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Caridwen's ArticleEdit

the following post is reprinted by permission--an


Jungle language by Caridwen of Alter Realm (persona assumed dead)

(this is a series of posts I made on the old board a while back, which I kept because it is a good, and rather extensive analysis of the language of the Gorean jungle... I hope you find it useful)

It has occured to me, that perhaps a way to add some spice to the roleplay of those who live in the jungles... is to further explore the language of the jungle... much the same as those of the savages have explored their language and incorporated it into their roleplay...

what do some of you jungle dwellers think of this?

to start this discussion. I have done a bit of research, what I have found follows. Although, it will take more than one post to get it all out. *s*

first of all... it should be known to all... that the common Gorean language is not widely spoken in the equatorial jungles.... there are actually many dialects spoken in the jungles... that may or may not be fully understood by all inhabitants of the jungles... however, the dialects seem to have a lot in common... especially those spoken in the same general area of the jungles.... even the dialects of different regions appear to have some things in common... making a basic understanding between them possible... yet... it seems clear that a fluent understanding of all languages spoken in the jungles is not possible... and the further you range in the jungle... the more different the dialects or languages become... so... where am I going with this? ... is it possible to incorporate any of this language into our roleplay?

well... I think so... it is clear in the next quote, that many of the dialects have common vocabularies and basic grammar... and that was the basis of the limited understanding the people from the different areas had for each other's language...

so... if we could develop an understanding and use of a limited vocabulary such as that... would that not simulate that limited understanding between the speakers of the various jungle dialects? ... it seems to me that it would.... this gives us definite "by the book" meanings for a few words in the jungle language...

however consider this... the Swahili meanings of these words...

kamba/rope, cord, string or twine nyoka/snake or worm ushindi/victory, triumph, success or conquest ngao/shield or facade ua/flower, blossom or hedge

not convinced yet? just a coincidence you say? well hold on. there is still more to come.*s* here are a few more words that are clearly defined by Mr. Norman within the context of Gor...

askari/soldier, guard or police hodari/brave, strong, powerful, skillful, capable, clever, smart, diligent, energetic, firm, prudent and stable mamba/crocodile panga/machete or long knife filimbi/flute or whistle tangawizi/ginger utukufu/glory, honor, esteem, fame, majesty, eminence and grandeur mfalme/chief, king or ruler nyuki/honey bee bila/without...huruma/compassion, pity or mercy msaliti/traitor or slanderer jambia/dagger (with a broad curved blade) ayari/scoundrel, rascal or swindler kisu/knife aibu/disgrace or dishonor.... tende/date (fruit of the date palm) ulafi/greediness or gluttony kipofu/blind person ushanga/bead mkufu/necklace utajiri/wealth or property Dhahabu/gold fedha/coin, currency or silver marashi/perfume hariri/silk ngoma/dance, music or drum uchafu/dirtiness, nastiness or indecency

..... there are many other names for the jungle characters that are used in the book... and in every case... they are words taken directly from Swahili words with meanings that are appropriate for those characters... but I think you get the idea... so I will spare you of all the minor characters and the translation of their names...

the point I really want to get across here... is that I think this all provides more than ample evidence that Mr. Norman intended the language of the Gorean jungles to directly correspond to the Swahili language of earth... and although there are only certain words specifically mentioned in Explorers of Gor... there are more than enough examples to establish a clear connection to the Swahili language...and for that reason... I think it is more than reasonable to incorporate other Swahili words into our roleplay, as appropriate...

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