CONLANG Translation Relay 25

Ring A Htoleiþe

Ring A next: Lulyún
Ring A previous: Dothraki

Smooth English

A young person rides to me and is afraid. They say that a fox is going to come to the village tonight!
They don't know that the fox is right inside the cave.
They ask me, "Is the fox going to grow hungry? Is it going to see this cave in the village? The fox once lived in a cave, so it can comfortably go into the cave. I don't want the fox to eat Tomme!
I ask, "Who's Tomme? Are they OK?"
The young person says that Tomme is looking for water in a hole in a pine tree.
I ask, "Is Tomme a bird?"
The young person says that the ghost of their grandfather has entered into a bird. The young person's grandfather's name is Tomme. The young person's grandfather had a broken hand and now has become a bird with a broken wing.
The young person does not want the fox to eat the bird.

Htoleiþe Text (Corrected)

Penûddin poðuçþo ne dateim xaɛuçxali. Xakuç ço boht þaduçne leluç ne harkotseim saneim!
Hi ruþuç ço bohte þoduçþo sa penarkeim.
Hputuç dateil, "Hiko bohte þaduçne riɛuçxa? Hiko þaduçne fiðhuç zineir penarkeir da harkotseim? Bohte beikpoleim meimuç penarkeim risuçyi gateseim pikuç dane penarkeim. Hi komop bohte koduç Tommeir!"
Hputat, "Çakarese Tomme lokliççe ne lyakeid? Hiko puç koduç?"
Penûddine xakuç ço Tomme manyuçne ɛaftar da penarkam da loneipahtam.
Hputat, "Hiko Tomme þoduçta hädeim?"
Penûddine xakuç ço missine si ðihhunyeim piukuç dane hadam. Çakarese Tomme lokliççe ne ðihhunyeid si penûddineim. Ðihhunye si penûddineim nyaiduç doçoça rimar zinluli neinuç de hadam çe doçoça yadam.
Penûddine hi komop bohte koduç hadeir.

Brief Description of Htoleiþe

Htoleiþe is the most prestigious language spoken by a human-like species called Htolians. In their world there are other human-like species, including humans.


Phonetics and Orthography

This is just going to be a brief rundown of the pronunciation of each letter or digraph, rather than a detailed description of the phonology.

The accent falls on the first syllable unless a later syllable begins with an emphatic consonant (hc, hk, hp, ht)- if it begins with one of these then the accent shifts to the last syllable beginning with an emphatic consonant. The glottal stop is not considered emphatic on its own.

a ɑ
ä ɒ
ai ɑɪ̯
b b
c c
ç ç
d d
ð ð
e e
ë œ
ei eɪ̯
ɛ ʕ
f f
g g
h ʔ
hc ˀc
hk ˀk
hp ˀp
ht ˀt
i i
ï y
iu iʊ̯
k k
l l
ly ʎ
m m
n n
ny ɲ
o o
ô ɤ
oi oɪ̯
p p
r ɹ
s ʃ
t t
ts t͡s
þ θ
u u
û ɯ
ui uɪ̯
w ʋ
x x
y j
z z, merging with /ts/ or /ð/ in many dialects


Nouns in Htoleiþe fall into three classes or genders: animate 1, animate 2, and inanimate. Animate 1 refers to members of the Htolian species only. Animate 2 refers to all other animate beings, including humans. Inanimate refers to objects. These genders are natural/semantic, matching up with the actual meaning.

Nouns decline for six basic cases: nominative, accusative, dative, locative, instrumental, and causal. The default meaning of the causal case is "because of"; the default meaning of the instrumental is "by means of"; the default meaning of the locative is "at."

Animate nouns have two numbers: singular and plural. Inanimate nouns have three numbers, singular, dual, and plural, but you're not going to have to worry about the dual at all. Apart from that, nouns all follow the same basic declension pattern. To form the plural you change the first vowel as such:

a -> ä
e -> ë
i -> ï
o -> ô
u -> û

So çeht means "a fish" while çëht means "some fish."

The case suffixes depend on definiteness. Çeht (indefinite) means "a fish" while çehte (definite) means "the fish." The pairs below show indefinite first, then definite:

Nominative: -(), -e (çeht, çehte) (a fish, the fish)
Accusative: -ar, -eir (çehtar, çehteir) (a fish, the fish)
Dative: -al, -eil (çehtal, çehteil) (to a fish, to the fish)
Locative: -am, -eim (çehtam, çehteim) (at a fish, at the fish)
Instrumental: -að, -eið (çehtað, çehteið) (by means of a fish, by means of the fish)
Causal: -ad, -eid (çehtad, çehteid) (because of a fish, because of the fish)


Verbs can get complicated, but they don't get too complicated in this example. Their base forms are first-person animate 1. So fiðhat means "I (Htolian) see." To get the other active forms for person, number, and gender, drop the -at and add another ending:

1st Sg: -at (an1), -op (an2)
1st Pl: -än (an1), -ôp (an2)
2nd Sg: -eþ (an1), -us (an2)
2nd Pl: -ëþ
3rd Sg: -is (an1), uç (an2), oç (inan)
3rd Pl: -ûç

Note, however, that some verbs do not end with personal endings; in some verbs, there is a suffixed preposition after the personal ending. For some verbs this is built in and they are listed that way in their dictionary endings, but there are also regular ways to form aspects from verbs via such suffixes. One of these is in the example, and it is the inchoative aspect, which refers to a change of state: "I become," "I start to," etc. This suffix is -xa.

To form the active past tense, you change the first vowel as such:

a -> ai
e -> ei
i -> iu
o -> oi
u -> ui

To form the future, you use the auxiliary verb þadatne. Note this is one of the verbs that has a suffixed preposition, but in this case, it is not conveying aspect but a significantly different meaning from its root, þadat, which means "I stand."

There is no infinitive, and verbs that follow auxiliaries are simply conjugated the same way that the auxiliary is conjugated. So "I will see" would be "ðadatne fiðhat."

Finally, there's one tricky part in here, and that's the passive voice. The passive voice is formed in two steps:
1. swap the first vowel with the vowel of the personal ending
2. add an l just before the personal ending.

So "I am seen" is "faðhlit."

To negate a verb you simple put the particle hi before it, e.g. "hi faðhlit," "I am not seen."


Adjectives are formed from verbs and agree with their nouns in number, gender, and definiteness, but not case.

In the singular, both definiteness and gender matter:

Animate 1 Singular: -isa (indef), -isei (def)
Animate 2 Singular: -uça (indef), -uçei (def)
Inanimate Singular: -oça (indef), -oçei (def)

But in the plural there are only two forms:

Indefinite Plural: -ûça
Definite Plural: -ûçei.


Some conjunctions, like ço (that), are independent words, but the majority are suffixes that usually follow verbs. These include -li (and) and -yi (therefore).

Fiðhatli (and I see) Fiðatyi (therefore I see).


There are many prepositions, and each takes a specific case. For some prepositions, the meaning changes depending on which case follows it. In the dictionary entries, they are listed with the case or cases that they take.


beikpol, pn. inan. some time
boht, n. an2. fox
çakares, n. inan. name
çe, prep. (+loc) with (comitative)
ço, conj. that
da, prep. (+loc) in
dane, prep. (+loc) into
dat, pn. an1. I
doçat, v. intr. I am bad
ðihhuny, n. grandfather
ɛaft, n.inan. water
fiðhat, v. xtr. I see
gatat, v. intr. I am happy; I am comfortable
gates, n. inan. happiness; comfort
had, n. an2. bird
harkots, n. inan. village
hi, adv. not
hiko, adv. used for yes/no questions
hputat, I ask
kodat, v.xtr. I eat. "Hiko kodeþ?" = "How are you?"
komat, v.aux. I want (ço is omitted even with a subordinate clause here)
lelat, v. intr. I come
likatçe, I use
loneipaht, n.inan. pine tree
lyak, who, which
manyatne, I look for; I search; I seek
memat, v. intr. I reside, I dwell, I live in (+loc)
missin, n. an2. ghost
ne, prep. (+loc) to [allative]; (+caus) for the purpose of
nenat, intr. I become (with de + locative)
nyadat, I have
penark, n. inan. hole, burrow, cave; (fig.) dump, dive, crappy place, hell-hole
penûddin, n. an. young person
pikat, v.intr. I go
poðatþo, v.intr. I ride
puç, pn. an2. he/she/singular they, or it in reference to animals, etc.
ruþat, v.xtr. I know
þadatne, v.aux. I am about to; I am going to; I will (auxiliary for the future)
riɛat, v.intr. I am hungry
rim, n.inan. hand
risat, v.aux. I can
sa, adv. exactly, precisely, right
saneim, adv. tonight
si, prep. of (possessive, genitive)
Tomme, pr.n. a human name [made up for this translation]
þodatta, v.intr. I am a member of the group, species, gender, class (object in locative)
þodatþo, v.intr. I am located at (+loc)
xaɛatxa, v.intr. I am afraid
xakat, I say
yad, n. inan. wing
zin, dem.inan.: this
zinlu, adv. now

-li: and
-xa: affixed to a verb, marks inchoative aspect (become, start to be, etc.)
-yi: therefore

an.: animate 1 or animate 2
an1.: animate 1 (Htolian)
an2.: animate 2 (non-Htolian)
adv.: adverbial
aux.: auxiliary
conj.: conjunction
dem.: demonstrative
inan.: inanimate
intr.: transitive
n.: noun
pn.: pronoun
prep.: preposition
pr.n.: proper noun
tr.: transitive
v.: verb
xtr.: transitive or intransitive

page started: 2018.Feb.02 Fri
current date: 2018.Feb.15 Thu
content originated by Rebecca Krause
form originated by qiihoskeh

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