As a way to beef up some of my Lexember vocabulary, I decided to start translating Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince into Gutish. I’ve completed the first chapter, and I thought I would present it here as a sort of Lexember supplement – if you look back over the last couple of weeks of Lexember entries, you’ll be able to see where most of the words come from! – and just to level up some of my nerd street cred, I’ve interspersed it with some random vocabulary, glosses, grammatical footnotes, and other language candy. Enjoy!
PS – I’m totally counting this towards Lexember Day 16… maybe Day 17 too, since I’ve been working on this for many hours and I’m well into the 17th by now!
Sā Līta Þjuðnils
Þenik1 inþatma sǣstin wintra2 mīnin was, saguok3 silðalikat biliþ in bōkan frāðatma forðumin walða swī «Insǣtis Dōviða» hehǣt. Þat gakátniða boaworm iži ǧus slǭk. Þarusǣjo galīkin þižas urǣtins:
1 No apostrophes when contracting inverted verbs or conjunctions with ik, is, or it, even if there is elision.
2 Age is measured in “winters” rather than years. If you are 30 years old, you are said to be in your 30th winter (even if it is summer).
3 The irregular past tense of sǣjun is such that it undergoes h-verschärfung in the preterite singular: saƕ → /sahu/ → /sagwu/ → saguo), but saƕt → /sahut/ → /sagwut/ → /sagūt/ → sagut in the second person.
4 Passive construction: þiǧin + past participle. 5 “Quotation marks” in Gutish are represented (in transliteration, anyway) as double-guillemets.
Þanu6 ǧupave mitaðik frāðos nenþins þis frumwalðis. Jaþan, avruðna lītis šugitœ̄ǧis, langok at skepin þō frumista urǣtin mīna. Þ’ōrǣtin mīna Reþia Ǣna. Sī swē galǣk7:
6 Þanu is roughly equivalent to jaþan. There is no semantic difference; only stylistic. 7 Galǣk, from galīkna, originally a weak class 3 verb (Got. galeikan < Pgmc. galīkāną), reanalyzed as strong class 1.
8 Frā, past singular of frǣnan ‘to ask’, not to be confused with the preposition frā ‘about’. 9 Iva, a conjunction meaning ‘whether’, is the complement of java, the equivalent of ‘if’.
Ekīs10 andworðiðun, «Hū uns gǣšiþ hǣča?»
10 ekīs = eki īs.S’ōrǣti mīna nī was biliþ hǣčis. Sī was biliþ boawormis iži disētiða ulvando. Þā urǣtik þō indǣl þis boawormis, duþa nī kunþun īja freþin þǣ uswāsnas. Īs þorvun sintīna skīrinin. S’Ōrǣti Mīna Reþia Twō galǣk swē:
11 This sentence is an excellent example of one of two ways that the perfect is formed in Gutish. Intrasitive perfects are formed much as they are in English, German, or French, by using an auxiliary verb (in Gutish, always wisna) followed by the past participle. So hwā ī māte wisna wisnas means ‘what might have been’.
Þǣ uswāsnas nījo wǣt hun sundra nī
freþinþ, jā þat ist þǣm barnam afmœ̄ǧinþ,
Þǣ uswāsnas n-ījo wǣt hun sundra nī The.nom.msc.pl adult.pl not-ever thing.acc any.prt separately neg Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamais rien toutes seules
in ǣjugins atlawǣtis at skīrin dū im.
freþinþ, jā þat ist þǣm barnam afmœ̄ǧinþ, understand.3pl.pres.ind and that is the.dat.pl children.dat.pl exhaust.cau.prs.part et c’est fatigant, pour les enfants
in ǣjugins atlawǣtis at skīrin dū im. in eternity.acc.pl all-thing.acc.pl inf explain ben them.dat de toujours leur donner des explications.
Þā kǭsik anþra bihǣtan, jā ik lǣs luftuskipa drīvna. Ik im þlugnas fǭ atlaþaðu þis miǧingarðis, jā it ist sanþ þeti landwīsi ist mis wisnas bōta. In braugo ǭgins kan ik sundradœ̄min Čīna Arisōnu. Java sist frafáriþ in nāta, swalika kynþi sīja avrave galǭva.
In rynia mīnažas livanis gakwímik filo managas mœ̄tins wiðra filo managa swēgnilǭsa ljuða gā. Ik im filo managa dūlnas12 miþem uswāsnam. Ik sǣjo im filo nēfua gā. Jā þat nī filo managa gabœ̄tiþ mīna mitan frā im gā13.
[In ˈryni.ɑ ˈmiːnɑʒɑs ˈlivɑnis gɑˈkwimˌik ˈfilo̞ ˈmɑnɑgɑs ˈmøːtʰins ˈwiðrɑ ˈfilo̞ ˈmɑnɑgɑ ˈswei̯gniˌlo̞ːsɑ ˈljuðɑ gɑː. ik im ˈfilo̞ ˈmɑnɑgɑ ˈduːlnɑs ˈmiθe̞m usˈwɑːsˌnɑm. ik ˈse̞ːjo̞ im ˈfilo̞ ˈnei̯fu.ɑ gɑː. jɑː θɑt niː ˈfilo̞ ˈmɑnɑgɑ gɑˈbøːtʰiθ ˈmiːnɑ ˈmitʰɑn frɑː im gɑː]
12 When regular processes cause /wu/ to occur in a closed syllable, it collapses to /uː/ (‹ū›). In the case of some class 2, 3, or 4 strong verbs with ‹w› immediately before the ablaut vowel, such as dwilna or swimna, this will occur in the past participle, e.g. dūlnas or sūmnas. 13 The other way perfects are formed in Gutish is represented here. Transitive verbs do not use an auxiliary; instead, the perfect is formed much closer to how the perfect was expressed in Gothic (although there was never a real Gothic perfect tense). The verb is conjugated normally in the tense most appropriate to the time being expressed, and the adverb gā is tacked onto the end of the clause – no awkward mucking about with participles or auxiliaries.
Þishwanu mœ̄čik ǣnan iži mis þūfta atlis šunskīr wisna, kǭsiðik þ’ōrītin14 mīna reþia ǣna, þō ī sintina wēriðik gā. Þarmiþ sōkiðik at finþna iva his ljuþs syninins kynþis was. Eki mis andhōvun sintina: «Þat ist hǣča.»
14 When a feminine singular noun that begins with /u/ follows the nominative or accusative definite article, sō+u or þō+u become, respectively, s’ō or þ’ō, hence þō urǣti → þ’ōrǣti. This is one of very few allowed instances of two subsequent long vowels.
Jaþan nī miðrœ̄ǧik nījo15 miþatma ljuða frā boawormam, nē forðumin walða, nē sternans. Jaþan mik anþnǣjugiðik þiža hœ̄þin is. Jaþan rœ̄ǧik miðitma frā briǧin, golvu, rīkiwitiu, halsgerðažu. Jaþan gabǭriða sā uswāsnas at mœ̄čin swē andaþāftna wer gā.
15 Double negatives! Oh no! While not obligatory, they’re also not wrong, and are sometimes preferred in phrases with negatives other than the explicit negative particle nī.