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Lesson 7
Your Turn 1


The seventh lesson of each set of seven will give you the opportunity to put your skills to use in translating from English into Láadan. This story will also be fairly cartoonish, but don’t let that stop you from having fun with it.

Language is a fluid medium; there are always many ways to convey the same information. That said, my translation will be one way of rendering the English text into Láadan; yours may very well be another—especially as we go along and have more vocabulary and grammatical features with which to work.

Vocabulary

ábed

farm

ada

to laugh

belid

house

boshum

cloud

dithemid

cow

do

strong

doól

at last; finally

dozh

to be easy

edemid

mouse [ede (grain) + mid (creature)]

éeb

juice; sap

éesh

sheep

éezh

goat

ham

to be present; there is/are

híya

to be small

hob

butter

–hul

Degree Marker: to an extreme degree; extremely

id

and then

lal

milk

lalom

to sing

lóolo

to be slow

meénan

to be sweet (flavor)

modi

to be ugly

na–

Prefix (verb): to begin to VERB; to start VERBing

omid

horse

owa

to be warm

rahíya

to be large [ra– (NON) + híya (be small)]

rahowa

to be cold [ra– (NON) + owa (be warm)

ralóolo

to be quick; to be rapid; to be fast [ra– (NON) + lóolo (be slow)]

rohoro

storm

róomath

barn

rul

cat

shóod

to be busy

thée–

Prefix (verb): about to VERB, but not any minute

thu

honey

woth

wisdom; used as a verb: to be wise

yom

to be safe; to be secure

yul

wind

In English we say “It’s windy,” or “It’s cold,” or “It’s stormy.” There’s no specific thing being referred to by the “it” in these English sentences; it’s just the way we talk about the weather. Every language has little pieces of “how we say” certain things that, transposed word for word into another language, make no sense; language students call these pieces “idioms.” In Láadan the idiom for speaking about the weather involves the verb “ham” followed by the weather effect (sun, rain, wind, storm, and so on). So the English “It’s windy,” would be, in Láadan, “ham yul.” Of course, this sentence may need the Type-of-Sentence word and Evidence word: “Bíi ham yul wa.

Notice, also, the ending “–hul”. This is the first we’ve seen of a whole set of Degree Markers. This one means that the verb to which it is attached is an “extremely” form of itself. This is straightforward in stative verbs (verbs that discuss a state of being—translated into English as adjectives); with active verbs (verbs that discuss an action—translated into English as verbs), “–hul” would intensify the action; the English would resemble “VERB extremely hard” or some such.

There are verb prefixes that seem, in the English translation, like “helping verbs,” but in Láadan they are just ways you can modify any verb. Two such are “na–” (begin to VERB; start VERBing) and “thée–” (about to VERB, but not any minute), listed above.

English Text

The Farm

It was an ugly day. It was cloudy, windy and cold, and it was about to storm. The people were busy and working hard. But they sang, and then the work was easy.

The cows and pigs were big, and the horses were strong. The goats were wise, and the sheep were slow. The cats were quick; the mice were small and afraid. At last the animals were safe; the barn was strong. And then the storm began.

The house was strong and warm. There was bread and butter and honey. There were milk and juice. The bread was warm; the honey and the juice were sweet. The people ate, and sang and talked and laughed.

My Láadan Translation with Morphemic Analysis & Retranslation into English

The Farm

Ábed

Ábed

Farm

The/A Farm


It was an ugly day. It was cloudy, windy and cold, and it was about to storm. The people were busy and working hard. But they sang, and then the work was easy.

Bíide modi sháal wo. Meham boshum, yul i rahowa, i théeham rohoro. Meshóod i mehalehul with. Izh melalom with, id dozh hal.

Bíide

DECL + NARR

modi

BeUgly

sháal

Day

wo.

MADEUP

Meham

PL + BePresent

boshum,

Cloud

yul

Wind

i

And

rahowa,

Cold

i

And

théeham

ABOUTto– + BePresent

rohoro.

Storm

Mesháad

PL + BeBusy

i

And

mehalehul

PL + Work + DEGextreme

with.

Person

Izh

But

melalom

PL + Sing

with,

Person

id

AndThen

dozh

BeEasy

hal.

Work

The day was ugly. It was cloudy, windy and cold, and it was about to storm. The people were busy and working extremely hard. But the people sang, and then the work was easy.


The cows and pigs were big, and the horses were strong. The goats were wise, and the sheep were slow. The cats were quick; the mice were small and afraid. At last the animals were safe; the barn was strong. And then the storm began.

Bíide merahíya dithemid i muda, i medo omid wo. Mewoth éezh, i melóolo éesh. Meralóolo rul, i mehíya i mehéeya edemid. Doól meyom mid; do róomath. Id naham rohoro.

Bíide

DECL + NARR

merahíya

PL + BeLarge

dithemid

Cow

i

And

muda,

Pig

i

And

medo

PL + BeStrong

omid

Horse

wo.

MADEUP

Mewoth

PL + Wisdom

éezh,

Goat

i

And

melóolo

PL + BeSlow

éesh.

Sheep

Meralóolo

PL + BeQuick

rul,

Cat

i

And

mehíya

PL + BeSmall

i

And

mehéeya

PL + BeAfraid

edemid.

Mouse

Doól

AtLast

meyom

PL + BeSafe

mid;

Creature

do

BeStrong

róomath.

Barn

Id

AndThen

naham

BEGIN + BePresent

rohoro.

Storm

The cows and horses were large, and the horses were strong. The goats were wise, and the sheep were slow. The cats were quick, and the mice were small and afraid. At last the animals were safe; the barn was strong. And then the storm began.


The house was strong and warm. There was bread and butter and honey. There were milk and juice. The bread was warm; the honey and the juice were sweet. The people ate, and sang and talked and laughed.

Bíide do i owa belid wo. Meham bal i hob i thu. Ham lal i éeb. Owa bal; memeénan thu i éeb. Meyod i melalom i medi i mehada with.

Bíide

DECL + NARR

do

BeStrong

i

And

owa

BeWarm

belid

House

wo.

MADEUP

Meham

PL + BePresent

bal

Bread

i

And

hob

Butter

i

And

thu.

Honey

Meham

PL + BePresent

lal

Milk

i

And

éeb.

Juice

Owa

BeWarm

bal;

Bread

memeénan

PL + BeSweet

thu

Honey

i

And

éeb.

Juice

Meyod

PL + Eat

i

And

melalom

PL + Sing

i

And

medi

PL + Speak

i

And

mehada

PL + Laugh

with.

Person

The house was strong and warm. There were bread and butter and honey. There were milk and juice. The bread was warm; the honey and the juice were sweet. The people ate and sang and talked and laughed.

My Láadan Text

Ábed

Bíide modi sháal wo. Meham boshum, yul i rahowa, i théeham rohoro. Meshóod i mehalehul with. Izh melalom with, id dozh hal.

Bíide merahíya dithemid i muda, i medo omid wo. Mewoth éezh, i melóolo éesh. Meralóolo rul, i mehíya i mehéeya edemid. Doól meyom mid; do róomath. Id naham rohoro.

Bíide do i owa belid wo. Meham bal i hob i thu. Ham lal i éeb. Owa bal; memeénan thu i éeb. Meyod i melalom i medi i mehada with.

Comments

Yes, this is a lot of new vocabulary; the topic required more than was planned. But you can handle it. And at least some of the new vocabulary items are just opposites of words we already knew; Láadan forms opposites of many words by simply adding the prefix “ra–” (NON).

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