Translation exercise: Translate the chorus (or any set of lines you like) from your favorite song.

Translation exercise: Translate the chorus (or any set of lines you like) from your favorite song.


# “We Know the Way” (from *Moana*) in Tolumotuan This is my first attempt at a post in my conlang. Constructive criticism is very much welcomed. A few notes on the language: 1. Spaces are included here between characters only to show word / grammar / syntax separation 2. The letter *g* in the Latinized transcriptions is read as /ŋ/, used as a single consonant sound (as in modern Samoan) 3. Han-based characters may individually represent a word or thought, but are also often paired - especially for compound words or to maintain a two-syllable-per-character limit while conveying meaning; additionally, some words may be represented by different characters in different contexts (see notes for \* and \*\* below) 咱 人帆 吒叫哙 Tatou tagoa-folā sa-valazoi We(incl) people-sailing PASTINDEF-call English: We voyagers have been called 匚 呢 抢 𤅶洋 帆𪫆 E le toga bigavasa folāmua By ARTSPEC god/s ocean* sail-return** By the ocean gods to sail again 咱 担同 匚 尼 昔牙 令 Tatou đamađaga e nai takaga tolei We(incl) undertake SPECIFIER this challenge-NOUNIFIER good 準备𠰚 Tuaniaini Prepare+IMP Get ready


* the first character of "ocean" has a connotation akin to "the high seas" or "the open ocean" ** the second character, representing "return" here, includes the "water" radical, to invoke the connection to seafaring and wayfinding


How is this language related to Tokelauan? Because it sounds really similar to what I can remember of the song. Love the song and this conlang seems real cool.


TL;DR, it's mainly based on Samoan which is closely related to Tokelauan. In this particular song, the first verse is in Samoan while the chorus (and other incidental vocals) are in Tokelauan. The two languages I'm hybridizing for Tolumotuan (*tolu* = "three" + *motu* island(s)", named for the fictitious cluster of islands) are Samoan (substrate) and Vietnamese (superstrate + basis for the writing system, via [hanzi](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_characters#:~:text=Chinese%20characters%2C%20also%20called%20Hanzi,for%20the%20writing%20of%20Chinese.&text=Chinese%20characters%20are%20the%20oldest,of%20writing%20in%20the%20world) and [Chữ Nôm](http://www.nomfoundation.org/nom-script/What-is-Nom-?uiLang=en)). Based on the reading I did before starting to create lexicon and grammar rules, Samoan has the double-bonus of being the "oldest" Polynesian language (it'll give me more of what I'm going for since my conlang comes about during the 13^(th) century) and having a lot of material available online.


#*TOUT L’UNIVERS* #*Seissiric* Åл т’универ Унзе дō åртен унтер грунд Ин дер сентр’ ван дер’хсплож Их бевинд ин’н пунт в’импахт Зōнд’р ду Ål t’univer Unze dō årten unter grund In der sentr’ van der’chsplozh Ich bevind in’n punt v’impacht Zōnd’r du #*Iaponic* く たいつめ の だち か つ らいこ お せんち の ぷん つぱつ なお せて の ぷん ちつん さん とい Ku taitsume No dachi ka tsu raiko O senchi no pun tsupatsu Nao sete no pun chitsun San toi #*French/Swiss* Tout l’univers Nos deux cœurs sous la terre Au milieu des failles tout éclate J’ai troubé un point d’impact Sans toi #*English* The whole universe Our two hearts under the ground At the centre of the rifts where everything explodes Being at the point of impact Without you


**Calantero** **Uir est iu mu queme-e? Men mentīmen e-e-e-e.** /wir est ju mu kʷeme e men mentiːmen e e e e/ uir_est_iu mu quem-e ? men-0 mentīm -men-0 e . Q me.INS come-2SG? my -ACC imagine-RES-ACC be.IMP. *Are you coming with me-e? Be my fantasy-e-e-e.* **Diu e cāntonto stulcliuguarsui nebodēt.** **Sē uīdorui** **cliuoruique** **podē****.** /diw e kaːntonto stulkljugwarsuj nebodeːt. Seː wiːdoruj kliworujkʷe podeː/ de-o e-0 cāntont-o stulcliug-uars -ui ne -pod-ēt . sē uīd-os -ui cliu-os -ui -que pod-ē . to-NOM e-ACC song -NOM justify -GER.PASS-DAT NEG-can-3SG. only see-GER-DAT hear-GER-DAT-and can-2SG. *The E song cannot be explained. You can only watch and listen.* Well what were you expecting, for my favourite song that contains English lyrics to have anything more substantial? At least it follows the meter.


I have a hard time deciding on one song to be my favorite, and in all likelihood, it would end up being one without lyrics. For the sake of simplicity, here's the Jëváñdź translation of the first chorus from [Forever](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThYyI8S2Tr8), which is probably at least top fifty and has recently been on heavy rotation for about two weeks now. **Text** Vü śyëćík lzëvû: Xwë ù:gatá:t lë śyëdamákkëñ Xwí lë:nó, lźû, lzé:gn Śyavźdíglaj kám mû: Lë:t cwë:zëñdźígra: ka:tí fo:jé: Źdzëndík foráś cá: dźùd kwá:t darañjé:t **IPA** (using primary stress to indicate the beat, length unmarked) [ˈvy ɕɥəˈt͡ɕig ˈzəvʉ] [ˈxw‿ʊgʌˈtɑd lə ˈɕɥədʌˈmɑkə̃] [ˈxwi ləˈno ləˈʑʉ ləˈzegə̃] [ˈɕɥɐvʑdigˈlɐj ˈkɑm mʉ] [lət ˈt͡swəzə̃ˈd͡ʑigrʌ ˈkʌti ˈfoje] [ˈʑd͡zəndik ˈforɑɕ ˈt͡sɑ d͡ʑʉd ˈgwɑd ˈdʌrʌ̃jet] **Back-translation** Absolutely nothing is Like the magic (you're) performing Like hugging, kissing, twisting Now is a revelation That you’ve completely destroyed expectations I expect at all times all (your) love I managed to retain the rhyme scheme (ABBACC), though I had to put the song's rhythmic stress on several unstressed syllables and completely ignore vowel length. Additionally, I changed the literal meaning of the third line a bit. The first three lines were originally "Nothing else comes near / to this mysterious power / you have over me this hour," which has the issue of "this hour" being strange to adapt into the language and barely anything rhyming with the -këñ suffix, so I changed it to a more literal simile just to set up the rhyme with lzé:gn. Fun little side note, the language has pretty strong negative concord, to the point where the first line actually has a triple negative that translates literally to "Nothing doesn't do not being." So far I haven't really been worried about figuring out what situations cancel or reinforce negatives, but after seeing this resolve in my head quickly and unambiguously to "Absolutely nothing is," I see now that I really do need to investigate this topic further.


# Unravel - TK Probably not my favourite song of all time, but most songs are often about love in some aspect, which is basically impossible (if not very difficult) to express in my most fleshed-out conlang, and this is the first one I could think of that could reliably be translated in. Note, the language does not have an official name, nor will I ever give it one because the culture it comes from in-universe is so insular that they never had to distinguish their language from any others. Translating directly from one language I'm not brilliant at into one which only I speak so apologies if it comes out terribly and for inevitable mistakes. nará mubím žheddhévdd kofhepóš kiȟiwášja vlus /ɳˤɤˈɽrˤɑ mɯˈbɪm ʐʱeˈɖʱɛɦ̪͆ɖ cɯh̪͆ʰeˈpɤʂ cɪħɪˈwˤɑʂɖ͡ʑɤ ɦ̪͆ɭɯs/ Part.Emote. Near1P.-1P.-TOP. become-Obs.Invol.1P.Nom.3P.Acc Neg1.-Obj.-see-Acc. Neg2.-can-comprehended-Obs.Invol.3P.Agent-Desc. world-Loc. "O! This me unwillingly becomes invisible in an incomprehensible world." bæ naqɬágžma šcež fuǧ biq nvé biq a /bˀa̘ ɳˤɤˈqɬˤɑɟʐmˤɑ ʂʈ͡ʂɛʐ h̪͆ɯɮ bɪq nɦ̪͆ɛ bɪq ɑ/ Part.Emote. burrow-Obs.Vol.0P.Nom.3P.Acc bridge-Acc.Subset. die-Obs.Invol.3P.Agent. 1P-Pos1. brain-Nom. 1P-Pos. soul-Nom. "O! As for burrowing into a bridge, my brain and soul unwillingly die." Note: this sentence is very idiom heavy. "Burrow into a bridge" means "very slowly", and "brain/soul die" means "to go crazy" dud u kunvídv biš dud u kunvídž biq aš - dud u kopódv biš /dɯd ɯ cɯˈɳɦ̪͆ɪdɦ̪͆ bɪʂ dɯd ɯ cɯˈɳɦ̪͆ɪdɦ̪͆ bɪq ɑʂ dɯd ɯ cɯˈpɤdɦ̪͆ bɪʂ/ 2P.-Voc. REQUEST Neg1.-seek-Obs.Vol.2P.Nom.1P.Acc. 1P.-Acc. 2P.-Voc. REQUEST Neg1.-seek-Obs.Vol.2P.Nom.3P.Acc. 1P-Pos1. soul-Acc. - 2P.-Voc. REQUEST Neg1.-look-Obs.Vol.2P.Nom.1P.Acc. "You, do not look for me, do not look for my soul - do not look at me." nará mágžja khsuj nqivlúm qxælv bi væmǽ mddos /ɳˤɤˈɽrˤɑ ˈmˤɑɟʐɖ͡ʑɤ cʰsɯɖ͡ʑ ɳqɪɦ̪͆ɭɯm qχˀa̘ɭɦ̪͆ bɪ ɦ̪͆ˤa̘mˤa̘ mɖɤs/ Part.Emote. draw-Obs.Vol.0P.Nom.3P.Acc-Desc. corrupted-Desc. Near1P.2P.-world-Top. synonymous-Axiom.Invol.1P.Agent 1P.-Nom. tool-hurt-Nom. now-Loc. "O! As for this damned world that someone drew, there's no difference between me and a weapon of torture now." mgeketóbv mǽvdšhæ t3 qttam u kosřéd bis /mɟeceˈtɤbɦ̪͆ ˈmˀa̘ɦ̪͆dʂʰɛ tʕ qʈɑm ɯ cɯˈsʀɛd bɪs/ But-Neg2.-want-Obs.Vol.1P.Nom.1P.Acc hurt-Obs.Invol.1P.Nom.2P.Acc.-Acc. Part.Emote. priorstatement-Top. REQUEST Neg1.-location-Obs.Vol.2P.Agent 1P.-Loc "But I don't want to hurt you. Considering that don't be near me." ho u šxadz védvšhe bížut bíggut ážat /hɤ ɯ ʂ͡χɑdz ˈɦ̪͆ɛdɦ̪͆ʂʰe ˈbɪʐɯt ˈbɪɢɯt ˈaʐˤɤt Part.Emote. REQUEST promise-Obs.Vol.2P.Nom.2P.Acc. know-Obs.Vol.2P.Nom.1P.Acc.-Acc 1P-Acc2.Past. 1P-Pos2.2.Past. soul-Acc2.Past. "Please promise you will remember who I was and what my soul was."