Listen to Erathoniel ranting on and on in good ol' conservative Christian fashion.
Fiction set in the Mechromancy galaxy.
Published on May 5, 2008 By erathoniel In Fiction Writing

    I sat up in bed. The visions of the future... or were they the past? were too much for me. The war did this to everyone, but I knew for sure that I was never meant for this. But I fought on. Day after day, hiding, running, shooting. A warrior's life. A'na'la. I haven't used my native language in a long time, but that was the one word that applies to a warrior's life. It's actually three words, combined for one meaning.

    A means "the" in our language. It's not a directly accurate translation, but it's close enough. Na means death. That is an accurate translation. La means life, or valiant warrior (roughly "savior" through violence). Combine it and it as a phrase means "The death of a warrior.". It's the term used for the stress a soldier suffers in war.

    Granted, I wasn't fighting a war. The Empire was too strong for that. Sure we could do something against them, but ten-thousand to one is a bad way to fight a war. We did what we could. We fought back. They had a mech, we would take it down. We'd lose eight people, but they'd lose eight billion credits. In the end we were the annoyance they had to squash.

    We should've known we had too many recruits. Too many of our veterans were succumbing to A'na'la. We were down to having more than thirty percent of our men joining in the same month. It seemed good at the time. But they were all spies. We started losing every battle. Our only chance to survive was through Ma'na'la.

    Ma means roughly "to hide and decieve", but also carries a connotation of rebirth. So Ma'na'la is a term for going into hiding, but surviving. Granted, as rebels we were already in hiding. But we had our mages stop attacking, we kicked out the new members, and we started switching to pure sabotage and theft. No more head-on attacks. After a couple months, we had a normal number of soldiers to begin our final assault. We actually hijacked two mechs. That's about how far we managed to get, though. We took down a fair deal of the governor's mansion, though. We were like a small army. We freed our homelands, the Empire had to leave. But all of our original members were dead. We started a full-on rebellion, and we re-achieved nation status.

    However, some of us were taken prisoner and taken back to the Imperial lands. That's me. Every night I see my homeland in flames, for I know the Empire plans to strike. The futility of resistance seemed to be nothing, but now I know that all we have done has been to bring about our own damnation. The curse of a mage is their knowledge.


    Author's Notes: This is my first experiment with conlanging. I'll keep a log of definitions on my wiki. This is also the first Mechromancy universe fiction.


Comments
on May 05, 2008

A'ka'mari is the fictional language featured in this story. Feel free to contribute, it's on a wiki for a reason.

on May 06, 2008
A hint - if you want to create your own language, you should stop to think about the linguistics involved, including your transliteration.
A'na'la, assuming the ' are glottal stops, is surprisingly difficult to say. Have you tried? This is because of the natural shape of the mouth after a glottal stop is uttered - it's fair inhospitable to follow-up with a "la". I think you'd benefit from dropping the second glottal stop and simply letting the two words join.
If you're looking for some advice on languages, check out this website.
There's a lot there, some of it may be helpful (although many people who build their own languages are godawful bores, so don't take it too seriously or think others will be interested in becoming fluent in your new language just so they can read your book). My best advice though is to look at a few real languages, preferably ones that aren't related, and build a polyglot off that.

On the story:

Don't introduce new words for the sake of it. If there's a warrior code, say there's a warrior code. It's immensely self-indulgent to force the reader to follow longwinded explanations for rather simple concepts. If the narrator is writing in English, the only foreign words he's likely to use are those that have no English equivalent. For some easy examples, consider the Latin auctoritas (which has a very different meaning to authority) or the German schadenfreude (an emotion which cannot be so readily expressed in English).
It's acceptable to use these kinds of words because you can't say them in plain text without plenty of explanation. But if you can say something in plain English, go ahead and do it. The reader will thank you for it.

Oh, and this isn't a story at all. It's a vignette or perhaps an introduction. But it doesn't go anywhere or have any kind of action, let alone resolution, so you're really stretching things to call it a story.
on May 06, 2008

I've had Japanese training, so maybe it's too hard for those without. Just mark each as a syllable. The apostrophes are used to be used in combining words, so the apostrophes actually have no pronuncation, it's simply used to make it easier. I always plan on translating everything, but the language has its own distinct meanings. It's so I can use a six letter word as opposed to a two sentence explanation. Again, I keep a glossary.

on May 06, 2008

I only learned Romaji Japanese, and only the workings of it, no vocabulary. The apostrophes in a word phrase are used because the language is built of small, often monosyllabic components.

Basically, phrases are built of these word components, with the apostrophes each meaning what a normal space would mean, and a traditional break between phrases being similar to the English breaks.

on May 06, 2008
The apostrophes are used to be used in combining words, so the apostrophes actually have no pronuncation, it's simply used to make it easier.


I think you'll find people won't have issues pronouncing anala. There's no tricky consonants sitting next to each other to steal letters for other syllables, so you're certain to be safe. Throwing them in just makes it more difficult to read, as extra punctuation is extra processing time. Unless you really, really need your reader to pronounce your words properly (and you don't) it's not important and it may be counterproductive to throw in too many apostrophes.
Sure, it makes your new language look unusual, but there is a reason no other language uses apostrophes with wild abandon - a simple space is clearer and easier to read and the reader can usually be entrusted with the burden of making up their own pronunciation for fake words.
on May 06, 2008

I am refering to A'ka'mari with that statement.

on May 06, 2008
The apostrophes in a word phrase are used because the language is built of small, often monosyllabic components.


You might find word combinations in Indonesian or German interesting then. In Indonesian complex words and ideas are expressed using compounds of smaller words.
So 'tidak ada' (roughly "there isn't") can be used to create a compound word ke-tidakada-an ("disappearance", "lack", almost "emptiness"), which would be written as ketidakadaan. The reader knows how to pronounce it because syllables follow a simple rule - every vowel sound is a separate syllable. So you'd say ke-ti-dak-a-da-an. As you can see, due to the rule syllable markings are unnecessary.
You should consider using something similar.
on May 06, 2008

I find the apostrophes so fun to write. Plus, I plan for longer word components, which makes the apostrophes more useful in writing. Also, the apostrophes show the word contains all parts, spaces are reserved for the actual word meaning breaks.

on May 07, 2008
Also, the apostrophes show the word contains all parts, spaces are reserved for the actual word meaning breaks.


Conventionally you show the word contains all parts by not putting any spaces in it, but if you have a boner for apostrophes, go for it. It's your creation after all.
on May 07, 2008

It's simply because there's a complexity of the points. For instance Sa'la would mean a different thing than Sala would.

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