CONLANG Translation Relay 16

Iljena (Ring A)

Peter Bleackley

Iljena Text

oljine etlet odbite kjara sital ebret asjen, jgawa mjaza ruzka vord.
wolm birt freso atirus ilejn, jgawa holf lejanu egrez naris.


The most important feature of iljena grammar is that each word is both a noun and a verb. The consonants of the word comprise the nominal root, while the vowels and their arrangement with respect to the consonants give the verbal sense. An iljena sentence has no subject or object - everything is a participant in the action described, and each word describes the role that one participant plays in the action. Humans learning iljena (Literally "ljn speak", ljn (normally rendered "Leyen" in English) being the self-designation of the speakers) often find it difficult to chose appropriate vowels for the participant that they regard as the object, while ljn learning human languages have difficulty with the idea of separating objects from their actions. Word order is used to convey the flow of the action between the participants, and to bring together closely related participants. As "The Essential Guide to Alien Languages" puts it, "Morphologically, iljena is essentially a Semitic language turned up to 11. Syntactically, it is essentially a slightly exaggerated version of Mandarin."

If this all seems a bit abstract, an example sentence might help:

ewtag kvis mohn
student.have raven.perch hand.hold
The student's raven perches on his hand.


Noun Roots

brt - spirit
dbt - duty
frs - strength
grz - boundary
hlf - no time
jgw - alternative
kjr - good thing
ljn - Leyen (sentient crepuscular bipeds with vibrissae all over their bodies)
mjz - great thing
nrs - still air (used methaphorically in this passage)
rzk - sorrow
sjn - knowledge
stl - manner
tlt - whole
trs - faith, trust, confidence
vrd - path
wlm - all time

Verb Patterns

12a3a - be
12e3o - use
1a2i3 - dwell
1e2a3u - cross
1i23 - give
1i2a3 - listen
1o23 - hold
a12e3 - teach
a1i2u3 - save
e12e3 - have
i1e23 - benefit
o12i3e - compose
1u23a - happen

Smooth English

All people have a duty to listen well to the knowledge of the spirit, otherwise great sorrow will happen on their path.
Faith constantly saves them with strength of spirit, otherwise they will never cross the border of the unknown.

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page started: 2008.Dec.05 Fri
last modified: 2008.Dec.27 Sat
form originated by qiihoskeh;
content copyright Peter Bleackley.