Post R7BaHWpSaXL

Robert Reynolds Nov 09, 2017 (03:40)

Andanéya, harunya quente nin quenta:

Roquen atta yestat sé lár atta. Ilya roquen norta i exenna min lár ilya lúmesse. Pí yesta min roquende ar vile i exenna; íre anyas ilya roquen, nanwenis i exenna arta. I pí vile lár atta ilya lúmesse. Íre i roqueni omentat i endesse, manóte lári i pí ivíliéva?

I pí vile i minya roquello i atteanna mi neldesta atta min lúmeo: lan vilis i attea roquenna, tana roquen nortea senna. Ter tana lúme vilis lári min ta neldesta. Vilis i attea roquello i minyanna mi neldesta atta neldesta atto min lúmeo ambe: i minya roquen norteane lan vilis. Sí ivílies lári min ta neldesta ta nerestar canta. Tana nonwe same únotie tyeller. Ea fintale lá carien tana nonwe: i roqueni omentat pó min lúme ar i pí mene lár atta ilya lúmesse; etta ivílies lár atta.

Atan menne omentienna *napanqueno ar cestane ta min imíca ten ye náne ammára napanien. I *napanquen sanne lintie ar hanquente “lár atta”. I atan quente “Ai: istal i fintale! Rimbe quelli ricir care i nonwe.” I *napanquen quente “Ma fintale? Carnen i nonwe.”

A long time ago, my grandfather told me a story:

Two riders begin at two leagues. Each rider rides at the other one league per hour. An insect starts at one rider and flies to the other; when it reaches each rider, it goes back to the other and so on. The insect flies two leagues per hour. When the riders meet in the center, how many leagues will the insect have flown?

The insect flies from the first rider to the second in two thirds of one hour: while it flies to the second rider, that rider is riding toward it. During that time it flies one and one third leagues. It flies from the second rider to the first in two thirds of two thirds of one hour more: the first rider was riding as it flew. Now it has flown one and one third and four ninths leagues. That calculation has infinite steps. There is a trick to not do that calculation: the riders meet after one hour and the insect travels two leagues per hour; therefore it has flown two leagues.

A man went to a conference of mathematicians and asked that to one of them who was very good at adding. The mathematician thought quickly and answered “two leagues”. The man said “Wow: you know the trick! Many persons try to do the calculation.” The mathematician said “What trick? I did the calculation.”


er i exe and similar 'one another, each other (of persons or things)'
er min lár ilya lúmesse and similar 'one league per hour, (lit.) one league in each hour'
ivíliéva future perfect 'will have flown'
mi neldesta atta min lúmeo and similar: 'in two thirds of one hour'
mi talume 'in that time, during that time' (as opposed to 'at that time')
er min ta neldesta 'one and a third, one plus a third'
únotea tyelli únotie tyeller 'uncounted steps' used for 'infinite steps' (math note: the infinite sum is actually "countable" in the technical math usage of that word)
uien dative gerund of ua lá carien 'for not doing, in order to not do'
*napanquen 'mathematician, (lit. adding-person)' (far from ideal as mathematics is primarily about deductive logic far beyond just addition; this may better fit 'accountant' or similar)
er min imíca ten 'to one of (lit. among) them'
sanne strong past of sana- 'to think'
lintie 'quickly' used instead of 'briefly'
rimbe quelli partitive plural of quen 'many persons', used instead of 'most persons'

minor coincidental irony, noticed while deciding how to say 'mathematician': nolmoron 'of wise persons' contains English 'moron'

The version that my grandfather literally told had bicycles instead of riders. It used miles instead of leagues with different distances and speeds and specific hours instead of arbitrary time units; the math works as long as a lúme is the same time unit in each usage here.

Edits: replaced er with min throughout, double corrected únotea tyelli to únotie tyeller, changed yestat lár atta er i exello to yestat sé lár atta to remove Anglicism, corrected atteallo to atteanna (typo), corrected mi talume to ter tana lúme, fixed math typo (neldesta atta neldesta atto lá nerestar tolto!), reordered several numbers and sums to put them after the noun instead of before, updated uien to lá carien

James Coish Nov 09, 2017 (04:36)

Very good. I would use min instead of er, though.

Ицхак Пензев Nov 09, 2017 (07:08)

Very good. Plural of tyellë is tyeller , AFAIK.

Tamas Ferencz Nov 09, 2017 (09:08)

Interesting choice of text!

"yestat lár atta er i exello" - I feel 'start two miles from" is an Anglicism, for clarity I would add a preposition line : yestat sé lár atta "start at two miles"

vile i minya roquello i atteallo: I think you meant atteanna

Tamas Ferencz Nov 09, 2017 (09:56)

mi talume: I think talume is an adverb ("at that time, then") and in my view cannot have a preposition, you would need to express this in three words: mi ta lúme (or possibly ter ta lúme)

Tamas Ferencz Nov 09, 2017 (10:03)

I wonder if *menu- could be a viable neoloism as an inceptive form of men- to express "start, get off, commence to go" ( as in Hungarian indul)

Tamas Ferencz Nov 09, 2017 (10:08)

únótea tyelli would be únótie

Robert Reynolds Nov 09, 2017 (14:28)

Thank you all! I enjoyed writing this: my grandfather died just over three years ago and this is one of the ways by which I remember him.

+James Coish​​ Are there good resources for Tolkien's later thoughts on numbers? I don't have the original sources cited on Eldamo for them and I learned most of what I know from Helge Fauskanger's excellent, in-depth course that was out-of-date even then.

+Tamas Ferencz​​ *menu- seems an interesting possibility. I too recall the section on inceptives like kelu- in PE22. It notes that the consonant is properly the inceptive part and gives nu as one of the favored combinations for inception. Another related possibility is *mennu- in analogy with thillu-, thilnu- on the second page, given as always having inceptive force.

Tamas Ferencz Nov 09, 2017 (14:40)

+Robert Reynolds I think the most relevant and recent writings on numbers are the ones in VT47/48/49, on fingers and numerals

James Coish Nov 09, 2017 (22:18)

+Tamas Ferencz thank you for helping, I didn't have my hands (no pun intended) on the VT issues.

Robert Reynolds Nov 10, 2017 (16:28)

I just ordered the collected VT41-50 volume: its price is actually very reasonable. I've previously only had PE22 of Tolkien's specifically linguistic work, so this should be an adventure!

Tamas Ferencz Nov 10, 2017 (16:47)

+Robert Reynolds I am sure you'll enjoy them!

James Coish Nov 15, 2017 (18:37)

Would onótimo 'reckoner' be plausible for mathematician?

Tamas Ferencz Nov 15, 2017 (19:46)

+James Coish why not. Or, what about *nótar (cf. maitar etc.)

Robert Reynolds Nov 15, 2017 (23:05)

Intriguing: especially as 'reckon' can mean 'think' or 'work out' for more than just numbers. Those ideas got me thinking (tane nówi tyarner ni *sanu or *sannu). I went through the Ancient Greek etymology of 'mathematics' and it basically gives 'to learn' + result noun suffix + general adjective from noun suffix, so 'of or pertaining to knowledge (lit. result of learning)' but that seems rather general. One more specific possibility combining reckoning and knowledge is *notingolmo 'loremaster of reckoning' modeled after Lambengolmor 'Loremasters of Tongues, *linguists'.

Tamas Ferencz Nov 15, 2017 (23:48)

+Robert Reynolds or *notendur "master of numbers"

Tamas Ferencz Nov 15, 2017 (23:50)


James Coish Nov 16, 2017 (01:59)

I love master of numbers

Robert Reynolds Nov 16, 2017 (13:09)

It's aesthetically pleasant to have such variety and diversity of choices, depending on one's intended tone and other such factors. For instance, Master/Devotee of Numbers/Reckoning/Calculating sounds like an honorific or other title to me and yet could also be used for the profession.