The LCC Relay Rules

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The following ruleset was taken from the 10th Conlang Relay, and modified to suit our purposes:

This is how it works:

  • First, you receive the latest iteration of the relay text with all the instructions and information necessary to translate it. That should include:

    • The text, of course, in a readable format (either in X-SAMPA, or some type of romanization).

    • Enough grammatical information to decipher the text (e.g., if the text has a headless relative, then there had better be an explanation in the grammar of how headless relatives work in that language. If you have a website, you're encouraged to provide a link to it in your e-mail).

    • A glossary, including all the necessary lexical information needed to translate the text (i.e., don't put your entire dictionary into the e-mail, but do include all the roots used, and all the necessary information to be able to derive each of the forms used in the text).

    • An explanation of the abbreviations and terminology used. (You can assume every participant will know that, e.g., "n" = "noun", "v" = "verb", and "adj" = "adjective, but if "nom" = "nominalizer" and not "nominative", be sure to say so.)

  • With all the information you have received, start deciphering the text. If you are really struggling (or if the stuff you received lacks some vital info), you may query the preceding conlanger by private email, but remember that he/she may not give you a sustained translation. If you are still having trouble and feel you cannot, for whatever reason, translate the text, notify the Relay Master and the Relay List immediately, so that the text can be passed on to the next participant. Should this happen, you can request to be moved to the end (time permitting).

  • Translate the text into your own conlang. If there are things you still don't understand in the source language, make an educated guess: it's better to have a consistent story based on a more-than-free translation than a word-for-word translation that makes no sense.

  • After you have made a version in your own language, send three emails:

    • To the next participant: the new text in your language, glossary and grammatical instruction, but NO SMOOTH ENGLISH TRANSLATION. (This latter is extremely important, as passing on an English translation will, in effect, ruin the relay--or, at the very least, the turn of the following player.) Important: do not give more information than necessary for deciphering the text.

    • To the Relay Master: the same as above, but INCLUDING A SMOOTH ENGLISH TRANSLATION of the text in your conlang. Optionally, you may also add a smooth translation of the text you received; such a translation will demonstrate how well you have understood your source text, and how you implemented that into your own conlang.

    • To the Relay List: an announcement that you have passed the torch to so and so. Important: DO NOT POST YOUR TRANSLATION TO THE LIST!!!

  • You have 48 hours to complete your task. If nobody has heard anything from you after that period, you will mercilessly be passed over. If you see in advance that you won't be able to remain within the schedule, please notify the Relay Master and the relay list as soon as possible, so that you can be either rescheduled or given a dispensation. A typical "relay day" starts at 12:00 AM (PDT) and ends at 11:59 PM (PDT). [Note: We're using Pacific Time because I live in sunny Southern California.]

  • When the relay is concluded, the Relay Master will collect the results, and prepare them for presentation on the second day of the Third Language Creation Conference. Those participants in attendance (unless they object) will be asked to briefly present their leg of the relay to the audience (and, if you can, read it aloud!).

  • For the website, soundbytes of all versions of the text are encouraged, but of course not required. Same goes for a version of the text in conscripts, etc.

  • If you have any questions about anything at any point during the relay, please e-mail me.

This page was last modified on Friday, August 3, 2018.
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