G+ LoME Archive
Jul 20, 2018 (12:05)
Translating the Book of Psalms in Quenya - Miscellanea
I thought of a discussion where some points concerning my ongoing translation of the Book of Psalms in Parmaquesta could be discussed. Topics could range from reuse of proper names from the
as common names to required phonological adaptations, Quenya names for God in the Psalms, etc.
I'll start with a short remark: this week, I hit what is so far the most annoying verse I had to translate. Indeed, Ps. 45:9 is as follow in the New Revised Standard Version:
> "your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;"
Here, we get at least 4 unattested (and unlikely to be ever attested) names: myrrh, aloes (i.e. aloe), cassia (or cinnamon) and ivory.
The adopted solutions vary:
- Myrrh: this word (and its Latin and Grek cognates) comes from a Semitic root meaning "bitter" (cf. Heb.
adj. “bitter” &
n. “myrrh”). Hence a meaning "bitter-fragrance" seemed appropriate, yielding Q.
, from Q.
adj. “bitter”, and
v. “*to smell sweetly".
- Aloe: this word (and its Latin and Grek cognates) comes from a Dravidian root whose meaning I've been unable to find. Hence, I've resorted to phonological adaptation from Tulu
, yielding Q.
- Cinnamon: this word (and its Latin and Grek cognates) comes from a Semitic root whose meaning I've been unable to find. Hence, I've resorted to phonological adaptation from Heb.
, yielding Q.
- Ivory: from Q. _rasco
"horn", variant of
(id.), and taken as meaning more specifically "tusk" if such a word is ever needed, I've derived a word
, meaning "horn (as material)", by extension "ivory". (NB: a long etymological investigation didn't produce anything more convincing.)
Jul 20, 2018 (15:01)
Kinnamon does not sound bad - another solution could be to call it sg. like "fragrant bark"
. But kinnamon is perhaps more recognisable.
Jul 21, 2018 (14:27)
The point is that I don't see why we should call cinnamon "fragrant bark" rather than any of the dozen of barks used in perfumes or as spice. This is why I prefer working from etymology or adaptation rather than outright inventions.
Jul 21, 2018 (16:51)
I can only say what I said to +
a couple weeks ago - there are hundreds of bird species that are black, yet we call only one of them
, and it doesn't bother anyone. Since this is probably the first ever fragrant tree bark that is getting named in Quenya, so we might as well call it "fragrant bark" and let any subsequent ones be named otherwise. However, as a loanword it works just as fine for me.