"Jowal Lethesow" dyllys in Kernowek

A new forum dedicated to Kernewek - the Cornish language, Cornish culture and the history of the Duchy of Cornwall
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Evertype
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Post by Evertype » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:48 am

pietercharles said:

Rather than following the English structure, and thus using a fairly neutral Cornish structure, Agatha could have exploited the power of Cornish word order and written 'Genys in cres an Mor Atlantek via hager-awel an hâv' .  That would have put the emphasis in a more appropriate place – the sentence and paragraph discuss where the storm brewed up and then moved on to, not what it was that occured in mid-Atlantic.  They answer an implied question about the movement of the storm, not one about what it was that was moving about the Atlantic.

What makes you think that where the storm brewed up is "more appropriate" or "more central" than what the weather was, namely a storm?The summer storm had been born in mid-Atlantic. Gathering speed and venom, it moved threateningly north-eastward until finally confronting the formidable barrier of the Land's End cliffs.I don't see any especial emphasis on where the storm brewed up here in the English. It's the storm that's important, so, in typical Celtic fashion, it is fronted.Hager-awel an hâv re bia genys in cres an Mor Atlantek. Hy a gerdhas gans godros brâs in udn gùntell toth ha venym tro ha’n north-ÿst, erna dheuth hy wàr an dyweth warbydn an let uthek a âlsyow Pedn an Wlas.I don't think this is redolent of "English structure".

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:34 am

Sorry, but I'm intrigued.  Who is Agatha?  Surely not Agatha Christie, who did not write this kind of book so, if it is, then I fail to see the connection.
Of course, Michael is correct in pointing out that it is the storm which is the centre of this narrative.  It causes the wreck of the Breton trawler, which, in turn leads to the discovery of the Crownstone of Lyonesse.  Then the trouble really starts for the Trevelyan family.
I expect people will find fault with my choices of phrase in the original English edition but those choices could only be mine to make.  It has also to be remembered that this was my first attempt at novel-writing.  I was always something of an artist (the cover paintings of all three books are mine, as are the internal line illustrations), and I saw writing as a challenge – how to paint pictures with words.  In other words, I wanted the words to project pictures in the readers' minds. It's not for me to say whether I succeeded, but I hope I did. However, the reviews it received back then were highly complimentary, and were all the encouragement I needed to carry on with a second and third.  (Not to mention the 135,000 words of the forthcoming 'Nautilus').  The follow-up, 'Seat of Storms' is better written and I hope that the last of the trilogy, 'The Tinners' Way' shows further improvement when it comes out at Easter.
I knew what I was trying to achieve with the first one and the new review of the Cornish translation harks back to the original book.  I was delighted to see these words: "Having an almost Alan Garner-like realism and a Susan Cooper-style darkness".  That's EXACTLY what I was after when I wrote it (quite apart from seeing my name equated with those two authors – a massive compliment in itself).  'Seat of Storms' is darker; the third one will be the darkest of them all.
I wrote these books for people to enjoy, as well as to rekindle interest in Cornwall's culture of legend and mythology.  I hope they have, and I hope they will.  All I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed planning, researching and writing all three.  I'd far rather be doing that than the freelance job I do to pay the bills, especially as architectural orders have somewhat dried up recently, which is a bit alarming.  I hope, too, to see all three novels published in Cornish, and to the high standard of this production.

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Post by Evertype » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:00 am

Re: Agatha, I think Reeves was trying to make some sort of "It was a dark and story night" reference.

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Post by Evertype » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:02 am

I wonder if PieterCharles has had a chance to read your book yet, Craig.

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:19 am

In which case, our Canadian correspondent scores only one out of four.  It's daytime, murky daylight and stormy (very like right now).  And it isn't a detective story.
I hope Pieter has read it – both in English and Cornish.

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Post by pietercharles » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:21 pm

Evertype said:
pietercharles said:
What makes you think that where the storm brewed up is "more appropriate" or "more central" than what the weather was, namely a storm?




There are doubtless a few reasons why you don't agree with me on this, Evertype, but to answer this question specifically:
I think it's "more central" because the paragraph is about where  the storm started,  how  it moved, where  it moved to and where  it ended up.  That's the focus of the paragraph - the attributes of the storm.  The focus is different from the subject of the sentences, which is clearly 'the storm'.  Moreover when you 'front' the subject of a sentence what you get is a neutral statement more than one that emphasises.  So your  statement "It's the storm that's important, so, in typical Celtic fashion, it is fronted " is not accurate because 'fronting' the subject doesn't really emphaise any 'importance' it might have.
It's the focus that gets fronted in 'typical Celtic fashion', not the subject.  Beginners make this 'mistake' all the time.  They say 'ow hanow yw Jane', but whilst 'whose name it is' is clearly 'important', as you put it, it's not the focus of the sentence.
I was taught two techniques for getting to grips with this which may help readers.  And if you try them with something as simple as 'ow hanow yw Jane' you'll see how well they work.  One is to use the 'as opposed to' question.  If reasonable answers to 'as opposed to' nevertheless sound odd, somehow lacking in context or irrelevant then you're probably not dealing with the focus of the sentence:
'The summer storm had been born in mid-Atlantic' - as opposed to what being born there?  The winter storm? A bright idea?  A baby girl? (no, these alternatives are not relevant - we're not focussing on the 'what' here)
'The summer storm had been born in mid-Atlantic' - as opposed to being born where?  In Africa?  Off the coast of Cornwall?  In mid March? (yes, these alternatives are relevant - we're focussing on the 'where' here)
'it moved threateningly north-eastward' - as opposed to what moving there?  A boat?  A terrorist? (no, these alternatives are not relevant - we're not focussing on 'what' was moving here (we already know)) 
'it moved threateningly north-eastward' - as opposed to moving in what way?  Gently?  Vigorously? Silently? (yes, these alternatives are relevant - we may be focussing here on 'how' it was moving)
'it moved threateningly north-eastward' - as opposed to moving in which direction?  West?  East? South? (yes, these alternatives are relevant - we may be focussing here on 'in which direction' it was moving)
The other method is to emphasise different versions strongly in English with your voice to see which sound more appropriate:
'The summer storm  had been born in mid-Atlantic'  OR
'The summer storm had been born in mid-Atlantic '  OR
'The summer storm had been born in mid-Atlantic'
'it  moved threateningly north-eastward' - sounds odd to focus on 'what' moved (we already know)
'it moved  threateningly north-eastward' - sounds odd to focus on what it 'did'
'it moved  threateningly  north-eastward' - sounds reasonable to focus on 'how' it moved
''it moved threateningly north-eastward ' - sounds reasonable to focus on 'in which direction' it moved
Which makes me think that Agatha might have exploited 'fronting' and chosen for the second sentence:
'Gans godros brâs y kerdhas hy in udn gùntell toth ha venym...'  OR
'Tro ha’n north-ÿst y kerdhas hy...'
ignoring the fact that she might not have wished to cause titters and astonishment with the use of 'kerdhes' here (I'm sure the texts justify it - it's just not what we say on the streets of Penzance).
Perhaps more debatable, she may well not have used the 'in udn' construction here if she had read "Notennow Kernewek" and other guides, as 'in udn' tells us how something is or was done.  Here it tells us the storm was moving  'in a gathering speed and venom fashion' (if that makes sense) when in fact the narrative is simply telling us what  it was doing.  It was 'gathering speed and venom' -  'ow kùntell toth ha venym'.  There is a fine difference, but I think the examples in "Notennow Kernewek", which I don't have to hand at the moment to quote, help in getting a feel for this.
Hope that helps.  Back to work.

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Post by Palores » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:03 pm

kio2 said:
further reading I found this


 ' Hy a glôwas an sownd cosel lent a garnow margh ow tos adro  dhe'n gornel'



Hmm .... I think that I would prefer to read the English original.  Ple hallav y brena?

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Post by pietercharles » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:57 pm

Palores said:
kio2 said:
further reading I found this


 ' Hy a glôwas an sownd cosel lent a garnow margh ow tos adro  dhe'n gornel'



Hmm .... I think that I would prefer to read the English original.  Ple hallav y brena?


Yma dasskrif gans Abebooks:
http://www.abebooks.co.uk
61d y gost (+ lytherdoll).  Bargen!

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Post by Evertype » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:43 pm

kio2 said:further reading I found this ' Hy a glôwas an sownd cosel lent a garnow margh ow tos adro  dhe'n gornel'What is 'sownd' ?The phraseology there is found also in Tregear: ny a rede in xx chapter a Exodus, fatell ve clowys sownde a trompet pan rug du dos thyn dore thea neff in mownt Sinai, ha whath ena nyn sesa materiall trumpet vith.Personally, I like to remember that Tregear knew Cornish better than any of us, loanwords or not. Here, the translator has used the syntax of traditional Cornish. Must you jeer at the vocabulary and syntax of traditional Cornish, Reeves? You too, Palores. Have some humility. (My guess, though, is that you're just looking for an excuse not to read the book, or for an excuse to publicly say that you won't read it, since you dislike its translator and probably its publisher. How nice that the Revival counts the like of you two amongst its members.)

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Post by Evertype » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:45 pm

Reeves said:

Ah well I did get it right  I was confused about 'venym',  never heard that used about a storm, was it in the original English ?  is that use concerning a storm attested in the texts, or is  it a local expression, nothing wrong with it , just interested on it's use in this context.The summer storm had been born in mid-Atlantic. Gathering speed and venom, it moved threateningly north-eastward until finally confronting the formidable barrier of the Land's End cliffs





Yes, that is the original English.

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Post by pietercharles » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:00 pm

kio2 said:

Form the Tregear school of translating


'Mirowgh , an cloud. Yma va ow chaujya y form !'


Hardly.
Tregear uses the verb 'observya'.  He would have written
'Observyowgh, an cloud.  Yma va ow chanjya y form!'
Hardly worth going to lessons to learn authentic Cornish, is it?


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