Tynsa irebä :: Channeling the Green Girl

{February 5, 2011}   finnish in frazz

Frazz from today’s comic page (click to enlarge):

— What if, instead of having wars, nations just had snowball fights?

— There’s a strong chance we’d be speaking Finnish.

— Right. They’d probably invade us for our vowels.

As someone who plays with Finnish for a conlang, I sure know that Finnish uses a lot of vowels!


{November 4, 2010}   naming the landscape

Words for the outside landscape, geographical words, were my focus in September. I mixed up a bunch of brand new Miresua words. Not revisions. The detailed postings are on my other blog, Miresua conlang.

There are two Miresua words for field because I found separate words for these terms in Basque and Finnish. An arable field, such as a wheat field, is a SERTO. A field ground or a playing field is a KELTAI.

The word for meadow is BELITY. Note the ending vowel Y, courtesy of Finnish, which is pronounced unlike in English. As the Basque word is similar to the word for grass, this is likely a grassy meadow. Pasture is LADIRE.

The Miresua word for wilderness is ERUMA. This word wasn’t much of a alphabetic mix. The Basque word (erumu) and Finnish word (erämaa) are unusually similar.

A plain or flatland is TALUSA. For this word, I took into account that there are two Finnish words with this general meaning, tasanko and tasomaa.

For desert I came up with ATAMORU. The Basque word (basamortu) and the Finnish word (autiomaa) look quite different although they share a surprising number of letters.

My Miresua word for ocean is OZTERA. I know that my word looks like ocean, hence not too foreign, but I like it nonetheless. The Basque word for ocean is ozeano. The Finnish word for ocean, valtameri, appears to be a compound word of mighty or great + sea.

{September 30, 2010}   people and family words

Back in August, I revised some of my words for family members and other people. I find it useful to take a second look at my Miresua words by category, with the respective Basque and Finnish words. It helps me weed out words that don’t quite work and allows me to see which letters I’m overusing or underusing. In addition I check that I’m creating words that more or less equally resemble the Basque and the Finnish words.

I redid the Miresua word for boy to be MIKAL. My word for son is PAME. Before this revision my words for boy and son were similar to each other. The Finnish words for boy and son are exactly the same (POIKA). In Basque the words for boy (MUTIL) and son (SEME) don’t share a common letter.

I revised the word for daughter to be ALYTÄ. My word for girl is TYNSA, as in the title of this blog. The Finnish words for daughter (TYTÄR) and girl (TYTTÖ) are similar. The Basque the words for daughter (ALABA) and girl (NESKA) are not similar at all. Basque and Finnish often disagree on things.

I changed the word for grandfather to be ISAONI instead of ISAIONI. Even as a compound word of father + big, I didn’t particularly want three vowels in a row.

My word for man was redone to be GINES. I made this word start like the Basque word (GIZON) and end like the Finnish word (MIES). And I got to use the uncommon letter G.

I tweaked the word for woman to be NANEME instead of NEMANE. My revised word starts like the Finnish word (NAINEN) and ends like the Basque word (EMAKUME), and it doesn’t contain the word “man” within it.

{July 25, 2010}   Looking for some liquidity

This July I’ve been creating words for liquids in my Miresua conlang. I already had some words for liquids. Water is UVI, wine is VARI, and rain is DURE. This theme ended up being a bit of a challenge. I had to think to come up with commonly used liquids.

Initially I chose to modify a couple of existing words. I revise words when I see a better alphabetic mix of the Basque and the Finnish words. Sometimes I change words because they contain odd letter combinations. I ended up changing blood from EDOR to ORDI, and milk from OMSE to MONE.

My newly created Miresua words are: honey is ETAJA, beer is OLUGAR, cream is ESERMA, oil is ÖLJO, ink is TUSTA, glue is LOILA, and urine is TXIRVA. Liquids all of them. (I’m not sure when I’ll be using that word for urine, but it may be useful when cursing.)

Next month I plan to do verbs, which should be interesting and verging on grammar.

{May 23, 2010}   running with a theme

Words this month on my Miresua conlang blog follow a theme. Not that I planned it in advance, but I found myself making words on a religious theme. Once I started, I decided to run with it.

I began by defining the word for holy as SYTÄ. Next was RUISTE, which translates as cross. My word for priest is APAPI. I decided to make my word for prayer be OSTURI. Sin is BYNATI. The word for heaven (and also sky) is TAIZU. All of these are new, added Miresua words, not revisions. Each word is a mix of the Basque and the Finnish words for these words.

There are no grammar additions this month. I still need to work on Miresua grammar. But hey, I have some more new words.

{March 29, 2010}   grammar, what grammar

My Miresua conlang is alive, although you might not know it, seeing my lack of updates!

This blog, Tynsa irebä, was set up as my place to discuss grammar for my conlang language, Miresua, which is a mix of Basque and Finnish. But I haven’t done much grammar development lately. I’ve been busy with other things, and I didn’t write any miscellaneous stuff or mention my lack of progress. Sorry, green girl, I neglected things here.

Yet I’ve been regularly updating my Miresua conlang blog. I’ve created some new words, and revised many existing words. Most of these changes were small. Sometimes when looking at words again, by category, I could see ways to better use the available letters. I’ve been trying to make my Miresua words take parts from their Basque word and their Finnish word, and be less scrambled.

So, there are more Miresua conlang words, but not yet more ways to put those words together into sentences. To do Miresua grammar, I need to study, and somewhat figure out, Basque grammar and Finnish grammar. Unfortunately that’s a difficult task that’s easier said than done.

{September 29, 2009}   a bird by any other name

The Miresua word for bird is TIRLU, which is a mix of the Basque word TXORI and the Finnish word LINTU.

In Miresua a crow is a VELAS (a mix of BELE and VARIS); a raven is a PORRI (a mix of ERROI and KORPPI); a magpie is a MAHKA (a mix of MIKA and HARAKKA); and a sparrow is a TXUPARNE (a mix of TXOLARRE and VARPUNEN). The Miresua words for those birds are an alphabetic scrambles of the Basque and the Finnish words.

In my other conlang, Lhaesine, I call these birds by other names. My choice of letters is not restricted in Lhaesine as in Miresua. I’m much more free in my possiblities for creating words in Lhaesine. I call a bird in Lhaesine an IVERN. In Lhaesine a crow is a SCETA; a raven is a TOGUL; a magpie is a FARECAL; and a sparrow is a MODREN.

So, do I call a magpie a MAHKA (Miresua) or a FARECAL (Lhaesine)? Is either conlang word preferable? To anyone else I better call it a magpie, or they won’t possibly understand. Not at first anyway. A bird by any other name may not be comprehended.

{August 22, 2009}   gone to the birds

Words and word revisions have kept coming to my Miresua conlang. Yet I haven’t done anything with Miresua grammar, or posted recently to this commentary blog.

Recently I’ve gone to the birds. I’ve been mixing Basque and Finnish words to create words in Miresua for various birds. There are birds involved in this idea I have for a fantasy story.

Today’s bird word was magpie. The Basque word for magpie is MIKA. The Finnish word for magpie is HARAKKA. I decided to make my Miresua word for magpie be MAHKA. This is a short word, and more like the Basque word, but a perfectly allowable mix. Also I think it sounds like something a magpie would say.

There’s a rhyme associated with magpies from folklore. An hopscotch rhyme about numbers of magpies.

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
And seven for a secret never to be told.

Next time I see magpies in the yard, I think I’ll count them.

{December 27, 2008}   it’s always something

For my Miresua conlang, I Google my constructed words, look them up in a Multilingual Dictionary, and search for them in a directory of cities and towns in the world. Thanks to the Internet, I’ve found that my made-up words mean a surprising number of things.

If I discover that a word means something rude in another language, I probably won’t use it. I have a list of Finnish curse words to avoid. If a word means something in Basque or Finnish, my source languages, I might modify it.

Languages need unflattering words, even conlang languages. Recently I defined that bad is GAIHA in Miresua. It was derived from the Basque word GAIZTO and the Finnish word PAHA. This was purposely an unusual letter combination. Google search found that Gaiha can be a last name in India. Even though my definitions are only for the Miresua conlang language, and have nothing to do whatsoever with people with this name, I felt uncomfortable about defining someone’s name as bad. Yet it was unfortunately unavoidable if I wanted to make a five-letter word that looked reasonably pronounceable. Nearly every combination of letters means something somewhere in the world.

Calling this word bad is a bit of a euphemism. It is bad as in evil or wicked. TXON is bad as in poor or rotten.

{December 14, 2008}   good and bad

Good and bad are common vocabulary words, frequently used adjectives.  I’ve been working on the Miresua conlang for over two and a half years.  You would have thought I would have defined words for good and bad long ago, but I didn’t. 

I probably looked up the words for good and bad in my Basque and Finnish dictionaries and decided to do something easier.  There are some words in Basque and Finnish that are unlike anything in English, such as those with the TX consonant combination in Basque, and Ä and Ö (vowels with umlauts) in Finnish.  Those types of words at first confounded me.

Lately I’ve been mixing in more of the strange bits into my Miresua conlang.  For example, take my words for good and bad.

The Miresua word for good is YNÄ.  It is a mix of the odd Finnish word HYVÄ and the Basque word ON.

The Miresua word for bad is TXON.  It is a mix of the odd Basque word TXAR and the somewhat odd Finnish word HUONO.

These words look foreign, I’ll admit.  But Miresua is a mixture of Basque and Finnish.  It’s not supposed to look like English.

et cetera