Tag Archives: names

Names of European Nations and Capitals in Ayeri

Just for fun, I’m sometimes trying to hunt down etymologies of place names and try to translate them more or less literally into Ayeri:

Names of European Nations and Capitals in Ayeri
Names of European Nations and Capitals in Ayeri. (Original map: “Maix”/Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-2.5 license (Source). Captions in Ayeri added)

My method in making the map linked here was not terribly scholarly, though, as my source was mostly Wikipedia, so your mileage may vary. Where there was more than one etymology, I picked the one that seemed most reasonable (roughly going by Ockham’s razor, ish) or otherwise appealing to me; if guesses at the etymology were too insecure, I just sticked with phonologically adapting the name into Ayeri. There’s a few territories included which are not strictly independent nations or whose status as such is disputed – I included those because they still seemed relevant enough to me.

The complete list can be found on a separate page. More continents may follow as I feel like doing conlang work. I started with Europe since that’s where I live.

  • Updated map to include a title, the European part of Turkey, and correct licensing as required by the source.
  • Ugly CC-BY-SA badge in the picture is not necessary, so removed that. Also, bigger image, smaller file size.
  • Hopefully fixed the caption box at top right in the SVG file now. When viewed in programs other than Inkscape, the text didn’t show or only as a black box.

The Name of the Game (Literally!)

Today, I sent the following message to CONLANG-L:

On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 13:36:27 -0300, Leonardo Castro wrote:

On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 01:00:54 -0300, Leonardo Castro wrote:

A. “language-spoken-by-people-X”: English, Français, Português, tlhIngan Hol (?), etc.

* “language of linkers”, “language of community”, “language of this group”… “linker” has two senses: people who link themselves to others and the “verbs” that link a noun to another ;

And then, there’s German, whose self-designation, Deutsch, just meant ‘people-ish’ originally, from Germ.-MLat. theodiscus ‘belonging to one’s own people’, cf. PG *þeuðō ‘people’ + -isk- ‘adj. related to’ (OHG thiutisk, MHG tiutsch), according to the dwds.de entry for ‘deutsch’. It’s of course also the origin of the word Dutch.

I have nothing figured out yet for my own conlang, but it’s been peeving me for some time already that I made the name in -i, since -i is not a derivative morpheme in this language. People have suggested that it might be an exonym. OTOH, the people’s endonym might be Ayer, though that’d be an unusual word in the language, since only few words end in -r. I don’t remember if I coined aye ‘people, crew’ from that consciously; a word for ‘people’ I coined later anyway and which I used more frequently is keynam. As alternatives based on what was listed here before, there would be narān ‘language’ (< nara- ‘to speak’), narān ban ‘good language’, narān biming ‘understandable language’. ‘Language of the people’ would be narān keynamena.

I’m really tempted to pick one from the list of noun-plus-adjective phrases and make that an endonym right now, maybe with some wear and tear added. Having a proto-language to derive a term from and pipe that through the customary sound changes would certainly come in handy here. But how about Naramban, or Banaran (with inverted order for euphony), or just Bimingan ‘the Intelligible’?1 Since I also mentioned German, another route to follow would be something like ‘our’s’, possibilities for which include sitang-nana ‘of our own, ourself’s’ (nominalized sitang-nanān, could be shortened to just Nanān), da-nana ‘that of us’ (nominalized da-nanān). I think I like Bimingan and Nanān best.

  • Co-conlanger H. S. Teoh notes that names tend to fossilize and reflect older stages of the language, so that it wouldn’t be a problem to have Ayer or Ayeri even as the native name for the people and their language. Hadn’t thought of that, but yes.
  1. Note that the Slavic word for ‘German’, PSl. *němьcь, originally meant ‘dumb, mute’ and, by extension, ‘foreigner’ according to Wikipedia.

Other Things Ayeri (Not the Language)

According to my website statistics, many people get here by searching for “ayeri” on Google. Nothing bad as such, but as it seems, it’s also a regular name in the Arab world. Among others also that of a former al-Qaeda leader … Apart from the fact that the Turkic language spoken in Azerbaijan is called Azeri (And what do I find in the place of Z on my German keyboard? Right, Y!). Once again a reason to state that any similarity with actually existing places, people, languages etc. is entirely coincidental! In fact, back in the day, I just made up the language’s name for its sound.

Should I now change the wording on the welcome page to something more specific than “all things Ayeri,” as only my constructed language and potentially its equally fictitious speakers are involved on this website? I’m reluctant to change the name of the entire language after so many years to avoid confusion, since it’s gained some reputation over the years. Especially since so far, I haven’t received any requests from anyone to do so.