Genesis 1 translation

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jan wiko
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Genesis 1 translation

Postby jan wiko » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:18 am

Good afternoon,
My goal is to translate the first chapter of genesis into toki pona.
Can you criticize these first eight verses?

open

wan
open la jan sewi li pali e sewi e telo.

tu
ma li lon ala li jo e ala. pimeja li lon lupa suli selo. kon sewi li tawa lon sewi telo.

tu wan
jan sewi li toki ni: o lon e suno. suno li lon.

tu tu
jan sewi li sona ni: suno li pona. jan sewi tu li suno li pimeja.

luka
jan sewi li nimi e suno e pimeja. ni li tenpo suno sin. ni li tenpo suno pini. ni li tenpo suno pi nanpa wan.

luka wan
jan sewi toki ni: o lon e selo. selo ni li tu e telo.

luka tu
jan sewi li pali e selo. ona li tu e telo pi noka selo e telo pi sewi selo. ni li ni.

luka tu wan
jan sewi li nimi selo. ni li tenpo suno sin. ni li tenpo suno pini. ni li tenpo suno pi nanpa tu.


The English text is available here: https://www.biblehub.com/niv/genesis/1.htm.
Thank you in advance,
Last edited by jan wiko on Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Genesis translation

Postby janKipo » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:05 pm

There are several other translation of this, from various sources, which you might want to compare with yours.
jan wiko wrote:Good afternoon,
My goal is to translate the first chapter of genesis into toki pona.
Can you criticize these first eight verses?

wan
open la jan sewi li pali e sewi e telo.


“earth” is usually ‘ma’ and telo (water) seems to already be there. ‘jan sewi’ is theologically suspect but possibly appropriate for such an early stage; ‘sewi’ alone is sufficient (and similarly throughout).

tu
ma li lon ala li jo e ala. pimeja li lon lupa suli selo. kon sewi li tawa lon sewi telo.


‘lon ala’ “did not exist” or “was nowhere” misses “was formless”, which seems more about being a scrambled mass. ‘pakala’ and ‘nasa’ seem related concepts. “face of the deep” is some sort of metaphor, but I suppose it means “top of an abyss” or something like that: ‘sinpin/supa anpa’ is sorta literal. “big hole in the skin” doesn’t seem to be in the same system of ideas.

tu wan
jan sewi li toki ni: o lon e suno. suno li lon.


No clear who God is commanding here and, indeed, what he says is more like an optative than imperative. I suppose it could be hortative (there are several “let us do so-and-so"s later). So maybe ‘o suno li lon’ (which gives a nice literary effect) or ‘mi o lon e suno'

tu tu
jan sewi li sona ni: suno li pona. jan sewi tu li suno li pimeja.


‘sona e ni:’ (maybe ‘lukin’). ‘jan sewi li tu e suno e pimeja’. No, that has him splitting both light and darkness into fragments. You want that he separated the two from one another: ‘tu/kipidi e suno tan pimeja’ or something more elaborate.

luka
jan sewi li nimi e suno e pimeja. ni li tenpo suno sin. ni li tenpo suno pini. ni li tenpo suno pi nanpa wan.


Doesn’t say what he named them, i.e., ‘e suno kepeken nimi ‘suno’ e pimeja kepeken nimi ’pimeja’’ or ‘nimi ‘suno’ e suno li nimi ‘pimeja’ e pimeja’. maybe ‘tenpo pi suno sin/pini’, maybe not. numbers don’t take ‘pi’ so just ‘tenp suno nanpa wan.

luka wan
jan sewi toki ni: o lon e selo. selo ni li tu e telo.


Same problem with ‘o lon’. ‘selo’ is interesting for “firmament”; ‘ma’ clearly won’t do, but ‘kiwen’ is another possibility, as is ’supa’

luka tu
jan sewi li pali e selo. ona li tu e telo pi noka selo e telo pi sewi selo. ni li ni.


Same problem with ‘e’ here and ‘tu’. ‘telo pi lon anpa selo tan telo pi lon sewi telo’ would be standard. ‘ni li ni’ doesn’t add much, what is intended “He said it and it was so” or some such?

luka tu wan
jan sewi li nimi selo. ni li tenpo suno sin. ni li tenpo suno pini. ni li tenpo suno pi nanpa tu.


Presumably ‘nimi e selo kepeken nimi ‘sewi’’ . Remarks about ‘tenpo suno sin/pini’ and ‘nanpa ...’ still apply. Oh, but doesn’t the text follow Jewish tradition and begin the day with the evening ('tenpo suno pini’ one supposes)?

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Re: Genesis translation

Postby jan wiko » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:13 pm

Your answer is really helpful thank you!

janKipo wrote:“earth” is usually ‘ma’ [...] ‘jan sewi’ is theologically suspect

Using “telo” instead of “ma” is just a mistake.
I will think about the personification of the divine :)

janKipo wrote:[...] misses “was formless” [...] ‘pakala’ and ‘nasa’ seem related concepts. [...] ‘sinpin/supa anpa’ is sorta literal.

Your ideas are great! The new version is thus:
tu
ma li pakala li jo e ala. pimeja li sinpin anpa. kon sewi li tawa lon sewi telo.


janKipo wrote:So maybe ‘o suno li lon’ (which gives a nice literary effect)

Indeed! I love it!

janKipo wrote:Doesn’t say what he named them, i.e., ‘e suno kepeken nimi ‘suno’

It was kind of an effect: God gave a name to those things but say it two times annoys me.

janKipo wrote:‘ni li ni’ doesn’t add much, what is intended “He said it and it was so”

Maybe you're right but the idea was the following: it (ni) was (li) so (ni). Indeed, everything is in its place.

janKipo wrote:Oh, but doesn’t the text follow Jewish tradition and begin the day with the evening ('tenpo suno pini’ one supposes)?

Not in French (which is my language). I didn't notice that in the English text! Interesant!

I couldn't be more grateful for all the help you've given me. I'll keep posting until verse 31!
In the meantime, I am keeping the attached document up to date with the latest corrections.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/eyagj6711ur9qwu/open.md?dl=0

I couldn't find a link to an alternative translation in toki pona. Do you have some links?
jan Wiko

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Re: Genesis 1 translation

Postby janTepanNetaPelin » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:58 pm

toki, jan Wiko o!

Your Toki Pona is very good.

jan wiko wrote:open la jan sewi li pali e sewi e telo.


I would try to refer to God or the Divine as "sewi" (as Sonja does) in order to be as neutral as possible. Yet your text is deliberately monotheistic, so "jan sewi" seems to be in order. It would also sound strange to say "sewi li pali e sewi e telo".

I prefer "kama" over "open", but "open" works.

jan wiko wrote:ma li lon ala li jo e ala.


I understood that the earth was without shape/chaotic. Therefore, it was "nasa", I think.

jan wiko wrote:pimeja li lon lupa suli selo.


I can't recognize "lupa suli selo".

jan wiko wrote:kon sewi li tawa lon sewi telo.


I understood that God's spirit was hovering over the water, not moving ("tawa"), therefore, "lon" would be more apt. In order to express "hover" explicitly, I would try to say "kon" (assuming that the underlying idea of "air" is "something hovering"), but "kon sewi li kon lon..." sounds (and is) redudant, so "kon sewi li lon..." is already sufficient.

jan wiko wrote:jan sewi li toki ni: o lon e suno. suno li lon.


From my understanding, God simply said what there should be instead of ordering another entity to make it. (That would be the Lucifer in this instance?) Therefore, "suno o lon" would be better, or "suno o kama". Therefore:

jan sewi li toki e ni: "suno o kama." suno li kama.

jan wiko wrote:jan sewi li sona ni: suno li pona. jan sewi tu li suno li pimeja.


sona *e* ni
*e* suno *e* pimeja

jan wiko wrote:jan sewi li nimi e suno e pimeja. ni li tenpo suno sin. ni li tenpo suno pini. ni li tenpo suno pi nanpa wan.


"nimi e" should work, but you can always say "pana e nimi tawa" (and that's what is used in the official book), plus you avoid the strange reading "to make something a word/name".

jan sewi li pana e nimi tawa suno, tawa pimeja.

I can go on later, but I would like to ask you a question first: Which Toki Pona style are you trying to follow? I'm basically following Toki Pona as invented by Sonja.

mi tawa.
https://github.com/stefichjo/toki-pona (mi sitelen e lipu ni pi toki pona)
mi jan Tepan. mi pu. mi weka e jan nasa Kipo e jan nasa Lope.

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Re: Genesis 1 translation

Postby janKipo » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:55 pm

Other translations. There are a couple in the new Corpus, which isn’t indexed yet, alas, and at least one back in Forums and another in the old Corpus on tokipona.org (which is searchable).

Sorry about the repetitions of “light” etc, but that is the price of a limited vocabulary. Probably you can get away with just “name them” and the assumption that he named them with the names they obviously have.

The day parts in order “evening and morning, the first day”, say, is from my memory, so not guaranteed to be in any translation or the original.

I like ‘open la’ for “in the beginning”. (but then, I don’t think ‘kama’ means “begin” really).

Tepan steps into one of the bigger muddles in pu: what "jan o moku” means. There are two stories about it an one of them manages to muddy the waters more: For most of tp’s history, ‘jan o moku’ was an abbreviation ‘jan o, o moku’ vocative + imperative (it isn’t a very good abbreviation, since the actual pronunciation has a clear break rather than a fusion, but then .... tradition), In pu it is said to be an opttive, expression a wish “Would that the man eat” or some such thing. But then, in the examples and exercises, it is used for imperatives again, including horatory imperatives (i.e., with firt person subjects). So, to clear things up for now, we have gone back to the old optative, which simply put ‘o’ in front of the sentence. Tepan has the right idea, just the wrong form (though I admit his form would be a better one if Sonja got rid of the old usage).

I’ll stick with my remarks about ‘tu e suno ...’

Tepan’s last line is odd: pan e nimi tawa suno, tawa pimeja’ I assume he means ‘tawa suno en tawa pimeja’ though even that is slightly odd, since they are different names. Of course, ‘tawa suno en pimeja’ is equally odd but tidieer and probably understandable. The two successive prepositional phrases without any connection, however, leaves them overlapping rather than separable in any grammatical way.

I assume you will do your own tp, deviating from everyone else’s in unique ways. Tepan’s claim. to stick to pu is as misleading as any other guideline.

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Re: Genesis 1 translation

Postby jan wiko » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:52 am

toki!

janTepanNetaPelin wrote:Your Toki Pona is very good.

I've only known about this language for a few days, so I'm happy about your message!

janTepanNetaPelin wrote:I would try to refer to God or the Divine as "sewi" (as Sonja does)

sewi (noun): area above, hightest part, something elevated
God is not mentioned by Sonja but I like this simplification.

janTepanNetaPelin wrote:I understood that God's spirit was hovering over the water, not moving ("tawa")

Well, it depends of the translation because in French (Segond) it is clearly moving.
In hebrew the word מְרַחֶפֶת means glide or fly so tawa may not be so bad.

I also read your other comments and I pretty agree so thanks!

janTepanNetaPelin wrote:Which Toki Pona style are you trying to follow? I'm basically following Toki Pona as invented by Sonja.

This style is the only one I know so: mi pu a!. But I feel free to adapt some words or to improve the style in some sentences.

---

janKipo wrote:Sorry about the repetitions of “light” etc, but that is the price of a limited vocabulary.

Here's the challenge, write beautiful text with few words. I am not sure of which version I will use.

janKipo wrote:The day parts in order “evening and morning, the first day”, say, is from my memory, so not guaranteed to be in any translation or the original.

You were right! I checked :)

janKipo wrote:Tepan has the right idea, just the wrong form (though I admit his form would be a better one if Sonja got rid of the old usage).

I didn't that o has a complex history. I understood in pu that jan o moku can mean both jan o, o moku and jan, o moku.
I may be wrong.

janKipo wrote:I’ll stick with my remarks about ‘tu e suno ...’

I changed it in the document, thank you!

janKipo wrote:I assume you will do your own tp, deviating from everyone else’s in unique ways

I try to stay very close to the book but if I have to sacrifice beauty and simplicity then I look for an alternative.
In my vision, sewi li nimi e suno e pimeja means God named the day and the night.
I really think about your comments and I will soon choose what to use!

Thank you once again,
jan Wiko

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Re: Genesis 1 translation

Postby jan wiko » Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:56 am

toki!
Here are the next verses of Genesis 1. There were quite hard to translate for me, I am not sure about the result.
I will be please to read your comments!

luka tu tu
sewi li toki e ni: telo pi lon anpa selo o lon wan. telo ala o lon. ni li ni.

luka luka
sewi li pana tawa telo ala e nimi ni: ma. sewi li pana tawa telo mute e nimi ni: telo. sewi li sona e ni: ni li pona.

luka luka wan
sewi li toki e ni: ma o pana e kasi e kasi anpa pi jo pan e kasi suli kili ante pi jo pan ma. ni li ni.

luka luka tu
ma li pana e kasi e kasi anpa pi jo pan ante e kasi suli kili pi jo pan ante. sewi li sona e ni: ni li pona.

luka luka tu wan
ni li tenpo pi suno pini. ni li tenpo suno sin. ni li tenpo suno nanpa tu wan.
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Re: Genesis 1 translation

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:06 am

jan wiko wrote:toki!


luka tu tu
sewi li toki e ni: telo pi lon anpa selo o lon wan. telo ala o lon. ni li ni.


I suppose this is meant to be optative, but the problem with this form remains; ‘o telo pi anpa sewi li kulupu lon wan’ is probably safer. ‘ni li lon’ is less puzzling, or ‘ni li kama’ “This happened.” ’telo ala’ is awkward, but ‘ma’ is jumping the gun, ‘ma pi telo ala’ is closest to literal.

luka luka
sewi li pana tawa telo ala e nimi ni: ma. sewi li pana tawa telo mute e nimi ni: telo. sewi li sona e ni: ni li pona.


‘pana e nimi ‘ma’ tawa telo ala’ (prepositional phrases come after direct object so same in the next sentence) maybe ‘telo suli’ to distinguish the collection from incidental water around.

luka luka wan
sewi li toki e ni: ma o pana e kasi e kasi anpa pi jo pan e kasi suli kili ante pi jo pan ma. ni li ni.


‘pan’ is not a good choice for “seed”, I would think; it is primarily grain, which is a seed, but a special sort. not sure why ‘kasi anpa’ for “herbs’ (not sure what “herbs” means here). the seeds are in the fruit so need ‘kasi suli ante pi kili pi jo {seeds}’. ‘ma’ is not part of this but a final PP, ‘lon ma’. The “making fruit after its kind” is a pain and wisely omitted.

luka luka tu
ma li pana e kasi e kasi anpa pi jo pan ante e kasi suli kili pi jo pan ante. sewi li sona e ni: ni li pona.


See above remarks
luka luka tu wan
ni li tenpo pi suno pini. ni li tenpo suno sin. ni li tenpo suno nanpa tu wan.


So, the two times should be the same format: ‘tenpo suno pini’ or ‘tenpo pi suno sin’
Still basically going very nicely.

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Re: Genesis 1 translation

Postby jan wiko » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:48 am

toki!
Again thank you very much for your remarks!

janKipo wrote:‘o telo pi anpa sewi li kulupu lon wan’ is probably safer.

I forgot the word kulupu! I thus changed my translation to:

luka tu tu
sewi li toki e ni: o telo pi anpa li kulupu. ma pi telo ala o lon. ni li kama.


It is very nice in my opinion!

janKipo wrote:‘ni li kama’ “This happened.”

I didn't think about it, it is a good choice.

janKipo wrote:‘pana e nimi ‘ma’ tawa telo ala’ (prepositional phrases come after direct object so same in the next sentence)

I believed that we can invert those elements. Corrected!

janKipo wrote:‘pan’ is not a good choice for “seed”, I would think

I didn't find anything better…

janKipo wrote:The “making fruit after its kind” is a pain and wisely omitted.

I did the same just adding mute to show there are different species.

janKipo wrote:So, the two times should be the same format: ‘tenpo suno pini’ or ‘tenpo pi suno sin’

Of course :)

It gets complicated but it's a good exercise I think!
Everything is up to date via the link in my signature.

mi pona e sina!
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Re: Genesis 1 translation

Postby janKipo » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:03 pm

The old word list gives ‘kiwen unpa’ for seed. Not bad but not snappy.
I still worry about those internal ‘o’s, but it seems that a dialect is developing that takes what I think is the right -- but not traditional -- approach here. It muddles all the stuff from the old corpus and quite a bit from the new, but maybe makes the most sense. I do wish sonja had overtly rejected her old pattern before she introduced her new one.


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