18 votes
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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 ...
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12 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 ...
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  • 1,705
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 ...
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  • 126
10 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 ...
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  • 566
8 votes

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

Apart from the historical usage that jknappen brings up, the Pater Noster is simply a short, relatively straightforward, universally well known text. Probably the other most common text is the Tower ...
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  • 2,910
7 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 ...
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  • 269
6 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 ...
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  • 3,331
5 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 ...
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  • 956
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.
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  • 384
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 ...
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  • 2,910
4 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 ...
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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 ...
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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" :)
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  • 3,331
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 ...
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  • 3,331
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: ...
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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). ...
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  • 231
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 ...
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  • 956
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. ...
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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 ...
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  • 1,580
2 votes
Accepted

Sciences in toki pona

sona lon. science of existence
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  • 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 ...
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  • 3,331
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 2,910
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.
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  • 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 ...
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  • 449
1 vote

What is the meaning of this Toki Pona sentence?

If I were to translate, I'd say The intellect of (the strength of Libya) the many head advisers of the second director of Atlantis... Reasoning: "pona sona" - goodness of knowledge (intellect/...
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1 vote

What is the meaning of this Toki Pona sentence?

A rough, non exact translation could be something like this: The good folklore (the strength of Libya) near [probably "are part of"] many thoughts of second director/general/Vicepresident of ...
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  • 384
1 vote

Are words for "machine" and the like in Tolkien present in Elvish/Westron?

Quenya has tanwë which means "device, craft, construction." A search for "machine" on this site which may or may not be reputable gives a couple of other words in Quenya, Sindarin, and Noldorin. ...
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