Translation Challenge: Alhazen on the Scientific Method
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? Rhetorica Sleepless Scribe
posts: 1204
, Kelatetía, Dis
While Nessari's eye-watering 218 Example sentences for translation has enough literal, everyday language in it to sate the appetite for translation of any conlanger, it doesn't provide much in the way of complex sentences or general statements; the sentences are mostly episodic and brief. Jipí recently did a solid translation that addressed both of these issues, and I thought it might be neat to present it as a translation challenge here for the adventurous.

As provided at Benung, sourcing io9:

The seeker after truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them, but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration and not the sayings of human beings whose nature is fraught with all kinds of imperfection and deficiency. Thus the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of its content, attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency.

From Doubts Concerning Ptolemy (Al-Shukūk ‛alā Baṭlamyūs) by Ibn al-Haytham; translated into English by Bradley Steffens.
? Matrix Chronicler of the Myriad
posts: 216
, Conversational Speaker message
In Mecongai:

Thou ca sheccoun z ngotta ca chao ca saothou pa ccoun z ngotta ttaen cailesa o neme ca no ha oun pa tai o, tosazn, ccoun z cailesa o pa ccoun z saomeo o pa cznaepeu, tosazn, ccoun z ponaechao ttaen maenpeusa pa nae ca acca neme ca ngai ca mon tai pa o ne. Saha, ngai z shauntto pa ce ccoun z thou o ha oun pa o pa ccoun z cznaenongai ca chao ha thousao pa ne pa ccoun z chao tecasa pounneme ca longe o ne taonto. Ccoun z chao ca hotto e ta ttaen shauntto o, saha, chao z nemeshauntto ne cznaepeu. E, ccoun z tecasa no o cznaepeu, saha, ccoun z notengocasa e apo tai o.

[ˈtʰoː kɑ ʃɛˈk’õː z̩ ŋoˈt’ɑ kɑ ˈkʰɑo̯ kɑ sɑo̯ˈtʰoː pɑ ˈkˈõː z̩ ŋoˈt’ɑ t’ɑ̃ː kɑʟˈʟɛ.sɑ o nɛˈmɛ kɑ ˈno χɑ ˈõː pɑ tɑʟ o | toˈsɑ.z̩̃ | ˈk’õː z̩ kɑʟˈʟɛ.sɑ o pɑ ˈk’õː z sɑo̯ˈmø o pɑ kz̩ˈnɑː.pɛʟ | toˈsɑ.z̩̃ | ˈk’õː z̩ poˈnɑː.kʰɑo̯ t’ɑ̃ː mɑ̃ːˈpɛʟ.sɑ pɑ ˈnɑː kɑ ɑˈk’ɑ nɛˈmɛ kɑ ˈŋɑʟ kɑ ˈmõ tɑʟ pɑ o nɛ ‖ sɑˈχɑ | ˈŋɑʟ z̩ ʃɑ̃ʟˈt’o pɑ kɛ ˈk’õː z̩ ˈtʰoː o χɑ ˈõː pɑ o pɑ ˈk’õː z̩ kz̩ˈnɑː.no.ŋɑʟ kɑ ˈkʰɑo̯ χɑ tʰoːˈsɑo̯ pɑ nɛ pɑ ˈk’õː z̩ ˈkʰɑo̯ tɛˈkɑ.sɑ põːˈnɛ.mɛ kɑ ʟoˈŋɛ o nɛ tɑ̃õ̯ˈto ‖ ˈk’õː z̩ ˈkʰɑo̯ kɑ χoˈt’o ɛ ˈtɑ t’ɑ̃ː ʃɑ̃ʟˈt’o o | sɑˈχɑ | ˈkʰɑo̯ z̩ nɛˈmɛ.ʃɑ̃ʟ.t’o nɛ kz̩ˈnɑː.pɛʟ ‖ ɛ | ˈk’õː z̩ tɛˈkɑ.sɑ ˈno o kz̩ˈnɑː.pɛʟ | sɑˈχɑ | ˈk’õː z̩ noˈtɛ.ŋo.kɑ.sɑ e aˈpo tɑʟ o]

thouknowledge caGEN sheeatccoun3 zEX ngottaold caGEN chaocarving caGEN saothoueducation paSUB- ccoun3 zEX ngottaold ttaenBEN cailetrustsahere oMENT nememany caGEN nosystem haLOC ounwalk pa-SUB taiNEG oMENT tosaznhowever ccoun3 zEX cailetrustsahere oMENT paSUB- ccoun3 zEX saomeoreceived_thing oMENT pa-SUB cznaepeudoubt tosaznhowever ccoun3 zEX ponaechaoargument ttaenBEN maenpeuservesahere paSUB- naemind caGEN accarough nememany caGEN ngaigolem caGEN monlegend taiNEG pa-SUB oMENT nePHYS

sahathus ngaigolem zEX shaunttoattention paSUB- ceif ccoun3 zEX thouknowledge oMENT haLOC ounwalk pa-SUB oMENT paSUB- ccoun3 zEX cznaenosciencengaigolem caGEN chaocarving haLOC thousaolearn pa-SUB nePHYS paSUB- ccoun3 zEX chaocarving tecalooksahere pounnemecomplete caGEN longeenemy oMENT nePHYS taontoforge

ccoun3 zEX chaocarving caGEN hottomiddle eand tadistant ttaenBEN shaunttoattention oMENT sahathus chaocarving zEX nemeshaunttosurrounded nePHYS cznaepeudoubt

eand ccoun3 zEX tecalooksahere nosystem oMENT cznaepeudoubt sahathus ccoun3 zEX notengocabe.prejudicedsahere eand apopermissiveness taiNEG oMENT
? Izambri Left of the middle
posts: 740
, Duke, Catatonia


Is foldadeu na se cernarat mà èu ti ardime sis tarvests nais Ferçons è, nosyiny se veie escane genadur, bee en irs, tirmí rondans ti ic tore en nonge se veie bèu è oi soncherre anyà te ed trave, ti oi tiste a s’arciravinzi è is tirdonanzi è mà tus a anyà lhez tir agerdanys nais tòrs irn genadessant èu nolle n’erde resse n’antirdancees è vesdagessants. Adès tants se dasse nas ti igintise sis tarvests na ginedanceus, ie atravar se cernarat èu se veie ghie, èu essardoner angonet n’erd anyà te faŀlèse è, argansany se veie sarm as lhò è games n’anyà te camperez, orresar-eu tir erdes mides. Ambruig na forciar n’ir malís perse mai a ciste qua tirencet sarmidadh tir a adès estardir naucir danc ī is tarartelat sam ī s’illatzantanit.

Approximate translation:
"The seeker of the truth is not who studies the writings of the Ancients and, following his natural disposition, trusts them, but rather who doubts his faith in them and questions what takes from them, who lends himself to argumentation and demonstration and not to what has been said by human beings whose nature is full of all kinds of imperfections and deficiencies. Thus the task of whom investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to become enemy of all that he reads and, applying his mind to the heart and margins of what it contains, attack it through all sides. He should be suspicious of himself while he carries out such critical exam in order to avoid falling into prejudice and indulgence."


This one was a nice and productive translation! I needed to create some new words with its etymologies, and it helped to put some light on the affixes and proto-roots issues.
? Nortaneous ? ?????
posts: 458
, Marquis, United States
The first sentence:

Se wêrthzeicier nis ey the vrytinges thas êriauders rêdeth, on volyënt his ybard, belwth hyen, ac bith ey the his trwth y'm piônth on fat thing vroa'm vrainth, bith ey the argiument on demonstrasion deith, on nauch fat min, fas ybard vul of yal ciendes of giut on zwetherung bith, was zediënt ne heideth.

Also, alternate orthographies:

Sy wêrddseijyr nis ei ddy fritengys ddys eriawdyrs redydd, on foliynt is ebárd, bylwdd yn, ac bidd ei ddy is trwth i'm pionydd on ffàt dding fro'm frainydd, bidd ei ddy argiwmynt on demynstrêsiyn deidd, on nauch ffàt minn, ffas ebárd vul yf ial cyndes yf giwt on sweddyrwng bidd, wass sedjynt ny eidydd.

Se vérðseikjar nis ey þa frítingas þas érjaudars rédað, on foljant his ibard, balúð ýn, ak bið ey þa is trúþ ím pjónað on hvat þing from frænað, bið ey þa argjumant on demanstrésjan deið, on nauch hvat min, hvas ibard ful af jal kyndas af giut on sveðarung bið, vas segjant na eidað.
? Rhetorica Sleepless Scribe
posts: 1204
, Kelatetía, Dis
First sentence in Sarasí Lilitika:

AlyaNEG.ADV vezébe-3.SG.AOR kaiGNO aDEF.F.SG sogekwíachase-professional_agent-F.SG.NOM Zellikanis,natural_truth-GEN laha3-F.SG.NOMC tsilawhich-F.SG.NOM asaDEF.F.PL denlekíaiwrite-product-F.PL.NOM ilasaof-DEF.F.PL Rôtomemasaancestor-F.PL.Ø udzhezéstudy-3.SG.AOR khé,and.CLAUSAL tsilawhich.F.SG.NOM avwévia.N.SG.INSTR tsethat.N.SG.Ø laní3-F.SG.GEN rezuntíexpected zettúaraworldview-F.SG.ACC sogezé,chase-3.SG.AOR lanaiF.PL.ACC zígembezé,entrust-3.SG.AOR eklabut telméúagainst_expectation vezébe-3.SG.AOR kaiGNO laha3-F.SG.NOMC tsilawhich-F.SG.NOM laní3-F.SG.GEN kazarlekíarabefriending-F.SG.ACC hedyaabout-ADV linis,3-F.PL.GEN and.LOCAL elenú3-N.SG.ACC tsilenúwhich-N.SG.ACC la3-F.SG.NOM lavin3-F.PL.ABL wonezélearn-3.SG.AOR levatkezé,confront-3.SG.AOR lahaF.SG.NOMC tsilawhich-F.SG.NOM illtshaitakaldialogue-NAT.DAT and.LOCAL pendzhekhtíkaldemonstration.NAT.DAT thelzorezé,devote_self-3.SG.AOR natexcluding dzafekhtíkalprayer_words-NAT.DAT and.LOCAL egúkorridtakalunverifiable_claim-NAT.DAT ilof izzímere lentúzasahuman-F.PL.Ø tsiliníwhich-PL.GEN sílefanature.F.SG.NOM yeñgíall asanDEF.F.PL ikwaway-F.INSTR ilof nosétrômnasabad_footing-F.PL.Ø and.LOCAL tsikasalimit-F.PL.SG fídoséírezeia.collar-have-3.PL.AOR

Unadorned gloss:

Not is the chaser of Truth she who the writings of the ancestors studies and, who, via that chase her expected worldview, entrusts, but instead is she who her trusting about them and they which she from them learns confronts, she who to discussion and to demonstration devotes herself, not to incantations and to boastings of mere humans which's nature with all the ways of missteps and limits have been collared.


The pursuer of Truth is not she who studies the writings of the ancestors and, by following her normal beliefs, trusts them, but instead is she who confronts her trust of them and that which she learns from them, she who devotes herself to discussion and demonstration, not to incantations and boastings of mere humans, whose natures have been collared with all manner of misstep and limitation.


So far, not a lot of new words (although I did have to use one, zettúa ("worldview"), which I haven't added to the online dictionary yet), but a few new meanings. It was tricky to figure out how to translate the parenthesis used for "following his natural disposition," but I think I invented a pretty reasonable strategy (dropping in a relative clause with an instrumental marker.) I also got to use a genitive complementizer for the first time, which made the bare gloss satisfyingly bizarre. I have severe doubts that Lilitika would normally be written in sentences of such complexity, mostly because of all the accounting work necessary for inflecting the relative pronouns and relativizers correctly, but I guess it might be more workable with inflected prepositions.
? Rhetorica Sleepless Scribe
posts: 1204
, Kelatetía, Dis
Desthus aDEF.F.SG rezararesponsibility-F.NOM.SG 'lof aDEF.F.SG staperson-F.NOM.SG tsilawhich-F.NOM.SG asaDEF.F.PL denlekínaiwriting-F.ACC.PL 'lof múnildasascientist-F.Ø.PL éreptsafezéinvestigate-3.SG.AOR kai,GNO surif tsathat-F.NOM.SG Zellikaratruth-F.ACC.SG wonizailearn-3.SG.OPT laní3-F.GEN.SG marahagoal-F.NCOMP.SG vezé,be-3.SG.AOR tsahéthat-F'.NCOMP.SG úvíaraself-F.ACC.SG INDEF shavarhaobstacle-F.ACOMP.SG 'lof yeñgivíaall-being-F.Ø.SG swarawhich²-F. la3-F.NOM.SG trafúezéread-3.SG.AOR rezthahizaimust-become-3.SG.OPT (vezé),be-3.SG.AOR khé,and thoiwéthrough_using-F'.INSTR.SG tsethat-N.Ø.SG laní3-F.GEN.SG ighithíamind-F.NOM.SG anDEF.F.SG eposhedtakalcore-F.DAT and mantarakalfringe-F.DAT ilof lelí3-NAT.GEN.SG illasaidea-F.Ø.PL tsheñgloïzai,apply_memories-3.SG.OPT yemelíevúeverywhere-NAT.DAT.SG lenai3-F'.ACC.PL mipezé.strike-AOR

Word-for-word translation: Thus the responsibility of the person which the writings of scientists investigates, if that truth learn her goal is, that herself an obstacle of everything which she reads must_become [be] and through that her mind [to] the core and fringes of its ideas applies from_everywhere they hit.

Clean translation: Thus the responsibility of the person who investigates the writings of the scientists, if learning the truth is her goal, [is] that she must become an obstacle of everything which she reads, and through applying her mind to the core and fringes of its ideas, strike it from everywhere.

Úvíaraself-F.ACC.SG rezalyamust-NEG-ADV kazarlezé,trust tsetúthat-NAT.TMP.SG laní3-F.GEN.SG manurí-anekíaragoal-having=examination-F.ACC.SG 'lof le3-N.Ø.SG alkúezécarefully_do-3.SG.AOR kai,GNO desthus tsenúthat-NAT.ACC.SG kezalonekíakalhatred-FNAT.DAT síúor efamanekíakaldoting-FNAT.DAT dúpizaifall-3.SG.OPT khôpahizaiavoid-3.SG.OPT kin.POT

Word-for-word translation: Herself mustn't trust while_that her directed-examination of it carefully_do then that to_hatred or to_doting to_fall to_avoid may.

Clean translation: She must not trust herself while she carefully performs her deconstruction of it, thus she may avoid falling to hatred or doting.