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Ia Aventures as Alice in Daumsenland
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Sambahsa

Ia Aventures as Alice in Daumsenland

By Lewis Carroll, translated into Sambahsa by Olivier Simon

First edition, 2013. Illustrations by John Tenniel. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-047-0 (paperback), price: €12.95, £10.95, $15.95.

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“Ye cid gon,” iey el Cat, skriteihnd sien dexter pod, “baytelt un hatar; ye tod gon,” kwehrnd id samo med sien levter pod, “baytelt un Mart kes. Gwahte vide quoterlibt, bo sont foll.”   “In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw around, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”
“Bet ne perikwehlskwo folls,” observit Alice.   “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Yu khacte alege adversus to,” iey el Cat, “ielganghen est foll her. Som foll. Ste foll.”   “Oh, you ca’n’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“Quosmed woid yu som foll?” iey Alice.   “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“Yu sollte ses,” iey el Cat, “aun to yu ne habiete gwohmen hetro.”   “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn't have come here.”
Cat Clárach
Lewis Carroll eet id autornam os Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, mathematique docent in Christ Church, Oxford. Eys maschourst narno gnahsit unte un eremsayr ep id Tems in Oxford dien 4 Jul 1862. Dodgson eet hamrahn unte tod excursion ab Reverend Robinson Duckworth ed tri yun piegs: Alice Liddell, iam decatu dugter ios Decan os Christ Church, ed Alices dwo swesters, Lorina ed Edith, quas eent tridemat ed octat. Kam deict id introductor poem, ias tri piegs iskweer un storia ud Dodgson, quige iabs binarrit, preter protievol-ye, un auwal version ios storia quod vahsit bihe Ia Aventures as Alice in Daumsenland. Itak sont pelu pwolkohlen references ad i penkwe naukmussafers eni idpet texte ios buk, quod buit vipublien in 1865.   Lewis Carroll was the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematics don in Christ Church, Oxford. His famous tale originated during a rowing trip on the Thames in Oxford on 4 July 1862. Dodgson was accompanied on this outing by the Rev. Robinson Duckworth and three young girls: Alice Liddell, the ten-year-old daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, and Alice's two sisters, Lorina and Edith, who were thirteen and eight. As is clear from the introductory poem, the three girls begged Dodgson for a story, and so he began to tell them, reluctantly at first, an early version of the story that was to become Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. As a result there are a number of half-hidden references made to the five travellers in the boat throughout the text of the book itself, which was finally published in 1865.
Io hieb starten Sambahsa kam un hobby, bet uno neiskwn periode os beghsorbatia mi hat dahn id necessar wakto kay buwes id un plen-ye antplohcen planbahsa. Maung “auxlangers” (yani creators om planbahsas bestohmt pro international communication) se focuse extreme-ye ep simplicitat quando concepent ir bahsas. Planent ir bahsas khaliban pro basic situations, kam, mathalan, quando semanghen safert in kharij ed sprehct de id itner kyid airport, we kaupskwt cadadien items bei local dukan. Ye mieno mayn, quayque un planbahsa ghehdt ses mukhsen in un talg situation, tod naudh est nundiens ja pleht ab pau Englisch au ab pauk gnohsas de id local bahsa. Daydey, sei smos parat ad hehlpe un gospoti forgwaht in nies land, ne blamems el sei els grammatic au lexical gnohsa est imperfect.   I began Sambahsa as a hobby, but an unwanted period of unemployment, gave me the necessary time to make it a fully-developed auxiliary language (or auxlang). Many auxlangers (creators of artificial languages meant for international communication) focus on extreme simplicity when they design their languages. They intend their languages mostly for basic situations, as, for example, when someone is travelling abroad and is asking the way to the airport, or wants to buy daily supplies at the local store. In my opinion, though an auxlang can be helpful in such a situation, this need is already filled nowadays either by simple English or by a smattering of the local language. In general, if we are ready to help a foreigner lost in our country, we don’t blame him if his grammatical or lexical knowledge is imperfect.
Formeller matiers naudhe un perfect au quasi perfect ilm ios nudt bahsa. In talga xeimens, sessiet semper un difference (ed, schowi, un discrimination) inter i mater­bahtors, qui pancsient ia reuls kay kehnse cada “dohbro usage” irs bahsa, ed alters. Ka recent exempel, id Tarjem Section ios EU Commission hat tohrpt mehmihes sien personel od documents oiscript in Englisch sont bestohmt pro leuds in id Uniet Roydem ed Erin, ed ne pro id interne folossien im EU kwehrants, ob senters hieb antplohcen ir wi version os Englisch, quod viduxit do mispretens con “realens leuds”, yani i EU civs qui sont materbahtors os Englisch.   More formal matters require a perfect or nearly perfect proficiency in the language used. In such fields, there will always be a difference (and, consequently, a discrimination) between native speakers, who set the rules for assessing any “good usage” of their language, and other speakers. As a recent example, the Translation Section of the European Commission had to remind its staff that documents written in English are meant for people in the UK and Ireland, not for the internal use of EU civil servants, because the latter had developed their own version of English, which eventually led to misunderstandings with “real people”, that is, with EU citizens who are native speakers of English.
Samt solga conditions, un plen-ye antplohct planbahsa ghehdt ses un solution, ob id ne creet difference inter mater­bahtors ed ne-materbahtors. Ka artificial bahsa, id est maflouk ud ia idiomes qua remane complexe hatta pro unem ne-materbahtor samt un kemall-ye gohd gnohnivell. Quayque hatta io hieb nudt id tienjien version os Alice gon-ye nieb Henri Bués Franceois tarjem, dar lipsim pelu jinas Lewis Carroll hieb skedht unte ia pages ios buk. Kad habiem naiwo kaun ia sei Michael Everson ne hieb patient-ye chehxlist mien uperwehrten do Sambahsa.   Under such conditions, a fully-developed auxlang can be a solution, because it doesn’t create a difference between native and non-native speakers. As an artificial language, it is devoid of the idioms that remain tricky even for a non-native speaker with a reasonably good level of knowledge. Even though I had used the original English version of Alice side-by-side with Henri Bué’s French translation, I still missed out on many of the puns Lewis Carroll had scattered throughout the pages of the book. I might never have noticed them if Michael Everson hadn’t patiently proof-read my rendering into Sambahsa.
Proghi Sambahsa, simplicitat est tik oin objective bayna naturalitat (quod impliet internationalitat), briegve ed precision.   For Sambahsa, simplicity is only one objective; other objectives are naturalness (implying internationality), brevity, and precision.
Naturalitat. Ho pit base Sambahsa ep preexistend bahsas ed retehxe to tem logic-ye quem io ghohd. Hois, volim neid “kenten” au “Tor os Babel” bahsa random-ye construgen med ein schtuk ex cada bahsa tienxia, ni un bahsa “ex id space”, total-ye a priori, aun visible connexion con semject. Mayno od un planbahsa est subjective-ye attractiver (ed ghehdt daughe pro un talimatziel) sei id familiareiht sien eucers con reuls au werds trohft in maunga natural bahsas.   Naturalness. I have tried to base Sambahsa on pre-existing languages and to rearrange this as logically as I could. On the one hand, I didn’t want a “patchwork” or tower-of-Babel language, randomly constructed out of a bit of every language on Earth. Nor did I want a language “from outer space”, totally a priori, with no visible connection to anything. I think that an auxlang is more subjectively attractive (and can serve a propaedeutic purpose) if it makes its learners familiar with rules or words found in many natural languages.
Ciois, ego regreto od ia major (taiper maschourst) planbahsas sont pior gwaur-ye centret ep romanc bahsas (samt un wolga om germanic influences). Ya, Westeuropay bahsas sont extreme-ye importanta tienxia, bet ne sont ia wahid surces pro international launwerds (yani werds trohven in uno mier numer om bahsas, esdi ta bayghe different linguistic familias). Itak ho chust un novatoro proschgumt.   On the other hand, I do regret that the major auxlangs (the ones most famous at present) are too heavily centred on Romance languages (with a seasoning of Germanic influences). Yes, Western European languages are extremely important worldwide, but they are not the only source for international loanwords (that is, words found in a large number of languages, even where those languages belong to different linguistic families). That’s why I chose a novel approach.
Sontghi maung lexical camps ghyant ad interbahsa exchange. Mathalan, id technic ed scientific werdskaut maungen bahsas gwehmt ex Latin au Hellen. It, id meist facil ed practic pro un planbahsa est simple-ye inghende tod vocabular. Bet quod de ia meist basic components, grammatical au lexical, qua cada bahsa mathmount? Mien dayi buit chehxe Orhindeuropay (oraryo), un reconstruct lingua quod buit baht, sekwent recent paursken,1 meis quem 5000 yars prever in Sudrussia. Oraryios descendants (pati Englisch) sont baht nundiens ab id dwidel os menscgenos. Anghen ghehdiet argue od alter dwidel est desvantaget, bet un talg vid est prabh tik unte uno meg limiten meid. Maung bahtors nearyen bahsas euce un aryo bahsa bi quodgvonc sabab unte ir jumiung; un aryo “logic” bahsa sollt ses im minter onost quem un aryo natural bahsa. Ed moderne arya bahsas ghehde abvices drastic-ye ud oraryum in maunga xeimens. Id men cheus oraryios hat est khaliban-ye motivet ab id nieudhe os dadwe ad Sambahsa un stable base ep quod id ghehdiet confident-ye se nastruge; ne de iskwim oiscrisces un aysaiwo bahsa quod khakiet satisface ia keupens om serter zamans. Id reconstrugen aysaiwo vocabular est weidwos rhayr kafi, ed her io dohlg recurre alya prabhils.   There are indeed many lexical fields open to interlinguistic exchange. For example, the technical and scientific vocabulary of many languages comes from Latin or Greek. The easiest and most practical solution for an auxlang is simply to take back this vocabulary. But what about the most basic components, whether grammatical or lexical, that any language has? My idea was to have a look at Proto-Indo-European, a reconstructed language that was spoken, according to recent research,1 more than 5,000 years ago in Southern Russia. The descendants of Proto-Indo-European (including English) are spoken nowadays by half of human­kind. One could argue that the other half is disadvantaged, but such a view is true only to a limited extent. Many speakers of non-Indo-European languages learn an Indo-European language for one reason or another during their lives—a “logical” Indo-European auxlang ought to be less burdensome to them than a natural Indo-European language. And modern Indo-European languages can depart dramatically from Proto-Indo-European in many ways. So the choice of Proto-Indo-European has been mainly motivated by the need to provide Sambahsa with a stable basis from which it could be built up; it was not the intention to resuscitate a Bronze-Age language that couldn’t address the requirements of later epochs. The reconstructed Bronze-Age vocabulary is of course insufficient, and here I had to have recourse to other guidelines.
Oin solution habiet ghohden ses eme id demographic importance iom moderne bahsas, ed nudes ta procentages kay hissabe id smyehr ielgios in id vocabular ios planbahsa. Okwivid-ye ta hoydic procentages differnt significant-ye ud ta ios tid kun Carroll scripsit Alice. Mien wi solution hat esto chehxe ia launwerds trohft in variat bahsas ob sont minter changil, chunke id international position os uno “mundlingua” ghehdt bihe alteren dramatic-ye af historic wakyas. Mathalan, Parsi dieughit ka lingua franca in pleisto Sudasia, hin ids prestige sohnk ob id decline ios Ottoman Empire ed id Britisch krig os Hind. Quayque Englisch ghehdt ses meis util quem Parsi pro semanghen safernd in pleista Sudasiat lands nundiens, id awo vyige os Parsi ghehdt dar ses midt med id quantitat om Parsi launwerds in ia linguas baht in ta regions. Iaghi launwerds ex Englisch do ta bahsas maghe ses restrict ad meg specialiset topics, kam sports ed computer program­mation, au gouvernemental res in prever Britisch colonias. Resultat-ye, Sambahsa dar includt uno majoritat “Europayen” werds bet ghyant sien dwers alyims continents, besonters ad Arab-Parsi isoglosses quom tienxia impact hat esen pior frequent-ye misvohrten ab auxlangers (vide id exempel infra os chay). Fulan tolkmon in plur major bahsas ghehdt desciffer Sambahsa. Talg buit id fall os Michael Everson, pepermen linguiste samt neid prever training in Sambahsa, qui hat ghohden detege ia defects qua mathmounit id presto draft miens tarjem.   One solution could have been to take the demographic importance of modern languages, and to use these percentages to reckon each one’s share into the auxlang’s vocabulary. It is obvious that those percentages today differ significantly from those at the time when Lewis Carroll wrote Alice. My own solution has been to have a look at loanwords found in various languages because they are less prone to change, since the international position of a “world language” can be altered dramatically by historical events. For example, Persian served as a lingua franca in most of Southern Asia, until its prestige sank with the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the British conquest of India. Though English might be more useful than Persian for someone travelling in most South Asian countries nowadays, the weight of Persian can still be measured by the quantity of Persian loanwords in the languages spoken in those regions. Indeed, loan­words from English to those languages might be restricted to very specialized topics, such as sports and computer programming, or governmental matters in former British colonies. As a result, Sambahsa still includes a majority of “European” words but opens its doors to other continents, especially to Perso-Arabic isoglosses whose worldwide impact has been too frequently underestimated by auxlangers (see the example below with “chay”). Any person conversant in several major languages can decipher Sambahsa. Such was the case with Michael Everson, a skilled linguist with no previous training in Sambahsa, who was able to point out the flaws contained in the first draft of my translation.
Gjuchiene ielgo lyegher os Sambahsa vocabular leitiet trans id ziel tos Preface, itak siem limite-me ibs werds trohven in id titule:   Describing in detail each vocabulary layer of Sambahsa would go beyond the scope of this Foreword, so I will limit myself to the words found in the title.
  • Alice: Quer tar est internationalitat? In fact, id internationalitat tos ster namios neizdt in ids orthograph, ne in kam bahtors os Englisch oiswehre id. Nimen recogneihiet *Elis, menxu Alice est commun ad Englisch, Franceois ed Italian. It, ays nam remant “Alice” bet swohrt sekwent Sambahsa phonetic reuls ([ɑˈliːts]). Pleist werds commun ad Englisch ed Franceois, dwo major mundlinguas, smyehre un similar orthograph, bet neid similar swehrmen!
  • in: Est un werd commun ad romanc ed germanic bahsas, itak id tohrb ses includen do Sambahsa.
  • Daumsen: est id genitive plural os daumos. Keiht ep id verb daum. Tod raudh buit leur-ye inspiret ab id hellen werd θαῦμα, sub id influence alyios Sambahsa verb staun, quod behrt un phonetic connexion con Englisch astonish, astound, Franceois étonner ed Deutsch erstaunen. Ne est wajib decline nomens in Sambahsa, men declination ghehdt ses mukhsen pro literar matiers.
  • land: Tod germanic werd est preten tienxia, ob landnams kam England, Deutschland, etc.
  • Alice: Well, where is the internationality? In fact, the internationality of this female name nestles in its orthography, not in the way speakers of English pronounce it. No-one would recognize *Elis, while Alice is common to English, French and Italian. Thus, her name remains “Alice” but pronounced according to Sambahsa phonetic rules ([ɑˈliːts] or “ah-LEETS”). Most words common to English and French, two major world languages, share a similar orthography, but not a similar pronunciation!
  • in: This is a word common to Romance and Germanic languages, so it had to be included into Sambahsa.
  • Daumsen: is the genitive plural of daumos ‘wonder’. It rests on the verb daum ‘to wonder’. This root was freely inspired by the Greek word θαῦμα ‘wonder, miracle’, under the influence of the other Sambahsa verb staun ‘to be amazed’, which bears a phonetic connection to English astonish, astound, French étonner and German erstaunen. It is not compulsory to decline nouns in Sambahsa, but declension can be helpful for literary matters.
  • land: This Germanic word is understood worldwide, because of country names like Ireland, England, etc.
Briegve. Ego regreto od hoydic major planbahsas trende habe forlonct werds, samt empedisant endens au affixes. Ya, grammatical marken ed composen hant ir vantages (just vide “Daumsen­land”), bet ir forneuden creet formes qua tehrbe wakto kay bihe analysen, ed id holo lexical construct maght ya vicollabe ed lipses sien final objective os clartat. Smad chehxe Englisch: ne-materbahtors ghehdent daydey tekhnasse med ids basicst werds ed kheissent yower dia ids cort synthetic werds quem dia meis-ye transparent bet longer constructs trohft in alya natural au artificial bahsas. Tant subjective quem to maght kwehke, “cort” tengiesiet semper meis facil ed ghesorim quem un composit kam “ne-longe-went”. Id resultat est od Englisch, speit sien quant idiosyn­crasias, kwehct meis practic ka mundlingua quem hoydic maschourst planbahsas. Pro Sambahsa, ho piten trehve un tula inter analytic ed synthetic formes. Pro id scriben bahmen, oin om mien surces os inspiration hat esen Arab. In id moderne standardo tos bahsa, sem declinational endens sont optional, nudt bi-sabab euphonia au poesis. To est id itner ho sohkwt pro Sambahsa ed tod kweit hat obkwohct util quando io tohrb adapte Lewis Carrolls poems do Sambahsa.   Brevity. I do regret that today’s major auxlangs tend to have lengthy words, with cumbersome endings or affixes. Yes, grammatical marking and compounding have their advantages (just see “Daumsenland”), but their overall use creates forms that take time to analyse, and the whole lexical construct may well finally collapse, missing its final objective of clarity. Look at English: non-native speakers can generally cope with its most basic words and they feel more confident with its short synthetic words than with more transparent but longer constructs found in other natural or artificial languages. As subjective as it may seem, “short” will always look easier and handier than a compound like “non-lengthy”. The result is that English, despite all of its idiosyncrasies, looks more practical as a world language than today’s most famous auxlangs. For Sambahsa, I have tried to strike a fair balance between analytic and synthetic forms. For the written usage, one of my sources of inspiration has been Arabic. In the modern standard of this language, some declensional endings are optional, being used for reasons of euphony or poetry. Such is the way I have followed for Sambahsa and this characteristic proved useful when I had to adapt Lewis Carroll’s poems into Sambahsa.
Precision. Id hat esen ye alter bors ios waga quan id ed simplicitat buir comvyict. Dat tod matier est bo extreme-ye technic ed theoric, khako explie id alnos eni id quader tos Preface, bet id sessiet part-ye illustret infra dank oik hadthas ho habt unte id tarjemorbat. Kay dahe just un general exempel, Sambahsa wehrct med quar declinational falls, menxu oraryo hieb sept.2 Ho gwupt quar preters (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) ob sont intensive-ye nudt, menxu tri alters ghehde ses tayt med prepositions (kamghi sont in maunga moderne bahsas). Oraryo hieb declinational endens, bet nia articles. Punor, Sambahsa hat neid ijbaric declination pro nomens ed adjectives ob solg endens trendent dleghihes werds, klombhihes iro recognibilitat, ed ob alya wassilas (kam declinen compact articles, werdaurdhen) dadwnt meis precision, briegve ed/au simplicitat. Id neud om monosyllabic compact pronomens samt parallel declinations sammel bragvent Sambahsa jumlas ed deict kweiter-ye id syntactic rol ielgs iren components. Kathalika, Orarya verbal kweits hant est gwupt quan ia brigh meis briegve ed/au precision. Itak id medio-passive, mathalan, hat esen arken. Dyeite ia sehkwnda mustras:   Precision. This has been at the other end of the scale when weighted with simplicity. As this matter is both extremely technical and theoretical, I cannot explain it completely within the framework of this foreword, but it will be partly illustrated below thanks to a few issues I had with the translation work. To give just a general example, Sambahsa works with four declensional cases, while Proto-Indo-European had seven.2 I have kept the four first ones (nominative, accusative, dative, genitive) because they are used extensively, while the three others can be rendered through the use of prepositions (as they currently are in many modern languages). Proto-Indo-European had declensional endings, but no articles. On the contrary, Sambahsa has no compulsory declensions for nouns and adjectives because such endings tend to lengthen words, to reduce their recognizability, and because other means (such as compact declined articles and word order) provide more precision, brevity, and/or simplicity. The use of one-syllable compact pronouns with parallel declensions both shortens Sambahsa sentences and indicates clearly the syntactic role of each of its components. Likewise, Proto-Indo-European verbal features were kept when they brought more brevity and/or precision. That’s why the medio-passive, for example, has been discarded. Consider the following samples:
    Oraryo*Ghwent h₃egwim
    SambahsaGvehnt iom ogvi
    EnglischHe slays the serpent.
Englisch est longer bet bringht un precision de id genos ios “gvehner”. Sambahsa “iom” deict od is Ogvi est ner, ed est is object ios action, menxu Englisch “the” kwehrt neuter.
    Oraryo*h₃egwis ghuno
    SambahsaIs ogvi biht gvohnt
    EnglischThe serpent gets slain.
    Proto-Indo-European*Ghwent h₃egwim
    SambahsaGvehnt iom ogvi
    EnglishHe slays the serpent.
English is longer but brings a precision about the gender of the “slayer”. Sambahsa “iom” indicates that the serpent is male, and is the object of the action, while English “the” does none of both.
    Proto-Indo-European*h₃egwis ghuno
    SambahsaIs ogvi biht gvohnt
    EnglishThe serpent gets slain.
Sei Sambahsa habiet un synthetic forme kam oraryo *ghuno, tod ne esiet corter quem biht gvohnt, ni meis facil ni preciser. Itak Sambahsa sehkwt her id analytic via.   If Sambahsa had a synthetic form like PIE *ghwno, this wouldn’t be shorter than biht gvohnt, nor would it be easier or more precise. That’s why Sambahsa follows the analytic way.
Ke volgo nun kya hadtha ho incontren unte id tarjem os Alice. In id druna iom yars, id precis vocabular os Sambahsa hat crohscen tiel meis quem 14,000 lignes in id tribahsa edition ios kamus. Bi tod sabab io hieb ja ghohden publie Sambahsa versions majoren literar wehrgs kam Saint Exupérys Le Petit Prince, Camus sbei L’Etranger ed Hermann Hesses Demian; idghi mege os Lewis Carrolls wehrg ne skip un challenge pro me quan io decis tarjmes tod buk.   Let me now turn to the issues I have encountered during the translation of Alice. Over the years, the precise vocabulary of Sambahsa has grown to more than 14,000 entries in the trilingual edition of the dictionary. For this reason I had already been able to publish Sambahsa versions of major literary works like Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince, Camus’s L’Étranger and Hermann Hesse’s Demian—so the size of Lewis Carroll’s work did not present a challenge to me when I decided to translate this book.
In fact, sei dehm bigon ia teiperrors qua un solgo long texte mathmounsiet nevergible-ye, ia difficultats ho facet hant est uns inexspectet buhsa. Mathalan, sekwent id precisionsprabhil ambhrissto supra, Sambahsa men hat quar different gensa: masculin, feminin, neutral, indeterminat, qua sont apparent in ia pronomens ed definiht articles, menxu de Englisch neudt tik aunmark ‘the”. Ob tod kweit os Lewis Carrolls materbahsa, io khiek fauran tarke qualg genos is autor hieb tribuen ad cada creature is hieb exmohnen, ed io dohlg ops-ye perilises un hol capitel pre trehve id solution... Un goil consequence brighen ab Sambahsas precision est od id “automatic-ye” deuysih sem imprecisions os Englisch nuden ab Lewis Carroll kay cree humoristic mispretens. Mathalan, quan is Hatar sayct “it began with a tea” ei Roy, so mehnt od “it” se refert uni singule nomen (“the twinkling”) menxu is Hatar maynt “it” ka un resumen iom wakyen is hat just describen ant id Curt. In Sambahsa, sont dwo different werds, id pro un singule (neutral) nomen bet to pro un general situation. Dat tod mispreten neti ghohd wehrge, tohrbim rescribe tod passage.   In fact, if I put aside the typos that such a long text will inevitably contain, the difficulties I have faced have been of an unexpected nature. For instance, in accordance with the principle of precision outlined above, Sambahsa has four different genders: masculine, feminine, neuter, and undetermined, which are apparent in pronouns and in definite articles, while, on the contrary, English uses only unmarked “the”. Because of this particularity of Carroll’s native language, I could not immediately conjecture which gender the author had attributed to any of the creatures he had imagined, and I often had to peruse a whole chapter before finding the solution... A funny consequence brought on by Sambahsa’s precision is that it “automatically” thwarted some imprecisions of English used by Carroll to create humourous misunderstandings. For example, when the Hatter says “it began with a tea” to the King, the latter thinks that “it” refers to a single noun (“the twinkling”) while the Hatter means “it” as a summary of the events he’s just described before the Court. In Sambahsa, there are two different words, id for a single (neuter) noun but to for a general situation. As this misunderstanding couldn’t work any more, I had to rewrite this passage.
Chunke Englisch remant pro me un gospoti bahsa, ho dohlgen orbate med bo id tienjien version ed Henri Bués Franceois tarjem, quod est saygen esus “autorisen” ab iomswo Lewis Carroll. Way, kam ho ja saygen supra, tod precaution ne me hat bohrct ud lipses maung jinas gohnt ab id prolific imagination ios Englisch autor. Iter her, dehlgo plenkerdtos danke Michael Everson qui perilis id Sambahsa texte ed me bud ad quo habiet sonst remanto nekaun ab me. Id opnos ios werdskaut os Sambahsa ed ids grammatical flexibilitat obkwohk ses uno megil hehlp quan io tohrb, mathalan, trehve alyo werd eni id sam lexical categoria kay uperwehrte id double maynen os un jinas, we kay conserve id tula stichen eni un poem.   As English is for me a foreign language, I had to work with both the original version and Henri Bué’s French translation, which is said to have been authorized by Lewis Carroll himself. Alas, as I have already said above, this precaution did not keep me from missing many of the puns devised in the prolific imagination of the English author. Here again, I must wholeheartedly thank Michael Everson who perused the Sambahsa text and made me pay attention to what would have remained otherwise unheeded by me. The richness of Sambahsa’s vocabulary and its grammatical flexibility proved to be of great assistance when I had, for example, to find another word in the same lexical category to render the double meaning of a pun, or to conserve the balance of verses within a poem.
Kam ho ja dict supra, Sambahsa includt werds ois exter Westeurope sei est un general samstehmen de un different forme. Est id fall ios Sambahsa werd chay quod sehkwt id general forme trohven in pleist Asiat ed Eusteuropay bahsas. Id sababo pro to est od Sambahsa ed id Eurasiat megerstrohm hant launen tod werd ex Mandarin (chá), menxu Westeuropay nations gnohr chay per martorgo con Sudchina, quer khanji 茶 est oiswohrno meis au minter kam buksteiv “T” (). Lewis Carroll nud tod coincidence pro un jinas unte id schahidia ios Hatar, quando so sayct “tea” menxu is Roy pretet buksteiv “T”. Un talg jinas suawehrct in Westeuropay bahsas chunke “T” ed id werdo pro “chay” swehne lika. Bet to eet impossible pro Sambahsa; itak io tohrb exmehne un nov jinas basen ep id phonetic prokwitat inter chay ed chald.   As I have pointed out above, Sambahsa includes words from outside Western Europe if there is a general agreement about a different form. Such is the case of the word for “tea”, which is chay in Sambahsa, according to the general form found in most Asian and East European languages. The reason for this is that Sambahsa and the Eurasian mainstream borrowed this word from Mandarin (chá), while Western European nations knew tea through sea-trade with Southern China, where the sinogram 茶 is pronounced more or less like the letter “T” (). Carroll used this coincidence for a pun during the Hatter’s evidence, when this one says “tea” while the King understands the letter “T”. Such a pun works well in Western European languages since “T” and the word for “tea” sound the same. But this was impossible for Sambahsa; that’s why I had to invent a new pun based on the phonetic similarity between chay and chald ‘hot’.
Conlanging (yani id creation artificialen bahsas) est uns hybrid buhsa, chunke dehlgmos combine meg logic reuls (kam ta iom declinations ed conjugations) con concepts uns alnos subjective buhsa, quo Ferdinand de Saussure eenamt l’arbitraire du signe linguistique-. Pro maung leuds, L.Carrolls Alice est just sem fantasia narn bayna alya, bet tod tarjem hat vighabiht me kad sont ia imperfections iom natural bahsas qua hant buwto Charles Lutwidge Dodgsons liubh dia non-sense. Quando facems ia defects niesen mater­bahsas, bihms involuntar-ye dribhen ex nies logic adulten mund do uno miegvelik daumsenland kam aunhehlp magvi do alyo dimension.   Conlanging—the creation of artificial languages—is of a hybrid nature, since we must combine very logical rules (such as those of declensions and conjugations) with concepts of a completely subjective nature, what Ferdinand de Saussure would call l’arbitraire du signe linguistique. For many people, Lewis Carroll’s Alice is just one fantasy tale among others, but this translation has made me realize that it is the imperfections of natural languages which may have given rise to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s love of nonsense. When we are faced with the flaws of our native languages, we are swept involuntarily from our logical adult world into a childlike wonderland like helpless children in another dimension.
Maghtu tod menos encourage el leiser ad prihes Alices mund per Sambahsas deuspont prisma.   May this thought encourage the reader to appreciate the world of Alice through Sambahsa’s rainbow prism.
—Olivier Simon   —Olivier Simon

HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2013-12-11

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