Sunday, January 13, 2013

Earlier Book Log musing

[From an earlier book log - 11/2/08]
(My fake words in italics/Real words in bold)

I just discovered something about myself. While inventing a language for my feline characters, I often discover that whatever language I chose to emulate [...], followed exact real-world syntax!

For instance, 'Mata ga!' in [my] Si'amese [cat language] followed the actual Japanese word 'mata'! Bar'wati is my made-up word for 'storyteller'. In Arabic, 'haka wati' means 'storyteller'. I did not know this!

Also, the word 'Kannashi' or 'cannot succumb' is also an actual Japanese word I had not learned previously. And the Red tabby words 'Nna hubusa' - 'I am very pleased/I feel pleased'. 'Nna' is used in the Igbo/Nigerian word 'Nna ayi' means 'our father'! How did I know? I didn't! I just created these things, and when I read, these exacts come back. Amazing.

A SIDE NOTE: 'chi' in Chinese means a person's spirit or energy.
'chi' in the Igbo language means a personal god.

Ooh!  I just found out some other things! In Dr. Achebe's famous novel "Things Fall Apart", 'Nnadi' (there's that Nna again) is also a word and so is 'osu', which means 'outcast'.
But its deeper definition is what struck me: "Having been dedicated to a god, the osu was taboo and was not allowed to mix with the freeborn in any way."

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