A whole lot of thoughts...

Discussion of extensions to the Mando'a core grammar and suggestion of new word roots.
Disclaimer: This is all derivative fan-made material.

A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Peregrinus » 31 Aug 2015 23:17

So to set some background... My mom was an English teacher before I came along, and a French major in college before that, so I grew up with a language wonk using me as her sole pupil. I've studied a bunch of different language forms, love analyzing syntax, think finding relationships is neat*, and so forth. What I call "the soul of an engineer" -- I am compelled to deconstruct things to find out how they work, and then do something with that knowledge.

[* Like the fact that Anglophones have been mispronouncing "weird" for a long time -- it comes from the same root as wary, aware, ward, and word, and refers to one language group's attitudes toward spoken magic. Words such as "würd" and "wÿrd" are the avenue along which we get "weird", and it is meant to be pronounced following the same old "I before E..." rule as all the others -- "weyrd". Amusingly (to me) the other language family's experience with spoken magic gave us "spell" (from "spiel" -- "to speak"), and I snicker every time I see the children's learning toy "Speak & Spell", as the name is unintentionally redundant.]

I've done a lot of delving into Star Trek, Star Wars, and Transformers, linguistically, over the years. Beyond learning Klingon, I also came up with a "high-ancient" form of Romulan. I've had a lot of fun with the three thousand year history of the Mandalorians vis-à-vis the rest of the galaxy, and how that's affected language**. With Transformers, I've come up with a structure by which Teletraan basically used what it gleaned of Earth history to translate the names of the occupants of the Ark into relevant analogues -- the youngest, "modern" Cybertronians' names were converted into the contemporary lingua franca, English. The older ones from early in the Great War had their names presented as Latin. And the ones from before the war (during and immediately after the Quintesson occupation) had their names conveyed in Greek. Some on the cusp between those two latter eras ended up with merged Latin and Greek names, to capture a language in the midst of rapid evolution (like Omega Supreme).

[** One tidbit: I know the EU is in abeyance at the moment, but I tend to treat much of the content as canon until it isn't -- like the post-ROTJ stuff that's now pretty much gone entirely. West End Games introduced the Thyrsian Sun Guards as one of the groups that inspired the look of the Emperor's guards, the other being the Mandalorian Death Watch. That connection percolated for years until after ROTS came out. Currently, I have a nice little backstory of a group of Mandalorians who left between Mandalore the Ultimate and Mandalore the Preserver -- who disagreed with the philosophy of conquest, because of all the hurt that had heaped on them at the hands of the Republic. The leader of this splinter group was the head of clan Thiir. They wandered for a long time, helping defend people against aggressors here and there, until they found an Echani colony world that had been so long separated from their world of origin that they felt no connection and wanted their independence. The wanderers helped them gain it, and out of gratitude, were welcomed to settle there, and the planet renamed Thyrsus in honor of the clan that still de-facto led them. Meanwhile, those of the clan who stayed with the Mandalorians had the name evolve along a different path that led to the modern Basic spelling and pronunciation of "Thire".]

So, out of all of that, I've had mando'a kicking around in my head since it was introduced. I've enjoyed seeing it swirl about and begin to coalesce, and I'm hoping it can achieve critical mass and burst forth as a functional language (at least as functional as Klingon, Lojban, or Esperanto). I've had a couple translation projects going, that have depended upon an evolving language, as well as an evolving understanding of the language. My initial post in the translation-request thread on Mercs was as follows:
General grammatical quibbles...

When casting things into future or past tense, how do I know when to use the prefix as a prefix (with an apostrophe, attached to the word), and when do I use it as a standalone word? I haven't been able to see much rhyme or reason for that.

Is 'ven' an acceptable word for the future as its own concept, or does it only exist to impart future tense on something else. Like, how would "future generations" translate?

With possessives, do I leave 'be' as a standalone word when I'm being formal in my phrasing? The equivalent of saying something like "the colour of the wall" versus "the wall's colour". And how do compound possessives work? Something like "the son of my father".

Not grammatical, but stylistic -- when describing how a sword is made, 'gotal' (made, created) is simpler, but non-specific, whereas 'nau'ur kad' (forge, lit. "light up a saber") is more specific, but kinda clumsy. And also, how would I best go about changing that latter term into the past tense?

To which Ms. Lanna helpfully replied:
I don't think there's a rule per se. I like to attach the prefixes so it's clear what they belong to and mostly because I can. :-[
Personally, speaking as miit'goran, I would say you pronounce it more like one word if you attach it with an apostrophe. A bit like 'I am' and I'm'. That is very useful for poetry. :D
Other than that, if we keep the comparison, the way without apostrophe could be the more formal way.

The word for 'future' is 'vencuyot'.
vencuyot adate - future people

Of is tricky.
sal be'buy'ce - colour of the helmet
buy'ce be'sal - helmet of colour
it seems strange but could work.

nau'ur kad -> ru'nau'ur kad
That's what I'd do. You know that 'ru' is a past tense marker, and if you take it off, you't back at the original term...


I applied what she'd suggested, continued bashing my brain against the limited extant material, and have gotten somewhat further. I'll post that up in a follow-u[ post, after everyone's had a chance to (hopefully) comment on this one. ;) The process has given me some insights, though, that I've seen people dance close to, without quite hitting in some cases. Now, to it. *cracks knuckles*

It's already known how mando'a is a fairly clipped and direct language, and generally omits things like "to be" and "the" except in very formal phrasing. I can see an analogue in the difference between formal and street Japanese. The simple phrase "What is that?" in formal Japanese is "Kore wa nan desu ka?", while in street slang is "Nan da'yo?" Slight difference, neh?

There are a lot of compound words, much like in German, rather than "borrowed" words from other languages that would replace long compound words or whole phrases. English borrows a lot of words, and we tend to forget that. We'd be a lot harder-put to describe a lot of things and actions if we hadn't. My favorite example of such a compound word comes from a new clutch Porsche used on their 911 Boxter Spyder of about a decade ago: doppelkupplungsgetriebe. In English, we'd probably break that up into two or three words and maybe throw in a hyphen. To turn it around the other way, take the Japanese word hashi, for which we use an incorrect term from a Chinese implement used for an entirely different purpose: chopstick(s). Which, let's be honest, is still more concise than "pair of small, pointy sticks used for picking things up to eat".

And the parallels of which we know got me thinking about the things not addressed yet. In Arabic and ancient Hebrew, there are no vowels. The vowel sound is indicated by extra strokes added to the consonants. We use apostrophes to indicate held vowels or glottal stops between syllables, but I've seen the commentary that mando'a tends to use them inconsistently. Wondering if we might consider some stroke added to the Mandalorian glyph to indicate where the apostrophe effect would go. Which also made me start thinking about doubled letters (aliit, vhett, and proper names like Tobbi, Fenn, and Fett) and whether something similar would be in play there. And vhett got me thinking further about typographical ligatures, like the teutonic combined "o e" (œ) or old Latin combined "a e" (æ), and our own "double-u" (w)... and thinking we should come up with something similar for the mando'a "v h", for instance. I seem to recall Karen saying it's only ever in that form, and never "v" alone. Like an abugida.

One of the things I like about aurebesh is how they actually have some abugidae -- single symbols for two-letter combinations like "th"*. Heck, over in he DC Universe, the entire Kryptonian written language is abugidae -- symbols with their own names and meanings, and each of which is a two- or three-letter combination phoneme. I kinda wish Mandalorian runes had something similar -- at least for some well-known letter combinations...

[* Sidebar: We actually used to have a letter for "th" in English. It was called "thorn" and looked like this -- Þ þ. It became commonly written by medieval scribes in a way almost indistinguishable from the letter "Y", and after it wasn't adopted as a letter in typesetting, "Y" was used in its place, and thus we get "Ye Olde Shoppe" or "Hear ye, hear ye". In both cases, that's supposed to be (and was known to be at the time) pronounced "th" -- "The Olde Shoppe" and "Hear thee, hear thee".]

And some ruminations on earlier points of discussion in the Mercs thread... Did anyone ever come up with/stumble across something that works for "sacred" or "holy"? In answer to the translation for "God" (capital G -- as in, for translating the Bible), maybe go with the old Hebrew tetragrammaton for inspiration. The Name of God was not to be written down, so the four letters whose meanings translated to "I am that I am" were used as a placeholder where the Name of God was to be spoken/thought by the reader. But then the Hebrews were enslaved and the rabbinic line broken, and the Name of God was lost. Later, we came to pronounce the four letters -- Yod He Waw He, YHWH -- as "Yahweh", later Latinized as "Ieheve(h)", further corrupted in English as "Jehovah". A name that isn't actually a name. So maybe the formal mando'a for "I am that I am" done as a tetragrammaton (first letters of those runes' names)?

The other thing someone mentioned was "knight". Go back to its root to come up with a translation. It actually, interestingly, comes from the same cultural root as "samurai". The original word meant literally "servant" or "bondsman", and indicated the relationship between the knight and his lord. Both came to mean "one who serves", in the context of taking care of the spirit of the people and culture. Something involving the Manda would be a good and natural place to start, I'd think...

Depending on what (if any) discussion this sparks, I'll see how much further I can get with my translations and then post them for assistance in further refinement. :)

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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 02 Sep 2015 02:21

It can't be ONLY vh, how would we have ven? Or verd?

I've noticed a number of abugidae in every fanmade font we've had recently, I think everyone else is as fed up with it as you are. I know at least three people trying to make a less cumbersome script, since the current one seems more like a gothic face, very formal and fancy but never something you'd WRITE in.
(Also I've been mixing abugida and digraph up, shameful.)

[Further side note, since you love linguistics: http://www.eldalamberon.com/dni_dict.htm ]
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 02 Sep 2015 07:34

Well, vod, thats a long treatise...

Unfortunately, i dont have lot of time on me to analyse it as deep as it deserves to be analysed. And i dont have a lot of knowledge of other languages besides english and my native tongue.

Few things stroke me though.
For 'sacred' or 'holy' I came up with a word 'urman'la' which used in a context would give a rather sarcastic if speaking of object or place. And 'cin'gaan' as 'saint' or 'holy' when speaking of person, but that will be even more sarcastic, almost insulting (lit. "White hands", "clean hands"). I think mandalorians being very pragmatic people wouldnt have a superstitious nature to have a worshipping terminology.

As for 'knight', lets define what do you mean by knight. The warrior who serves God in a Holy Crusade? Well, in mandalorian mindset that would be VERY unlikely to happen. The one who protects the weak? Well, weakness is one of the "great sins" in mandalorian society, deserving to be shunned and excommunicated. Whatever meaning you put into it you will either come up with a concept which is alien to mandalorians, or you'll just get 'verd'. You can use 'urman'verd' - warrior of belief, which i came up for a zealot.

But thats just my opinion, not canon.
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Adi'karta » 03 Sep 2015 00:35

Peregrinus wrote:[...] aurebesh [...] abugidae [...] Kryptonian [...] symbols with their own names and meanings, and each of which is a two- or three-letter combination phoneme. I kinda wish Mandalorian runes had something similar -- at least for some well-known letter combinations...
Vlet Hansen wrote:I've noticed a number of abugidae in every fanmade font we've had recently, I think everyone else is as fed up with it as you are. I know at least three people trying to make a less cumbersome script, since the current one seems more like a gothic face, very formal and fancy but never something you'd WRITE in.

I have always been a strong supporter of an easier-to-write (and easier-to-read) font for Mando'a. I would also be welcoming of abugidae. Who is working on these alternative scripts and where can I see their work or contact them? :D

Peregrinus wrote:[...] Did anyone ever come up with/stumble across something that works for "sacred" or "holy"? [...]
Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:For 'sacred' or 'holy' I came up with a word 'urman'la' [...] sarcastic [...] 'cin'gaan' as 'saint' or 'holy' when speaking of person [...]

Annoyingly, "sacred" and "holy" are seen as synonyms, but I have always had a sense of vast difference in their definitions:

Something that is "sacred" (in the generic sense, not in the religious sense) is part of the core, inalienable, intractable. The thought of being without it or ignoring it or straying from it or damaging/changing it is offensive or even unthinkable. I would lean towards aliit and manda for that, as family is one of the core ideas of Mandalorian culture, and manda is the closest to the idea of a soul or spirit. I would even add in kar'ta "heart" or petir "center".

Something that is "holy" is respected, revered, looked up to, inspiring. I would think the word alor would cover that neatly. Possibly involving dral (which means both "bright, glowing" and "strong, powerful") or kotyc, which also means "strong". I might even throw in tracyn "fire" or nau'ur "illuminate". Again, I would also look to aliit and manda.

Difference Between Sacred and Holy | Holy vs Sacred says that "holy" aims more to describe ethereal concepts (inclusive of people, places, and objects), whereas "sacred" aims more to describe objects. This really doesn't help me with figuring out which way to go with these translations...

Taljair, I really like the idea of using urmankalar as a source of a root for describing faith or religion in general. As a basis for "sacred" and "holy", that seems sensible if you were to use them in terms of a belief, rather than merely core constructs of a culture as along my line of thought. I agree that cin'gaan seems sarcastic, almost derogatory from the perspective of Mandalorian culture, though the translation makes a lot of sense to me (in that most religious traditions view saints or equivalent figures as "pure").

Peregrinus wrote:[...] "knight" [...] "servant" or "bondsman", and indicated the relationship between the knight and his lord [...] Something involving the Manda would be a good and natural place to start, I'd think...
Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:As for 'knight', lets define what do you mean by knight. The warrior who serves God in a Holy Crusade? Well, in mandalorian mindset that would be VERY unlikely to happen. The one who protects the weak? Well, weakness is one of the "great sins" in mandalorian society, deserving to be shunned and excommunicated. Whatever meaning you put into it you will either come up with a concept which is alien to mandalorians, or you'll just get 'verd'. You can use 'urman'verd' - warrior of belief, which i came up for a zealot.

Knight does, indeed derive from "servant" -- even "boy" and "youth". Evaar for "youth", adiik for "child", and the closest I can find for "servant" is cabur "guardian, protector", ja'hailir "observe, watch over", taylir "hold, keep, preserve", and vencuyanir "sustain, keep alive, preserve". The thing is, I would tend to attribute "preservation" to a different societal role than "protection", so perhaps those would be more fit for the cultural aspect (back to sacred/holy -- if there were a Mandalorian religious practise, the priests could be seen as "holy protectors of the sacred rites" or something of the sort).

...so let me bring this all together a bit, rather than just suggesting word roots:

First I'm going to address the topic of religion in general. I really like be'Taljair idea of using urman as a root word for belief:

"religion":
goyust'urman -- the ideal path of a belief, instructions on the path to take in life (inspired by Mandarin tao which literally means "way, path, road")

"priest, shaman, religious leader":
goyust'alor -- leader of the road (unfortunately seems a bit generic; almost "tour guide" or "trail guide")
urman'alor -- more exactly a leader of belief

"religious follower":
echoy'urman'ade -- a bit clumsy, but essentially means "seeker of belief"
echoy'haat'ade -- alternative, "seeker of truth" (could be better-applied to an investigator than a religious follower)

"church":
urman'yaim -- home of belief

For "sacred" and "holy", I am going to put together two versions of each: the religious version, and the secular version (which for "sacred" is more akin to "essential", "fundamental", or "necessary"; and which for "holy" is more akin to "respected", "inspirational", "revered").

"sacred":
urman'karla -- central to belief

"essential, fundamental":
linibyc -- necessary
petyc -- central (possibly literal/physical)
kartyc -- central (the metaphorical "heart" of something)

"holy":
urman'dralyc -- representing the light and strength of one's belief

"inspirational, revered, a beacon":
dralyc -- bright
nau'yc -- illuminating
ori'copyc -- very appealing (inspirational)

As you may have noticed, I had a hard time avoiding relying on urman for words relating to religion or belief. I think Taljair coined a good word there, because nothing I could think of worked quite as well.

For "knight", I am going to try and piece together a compound that implies the traditional Old English definition of a servant, raised up through service to a feudal lord, since the words cabur and verd already apply to the more modern sense of what a "knight" entails. These are a bit rough, because none of these concepts remotely exist in Mandalorian culture, nor in canon Mando'a.

"servant":
vaabi'par'ad -- someone who does (vaabir) things for (par) people; unfortunately could be taken to mean something along the lines of "a favour"

"page" (as in the rank before squire):
slana'par'ad -- essentially "gofer", someone who retrieves things upon instruction

"squire" (as in the rank before knight):
sla'nari'ad -- someone who goes and does

"lord":
dral'alor -- powerful leader

"knight":
be'dral verd -- soldier of a lord, soldier of the light?
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 03 Sep 2015 01:31

Adi'karta wrote:I have always been a strong supporter of an easier-to-write (and easier-to-read) font for Mando'a. I would also be welcoming of abugidae. Who is working on these alternative scripts and where can I see their work or contact them? :D


There's Jaster over in the Haatyc mando'ade forums (http://w11.zetaboards.com/TrueMandalorians/index/) who made one that's particularly different from what we're used to.

I made an attempt but it didn't turn out too well.

Taljair made one, and a burgeoning linguist I met through skype who I introduced to Mando'a made another.

There's also those oddball ones that I don't have a source for. All that I mentioned are included in this album: https://imgur.com/a/X4IMq
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Adi'karta » 03 Sep 2015 02:27

Each of those look pretty interesting, Vlet. I'll try my hand at practising a few of them and see how they turn out. Thanks for the links. :)
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 03 Sep 2015 07:57

First of all, glad to see you again, Adi’karta, you still alive? :)

Now, as I am just a vocabulary geek, I will address the proposed word constructs.

In my work I proposed the word “urman” to be used for “culture”. But taking that ancient mandalorians did have a religion with no less than three gods, I think that same word can mean “belief” as well.
Goyust’urman – that seems to me a little too complicated, as someone pointed out to me “go-“ just stands for “artificial”. So I’d shorten it to just “urman’yust” – way of belief. And there you have “religion”.
Goyust’alor – in my vocabulary there is a word “yust’alor” which I put in for “navigator”.
Urman’alor – yes, that I think will work perfectly for priest or preacher.
For “religious follower” I propose just “urm’ad” or “urman’ad”.
Urman’yaim – that sounds to my ear more like a “holy place”, cause “yaim” doesn’t mean “building”, its “home” and we call home a place, not just four walls, a floor and a ceiling. So if you want to indicate church as a building, I propose “urman’yam”.
Urman’karla – I think you don’t need beten there, use it just like “mandokarla”, “urmankarla” for “religious”, “faithful” (when describing a person, not object or place).
Linibyc – for “necessary” or “needed” that works perfectly, but I doubt it has anything to do with religion.
Petyc – “central” as an adjective, again perfect.
Kartyc – in my vocabulary I have “kar’tyc” which is “hearty, soft-hearted”. So for “essential”, “heart of something” I propose “pet’kartyc”.
Dralyc – “dral” is already an adjective, making another one by adding adjective suffix… I don’t know, don’t feel good about it. It’s like saying “This thing is very bright… ish”, note of sarcasm there.
Nau’yc – with “nau” meaning “light”, that may work as “illuminating”, but only in the physical sense, not religious.
Ori’copyc – that’s just “very attractive”, maybe as a compliment to a woman. Doubt it would work as “inspirational”.

Now about the “knight” concept.

I am strongly against it, cause it really is non-existent in mandalorian culture. If you want to indicate warrior, you have “verd”. If you want to indicate servant of the lord, I already seen someone proposed “jagaata”.
Going into such details as to make words for “page” or “squire”… those words appeared in English language because there was cultural and social need for them. In mandalorian culture there is no such background. Do we want to just translate the whole English into weird words, or do we try to create a language of the Mandalorians with all their cultural background? If it’s the former, then I’m out. If the latter – then we don’t need no word for “knight”.

And for “powerful lord” or “overlord” I think a simple “ori’alor” could work.

Now about the fonts Vlet demonstrated. I’ll go according to the albom from top to bottom.

1- honestly, it looks very much like Tolkien’s runes of Dwarves… But looks neat, I admit.
2- handwriting attempt at writing “classic” mando’a font? Accurate, but very hard for real handwriting.
3- this I don’t even recognise, will be very hard to read on the monitor, even harder to handwrite. Font to use on monuments and tombstones? Mandalorians don’t have those…
4- simplified, love it, this is a great font to base a handwriting on.
5- seven segment – magnificent!
6- that’s mine, no comment.
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 03 Sep 2015 15:47

I agree with most of that, though I'd personally drop the "b" to just say "linyc".

And on that third font: I don't remember where I found it, I think it's an old, dead page. Given the original font is also rather hard to read and write, I'd guess they both serve similar purposes. Such as, say, decoration for armor, where legibility is often secondary to style.
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Adi'karta » 03 Sep 2015 19:57

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:First of all, glad to see you again, Adi’karta, you still alive? :)
Glad to see you all as well. I am, indeed, still alive.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:In my work I proposed the word “urman” to be used for “culture”. But taking that ancient mandalorians did have a religion with no less than three gods, I think that same word can mean “belief” as well.
The only word in the dictionary with urman in it is urmankalar, which is the verb "[to] believe (distinct from knowing)". As such, it is probably one of the few words which could be reused to also refer to religious concepts (the other being manda).

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Goyust’urman – that seems to me a little too complicated, as someone pointed out to me “go-“ just stands for “artificial”. So I’d shorten it to just “urman’yust” – way of belief. And there you have “religion”.
I didn't think of that, but it makes a lot of sense. You're referring to go as in gota, gotal, and gotal'ur, correct? The root yust seems to refer to any form of line or path (as in yustapir for "river" and yustarud for "perimeter"), so the prefix go indicates a man-made path. Gar tenni ner sur'haaise!

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:For “religious follower” I propose just “urm’ad” or “urman’ad”.
Simple and elegant.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Urman’yaim – that sounds to my ear more like a “holy place”, cause “yaim” doesn’t mean “building”, its “home” and we call home a place, not just four walls, a floor and a ceiling. So if you want to indicate church as a building, I propose “urman’yam”.
Sensible.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Urman’karla – I think you don’t need beten there, use it just like “mandokarla”, “urmankarla” for “religious”, “faithful” (when describing a person, not object or place).
Good point.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Linibyc – for “necessary” or “needed” that works perfectly, but I doubt it has anything to do with religion.
Petyc – “central” as an adjective, again perfect.
Indeed; neither have to do with religion, but stemmed from my attempt to define "sacred" and "holy" in the secular terms I define them internally, in my mind. Which may be ironic, seeing as "sacred" and "secular" are technically antonyms in most dictionaries.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Kartyc – in my vocabulary I have “kar’tyc” which is “hearty, soft-hearted”. So for “essential”, “heart of something” I propose “pet’kartyc”.
Makes sense; I still haven't taken the time to process all of your additions to the dictionary, as I have been procrastinating on my to-do list relating to the forum and translator.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Dralyc – “dral” is already an adjective, making another one by adding adjective suffix… I don’t know, don’t feel good about it. It’s like saying “This thing is very bright… ish”, note of sarcasm there.
I always assumed dral lacking a la or yc suffix was just a typo because of how irregular it is compared to other adjectives/adverbs. As a result, I cast dral as "brightness, strength, power" in my mind, rather than "bright, strong, powerful".

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Nau’yc – with “nau” meaning “light”, that may work as “illuminating”, but only in the physical sense, not religious.
I would conjecture that it is not out of the realm of possibility to use "illuminating" in a metaphorical sense, as in "enlightening" or "enlightened". That's what I was going for. A lot of terminology in religion involves poetic use of words in the manner of similes and metaphors.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Ori’copyc – that’s just “very attractive”, maybe as a compliment to a woman. Doubt it would work as “inspirational”.
According to the canon dictionary, copyc is not meant to be used as a compliment, nor to refer to physical beauty, but more the way we use "attractive" to refer to a concept as opposed to a physical object or a person.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Now about the “knight” concept.

I am strongly against it, cause it really is non-existent in mandalorian culture. If you want to indicate warrior, you have “verd”.
I agree; I just wanted to follow through on the exercise in trying to invent words for foreign concepts. Perhaps this is the biggest flaw in attempting to translate The Bible or any other Human/Earth-based religious text, in that it requires the creation of new words, some of which may influence Mandalorian culture.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:If you want to indicate servant of the lord, I already seen someone proposed “jagaata”.
I'm not sure that construction makes sense to me. I'm seeing the root jag for "masculine" or "macho" and akaata for "battalion", the combination of which translates (for me) as something akin to "a bunch of muscular, glistening men prepared for battle" (conjuring images of the movie 300).

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:Do we want to just translate the whole English into weird words, or do we try to create a language of the Mandalorians with all their cultural background? If it’s the former, then I’m out. If the latter – then we don’t need no word for “knight”.
I don't think it needs to be that black-and-white, but I do agree that there are certain concepts we could do without. The main problem here is an attempt to make the language accessible to as wide a variety of people as possible, and considering the fact that very many people are familiar (to some degree) with romanticised Middle European culture and Judeo-Christian religions, it makes sense to at least try to make some compounds to describe such concepts that are foreign to Mandalorians. I'm perfectly fine with leaving out such concepts as servitude, religion, and feudal societal hierarchies from our culture, but I also do not oppose the idea of trying to describe them within our language, as it presents an interesting exercise in how to frame foreign concepts; an anthropological thought experiment, if you will.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:And for “powerful lord” or “overlord” I think a simple “ori’alor” could work.
To be honest, the concept sounds a little bit ridiculous to me, anyway. When it comes down to it, the only ori'alor we care about is the Mand'alor.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:1- honestly, it looks very much like Tolkien’s runes of Dwarves… But looks neat, I admit.
That was my first thought as well. Interesting, but I can live without them.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:2- handwriting attempt at writing “classic” mando’a font? Accurate, but very hard for real handwriting.
I would take a similar approach, but replace any double-dot constructs with a single line in a similar fashion to the way Simplified Chinese script looks compared to Traditional Chinese.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:4- simplified, love it, this is a great font to base a handwriting on.
I agree.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:5- seven segment – magnificent!
I think of this one as somewhat eccentric and unnecessary, though it is visually interesting. 7-segment displays were borne of the need to represent Arabic numerals in an electronic fashion with the fewest number of control pins required on a microchip. If the Mando'ade were to have any similar technology, I would think it would be oriented around our established written number system (if we indeed have one) or the number system of Aurebesh, rather than Arabic numerals. The sole exception I see is the official screen-accurate version of Boba Fett's beskar'gam, with its animated 7-segment display in the kal hal'cabure.

Taljair te Mir'ad wrote:6- that’s mine, no comment.
There seems to be this unspoken understood pattern that the Mando'a writing system should begin with "MANDOR". Interesting. It makes sense, considering that the "Alphabet" begins with "Alpha" and "Beta". :D Perhaps we need to give a "name" to each individual character in our writing system, such that we can use those words to create the umbrella name of the entire writing system, in the style of "Alphabet" (where "Alpha" and "Beta" were the original names of the characters that "A" and "B" evolved from) and "Aurebesh" (with "Aurek" and "Besh" being the names of the first two characters).

Vlet Hansen wrote:I agree with most of that, though I'd personally drop the "b" to just say "linyc".
Certainly easier to speak without tripping. Removal of extraneous syllables makes sense as long as the original root is still easily understood (which, in this case, it is).

Side note: I added the Fan-Made Alternative Writing Systems to the Links section of the forum for future reference.
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 04 Sep 2015 11:53

I've seen a lot of people just refer to the script itself as Mandor. I think that's the most common name at the moment.
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Taljair te Mir'ad » 09 Sep 2015 13:36

To’jorir an laam'vai.

Linyc” for “necessary” or “needed”
Dral “ for “brightness, strength, power” and “drala” for “bright, strong, powerful”
Ori’copyc” – admit my mistake, attractive in physical sense doesn’t really sound like mandalorian thing.
Jagaata” – that’s not coming with root “akaata”, it’s more like a junction of “jag” and “gaa-“, lit. “man at hand”, which can mean servant. We can make it “jagaana” if it’s more accurate.

Now I think we mostly agree on the “knight” concept. I think we can use the same “urman’verd” I put for “zealot” for the “knight” as well as it literally means “warrior of faith”.

Mandor. I think if we construct the name for the Mando’a alphabet from only first two letters we will get something like “Moa”, which is weird sounding. I prefer to use “mandor” for “alphabet; grammar” and “mandor’la” for “literate, grammatical (when speaking of person)”.

And vod… Stop procrastinating or I’ll come up with a mando’a word for it, make it insulting and throw it at you :D Shi nuhuri… Ret… :)
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Re: A whole lot of thoughts...

Unread postby Vlet Hansen » 09 Sep 2015 23:13

I personally find jagaana easier to pronounce and I feel like the root is more clear that way.
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