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Author Topic: The Dwarven Language Codified  (Read 14032 times)

LordBalkan

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2019, 07:31:44 pm »

Posting to Watch Read
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Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2019, 09:24:47 am »

I'm rather satisfied with the language at the moment, and people don't seem to be that interested (with the notable exception of Loam and his phonetic knowledge), so I imagine it will be in stasis unless it finds some use or popularity.
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Superdorf

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2019, 09:46:33 am »

Oh, I'm extraordinarily interested. I just haven't had anything to say! It's all been so over my head... I'm no linguist.

Is there anything in particular you want the playerbase here to do? What's left to investigate?
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Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2019, 10:32:08 am »

I don't know. Use it, I guess. The language seems mostly functional. I assumed that people would try to use it and quickly find problems. "Hey, I coulnd't find a way to say X." I think it really only has much use in role playing threads and things like that. Maybe Kruggsmash could say a sentence or two of it in a video.
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voliol

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #49 on: April 13, 2019, 03:30:55 pm »

Let's see what we can do!

Mistêm hav-geth estnebïn
Razes-long nebïn var-geth volal nekikudar'osh
Nos Mistêm berdan-shoveth mosus'ishob   
Nebïn berdan-shoveth dogak

Nebïn oltud-geth Mistêm turelmafol'ishob niralodak
Toral okab-geth-ver
Tilat kal-geth lok titthal-geth
Nitem nebïn turelmafol'ok

Mistêm have-past little|lamb
Hair-gen. lamb is-past white cold|rain'as
If Mistêm walk-hypothetical room'into
Lamb walk-hyp. there

Lamb stalk-past Mistêm learn|chamber'into one|day|adv.
Law break-past-passive
Child smile-past and play-past
See lamb learn|chamber'in

Mary had a little lamb
Whose fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go

It followed her to school one day
Which was against the rules
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school

From this attempt at translating "Mary had a little lamb", I had one main problem, pronouns.
Not having any pronouns is tricky, not because you could save a few syllables by writing mono-syllabic pronouns instead of "Mistêm" and "nebïm", but because you can't really refer things such as clauses. "Toral okab-geth-ver"(Law break-past-passive) is an active clause in the original. Also, not having words for "anywhere" or even "any" forced me to rewrite those lines. It's still possible, most of this, but it feels limiting not being able to refer back onto what has been written earlier.
I am sorry for the bad usage of proper orthography.

Laterigrade

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #50 on: April 25, 2019, 01:44:06 am »

This is incredible! Although, considering the player-base and the people who frequent this forum, Fmidnikot-geth-zilir.

(D’you reckon that’s right?)
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Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #51 on: April 25, 2019, 09:27:14 am »

Voliol: I like the attempt! I'm not sure if "Lamb walk-hyp. there" is a way to translate "that lamb was sure to go", as the original text states that the lamb will definitely go, while the translation means that the lamb might go. If there isn't a word for "certainly" or "surely", then we could probably just make one by turning an adjective into an adverb. Still, I like that you tried to use it! I especially like your attempt to translate "snow". I think we could just invent a word for that, as I can't imagine Dwarven lacking a word for something so basic. Yes, the lack of pronouns forces you to structure things differently. That's the point! It can't just be an English analogue. If things could be translated word-for-word, then it would hardly feel like a different language. I also am uncertain on how to translate "which was against the rules". Dwarven isn't very syllabically concise.

Laterigrade: Heareraction-past-imperative? I don't understand. I like that you think it's incredible, though!

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voliol

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #52 on: April 25, 2019, 01:12:35 pm »

Oh, I couldn't find any way to write "the lamb was sure to go", so I rewrote the whole sentence. Notice the conditional "if" at the start of the row above.
If Mistêm were to go somewhere, then the lamb would go there (as well). The hypothetical is there because we're talking about a hypothetical situation, and as this language has a hypothetical mood I thought it be best I used it.
Though I might be confusing hypothetical mood (which wikipedia defines as "didn't happen but could have") with conditional mood ("if a certain condition is met"). Note that conditional moods are sometimes expressed in both the "if" and the "then" statements.

Laterigrade

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2019, 07:35:49 pm »

Laterigrade: Heareraction-past-imperative? I don't understand. I like that you think it's incredible, though!
I was trying to create ‘it was inevitable’ — would past-imperative work for ‘was inevitable’? Maybe Geth-zilir could work, if we capitalise Geth, making it past(ly)-imperative (or, imperative in the past — inevitable) rather than past-imperative. And Fmidnikot-geth works pretty well for ‘it was’.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 01:04:15 am by Laterigrade »
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Brutaka001

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #54 on: April 28, 2019, 10:39:41 pm »

Honestly, I have been searching for pre-made languages for my D&D sessions. I didn't want to use any of Tolkein's because everybody would know it and it's source. The fact that this is not as well-known but even shows the rules on how to speak and right it it AMAZING.

The only qualm I have with it all is the lack of a script. But because of it being represented to us non-dorf humans, it has to be romanized for us to understand so I can understand why it doesn't have one. Because of the fact that the dwarves in game have the tendency to carve pictures of their history instead of a generalized libraries, makes me think that the actual language itself has no script. The numbers would need some though just to show the book keeping part for trading.

Since their writing medium would be stone, because paper comes from trees and they are NOT elves, carving would be obvious. Hard, straight lines would be almost always dominant with almost little to know curves. Runic scripts it is lol
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voliol

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #55 on: April 29, 2019, 02:22:17 am »

Honestly, I have been searching for pre-made languages for my D&D sessions. I didn't want to use any of Tolkein's because everybody would know it and it's source. The fact that this is not as well-known but even shows the rules on how to speak and right it it AMAZING.

The only qualm I have with it all is the lack of a script. But because of it being represented to us non-dorf humans, it has to be romanized for us to understand so I can understand why it doesn't have one. Because of the fact that the dwarves in game have the tendency to carve pictures of their history instead of a generalized libraries, makes me think that the actual language itself has no script. The numbers would need some though just to show the book keeping part for trading.

Since their writing medium would be stone, because paper comes from trees and they are NOT elves, carving would be obvious. Hard, straight lines would be almost always dominant with almost little to know curves. Runic scripts it is lol

Dwarven civs definitely have libraries with books in them, and considering they tend to prefer underground farming, most non-imported books should be made of pig tail paper. Stones carvings are equally likely to have some kind of script, considering dwarves carve slabs in addition to their crafts and engravings.
Really, it depends on how long the dwarves have been using either method, and where they got them from. They could use their own runes for carving, and human letters for writing, or identical runes for both carving and writing, or different versions of their own runes adapted after the materials, with more shortcuts/curves being used in the writing.

Solitarian

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #56 on: April 29, 2019, 03:53:40 am »

You want to use this for D&D? Great! Yes! Please do that! Indeed, there is a lack of a script. I like to imagine that dwarves have a system like the ancient Egyptians: fancy hieroglyphs for carving and painting + simpler scribbles for ordinary bookkeeping. Also like ancient Egypt, I expect that almost no dwarves would know the writing system, as it is only useful for the recordkeepers and nobility. Ordinary dwarven farmers and smiths probably would be illiterate and rely on carved pictures, hence their proclivity for etching.

If you want a script for Dwarven, I recommend using Anglo-Saxon runes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxon_runes

ᚢᚱᛁᛋᛏ ᛞᛖᛒ-ᚷᛖᚦ ᛋᚻᚩᚳᛗᚢᚷ.
Urist deb-geth Shokmug.
Urist ate cheese.

Interestingly, I needed to render the "sh" in "shokmug" as two sounds instead of one, as Old English did not have our "sh" sound, apparently. So the S and H are pronounced separately. I think that sounds better, actually. Instead of saying Shokmug with the SH sound, say it with the S sound followed by the H sound.

I think those would look good in some D&D material, and they are different enough from Latin letters to not be immediately recognizable. Moreover, they were actually used by real people for centuries, so they seem more authentic than something wholly fabricated by some nerd at a computer.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 04:08:58 am by Solitarian »
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Brutaka001

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #57 on: April 29, 2019, 09:08:53 pm »

I actually JUST found that the Dwarves in D&D have their own set of runes, but no actual language other than a cypher for DMs to use with their group. Now that I have all these rulings, I can use both to actually flesh out the race alot more than the game has at default.
A link to the runes are here: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Dethek

Because of the way that modern languages work, [th] sound as in "think" and [th] sound as in "this" are extremely rare. So i "think" that those sounds should be omitted from the phonology of Dwarven if it is included, I honestly can't remember (there was alot).
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Carfter

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #58 on: May 01, 2019, 09:43:26 pm »

Just posting because i find this incredibly interesting. Thanks for taking the time to do this and i wish you all the best in creating a sort of "lexicon" for reference.
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Superdorf

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Re: The Dwarven Language Codified
« Reply #59 on: May 01, 2019, 09:54:19 pm »

DF humans, elves, and goblins do nearly as much writing as dwarves, and tend not to engrave stuff. I expect dwarves would use runic on stone surfaces and whatnot, but they might plausibly borrow the script of another race for books and paperwork.

Concerning literacy (or lack thereof): In Fortress Mode, all dwarves will read and understand books and scrolls in a library, regardless of actual reading skill. Maybe they learn as children? I dunno. At any rate, most everybody appears to be at least somewhat literate from an early age.

------------------------------

So, random question: by this codification, how would y'all translate the proverb "This too shall pass" into Dwarfish?
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