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!

{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.

{September 28, 2008}   where am I?

A basic phrase to learn in any language is “where is….?” You need to be able to ask “Where is my room?” or “Where is the restroom / toilet?”

I realized that I had no word in Miresua for where. I thought that would be easy to fix, but I didn’t count on running head-on into Basque and Finnish grammar. It seems that both Basque and Finnish have several words that can translate to the English word where. They seem best explained by using where and the archaic English words whither and whence. Whither means where to, and whence means where from.

For Miresua, I came up with the word NOSÄ for where — see my related Miresua Conlang post.. This is the static form of where as opposed to whither or whence. This comes from mixing the Basque word NON with the Finnish word MISSÄ.

So, I could ask — Where am I? When translated to Miresua that question becomes — NOSÄ ÄNI ALON? or perhaps, getting the subject from the verb conjugation, the question could be simplified to merely NOSÄ ALON?

I don’t know how to ask “Where is my room?” or “Where is the restroom / toilet?”. But I have a word for where, and that’s a start.

{August 28, 2008}   the moon and sun

And she forgot the stars, the moon, and sun,
And she forgot the blue above the trees,
And she forgot the dells where waters run,
And she forgot the chilly autumn breeze;

From Isabella, or the Pot of Basil by John Keats (1795-1821)

Earlier I mentioned that in Miresua the stars are called AIHÄK. A single star, would be called a AIHÄ. (There is an umlaut over the A, which is important to the spelling and pronuncation. It comes from Finnish.)

What is the moon called in Miresua? Moon is KUILA. This word is composed of the first letters of the Finnish word for moon, KUU, and the Basque word for moon, ILARGI.

What is the sun called? Sun in Miresua is URZENI. This comes from a scramble of the Basque word for sun, EGUZKI, and the Finnish word for sun AURINKO. The word starts and ends with letters that appear in both words.

So in Miresua I’d translate “the moon and sun” to KUILA TA URZENI. That phrase has a nice look to it, if I say so myself.

{August 2, 2008}   and the word is?

The Miresua word for “and” is TA.  I made that word up since the last posting (see my blog posting).  The Basque word for “and” is ETA; The Finnish word for “and” is JA.  I think TA is a good alphabetic compromise for Miresua.

When I make Miresua words I’m limited to the letters in the Basque and Finnish words.  For example, when making the word for “and” my available letters were A, A, E, J, and T.  I couldn’t use another letter, such as perhaps an “S”, if I wanted to.  There are rules to this, even if they are self-imposed.

{July 25, 2008}   silver and gold

You got my heart you got my soul
You got the silver you got the gold

— lyrics from the song “You Got the Silver” by the Rolling Stones on the album Let It Bleed

Silver and gold.  The precious metals.

The Basque word for silver is ZILAR, and the Finnish word for silver is HOPEA.  I mixed up those words and came up with HOLAR for my Miresua word meaning silver.

The Basque word for gold is URRE, and the Finnish word for gold is KULTA.  My Miresua word for gold is ULRE, which admittedly takes more from the Basque word.  Sometimes I chose alphabetic combinations that are not quite evenly taken from my source laguages for aesthetic reasons.

How would you say “silver and gold” in Miresua?  Good question, becuase I don’t know.  HOLAR (and) ULRE, but I haven’t created the word for “and” yet.

et cetera