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Naughty_Ranko


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  • 19 weeks
    New Story Coming

    The first chapter of my new story "Equestria Girls: A New Generation" is available on my Patreon page:
    Sign up to read it one week early.

    Otherwise, I'll see you in a week's time here on FimFiction for the public release of the first chapter.

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  • 20 weeks
    The Big Announcement

    First of all, Happy New Year to all of you, and I hope you have some time for me, because this blog will be a rather lengthy one. So get a beverage of your choice and sit back while you read this. There’s a few things that I want to cover here.

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  • 108 weeks
    Spirit: A Martian Story

    You remember this comic?

    It's about Opportunity's twin Spirit.

    Well, there's a short film of it now, and Spirit is being voiced by none other than Tara Strong!:twilightsmile:

    You can watch it here: https://aldrinfoundation.org/spirit-a-martian-story/

    Also, shoutout to Daedalus Aegle for letting me know that this even exists.

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    The Legacy Continues

    NASA has announced the name of the Mars 2020 Rover today, and it is *drum roll* PERSEVERANCE!

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  • 120 weeks
    Second Finale

    Almost a year after posting the first chapter, the dramatic reading of My Battery is low, and it's getting dark has now also concluded.

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    2 comments · 265 views
Oct
30th
2017

A Study in Old Ponish · 6:25pm Oct 30th, 2017


So, now that the finale has hit US airwaves, I can finally talk about this. Some of you probably know that I have a Master's degree in history. What many of you probably don't know is the fact that my minor was Medieval German Literature and Languages.

When I discussed the episode with my good friend Daedalus, the question came up on whether Old Ponish was supposed to be a stand-in for Anglo-Saxon or Old English. Now I'm not an expert on Old English, but Old German and Old English are very closely related as they originate from the same West-Germanic family.

So I've put together the few scraps we've got and, ... well, I'll leave the first line of our discussion in there unaltered:

Let's pick apart the few lines we have beyond reason and apply linguistics to a childrens' cartoon. Because we're bronies, and that's how we roll.:twilightsmile:


plight foresetten plight

Translation(according to Sunburst): Reward prefers risk.

plight seems to be an English word, and one that has a double meaning in this context. Although neither of which correspond with the modern word plight as most people understand it.

So we can't really glean a lot from that. Daedalus added in that context:

In both the saying and in modern English it refers to something uncomfortable or dangerous, but I'm not sure how it also refers to the reward for overcoming the danger. In Norwegian (and probably many other Germanic languages) we have the word "plikt", which means duty, obligation. It might be etymologically connected. A quick google search suggests it's also connected to "pledge", so maybe that's where the reward comes in.

The word "plikt" he mentions is indeed common to other Germanic languages as "Pflicht" in German also means duty or obligation. So what we might actually be seeing here is a transitional stage where the same word has two meanings, but one of them is lost as English diverges from the continental languages. The semantics of the English branch favor one meaning, the continental use of the word the other.

The more interesting part here, though, is foresetten to me. The final syllable -en is a common word ending in German, indicating a word that has not been conjugated, an infinitive. That seems to work if this is supposed to be a saying. "fore-" is a common prefix in English even today, meaning before something. The combination with -setten could be, if I were to use the modern German, "voraussetzen" or possibly "vorraussehen", which means "presuppose" or "foresee" respectively. So it could be that the meaning of the saying could also be something along the lines of 'risk with foresight leads to reward' or a 'reward presupposes risk.'

But it's hard to really get something from a line that even Sunburst says loses something in the translation. On to the lines in the finale then! (By the way, I make no claim that my transcriptions are correct. It's phonetically close enough to old German that I'm confident of the vowels, but not much else.)


hierk saelfum-se Ponehenge

Translation(according to Twilight): -the temple of Ponehenge-

saelfum reminds me of the Middle High German word saelic, which is related to the word for soul. But it was most commonly used to refer to something spiritual, so it could refer to something being holy or someone being especially devout in their beliefs. So sael-fum might be "holy place" which Twilight translates as temple. I'm unsure about the -se at the end there. For one thing, I'm not sure if it's part of the previous word or if it is a preposition. Either way, it seems to denote a grammatical genitive that follows: "of Ponehenge". Being the ending of the word would make me think more of Latin grammar, while a preposition seems more likely for a language with Germanic roots.:applejackunsure:


toward del grimneck a foala firgendork

Translation(according to Sunburst):-at the base of Foal Mountain-

This makes me lean towards Old English the most. toward and foala have clear pendants in modern English with "toward" and "foal," and the grammar matches the translation exactly.

Though I'm honestly stumped about where the words grimneck and firgendork originate from, even if we know from the translation they mean base and mountain respectively. Neither Daedalus nor I could come up with an equivalent in any language we know, except that grim and neck taken on their own are English words of course. So this might be a case of a word that simply fell into disuse. If any of you have any idea on these, don't be shy about putting your thoughts in the comments. (I know you people sometimes forget that, but English is not my native language.:twilightsheepish: So I could be missing obvious things here.)


Finally:

ouzer endemest shield

Translation(according to Twilight): -our last stand-

ouzer is a very strong indicator for Old English, or even Anglo-Saxon, because it seems to be in a developmental stage where English is starting to split off from old German. You've got the English vowel ou- which becomes the modern "our", but you've also got the ending which still has some resemblence to the modern German equivalent "unser." Same goes for endemest which still has the "e" in "Ende", whereas English has lost that vowel and the word just became "end". So you've got a development that produces a word that's "endmost" which becomes "last" or possibly "final" in the translation. And of course shield is a word in use today in English, so I feel a closer translation might actually be "our last defense," but that's nitpicking.

So, the way I see it, this is definitely a language with Germanic roots that has the first phonetics of modern English starting to form.

So this whole wall of text can basically be boiled down to: Yeah, I agree with Daedalus that it's supposed to be Anglo-Saxon or the pony equivalent.:rainbowlaugh:


A final note on runes: One more thing Daedalus noted is that it seemed strange to him to see Nordic Runes on the monoliths, yet Anglo-Saxon and eventually English are based on the Latin alphabet.

This was my response to that:
Well, the Germanic language was originally based on Nordic Runes as well. Don't forget that. But the Germanic peoples of central Europe, through contact with the Roman Empire, eventually coopted their alphabet which would then be used for any subsequent Germanic language which includes Anglo-Saxon and eventually English.

So I'm willing to bet that Old Ponish was originally based on a runic alphabet which can still be seen on old monoliths and eventually, either through contact with another culture or internal innovation, received a new alphabet which is the chicken scratch we see today whenever we see ponies write.

Ultimately, a language is about phonetics, grammar and semantics. To put it bluntly: The sounds you make with your mouth and in which order you make them give them meaning. An alphabet is just the template of how to write down those sounds. (At least in Western cultures. Asian languages are a little different in that regard, I think. But I'm no expert on that.)


Still here? I applaud your patience for reading all that, considering I haven't made a single sex joke throughout the whole thing, which I tend to do. I figured, if you're really interested in the subject, I wouldn't have to resort to crude jokes to keep your attention. But to reward your patience, here's one anyway:

Congratulations! If you've read through this entire wall of text, I hereby dub you an honorary member of "Twilight Sparkle's Cunning Linguists!" (tm)

Report Naughty_Ranko · 3,477 views ·
Comments ( 29 )

Asian languages are a little different in that regard, I think.

You are correct, mostly. Hanzi - the written form of Chinese - is the way it is because the lands ruled by China in the early ages had numerous different spoken dialects, to the point someone from one province might not be able to have a conversation. However, the Hanzi have written meaning completely independent of how they're read. The Hanzi for 'Sun' will mean 'sun' no matter how you pronounce it.

Probably the same for most pictograph languages where one image-character means a word. The pronunciation might change drastically, but the meaning will always remain the same.

10/10 good nerd shit

Thank you for reminding me how much I hate history. :rainbowlaugh:

I'm very glad Daedalus pointed me to you. Thanks for a most enlightening linguistic analysis.

4713051
You're welcome.:twilightsmile: I just thought I'd give a bit of a different take on one of the aspects of the finale.

Wonderful essay! I am a language nerd myself,[1] and hardly ever get a "fix."
------------------
[1] Currently learning Maltese of all things.

4713477
Maltese? That's an unusual one. How does one come to the decision to start learning Maltese, if I may ask?

Cause for me it was never really about the language. I'm still a historian at heart. The only reason I picked up language studies was the fact that it seemed like a good way to get more out of the primary sources in Middle High German for my studies in Medieval History.

4713481
I went to Malta, heard it spoken, and kind of fell in love with it!

Medieval history? Awesome! I've studied Middle English for a couple of years... mostly because I heard a reading of Chaucer and... yeah I'm sensing a pattern here.

Thanks for the great analysis!! I am a massive language nerd myself, focusing on conlangs and creating them myself. I was going to analyse this myself and look at word roots but it seems that is already done for me, next step is building on me. I wish to take what has already been done, expanding on grammar rules and add some more vocabulary (of course similarly influenced by Old English and German) and see if I can turn this in to a language fans, like us, can learn and use. It would be awesome to collaborate on this project, or even get some input, but I do plan on working on Old Ponish and write an article later this week on what I have accomplished and see what fans think.

4717598
Well, good luck with that. I don't really have the time these days where I could contribute to something on that scale. But if the article I wrote helps, I'm happy.

Comment posted by TimeLoad deleted Nov 5th, 2017

4717615
This article definitely helps. I don't explicitly study history of languages or ancient languages, I focus more on grammatical structures and conlang creation, so having someone who is obviously much more knowledgeable in language history helps a lot.

I've read this article about 4 times and I agree with most of what you said, there's just a few things that I have a different opinion on. Like the sentence 'hierk saelfum-se Ponehenge' I believe would be better written as 'hierk saelfum se Ponehenge' as I feel the 'se' is a preposition to Ponehenge, kinda like the English 'of'. The only problem is that English only has one 'of', whereas also looking at the sentence 'toward del grimneck a foala firgendork', Old Ponish has different ways of saying 'of'. For instance, 'se' refers to a point of reference (holyplace of Ponehenge) and 'a' refers to two entities where possession is implied (base of Foal Mountain). Similar to how "the city of Paris" and "the door of the house" are two different types of the word 'of'.

That's just my personal opinion on that topic since you weren't sure of the word 'se'.

I am currently working on expanding on the grammar a little bit so that I can start working on vocabulary, is there anything you wanted to input in this? I was thinking of keeping true to both of the Old English and Germanic in both the grammar and vocabulary while not making it overly complex. I want to look at more English prefixes that probably were used like "uni-" and using German as an influence on how to conjugate words like "foresetten".

EDIT:
After re-reading this article again, I have a couple ideas on how to build the grammar. I'm honestly stumped by the word hierk in hierk saelfum se Ponehenge, it probably means 'the' and you didn't say anything about it. But then in the sentence toward del grimneck a foala firgendork, del means 'the'. So maybe we could use this to build a simple gender system?

The only other explanation I can come up with for the word hierk is that it comes from the German word hier. If that's correct, then the sentence should be translated "here at holyplace of Ponehenge" which makes sense in the context of the episode. His diary entry would have read "Here at holyplace of Ponehenge, at the base of Foal Mountain, our final defense" (the translation is based off your article and my interpretation) as if he was writing it there. But at the same time, Twilight is said to be an expert at Old Ponish and should've picked that up.

As for verb conjugations, I feel like there should be a few but not too many otherwise learners of this language will get annoyed. Considering the people who are learning this language probably aren't big language fanatics and are just learning it for fun, I want to keep it simple. I had 4 different conjugations in mind:

I - I require - ight sette
You - You require - yu settes
It - It requires - et settest
Plural - We require - wier setten (anything plural including we, they or you plural uses the infinitive)

That's what I was thinking of conjugations, trying to make it sound authentic while keeping it simple. For tenses, I was thinking of adding a preposition when it's past or future tense. Like in English we say "I require", "I did require" and "I will require". I understand you don't have much time to spend working on the language, but I was hoping you'd read this, see if you like it and if I'm going on the right track. Thanks.

4718095

I feel the 'se' is a preposition to Ponehenge

Yes, given the conclusion I've reached, I'd agree that preposition is the more likely case here. I didn't want to discount the possibility of an ending right away, because my only reason to call it a preposition would have been that it's a Germanic language, which was not a foregone conclusion from the start.

The only other explanation I can come up with for the word hierk is that it comes from the German word hier.

Yeah, I kinda glanced over that word, because honestly it doesn't make sense here, and I don't think Twilight actually translates it. If you look at the fragments Starlight reads, they don't form a correct sentence. There's no subject and no conjugated verb.

So I think Starlight is just reading words she can make out, picking up in the middle of a sentence, and leaving things out that are unreadable as she moves on. Twilight just picks up on Ponehenge and translates that. hierk seems to be a fragment of the preceding sentence.

What I think was written by Starswirl is probably along the lines of: (We will make our way) here: The temple of Ponehenge at the base of Foal Mountain. (There we will make) our last stand.

As for your conjugation, the second and third person honestly make me think more of Latin. If you wanna go more Germanic, you should probably make the second and third person the same: you settest, he/she/it settest. The rest seems fine.

Keeping it simple seems like a good idea. But if you wanna keep it true to a real language, you should probably also include some strong verbs. Those are present both in German and English.

4718523
Thanks for reading my comment, I thought it might've been a little too long and wasn't sure if you'd get through it, but I'm so glad you did :) This is probably the biggest language project I've been apart of and tips and advice is always welcomed. I completely understand what you're saying about Starlight reading fragments of sentences and Twilight only picking up on key words, everything makes more sense with that in mind.

I'll take on your advice with the regular verb conjugations and about making sure the language has a lot of key English and German words, I'm trying to find the right balance between the two so that it doesn't distinctly sound like either and is more like a transitional phase, like what you said. I'm still a little unsure about how to decide which should sound more Germanic and which should sound more English. I can't find a pattern on what kinds of words they took from each language.

At the moment I'm just taking some very key words from both languages like the "am/are/is" from English and translating that to something like "am/er/es" which is very much English sounding that is slightly Germanic and then taking words such as the German "haben" and turning it in to "haffen" which is very much German, but slightly English as well.

My only concern is that I'm going to get too caught up in taking English and German words and translating them straight in to Old Ponish and I'm not sure if it would be better to do that and have Old Ponish sound and feel like how Old English and German would have, or to be a bit more creative and add in some variety and really random words like grimneck and firgendork so that it does feel like a conlang.

Hey Naughty Ranko, thought I'd update you on my progress in Old Ponish so far. I've been expanding the grammar and building the vocabulary to a point where I'm going to start translating A Tale of Two Regal Sisters in to Old Ponish. I'll hopefully get that published within the next 24 hours (48 hours max). I also changed the sentence "plight foresetten plight" to "hlight foresetten hlight" after listening to the show a few more times and looking at other transcripts. I also hated that "plight" had a double-meaning, now it's just an irregular verb for "to risk" (which can be used as a noun, like in the sentence). If you haven't already, I'd love for you to skim over my blog post and see what you think :) https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/771938/how-to-speak-old-ponish

Hey, I know I might be late here, but it turns out the runic alphabet on Ponehenge is known as Elder Futhark, so it's not Anglo-Saxon but its grandparent, according to Wikipedia at least. Although, according to this comment section, the Old Ponish spoken aloud is identical to Old English, which fits Elder Futhark's usage period. https://www.reddit.com/r/mylittlepony/comments/79aowk/spoilers_a_translation_of_some_text_from_the/

Just thought you needed to know, as I've heard of others trying to invent Old Ponish as a new language.

4737349
Huh, interesting. Thanks for sharing. It's nice to have some extra confirmation for my conclusion from a different source.

I'm really not looking to 'invent' Old Ponish as an actual language, though. It was basically just an intellectual exercise to dust off my old language skills. I don't get to do that often these days. Basically I was mostly curious if the thesis that the writers modeled the few phrases we have on Old English could be supported with facts.

4737708
You're welcome! Eh, well, I've seen other posts about trying to actually invent Old Ponish as its own language, which will be a serious issue if multiple forms were created. Just trying to nip that in the bud. Still, Old English being used properly and as the first Equestrian tongue is just awesome!

I just ran across a bit of Middle English usage that might cast some light on the word grimneck.

Evidently, knecke could mean the area of the collarbone, rather than the upper part of the neck, and as such could be equivalent to a mountain's base. Grim or gram hasn't changed much, meaning grim or angry, but thinking about how a person's muscles and tendons stand out when they get really angry, I can see how "angry-neck" could be an excellent visual metaphor for the area where the rough stones of a mountain emerge from smoother lowlands.

As for firgendork... maybe... fur-ȝende-dearc? Dark end of the plough—a rather convoluted visual metaphor for mountain, I admit. (and no doubt wildly wrong :twilightblush:) It makes me wonder if the writer was using poetry as source material, though. If I ever run into them at a convention, I'll ask them.

4761931
Yeah, grimneck makes a degree of sense as a metaphor when you explain it like that, but firgendork is a bit of a stretch.:twilightblush:

It's all anglo-sax-ish...

"Hearg sylfum se Ponehenge" ≈ "The temple of Ponehenge"

  • Hearg = 'temple/altar/sanctuary/idol/grove', nominative case.
  • Sylfum — Trying to translate the word 'of' to old English using this translator gives you this word. The word 'sylfum' means 'self/oneself'. It is in dative case, i.e. "Ic abuge hit to sylfum" ≈ "I turned it towards myself". The correct translation of 'of' should be 'of'.
  • Se = 'the', nominative case.

"Toward dol grimlic of fola firginbeorg" – The translation ... well, the words don't really make any sense for this one.

  • Toward = 'toward(s)' (nothing special there).
  • Dol = 'foolish/stupid', nominative/accusative case.
  • Grimlic = 'fierce/cruel', nominative case.
  • Of = 'of' as mentioned earlier. I do not know why they used the incorrect word in the last sentence.
  • Fola = 'foal', nominative case. As speculated about above.
  • Firginbeorg = 'mountain', nominative/accusative case.

Obviously "Toward(s) stupid cruel of Foal Mountain" doesn't really make any sense... Any thoughts? Maybe some sounds are not supposed to be separate words, though this is the only separation and possible spelling of words I could find that actually meant anything...


"Ūser endemest scield." – Yeah, that was pretty much spot on.

4776239

Sylfum — Trying to translate the word 'of' to old English using this translator gives you this word. The word 'sylfum' means 'self/oneself'. It is in dative case, i.e. "Ic abuge hit to sylfum" ≈ "I turned it towards myself". The correct translation of 'of' should be 'of'.

Hm, interesting. 'sylfum' doesn't seem to have a gender associated with it, so could be translated as 'itself'

It looks like se could also be used as a pronoun and translated as 'that' or 'which.'

So maybe the translation comes down to: "The temple itself which (is) Ponehenge."


Firginbeorg = 'mountain', nominative/accusative case.

:pinkiegasp: Ah, now that makes a lot more sense when you transcribe it like that. 'Berg' is the German word for mountain. So I'm totally on board with that.Though it seems a little redundant, since 'firgen' also means mountain by itself. So those might actually be two separate words.

Although maybe the combination is something like 'the woodlands by the mountain', which Sunburst interprets as 'base of Foal Mountain.' But woodlands might actually be the correct translation. After all, Ponehenge does seem to be surrounded by trees.

Dol = 'foolish/stupid', nominative/accusative case.

Maybe the word isn't 'del' or 'dol' at all. Maybe the word is the Old English 'to'? That could be translated as 'alongside,' 'beside' or 'near.'

Obviously "Toward(s) stupid cruel of Foal Mountain" doesn't really make any sense... Any thoughts?

Given what I said above: "Towards the cruel woodlands near Foal Mountain" perhaps? And Sunburst once again interprets a bit by equating 'near Foal Mountain' with 'base of Foal Mountain.'


"Ūser endemest scield." – Yeah, that was pretty much spot on.

Well, at least I got one right.:twilightsmile:

4776413
I think I've actually found something that would explain "Toward dol grimlic of fola firgenbeorg"!

What you said about 'to' potentially meaning 'near' got me thinking that maybe it's not supposed to be "Toward -" at all; and so I searched and have found a word that fits the pronunciation of "-ward dol -" pretty well:

'worulddǣl' ('continent') - 'woruld' ('world') + 'dǣl' ('valley') or 'dǣlan' ('divide').
In Swedish the word for 'continent' is 'världsdel' which literally means "part of world" where 'värld' = 'world' and 'del' = 'part'.

This means that the sentence could be "To worulddǣl grimlic of fola firgenbeorg" = "Near the grim 'continent'/'part of the world' of Foal Mountain". Which makes much more sense! :ajsmug:

Ok so this may be a stupid question but I can't find the answer in a quick skim. Did anyone look into the possibility that it's just literally Old English with some bad pronunciation? I did that with the Latin motto for the Wonderbolts: Altius volantis. Their pronunciation is horrible but correction for that it comes to 'he/she/it should be/must/ought to be soaring higher'. There's an elliptical 'to be' verb that's dropped (as sometimes happens in Latin).


plight foresetten plight: first, the last word might not have a 'p', but I do definitely hear a t. It sounds like 'plat' lor 'lat' to me, though.
Pliht is risk/peril, 'hlean' would normally be 'reward' but it doesn't sound like they're saying that.
Anyway, forsetten usually means 'to obstruct', but it could also mean 'set away from, shy away from'. the 'for' is a negative modifier while 'setten' is set or place: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/forsettan (and links following from there). So what this could mean is that 'peril is set away from peril', with the idiomatic meaning 'if you endure risk you'll be rewarded'. However that would require an Old English scholar to know briefly, or a LOT of research otherwise.

May as well do the rest:

hierk saelfum-se Ponehenge Hierk is probably 'hierg' (the final 'g' in Old English sounds very similar to a 'k') meaning temple or holy place https://hord.ca/projects/eow/result.php?nt=temple&submit=+Search+&l=Both&ignorecase=on&match=word&output=macron

se is a form of the demonstrative article (in English, 'the' or 'that') https://hord.ca/projects/eow/result.php?nt=the&l=en&match=any&output=macron

Saelfum doesn't actually fit in the translation as given (meaning Sunburst is playing fast and loose with it), but rather in the whole phrase 'hierg saelfum se Ponehenge toward del grimneck a foala firgendork' Self (Saelf, sylf) is 'self', while the 'um' might be a plural, or could make it reflexive (ie, itself, ourselves) (https://www.uni-due.de/SHE/HE_Grammar_OE-ME_nouns.htmg) http://old-engli.sh/dictionary.php

Let's now get into the rest of the phrase. Firgendork is probably
firgenbeorg' meaning mountain firgenbeorg Recalling the g/k thing before, it's also worth noting that b and d can sound similar in Old English. Incidentally that breaks down into "beorg", meaning 'height', which is the root of the modern 'berg' and 'barrow', and 'firgen' is 'mountain' from Old German https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/firgen. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/beorg#Old_English So basically 'high mountain'.

Fola is foal obviously (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/foal). the 'a' is probably 'of', just quickly said. Same meaning in old english as english.

'toward' is 'toweard', "approaching" or "facing" https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/toweard#Old_English.
del is probably 'dael', dale or valley (ie, the thing at the base of a mountain) https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/d%C3%A6l
Grimlic (see transcript here: http://mlp.wikia.com/wiki/Transcripts/Shadow_Play_-_Part_1) gave me trouble, partly due to the misspelling in the OP, but also because I couldn't figure out how it fits. It means "friece, bloodthirsty, cruel, terrible, savage." http://old-engli.sh/dictionary.php

"user endemest shield" User is plural 'our' https://hord.ca/projects/eow/grammar/pronoun.php 'endemest' then is 'endeniehst' (last as in final) endenīehst and scield/shield is 'scieldan' meaning 'defense'. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/scieldan#Old_English

Possible literal translations of the full phrase, then "Hearg sylfum se Ponhenge toward dael grimlic of Fola Firgenbeorg User endemest scield" then is "temple ourselves/itself that Ponehenge facing valley fierce of Foal Mountain our final defense". Arranging for grammar and recalling that we are getting only snippits and not necessarily full sentences we might get
"That very temple of Ponehenge which faces the valley of the savage Foal Mountain (was the site of) our final defense" The parentheses indicate an omitted clause (possibly illegible due to Starswirl's handwriting).
I'm not actually sure if the valley or the mountain is savage, but something is.

In conclusion: Old Ponish is just amateurish Old English. It's likely not a conlang, nor does it, in all probability, draw from any language OTHER than Old English.

Side note: Anglo-Saxon and Old English are essentially the same language (you can argue that they're technically different but they're negligibly close). Earlier posters were probably thinking of Old Saxon, which is closer to Old German than Anglo-Saxon/Old English is.

4824164

Ok so this may be a stupid question but I can't find the answer in a quick skim. Did anyone look into the possibility that it's just literally Old English with some bad pronunciation?

I would pretty much agree with that, and so would most others who commented here at this point, I think. What makes you think otherwise? My original conclusion was that it's a language with Germanic roots and is in a transitional period to modern English, i.e. the definition of Old English. I was hesitant to just call it Old English because my expertise, such as it is, is in Old German. So I didn't feel confident to just state that as a fact. With the additonal evidence (and corrections) to my initial views made by you and Keve1227, I'm more than happy to conclude that it is in fact Old English.

I also agree with pretty much all your translations here, as they are very similar to what Keve and I worked out in the last few comments before yours, (even down to the fact that Sunburst is clearly adding a layer of contextual interpretation onto the literal words and that we're probably missing part of the sentence structure.)

I did that with the Latin motto for the Wonderbolts: Altius volantis. Their pronunciation is horrible but correction for that it comes to 'he/she/it should be/must/ought to be soaring higher'. There's an elliptical 'to be' verb that's dropped (as sometimes happens in Latin).

Yeah, that's just straight Latin. You'll get no argument from me there. And since a lot more people speak Latin than Old English, I never really felt the need to point it out. Though it makes for a good indicator as to how the show writers approach the subject.

Grimlic (see transcript here: http://mlp.wikia.com/wiki/Transcripts/Shadow_Play_-_Part_1) gave me trouble, partly due to the misspelling in the OP

Yeah, sorry about that.:twilightsheepish: When I did the original write-up of my conclusions, I did not have the transcript available, because the finale hadn't even aired yet. So I was going on hearing alone. (To be fair, I did point out at the beginning of the blog post that my transcriptions might be off, especially where consonants were concerned.) I've since read both the transcription and the original script, which has cleared up a lot of things.

In conclusion: Old Ponish is just amateurish Old English. It's likely not a conlang, nor does it, in all probability, draw from any language OTHER than Old English.

Yeah, pretty much. I think someone (not even necessarily Josh Haber) looked up some Old English and put it in the script to roughly match what Sunburst and Twilight eventually translated, which would have been the earlier part of the script to be written. (Because it's infinitely easier to use an existing language than to create a fake one.) And the voice actors simply did the best they could with what they were given.

Side note: Anglo-Saxon and Old English are essentially the same language (you can argue that they're technically different but they're negligibly close). Earlier posters were probably thinking of Old Saxon, which is closer to Old German than Anglo-Saxon/Old English is.

Again, not an expert on Old English. I was simply using my knowledge of Old German and how it relates to Old English to make an educated guess as to whether the language in the show COULD be Anglo-Saxon/Old English, to which my answer has always been yes. That's why I'm always falling back on Old German, because it's what I know. Make sense?

As for my use of the terms Anglo-Saxon and Old English, yeah they're negligibly different as languages, but they have different connotations. The term Old English was originally coined to denote the similarities to Modern English. So that's how I used the terms, Anglo-Saxon when I wanted to highlight similarities to Old German, and Old English when I wanted to highlight similarities to Modern English.

I would pretty much agree with that, and so would most others who commented here at this point, I think. What makes you think otherwise? My original conclusion was that it's a language with Germanic roots and is in a transitional period to modern English, i.e. the definition of Old English. I was hesitant to just call it Old English because my expertise, such as it is, is in Old German. So I didn't feel confident to just state that as a fact. With the additonal evidence (and corrections) to my initial views made by you and Keve1227, I'm more than happy to conclude that it is in fact Old English.

I also agree with pretty much all your translations here, as they are very similar to what Keve and I worked out in the last few comments before yours, (even down to the fact that Sunburst is clearly adding a layer of contextual interpretation onto the literal words and that we're probably missing part of the sentence structure.)

...That'll teach me not to ready every comment, apparently. :P I'd have saved a lot of trouble if I had done more than skim Keve's last 2 comments as he had already done like 75% of the work. Heh. My bad on that one.

My only defense on the rest is that I just skimmed the comments. I read the OP more in detail at first, but started skimming at some point and so missed a few disclaimers and such (I didn't read from top down... not sure why).

Yeah, that's just straight Latin. You'll get no argument from me there. And since a lot more people speak Latin than Old English, I never really felt the need to point it out. Though it makes for a good indicator as to how the show writers approach the subject.

Mentioned it because I hadn't seen Keve doing exactly that. Also to show off a little. :P

Yeah, pretty much. I think someone (not even necessarily Josh Haber) looked up some Old English and put it in the script to roughly match what Sunburst and Twilight eventually translated, which would have been the earlier part of the script to be written. (Because it's infinitely easier to use an existing language than to create a fake one.) And the voice actors simply did the best they could with what they were given.

Seems probable. For what it's worth most of their pronunciation is good, at least to my untrained ears. Probably an actual OE scholar would correct it.

Again, not an expert on Old English. I was simply using my knowledge of Old German and how it relates to Old English to make an educated guess as to whether the language in the show COULD be Anglo-Saxon/Old English, to which my answer has always been yes. That's why I'm always falling back on Old German, because it's what I know. Make sense?

As for my use of the terms Anglo-Saxon and Old English, yeah they're negligibly different as languages, but they have different connotations. The term Old English was originally coined to denote the similarities to Modern English. So that's how I used the terms, Anglo-Saxon when I wanted to highlight similarities to Old German, and Old English when I wanted to highlight similarities to Modern English.

Ah, yes, that makes sense now that you explain it. I didn't get that at first.

Now I just need to make up a video lecture on all this... :P

So what would Modern Ponish look like? How intelligible would it be by speakers of contemporary Germanic languages, such as German and Swedish?

Aw yeah, gimme more of that good stuff.

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