Author Topic: Need some help with my first translated sentence  (Read 1116 times)

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Offline Eana Unil

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Need some help with my first translated sentence
« on: November 17, 2010, 07:41:08 pm »
Hey all, I could need some help here, hehe. I just tried to translate "my first sentence" and I just wanna know if I did anything wrong. I'm still unsure about the grammatical wordorder. Heh. Yeah, whatever.

«Oel tamok tsengit nari ke kame.» or «Oel tsengit tamok nari ke kame.» or ... ?

Correct? Not correct? Oe skxawng lu, srak?  :-\   ;D

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Just wanted to check myself here on this sentence.
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 08:01:41 pm »
So, ah, I split this off for you.

Hm, sorry if I "abuse" this thread for getting help myself, but I just tried to translate "my first sentence" and I just wanna know if I did anything wrong. I'm still unsure about the grammatical wordorder. Heh. Yeah, whatever.

«Oel tamok tsengit nari ke kame.» or «Oel tsengit tamok nari ke kame.»

Correct? Not correct? Oe skxawng lu, srak?  :-\   ;D

For a first sentence, this is not a bad start at all.  You got the transitivity issue correct in the first part, which is a plus, even if it got a bit wobbly in the second part.  :)

In terms of word order, you can shuffle things about fairly flexibly, thanks to the case marking (please see my Magnum Opus on this issue).  However, we need to work on "the place the eye does not see."  English is very loosy-goosy about some parts of grammar, and this is one of them.  The phrase "the eye does not see" is a crypto-relative clause.  In more formal words, we would say, "the place which the eye does not see" and in fact plenty of languages force you to say the phrase that way.  Na'vi is one such language.

So, we need to deploy the relative particle, a, to attach "the eye does not see (it)" to the "place."

  Oel tamok tsengit a naril ke kame.
  I was-in place which eye not see.

(Notice that "the eye does not see (the place)" is transitive, so "eye" needs the agentive ending, -l, just like oel does.)

Now, it's not clear to me that you can use kame with an inanimate direct object, in this sentence, "place."  I'd stick with normal seeing, tse'a.  So:

  Oel tamok tsengit a naril ke tse'a.

Finally, we can move tsengit around, but we have to keep the relative phrase attached to it.  So, this would work (using curly-braces to make the movement and phrase attachment clear):

  Oel { tsengit a naril ke tse'a } tamok.

I hope this all makes sense, and I haven't confused matters for you.
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A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Eana Unil

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 08:13:04 pm »
You haven't confused anything for me, now I'm a bit smarter about the Na'vi language - thanks to you! :)

tse'a and kame - well, I guess it would be also ok, if I use kame in this sentence, wouldn't it? Because this sentence, which Jake said in the movie, is related to the ritual he had to go through - imho. tseng would be a spiritual place in this sentence, so wouldn't be kame better? kame, the spiritual way of seeing, tse'a, the physical way...

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 08:33:04 pm »
tse'a and kame - well, I guess it would be also ok, if I use kame in this sentence, wouldn't it?

I think that reads a little too much into the phrase.  Shunning is a very common form of social punishment in Human tribal cultures — you just ignore the person.  I've always heard that phrase as meaning Jake was being shunned.
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A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Eana Unil

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010, 08:39:34 pm »
Alright, but if that's the meaning behind this sentence (Jake being shunned)... this also means, that Jake has to mean the spiritual place, metaphorically, more or less. At least the emotional, social place. How he feels. And stuff. So -> kame, srak?

And could I also use Oel tamok tsengit a naril ke tse'a/kame instead of Oel tsengit a naril ke tse'a/kame tamok? In my opinion the first version sounds a lot better, more fluent because tse'a/kame stands at the end of the sentence. Meaning would stay the same, wouldn't it?

Offline Ekirä

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2010, 08:53:00 pm »
I would lean toward using tse'a--because Jake is talking about being in a place the physical eye does not see, which (understandably) it can't. However, IMO, a spiritual eye could see into the place he was, a place of shame.

Just my $0.02.

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 08:59:46 pm »
Alright, but if that's the meaning behind this sentence (Jake being shunned)... this also means, that Jake has to mean the spiritual place, metaphorically, more or less. At least the emotional, social place. How he feels. And stuff. So -> kame, srak?

We have no evidence kame can be used with anything but people and living beings.  Without evidence to the contrary, I'm not going to be convincible on this.  :)

Quote
And could I also use Oel tamok tsengit a naril ke tse'a/kame instead of Oel tsengit a naril ke tse'a/kame tamok? In my opinion the first version sounds a lot better, more fluent because tse'a/kame stands at the end of the sentence. Meaning would stay the same, wouldn't it?

Yes, the basic meaning would stay the same.  Eventually we can expect changes in word order like this to also convey shades of focus and emphasis, but Frommer hasn't worked out all the details of that yet.
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A Na'vi Reference Grammar

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Re: Just wanted to check myself here on this sentence.
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2010, 10:32:35 am »

Finally, we can move tsengit around, but we have to keep the relative phrase attached to it.  So, this would work (using curly-braces to make the movement and phrase attachment clear):

  Oel { tsengit a naril ke tse'a } tamok.


Ma wm.annis, thank you for your example, it helped clear up a few things for me.   But there is something I'm still a bit confused about, and that is the above example where you moved tsengit.   What was the purpose of moving it?   Does the ensuing sentence structure better follow the Na'vi way of word order?

I realize that I'm handicapped by my weak understanding of grammar, but I still get easily confused with sentences that deviate from the standard English word order. 

Oel tamok tsengit a naril ke tse'a is much easier for me to understand than oel tsengit a naril ke tse'a tamok, at least initially.   I know that is my problem, but every example and reason why really do help.   :)

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Offline Eana Unil

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Re: Just wanted to check myself here on this sentence.
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2010, 03:14:30 pm »
Oel tamok tsengit a naril ke tse'a is much easier for me to understand than oel tsengit a naril ke tse'a tamok, at least initially.   I know that is my problem, but every example and reason why really do help.   :)
Same here, so I agree.

But thanks a lot to wm.annis for his help until now!

Offline wm.annis

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Re: Just wanted to check myself here on this sentence.
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2010, 03:45:27 pm »
Ma wm.annis, thank you for your example, it helped clear up a few things for me.   But there is something I'm still a bit confused about, and that is the above example where you moved tsengit.   What was the purpose of moving it?   Does the ensuing sentence structure better follow the Na'vi way of word order?

There was no purpose for that movement except to demonstrate a point, namely, if you move a noun around any attributive modifiers have to move with it.

Probably, the example you both find simpler is more likely to occur in Na'vi, too.  Without getting too deeply into techo-linguistic jargon, the direct object of that sentence is tsengit a naril ke tse'a.  That's a noun with a relative clause attached to it.  Linguistically speaking, it's heavy, compared to just plain, unmodified tsengit.  In general, Human languages are much happier putting heavy elements at the start or the end of a clause, rather than sticking them in the middle, where they start to get harder to process.

As you get more familiar with Na'vi, I think it'll be easier for you to understand things like oel tsengit a naril ke tse'a tamok, just as you can parse something like "the { gorilla I saw at the zoo yesterday } just escaped" without too much pain.
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A Na'vi Reference Grammar

Offline Carborundum

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2010, 04:44:36 pm »
Regarding tse’a vs. kame, I'd use kame here. The concept of "seeing (spiritual sense)" is a major part of the movie, and it seems clear to me that that is indeed the kind of "see" Jake is using here. He is a traitor to both the humans and the Na’vi; in other words, neither race accepts him, neither race sees him.

It's true that we most likely can't use a place as the object for kame, which is why we need to translate the meaning rather than the words. Something like oel tamok tsengit a naril fkoti ke kame would work.

I'd say that if you are hiding behind a tree, you are where naril ke tse’a, whereas if you're an outcast with no friends, you are where naril ke kame.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 04:50:17 pm by Carborundum »
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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2010, 05:01:16 pm »
Something like oel tamok tsengit a naril fkoti ke kame would work.

That isn't grammatical.  Based on Frommer's comments, that needs some adposition with tsa- to link tsengit into the relative clause, now that it's no longer the direct object.  Perhaps ro.

Quote
I'd say that if you are hiding behind a tree, you are where naril ke tse’a, whereas if you're an outcast with no friends, you are where naril ke kame.

I still maintain this is an over-reading for which we have no evidence.  Since when does just the eye kame?
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Offline Carborundum

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2010, 05:30:50 pm »
Quote
I'd say that if you are hiding behind a tree, you are where naril ke tse’a, whereas if you're an outcast with no friends, you are where naril ke kame.
I still maintain this is an over-reading for which we have no evidence.
We'll have to agree to disagree, I think.
Quote
Since when does just the eye kame?
Good point. I couldn't think of a better subject at the time, but a proper translation using kame should probably use something else.
Quote
Something like oel tamok tsengit a naril fkoti ke kame would work.

That isn't grammatical.  Based on Frommer's comments, that needs some adposition with tsa- to link tsengit into the relative clause, now that it's no longer the direct object.  Perhaps ro.
I must be missing something, but I don't see why that quote applies to my sentence. Frommer's point seems to be that "the place where s/he is going" can mean either "the place at which s/he is walking" or "the place to which s/he is headed".
My sentence on the other hand is just "I occupied the eye-does-not-see place", which leaves very little room for misunderstanding.
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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2010, 09:14:00 am »
Something like oel tamok tsengit a naril fkoti ke kame would work.

That isn't grammatical.  Based on Frommer's comments, that needs some adposition with tsa- to link tsengit into the relative clause, now that it's no longer the direct object.  Perhaps ro.

Quote
I'd say that if you are hiding behind a tree, you are where naril ke tse’a, whereas if you're an outcast with no friends, you are where naril ke kame.

I still maintain this is an over-reading for which we have no evidence.  Since when does just the eye kame?

Hìtxoa, ma 'eylan, i'm joining the kame camp, too.  But i took it the meaning of the line was, "I was in the place ((where)) the Eye ((of Eywa)) does not see ((a person))."

Edit: fixed quote box mishap.  Durrr...
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 12:23:47 pm by Kì'eyawn »
eo Eywa oe 'ia

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2010, 11:24:49 am »
I'm going to have to go down with the tse'a-ists here. "Kame" has been something eyes do, ever. The fact that is translated as "see" is irrelevant as, given canon sentences, almost any other translation could be chosen, there is no translation into English. Because of this, whenever we see a use of "see" in English, it is, in any natural English, not going to be "kame" (it may be something like "tslolam" instead of "tse'a" though due to English idioms), to say otherwise is, in my view, a very naive and literal point of view.

That aside, I think that "oel tamok tsengit a naril fkoti ke [see]" is grammatical for all the same reasons as Carborundum and that, unlike in Frommer's examples where "tseng" was no longer the patient, the eye-does-not-see-it-place is still patient and so should remain in the patientive.

That all said, I think there is an argument to be made for using "kame" although, if that were used, I wouldn't use "tseng" at all and would go for a much less literal translation more along the lines of "ke karmame kawtul oeti", "ke karmame Eywal oeti" oe "ke karmame Na'Vil oeti" and, personally, out of all three I prefer the last although "Omatikaya" might be more accurate.
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Offline wm.annis

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2010, 11:47:38 am »
That aside, I think that "oel tamok tsengit a naril fkoti ke [see]" is grammatical for all the same reasons as Carborundum and that, unlike in Frommer's examples where "tseng" was no longer the patient, the eye-does-not-see-it-place is still patient and so should remain in the patientive.

Tseng remains a patient in the main clause, but the phrasing you gives leaves it stranded in the relative clause attached to it.  While there are a few nouns in Na'vi that may act as adverbs, and thus have entire clauses attached to them with a (such as krr, for example), the link I give to Frommer's comments makes very clear that tseng is not such a word.  If it isn't the subject or direct object of the clause attached to it, it needs a resumptive pronoun in the relative clause.

  Oel tamok tsengit a naril fkoti tsaro ke tse'a.
'Awa lì'fya ke tam kawkrr.
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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2010, 12:45:19 pm »
Ahh, I misunderstood your statement, I thought you were advocating "oel tamok tsengero ..." which is clearly odd. In that case I accept that it is probably correct to include it.
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Offline kaltxi Angtsik

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2010, 12:54:56 pm »
That aside, I think that "oel tamok tsengit a naril fkoti ke [see]" is grammatical for all the same reasons as Carborundum and that, unlike in Frommer's examples where "tseng" was no longer the patient, the eye-does-not-see-it-place is still patient and so should remain in the patientive.

Tseng remains a patient in the main clause, but the phrasing you gives leaves it stranded in the relative clause attached to it.  While there are a few nouns in Na'vi that may act as adverbs, and thus have entire clauses attached to them with a (such as krr, for example), the link I give to Frommer's comments makes very clear that tseng is not such a word.  If it isn't the subject or direct object of the clause attached to it, it needs a resumptive pronoun in the relative clause.

  Oel tamok tsengit a naril fkoti tsaro ke tse'a.

Pardon the dumb question but can somebody point me to a clue about the word tsaro?
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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2010, 01:28:12 pm »
Pardon the dumb question but can somebody point me to a clue about the word tsaro?

It's the third person inanimate pronoun tsaw with the adposition ro cliticized, whereby the -w is lost.

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Re: Need some help with my first translated sentence
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2010, 01:36:17 pm »
Pardon the dumb question but can somebody point me to a clue about the word tsaro?

It's the third person inanimate pronoun tsaw with the adposition ro cliticized, whereby the -w is lost.
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