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Yoku language

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The Yoku part of my article About the Language of Men is now a separate article and with revised part on the translation of the language, with notes about how I translated the language. I would be very interested to hear other people's ideas on the language, its grammar and translation.

 

 

Yoku

 

Yoku is the ancestral language of the Redguards, now mostly a language of rituals and old place names.

 

Much of what we know of the language comes from TESA, where Cyrus has conversations with a Redguard woman called Saban, with her son Coyle working as an interpretor. In addition to this, some good information can be found in Lord Vivec's Sword Meeting With Cyrus The Restless, Pocket Guide to the Empire, The Alik'r, The Calendar of Tarmiel and Redguards, their History and their Heroes.

 

Analyzing and translating all the material is quite a work. From Saban’s speech, lots of grammar and words with clear meaning can be collected. But there are also many words that can only be given an arbitary meaning with the help of the context, and then there are words that are currently untranslatable.

 

Here is a short guide to what I have been able to find out so far. Remember, in many cases the meaning of the word is not yet firmly established and can change if more info comes out. Also, I will continue to analyze the data on the language and perhaps can correct any errors I might have made in the first draft.

 

 

Grammar

 

Nouns

It is not clear if the nouns have a plural form. There are very few examples, but the word matana 'stone/gem' appears in the form matani too, and the context clearly hints at plural form. If this is correct, the plural would be formed by adding the ending -i in the noun, replacing the final vowel if there is any.

 

Nouns are not declined in cases, not even in genitive case.

 

The ending –lak as seen in Hel Anseilak is an interesting detail though. It seems to be some kind of collective ending, refering to a group of things, and most likely cannot be used as a regular plural.

 

 

Articles

Yoku does not have any kind of articles. Interesting is to note that after Cyrus had asked if Saban had seen his sister, Saban uses the word dua yours’ to refer to the sister, without having to use any noun with it.

 

An example of this is when she says: Dua sen ugakta ‘[At] Yours [=your sister] I raged’

 

 

Adjectives

Adjective precedes the word it descripes. The adjectives do not have a plural form, and are not declined.

 

 

Genitive and possession

Yoku has two ways of expressing the regular genitive, and they work much like in English.

 

The first way is by word order; Owner+Owned, for example Tuwhacca bologra ‘Tuwhacca’s temple.’ Neither word is marked in any way, unlike in English where the owner is marked by ‘s.

 

The second way is with the preposition do.This works like the English of-construction, with the same word order. For example Dongo do Sura ‘Sister of Cyrus’

 

Note also that if the owner is a pronoun, the word order is always Owned+Owner.

 

A word for 'to have' is possibly dan. There is only one example of the word being used, and that is in an untranslated sentence by Saban, who says Sura dan nogro no nukri 'Cyrus does not have a pretty form,' teasing Cyrus when has has turned into a gremlin. If dan indeed means 'to have' it can only be used to mean 'to be in possession of.'

 

 

Prepositions

Mostly Yoku prepositions work as in English, and are placed before the word they descripe, but things are not entirely this simple.

 

Do             Of; sometimes also ‘at’, also marks the object of the verb napere ‘to find’

Dui           About; meaning ‘on the subject of’

Ne            Against

Netu         Back

Ugo-no-   Far away from; prefixed to the object of being far away from; ugo-no-mitana ‘far away from the island’

 

In’ and ‘with’ and ‘for’

There are no words for ‘in,’ ‘with’ and ‘for’ nor are they marked in any way on the other words. You just leave the space empty where you would place ‘in,’ ‘with’ or ‘for’ in English.

 

For example: Duadra Tuwhacca bologra ‘staying [in] Tuwhacca’s temple’ or Den dogo tukta Hal-ee? ‘Why was she [with] Hayle?’

 

 

Adverbs

Not much can be said of adverbs. What can be said is that in normal (non-question) sentences the adverb is placed before the object.

 

Lonhe     Always

Na           Perhaps, maybe

Sa           Here

Tro         Truly

 

Interrogative adverbs

These words are interrogatives that behave exactly like regular adverbs.

 

Tukta Why? For what reason?

 

 

Pronouns

All pronouns have only one form; they are not declined any way.

 

Sen I, me, my, me

Dua You, you, your, you

Dogo He/she, him/her, his/her, him/her

Hadi They, them, their, them

 

Fektigowa Nothing

 

 

Verbs

The Yoku verb is generally not conjugated in any way. For example, the verb does not show person or tense. Instead, the syntax tells us the tense of the phrase.

 

The language has three tenses; present tense, preterite, and future tense. See the Quick refenrence to Yoku syntax later in this article.

 

-Ra ending

The ending –ra has the same verbal uses as the ending –ing in English; participle, and gerund. It is not yet clear if it can be used to form nouns.

The big difference to English is that copula is never used with it. In English, you would say ‘he is staying in the temple’ but in Yoku you just say dogo duadra bologra ‘he [is] staying [in the] temple’

 

Den – The Yoku Copula

The Yoku word for ‘to be/is’ is den. Like all verbs, it never changes it form. The most improtant difference to English copula is that the Yoku copula is often omitted from the sentence. There are no definite rules for this, but most often it is omitted in ‘X is Y’ sentences.

 

For example: Dogo dongo sen ‘She [is] my sister’

 

 

Quick refenrence to Yoku Syntax

This is a quick refenrence to the basics of Yoku syntax. Of course, the entire syntax cannot be covered here, and it still needs much research, but these are the basic rules.

 

Abreviations used:

 

S = Subject

V = Verb

O = Object

ADV = Adverb

 

Omitting the subject

A sentence does not need to have a subject and it is usually omitted if the subject of the sentence can be understood from the context. For example:

Duadra na sa do Sanloa M’Kai? ’Staying perhaps here at Stros M’Kai?’

Here the subject, ‘you’ have been omitted as it is clear from the context that Cyrus is asking from Saban and Coyle if they are going to stay at Stros M’Kai.

 

Dogo tang mongo, Sura. Den hi. ‘She needed help, Cyrus. [It] Is magic.

Here the subject of the second sentence is omitted. In English, the subject would be something like ‘it’ or ‘the help’ etc., but in Yoku it is omitted because the sentence refers to the preceding sentence.

 

Present tense sentence

The basic word order in present tense

S+V+ADV+O

 

In sentences with two verbs (for example: must go), the second verb is placed before the object, after the verb and a possible adverb.

S+V+ADV+the second verb+O

 

Preterite sentence

The basic word order in preterite tense

O+S+ADV+V

 

Future tense sentence

The basic word order in future tense

S+O+ADV+V

 

In sentences with two verbs (for example: must go), the second verb is placed before the object, after the verb and a possible adverb.

S+the second verb+O+ADV+V

 

Negation

The negation happens by placing the negation particle no before the word needed to be negated; No nukri, Sura! Not pretty, Cyrus!’ or Dogo no ongo dui kogo-hi ‘He does not tell about the Mages Guild’

 

Question sentence

The basic word order in present tense questions

S+ADV+V+O

 

Very simple questions in present tense can use another word order

O+V+S

 

Again, the preterite changes the word order. This is the basic word order in preterite questions

V+S+ADV+O

 

Vocabulary

Words without a firmly established meaning are given a comment ‘possible meaning.’ I have not given here those words that do not have any kind of translation at the moment. Many words and terms, such as Koomu Alezer’i, a Redguard holiday, need more work before I add them here.

 

Ajcea                             Downward spiral (n.)

Ansei                             Sword saint (n.)

Anselim                        Turn, turn around (v.); the word apparently has some kind of suffix, perhaps -lim

Ansu                             Turn into something (v.)

Ansu                             Turned, changed (adj.)

Ansu                             A kind of sword saint who has been 'lady-made' or turned into a woman either metaphorically or physically (n.); Source on these saints Lord Vivec's Sword Meeting With Cyrus the Restless

Atomo                          Laws of nature (n.)

Batek                           Soul (n.)

Bateki matana             Soulgem (n.)

Bologra                       Temple (n.); possible meaning

Dan                              Have (v.); possible meaning

Dongo                         Sister (n.)

Duadra                         Staying (verb in gerund form, the verb itself is likely duad-)

Duptra                         Moving or acting restlessly (verb in gerund form, the verb itself is likely dupt-)

Dura-hi                       Eastern magic (n.)

Go                               Good (adj.)

Gurleht                       Woman (n.)

G’ye                            Fabricator (n.)

Hel                              Communion (n.)

Hi                               Difficult (adj.)

Hi                               Magic (n.)

Kogo-hi                     Guild of mages (n.); possible meaning

Kol-hadu-ranga         Lighthouse (n.)

Let                             Determination, spirit (n.); possible meaning

Mangai                      Life (n.)

Mangai                      Live (v.)

Metat                         Wizard (n.); possible meaning

Mitana                       Island (n.)

Mluo                         Cheese (n.)

Mo                            Work correctly (v.); possible meaning

Mong                        Need (n.)

Mongo                      Need (v.)

M’kai                        Sorcerer (n.)

Naha                         Own (adj.)

Napere                      Find (v.); the preposition do ‘of’ is used before the object; napere sa do dongo literally ‘to find here of sister’, and means ‘here to find [my] sister’

Na-Totambu             The ruling class of Yokuda and early Hammerfell (n.)

Nogo                        Danger, threat (n.)

Nogo                        Dangerous (adj.)

Nogro                       Body (n.)

No lo’igra                Deceiver (n.)

No shira                   Noble; also an honorific (n.)

Nukatki                    Curse (n.); possible meaning

Nukri                       Pretty (adj.); possible meaning

Nung                       Require (v.); possible meaning

Ongo                       Tell (v.)

Ra                            Great (adj.)

Raga                        Male human, man (n.)

Ra Gada                  Warrior wave (n.)

Sogat kulogo           Resistance, revolution, rebellion (n.)

Sogat kuloto            Resist, fend off, rebel (v.)

Tang                        Help (n.)

Tengai                      See (v.)

To-                           Known, familiar (adj.); prefixed to the word it descripes

Tobr’a                      Useless, evil (adj.)

Togo                        Must (v.); a possible meaning

Toktra                      Searching for (verb in gerund form, the verb itself is likely tokt-)

Trai                         Know (v.)

Trang                      Way, habit (n.); possible meaning

Tro                          True, correct (adj.); possible meaning

Tukta                      Reason, cause (n.)

Tukta-ma’bro          Storyteller (n.); the correct meaning could be excuse-giver

Tuktu                       Guidance (v.) ; possible meaning

Tuktura                   Guiding (verb in gerund form) ; possible meaning

Ueetonga                My son (n.); might be the same as uetonga

Uetonga                  Son (n.); might be the same as ueetonga

Ugakta                    Rage, be angry (v.)

Uhi                         Ability and skill to get things done (n.)

Uta-no-mongo        Unavailable (adj.);

Uta-                        Unknown, unfamiliar (adj.); prefixed to the word it descripes

Wutra                     Ask (v.); possible meaning

Zhang-ga               Destroy, break (v.)

Zhang-gak              Destruction, breaking (n.)

'Mei                        Place in society (n.)

 

 

Translating the Yoku language

I wrote this chapter after Lady N. said that she would be interested in seeing my thought processed behind some of these translations.

 

I have to clarify some matters before I begin:

 

First of all, the translation is still under work. Some parts are only tentatively translated, others more firmly, while some are still untranslated.

 

Secondly, the language does not resemble English, nor does it way of expressing matters. The translations given by Coyle are modified by him to work in English; there’s rarely a point to translate a language directly into another, because it usually ends up sounding very silly. Yoku is a very context-heavy language, which means that the words clarify their meaning according to their place in the sentence. This is a very important grammatical feature, as Yoku seems to omit many words from prepositions to subject and copula. The meaning is still clear if you mind the context. The context is also important in referring to words mentioned earlier. English uses the definite article for this purpose, while my own native language has none. Changing the word order also forms the present, preterite and future tenses. English marks those tenses with clear grammatical constructions, not merely by word order.

 

 

Anyway, here I will give more in-depth view of my translations, and thoughts behind them. As an example I will use the discussion between Cyrus, Coyle and Saban, part by part. All known examples of the language were used in translating.

 

 

1. part

Saban’s original Yoku: Sura, mong dua? Ueetonga! Hal-ee! Ugo-no-mitana!

Coyle’s translation: She thanks you Cyrus; Hayle's soul has passed to the far shores.

Translating: Sura and Hal-ee are of course the Yoku versions of the names Cyrus and Hayle. At this point, I had no idea how to translate the ’mong dua’ part, except that it was a question, while Coyle’s translation does not ask anything. A hint came from the third part (Saban: tang mongo dua?), in which Saban apparently asks if Cyrus needs tang as a reward. The word mong as opposed to the verbal form mongo would mean ’a need’ then. As both questions are directed at Cyrus, the word dua gets the meaning ’you.’ A word ’uetonga’ is used later in Saban’s speech, and Coyle’s translation mentions a word ’son’ there. So it seems very likely that ’ueetonga’ means either ’son’ or ’my son.’ The final part ’ugo-no-mitana’ was also untranslated at this point. The word mitana was translated with the help of part 17. which mentions the word 'island.'

Given the word order, with the word dua placed after the word mong, hints strongly at a genitival construction (see later translations), giving as ’your.’

The sentence means 'Cyrus, your need? My son! Hayle! Far away from the island!'

 

2. part

Curys: Tell her it was my pleasure.

Coyle’s translation into Yoku: Uhi no Sura.

Translating: A tricky one, and only tentatively translated. The only difficult word to translate is the first one, but judging from the context, it most likely means 'skill or power to get things done.' Thus the sentence would be a Yoku saying, not with the same meaning as in English 'my pleasure' but used in a similar way. The sentence would then mean 'Cyrus' power' with the underlying idea 'I did it because I could.'

 

3. part

Saban’s original Yoku: Tang mongo dua?

Coyle’s translation: She wishes to know if there is anyway she might repay you?

Translating: Translating the second and third word happened with the help of the first part, as I explained. The first word then was quite logical, and was more firmly established with the mention of ’help’ and tang in the 8. part. The final translation is literally ’Help you need?’ and in better English ’You need (any) help?’

 

4. part

Cyrus: Maybe you can help me find my sister, Iszara.

Coyle’s original Yoku: Sura, napere sa do dongo.

Translating: Another tricky one, as nobody really translated the Yoku part. I translated this only after I had already translated many other parts. The part 12 helped with the word napere find’ and the parts 11 and 14 helped with the word sa ’here.’ The preposition do ’of’ is used for the object of the word napere, so when English says ’searching for’ Yoku says ’find of.’ If the use of preposition ’of’ feels strange, I have to give you an example from Finnish. In Finnish language, you can say ’rakastan kieliä’ which means ’I love languages.’ But the verb ’tykätä’ ’to like’ uses a different formation, for example ’tykkään kielistä’ meaning literally ’I like of/from languages.’ I hope that made any sense. The point is that different languages construct sentences in different ways. The literal meaning of this sentence is ’Cyrus, find here of sister’ and in better English ’Cyrus, here to find [his] sister.’

 

5. part

Saban’s original Yoku: Hadi dua tengai.

Coyle’s translation: Mother has not seen her since the day she came with Hayle.

Translating: Coyle’s translation is much longer than Saban’s answer, apparently because he explains it a bit more. There is the word dua again, meaning ’you’ or ’your’ etc., and tengai seems to be a verb, meaning ’I saw.’ In the context-relying Yoku language, the word dua here means that one of yours, i.e. referring to Cyrus’ sister. Hadi has then a tentative meaning ’them’ with the meaning more firmly established with the help of the part 12, and the word ’with’ or ’together’ or ’including’ is omitted. The literal translations would then be ’Them [including] that one of yours I saw’ and in better English ’I saw them [those two], including your sister.’

 

6. part

Saban’s original Yoku: Budui dupa.

Coyle’s translation: But she sees that you will find her.

Translating: Untranslated. I have not been able to offer a translation for this so far.

 

7. part

Cyrus: Why was Iszara with Hayle?

Coyle’s original Yoku: Den dogo tukta Hal-ee?

Translating: This part was largerly translated when I found out the word order patterns in Yoku. This is a question sentence in preterite tense. I had already suspected that the word den is the copula judging on this and other sentences. The word order helped me to translate the other words. Dogo is the subject, and would then mean ’he/she’ and Hal-ee is Hayle, of course. The word tukta was more difficult, but as it filled the adverbial part of the sentence, it had to mean ’why.’ The word ’with’ is again omitted. The literal translation would then be ’Was she why [with] Hayle?’ and in better English ’Why was she with Hayle?’

 

8. part

Saban’s original Yoku: Dogo tang mongo, Sura. Den hi.

Coyle’s translation: She needed mother's help, her magic.

Translating: The first part of this was not difficult. The word dogo can be found in the part 7, meaning ’he/she’ and the noun tang ’help’ and the verb mongo ’to need’ can be found in the parts 1. and 3. The second part was more difficult, but with the copula den being present, it seemed that hi meant ’magic’ again relying on the context to refer to the earlier part, and telling what type of help she needed. The meaning was more firmly established with the part 10 and the research into the context-reliance. The literal meaning would be ’She help needed, Cyrus. Was magic’ and in better English ’She needed magic, Cyrus. [The help] was magic.’ This is where English uses the defitine article to refer to the subject ’help’ while Yoku uses only the context.

 

9 part

Saban’s original Yoku: Dua sen ugakta...

Coyle’s translation: But mother was so mad about Hayle that she sent your sister away.

Translating: One of the easier parts. The word dua ’that one of yours’ is again present. Sen being the subject of the clause would then mean ’I’ and the last word is a verb referring to being very angry. The literal translation would be ’[At] that one of yours I raged…’ and in better English ’I raged at your sister…’

 

10. part

Saban’s original Yoku: Uta-nogo dua hi.

Coyle’s translation: Mother does not know what magic your sister needed. I'm sorry, Cyrus.

Translation: Again a tricky part. The two last words are easier, with dua ’that one of yours’ and hi ’magic.’ The word dua here is an interesting one though, as it literally means ’yours’ but is still used in genitive position similar to pronouns normally. It could be translated in two ways; either ’your uta-nogo’ or ’uta-nogo beloning to that one of yours.’ The first part uta-nogo was more difficult. The parts 17. and 19. hinted at the meaning for the nogo part, being ’peril, danger, dangerous.’ In the part 15 the word uta- is used too, and both hinted at some sort of negative meaning. In the part 15 the word was used together with a word –no-. The translation by Coyle hinted at the meaning of uta in this part, most likely being ’unknown.’ The literal meaning of this part would be ’Unkown-danger yours’ magic’ with no use for the word ’for’ as the ’unknown danger’ is the object of the sentence. In better English it would be ’Your sister’s magic was for [some] unknown danger.’

 

11. part

Cyrus: Saban, could you tell me about the Restless League?

Coyle’s translation: Sa dui ongo duptra League?

Translating: Once again, the greatest help was the research into the word order. The first word sa can be found in the parts 4 and 14 and means ’here’ while the second word dui is in adverbial position of a question sentence and given what Cyrus asked, would mean ’about’, and the last part, duptra League is the object. The literal meaning is ’Here about tell Restless League? and in better English ’Tell about the Restless League here?’

 

12. part

Saban: Hadi na toktra dua napere...

Coyle: She says you might find them...

Translating: The word hadi is already used in the part 5 while napere is used in the part 4. The word na is in adverbial position, and Coyle’s translation mentions ’might.’ This gives the word the meaning ’maybe, perhaps.’ The word toktra has an interesting ending, -ra, occasionally found in Yoku examples, and seems to have the fuction of a gerund. The literal meaning of the sentence would be ’Them perhaps searching you find…’ and in better English ’Perhaps you will find them by searching…’

 

13. part

Saban: Kol-hadu-ranga.

Coyle: ...At the lighthouse.

Translating: Kol-hadu-ranga is simply a noun 'lighthouse' with the preposition being omitted.

 

14. part

Cyrus: Do you plan to stay here on Stros M'Kai?

Coyle: Duadra na sa do Sanloa M'Kai?

Translating: The first word is a verb 'stay' and as in 12. part, there is the gerund ending -ra, froming 'staying.' The word na can also be found in part 12. with the meaning 'perhaps.' The word sa 'here' has also been already used, and the preposition do is used here in its other meaning, on or at. The literal meaning of the sentence would be 'Staying perhaps here at Stros M'Kai?'

 

15. part

Saban: Sanloa M'Kai tang den uta-no-mongo!

Coyle: Mother says Stros M'Kai will need her help.

Translating: As usual, Coyle's translation is not literal, but has the same idea. The subject of the sentence is tang and can only mean 'help' in this position and judging the other words. The word den is again the copula. The last construction uto-no-mongo contains the familiar word mongo and the apparent negative construction uta-no-. Thus the last part would literally mean 'not available in need.' The literal meaning of the sentence would be '[in] Stros M'Kai help will be unavailable!' and of course hinting that Saban has to stay on the island to help.

 

16. part

Saban: Den do Sura.

Coyle: And yours.

Translating: The regular Yoku way of omitting words in reference to the previous sentence, meaning 'the help will be of Cyrus [and Saban's who already hinted that she will stay]'

 

17. part

Saban: Mitana den nogo.

Coyle: The island is still in peril.

Translating: The word mitana was easy to translate with Coyle's translation and also being hinted in the 1. part. There is also the copula again, and this leaves only the last word, with Coyle using the word 'peril.' The literal translation of the sentence would be either '[The] island is dangerous' or if the preposition is omitted, '[the] island is [in] danger.'

 

18. part

Cyrus: It will be hard to fend off the Empire.

Coyle: Septim sogat kuloto hi.

Translating: The first word is Septim, being a reference to the Empire and its leader Tiber Septim. The part sogat kuloto was translated with the help of another example of Yoku, mentioning rebellion. Trickier to translate was the word hi which as a noun has the meaning 'magic' while Cyrus says nothing about magic. The context tells that the word can also be an adjective, meaning 'difficult.' The connection between the meanings 'magic' and 'difficult' is easy to understand. The Yoku word for magic simply means 'something difficult.' The meaning of the sentence would be 'Septim [will be] difficult to resist.'

 

19. part

Saban: Fektigowa nogo uetonga, den.

Coyle: Sometimes my Yoku is bad. She said either, 'It will not be hard, because the son is here' or she said, 'Because the son will be here.'

Translating: The first word is the subject of the sentence and apparently has a meaning of something like 'nothing.' Then there is the word nogo 'danger, peril' again, and the familiar word uetonga 'my son.' The preposition 'with' is omitted before uetonga as usual. Then there is the copula in the end of the sentence, hinting at a future tense, but as it is separated from the main sentence, it can also mean present tense. This means that Coyle is right, the sentence can mean literally 'Nothing is dangerous [with] my son' or 'nothing will be dangerous [with] my son.'

 

20. part

Cyrus: What kind of help can you give?

Coyle: Dua ne tang nogo?

Translating: This was quite an easy sentence to translate. With the words dua 'you,' tang 'help' and nogo 'danger' already known and a clear word order, the meaning of the preposition ne was easy understand. The literal meaning of the sentence would be 'You [will] help against danger?'

 

21. part

Saban: Sura den go.

Coyle: She says you will know.

Translating: An easy sentence when you understand that it is a Yoku saying. The literal translation is 'Cyrus is good' and in English Saban could say 'he'll be Ok.'

 

22. part

Cyrus: Thank you, Saban.

Saban: Tuktu ansei, Sura.

Translating: Despite the shortness of the sentence, it is difficult to translate. It contains a Yoku saying again, but not as clear as in previous part. The second word means 'sword saint(s)' but the first word is more difficult. Judging from the other uses and meanings of the root tukt- in other examples of Yoku, I dare to give it the meaning of 'guidance' or something similar. Thus the sentence would mean 'guidance of the sword saints, Cyrus.'

 

23. part

Cyrus: Goodbye.

Saban: Trangai, Sura.

Translation: Farewell, Cyrus.

Comments: Most likely literally 'farings, Cyrus.'

 

Fiore1300's picture
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Joined: 07/24/2011

This is great. I was thinking on starting work on some Redguard fanlore again, so this is perfect that you've got it all on its own now. I really appreciate the effort that went into this.

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Joined: 10/11/2011

You're welcome. PM me if you need help with constucting Yoku sentences. I'm also pondering whether I should expand Yoku and other languages of Tamriel as fan fiction for my own amusement and for role-playing purposes. 

Fiore1300's picture
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Joined: 07/24/2011

Thanks for the offer. I'll definitely PM you as I get further into the work. Though it might necessitate a major expansion of the existing Yoku, so I'd get on that if I were you. Haha.

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Joined: 10/11/2011

I'm already working on it and several other languages ;) Just let me know when you need help.

Troels66

Hey. Very good guide, and good work on translating what little you had to work with.

I'm looking to RP a semi-traditionalist Redguard in the upcoming mmo. While he'll generally talk the common language, Yoku might still influence naming conventions. Especially so how lastnames are done. We already know that Frandar do Hunding means Frandar of Hunding - which indicate the redguard seem to (atleast this one time) use place of birth as significantly important. My character would thus be named Xxxx do Rihad. But, I am wondering if they might also use the form 'son of' and trying to gauge how this would be done. Suggestions would be welcome.

A direct adherence to your work would make his name Xxxx uetonga do Alid. But I could imagine there might be a shorter one-word version, and wondering how it would sound like. Surely, we're treading into the realm of fanon now. My own suggestion currently leans towards 'uedo' or 'ueedo' but I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.

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Joined: 10/11/2011

Hi, and nice to see there's somebody interested in this stuff!

 

Hmmm, interesting question. I'd say that Xxxx uedo Xxxx would be good for 'Name son of Name', combining the first element of ueetonga and the preposition do. My guess is that the word ueetonga itself is a combination of tonga, possibly meaning 'brother' (compare dongo 'sister'), and a kinship prefix uee-. In that case, the word of 'daughter' would be ueedongo.

 

Judging from the Redguard names in Skyrim, it seem that in the Fourth Era a name with the meaning 'of/from somewhere' would use the preposition al instead of do. So if your character lives for example in the Second Era, Xxxx do Alid 'Xxxx of Alid' is correct, while in the Fourth Era it would be Xxxx al-Alid.

 

In a bout of shameless self-advertisement I also have to mention my article in the Fan fiction section here in the Imperial Library. I'm creating many of the languages - past and modern - of Tamriel as fan fiction, based as much as possible on what is known of the languages. You might be interested in that if you have any use for them. Currently I'm in process of publishing my version of Aldmeris grammar and there are also already short examples of several other languages.

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Joined: 08/11/2012

I have been studying this article with interest for some time now. There are some things I don't understand though:

Where is the source for the word 'Metat' and from where do you know that M'kai means sorcerer?

 

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Joined: 10/11/2011

The word 'metat' and the meaning of m'kai come from another sample of Yoku in Redguard. I can't remember the details anymore as I worked on this article some years ago, but I can try to find my original research notes on the language if you are interested.

The meaning of the word m'kai is somewhat sketchy, and may mean something along the line. I could give it a more precise meaning if I new what 'sanloa' means in the place name, Sanloa M'kai. It might mean 'ruins' or 'city' or 'isle' but its difficult to say. Anyway, the use of the word m'kai in the place name and the other sample I mentioned hints at the meaning 'sorcerer' or perhaps 'someone who controls or directs' and in the case of the place name, it would refer to the dwemer who inhabited the isle before the Redguards.

Giving a meaning to the word 'sanloa' might be more of a fan fiction, so I won't give any translation in this article. I'll leave that to my conlangery project.

Fiore1300's picture
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Joined: 07/24/2011

Hrafnir II wrote:

 I'll leave that to my conlangery project.

Speaking of conlangery, any thoughts on words for "valley", "mountain", and "river"?

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Joined: 10/11/2011

Hey, if any of you need new words, hints at using the Yoku grammar, etc. give me a PM. I get questions on the Yoku language pretty regularly as private messages, so that's the easiest way to get into contact. I'd be more than happy to help.

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Joined: 11/14/2013

Hey! I just don't know what to say, because this is freaking incredible. I'm also very fond of different languages, real and invented ones, but I'm not as knowledgeable as you about them and don't plunge into them indepth like you do, grammar and all. I had began learning Quenya for fun once ... Bought a dictionary and all, but I guess I just didn't have the patience. Still, great to see soemone who has patience for such things! It's always good to have a least one language nerd around ;)

Anyway, Yoku seems to be a language that's INCREDIBLY reliant on the context. Do you think it reflects the Redguards' spirit as a people? They seem to be pretty straighforward and don't concern themselves with unecessary things. Their language is like their way of the sword : clean-cut, precise, and made to give the maximum effect in a minimum of words. Don't you think?

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Joined: 10/11/2011

Thank you for your kind words, Happy Hist Friend. Feel free to check out my "Hrafnir's languages - Nordic" article in the Fan Fiction section here in the Library for more linguistic nerdiness. I have published there my versions of many Tamrielic languages, all based on what can be found on them in the lore and the Elder Scrolls games. There's also a topic called "Let's talk conlanging and linguistics" by Latta magicka in the General Board section for general discussion on linguistics.

 

I too think that Yoku exactly as you said: clean-cut and precise. Many grammatical matters rely completely on context and word-order instead of using prepositions or case endings. I really like Yoku and its way of telling things.

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Joined: 05/30/2012

You're free to come and share if you want Happy Hist Friend or you can just look and see the stupid languages that i make :)

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Joined: 09/17/2015

Hrafnir, if you're still around and active I'd very much like to speak with you for a moment. I'm representing a section of the Beyond Skyrim project, and we were hoping you might be interested in coming to help us develop Yoku as a viable language for use in game. We already have the written script, but we need a working linguistic model capable of being spoken, and translated back and forth with relative ease.

If you're interested, send me a message. I have email alerts enabled for my account here, and will gladly talk to you more on this subject if you'd like to know more.

I look forward to hearing from you,
- Draeon; Writer, Iliac Bay department, Beyond Skyrim

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Joined: 09/17/2015

Hrafnir, if you're still around and active I'd very much like to speak with you for a moment. I'm representing a section of the Beyond Skyrim project, and we were hoping you might be interested in coming to help us develop Yoku as a viable language for use in game. We already have the written script, but we need a working linguistic model capable of being spoken, and translated back and forth with relative ease.

If you're interested, send me a message. I have email alerts enabled for my account here, and will gladly talk to you more on this subject if you'd like to know more.

I look forward to hearing from you,
- Draeon; Writer, Iliac Bay department, Beyond Skyrim

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Joined: 02/09/2018

I still use this guide religiously in my writing.