Meloy: ilùi estoit nosay maystroy

Remember how last time I got utterly nerdy on yo asses? Well it’s only gonn’ get worse.

I think I’ve already mentioned that I’m ever so slowly writing a little Esperanto novella, a fantasy parody. In this book, there are ridiculous sorcerers, and exceedingly ridiculous spells, and I wanted magic to be associated with archaic language and full of mystery, as often one does.

Non-artificial languages are steeped in history, it’s easy to pick an ancestor, like Latin, and make such use of it for this goal. But what about Esperanto?

Well, we do have over 120 years of history, but we have the Fundamento, and we make a considerable effort to make sure the core of Esperanto stays the same, so everyone can always understand each other. Have you ever read Esperanto text by the creator of Esperanto himself? Not only was he incredibly eloquent with the language, but he’s also perfectly understandable from all that time ago. If you’re interested in how he responded to people’s questions about the language’s grammar, like I was, read the “Lingvaj Respondoj“. Esperanto has indeed changed over time (take a peek here for more info), but nothing like the difference between Spanish and Latin.

So what can be done? Well, of course someone way smarter than me has already thought such a thing would be bloody cool. Have you ever heard of Arcaicam Esperatom? Archaic Esperanto (AEo)? It’s like an Esperanto code, designed to make Esperanto like the difference between Middle English and Modern English or somethin’.

The best easy-access description of it I’ve found is the Esperanto-language wiki-page on the topic. It purposely adds complexity to the language, like more noun cases and verb conjugations, and gives it a slightly Latinesque feel. The title of this post is the Archaic Esperanto for the following:

Badgers: they will be our masters

Meloj: ili estos niaj majstroj

Sooo, all my sorcerers’ spells will be some lump of archaic obfuscation 😀 I’m thinking I’ll try to make spells be AEo tongue-twisters, or poems. Or perhaps in the realm of the more silly: food recipes, or instructions for electrical appliances, always spoken with great seriousness, because no sorcerer now knows the true meaning of the words!

See if you can translate the sentence below to archaic Esperanto!

The courageous fish, whom the badger had quietly killed, had been travelling from Paris to Shanghai.

La kuraĝa fiŝo, kiun la melo mallaŭte mortigis, antaŭe vojaĝadis de Parizo al Ŝanĥajo.

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3 thoughts on “Meloy: ilùi estoit nosay maystroy

  1. I’ve read about it but I think it’s definitely way too extreme. You only need a few differences to make it both “archaic” and perfectly readable:

    — Spell v with w, and j (or possibly i) with y. (akvo = akwo; filoj = filoy; fyloj).

    — Make “la” match in plural when talking about plural nouns (la hundoj = laj hundoj)

    — Make plural pronouns regularly plural as well: Mij (ni), cij (vi).

    — “Neniu, nenia” words are made regular: malĉiu, malĉia (not sure if “ne ia, ne iu” could ever work). Likewise, cut down the vocabulary and use “mal” as often as possible – in the Germanic languages that I know, the old language was more like this, and that’s how we ended up with remnant words like “un-grass = weed”.

    — “ĝi” would fairly logically become a more-commonly used word to mean “he/she”, if we’re trying to show that the language evolved from a “simpler” (less detailed) form to a more complicated and irregular one.

    • ….And of course, add ‘ more often to compounded words. I definitely don’t think it needs to be done all the time, but just when words get long or seem like they could be a bit unclear – ex. I already do it when I write a word like “sentema = sen’tema, sent’ema”, or “palmanoj = pal’manoj, palm’anoj”, or “supreniri = supren’iri”.

    • Ah yes (I really should pause longer before hitting the send button!), and if you really want to, you can forego the ˆ and write with the h-system, and ignore all capitalization (because capitalization is worthless and we don’t really have set rules for it even). I can’t think of any good sentence to test this out on but whatever:

      Miaj edzinoj parolas trorapide kaj mi neniam dormeblas, do aĉetis mi du hundojn. Tiuj manĝiĝis de la edzinoj.

      Myaj edzynoj parolas tro’rapyde kaj my malĉyame dormeblas, do malvendys my du hundojn. Tyuj manĝyĝys de la edzynoj.

      Miay edzinoy parolas trorapide kay mi malchiame dormeblas, do malvendis mi du hundoyn. Tiuy manghighis de la edzinoy.

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