22/11/22 Kuzdra: Translating Untranslatable

``Гло́кая ку́здра ште́ко будлану́ла бо́кра и курдя́чит бокрёнка''

``Glokaya kuzdra shteko budlanula bokra i kurdyachit bokryonka''

A nonce sentence was translated into ~80 languages. The phrase that has been proposed by a Russian linguist Lev Scherba consists of nonce stems (wugs) put in a grammatically valid way (i.e. syntax and morphology follow the Russian grammar, all affixes are real). This example demostrates that the information is sufficient to reconstruct and visualize the dramatic action described.

The phrase was popularized by Lev Uspensky in his popular science book `A Word about Words'.

I started my PhD thesis with this particular phrase, trying to emphasize the importance of morphology.

   Lewis Carroll's ``Jabberwocky'' is another example from English literature
   Henry Allan Gleason's The iggle squiggs trazed wombly in the harlish hoop

Please check the github page, you're very welcome to add more languages!

PS I also made a T-shirt with the phrase and a wug, the T-shirt was then mailed to Zurich to one prominent lover of wugs there.

Kuzdra T-Shirt

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Semirandom Books

Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Donald Knuth. The Art of Computer Programming. Martin Haspelmath, Andrea D. Sims. Understanding Morphology Marvin Harris. Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches. Christopher Bishop. Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning. Stanislaw Lem. The Star Diaries.

Poem (by Yosano Akiko)



Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation who are the traditional custodians of the land on which I live, work and write.