Posts Tagged ‘formal’


• Monday, July 18th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ilalau'. or Alternate glyph of the word 'ilalau'.


  • (v.) to be literate
  • (n.) literacy
  • (adj.) literate
  • (n.) familiarity (with some subject matter)

Ilalau o u ikavaka ti-Kavaka i oi’i.
“I’m familiar with the works of Kafka.”

Notes: Or literally, “Familiarity of the books of Kafka is with me”. Today I wanted to mention that I’m relaunching (finally) a formerly low-tech section of my website as a new WordPress blog: the book reviews section. I’ll be posting there semi-frequently (along with my wife, my brother-in-law, and my good friend from college) about what I’m reading, and I’ll also continue to review books. (And, of course, they’ll do the same thing. The parentheses don’t really work there with the rest of the sentence… I.e. they won’t be posting about what I’m reading [though it would be amusing if they did].) Anyway, if you enjoy that kind of thing, the blog is called Literature, Literature, Literature…

Today’s word is quite tangled. It’s derived from the word ilau, “to read”. The idea is that to read over a prolonged period of time is to read with ease, and reading with ease is what defines literacy (this is reading literacy, not necessarily writing literacy. I’d say the former is higher than the latter on the islands). The reduplication pattern is quite strange, though (coming from ilau, that is), so there’s a couple of different schools of thought on how to spell it. The first is the traditional way, but the second has its own story.

See, since the reduplication pattern is so strange, the word sounds like i- plus lalau (which I haven’t done yet, but which means “to throw”). The i of the traditional spelling, then, was replaced with i-, with a new meaning arising from the spelling: the latter meaning about familiarity with a subject (think of it like the word “fluency” in “cultural fluency”). At the time I’m thinking of, the spellings haven’t separated into different meanings yet (or not completely), but they’re on their way.

And these meanings remain distinct from the other ilalau (which I haven’t done yet), but the similarity of the words led to another meaning for that word which I’ll get to when the time comes.


• Friday, July 1st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'fayele'.


Fayele! Fayele! Fayeeeeeeeele!
“July! July! Julaaayeeeeay!”


Now, I’m not saying there are going to be videos every week, but I just happened to take a good one yesterday.

Allow me to preface this video. See, every so often, Keli gets a wildness in her. And when this happens, she feels…compelled to tear around and attack things which aren’t there. And last night, she had quite a wildness in her. I didn’t get the best of it on video, but I got part of it:

The best part by far was when she was racing around that chair in circles, darting in and out and meowing up a storm as if there was some sort of entity in there, and she had to attack it!

Today’s word comes, of course, from Zhyler, as is the case with all the other month words. The word in Zhyler is Vayer (in the orthography, vayeR). It’s related to the word for “three”, which is vay (vay), because Vayer is the third month on the Zhüxÿy calendar.

July is probably one of my favorite months. It’s nice and hot. Can’t get enough of these. :)

(Oh, duh. The quote comes from the Decemberists’ song “July, July!”. An oldie, but a goodie!)


• Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'eika'.


  • (pron.) first person dual exclusive pronoun

Kau oinemu eika.
“We two are married.”

Notes: Erin and I, that is. :)

And now I’ve done about…25% of the pronouns in Kamakawi. Hooray! :D

Though this may look like a foma, it’s technically two iku. Here, the ka is just written very close to the ei customarily. Perhaps it’s on its way to becoming a foma! One can always dream…


• Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tieyu'í'.


A koiu tieyu’í…
“June is here…”

Notes: And you know what that means.

That’s right: It’s the premiere of the second half of the second season of Men of a Certain Age! Yes, the little show that won’t quit is at it again, and my friends and I are going to have a party of a certain age (involving some Tri Tip Stimulus of a certain age) to celebrate (pictures of a certain age forthcoming).

Today’s word of a certain age comes to us from Zhyler, à la the other borrowed month names in Kamakawi. The original word is Šeyuğü (in the orthography, ,eyu©X). Crossing my fingers for little to no June Gloom this year. Let the sun shine!

…of a certain age.


• Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'petiki'.


  • (n.) prince, princess

A lutivini petiki ae ei.
“A prince rides inside me.”

Notes: More Game of Thrones translations. This one is uttered by Daenerys in Dothraki, and refers to the son in her womb.

There is a Zhyler word for “prince/princess”, and it’s gerdi (in the orthography gerdi). That word didn’t get borrowed over, though, and instead the Kamakawi created this word. It’s kind of a joke based on the behavior of a few individuals (invaders… What can you do with them?). The final iku there is the diminutive, which just happens to take the form -ki in this word (and so looks like the abstract, but isn’t).


• Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'petí'.


  • (n.) king, queen, ruler, monarch, tyrant, sovereign [< Zhyler]

Ia ioku petí!
“You are no king!”

Notes: Hee, hee… Thought I’d have some fun translating some Game of Thrones lines.

Today’s word comes from the Zhyler word petti (in the orthography, petti). In Kamakawi, it specifically refers to the ruler of the Zhykhy people; it’s not used for internal power structures. Think of it like “tsar” or “kaiser” in English.


• Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'alanete'.


A eteke alaneté ti tieyalele!
“May means summer!”

Notes: HOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! :D May is here, and it’s time for summer! :D

Unlike last summer, this summer I will make sure to get to the beach frequently. I will take advantage of the fact that I live in the second best summering hole in the world.

This also marks the two week countdown to the Fourth Language Creation Conference! If you’re going to be anywhere near the Netherlands on May 14th (or have the ability to get yourself nearby), come give me a visit! It’ll be well worth the time and expense.

Game of Thrones tonight. More Dothraki in tonight’s episode than the previous two combined. Looking forward to it!

Oh, the Zhyler word is Alneðe (in the orthography, alnefE). It means (roughly) “The First Month”, since that’s the first month of the Zhyler calendar.


• Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Glyph used with the present tense.


  • (part.) marks the present tense (as well as a switch in subject, if no other marker is present)

A mata ei ie kavaka te mopa tou…
“I can see the writing on the wall…”

Notes: Continuing with shots from the Huntington:

A rock with writing on it.

If anyone can read Chinese, let me know what that says! I’ve been curious ever since the first time I saw it.

I’ve already posted every word that’s in today’s sentence (oh, well, almost, I’m just now realizing), so I decided to post the glyph associated with the present tense. The thing is, this glyph isn’t always realized by a sound. In this particular sentence, it’s realized as a. However, even if no a were pronounced (remember that it can be left off in present tense sentences), the glyph would still be written. In that case, it would correspond to nothing.

Furthermore, in other sentences with a different subject marker (say, e), the glyph would still be written, but it wouldn’t correspond to any sound.

So having this glyph corresponding to a is a bit of a misnomer, but it serves for this particular sentence, so I figured I might as well (just to introduce it).


• Monday, April 18th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'iapeka'.


  • (n.) classification, type, kind

Ipe ie iapeka o puka poe fule ti’i!
That’s the type of doorway I want!”

Notes: Check this out (from the Huntington):

A fancy circular doorway.

Now that’s a doorway! Rectangular doorways seems so…utilitarian by comparison. Give me a hobbit door any day!

This word may sound as if it’s related to peka, the word for “land”, but in fact it’s related to ape, the word for “one”. Actually, apeka‘s a pretty good word… I should do it soon. That’ll help to make this word make more sense.

Don’t worry; I’m on it. ;)


• Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'uku'.


  • (n.) substance
  • (n.) stuff
  • (n.) thing
  • (v.) to be strange
  • (adj.) inexplicable, strange
  • (pron.) what (free relatives only)

E uku poe po’u’u ti’i le elea…
“The things I do for love…”

Notes: The premiere of Game of Thrones is tomorrow, so I thought I’d translate something appropriate.

For those who can parse the sentence, you might be wondering why it translates literally to “The stuff that’s done by me for love”. Aside from the purely lexical matter of the first noun, Kamakawi can only relativize a subject. Certain languages do this (though none come to mind at the moment), and it just so happens that English (and a lot of Indo-European languages, in fact) is rather permissive with its relative clauses.

What this means is that to say anything like “The things I do for love” or “The house I walked out of” or “The fish whose portrait I drew”, Kamakawi requires one to use some combination of the passive and applicative to target an argument other than the subject of the relative clause.

The word uku is a fairly standard combination of the syllabic glyphs for u and ku. Basically, if you look at ku, all you do is draw two connecting lines on the top to make a w-like character that serves as the u sound.