20 votes
Accepted

Why is the Lord's Prayer so common as a translation?

It is a long standing tradition to use the Lord's prayer as a sample text for illustrating natural languages, for instance, the mid-16th century Cosmographia by Sebastian Münster contains the Lord's ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
  • 11.3k
13 votes
Accepted

What are the main limitations of Lojban?

Length A few things. First, Lojban often needs longer sentences to express something than it does in, for example, English. Vocabulary Secondly, Lojban's vocabulary isn't that big, especially in the ...
Duncan's user avatar
  • 1,743
11 votes

What are the main limitations of Lojban?

One of Lojban's most famous features is, of course, its lack of syntactic ambiguity. While this is an advantage in some cases, it can also be a limitation. It wouldn't likely be an issue in something ...
kristan's user avatar
  • 566
11 votes
Accepted

How does one express "want to want" in toki pona?

mi wile ala e ni: mi wile e ijo nasa. I want not <obj>-this I want <obj>-thing crazy The same principle as in "I do not want to drink water." mi wile ala e ni: mi ...
anonymous's user avatar
  • 126
9 votes
Accepted

How to translate to Black Speech this sentence "Eye of the Sauron is always watching"?

I am not an expert in Black Speech, so I'm going to follow the information from the blackspeech.ru website. The basic word order of Black Speech is SVO (subject-verb-object), as in English, so the ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
  • 4,133
8 votes

Why is the Lord's Prayer so common as a translation?

Apart from the historical usage that Sir Cornflakes brings up, the Pater Noster is simply a short, relatively straightforward, universally well known text. Probably the other most common text is the ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 3,245
6 votes

Where do you start when you try to translate from an unknown artificial language?

This is a rather hard question, the only script I know of that was deciphered without a bilingue is Linear B, and that was possible only because it turned out that Linear B was used to write Ancient ...
Cecilia's user avatar
  • 1,136
6 votes

Self-reflexive verbs and pronouns in Vulcan language

I don't know Vulcan, however I might be able to help you with your interpretation of the English: "worth having is" isn't quite the string of verbs you might think it is. Firstly, "worth having" is ...
Hotkeys's user avatar
  • 259
5 votes

Saying "hello" in khuzdul

Well, from what we can glean out of the given texts, I'd be looking for something more like "at your service" rather than "good day". I know the movies aren't canon, but Jackson depicts the Dwarves ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 3,245
5 votes

Why is the Lord's Prayer so common as a translation?

Christians are quite firm in their beliefs and as such many pray the Our Father (Pater Noster) with great devotion. I would be very surprised if a Christian liturgical celebration did not recite the ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
5 votes

Sciences in toki pona

It might be sona pi ijo tawa —knowledge of moving things— or sona pi ijo ante —knowledge of things that change.
KNTRO's user avatar
  • 394
4 votes

Sciences in toki pona

To capture all of physics, perhaps "sona pi pali ijo" or simply "sona pali" (a knowledge of action). I prefer the former, since persons may tend to think only of human action with the latter, which ...
Stephen Waldron's user avatar
4 votes

Finding Sentence Structure in VSO

This sentence is in the imperative mood, so there is no subject (it´s implied to be the addressee). The verb is give, me is the indirect object (the target of give), and the rest of the sentence is ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
  • 4,133
4 votes

Sciences in toki pona

sijelo is "body, physical state", so you could use sona sijelo; physicists would probably like sona ale or sona ali, "knowledge of everything" :)
Oliver Mason's user avatar
  • 4,133
4 votes

Should I include a glossary with english translations in my fantasy novel?

It depends what the purpose of the languages is, and how they are used. If there are only short stretches, and the meaning can be inferred from context, or is not vital to the story (like a comment on ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
  • 4,133
3 votes
Accepted

How do I change the word order of this complex sentence?

Perhaps the best way is to transate it into a different natlang, preferrably one with the intended word order. While German is not your typical SOV language (what is typical, after all?), it is close: ...
Radovan Garabík's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Is there a word for "skull" in Klingon?

[Update from 2022] Turns out the word was (semi-officially?) added to the lexicon a few months after the question and @Richard's answer - at qepHom 2019 (an annual meeting of Klingonists in Germany). ...
G0BLiN's user avatar
  • 241
3 votes

Is there a word for "skull" in Klingon?

Indeed, there doesn't seem to be any canon word for "skull" in Klingon, so a compound should be fine. Note, however, that some compounds are constructed without separation between their parts (see ...
Cecilia's user avatar
  • 1,136
3 votes

How to link extraterrestrial animal names from other language with terrestrial languages?

I think, the more generic a term is, the better you can use a known term in your native language. The more specific a term is, the greater is the need for some circumlocution or some conlang term. ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
  • 11.3k
2 votes

How does one express "want to want" in toki pona?

I think you can express something like this as (101). If we imagine a speaker addicted to using their smartphone, they might say something like this. Mi wile ike e ilo toki. (101) 1sg want bad ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
  • 1,715
2 votes
Accepted

Sciences in toki pona

sona lon. science of existence
kipo's user avatar
  • 44
2 votes

How to translate the word "lost"/"loss" into Klingon?

I would translate it as I am looking for bears and I am looking for the sheep that are lost. — I don't know the word for sheep, so I assume from your question that it's DI'raq: mIl'oDmey ...
Oliver Mason's user avatar
  • 4,133
2 votes

Where do you start when you try to translate from an unknown artificial language?

this seems like a similar problem to translating the Voynich Manuscript, which is a long text written in a still untranslated alphabetical writing system, where there are no translations of it written ...
Zackbuildit777's user avatar
2 votes

Should I include a glossary with english translations in my fantasy novel?

YES As a reader, I like when there is a glossary at the back. I also like a nice map at the front! It's always a pleasure to see that an author either took the time and effort to make a language or ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 3,245
1 vote

Where do you start when you try to translate from an unknown artificial language?

The short answer is, without some bilingual information, it's nigh impossible. I don't know of any language that was successfully deciphered without this. But, the bilingual doesn't necessarily have ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 4,416
1 vote

How do I change the word order of this complex sentence?

Presto Didgo Abbaca da Barabba Ortem Changeo! “I feel like he would like to try it after then.” I as if he would like to try it after then feel. This example changes the main verb only, leaving the ...
elemtilas's user avatar
  • 3,245
1 vote

Is this translation of "May we drink from the empty skulls of our enemies" correct?

Looking at the grammar page on the Klingon Wiki, it seems to be correct.
anonymoususer's user avatar
1 vote

How does one express "want to want" in toki pona?

mi wile e ni: mi wile tawa. I want this: I want to go.
jastako's user avatar
  • 449
1 vote

What is the meaning of this Toki Pona sentence?

I don't know what the person who wrote that sentence intended, but pona sona or sona pona, the proper order, is usually translated as 'wisdom'. I also wouldn't use toki lawa to mean think. That's ...
jastako's user avatar
  • 449

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