Josh Roth wrote:

> In Eloshtan:
> Tec cafo mentelenes rri mrewenes tes mologosanoc.
> (Speak his language, then choose him to be your enemy)

I like that wording.  It sounds less like a high-falutin' proverb and more
like something a tribal elder would say to a young warrior.  Would it make
sense to say "_You_ speak his language, then choose him to be your enemy"?
Spanish does that, I think to add symmetry or impact.

BTW, is there a conculture that goes with Eloshtan?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Josh Roth [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Friday, June 15, 2001 2:04 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: a King's proverb
> In a message dated 6/15/01 8:55:20 AM, [log in to unmask] writes:
> >This just came to me yesterday while listening to a news
> blurb about the
> >US/Russian summit.  It fits perfectly with the story I am evolving:
> >
> >"Before you choose your enemy, speak his language."
> >
> >The surface meaning is practical.  Of course, this proverb
> is also full
> >of
> >deeper meaning: Choose your enemy wisely, understand him
> first, don't make
> >an enemy that should have been an ally.  I haven't come up with the
> >Canotaean translation yet, but I thought I'd throw it out
> for you all,
> >if it
> >pleases you to translate.  :-)
> >
> >Guy
> Good advice! In Eloshtan:
> Tec cafo mentelenes rri mrewenes tes mologosanoc.
> (Speak his language, then choose him to be your enemy)
> te.c    cafo rri   te.s
> POS.3 language speak.SUB.2 then choose.SUB.2. POS.2 enemy.SUB.3
> POS=possessive particle, agrees with possessor
> 2=2nd person
> 3=3rd person
> SUB=subjunctive, used to make imperatives, as with the verb
> mrewefy, and it's
> used on mentelefy because its just a hypothetical situation (which
> imperatives are considered to fall under also)
> "Rri" is used for if-then sequences and also before-after
> ones, with the
> first chronological item placed before it, and the next one
> placed after it -
> so I had to reverse the order of the English sentence.
> "Mologosa" is the word for "enemy", a noun, but any noun in
> Eloshtan can be
> used as a verb meaning "to be _noun_," among other things.
> Because of this,
> possessives can occur before verbs - "tes mologosafy" means
> "to be your
> enemy."
> This translation looked simple at first, but then I found a
> problem - it
> didn't seem right to talk about "your enemy" before this
> person actually
> exists, since s/he hasn't been chosen yet. So I though I
> would just say
> "speak an enemy's language, then choose him" (mologosa tec
> cafo mentelenes
> rri mrewenesic) wthout using the word for "your," but that
> didn't sound right
> either, because I was still talking about speaking the
> language of *someone*
> who doesn't exist, or on the other hand you could even interpret it as
> talking about a real enemy, but then you would wonder what
> you'd be choosing
> him/her for - certainly not to be your enemy, since s/he
> already is.... So
> anyway my final version starts out talking about "his/her
> language" - whose,
> we don't know - but then we find out later, since we use the
> 3rd person
> marker -c again to refer to the potential enemy. There is no
> ambiguity that
> the enemy might be a different person then the s/he with the
> language, since
> if it were it would have the 5th person marker -ll. (Cafo,
> "language" is the
> fourth person.) So basically I got around talking about a
> hypothetical noun
> by making it into a verb, which, unlike nouns, can be put into the
> subjunctive.
> Josh Roth