Chart Your Own Path

Looking for a get-away this summer? NasaNerd informs me that the latest hot spot for the "in the know" travelers is Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry.
A little background on their culture, as far as language is concerned:

Molvanian is a difficult language to speak, let alone master. There are four genders: male, female, neutral, and the collective noun for cheeses, which occupies a nominative sub-section of its very own. The language also contains numerous irregular verbs, archaic phrases, words of multiple meaning and several phonetic sounds linguists suspect could represent either a rare dialect or merely peasants clearing their throat. This, coupled with a record number of silent letters, makes fluency a major challenge. You can, as some visitors have experimented with, simply try adding the letter ‘j’ or ‘z’ randomly to any word – but this will only get you so far.

Perhaps a better option is to memorise a few of our ‘Useful Phrases’ contained opposite. Remember, too, that the syntactical structure of written Molvanian can be rather complex, with writers routinely using the triple negative. Hence,
'Can I drink the water? '
becomes 'Erkjo ne szlepp statsik ne var ne vladrobzko ne '
(literally, ‘is it not that the water is not not undrinkable?’)

Fortunately, conversational Molvanian for the native speaker is a little less formal, and a native speaker wanting to know
'Can I drink the water? '
would only have to say ‘Virkum stas?’ (while clutching their stomach in a gesture of gastric distress.)

To read the rest of the travel guide on this newly discovered, fascinating land, go here.

(Whoever wrote this is a genius.)

Posted by Portia at May 8, 2006 08:18 AM | TrackBack