta ixi uwido Lys anesumu o'ola. Uwido sobina sanxu datu, sanxu pa William James. Bazo imaga xungai senkai piatu daku, a ado da xungai sedesa seta txuto moi dikise Razemtu dalu, namaredo txekai tantu pelu.

* Fort Dinosaur is a proper name in this context and is left untranslated.

At last I gave up the search and set off toward Fort Dinosaur. For a week--a week filled with the terrors and dangers of a primeval world--I pushed on in the direction I thought was south. The sun never shone; the rain scarcely ever ceased falling. The beasts I met with were fewer in number but infinitely more terrible in temper; yet I lived on until there came to me the realization that I was hopelessly lost, that a year of sunshine would not again give me my bearings; and while I was cast down by this terrifying knowledge, the knowledge that I never again could find Lys, I stumbled upon another grave--the grave of William James, with its little crude headstone and its scrawled characters recording that he had died upon the 13th of September--killed by a saber-tooth tiger.

Paxaramadoryatodatuaitxasota Fort Dinosaur.
laterstopsearchPAST-Iandleavetoward Fort Dinosaur.
At last I gave up the search and set off toward Fort Dinosaur.
Poaanegedenuadanasopokuagasati anituipaola venuatxpunudaku,
Foroneweekthatbe-filledwithterrors anddangersofancientworldPAST-it,
For a week--a week filled with the terrors and dangers of a primeval world--
fatxatodatutavizatodusanuredina datu.Ixilukoanesumuadiku.Datxe ramadovisano.
travelPAST-Itowardbelievedirectionsouth PAST-I.Notshineeversun.Seldomstop rain-V.
I pushed on in the direction I thought was south. The sun never shone;the rain scarcely ever ceased falling.
Vuduiadaekatodatuxumagobazo olaigasunaisesaludali;
BeaststhatmeetPAST-Ifewerbuthave moreterribledispositionPAST-they;
The beasts I met with were fewer in number but infinitely more terrible in temper;
goabozenaidatuyavaabetoatau datxtavanusetakanejembagematadatu,
butlive-ADJPAST-Iuntilcometo-mePAST realizationthatlostbeyondhopePAST-I,
yet I lived on until there came to me the realization that I was hopelessly lost,
Bazogasatudatusetaixiuwido taudedisanio'olautaanemiyulupa adikaioloku
HavefearPAST-Ithatnotfindmy directionsagainwithoneyearofsun-ADJlight.
that a year of sunshine would not again give me my bearings;
amoinafurulobanegasunaijanama, janamasetaixiuwidoLysanesumuo'ola,
andwhilebe-strike-down-bythisterrifyingknowledge, knowledgethatnotfindLyseveragain,
and while I was cast down by this terrifying knowledge, the knowledge that I never again could find Lys,
Uwidosobinasanxudatu,sanxupa William James.
FindanothergravePAST-I,graveof William James.
I stumbled upon another grave-- the grave of William James,
Bazoimagaxungaisenkaipiatudaku, aadodaxungaisedesasetatxutomoi dikiseRazemtudalu,
Havesmallcrudesign-ADJstonePAST-it, andsayPASTcrudeletteringthatdie onthirteenSeptemberPAST-he,
with its little crude headstone and its scrawled characters recording that he had died upon the 13th of September--
namaredotxekaitantupelu.
be-killed-byknife-ADJtoothcat.
killed by a saber-tooth tiger.

Notes

On day nineteen I have 1963 words out of 2198, or 89% of the original text translated. The dictionary now contains 418 Txtana words and 983 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Txtana and Txtana to English.

Day Twenty: Nov. 20, 2010

Vizato datu seta wege zlanato misuma. Ixi papolo anesumu ola ixkemata, ola ixkenuba, ola ile moi abosumu vedatu. Kane datu. Ixi tibalo uwido taude semaji. Ixi janeo seta tave abozenai hali datu. Satxytu, ixi tibalo vizato datu seta tave abozenai hali. Vizato datu seta txutai da Lys. Gemato seta txutai datu, go tave txkunzo aboza da. Go yu ipayune, ixkemata, nitenai veda bane abozu. Txkunzo aboza datu yota txkunzo aboza da ane ola venua urokenai purapadaru. Nazlano adatu moi kila suma da ola bahalenai geju ada sekalo imaga situ pa halu da, geju da sakemo atu.

I think that I almost gave up then. Never in my life have I felt more hopeless or helpless or alone. I was lost. I could not find my friends. I did not even know that they still lived; in fact, I could not bring myself to believe that they did. I was sure that Lys was dead. I wanted myself to die, and yet I clung to life--useless and hopeless and harrowing a thing as it had become. I clung to life because some ancient, reptilian forbear had clung to life and transmitted to me through the ages the most powerful motive that guided his minute brain--the motive of self-preservation.

Vizatodatusetawegezlanatomisuma.
BelievePAST-Ithatalmostsurrenderthen.
I think that I almost gave up then.
Ixipapoloanesumuolaixkemata,ola ixkenuba,olailemoiabosumuvedatu.
Notfeelevermorehopeless,morehelpless, morealoneinlifetimePRES-PERF-I.
Never in my life have I felt more hopeless or helpless or alone.
Kanedatu.Ixitibalouwidotaude semaji.Ixijaneosetataveabozenaihalidatu.
LostPAST-I.Notable-tofindmyfriends. NotknowthatstillalivePRES-theyPAST-I.
I was lost. I could not find my friends. I did not even know that they still lived;
Satxytu,ixitibalovizatodatuseta taveabozenaihali.
Truth,notable-tobelievePAST-Ithatstill alivePRES-they.
in fact, I could not bring myself to believe that they did.
VizatodatusetatxutaidaLys. Gematosetatxutaidatu,gotavetxkunzo abozada.
BelievePAST-IthatdeadPASTLys.Wish thatdeadPAST-I,butstillhold-ontolifePAST.
I was sure that Lys was dead. I wanted myself to die, and yet I clung to life--
Goyuipayune,ixkemata,nitenaiveda baneabozu.
Butnowuseless,hopeless,dangerousPRES-PERF thislife.
useless and hopeless and harrowing a thing as it had become.
Txkunzoabozadatuyotatxkunzoaboza daaneola venuaurokenaipurapadaru.
Hold-ontolifePAST-Ibecausehold-ontolife PASTsomeancientreptilianancestor.
I clung to life because some ancient, reptilian forbear had clung to life
Nazlanoadatumoikilasumadaola bahalenaigejuadasekaloimagasitupa haluda,
Be-givenPAST-to-methroughalltimesPASTmost powerfulreasonthatmotivatesmallbrainof himPAST,
and transmitted to me through the ages the most powerful motive that guided his minute brain--
gejudasakemoatu.
motivePASTsaveself.
the motive of self-preservation.

Notes

On day twenty I have 2074 words out of 2198, or 94% of the original text translated. There is only one paragraph left to be translated tomorrow. The dictionary now contains 430 Txtana words and 1019 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Txtana and Txtana to English.

Day Twenty-One: Nov. 21, 2010

Paxa sumu abeto ta maga wakirai besipi datu; a paxa tise adeni kua takara kamanta, kua ola takara kamanta, urahato amaki datu. Yojeto xungai nexenti datu. Padamo bujeni axa imaga vitarui datu. Hakyato nagalai xedui a petangai xedui kua taude daika txeku datu; go paxa sumu urahato amaki datu. Pona pitu uwido maga ka'anu datu. Mironai padenu pa ane bahalenai senabenai vudu pa Triassic suma seku, ya vatane daku. Yu pa tua seku. Maredo vudu a miniro nelahu pa maku. Abeto ta pitu datu a vilako pitela duxu gasunai Xante Simu moi ola redina xisirama datu. Xisira mide kule padenu da. Xisira midu se. Go eseto midu setu a vilako, vilako, vilako ki manu ada ixi abeto anesumu hwaku; ki laguru.

At last I came to the great barrier-cliffs; and after three days of mad effort--of maniacal effort-- I scaled them. I built crude ladders; I wedged sticks in narrow fissures; I chopped toe-holds and finger-holds with my long knife; but at last I scaled them. Near the summit I came upon a huge cavern. It is the abode of some mighty winged creature of the Triassic--or rather it was. Now it is mine. I slew the thing and took its abode. I reached the summit and looked out upon the broad gray terrible Pacific of the far-southern winter. It was cold up there. It is cold here today; yet here I sit watching, watching, watching for the thing I know will never come--for a sail.

Paxasumuabetotamagawakiraibesipi datu;
Aftertimecometogreatbarrier-ADJcliffs PAST-I;
At last I came to the great barrier-cliffs;
apaxatiseadenikuatakarakamanta, kuaola takarakamanta,urahatoamakidatu.
andafterthreedayswithmadeffort,with maniacaleffort,climbACC-themPAST-I.
and after three days of mad effort--of maniacal effort--I scaled them.
Yojetoxungainexentidatu.Padamobujeni axaimagavitaruidatu.
BuildcrudeladdersPAST-I.Poundsticksinto smallcracksPAST-I.
I built crude ladders; I wedged sticks in narrow fissures;
Hakyatonagalaixeduiapetangaixedui kuataudedaikatxekudatu;
Choptoe-ADJnotchesandfinger-ADJnotcheswith mylongknifePAST-I.
I chopped toe-holds and finger-holds with my long knife;
gopaxasumuurahatoamakidatu.Pona pituuwidomagaka'anudatu.
butaftertimescaleACC-themPAST-I.Close-to peakfindlargecavePAST-I.
but at last I scaled them. Near the summit I came upon a huge cavern.
Mironaipadenupaanebahalenaisenabenai vudupaTriassicsumaseku,yavatanedaku.
dwell-ADJplaceofsomepowerfulwing-ADJcreature ofTriassicagePRES-it,orratherPAST-it.
It is the abode of some mighty winged creature of the Triassic--or rather it was.
Yupatuaseku.Maredovudua minironelahupamaku.
NowofmePRES-it.Killcreatureand stealhomeofit.
Now it is mine. I slew the thing and took its abode.
Abetotapitudatuavilakopitela duxugasunaiXante Simumoiolaredinaxisirama datu.
CometopeakPAST-Iandlook-atbroadgray terrifyingPeaceful OceaninverysouthwinterPAST-I.
I reached the summit and looked out upon the broad gray terrible Pacific of the far-southern winter.
Xisiramidekulepadenuda.Xisiramidu se.
ColdthathighplacePAST.ColdherePRES.
It was cold up there.It is cold here today;
Goesetomidusetuavilako,vilako, vilakokimanuadaixiabetoanesumuhwaku; kilaguru.
ButsitherePRES-Iandlook,look,look forthingthatnotcomeeverFUTURE-it;for sail.
yet here I sit watching, watching, watching for the thing I know will never come-- for a sail.

Notes

On day twenty-one the entire original text has been translated. The dictionary now contains 457 Txtana words and 1086 English words. As always, the dictionaries are at English to Txtana and Txtana to English.

Since the original goal has been reached with nine more days left in the thirty day allotment, I am going to continue working on the language by translating sentences from McGuffey's First Reader.

End of Day Twenty-One

To follow further progress follow this link to the McGuffey translation.