Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Translation Tuesday: Aimee

I forgot to go over a major point in the video, the lack of disambiguation between an "E" or "I" sound, and between an "O" or "U" sound. Traditional Baybayin is a very bare-bones writing system, which when taken to its most literal sounds in context to modern pronunciation, can not fully express all the sounds found in a spoken language. Ancient Tagalog was pronounced slightly differently than what we hear today, such that the differences between the "O" and "U" sound (and "E" to "I" sound) weren't as separated as they are today. Thus, the same diacritic indicators (kudlits) are used to express E-and-I and O-and-U...

In the video, I mentioned "E-Mi" would make a good phonetic estimation for "Aimee" (Amy), though I was pronouncing it as "Eh-Meh". Really, I was pronouncing the "Mi/Me" character strictly as "Me" (Meh), forgetting to mention that this can also be pronounced as "Mi" (Mee). It's also a very close translation to the sound of "-Mee" in the name "Aimee". Vice versa, the same characters used to express "E-Mi" (Eh-Mee) also also be read as "I-Me" (Ee-Meh).

With this in mind, I really do think that "E-Y-Mi" (Ey-Mee) is the closest phonetic estimation to Aimee; however, this is of the few times I'd actually rather opt for a traditional, cross-kudlit-less translation, simply because nothing much is really lost or gained by including the "Y" sound. There are times when a cross kudlit could completely change the meaning of a word, as is the case with "Pata" (tired) and "Patay" (to kill). This isn't one of them.

Stay up,




Ysa said...

would "ey-mi" be better? like "mi" in do-re-mi? or like when we pronounce ma, me, mi, mo, mu?

David Lazaro (cyph) said...

Ysa, you're correct in the pronunciation of it; the point in the text of the post I was trying to make was that both "Mi" and "Me" would be expressed by the same character. Thanks for the reply. ~cyph