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 The Kiffish Language is a joint effort of CJ Cherryh's and mine. I approached her in an email message and suggested that I fill out the Hani, Kiffish, Stsho and Mahendosat languages that she started for her Chanur series. As I am a linguist and enjoy creating languages, she approved and has been overseeing me in this project.

The Babel project is run by Jeff Henning as a means of demonstrating Created languages in a single text. Below, the language of CJ Cherryh's Kiff is demonstrated in the 'Babel Text:' Gen. 11:1-9, the story of the creation of humanities languages at the tower of Babel.

There are three types of text below, 1, the romanization of the text in Kiffish. 2, the word for word translation and 3, the nearest approximation of the translation back into English. After the text there are several grammatical notes.

SGKHR-IKKT SKKIR-KTA TERAKTA
[time line/history][organize/gen][Earth/gen]
Chronicle of the Organization of the Earth (Genesis)

Ghurrukt-up hekhttekht rukt-up faisg ghinkt-up khtef-ktakkt-kkt
[eleven/th] [chapter] [one/th] [until] [nine/th] [word/packet/pl]
eleventh chapter, first through nineth verses


RUKT: Ginkt-ku umankt-kkt Tera-kta kkisf-ok ruk-ku kkoiskk-otk ruk-ku trakk-ska, tha.

ONE: [all/adj] [human/pl] [Earth/gen] [speak/past] [one/adj] [language/abs.] [one/adj] [way/instr] [reported]

ONE: It is reported that all humans of Earth spoke one language in one way.


KTUM: Sgat kktokht-ok sothog-otk naigh-lit gukkt ktokkkt aim-otk gekk-ku rekt sfig-lit Shinar-kta khtosf-ok khtan ktaip-ok.

TWO: [as] [journey/past] [clan/abs] [east/prep] [from] [they] [place/abs] [flat/adj] [in] [country/prep] [Shinar/gen] [find/past] [and] [live in/past]

TWO: As a clan from the east journeyed they found and dwelt in a flat place in the country of Shinar.


RUSKK: Skku-ok nokikkt shkhskk kkak: "Kkko-i sgigh-kkt-otk khtan noki-kkt ktoth-i." Rekkt, ktokkkt ufik-ok sgigh-kkt-otk roikt-ing khtan khtoir-otk skkoi-ku nkhn-ing.

THREE: [subordinate/past] [them] [therefore] [rumored]: "[make/imp] [brick/pl/abs] [and] [them] [fire in a kiln/imp]." [so], [they] [use/past] [brick/pl/abs] [stone/in place of] [and] [oil/abs] [black/adj] [cement/in place of].

THREE: It is rumored that they were subordinated in this manner: "Make bricks and burn them in a kiln." So, they used brick in the place of stone and black-oil in the place of cement.


NKH:        Skku-ok sgonkt-thu nokikkt shkhskk kkak: "kkko-i nkhf-otk khtan gesg-otk makkt skthi gakt skth-os ktatr-otk; khtan sfik-chu-i makkt-uk nokkkt hukk-rok poi-lit sgakk Tera-ud."

FOUR: [subordinate/past] [more/adv] [them] [therefore] [rumored]: "[make/imp] [castle/abs] [and] [tower/abs] [that] [its] [top] [reach/fut] [heaven/abs]; [and] [face/increase/imp] [that/purp] [we] [not/be scattered] [surface/prep] [on] [Earth/part]."

FOUR: It was rumored that they were further subordinated in this manner: "Make a castle and a tower whose top will reach heaven and increase our 'sfik' so that we won't be scattered in the surface of the Earth."


KTKHNG: Kig-ok Treskk-ku Haikkt-otk makkt-uk ktk ta-sfo nkht-nktain-otk khtan gesg-nktain-otk makkt umankt-kkt ktaikkt-zik, mak.

FIVE: [descend/past] [Lord/adj] [God/abs] [that/purp] [he] [see/cond] [castle/so-called/abs] [and] [tower/so-called/abs] [that] [human/pl] [build/anter], [assumed].

FIVE: It was assumed that the Lord God descended that he might see the so called castle and tower that the humans had built.


KTENG: Treskk-ku Haikkt tinkt-ok, "Kktkktkkt! Umankt-kkt-otk ktkhtr-o khtan ktokkkt ginkt-ku kkisf-o ruk-ku kkoiskk-otk; kktunkt-ska, hakkaip-otk pok-os nokikkt-lit ktokk skthikkt trek-nkte-lit gukkt.

SIX: [Lord/adj] [God] [say/past] "[disapproving noise]! [human/pl/abs] [unite/pres] [and] [they] [all/adj] [speak/pres] [one/adj] [language/abs]; [this/inst], [nothing/abs] [be-held/fut] [them/prep] [or] [their] [imagine/out-of-control/prep] [from].

SIX: It is reported that the Lord God said, "[disapproving noise]! The humans are united and they all speak one language; With this, nothing will be held from them or their out of control imagination.


RUK: "Ktkkkt sgkhkt-os pigh khtan sgaskk-esg-os skthikkt kkoiskk-otk makkt-uk ktokkkt sgaskk-i hukk nokikkt-esg," tha.

SEVEN: "[we] [go/fut] [there] [and] [understand/dis-/fut] [their] [language/abs] [that/purp] [they] [understand/affirm] [not] [them/dis-]," [reported].

SEVEN: "We will go there and confuse their language so they won't understand each other."


PAIKHT: Rekkt, rok-ok Treskk-ku Haikkt nokikkt pigh-lit gukkt poi-lit sgakk Tera-ud, tha.

EIGHT: [so], [scatter/past] [Lord-adj] [God] [them] [there/prep] [from] [surface/prep] [on] [Earth/part], [reported].

EIGHT: So, it is reported, the Lord God scattered them from there on the surface of the Earth.


GHINKT: Rekkt-chu, taikkt skthi Papel-otk, ktokk sgaskk-esg-gu-otk; kkkotok Treskk-ku Haikkt pigh-tok sgaskk-esg-ok ginkt-ku umankt-kkt-otk: khtan rok-ok nokikkt pigh-lit gukkt poi-lit sgakk Tera-ud, na.

NINE: [so/intens], [name] [its] [Babel/abs], [or] [understand/dis-/place/abs]; [because] [Lord/adj] [God] [there/loc] [understand/dis-/past] [all/adj] [human/pl/abs]: [and] [scatter/past] [them] [there/prep] [from] [surface/prep] [on] [Earth/part], [observed]

NINE: Therefore, it is as I have seen, that the name of it is called 'Babel,' or ' the Place of Misunderstanding': because the Lord God confused all the humans and scattered them from that place on the surface of the Earth.