Friday, August 26, 2011

Ana gives us some Luvit proverbs from the planet Thomo!

Ana Darcy's native language, Luvit, is spoken by the people of the planet Thomo. (The photo above represents Thomo and its two moons.) There are a number of Luvit words scattered throughout the various Distant Cousin books, but there is no point in providing more than a few, because Luvit is almost completely unintelligible to us. (There is, on the other hand, a fair amount of Spanish in the books, and not all of that needs to be translated. There is also a bit of French, in the first volume.)

We know, however, that Luvit is related to English, Spanish, and French, and to all the Indo-European languages generally. It was, in fact, one of the first languages to split off from the original, long-lost Proto Indo-European of some thousands of years ago. This knowledge comes to us from Dr. William Sledd, a linguist and philologist, as a result of his studies with the assistance of Ana in volume 1. A more complete account of what he discovered is found elsewhere on this blog.

A number of readers have asked for more samples of Luvit, however, and because the various posts of Spanish proverbs on this blog have been popular, we asked Ana if she would provide us a few proverbs in Luvit. We felt sure there would be proverbs in Luvit, and there are. She graciously assented, and they are listed below. Thoman proverbs are as colorful as Earthly proverbs!

Some preliminary notes:

1. The Thoman writing system is as unintelligible to us as the spoken language. While the International Phonetic Alphabet can precisely indicate the sounds of all languages through the use of an elaborate system of symbols, that too is difficult to decipher by all but practiced linguists. Accordingly, we will render the proverbs as closely as we can using standard English orthography.

2. Ana's editor, your humble servant, happens to be a practiced linguist, and while not terribly familiar with Luvit, we will attempt to point out, in notes which follow, a few words which may show possible connections between three of the great families of Indo-European languages: Germanic, Balto-Slavic, and Italic. (See a chart of the branches here.)

3. You might be surprised, after looking over what seem to be harsh sounding words below, to hear spoken Luvit. It is generally rather soft and smooth sounding.

The Proverbs

1. pez bra:sh nyesu kola:sh

      Without work, there are no cakes.

2. pez bensh, do hoshpodzh nelesh.

      Don't go to the pub without money.

3. neilepsh kuchakh ye hlad.

      Hunger is the best cook.

4. vnochi cherna: kazht

      Every cat is black at night.

And a nonsense tongue twister, with NO vowels:

5. strsh prsht skrz khrk

      Stick a finger through your throat.


1. "Pez," in proverbs 1 and 2, would seem to mean "without." "Bensh," in #2 reminds us of "pence."

2. The symbol "a:" indicates a low central vowel, like the vowel sound in "thought."

3. In proverb #1, "kola:sh" probably means "cake," and might be related to Czech and Polish (and English, for that matter) "kolace."

4. In proverb #3, "kuchakh" must mean "cook." German is "koch." English has "cook" and "kitchen," of course.

5. In proverb #4, "vnochi" probably means "night" or "at night," and might be similar to Spanish "noche," French "nuit," and Italian "notte," not to mention Latin "nox, noctis." Also, "cherna:," "black," might be related to "czerny," "black" in Polish. And perhaps "kazht" is similar to "cat" or German "katte," or even Spanish "gato."

6. For tongue twister #5, we have only one comment: if you say, carefully, "shtrk," you can say a "word" with no vowels. A linguist would say it has a "semi-vowel," that is, a way to slide from one consonant to the next. Apparently, that's all that's needed for a few select words.

Thanks, Ana!

Mexican-American proverbs: One  Two Three

Spanish nursery rhymes: One  Two

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