PDH is basically a sequel to Unicorn Jelly, and is filling in some of the history of Tryslmaistan. I figure I’d like to include this stuff in my UJ readthrough.
We got a bit of early history in UJ: every so often, ‘universe weather’ causes bubbles of material to be transported (not clear if cloned or moved) from one universe to another. Humans in UJ are descended from a bunch of bubbles from various time periods on Earth who were all transported onto the Worldplate that would be first called Myrmidon, and later Myrmil.
Now we’re getting a bit more detail on that early period. For example, the dodgy-Latin-speaking guy at the beginning of UJ? Is apparently from Tintern Abbey in Wales, transported during a Viking raid. JDR says in comments on PDH:
Various systems of writing were blended to form the Alpabe, and words from many, many different languages, albeit heavily influenced by 15th century Latin and Cymraeg, the Welsh Language, became their common tongue, called Talcryl.
This is kind of a retcon, because in Unicorn Jelly, Talcryl written in Alpabe script was just modern English but with some letters replaced (and the Alpabe script was then presented as archaic). We established previously that the Alpabe is just the Latin alphabet with letter substitutions, using the following characters:
- Latin alphabet: ADEFGHIKLOPRSTUY
- Hebrew alphabet: ב (bet, replaces B), ח (het, replaces C), and ש (shin)
- Katakana and Hiragana:
- Hiragana: わ (wa), ず (su with a dakuten), の (no, replaces N)
- Katakana: ミ (mi) and ジョ (shi with a dakuten and a yōon which together make a ‘jo’ sound; this is my best guess and I’m not sure)
- Greek alphabet: ξ (xi, lowercase for some reason) and Φ (phi)
We could actually see the full Alpabe in that page. So here’s the full Alpabe:
- A: A
- B: ב
- C: ח
- D: D
- E: E
- F: F
- G: G
- H: H
- I: I
- J: ジョ
- K: K
- L: L
- M: ミ
- N: の
- O: O
- P: P
- Q: ξ
- R: R
- S: S
- T: T
- U: U
- V: Φ
- W: わ
- X: ש
- Y: Y
- Z: ず
With that, we can decode the ancient Myrmillian propaganda poster portrayed here in PDH. It says:
Te Opulentiae Of Te Civitas ist te Goseiku!
Te Factiosus Compactionus an Cydlawenhau!
Te Cymru Plate Os Myrmidon Ist Unitas!
Cydlawenhau es Civitas en Goseiku!
…which reads like an attempt to blend English, Japanese, Latin and Welsh by someone who only knows English syntax and has a few dictionaries to hand.
“Opulentiae” not surprisingly means “wealth” in Latin. Civitas might mean things like city, community, fellowship. “Goseiku” seems to mean “success” as best I can tell (it’s tricky to find a translation because it’s written in transliterated Japanese to the Latin alphabet). So it seems to mean something like “the wealth of the community is the success” [of the alliance]?
“Factiosus” I think means “relating to factions” in this case (translations offered by Google are “partisan”, “factious”); “Compactionus” seems to relate to crushing and compacting things. “Cydlawenhau” is Welsh and translates to “rejoice”. Probably what JDR is trying to say there is “the factions come together and rejoice!”
“Cymru” means Wales, but it seems to be used here to mean “World”. So the third line looks like it says “The Worldplate of Myrmidon is united!”
The final line probably says something like “rejoice in community and success”?
Having decoded this, we can now be properly Amused by this declaration, when the story of Unicorn Jelly is driven by a war between these two supposedly-prosperously-united factions creating a threat to the entire Tryslmaistan universe.
Linguists, feel free to scream at the conlanging mess here. I give you my promise that should I ever have need of a conlang, I’ll consult experienced conlangers who know a bit of linguistics.
On another note, JDR in ‘has shitty attitudes about sex workers’ shock. fuck this lady from 1913 determined to ensure that feminism should have it out for sex workers from the very beginning
(promise to stop banging on about JDR’s work soon)