Glyph of the word 'kavaka'.


  • (v.) to write
  • (n.) writing
  • (n.) a piece of writing (of some kind)
  • (adj.) writing

A kavaka ie hala’i o ei.
“Writing is my life.”

Notes: Yesterday’s post forced me to gloss over the fact that it was Sylvia Sotomayor’s birthday. Happy belated birthday, Sylvia! :D

Sylvia is the woman behind the Kēlen Word of the Day: The blog that started the whole conlang word of the day thing (though I take credit for suggesting the idea to Sylvia in the first place :P). It’s been a lot of fun learning about Kēlen over the past…wow, almost a year! But there’s a special reason to tune into Sylvia’s blog now.

You see, yesterday Sylvia arrived in Australia to attend WorldCon: a large convention of science-fiction and other things I’ve recently been made aware of. On the Kēlen Word of the Day blog, Sylvia will be keeping track of her progress, posting a word a day, per usual, but also including a picture from Australia, and some details about her travels. As one who hates to travel, this is top notch for me: I get to see Australia, and I don’t have to leave the house! :D

So check it out! It should be a fun month to hear about how things are going down under.

Oh, duh, I almost forgot! The sample sentence was done in honor of Sylvia. See, it’s a sentence without verbs, in honor of Kēlen, the verbless language! :D There was a method to this madness, I swear!

As for this word, it certainly does look like it was derived from kava, the word for “fire”, but you want to know the real secret? The word for “write” comes from Franz Kafka: One of my favorite authors. If you were to render “Kafka” in Kamakawi, it would come out “Kavaka”.

Of course, Franz Kafka doesn’t exist in the world where Kamakawi is spoken, but that’s just fine by me. After all, it’s a legitimate word form. And the derivation (fake or otherwise) is one I love. In fact, I love everything about this word. I’m going to give it a smiley face of some kind. :) There we go.

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