el tramézashíël eslévár (n.): Empire of the Star; the largest and oldest eldraeic polity.
Broken up, this phrase reads: tra (DESCRIPTION OPERATOR) – méz (METAPHORIZATION OPERATOR) – ashíël (star) — eslév (empire) – ár (PREDICATION OPERATOR), which is to say in long-gloss, “the empire which is like unto a (metaphorical) star”. Replacing this with the English “of” is acceptably inaccurate for such an imprecise target language.
It should also be noted that eslév is linguistically unique, appearing only in this phrase (and abbreviations thereof: el eslév unambiguously refers to “the Empire”). It is not used to represent any of the other possible meanings of “empire”; the technical meaning of a union of multiple peripheral polities beneath one metropole, for example, is el vielmóniramóníë (loosely, “a commanding country-of-countries”).
It has no strict root-based etymology; rather, eslév is a nonce coined for its conceptual resonances: it resembles, for example, proto-Cestian words for “created” or “our creation”; Selenarian terms for “lunar crescent”; various Silver Crescent words with meanings approximating to “celestial”; a Veranthyran term meaning “propriety” or “high culture”, and so on and so forth.
serev (n.): Blood, or other primary life-fluid (e.g., myneni crystalplasm, codramaju suspension, mezuar sap, etc. – even, to stretch a metaphorical point, digisapience electricity.)
A word notable for its use in many metaphor-based compounds and etymological cousins, notably seredar (“blood-person”, or paramedic); seredhain (“blood-war”, or war of extermination/genocide); seredáné (“blood-precursor”, or genetic parent); sereglés (“blood-key”, or biometric security system); sereqártill (“blood-price”, or weregeld); seredelefí (“blood-oath”, a contract secured on one or both parties’ lives); and saráv (justice).
deléhain: A direct translation of the kaeth word harghcha, literally meaning “pleasure-fight”; physical combat in social situations for the enjoyment of both the participants and any onlookers, which is a common feature of the kinesthetic kaeth culture.
Note that neither the Eldraeic hain nor the original cha define a scale without further qualification; the term deléhain can be applied equally well to two children roughhousing, or to Paltraeth’s annual Feast of the Blooding, a tradition compared by most visitors to a planet-wide civil war, albeit one conducted without modern weapons.
valëssef (n.): a principle of Imperial culture, valëssef is literally translated “I-am-ness”, the particular aspect of oneself that one is manifesting at any particular time, or to put it another way, who one is in relation to present circumstances and present company.
This peculiarly eldraeic concept is tied strongly to their capacity and cultural inclination towards complex, multidimensional social arrangements. One adept in managing valëssef is capable of easily switching between multiple social personae for different situations or relationships – employer, father, positions of wildly differing ranks in branches, and so forth, even when connections between the same people are involved – and holding them separate from each other when acting in one particular one.
Failing to properly manage valëssef – mixing elements of one relationship into another, such as permitting a family relationship to affect a professional relationship – is considered most improper.
daríë: (a respectful title for) one whose accomplishments are known and admired, but do not extend to those of an Excellence or Exquisite; could reasonably be glossed “lord” or “lady” in the nominative (rare usage), and “ser” or “sera” in the vocative (common usage). In the modern era, with the obsolescence of the servile darëssef, functions as a general-purpose term of address for any sophont whose competence and worth is known or politely presumed.
from daráv (“person”), and íë (honorable affix).
Among the things I am kicking around today are future possibilities for the Word-of-the-Day feature. I’ve got some interesting ones in the form of words which have distinct values implied – say, “greed” – which necessarily require multiple translations – “ambition”, for example, or “compromise” – or whose closest equivalent have very different nuances and whose literal meaning can only be expressed by rather awkward circumlocution – such as our “professional”.
And then I thought of one real fun job to translate into their language. How, exactly, would one translate “social justice” into Eldraeic?
(Bearing in mind that the literal gloss, tramoníë saráv, lit. “a society-kind-of-justice”, would actually mean “international arbitration”.)
So let’s have a little informal competition, here. The best circumlocution, using only the sorts of concept which are native to the language, is an awkward phrase that comes out as, roughly, “the coercive enforcement of a sophont-owner’s preferred group-level outcomes upon the involuntarily coadunated”.
Think you can do better? Offer your best circumlocution in the comments, and we’ll see if it passes the Conclave of Linguistics and Ontology.
(But remember, and this is important now: the aim here is to provide the translation that a charitable translator working around the constraints of a language that doesn’t have a background tradition of compressed euphemisms would come up with. We’re not going for “the Worlds’ snarkiest value judgement”, nor are we going all-out to offend people in the real world, here, especially any who might find squeezing the concept into an unhelpful vocabulary an interesting game; it’s supposed to be a fun little conlanging exercise. Don’t let me down here, folks.)
ulquordaëälathdar: (lit. “impossible-knowledge-person”, derog.) Agnostic; (Flamic) an adherent to the Agnostic Heresy; one who holds that certain or all knowledge cannot be known, i.e., is intrinsically unknowable, rather than simply unknown, or circumstantially unknowable due to lack of necessary epistemic tools or cognitive capacity.
from ulquordaëlin (“impossible”, itself from ulquor, the degree quantifier of absolute absence, and daëlin “probability, chance”), alath (“knowledge”) and dar (“person”).