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lyrics translation

Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:02 pm
by jan Kosimo
Hello people! I am new to this board and to toki pona. I was working on some song lyrics and toki pona might work to repeat the short chorus at some point. Since I don't really know toki pona yet, I would like a second opinion on what I came up with.

In English:

Colours in the canopy
We are what you will be, maybe
but it's hard to foresee

My toki pona attempt, with a rough indication of my intent:

kule lon sewi pi ma kasi [colours in the roof of the forest]
ken la tenpo kama la sina mi [maybe in the future you (are) us]
taso lukin kama li ike pali [but seeing the becoming is too complex to do]

Note that I tried to maintain the triple rhyme; hence also the perhaps unnecessary but hopefully okay 'pali' at the end.


Second question: within the context of the song this unknown (to most listeners) language would be presented as a 'global tongue'. Does that make sense to tokiponists? I read that toki pona does not really have ambitions of being a worldwide language... still, it's certainly transnational.

Bonus question: if you happen to know some other conlang well, and you feel you can translate the lyrics to that language, while preserving rhyme, please shout. Just in case though! (I tried a Neo version because I happen to have a dictionary, but got nowhere.)

Many thanks :)

Re: lyrics translation

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:32 pm
by janKipo
open la kama pona tawa toki pona!

kin la ni li pona mute li toki pona pona. nimi 'ike pali' li pona mute. taso ken la sina wile kepeken nimi 'lawa' lon nimi 'sewi'. ken la ala.

tp is not meant to be an IAL, certainly, but is meant to be available to speaker of any language (maybe a dozen so far, but mainly English). So "transnational" (or "translingual") is good.

We have many Esperantists here and a few other conlangs as well. I can only claim (on weak grounds) to know Loglan and Lojban and they are notoriously bad at rhymes, beyond the most rudimentary (same last vowel, say). In any case, I am not up to this challenge.

Re: lyrics translation

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:29 pm
by jan Kosimo
jan Kipo o, toki!

mi pona tan nimi sina. :)

I'll continue in English for now... slowly exploring the tp lessons.

Yes you're right, 'lawa' would work too. I'll try both of them. (Hm, in the lessons on 'sewi' is mentioned twice, lessons 5 and 7, once with 'roof' and once without...)

No worries about skipping the bonus question, it was a long shot! Lojban got me curious a while ago but I doubt 'lawa mi' is up to it.

Re: lyrics translation

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:19 am
by janKipo
The up and down words are a mixed bag. 'sewi' is literally the part above, so what what counts depends a lot on where you are: it could be just upstairs, or the attic or the roof, or everything on up from the to of the house (for example). 'lawa' is pretty clearly the top of some object, with 'pini' being the very apex. There is a similar problem at the bottom: is 'anpa' just downstairs or is it the basement or even the ground beneath all the way down? And where is 'noka'? floor?, basement?, support?
Context, we are always told, will decide (and it even does sometimes).

Re: lyrics translation

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:04 pm
by jan Kosimo
Ah, good to know! What is your source, btw? I can't find 'napa' anywhere...

Another question, if I may. Here it is said:

Remember that you can only use e after a verb. Toki Pona does not use clauses. For example, to say, "I like watching the countryside," you could not say "lukin e ma li pona tawa mi." Instead you should split the sentence in two:
mi lukin e ma. ni li pona tawa mi. I'm watching the countryside. This is good to me.

Well, in my line "lukin kama li ike pali [seeing the becoming is too complex to do]" I'm not using 'e' but I do seem to be (wrongly?) using a subclause. Or am I? 'lukin' here is kind of an infinitive, verb and noun at once...? What if in the quoted example they had just used 'lukin ma' ('countryside-watching') rather than 'lukin e ma'?

Incidentally, the proposed solution 'mi lukin e ma. ni li pona tawa mi.' seems awkward. I may not be presently looking at the countryside, but still want to make the general claim. Is there no better way? And actually, whence the no-subclause rule? Could subclauses cause confusion? Or is it more a minimalist philosophy choice?


Finally, when I wrote 'mi pona tan nimi sina' in my last post, I meant to express I was happy with your post, not you name. Would 'mi pona tan nimi mute sina' have been better?

musi pona!

Re: lyrics translation

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:09 pm
by janKipo
The autostart autocorrect. Overtime I go to a new site, the supposedly turned off autocorrect comes back on. So, 'napa' is actually 'anpa. Hope that helps.

'Yes, no subclause is a minimalist thing. The grammar is amazingly more simple if you don't have subclauses (actually, *subordinate* subclauses, like relative clauses or indirect discours). They roughy double the size of the grammar, because everything in a main clause also turns up in a subordinate clause but different in various unsystematic ways (we could skip some of those difference but then you would get lost as to whether you were in a main clause or a subclause). But we have another approach (or, rather, several) to deal with the situations where subclauses are indicated. One is a careful use of 'ni' to hook two apparently independent sentences together: 'jan li kama tawa moku. jan ni li awen lon tempo run.' "The man who came to dinner stayed a month." Another uses 'ni:' to introduce an indirect discourse: 'mi piling e ni: sina taso' "I think that you are alone". This provides a solution for your problem case, since what comes after the 'ni:' is flagged as not being asserted separately. So 'ni li pona tawa mi: mi lukin e ma' (note that the colon doesn't have to come immediately after the 'ni'). Then, as you note, there is nominalization, turning a sentence "I look at the land" 'mi lukin e ma' into a noun phrase 'lukin ma (mi)'. The same prices (incorporation) the makes noun phrases out of sentences, can make adjective phrases out of predicates, giving , for example, 'jan pi alasa waso lete' "a man who hunts birds in the winter" (or, from earlier, 'jan pi kama moku li awen Lon tempo mun').

I read your remark as intended. If you really thought I might be confused about "words" and "name", you could have used 'toki', "message" instead of 'nimi'.

Re: lyrics translation

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:32 am
by jan Kosimo

pona! mi sona. toki suli sina li pona tawa mi. :)

tenpo suno ni o pona tawa sina!