A Myth of the Dkuom

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A Myth of the Dkuom

Post by Omzinesý » Tue 26 Sep 2017, 16:20

I'm going to translate this into Vtayn. Is there bad mistakes with English?

In First Era, people were children. Treecats spent most of their time in Dark World. Both people and treecats got their nourishment from nature. It was abundant because Light World was still young. But Coxa [Sun] doesn’t let anything stay unchanged in Light World. Savannah replaced the great forests of fruit trees. Saber cats appeared with savannah. Treecats also needed to struggle to get their food.
Boys lived in their mothers’ villages, like girls. But one man called Cambla [Shaman’s apprentice] used to wander in the savannah. He met a young treecat called Lïkieda [Young Treecat]. Lïkieda was starving. Cambla gave him jerga [a domestic animal] milk. Lïkieda followed Camba to his mother’s village. But when they arrived, they saw that saber cats had killed all the jergas. That made Lïkieda very angry with them because he liked jerga milk very much. Then he sent his spirit to Dark World and forbid saber cats coming to the village.
When people of other villages heard of how Lïkieda had saved the village, they also invited treecats to live with them. Thus, adolescent boys were sent to other villages wandering with a cat [an initiation ritual]. Thereafter treecats have lived with people, protected them, and helped shamans. And adolescent boys and treecats have been sent to other villages.
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Re: A Myth of the Dkuom

Post by elemtilas » Sat 30 Sep 2017, 21:08

Omzinesý wrote:I'm going to translate this into Vtayn. Is there bad mistakes with English?
Nothing horrendous. Mostly dropped definite articles that are actually undroppable. I tried to keep stylistic edits to a minimum and in a couple places added a word where I thought a more idiomatic rendering might suit. Keep or ignore the edits as you please!

I also ask some questions at the end referring back to sentences that either didn't make sense or could have been slightly expanded upon.
In the First Era, people were like children.(1) The Treecats spent most of their time {with}in the Dark World. Both people and treecats got their nourishment from nature.(2) It was abundant because the Light World was still young. But Coxa [Sun] doesn’t let does not allow anything stay to remain unchanged in the Light World. Savannah replaced the great forests of fruit trees. Saber cats appeared along with the savannah. Treecats also needed to struggle to get their food. (3)
Boys lived in their mothers’ villages, like girls. (4) But one man called Cambla [Shaman’s apprentice] used to wander in the savannah. One time he met a young treecat called Lïkieda [Young Treecat]. Lïkieda was starving. Cambla gave him jerga [a domestic animal] milk. Lïkieda followed Cambla to his mother’s village. But when they arrived, they saw that saber cats had killed all the jergas the people's jerga herd. That made Lïkieda very angry with them This angered Likieda very much because he liked jerga milkvery much.(5) Then he sent his spirit to the Dark World and forbid forbade saber cats from ever coming to the village again.
When people of the other villages heard of how Lïkieda had saved the Cambla's village, they also invited treecats to live with them. Thus, adolescent young boys were sent to other villages wandering with a cat [an initiation ritual]. Thereafter treecats have lived with people, protected protecting them, and helped helping the shamans. And adolescent boys and treecats have been sent to other villages. (6)


(1) --- Do you mean that people behaved in a childlike manner, or that they were actual children or that they were treated the way elders treat children?

(2) --- Might want to specify a little here. Kind of goes without saying that living beings get their nourishment from nature. What particular source did they get nourishment from?

(3) --- who is the other part of the "also". In other words, who else was struggling to find food? You might also consider explaining what happened to lead to this dire situation. Why are treecats struggling for food?

(4) --- Is this people or treecats?

(5) --- Crying over spilled milk seems to be a bit much. Since this is a mythic story, is there also a component of gratitude towards Cambla that is driving Likieda's anger towards the sabercats?

(6) --- This seems to be a repetition (scribal error?) that doesn't go anywhere.
All in all, a good origin myth! Or leastways the germ of one. I think it will make a fine translation exercise. Perhaps eventually you'll revisit it and expand upon it. If I had any issue with it, it would be that it's too short. In my perspective, I would read this as the one or perhaps two pivotal paragraphs extracted from a rather longer story. That introduces the Light and Dark worlds, the people and the treecats that live in each, the struggle that comes upon them and leads to their present situation and perhaps an amplification of how Cambla and Likieda learned to work together for the good of both peoples.
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If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
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Re: A Myth of the Dkuom

Post by Omzinesý » Mon 02 Oct 2017, 10:10

Thank you, elementaris, very much.
I'm always struggling with articles. Either I use them everywhere or leave them out if I don't see a clear reason to have one. Never the right number of them.

For my translation I must neglect many of your discourse corrections, just to make translation easier. That's also why it's the text is that short.

I'm rather intending to make a bunch of myths that don't need to be a coherent epoch. It tries to be a part of their folklore and presupposes some background knowledge.

I'll think about your suggestion with a better time. The deictic things, who is who, must be corrected at least.
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Re: A Myth of the Dkuom

Post by Omzinesý » Fri 19 Oct 2018, 11:20

elemtilas wrote:
Sat 30 Sep 2017, 21:08
Omzinesý wrote:I'm going to translate this into Vtayn. Is there bad mistakes with English?
Nothing horrendous. Mostly dropped definite articles that are actually undroppable. I tried to keep stylistic edits to a minimum and in a couple places added a word where I thought a more idiomatic rendering might suit. Keep or ignore the edits as you please!

I also ask some questions at the end referring back to sentences that either didn't make sense or could have been slightly expanded upon.
In the First Era, people were like children.(1) The Treecats spent most of their time {with}in the Dark World. Both people and treecats got their nourishment from nature.(2) It was abundant because the Light World was still young. But Coxa [Sun] doesn’t let does not allow anything stay to remain unchanged in the Light World. Savannah replaced the great forests of fruit trees. Saber cats appeared along with the savannah. Treecats also needed to struggle to get their food. (3)
Boys lived in their mothers’ villages, like girls. (4) But one man called Cambla [Shaman’s apprentice] used to wander in the savannah. One time he met a young treecat called Lïkieda [Young Treecat]. Lïkieda was starving. Cambla gave him jerga [a domestic animal] milk. Lïkieda followed Cambla to his mother’s village. But when they arrived, they saw that saber cats had killed all the jergas the people's jerga herd. That made Lïkieda very angry with them This angered Likieda very much because he liked jerga milkvery much.(5) Then he sent his spirit to the Dark World and forbid forbade saber cats from ever coming to the village again.
When people of the other villages heard of how Lïkieda had saved the Cambla's village, they also invited treecats to live with them. Thus, adolescent young boys were sent to other villages wandering with a cat [an initiation ritual]. Thereafter treecats have lived with people, protected protecting them, and helped helping the shamans. And adolescent boys and treecats have been sent to other villages. (6)


(1) --- Do you mean that people behaved in a childlike manner, or that they were actual children or that they were treated the way elders treat children?

(2) --- Might want to specify a little here. Kind of goes without saying that living beings get their nourishment from nature. What particular source did they get nourishment from?

(3) --- who is the other part of the "also". In other words, who else was struggling to find food? You might also consider explaining what happened to lead to this dire situation. Why are treecats struggling for food?

(4) --- Is this people or treecats?

(5) --- Crying over spilled milk seems to be a bit much. Since this is a mythic story, is there also a component of gratitude towards Cambla that is driving Likieda's anger towards the sabercats?

(6) --- This seems to be a repetition (scribal error?) that doesn't go anywhere.
All in all, a good origin myth! Or leastways the germ of one. I think it will make a fine translation exercise. Perhaps eventually you'll revisit it and expand upon it. If I had any issue with it, it would be that it's too short. In my perspective, I would read this as the one or perhaps two pivotal paragraphs extracted from a rather longer story. That introduces the Light and Dark worlds, the people and the treecats that live in each, the struggle that comes upon them and leads to their present situation and perhaps an amplification of how Cambla and Likieda learned to work together for the good of both peoples.
I'm returning to the translation project :)

Dark World and Light World (Or World of Light actually) are names of those abstract places like Moon and Sun. Do they really have articles?

(1) The world and people were young. They didn't know as much as they know today and they didn't work as hard as they do today. So they behaved like children, in that sense.
(2) If we interpret the myth historically, it wants to say that they were hunter-gatherers, not garden farmers as they are nowadays. The simple interpretations is just that their life was easy and nature was more abundant than nowadays. So this "the old times were so much better" theme.
(3) Both people and treecats suffered. I thought it can be read from the context.
(4) Boys and girls are people I guess. Cats have kittens.
(5) He is a cat anyway. Cats are, mildly said, selfish. This story describes their relationship quite economical but one can interpret.
(6) This is not irrelevant at all. It's what they do nowadays and what the whole story explains. Dkuom culture is very matrilinear. Women live their whole lives in the village they were born in (their mother's village). Men usually change location several times during their lives. At least, they do not stay in their morther's village. "Wandering with a cat" is when they leave their mother's village and go to the savannah, which is holy and scare, and therefore they need a treecat as a guide. Later they end up to some other village. It's the completing line of the narrative "There for we do like we do."
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Re: A Myth of the Dkuom

Post by elemtilas » Fri 19 Oct 2018, 16:58

Omzinesý wrote:
Fri 19 Oct 2018, 11:20
Dark World and Light World (Or World of Light actually) are names of those abstract places like Moon and Sun. Do they really have articles?
Depends. If they're actually names, then no article (unless the article is part of the name):

Treecats spent most of their time in the Dark World = Treecats spent most of their time in the fracophone part of Europe
Treecats spent most of their time in Dark World = Treecats spent most of their time in France

but

Treecats spent most of their time in the Dark World = Treecats spent most of their time in The Netherlands

Note that Moon and Sun often take articles. Even though there are many suns and moons, there is only one Moon and one Sun. If you take my meaning! You see, the Moon (article) is & can only be Luna, Earth's moon; the Sun (article) is & can only be Helios, Earth's parent star.
(6) This is not irrelevant at all. It's what they do nowadays and what the whole story explains. Dkuom culture is very matrilinear. Women live their whole lives in the village they were born in (their mother's village). Men usually change location several times during their lives. At least, they do not stay in their morther's village. "Wandering with a cat" is when they leave their mother's village and go to the savannah, which is holy and scare, and therefore they need a treecat as a guide. Later they end up to some other village. It's the completing line of the narrative "There for we do like we do."
I'll just focus on this one. It reads like a scribal error because it doesn't make sense. The sentence before says that adolescent boys are sent to other villages with treecats; and then the (crossed out) sentence says the same thing! It's not that it's irrelevant; but I wonder why the point has to made twice. (I get parallelism in myth, but usually that's said in a different way.)

So, it's not irrelevant at all. Then I'd restate: it doesn't seem to go anywhere! There's something missing that would explain why young boys & treecats go to other villages. The above explanation I think covers it pretty well. Perhaps consider working that into the story?
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Re: A Myth of the Dkuom

Post by Omzinesý » Sat 20 Oct 2018, 10:33

I think Dark World can be compared to heaven, as a religious "place".

Yes, I think you are right. The same thing is said two times.
The original idea was that the first sentence tells what they did when they found how practical it was, and the second one tells what they do nowadays but there is redundant repetition.
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