Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kafédin mé Hiĵagin, ta ofowin pa hiĵag ba xmeci (Wanderers and Sandmen, brothers in the mother desert)

Last night I finally got around to defining the difference between the two desert peoples of Wytn. For a very long time I had refused to do this, as I felt that they worked together as a rather cohesive group- but after viewing geography and seeing the difference in regions (which of course leads to differences, both subtle and overt, in lifestyle) I decided that defining these two groups would be a step forward in understanding the nomads.

What follows is a brief description of each, along with a picture showing the environment in which they are found. I expect to update this entry several times, so keep an eye out for changes.

Nuv ta kafédin - About the wanderers
The Kafédin are a nomadic people (hence the name) who live in the area of the mother desert which lack the iconic shifting sands of the high desert. They come together once ever 4 years in a massive great "festival", during which time the tribal leaders conduct a bride exchange between their peoples, territory negotiations with other tribe leaders, and copious amounts of trade. Because of their interconnectedness, the dialects of the yaundin ta kafédin are very closely connected, and between any given group the dialects are guaranteed to be understood.



Nuv ta hiĵagin - About the sandmen
The hiĵagin are famous for living in the massive rock complexes which crisscross beneath the shifting sands of the mother desert. Unlike their close relatives the kafédin, each group has its own distinctive dialect, and between different groups there is bound to be both a lack of understanding and hostility. The hiĵagin are tolerant towards their southern cousins, and from time to time trade and exchange women with them.


Img sources:
* found here.
** found here.
*** found here.
**** Northwestern University Library, Edward S. Curtis's 'The North American Indian': the Photographic Images, 2001.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ba lēava (The Fog)


(Care to listen?)

Ba lēava baféd
ber stén frn nahx
bakep karaugi
ba kaevob mé tufanab
o ta lozan eratin ba
mé unî baféd ébian.


The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Found here.

Yxmî ba kémian... (I said to the man...)


(Wanna listen to it?)

Yxmî ba kémian, kaxovo pal ba pag ba ivlú- "Olēétora fian yéâdab, ân saf yméâ ân tréka pa ba meadab, faé me baahl neousai." Rial kaxmî "Olēéféd pa ta noalabin, mé olēépútú ba ufeb ó ba ufe jwr. Jéd siadauzoi baahl faé yéâda, mé siadsafi faé fiahc usai."

(note: recording left out the word 'saf'. Sorry!)


I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." And he replied, "Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.

Found here.

Niapiartalēp of the Blue Flowers - A tale from the Ilyun

At that time, there was a maiden named Niapiartalep who had fallen deeply in love. As with all first loves, this love was heavy and unavoidable. De'viat, who adores love, of course knew of it- and watched over this maiden in her doings.

But this girl had fallen in love with a monk of the Jovers*, the name of which was Talbet. In those days, the monks of the Jovers took no women and swore themselves to chastity, and forbade themselves the sight of women. For it is said that De'viat also adores truthfulness and assumed virtue.

The idea to win him over from his vows came to Niapiartalep one evening when she was staring in the waters of the cave in which her home was. She observed the ripplings of the water, and the alteration of her face- and she said to herself 'What things are man and permanence, that even the water can change the appearance of both stone and flesh without a moment's effort? All things change. Let me change Talbet as well, that we be forever happy together. It is true he is a good man, and surely my father will approve of our union.”

But her father had refused many suitors before who had come to take flight with his daughter, and there was no reason this should be any different. Laden with problems and uncertainty, dear Niapiartalep went to sleep, tossing and turning because of her sadness.

Good De'viat came to her as she slept, looking sympathetically at her. "Surely you must understand that he has stepped from this life for something he considers meaningful," he said.

And Niapiartalep, who was still young and did not know to trust immediately the words of God, said "What you have said, good De'viat, is true- but my heart does not allow me to capitulate in this matter."

Good De'viat, ever patient and mild, responded "You will speak to him one time, tomorrow, and ask him his opinion on this matter. I who am steeped in love cannot deny you this request. If there is softness for you there in his heart, he will be yours."

Niapiartalep woke happily the next morning and ran to find Talbet, who was praying at the alter of Me're*.

"Talbet, have you never felt happiness at the sight of me?", she asked.

The monk said nothing, but turned his eyes from her and looked instead to the statue of the woman and her child.

"I said, Talbet, will you be the friend of my heart?"

He stood and walked from the church. The girl Niapiartalep followed, still hopeful that perhaps he had not heard her.

"I said, Talbet, will you come and be with me before my father?"

Talbet turned on her scorningly, his eyes hardened against her advances.

"You dare ask me such things in the house of my wife, the lady Me're- I ignored you, thinking that you were joking. And then you asked me again, after I turned my eyes to the only woman that I have ever loved. And still not after I walked away from you did you stop. You will have it from my lips, then: I have no love for you."

Niapiartalep turned and ran from him to her home, where she fell into a tearful, fitful sleep.
As she slept, good De'viat came to her again, saying:
"Niapiartalep, that man is a monk. Such men love only one thing- that God and the mother of that God. There is no softness in his heart, and love has here no power."

But Niapiartalep was so distraught that she could not even speak to De'viat, who hears and knows all things.

Good De'viat, who is of the Weyr, and from whom the Weyr have sprung, knew that to recover from such a love was impossible. So he went to lord Nu'kiam, saying:
"O Nu'kiam, you are the one who knows many things. I who know love better than all cannot find a solution. This girl will die from a love so deep."

And Nu'kiam said: "Give me this woman and I will have her be what even this man cannot resist- and she will be with him forever."

And De'viat consented, and Niapiartalep consented, and Nu'kiam in in his way took the girl and turned her into a flower which was the most brilliant blue that had ever been seen.

And lord Nu'kiam caused that from that flower would come forth many seeds, and they would sprout there in the courtyard where Talbet so often prayed, so that in the morning when Talbet came out, he would see them and exclaim: "Oh Father, surely you intended these to honor your mother, the woman of blue*!"

And this the monk did the next morning after he had finished his prayers- such was his joy at seeing the beautiful flower of faithful Niapiartalep that he fell to his knees and gathered a bunch of the flowers immediately, laying Niapiartalep to his heart.

And he gathered these flowers every morning and lay them on the alter to the blue lady, keeping good Niapiartalep close to his heart for the rest of his days.

*Jovers, Me're : An early group of immigrant Christians, the Jovers, made a name for themselves by settling on the plains of Atipica and creating monasteries there (which had previously been unknown on Wytn). The Jovers still exist in very small numbers in Atipica, but mostly in their monasteries, where they number around 300. The sandic name of Mary (The Christian and Jover 'mother of god') was 'the blue woman' (so named for her blue cloak), or Me're.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Great Storm - a tale from the Ilyun.


Not so very long ago, great lord Núkiam, who had grown distant from the world since the death of Ĵewú*, decided that mankind had grown fat and evil because of his long lenience. Déviat was convinced of this also. Determined to scour the world of this evil, lord Núkiam caused there to be a great sandstorm, the likes of which had never before been seen.

It stripped the flesh from the men and women, and killed the children also. The tongues of the cattle grew thick in their mouths, suffocating them. Everything was buried in sand, baking beneath the sun which is the left eye of the great lord Núkiam.

Near sunset, a child in the village of Tamen, which was the last place on Earth the sand had not yet buried, cried out its true name** to the approaching winds, then begged of Déviat, protector and child of the Weyr, mercy.

And even good Déviat, who is ever wise and mild, at first did not want to hear the truth in that child's cries. He covered his ears and sang loudly. But as Déviat is of the Weyr, and the Weyr are of Déviat, try as he might he could not ignore that child's pleas.

But Núkiam refused to stop the slaughter. So Déviat, ever wise and protecting, seduced Núkiam and Núkiam fell into a drunken sleep.

Déviat guided the hand of Núkiam, and the sands were made to stop.

And all of mankind lives again by the hand of Déviat.

Notes for foreigners:
* Ĵewú is the third of Núkiam's lost loves. She died because she could not live on Earth, and until Núkiam found Déviat, the god was despondent and angry.
** true name: Every Weyr person (at least those of the Tréi kémani) is given a small glyph which represents their name at the time they are born. To reveal this name is considered very foolish, for the name is thought to be the source of a person's true power. As long as no one knows one's true name, one cannot (with the exception of gods, demigods, and greater bad spirits) control that person. The child shows selflessness and so is spared and awakens the compassion in Déviat's heart.
*** Image source:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ivi kasa... LoCoWriMo 2010

Ba tavel ba kaxneot raug amebi, kaxneot sa frn kia okama, a kaxsa ân ta ostonén ta semin ba ere, oxahl berbénoin, daeyúin, mé baahl ra okama jéb, baxwîc ba ere, skra déviat kabra ivi, mé fî ân kaneot wîcig ân iad ba ereb ba nabei, ba poc ba da ba tavel batavig usmeti.
Jésrît kaxmalēî faé ta keman ka, mé otian kaxmî frn ba malēl ba da ka, mé kaxmî otian ân nalēu kaahl ere ba poc Étésea.
"Olēésu faé me ameb faé kunere." kaxmî ba ere nabei. "Otatara wenai, frnsai, auzeri. Ta ivlún aé ototara berain faé ta ivlún me. Otatara deyai, dé poc fovi."
Mé ta keman oxen nât faé ba jam, mé kaxrep ba ere ba nabei, kajilēri.


Ta keman oxkre tjuin amebin deyain, oxahl amen wenain, auzeri. A neokéma ta uxkrein amen axahl frnsai. Be ere kaxaog ta amebin, kaxjae otian, a neokéma ta amen axahl faé ka.
Unî pagan oxav jtenin mé pa ba jamab baxtrékâ kémâ neousai, wenai, mé baxmî:
"Béenú me, lēé ba ere, baahl samiana."
Ta amen uxkrein oxahl temâin, skra ame aNEOT jae ba erebian- nu amî rial faé ta basan ka.
A jéb ba kémâ baxtrékâ ba erebian mé baxkléja ba ufeb ba ere, mé kaxenhâ lēai.
"Lēé ame- baahl lēéahl ame? Exsu lēiahb. Olēétara kunere me."
"Ymacig." Baxmî ba samiana, mé baxav kunere ba Étésea.

Translation of the above:
The young man who had not yet known a woman had no idea what he should do, but he knew that his father's last words were powerful and holy, and that he must do what the king had wished of him.
After all, Déviat hears everything*, and if he does not wish to help the new king any longer, the land of the youth's father would be torn apart.
So he called his servants, and he told them of his father's death, and that he was now king of Atasia.
"Find me a woman for queen." Said the new king. "Let her be beautiful, wise, good. Let her age be the same as mine. Let her be noble, and from a faraway land."
And his servants ran from the room, and the new king sat down, crying.


The servants brought many noble women, who were beautiful and good women. But none of these were wise. The king looked at the women, he spoke to them, but none of these women was for him.
Then suddenly the doors flew open, and in walked a person who was unknown to them, and this person said:
"My name, O king, is Samina."
The women were shocked at this, for a woman does not speak to a king, she only answers his questions. But this person walked to the king and kissed the hand of the king, and the king inhaled happily.
"O woman- are you a woman? I have found you. Be my queen."
"I would like that." Said Samina, and this person became queen of Atasia.

*a cultural note: Most Weyr people worship two gods, the names of which are Déviat and Núkiam. Núkiam is the ancient creator god, who has grown tired and careless of what happens to his creation. Déviat is a Weyr person who was saved from death at the hands of starvation in the distant past (he was an unwitting settler, who had crashed along with his family on the shores of Wytn as had so many others). Déviat became the consort of Núkiam and eventually a god in his own right, though he is primarily worshipped as the intermediary between Núkiam and the Weyr. It's said that unless one is in the good graces of Déviat's kind heart, only bad things can come. To ignore the final requests of a loved one is one of the few things that, in tradition, is guaranteed to bring horrible luck upon the doer.

Ivi kasa... LoCoWriMo 2010

Everyone knows...

Ivi kasa frn poc, nu baméâ ân lēlét tré ereb.

A jésrît, ba ere ba étésea, kaxara râ lēlai, mé kaxtem ân fî ân kamalēlig, ba poc baneot lēlétig ereb. Kaxlēlétra ofoŵinab, a ba ofoŵin ka, kaxahl nu tavel, mé ameb kaxneot raug.
Jémohn ba ere kaxmalēî ofoŵinian ka, skra kaxahl kamalēli. Ba tavel kaxahl ra tufâki, mé kaxmî, baxahlco ŵhé kamî ivi ofoŵin auzoi, "Lēé da me, lēiab yraug, lēiab ykoe, lēian ymî ra: fî ân péwîc ân obamectav daniab, biab etema, daniab ytekre lēian, daniabra ytema, lēé ba da me."

Grel kaxjae ba ere kamalēli, mé unî kaxmî- "Lēé ba ofoŵ me, epétara ere jéb ba poc, mé ysa ân epétara ere auzoi faé ba, a dab ymacig fî ân pébamaig."

Mé kaxneot anane ba tavel, mé kaxmî: "Da me, fî ân daniab péwîc, biab ytemara."

Mé ber skae ba semi ka, ba ere kaxmî: "Opélēlét ameb faé kunere."

About: This is another rendition of the same story I sort of tried to write last year (And I don't count it as cheating, since the other story only had a paragraph (five sentences) before I gave up). It's about the two kings of Étésea, famous co-rulers of the nation from 1630 c.e. to 1680 c.e. (Yes, that's 50 years!).

I won't say any more about this story quite yet, except that it's got a few major twists in it which make it very interesting.

Translation of the (story) above:

Everyone knows that a land can only have one king.

Once upon a time, The king of Atasia was very old, and he was afraid that if he died, his land would no longer have a king. He did have a son, but his son was a young man, and had not known a woman. One day, the king called to his son because he felt that he was dying. The son was very sorrowful and he said (as any good son would say): "O my father, I see you, I hear you, and I say to you truly: If you wish that anything be done, I will do it, I will carry anything to you, I will do anything, my father."

Slowly the spoke the dying king, but then suddenly: "O my son, I am king of this land, and I know that you will be a good king to this land: but there is one thing that I would like for you to do."

And the son did not hesitate, he said: "My father, If you wish for anything, I will do it."

And with his last breath, the king spoke: "Take a woman as your queen."

Taraminact ba ere Äȑthar

The story of Arthur Pendragon

"Felē eahl Äȑthar Piandragon, faé England ere. Pal eslēam ba jam frn siap me, baahl ba plat hamari. Ba jam frn siap baahl mead, pa ba apen oturaj: tukan frn trakan, sukan frn apeact, dîjjckan frn dîjj uxtrecin. Ivi frn élsol kalēlét kambab ân mî.
Ivisrît pa kia ebra, felē esore ân eahl ere. Jéb baahl béno frn auzeri kambâ. Srît, ta kéman pal ba plat hamari oneot mî. Jésrît felē exsin ân mî kambab frn me.

A gator exmî biab- tu plî..."

"I am Arthur Pendragon, king of England. In the middle of my chamber, there is the round table..."

I've had a children's book with me since I managed to complete high school (I think it's one I accidentally kept from a literature teacher who'd lent it to me)- and the colorful pictures and simple story the book contains have gradually won me over to translating it. The book is small- 44 half-pages in all - but it still constitutes the largest text that I'll have yet translated into any of my languages.

The story in the book is just complex enough to really be a challenge to me (How to say 'at that moment, a ray of sunlight came gliding through the trees', or 'though it was noon, night fell'?) and just simple enough to change quickly while I'm working, to keep me interested.

Translating has given me a lot of story-related words which I would not have otherwise thought to include in my lexicon. As a result, Sandic now has words for:

alēan - deck of a ship
jéda faé hel - torch
tialia - though/despite/even though
temâ - suprise

So far, I have translated 9 of the 44 pages- and it's been an adventure. I plan to eventually complete the book. But then what? I want to share my work, but I don't know if legally I can.
I'll figure something out, though.

Just wish me patience in translating!