Author Topic: Kerolayn, Kehe (Song Translation)  (Read 1113 times)

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Offline Kayrìlien

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Kerolayn, Kehe (Song Translation)
« on: February 17, 2010, 11:53:52 pm »
Kaltxì ma aysmuktu! I tried my hand again at translating a song into Na'vi, and this time it's one of my all-time favorites, Caroline, No, by The Beach Boys. If you guys see any errors in my sentence constructions, please point them out to me, as some of these were really hard to put together. (If I never see futa again it will be too soon...)

Actual Lyrics
Altered Lyrics (...if I needed to change things for ease of construction)
Grammatical Thingamabobs
Na'vi Lyrics

Where did your long hair go?
Where did your long tail go? (You’d think a species that uses its ponytail to communicate with everything would have a word for hair…)
Where you-GEN tail ATT-long go<PFV>?
Peseng ngeyä kxetse angim kolä?

Where is the girl I used to know?
Where is girl that I know<PAST>?
Peseng tok tute a oe amomum.

How could you lose that happy glow, Oh Caroline? No.
How you-ERG light-ACC ATT-happy lose<PAST>, VOC Caroline? No.
Fyape ngal atanit alefpom txamìng, ma Kerolayn? Kehe.

Who took that look away?
Who DUAL-eye capture<PAST>?
Pesu menari spame’e?

I remember how you used to say you'd never change, but that's not true.
I knew something, and that something is: (You used to say to me “I will not change”), but you did not tell the truth. (Thanks to NeotrekkerZ' guide for this construction; hopefully I got it right...)
I-ERG know<PAST> “that” you-ERG I-DAT speak<PAST> “I not change<REFL><PAST>”, but you-ERG truth-ACC not speak<PAST>.
Oel amomum futa ngal oeru pamlltxe san “Oe ke läpamatem” sìk, slä ngal tìngayit ke pamlltxe.

Oh, Caroline, you break my heart.
VOC Caroline, you-ERG I-GEN heart-ACC destroy.
Ma Kerolayn, ngal oeyä txe’lanit ska’a.

I want to go (and cry).
I want to go. (Ugh!)
I-ERG want<PEJ> (futa) go<SUBJ>.
Oel nängew futa kivä.

It's so sad to watch a sweet thing die.
This “I see a good thing die” thing is bad to me.
Bad is I-DAT this thing: I-ERG see thing ATT-good that die.
Kawng lu oeru fwa oel tse’a ‘u asìltsan a terkup.

Oh, Caroline, why?
VOC Caroline, why?
Ma Kerolayn, pelun?

Could I ever find in you again (the) things that made me love you so much then?
I might find the things that allowed you to be beloved to me, right?
I-ERG find<SUBJ> PLUR-thing-ACC that allow<PAST> be<SUBJ> you beloved I-DAT, right?
Oel rivun ayuti a tamung livu nga yawne oeru, srak?

Could we ever bring 'em back once they have gone?
We might bring the things to ourselves after they go, right?
We-ERG PLUR-thing-ACC bring<REFL><SUBJ> when they go, right?
Oengìl ayuti zamäpivunge krr a ayfo kä, srak?

Oh, Caroline, no!
Ma Kerolayn, kehe!

Irayo in advance for any comments and help! Once I know whether or not the lyrics are correct, I'll definitely try to play this on the piano and sing along. I apologize in advance for my voice.  ;D

Kayrìlien

Offline Lance R. Casey

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Re: Kerolayn, Kehe (Song Translation)
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 03:46:40 am »
Where did your long hair go?
Where did your long tail go? (You’d think a species that uses its ponytail to communicate with everything would have a word for hair…)
Where you-GEN tail ATT-long go<PFV>?
Peseng ngeyä kxetse angim kolä?

Or pesengne, like last time? ;)

Where is the girl I used to know?
Where is girl that I know<PAST>?
Peseng tok tute a oe amomum.

I don't know if omum can work in the sense of "be acquainted to", but if it can, oe needs to be in the ergative (but tuté should not be in the accusative, since in the main clause it functions intransitively).

Who took that look away?
Who DUAL-eye capture<PAST>?
Pesu menari spame’e?

Missing case markings (transitive phrase).

I remember how you used to say you'd never change, but that's not true.
I knew something, and that something is: (You used to say to me “I will not change”), but you did not tell the truth. (Thanks to NeotrekkerZ' guide for this construction; hopefully I got it right...)
I-ERG know<PAST> “that” you-ERG I-DAT speak<PAST> “I not change<REFL><PAST>”, but you-ERG truth-ACC not speak<PAST>.
Oel amomum futa ngal oeru pamlltxe san “Oe ke läpamatem” sìk, slä ngal tìngayit ke pamlltxe.

I don't think we have confirmation anywhere whether plltxe is transitive, and if so what works as its object, but we know from Eytukan's line in the movie that at least when using san, the subject is intransitive (poltxe oe, san [...]). Also remember that Na'vi only allows direct quotations, so the tense in latem is wrong, and that verb is also intransitive (it seems): oe ke layatem I won't change (myself). If you wish to get around the possible transitivity problem with plltxe, I suggest slä nga ke pamlltxe nìngay for the last sentence.

I want to go (and cry).
I want to go. (Ugh!)
I-ERG want<PEJ> (futa) go<SUBJ>.
Oel nängew futa kivä.

Or the shorter oe nängew kivä (free choice). But are you sure you're getting the intended meaning right here? Is the emphasis on the going or the crying?

It's so sad to watch a sweet thing die.
This “I see a good thing die” thing is bad to me.
Bad is I-DAT this thing: I-ERG see thing ATT-good that die.
Kawng lu oeru fwa oel tse’a ‘u asìltsan a terkup.

I'd use another futa here (sorry ;)):

Kawng lu oeru fwa oel tse'a futa 'u asìltsan terkup.

And, *'u is not attested on its own, so we don't know if there's a better way to say just "thing".

Could I ever find in you again (the) things that made me love you so much then?
I might find the things that allowed you to be beloved to me, right?
I-ERG find<SUBJ> PLUR-thing-ACC that allow<PAST> be<SUBJ> you beloved I-DAT, right?
Oel rivun ayuti a tamung livu nga yawne oeru, srak?

More futa, and how about a future subjunctive:

Oel rìyevun ayut a tamung futa livu nga yawne oeru, srak?

Could we ever bring 'em back once they have gone?
We might bring the things to ourselves after they go, right?
We-ERG PLUR-thing-ACC bring<REFL><SUBJ> when they go, right?
Oengìl ayuti zamäpivunge krr a ayfo kä, srak?

You've used the reflexive infix in a way similar to what in Klingon would be called the "prefix trick" ;), and I doubt that Na'vi exhibits the same phenomenon; I do not think that directionality can be indicated in that way. Perhaps something more general:

Lìyevu nìmun oengar tsayu krr a kolä, srak?
be<FUT.SBJV> again 1DU-DAT those-thing when go<PFV> QUES
Might we have those things again after they've gone?

// Lance R. Casey

Offline Kayrìlien

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Re: Kerolayn, Kehe (Song Translation)
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 04:17:48 pm »
Where did your long hair go?
Where did your long tail go? (You’d think a species that uses its ponytail to communicate with everything would have a word for hair…)
Where you-GEN tail ATT-long go<PFV>?
Peseng ngeyä kxetse angim kolä?

Or pesengne, like last time? ;)

Yeah, that would work here too. I tried to keep the syllable count down a bit this time to make singing the song easier, but this line isn't in dire need of shortening, so that's fine.

Where is the girl I used to know?
Where is girl that I know<PAST>?
Peseng tok tute a oe amomum.

I don't know if omum can work in the sense of "be acquainted to", but if it can, oe needs to be in the ergative (but tuté should not be in the accusative, since in the main clause it functions intransitively).

Hmmm...I wasn't sure about omum in that sense either. Since it's about knowing a person rather than a fact, and the meaning of the song implies that there was some sort of connection between the singer and Caroline, perhaps kame might actually work better here.

Who took that look away?
Who DUAL-eye capture<PAST>?
Pesu menari spame’e?

Missing case markings (transitive phrase).

I knew I was missing something here, but I wasn't sure if you could use the interrogatives as subjects or not. I mean, if pesu is more literally "what person" than "who", it makes sense that we can then use it as the subject of the question, and that would make this, uh... Pesu-l me-nari-ti sp<am>e'e.

I remember how you used to say you'd never change, but that's not true.
I knew something, and that something is: (You used to say to me “I will not change”), but you did not tell the truth. (Thanks to NeotrekkerZ' guide for this construction; hopefully I got it right...)
I-ERG know<PAST> “that” you-ERG I-DAT speak<PAST> “I not change<REFL><PAST>”, but you-ERG truth-ACC not speak<PAST>.
Oel amomum futa ngal oeru pamlltxe san “Oe ke läpamatem” sìk, slä ngal tìngayit ke pamlltxe.

I don't think we have confirmation anywhere whether plltxe is transitive, and if so what works as its object, but we know from Eytukan's line in the movie that at least when using san, the subject is intransitive (poltxe oe, san [...]). Also remember that Na'vi only allows direct quotations, so the tense in latem is wrong, and that verb is also intransitive (it seems): oe ke layatem I won't change (myself). If you wish to get around the possible transitivity problem with plltxe, I suggest slä nga ke pamlltxe nìngay for the last sentence.

Yeah, this one was a bit of a leap of faith...the original sentence has like four distinct parts, including a quote, so I was like "Oh crap, how do I do this one?" I think I actually made a mistake using plltxe here, regardless of its transitivity, because I could probably have gotten a closer meaning using peng, "to tell", which most certainly is transitive.

As far as the quote goes, I understand why the tense is wrong, but shouldn't the reflexive infix still be there? While the lyric doesn't specifically say the word "myself", it is understood that Caroline is talking about herself, saying that she herself will not change. That leads me to believe that Oe ke läpayatem is correct.

I want to go (and cry).
I want to go. (Ugh!)
I-ERG want<PEJ> (futa) go<SUBJ>.
Oel nängew futa kivä.

Or the shorter oe nängew kivä (free choice). But are you sure you're getting the intended meaning right here? Is the emphasis on the going or the crying?

Sweet! One less futa:D And yes, the emphasis is definitely on the crying here, but since we don't have a word for "to cry", "to grieve", "sad", or "unhappy", I just threw in the negative attitude infix. I also considered Oe ke lrrtok sayi, "I will not smile", which is a bit different from the original lyrics but has a similar enough meaning (and, to fans of Brian Wilson, is a bit of a pun on SMiLE).

I'll probably make that choice when it comes down to singing; I'm not a big fan of ending a line in a song on ä, since it's not a very pleasing lyrical syllable to sustain.

It's so sad to watch a sweet thing die.
This “I see a good thing die” thing is bad to me.
Bad is I-DAT this thing: I-ERG see thing ATT-good that die.
Kawng lu oeru fwa oel tse’a ‘u asìltsan a terkup.

I'd use another futa here (sorry ;)):

Kawng lu oeru fwa oel tse'a futa 'u asìltsan terkup.

And, *'u is not attested on its own, so we don't know if there's a better way to say just "thing".

Aaack! Futa, you have returned! Curses!

Hmmm, I had actually thought of this, but I got a bit caught up in looking at the literal translation of fi'u-t a *'u, which looks puzzlingly like "(this thing) that thing", and that boggled my mind. But when you think about it, since the "thing" in question actually is "thing", it's not so odd after all. More likely it's part of a conversation that would mystify even Abbott and Costello.

Could I ever find in you again (the) things that made me love you so much then?
I might find the things that allowed you to be beloved to me, right?
I-ERG find<SUBJ> PLUR-thing-ACC that allow<PAST> be<SUBJ> you beloved I-DAT, right?
Oel rivun ayuti a tamung livu nga yawne oeru, srak?

More futa, and how about a future subjunctive:

Oel rìyevun ayut a tamung futa livu nga yawne oeru, srak?

That darn futa isn't gonna leave me alone, is it? (But yeah, it makes sense here too.)

The future subjunctive is why we have kìyevame, correct? I don't have <ìyev> written down on my Big Ol' Page O' Notes (TM) since that's the only place I've seen it used, but if this is how it's used it actually seems rather useful.

Could we ever bring 'em back once they have gone?
We might bring the things to ourselves after they go, right?
We-ERG PLUR-thing-ACC bring<REFL><SUBJ> when they go, right?
Oengìl ayuti zamäpivunge krr a ayfo kä, srak?

You've used the reflexive infix in a way similar to what in Klingon would be called the "prefix trick" ;), and I doubt that Na'vi exhibits the same phenomenon; I do not think that directionality can be indicated in that way. Perhaps something more general:

Lìyevu nìmun oengar tsayu krr a kolä, srak?
be<FUT.SBJV> again 1DU-DAT those-thing when go<PFV> QUES
Might we have those things again after they've gone?

I'm not familiar with Klingon at all, but yeah, using <äp> that way seemed a bit dubious from the beginning. I actually didn't know the word for "again", which is why one of the previous lines was changed a bit. I actually really like your construction for this one; and there's no getting around the srak, which is actually an even worse sound to end a lyric on.  :P Oh well, such is Na'vi...to them it would be perfectly normal.
[/quote]



Alright, so with the corrections you've pointed out, plus the couple changes I noticed otherwise, the lyrics would look a bit like this if written to follow the rhythm of the song:

Pesengne ngeyä kxetse angim kolä?
Peseng tok tute a oel kamame?
Fyape ngal atanit alefpom txamìng,
Ma Kerolayn? Kehe.

Pesul menariti spame'e?
Oel amomum futa ngal oeru pameng
San “Oe ke läpayatem” sìk, slä ngal tìngayit ke pameng.
Ma Kerolayn, ngal...

...Oeyä txe’lanit ska’a. Oe ke lrrtok sayi.
Kawng lu oeru fwa oel tse'a futa 'u asìltsan terkup.
Ma Kerolayn, pelun?

Oel rìyevun ayut a tamung
Futa livu nga yawne oeru, srak?
Lìyevu nìmun oengar tsayu krr a kolä, srak?
Ma Kerolayn, kehe!


The amount of thanks I owe you defies all superlatives. Again I need a +5 or a +10 karma button.

If anyone else sees anything they'd like to correct, please let me know. I don't presume to be an expert at this, so any help I can get is, well, uh...helpful.

Eywa ayngahu,

Kayrìlien
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 11:22:04 pm by Kayrìlien »

Offline Lance R. Casey

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Re: Kerolayn, Kehe (Song Translation)
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 04:56:45 pm »
Where is the girl I used to know?
Where is girl that I know<PAST>?
Peseng tok tute a oe amomum.
I don't know if omum can work in the sense of "be acquainted to", but if it can, oe needs to be in the ergative (but tuté should not be in the accusative, since in the main clause it functions intransitively).
Hmmm...I wasn't sure about omum in that sense either. Since it's about knowing a person rather than a fact, and the meaning of the song implies that there was some sort of connection between the singer and Caroline, perhaps kame might actually work better here.
Good choice! :)

I remember how you used to say you'd never change, but that's not true.
I knew something, and that something is: (You used to say to me “I will not change”), but you did not tell the truth. (Thanks to NeotrekkerZ' guide for this construction; hopefully I got it right...)
I-ERG know<PAST> “that” you-ERG I-DAT speak<PAST> “I not change<REFL><PAST>”, but you-ERG truth-ACC not speak<PAST>.
Oel amomum futa ngal oeru pamlltxe san “Oe ke läpamatem” sìk, slä ngal tìngayit ke pamlltxe.
I don't think we have confirmation anywhere whether plltxe is transitive, and if so what works as its object, but we know from Eytukan's line in the movie that at least when using san, the subject is intransitive (poltxe oe, san [...]). Also remember that Na'vi only allows direct quotations, so the tense in latem is wrong, and that verb is also intransitive (it seems): oe ke layatem I won't change (myself). If you wish to get around the possible transitivity problem with plltxe, I suggest slä nga ke pamlltxe nìngay for the last sentence.
Yeah, this one was a bit of a leap of faith...the original sentence has like four distinct parts, including a quote, so I was like "Oh crap, how do I do this one?" I think I actually made a mistake using plltxe here, regardless of its transitivity, because I could probably have gotten a closer meaning using peng, "to tell", which most certainly is transitive.
Well, regarding peng we know that the person(s) the subject is telling something to is in the dative, and it looks like that which is being told is not actually considered an object at all:

Tì'eyngit oel tolel a krr, ayngaru payeng
When I receive an answer, I will let you know

Ayolo'ru alahe peng ziva'u
Tell the other clans to come

For peng syeraw Toruk Makto (?)
Tell them Toruk Makto calls (to them)

(Not 100% sure about the latter; it's what I hear in the movie.)

As far as the quote goes, I understand why the tense is wrong, but shouldn't the reflexive infix still be there? While the lyric doesn't specifically say the word "myself", it is understood that Caroline is talking about herself, saying that she herself will not change. That leads me to believe that Oe ke läpayatem is correct.
That's what latem by itself conveys: "become different". Its transitive counterpart (using our brand new causative infix) is leykatem change (something).

The future subjunctive is why we have kìyevame, correct? I don't have <ìyev> written down on my Big Ol' Page O' Notes (TM) since that's the only place I've seen it used, but if this is how it's used it actually seems rather useful.
Correct. It's fused from ‹iv› and either ‹ìy› or ‹ay›, with an extra e thrown in to prevent the illegal cluster *iyv; the shift i > ì is optional, so ‹iyev› works just as well.

If anyone else sees anything they'd like to correct, please let me know.
Yes, please do -- including any ramblings of mine. ;)

(Myself, I'll be away for a couple of days, so have at it.)

// Lance R. Casey

Offline Kayrìlien

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Re: Kerolayn, Kehe (Song Translation)
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 06:15:13 pm »
I remember how you used to say you'd never change, but that's not true.
I knew something, and that something is: (You used to say to me “I will not change”), but you did not tell the truth. (Thanks to NeotrekkerZ' guide for this construction; hopefully I got it right...)
I-ERG know<PAST> “that” you-ERG I-DAT speak<PAST> “I not change<REFL><PAST>”, but you-ERG truth-ACC not speak<PAST>.
Oel amomum futa ngal oeru pamlltxe san “Oe ke läpamatem” sìk, slä ngal tìngayit ke pamlltxe.
I don't think we have confirmation anywhere whether plltxe is transitive, and if so what works as its object, but we know from Eytukan's line in the movie that at least when using san, the subject is intransitive (poltxe oe, san [...]). Also remember that Na'vi only allows direct quotations, so the tense in latem is wrong, and that verb is also intransitive (it seems): oe ke layatem I won't change (myself). If you wish to get around the possible transitivity problem with plltxe, I suggest slä nga ke pamlltxe nìngay for the last sentence.
Yeah, this one was a bit of a leap of faith...the original sentence has like four distinct parts, including a quote, so I was like "Oh crap, how do I do this one?" I think I actually made a mistake using plltxe here, regardless of its transitivity, because I could probably have gotten a closer meaning using peng, "to tell", which most certainly is transitive.
Well, regarding peng we know that the person(s) the subject is telling something to is in the dative, and it looks like that which is being told is not actually considered an object at all:

Tì'eyngit oel tolel a krr, ayngaru payeng
When I receive an answer, I will let you know

Ayolo'ru alahe peng ziva'u
Tell the other clans to come

For peng syeraw Toruk Makto (?)
Tell them Toruk Makto calls (to them)

(Not 100% sure about the latter; it's what I hear in the movie.)

Okay then, using the second sentence as an example, it looks like ay+olo'-ru is in the dative, because it's the recipient of the action, peng is not altered because it is a command (sort of), and z<iv>a'u is in the subjunctive because the action is being expressed as a wish (that's what I meant by "sort of"). Which is exactly what you said.  ;D (You're so good at this, dude!)

So then, I already had oe in the dative before the quotation, and I think switching plltxe to peng here is still a better choice, but I think that, because of the lack of knowledge about peng's transitivity, your original solution for the final clause is probably the best idea. That gives us:

Oel amomum futa ngal oeru pameng san Oe ke layatem sìk, slä nga ke pamlltxe nìngay.
I knew something, and that something is: (You used to tell me "I will not change."), but you did not speak truly.

Sweet!

With that cleaned up, it looks like we have:

Pesengne ngeyä kxetse angim kolä?
Peseng tok tute a oel kamame?
Fyape ngal atanit alefpom txamìng,
Ma Kerolayn? Kehe.

Pesul menariti spame'e?
Oel amomum futa ngal oeru pameng
San “Oe ke layatem” sìk, slä nga ke pamlltxe nìngay.
Ma Kerolayn, ngal...

...Oeyä txe’lanit ska’a. Oe ke lrrtok sayi.
Kawng lu oeru fwa oel tse'a futa 'u asìltsan terkup.
Ma Kerolayn, pelun?

Oel rìyevun ayut a tamung
Futa livu nga yawne oeru, srak?
Lìyevu nìmun oengar tsayu krr a kolä, srak?
Ma Kerolayn, kehe!


I will eventually post a recording of this, but if anyone is in the mood to try playing this for themselves on the piano or guitar and sing along, the chords for the song are actually rather easy. Once I finish this idiotically long homework assignment I've been avoiding I'll mock up a version of the lyrics with lead sheet symbols and post it here.

Thanks again for the help,

Kayrìlien

Offline Kayrìlien

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Re: Kerolayn, Kehe (Song Translation)
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 10:44:13 pm »
Here's a Google Document with the Na'vi lyrics and lead sheet symbols. Enjoy!

http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B5OUFCSUfDWZMTJmYTFmYzAtOWQzNy00NjQ4LTkzYWMtNDM5YmNhZjA2NjMx&hl=en

Kayrìlien

 

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