Øynduyska – some examples (1)

I’ve finished for now with Øynduyska, at least in the sense of posting a sketch on this blog. But I’m still translating some things and fiddling with some details, so I thought I’d share four very small (one line) translations, with explanations.

Yes, a couple of things are slightly different from in the foregoing discussion, and represent minor changes I’ve made since then. [or mistakes, of course…]



For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.

Vor a ði ða rikji lieg, ða mayt tó ay ða glǫyr, adrách ay ðruch all tiya.
/vor æː ði ða ˈriːɕiː lɪəg/ /ða maɪt t̪ɔː aɪ ða glɔɪr/ /aˈdraːx aɪ ðrʊx aːl ˈtijə/

vor         a              ði                          ða         rikji      lieg
for          on           you.DAT               the         realm    lie

An indicative clause, with emphatic fronting of the oblique argument a ði (where a is a form of an found before certain pronouns and articles). This relegates the verb to the rear. The conjunction vor is not ‘counted’ in calculations of first and second position in the clause. The preposition an is used in a possessive construction where bi is otherwise more common; this is because these things do not belong to the interlocutor (God) in a material-possessive sense, but are rather his responsibility or are under his sovereignty.

ða           mayt      tó            ay           ða          glǫyr
the         power   too         and        the         glory

An augmentation of the subject of the main clause. This may not be construed as an augmentation of the fronted argument, as it otherwise might be, not only because of context but also due to the absence of repetition of the preposition. The adverb, meanwhile, makes clear that this is an augmentation. It would also have been possible to place the entire threefold subject into the initial clause; however, this form of division is almost always found with subjects of three or more parts, and commonly with those of at least two parts, as well as with relative clauses.

 adrách                 ay           ðruch                    all           tiya
now                       and        through                  all           times-DAT

An adverbial phrase. Tiy, unlike English “time”, is very rarely considered a mass noun, so requires the plural is situations like this, though thanks to syncretism that cannot be discerned in this instance.

vor – cnj. “for, so that”.

rikji – n.m. “realm, domain”. Somewhat broader in meaning than the usual word for “kingdom”, rinnrikji, literaly “king-realm”; here, because the domain of God is not literally a kingdom, and to describe it in such terms would be to demean His authority, as his is a higher authority than that of a mortal king.

ligga an – an expression indicating the possession of a responsibility, authority, burden or obligation.

mayt – n.f. “power, strength, force”. May be either physical or metaphorical in meaning. In scientific contexts, a translation of “force”, but used more broadly elsewhere.

glǫyr – n.f. “glory, renown, honour, fame, accomplishment”

adrách – adv. “now, at this current point in time”. May be used only in the present tense, refering to the present as a fixed time; distinguished from nu, “now”, used to indicate the motion of thought or action to its latest item.

tiy – n.f. “time, moment, period”.


And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of Adam had built.

Đa Ab, cwam ay He ova, ða cather ay ða cløgdeches leor ta sevha, sam ða syna van Adama ðam ybyld had.
/ða æb/ /kwæːm aɪ he ˈoːvə/ /ða ˈkæþər aɪ ða ˈkledəxəs leɞr ta ˈzefə/ /zam ða ˈzyːnə van ˈædamə ðæm ɪˈbɪld hæd/


Đa          Ab,         cwam    ay           He          ova
The         Lord       came     and        he           down

A main clause, with the topic extracted and preposed, indicating a new topic (a shift in the discussion from the men building the Tower of Babel to the Lord coming down to have a stiff word with them); the third person singular masculine pronoun is only capitalised when referring to God. The preterite tense is employed because this is an ongoing narrative. The verb is an ‘adverbial’ separable verb. The Wackernagel particle ay, “and, and also, and then”, takes the second position in the main clause but does not otherwise disturb the syntax on this occasion.

ða           cather                ay           ða           cløgdeches    leor        ta       sevha
the         city-GEN.SG       and        the         tower-GEN.SG  for          to       see-INF

An infinitival purpose clause. Unlike in Englih, the preposition leor, “for, against”, is required: without it, the to-infinitive modifies the nouns in a gerundive fashion (“the city and the tower that are to be seen”, with the genitive cases an apparent error). The verb sevha demands objects in the genitive, as a verb of perception.

sam        ða           syna       van         Adama             ðam             ybyld     had
that       the         son-PL  of            Adam-DAT          they.DAT       X-build  had

A relative clause; technically it might apply only to the tower, but this is unlikely. The double past is used here, because the building occured prior to the descent of God, and this temporal priority is important to the narrative.  The preposition van is used, in place of the more ordinary possessive av; van is used with relations of creation and origin, rather than with material possession. The noun sun (plural syna) is morphologically feminine, and takes morphologically feminine agreement, but invariably takes the masculine pronoun; this is a property shared with the words fjaði (“father”) and brǫthi (“brother”).


ab – n.m. “lord”, “mentor”. A word with religious connotations – capitalised, a common term for God. Otherwise, used of religious authorities, philosophical guides and respected celebrities. In politics, may be used informally for an individual given primary authority for an area of policy, roughly equivalent to English “tsar”. Historically was also a term for a local administrator, and may still be used informally for people with great power in a small area.

ova – adv. “down, beneath”; prp. “onto from above” (with acc.), “covering the surface of” (with dat.).

cathi – n.f.r. “city”. Typically refers to a large city – traditionally walled. Long tradition of metaphorical and religious use, particularly in a utopian sense, but also has a plain application. Use has largely been usurped by by, “city, borough, town”; however, cathi continues to be used for older and larger cities, and for cities distinguished from their constituent boroughs or neighbourhoods (á by i ða cathi, “a borough in the city”). Also used in the expression elda cathi, “old town”, an older part of a larger modern town or city.

cløgdech – n.m. “tower, spire”. Originally referred to the round towers that accompanied larger monasteries. Today may refer to any tall, narrow, free-standing structure, as well as to guyed masts, church spires, and to bell-, clock- or water-towers (whether free-standing or otherwise); may sometimes be used for tall towers that are part of a larger building, where of exceptional height or slenderness, or where the larger building is itself particularly small, short, or otherwise inconsequential. Particularly used for uninhabited structures. May also be used to refer to some rock structures. Notable alternative words include: tǫrn, “tower, rampart”, used particularly for defensive structures and towers that emerge from walls or building, but also for some tall structures of imposing mass or of considerable width relative to their height, as well as for some rock formations; tawr, “loft, tower”, used for tall residential buildings, rooms at the top of buildings, and structures found in residential buildings resembling defensive towers but in fact of ornamental function; tawrhus, “tower, high-rise”, a residential or office building of considerable height; skayskreyper, “skyscraper”, a modern building of extreme height; and turet, “turret”, a small, usually ornamental, tower-like or spire-like structure affixed to the side or top or a larger building.

leor – cnj. “for the purpose of” (with infinitives and subjunctives), “despite, although” (with indicatives); prp. “against, opposing, opposite, facing” (with gen.)




Colourless green ideas sleep furiously

Swef fyrasli blielasa grǫnna ideyen
/zweːf ˈfiːrazliː ˈblɪəlaza ˈgrɔːnə ɪˈdeːjən/

Swef      fyrasoli                 blielasa                grǫnna                  ideyen
sleep      furious-ADV       colour-less-PL    green-PL              idea-PL

A grammatically straightforward indicative main clause in the aorist. As the ideas are indefinite, the adjectives display indefinite (“strong”) agreement.


swefa – v.i.w.4, “to sleep”. Specifically refers to an ordinary sleep in which dreams may occur; particularly deep sleep, coma, and the sleep of non-humans is instead referred to with sląffa. Derived verbs include ypaswefa, “to habitually copulate with”, beswefa, “to put to sleep”, and swebba, “to comfort a child, to mollycoddle”.

fyrasli – adv. “violently, animatedly, furiously”; from fyras (adj.).  Commonly encountered in maritime contexts, relating to winds and waves.

blielas – adj. “colourless”; from blio, “colour, light, spirit, health”. Blio, relating to the colours of light, to strong or bright colours, and by extension to animacy, character or individuality, is distinguished from law, “pigment, colour, make-up”, which refers to physical pigments, and to darker or less distinct colours. Both blio and law are forms of cǫlor, “colour”, a technical artistic and scientific term. Blielas may refer either to the physical absence of colour or, more commonly, to lack of individuality or lack of spirit, or to the pallor of sickness.

grǫnn – adj. “green, blue”. The colour of plants and shallow seas. Related terms include: ásol, “deep blue, bright blue”; glas, “grey-blue”, the colour of ice, dead bodies, grey skies and grey-blue animal fur; and verdi, “artificial green, brilliant green.” Grǫnn is the colour of growth and of political conservativism, but also the colour of infection, envy, lust and pornography.

idey – n.f.w. “idea, concept, hallucination, mental image.” The term is somewhat elevated in register, referring to representational mental content; more broadly it has a sense of either a particularly visual thought or of a particularly comprehensive but specific thought. It is thus distinguished from such terms as yðącht, “thought”, referring to any specific thought in the mind, and from yðank, “body of thought, opinion, belief”. It is also distinct from such terms as ðentchening, “idea, inspiration”, ðentchung, “operating theory, thinking” and tchist, “general idea, central concept, narrative”.




If a man wounds another man while the king is in the province he shall pay a fine for the wound in accordance with the law.

An á mann athi mann wunda, safan ðwel ða rinn i ða provintsen, lieg het a hem, á bótyawð ta ða wundung ta rythąla, fiði anthąl ða wittað.
/an aː mæːn ˈæþiː mæːn ˈwʊndə/ /zaˈfæn ðwel ða reːn iː ðə ˈprovɪntsən/ /lɪəg het æː hem/ /aː ˈbɔːt̪yawð ta ða ˈwʊndʊŋg ta rɪˈþɑːlə/ /ˈfɪðiː anˈþɑːl ða ˈwɪtað/


An          á                              mann    athi        mann    wunda
if             a_particular       man       other     man       wound-SBJ

A conditional clause; most present and future conditional clauses take the aorist.

safan     ðwela   ða           rinn        i               ða           provintsen
when     dwell     the         king       in            the         province-DAT

An occasioning clause. As the clause it modifies is already dependent (it further restricts the condition, rather than specifying the time of the apodosic payment), it is introduced not with fan but with safan. The verb iðwela is inherently progressive.

lieg        het         a              hem
lie            it             on           him

An expression denoting responsibility or obligation.

á              bótyawð              ta            ða           wundung             ta            rythąla
a             fine                        to            the         wounding           to            out-count-INF

An expansion of the het of the previous clause. The preposition ta in the first instance here translates English “for”, in the sense of a payment or relation of proportionality (“one for the other”, “this for that”); in the second instance it introduces an infinitive in an adjectival sense (“a fine to pay”).

fiði                         anthąl                   ða           wittað.
as_far_as           on-count             the         law

A final adverbial clause: as far as, or as much as, the law prescribes.


wunda – v.t.w.3, “to physically harm”.

iðwela – v.t.s.p., “dwell, sojourn, be in”. Refers to a period spent within the object region, generally of at least several days, but generally where there is no intent to remain indefinitely. An extended form of ðwela, “to wander”, from which also taðwela (“be seduced by, be ruined by”), uesðwela (“become lost, become confused”), vraðwela (“lose (a path, destination)”), ovaðwela (“be damned” (poetic)), and so forth. More distantly related is ðwala, “hesitate”, and its extended forms.

rinn – n.m.w., “king”. Somewhat archaic in feeling – there is no Øynduyar king, and kings of other countries are generally referred to instead as konga. Nonetheless, the word remains current – the chess piece, for instance, is known as rinn, not a konga, and the term is widely used in historic or poetic contexts, as well as metaphorically. In some cases a better translation might be “true king”.

provints – n.f.w., “province”. A loanword of little domestic application.

bótyawð – n.f., “fine, penalty”. A compound of bót, “penalty, punishment, (required) improvement, wage”, and yawð, “cash, payment”.

rythąla – v.t.w.2., “pay, count out”. An extension of thąla, “to count”.

anthąla – v.t.w.2., “impose (cost), calculate (cost)”. An extension of thąla, “to count”.

wittað – n.f.m., “common law, holy law”. Refers to the law as a whole. Distinguished from ląw, “(individual) law, rule of conduct”, lóv (“statute law”) and yura (“law as a concept; the study of law”).


2 thoughts on “Øynduyska – some examples (1)

  1. Hans says:

    I assume rinn would also be the word used for fairy tale kings?

  2. It would indeed.
    Synchronically, it’s almost as though they don’t see current kings as kings, just as some sort of bureaucratic position that mimics kinghood. Diachronically, it’s because a loanword was introduced to describe the Norwegian and Danish kings who ruled over the islands from afar, but it didn’t manage to completely supplant the older term. I suppose similar to if England had been ruled by Russia and we now called monarchs “Tsars”, but still talked about “King Arthur”…

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