Monthly Archives: April 2011

“namin” is not good

Well, this is a blog posting about one thing: A funny misunderstanding and an insight on how language evolves. To explain the situation: The person with whom I want to spend the rest of my life, whom I want to marry and whose children I want to raise (in the following posting just abbreviated to Allanea) is here in Ireland with me for 12 days*. While he does not speak rejistanian in any degree of fluency, he understands a few words and has a basic idea about how the grammar works. Sometimes, I use rejistanian with him and in this specific case, I used “namin” quite often when we could not find something which we needed (the usual things: mobile phone, glasses, condoms**) and then I found it. This led to the fact that Boris understood the word in a rather different sense than it was intended: Instead of understanding it as “here” (which is what it means), he understood it as “it’s okay [we found it]”. And so one time, he used the term “namin” as “it’s okay”.

This confused me a lot until he explained his reasoning (and even later). However, as conlanger you can IMHO take a few lessons from it:
1) meanings can change quite unpredictably
2) sometimes, people do things with language you do not expect
3) it does not always need to make complete sense, sometimes language makes none and that is okay.

* the internet gave a whole new meaning to the term “long-distance relationship”.
** well, yes, we believe in this “no sex before marriage” thing, however since the institution of marriage exists since centuries, we feel free to f…(ornicate)