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The Great Gatsby in Yuktepat by conciliarityoftepat The Great Gatsby in Yuktepat by conciliarityoftepat

Well, this is late for the December Deviantart Conlang challenge. But then again, I haven't seen a January challenge yet, so I'll assume the December challenge is still open. The image above shows the opening lines of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in Yuktepat. To refresh your memory, this is how the book begins:

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

In Yuktepat this becomes:

: Yan Thok-ôn Ka-cô-pi :
Xap-ôn wat sûq wat ôl-xhûng lem nat
ôl-qhôy wat luy hûq huy yuk laq hû
wat ôl-chek nik nik nyul men. Nat
ôl-xem, kyat tu-sûq myat tuq yan-un
tu-chup suk now kul-un u-nyul men
yat hi nyel nwong ôl-mul sing côq
hû kyat.

I’ve made each of the lines exactly as long as the lines (vertical columns) in the image so you can match it up. Each of the glyphs is exactly one syllable in the transliteration (or a punctuation mark). Keep reading and I take it apart phrase by phrase.

The title is Yan Thok-ôn KacôpiYan is ‘man,’ thok ‘great, main, central,’ and ôn is a demonstrative particle that attaches to the end of a noun phrase (you’ll see it several more times). Kacôpi [katsǝpi], naturally, is an approximation of Gatsby [gætsbi].

Xap-ôn wat “my father” - Xap is ‘father,’ ôn is a demonstrative marker. Wat is the first-person pronoun. Moving on...

... sûq wat ôl-xhûng lem ... “when I was young and vulnerable”

sûq - ‘time when’
wat - I/me
ôl - past-tense particle
xhûng - young
lem - vulnerable

nat ôl-qhôy wat - “...he gave me...”

nat - he - third-person pronoun. This is paired with -ôn. Since the father was marked with -ôn at the beginning of the sentence, we know that nat here refers to him.
qhôy - give; to, for - this is a verb, but also functions as equivalent to the English prepositions “to”/”for.” But as a verb, technically, it requires a tense particle like ôl in front of it.

luy hûq huy yuk laq - “[speak] one word of advice”

luy - speak
hûq - one
huy - knot - The word “knot” is also a measure word for nouns relating to speech. Yuktepat speakers visualized speech as a long string, with the individual words (or sounds) as knots along the string.
yuk - speak / speech
laq - help - So yuk-laq “advice” is literally “speech-help”

...hû wat ôl-chek nik nik nyul men. - “that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since” (”that I’ve dragged into mind again and again”)

 - “of” / “that” - a variant of i and hi. Here, it follows laq, which ends in [q]. The vowel [i] can’t stand next to [q] so it is moved back.
chek - pull, drag
nik - new. In this context, immediately after a verb, it means “again.”
nyul - enter
men - mind, thought. In Yuktepat to think of or remember something is for it to “enter [your] mind” (nyul men), as if it walked in by itself. Since the narrator is deliberately making himself think of it, he has to “drag” (chek) it into his head again and again.

Nat ôl-xem... “he said”

xem - to say (that) - Unlike the verb luy above, xem requires a another sentence as complement

...kyat tu-sûq myat tuq yan-un tu-chup... - “you will scrape another person will be feeling”

kyat - you
tu- - future tense marker. Unlike English, the future is required in conditional statements such as this. Keep looking in the next sentence for the hint that this is conditional...
sûq - “when” - just a reminder. It was also at the beginning of the first sentence
myat-tuq - criticize. Myat originally meant (and still means) “to scrape,” as well as being the name of a small knife used to scrape writing off of bamboo slats. This allowed the slats to be written on again, so myat came to mean “to correct.” Tuq means “sharp,” of people as well as knives. Hence “to scrape [someone] sharply.”
yan-un - “someone else” - Un is another demonstrative, like -ôn in the first sentence. Because of this we know that the “person” here refers to something other than the people we’ve been talking about so far - the speaker and his father. Here we can translate it as “another / someone else.”
chup - feel. The Yuktepat verb chup works the reverse of the English verb ‘feel’ - the person who ‘feels’ is the object. The object here, “you,” is left unsaid and implied because it already occurs at the beginning of this phrase. (It’s getting confusing, isn’t it?) So the entire sentence could be more literally rephrased as as “If [an impulse for] criticizing someone else is ever felt by you...”

...suk now kul-un u-nyul men yat hi nyel nwong ôl-mul sing côq hû kyat. - “just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had”

suk - if...then / therefore
now - thought, idea
kul-un - following - Remember un from above? Kul means “to follow.” Altogether Now kul-un is “the following idea.”
u- - another verbal particle, this one doesn’t indicate tense like ôl or tu. It just indicates a clause following another clause with an actual tense particle in it.
nyul men - “enter one’s mind; think of” - Remember, we’ve seen this before.
yat - people
hi - of. Same as  above
nyel - all
nwong - earth
mul - none, nada, zero
sing - lot(s). The kind you gamble with, not the synonymous-with-”many” kind. Specifically the people of ancient Tepat (before gambling was prohibited) used to gamble with small colored or numbered stones. The  word sing has been metaphorically extended to “luck” and “fate,” and also become an adjective meaning “random.”
côq - good
kyat - you

“Therefore [you] will [let] the following idea enter your mind: all the people of the world have not had your good lots.”

Add a Comment:
Kuume Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
These characters are so beautiful and well balanced visually. The loops are particularly charming, reminding me of Hindi.
AvatarVyakara Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Most impressive indeed!
conciliarityoftepat Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016
Thank you
DaRkGlAc3oN Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2016
Very interesting. Looks reminiscent to Chinese characters, but kinda looks like something that would probably be used in India. 
conciliarityoftepat Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2016
Thanks. I designed the script on most of the same principles as Chinese, so I'm not surprised about that. The resemblance to Indian scripts though just happened. It must be because of all the loopy shapes.
DaRkGlAc3oN Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2016
No problem. Ah, I kinda figured that's what you did. It's very beautiful
HorsesPlease Featured By Owner Edited Jan 21, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
These ideograms look nicer than my native Chinese words, in that they seem more symmetrical.

I think I shouldn't worry about making up my own ideographic script as well.
conciliarityoftepat Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016
I don't know, I love Hanzi, and it was an important influence on Yuktepat's script. Good luck creating your script.
Tonio103 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I love it ! Particularly the little loops that make the logograms look like kind of fruity trees.
conciliarityoftepat Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016
Haha, I guess I never thought about that. That loopy shape is largely because of a decision I made right in the beginning. Unlike standard Chinese characters, Tepatic glyphs are all supposed to be written with one stroke, which results in lots of loops to connect parts of the character. But now, yeah, I see it and I like the comparison.
Tonio103 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
That's definitely a great choice :) I love doing conscript, I really want to upload some of mines as soon as possible ^^
kessir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a really awesome and beautiful conscript <3
conciliarityoftepat Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016
ad-referendum Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
... awesome.
conciliarityoftepat Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016
ad-referendum Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
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Submitted on
January 19, 2016
Image Size
1.1 MB


22 (who?)

Camera Data

MP210 series
GIMP 2.8.10