Compiled from articles that appeared in Lognet, issues 92/3, 93/1, and 93/3.
A larger than usual translation awaits you here. This is “The Dormouse’s Story”, from Chapter 7 of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. It originally appeared in three installments in Lognet, since not only was the Loglan published one issue and the back-translation the next, the work was broken into two parts.
In addition, the translation was improved upon during the course of these installments, and Dr. Brown’s commentary reflects that. What I’ve done is interweave all the bits so that it’s easier to follow. First, the original English text appears with a pale gray background. Then original translation appears in the left column, and the revised translation appears in the right column. The “Loglish” back-translation appears in the right column, below the Loglan it reflects, and finally, Dr. Brown’s comments are below that, flowing across both columns.
We hope that you’ll find this easier to follow, and that the “visible editing” will prove interesting and instructive.
To: Full Loglan Transcript * Analysis: Part 1 * Analysis: Part 2
Na le mutce pasko nadzo gu, teba pa cmalo sorme, Hue la Mioksun, ja satcycue go mutce kukcea gu, E nu namci lau la Elsis, la Leisis, la Tilis. I teba ji sei pa sitlii le dampai je le cuthou.
Sei pia hoitci hu? Hue la Alis, ja rana mutce nu treci lo kusmo go titci ce hompi.
Sei pia hoitci lo nigslicui, Hue la Mioksun, ja fa lepo lepo da penso guo pa minta lio ri.
Sei no dui, sii, Hue la Alis, ja duo lo mildo gu. I lopo dui ga ckozu lopo malbi.
Uuia sei dua. hue la Mioksun, gu. I sei cao mutce malbi.
La Alis, corvei trati lepo tcupeo leva mucgutra po clivi. Ibuo lepo tcupeo cei ga tsubae minfau Ama.
Inurau Ama pa prase. Hue Ama gu, Buo rauhu sei pia sitlii le dampai je ne cuthou?
Mordu tokna lo tcati, Hue la Termean Lepsun, ja takna je la Alis, go mutce srisu.
Mi pa tokna niba pia, Hue la Alis, ja tie lo nu notselsru volsi gu, Inusoa mi no kanmo lepo mordu tokna.
Oe tu pana djacue lepo tu no kanmo lepo nurmou tokna, Hue Kapmymaon, gu. I lepo tokna lezo mordu niba ga mutce fasru.
Niba pa begco letu nu jupni, Hue la Alis.
Hu perpei vikcue na? Hue la Kapmymaon, ja duo lo kalgau.
La Alis, nie no pa djano su gudbi retpi je toi, inumoi Ama pa selji surva lo tcati, e lo breba ze batra, efa tanmuo la Mioksun, e genduo le Ama kenti. Hue Ama, Sei pia clivi vi le dampai je ne cuthou rauhu?
LaMioksun, pa genza pazda nia ri minta moi nepo penso tio guo, efa cutse li, Cei nigslicui cuthou, lu.
Uo niba bi ta, hue la Alis, ja sacycue duo lo mutce groci. Ibuo la Kapmymaon, e la Termean Lepsun, pa sue cycy. I hue la Mioksun, duo lo raknurfasli gu, kanoi tu no kanmo lepo fomcka ki oe tu kalduo le nu stucue dii tu.
No. I, eo prase, hue la Alis, duo lo mutce selsai. I no mi takstimao tu fa. I, ii su ta dzabi.
Li, Su, uo, lu nu cutse la Mioksun, duo lo dreroi. Ibuo Mai pa letytoi lepo prase.
Hue Mai gu, Inukou levi te cmalo sorme, kie sei cirna lopo tcumao, zou kiu.
Hu pa nu tcumao sei, hue la Alis, ja kapli no duodri lepo Ama durcue.
Le nigslicui, hue la Mioksun, duo lo no conpeo na ti.
Mi danza ne klini kupta, hue la Kapmymaon, ja takstimao gu. I, ea mu muvdo le neapri sitfa.
Kai pa muvdo nia lepo Kai pa takna, ice la Mioksun, pa prigoi Kai, ice la Termean Lepsun pa muvdo le sitfa pe la Mioksun; ice la Alis, duo lo kaknordaa, pa skitu le sitfa pe la Termean Lepsun. I la Kapmymaon, pa nera nu gudsia lepo cenja; ice la Alis, pa zavspe, i kou la Termean Lepsun pazina paltancko le malna veslo leLai plata.
La Alis, no pa danza lepo gea notselsru la Mioksun, inumou, Ama pa sacycue duo lo mutce selkunbiu li, Buo mi no siodja, i da tcumao le nigslicui vi hu? lu.
Ba kanmo lopo gancpu lo cutri lo cutri cuthou, hue la Kapmymaon, gu, inusoa ba kanmo lopo gancpu lo nigslicui lo nigslicui cuthou. I ei, hoi Penslan.
Buo sei pa nenri le cuthou, hue la Alis, ja no disri lepo hirdri tio, cutse dio la Mioksun.
Rea sei dui, hue la Mioksun, gu. I sei mutce nenri.
Rauki levi po dapli pa misfiocko la Nurnotkei Alis, ki, Ama pa letci la Mioksun, lepo prase nia lo groda ckemo kii nipo takstimao Mai.
Sei pana cirna lopo tcumao, hue la Mioksun, ja makteu, e satro leMai menki rau lepo Mai pa cenja ne mutce soisni, gu. I raba ji klesi, be goi, be seidjo ba, e nu tcumao sei, kio. I sei pa tcumao raba ji nu satci lo letra go melii Mai.
Rauhu lo melii Mai, hue la Alis.
Rauhu no! hue la Termean Lepsun.
La Alis, pa kalsai.
La Mioksun, papa klomao leMai menki pa ti, e pana latsoi sacycea. Ibuo, na lepo Mai nu dedtorpuo la Kapmymaon, guo, Mai cidcea, ze ge cmalo punkra, e pracue.li, Ji nu satci lo letra go melii Mai, piu lau lo musmu jugpae, la Mun, lopo mucdri, lopu mutce. Ibea ba djacue lepo be mutce go pu mutce fojo. I ei tu pasuna vizka ba ji fu tcumao lopu mutce? lu.
Feu, moi lepo tu kentaa mi guo, hue la Alis, ja pa mutce nu misfiocko, gu, mi no jupni
Nukou tu oe no takna, hue la Kapmymaon.
Levi zo norfomcka pa mordu raba ji nu fatnorpoa la Alis. I Ama pa stali duo lo groda tasgu, e pa dzoru sau ta. I la Mioksun, pa soircea fazi, ice le to notbi no pa no nu cmalo je rabe viadri lepo, Ama godzi, inomoi Ama pa prible necatona, e pa pifera spopa lepo nei frekra Ama. I na lepo Ama rari vizka nei guo, nei pa trati lepo nensea la Mioksun, le tcatyveslo.
“Once upon a time there were three little sisters,” the Dormouse began in a great hurry; “and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie; and they lived at the bottom of a well—”
|Original Translation||Revised Translation|
|Na le mutce pasko nadzo gu, te ba pa cmalo sorme hue la Mioksun, ja satcycue go mutce kukcea gu, e nu namci lau la Elsis, la Leisis, la Tilis. I da pa siflii le dampai je le cuthou.||Na le mutce pasko nadzo gu, teba pa cmalo sorme, Hue la Mioksun, ja satcycue go mutce kukcea gu, E nu namci lau la Elsis, la Leisis, la Tilis. I teba ji sei pa sitlii le dampai je le cuthou.|
|In the much former now, three somethings x were small sisters, Said the Dormouse, who began to speak very hurriedly [quick-becoming-ly], and were named (list) Elsie, Lacie, Tillie. And the same three somethings x who will now be refered to as s(orme) inhabited the bottom [down-part] of one well [water-hole].|
WG suggests Nepazu for ‘once upon a time’—which would be very elegant—but we’ve left JJ’s original solution in place. We’ve changed da to teba ji sei, making teba a compound word. It means ‘the same three somethings x’ on the second occasion of its use. We’ve set teba equal to sei (from sorme) for more convenient reference to the sisters later. We’ve also capitalized the initial letters of Hue and E to set off the “Said”-phrase visually...as it usually is in natural language text. Finally, we’ve changed Ie cuthou to ne cuthou, for this is an indefinite designation.
“What did they live on?” said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.
|Da pia homcii hu, hue la Alis, jao rana mutce nu treci lo kusmo go tcidi, ce hompi.||Sei pia hoitci hu? Hue la Alis, ja rana mutce nu treci lo kusmo go titci ce hompi.|
|They lived on [drank-ate] what? said Alice, who at all times was much interested in customs of the eating and drinking type.|
Homcii in the original version meant ‘drink-food’, not ‘drink-eat’; so we’ve replaced it with hoitci. Similarly, tcidi has been replaced with titci. Jao was more than required here; so we’ve replaced it with ja. We’ve also removed the comma after titci; it was unnecessay and perhaps misleading.
“They lived on treacle,” said the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.
|Da pia homcii lo nigslicui hue la Mioksun, fa lepo lepo da penso guo pa minta lio ne, a lio to.||Sei pia hoitci lo nigslicui, Hue la Mioksun, ja fa lepo lepo da penso guo pa minta lio ri.|
|They lived on treacle [black-sweet-water], said the Dormouse, after the event of the event of his thinking lasted in minutes the number several.|
Nigslicui = nigro sliti cutri = ‘black-sweet-water’ = ‘molasses’ = ‘treacle’. Nigslifli or nigslicti would also do. l’ve inserted a ja before the fa-clause because I suspect it will turn out to be better style. It turns the fa-clause into an argument modifier; otherwise it’s a predicate modifier and where is the predicate? l’ve also replaced lio ne, a lio to, which is inaccurate although a literal translation of the English, with lio ri = ‘the number several’. Lio sane = ‘the number about one’ would also do.
“They couldn’t have done that, you know,” Alice gently remarked; “they’d have been ill.”
|Da no dui, sii, hue la Alis, duo lo mildo. I lopo dui, kou malbi.||Sei no dui, sii, Hue la Alis, ja duo lo mildo gu. I lopo dui ga ckozu lopo malbi.|
|They didn’t do that, evidently, said Alice in the manner of gentle things. Events of that sort cause sickness.|
JJ’s solution to ‘They’d have been ill’ was I lopo dui kou malbi. As Jennings himself remarks re kou malbi = ‘are causedly (caused by something) sick,’ “this is a daring solution.” But are events ever sick? I replaced it with I lopo dui ga ckozu lopo malbi as something a little less adventurous and possibly clearer. Actually, l prefer a logician’s solution to the problem of translating contrary-to-fact conditionals (‘They’d have been ill (but weren’t)’): Eu sei dui, inoca sei malbi = ‘Supposing they did that, then they are (would be) sick.’ Again, I’ve inserted ja to make the duo-phrase an argument modifier. l’ve also inserted a gu at the end of the Hue-phrase even though right-closure is grammatically unnecessary. We want the reader to know that the Hue-phrase is now complete so the rest of the paragraph is part of what Alice said; and we can use this redundant gu to send that signal. Thus, we adopt the convention that a redundant gu at the end of a Hue-phrase is a sign that its scope is the entire utterance or paragraph in which it is embedded.
“So they were,” said the Dormouse; “very ill.”
|Uuia da dua, hue la Mioksun. I da cao mutce malbi.||Uuia sei dua. hue la Mioksun, gu. I sei cao mutce malbi.|
|Unfortunately-certainly they were, said the Dormouse, and they were (emphatically) very ill.|
JJ used dua here because dui was already in use.
Alice tried to fancy to herself what such an extraordinary ways of living would be like, but it puzzled her too much:
|La Alis, corvei trati lepo tcupeo ta ji mucgutra po clivi. Ibuo lepo tcupeo ga tsubae minfau da.||La Alis, corvei trati lepo tcupeo leva mucgutra po clivi. Ibuo lepo tcupeo cei ga tsubae minfau Ama.|
|Alice briery [short-evently] tried the event-of conceiving that extraordinary [very-strange] life, but the conceiving of c(livi) was too-much [enough-beyond] mind-troubling for her.|
We’ve replaced ta ji with leva; da with Ama; and inserted cei, a proargument referring back to leva ... clivi, after tcupeo.
So she went on: “But why did they live at the bottom of a well?”
|Inurau da pa prase. Buo rauhu da pia siflii le dampai je le cuthou?||Inurau Ama pa prase. Hue Ama gu, Buo rauhu sei pia sitlii le dampai je ne cuthou?|
|For that reason A(lice) proceeded. Said A(lice), But for what reason they were inhabiting the bottom of a well?|
ln order to mark the quoted portion as somthing Alice said, we’ve inserted Hue Ame gu ( ‘Said A’) before her question. Also, sifii was malformed; apparently LOD’s complex-making algorthm didn’t make it correctly. So we’ve replaced it with the higher-scoring sitlii.
“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
|Mordu tokna lo tcati, hue la Termean Lepsun ja takna je la Alis, go mutce srisu.||Mordu tokna lo tcati, Hue la Termean Lepsun, ja takna je la Alis, go mutce srisu.|
|Morely take tea, said the Mach Hare talking to Alice with much seriousness.|
Genza tokna—or even gentoa—could be considered a more loglandical invitation to take more of something pleasant; and JJ considered it. But it would have spoiled Lewis Carroll’s mathematical joke, which was no doubt inspired by this curious use of ‘more’ in English. So we are obliged to imitate it.
“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.”
|Mi pia tokna niba pa, hue la Alis, tie lo nu notselsru volsi gu, inusoa mi no kanmo lepo mordu tokna.||Mi pa tokna niba pia, Hue la Alis, ja tie lo nu notselsru volsi gu, Inusoa mi no kanmo lepo mordu tokna.|
|I have had zero-something x before (now), said Alice with an offended voice. As a consequence I am not able to do the event of taking more.|
Pia = ‘continuously before’ is a better word for ‘yet’; so l’ve replaced the second pa with it. Also, ja has been routinely inserted before tie, and Hue capitalized.
“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”
|Tu sanmao lepo tu no kanmo lepo nurmou tokna, hue la Kapmymaon. I lepo tokna lezo mordu niba ga mutce fasru.||Oe tu pana djacue lepo tu no kanmo lepo nurmou tokna, Hue Kapmymaon, gu. I lepo tokna lezo mordu niba ga mutce fasru.|
|You should have claimed [know-said] the-event-of you can’t do the event of taking less, Said the Hatter. The-event-of taking the-quantity more than nothing is very easy.|
I’ve replaced Tu sanmao with Oe tu pana djacue = ‘You should have claimed [know-said] that.’ This is a sentiment on the part of the Hatter about what Alice should have said, not a claim about what she actualy did say, i.e., that she couldn’t take less...which she obviously didn’t. English often uses the word ‘means’ very cryptically. This is one of those times. Routinely, we also added gu to the Hue-phrase to embed it in the paragraph; for, except for that phrase, the paragraph consists entirely of the Kapmymaon’s speech.
“Nobody asked your opinion,” said Alice.
|Niba pa begco letu nu jupni, hue la Alis.||Niba pa begco letu nu jupni, Hue la Alis.|
|Nobody requested the-you opinion, Said Alice.|
Except for capitalizing Hue, this sentence is unchanged.
“Who’s making personal remarks now?” the Hatter asked triumphantly.
|Hu perpei vikcue na, hue la Kapmymaon, duo lo rilgau.||Hu perpei vikcue na? Hue la Kapmymaon, ja duo lo kalgau.|
|What is a personal [person-pertaining] remarker now? said the Hatter in the manner of the triumphant.|
‘Triumph’ was given as ?rilgau= “brilliantly-win” in LOD (the “Loglan Online Dictionay”) but defined as “completely-win.” The second metaphor, yeilding kalgau, seems the better one, so I’ve used it. But what do you think? Should we have both senses of ‘triumph’? You find, in LOD, that ‘conquer’/‘vanquish’ is dorgau. “war-win”.
Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and then turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question. “Why did they live at the bottom of a well?”
|La Alis, nie no pa djano lo nu dapcue zui toi, inumoi da pa selji surva lo tcate, e lo breba ze batra, itaa da tanmuo la Mioksun, e genduo leda kenti.||La Alis, nie no pa djano su gudbi retpi je toi, inumoi Ama pa selji surva lo tcati, e lo breba ze batra, efa tanmuo la Mioksun, e genduo le Ama kenti.|
|Da ji sorme, pia clivi vi le dampai je le cuthou rauhu?||Hue Ama, Sei pia clivi vi le dampai je ne cuthou rauhu?|
|Alice in-detail did not know some good answers to this, therefore she self served tea and bread-and-butter, and-then turned [turn-moved] to the Dormouse and repeated the-A(lice) question. Said A(lice), S(orme, the three sisters) lived at the bottom of a well because-of-what-reason?|
I’ve changed lo nu dapcue zui toi to su gudbi retpi je toi. Dapcue is not quite the right predicate here; and besides, zui toi is not linked to it. Also, I’ve replaced itaa Ama with the simpler efa, which follows the original more closely. Finally, Alice’s question has to be marked with Hue Ama to make dialog out of it, and in her question, Da ji sorme has been replaced with our now-well-established Sei.
The Dormouse again took a minute or two to think about it, and then said, “It was a treacle-well.”
|La Mioskun, pa genza pazda le minta je lio ne, a lio to, e rau penso tio, itaa cutse li, Cei nigslicui cuthou, lu.||LaMioksun, pa genza pazda nia ri minta moi nepo penso tio guo, efa cutse li, Cei nigslicui cuthou, lu.|
|The Dormouse again paused during several minutes in order to have an event of thinking about this, and then said (quote) It was a treacle-well (end-quote).|
I’ve replaced le minta je lio ne, a lio to with nia ri minta, for the same reasons given earlier. Nia ri minta is a curious construction, but one that promises to be quite useful. It means literally ‘throughout several minutes’ worth of something that has a measurable temporal dimension’—the Mioskun’s experience?—or ‘during something that lasted for several minutes.’ So you could say approximately the same thing with nia ne minta lio ri but I think the nia ri minta-construction will provide a more useful model. I also replaced e rau penso toi with moi nepo penso tio guo. Finally, l’ve replaced itaa with efa to get a structure closer to the original.
|Original Translation||Revised Translation|
“There’s no such thing!” Alice was beginning very angrily, but the Hatter and the March Hare went “Sh! Sh!” and the Dormouse sulkily remarked, “If you can’t be civil, you’d better finish the story for yourself.”
|Uo niba bi ta, hue la Alis, ja sacycue duo lo mutce groci. Ibuo la Kapmymaon, e la Termean Lepsun pa sonmao sue C C. I hue la Mioksun, duo lo raknurfasli gu, kanoi tu no kanmo lepo fomcka ki oe tu kalduo le nu stucue dii tu.||Uo niba bi ta, hue la Alis, ja sacycue duo lo mutce groci. Ibuo la Kapmymaon, e la Termean Lepsun, pa sue cycy. I hue la Mioksun, duo lo raknurfasli gu, kanoi tu no kanmo lepo fomcka ki oe tu kalduo le nu stucue dii tu.|
|(Annoyance) No-thing is that, said Alice who begin-talks in-the-manner-of very angry ones. But the Hatter and the March Hare made-the-sound “shuh- shuh”. Said the Dormouse in the manner of sullen things, If you can’t do events of politness, then it’s-better-that you finish the story on-behalf-of yourself.|
In JJ’s original, the expression pa sonmao sue C C. was meant to do the work of pa sue cycy. (See LN 9/1:14 for the reason why it doesn’t.) In brief, sue <string> forms a predicate meaning makes the sound suggested phonemically by <string>.
“No, please go on!” Alice said very humbly. “I won’t interrupt you again. I dare say there may be one.”
|No. I, eo prase, hue la Alis, duo lo mutce selsai. I no mi takstimao tu fa. I ii su ta dzabi.||No. I, eo prase, hue la Alis, duo lo mutce selsai. I no mi takstimao tu fa. I, ii su ta dzabi.|
|No. Please continue, said Alice in-the-manner-of the very modest. It’s not the case that I will interrupt you again. Perhaps one of that exists.|
Takstimao = “talk stop make” = interrupts....by...
“One, indeed!” said the Dormouse indignantly. However, he consented to go on.
|Li, Su, uo, lu nu cutse la Mioksun, duo lo dreroi. Ibuo da pa letytoi lepo prase.||Li, Su, uo, lu nu cutse la Mioksun, duo lo dreroi. Ibuo Mai pa letytoi lepo prase.|
|At-least-one <irritated>! said the Dormouse in-the-manner of indignant ones. However M (the Dormouse) consented to continue.|
The original had da instead of Mai; da picks up the wrong referent.
“And so these three little sisters—they were learning to draw, you know—”
|Inao da ji le te cmalo sorme, pia cirna lopo tcumao, zou.||Hue Mai gu, Inukou levi te cmalo sorme, kie sei cirna lopo tcumao, zou kiu.|
|Said M: And-so these three little sisters (open parenthesis) s (the sisters) were learning to draw (picture-make), by -the-way (close parenthesis).|
Lewis Carroll put this and the preceding paragraph together in one paragraph, separating the two speeches of the Dormouse by quotes. JJ used a new paragraph to separate the speeches; but this entails using a Hue-phrase to introduce the second speech; so we’ve replaced JJ’s Inao with Hue Mai gu, Inukou. Also JJ used da ji le te cmalo sorme to translate these three little sisters where this version uses the more literal levi te cmalo sorme. JJ doesn’t translate the dashes—used by LC here, as by many English writers, as parentheses—and we’ve used kie...kiu to do so. Finally, zou (by the way, which was JJ’s interpretation of the sense of English you know, here) seems to be a modifier of the whole parenthetic remark, and therefore may be wrongly placed; but we’ve left it where it was, where it modifies only lopo tcumao.
“What did they draw?” said Alice, quite forgetting her promise.
|Hu pa nu tcumao da, hue la Alis, ja kapli no duodri lepo da durcue.||Hu pa nu tcumao sei, hue la Alis, ja kapli no duodri lepo Ama durcue.|
|What was drawn by s? said Alice who completely not remembered-to-do the event A promise(d).|
JJ’s original used two da’s where this version uses sei and Ama.
“Treacle,” said the Dormouse, without considering at all this time.
|Le nigslicui, hue la Mioksun, duo lo no conpeo na tio.||Le nigslicui, hue la Mioksun, duo lo no conpeo na ti.|
|Treacle, said the Dormouse, in the manner of those who do not deeply-think, at this (time).|
“I want a clean cup,” interrupted the Hatter: “let’s all move one place on.”
|Mi danza su klini kupta, hue la Kapmymaon, ja takstimao. I, ea mu muvdo le neapri sitfa.||Mi danza ne klini kupta, hue la Kapmymaon, ja takstimao gu. I, ea mu muvdo le neapri sitfa.|
|I desire exactly-one clean cup, said the Hatter, interrupting. I suggest we move to the next place.|
We’ve replaced su with ne and inserted a redundant gu after takstimao, as recommended above, to indicate that what follows is more speech by the same speaker.
He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormouse followed him: the March Hare moved into the Dormouse’s place, and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the March Hare. The Hatter was the only one who got any advantage from the change; and Alice was a good deal worse off than before, as the March Hare had just upset the milk-jug into his plate.
|Da pa muvdo nia lepo da pa takna. I la Mioksun, pa prigoi da. I la Termean Lepsun pa muvdo le sitfa pe la Mioksun. I la Alis, duo lo kaknordaa pa skitu le sitfa pe la Termean Lepsun. I la Kapmymaon, pa nera nu gudsia lepo cenja. I la Alis, pa speni lepo zavlo ikou la Termean Lepsun pana nurveldirlu le veslo malna ledi plata.||Kai pa muvdo nia lepo Kai pa takna, ice la Mioksun, pa prigoi Kai, ice la Termean Lepsun pa muvdo le sitfa pe la Mioksun; ice la Alis, duo lo kaknordaa, pa skitu le sitfa pe la Termean Lepsun. I la Kapmymaon, pa nera nu gudsia lepo cenja; ice la Alis, pa zavspe, i kou la Termean Lepsun pazina paltancko le malna veslo leLai plata.|
|K moved throughout the-event-of K’s talking; and the Dormouse followed K; and the March Hare moved to the place of the Dormouse; and Alice, in the manner of the unwilling, sat in the place of the March Hare. And the Hatter was the single advantaged (one) from the change; and Alice was worse off, because the March Hare had-just side-turn-made (overturned) the milk-jug onto his plate.|
JJ suggests using zavspe (zavlo speni = has a bad experience = is worse off) in this version, replacing speni llepo zavlo in the original. JJ’s original used full stops to separate the five clauses. We’ve tried to follow LC’s text more closely by replacing four of JJ’s I’s with ice’s in this version. In the first clause, we’ve replaced JJ’s da’s with Kai’s, and in the last, his ledi with leLai. Also, in the last clause, we’ve replaced pana with papazi as a better translation of had just, and nurveldirlu, which means contents-lose or spill, with paltancko, which means side-turn-cause or overturn. The former would call for some designation of the jug’s contents as its 2nd argument instead le malna veslo.
Alice did not wish to offend the Dormouse again, so she began very cautiously: “But I don’t understand. Where did they draw the treacle from?”
|La Alis, no pa danza lepo gea notselsru la Mioksun, inumou, Ama pa sacycue duo lo mutce selkunbiu li Buo mi no siodja, i da tcumao le nigslicui vi hu? lu.||La Alis, no pa danza lepo gea notselsru la Mioksun, inumou, Ama pa sacycue duo lo mutce selkunbiu li, Buo mi no siodja, i da tcumao le nigslicui vi hu? lu.|
|Alice did not desire the-event-of again insulting the Dormouse, therefore (motive) she start-said in-the-manner-of the extremely cautious, “But I don’t understand. They draw the treacle from where?”|
Again JJ’s da has been replaced, this time with sei.
“You can draw water out of a waterwell,” said the Hatter: “so I should think you could draw treacle out of a treacle well—eh stupid?”
|Ba kanmo lopo gancpu1 lo cutri lo cutri cuthou, hue la Kapmymaon, gu, inusoa cia ba kandu lopo gancpu lo nigslicui lo nigslicui cuthou, ei hoi Penslan.||Ba kanmo lopo gancpu lo cutri lo cutri cuthou, hue la Kapmymaon, gu, inusoa ba kanmo lopo gancpu lo nigslicui lo nigslicui cuthou. I ei, hoi Penslan.|
|Someone is able to do events of drawing water from water wells, said the Hatter, therefore, someone is able to do events of drawing treacle out of treacle wells. And right, O Stupid?|
JJ slipped in writing *kandu for kanmo; and this has been corrected. His explanation (in Loglan) of his use of gancpu reads: ‘Tie la Inglec, le sanpa je liu tcumao ga samto le sanpa je liu gancpu.’ We thought cia in JJ’s original unnecessary and removed it.
“But they were in the well,” Alice said to the Dormouse, not choosing to notice this last remark.
|Buo da pa nenri le cuthou hue la Alis, ja no tisra lepo viadri tio, cutse dio la Mioksun.||Buo sei pa nenri le cuthou, hue la Alis, ja no disri lepo hirdri tio, cutse dio la Mioksun.|
|But they were inside the well, said Alice, not deciding to do the event of noticing the latter remark, speaking to the Dormouse.|
Again we’ve replaced da with sei, a clearer reference to le te sorme. Also we thought disri a better translation of choosing than tisra is in this context; also hirdri “hear-and-remember” is clearly better for auditory noticing than viadri, making a distinction between the two “noticings” that Loglan invites one to make.
“Of course they were,” said the Dormouse: “well in.”
|Ia da dui, hue la Mioksun. I da mutce nenri.2||Rea sei dui, hue la Mioksun, gu. I sei mutce nenri.|
|Of course s were (in the well), said the Dormouse; and s were very in.|
Rea clearly is better than Ia for of course. JJ’s explanation, in Loglan, of his use of mutce here is: ‘Tie la Inglec, le sanpa je liu cuthou, mou sanpa lo mutce.’
This answer so confused poor Alice, that she let the Dormouse go on for some time without interrupting it.
|Rau lezo levi po dapcue pa misfiocko la Alis, ja nu notkei guo, Ama, pa letci la Mioksun, lepo prase nia lo groda ckemo kii nipo takstimao Mai.||Rauki levi po dapli pa misfiocko la Nurnotkei Alis, ki, Ama pa letci la Mioksun, lepo prase nia lo groda ckemo kii nipo takstimao Mai.|
|Because this answer confused Pitiable Alice, she allowed the Dormouse to do the event of continuing during a large time interval together with zero-events-of interrupting him.|
The Rau lezo..., ...-structure of JJ’s original was less suitable, we felt, for tranlating English ...so..., that... than the much simpler Rauki..., ki...; so we used the latter. Also, dapli works as well as dapcue and is simpler. Finally, la Nurnotkei Alis (Pitiable Alice) is a more straightforward translation of poor Alice than la Alis, ja nu notkei guo. JJ’s invention of kii nipo... as a translation of English without is very interesting.
“They were learning to draw,” the Dormouse went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy: “and they drew all manner of things—everything that begins with an M—”
|Da pia cirna lopo tcumao, hue la Mioksun, ja makteu, ce satro je leMai menki, rau lepo Mai pia cenja lo mutce soisni. I da pia tcumao ra klesi je ba. I raba ja satci go nu letra lii mei.||Sei pana cirna lopo tcumao, hue la Mioksun, ja makteu, e satro leMai menki rau lepo Mai pa cenja ne mutce soisni, gu. I raba ji klesi, be goi, be seidjo ba, e nu tcumao sei, kio. I sei pa tcumao raba ji nu satci lo letra go melii Mai.|
|They were learning to do events-of drawing, said the Dormouse, which yawn(ed) and rub(bed) M’s (the Dormouse’s) eyes because M was changing into a very sleepy (thing).. (M continued:) And for every x which is a class there is a y such that y is a member of x and drawn by s, strike-that-last-utterance, and s drew every x that is started by letter(s) of type ‘M’.|
This paragraph put us in a quandary. There are two phrases in it—all manner of things and everything that begins with an M—that force us to choose between translating what we judge to be the speaker’s fictional intention—what the Dormouse meant to say—and translating what D actually did say. We chose the second, partly because we believe there’s a logical joke here—LC, after all, was not only the author of some of the most delightful nonsense in the English language, but also a logician—the point of which would be lost unless the hopeless extravagence of D’s claims were laid bare. But we’ve also chosen to translate what D said instead of what D could be reasonably supposed to have meant to say, because it gives us a chance to exhibit the elgance with which Loglan, unlike English, can make the structure of such logically absurd claims utterly plain. But there’s a price. The second course is difficult to follow. It turns D’s innocent sentence into a logical horror story. So as literary people, we are not altogether satisfied with the result. We’re still in that quandary. What should logli translators do with such texts? We invite you to propose better solutions to this and similarly logically heavy translation problems...if you can find them!
Here is what we actually did to JJ’s original translation of this paragraph, as well as a little of why we did it. In the first sentence, pana, the past coincident tense, is probably better than pia, the past progressive; so we used it. Also, the je before leMai was redundant; so we removed it. Pa is probably better than the next pia; and either cenja go mutce soisni or cenja ne mutce soisni is better usage for “getting very sleepy” than JJ’s mysterious cenja lo mutce soisni; we decided to use ne because it is closer to LC’s original. Again, we used a redundant gu after soisni to indicate that the Dormouse is not through speaking. The last sentence contains our two logical puzzles. That the sisters “drew all manner of things”, taken literally, is an absurd extravagance. In English “logic-talk”, it amounts to saying that for every class x there is at least one y such that y is a member of x and drawn by the sisters. JJ’s sei tcumao ra klesi je ba didn’t say that. Raba ji klesi, be goi, be seidjo ba, e nu tcumao sei does say it, although we admit with mind-boggling precision. But that might well be the kind of precision that LC’s joke would require if the Dormouse were a brana logli! Finally, we come to the clause in which the Dormouse, apparently confronting the absurdity of its claim, changes its mind and tries to limit it to the class of things which “begin with M”, which is of course equally absurd since very few things worth drawing begin with letters of any kind! JJ translated this as raba ja satci go nu letra lii mei. That doesn’t quite work. Again, in logic-talk, what we need to say is that the sisters drew every x such that x begins with an instance of the letter ‘M’. In Loglan raba ji nu satci lo letra go melii Mai says that. (We’ll let the reader sort out the differences between JJ’s original effort and our revision. I warned you that this kind of translating isn’t easy!) Finally we have to deal with the relationship of this continued utterance to the one it follows. It appears to be a revision of the preceding one. JJ treated it as just another continued utterance. On reflection, we thought it better to have this logli Dormouse use Loglan’s correcting apparatus (kia/kio; L1:513, TL4/3:64-65) to wipe out everything back to the last I and start over again, which is what we’ve had la Mioksun do. The odd effect of all this is to transform all LC’s Wonderland characters into droll logicians!
“Why with an M?” said Alice.
|Rauhu lii Mai, hue la Alis.||Rauhu lo melii Mai, hue la Alis.|
|For-what-reason the (-mass-of) letter(s) ‘M’? said Alice.|
JJ’s lii Mai designates a particular M, and that isn’t what an M means. So we replaced this with lo melii Mai.
“Why not?” said the March Hare.
|Rauhu no! hue la Termean Lepsun.||Rauhu no! hue la Termean Lepsun.|
|For-what-reason not! said the March Hare.|
This rhetorical question works as well in Loglan as it does in English. It challenges Alice to produce an answer to the question Rauhu no lo melii Mai? In other words, What else should the things they draw start with (if not with the letter M)?
Alice was silent.
|La Alis, pa kalsai.||La Alis, pa kalsai.|
|Alice was completely-quiet (silent).|
|La Mioksun, papa klomao leda menki pa le nadzo, e pana satci nurconsoi, ibuo, na lepo da nu dedtorpuo la Kapmymaon, guo, da cidcea, ze ge cmalo punkra, e prase. ja satci go nu letra lii mei, piu lau lo musmu jughou, la Mun, lopo mucdri, lopu mutce.3 I zou ba cutse lepo be mutce go pu mutce. I ei tu vizka ba ji le fu tcumao je lopu mutce?||La Mioksun, papa klomao leMai menki pa ti, e pana latsoi sacycea. Ibuo, na lepo Mai nu dedtorpuo la Kapmymaon, guo, Mai cidcea, ze ge cmalo punkra, e pracue.li, Ji nu satci lo letra go melii Mai, piu lau lo musmu jugpae, la Mun, lopo mucdri, lopu mutce. Ibea ba djacue lepo be mutce go pu mutce fojo. I ei tu pasuna vizka ba ji fu tcumao lopu mutce? lu.|
|The Dormouse had closed M’s (his) eyes before this (time), and was dozing starting-to-be. And-however during the-event-of M’s being pinched by the Hatter, Mai awake-becomes and-jointly small pain-cries (woke up and small shrieked), and continues-saying (quote) Which is-started-by a letter of type ‘M’, in-particular (this list): mouse traps, the Moon, events-of extreme remembering, properties of extremeness. And-for-example, someone x know-says (claims) that something-else-y is an extreme of extremeness, so-to-speak. And is it the case that you before-at-least-once saw (have ever seen) something which is a drawing of properties of extremeness?|
We’ve changed leda to leMai, pa le nadzo to pa ti, satci nurconsoi to latsoi sacycea (lightly-asleep begin-to-be), da to Mai in two more places, and prase to pracue. We’ve used Ji nu satci lo letra go melii Mai for that begins with an M as before, and we’ve changed jughou to jugpae, Izou to Ibea, cutse to djacue (claim), and inserted fojo after pu mutce to “metaphorize” the preceding four-word phrase. Also, we’ve inserted pasuna (before-at-least-once = have/has-ever) before vizka and deleted le and je from ba ji le fu tcumao je lopu mutce to make the logic better, and put the whole Ji nu satci ...lopu mutce? passage in li ... lu. Some LOD notes: latsoi (lightly-sleep) (vi) doze. LOD now has insist for pracue; but we need it for continue in the sense of “continue saying”; so we’ve suggested folcue (strongly-say) to the LOD Editor for insist. Mucdri = mutce driki = extreme memory is a word made-up by JJ to match the ‘M’ theme.
“Really, now you ask me,” said Alice, very much confused, “I don’t think—”
|Kuo, moi lepo tu kendiu mi guo, hue la Alis, ja pa mutce nu misfiocko, mi no jupni.||Feu, moi lepo tu kentaa mi guo, hue la Alis, ja pa mutce nu misfiocko, gu, mi no jupni|
|In fact, because-of (motive) the-event-of you asking me, said Alice who was very confused, I don’t think.|
We’ve changed Kuo to Feu (In fact); also kendiu to kentaa to give it the right place-structure. Also, we’ve inserted a gu after misfiocko to ensure that mi no jupni will be heard/read as part of Alice’s speech; this gu is not redundant, by the way. We didn’t know how to translate the English dash by which LC indicates that Alice was interrupted. Any ideas about how to handle the interruption phenomenon in Loglan textual dialog?
“Then you shouldn’t talk,” said the Hatter.
|Nukou tu no oe cutse, hue la Kapmymaon.||Nukou tu oe no takna, hue la Kapmymaon.|
|Therefore (causal) you should not speak, said the Hatter.|
We’ve changed no oe to oe no, should not rather than not should, which seems to catch the sense of the English better Also, speak is takna, not cutse (say).
This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear: she got up in great disgust, and walked off: the Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.
|Levi po socnaa pa mordu raba ja nu fatnorpoa je la Alis. I da pa stali duo lo groda tasgu, e pa dzoru sau ti. I la Mioksun, pa sonli go nedpao, ice le to notbi, no pa no nu cmalo viadri lepo da godzi, inomoi da pa nera, ca tora bleka le pridio, e pa pifera spopa lepo nei frekra da. I na lepo da rari vizka nei guo, nei pa trati lepo nensea la Mioksun, le tcatyveslo.||Levi zo norfomcka pa mordu raba ji nu fatnorpoa la Alis. I Ama pa stali duo lo groda tasgu, e pa dzoru sau ta. I la Mioksun, pa soircea fazi, ice le to notbi no pa no nu cmalo je rabe viadri lepo, Ama godzi, inomoi Ama pa prible necatona, e pa pifera spopa lepo nei frekra Ama. I na lepo Ama rari vizka nei guo, nei pa trati lepo nensea la Mioksun, le tcatyveslo.|
|This quantity-of rudeness was more than anything-x which is tolerated by Alice. She stood in-the-manner-of the greatly disgusted, and walked from that (place). The Dormouse was asleep instantly, and the two others didn’t not-un-smaller-than-everything-y (take the least) notice of the-event-of A’s going although (motive) A looked back one-or-two-times, and (she) 0.5 hoped-for the-event-of n’s (the others) summoning her. And during the-event-of A’s all-th (last) seeing n, n were trying the-event-of inserting the Dormouse in the tea vessel.|
We’ve changed po to zo in the first sentence, making it This quantity of rudeness. (Re the word socnaa in JJ’s original, I remember how pleased Dr. McIvor and I were when, during the Eaton Jury work, we came up with the insight that crude, raw, uninstructed behavior was just natra. Rather hastily, I see now, we included rudeness in that category, defining it as “social-rawness”; so there it was in LOD and then of course JJ used it. But seeing socnaa in this context convinced me that we wrong. Until someone comes up with a better metaphor for rudeness, I’ve suggested that we fall back on norfomcka (not-polite) —JCB) We’ve also changed ja to ji, for the usual reason, and removed the unnecessary je. We’ve changed all of JJ’s da’s to Ama’s, sonli to soircea (fall asleep), and replaced go nedpao with the PA-word fazi (immediately afterwards). We’ve invented prible for look back and used it instead of bleka le pridio, and invented another PA-word necatona for once or twice. Although either suna (at least once) or rina (several times) would probably have worked as well, necatona was closer to the English.
This finishes JJ’s translation of the Dormouse’s Story. Putting Lewis Carroll’s whimsical prose into logically appealing Loglan was a challenging task, and a lot of people helped James do it...including Bob Mclvor, Bill Gober, Kirk Sattley, and Colin Fine. I was out of the country at the time this work was going on, and have tried to make my contribution to it through my commentary in this issue. I hope having something of the history of how a translation like this develops, and examples of how they can always be improved, will be useful to the logli. —JCB
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