Before I get into transliteration I forgot a key pronunciation concept. The penultimate syllable normally receives the accent. One interesting by-product of this, in conjunction with modular lexicon building, is that related words will often have emphasis on different syllables even seemingly unimportant ones. As I present more vocabulary, this will become more obvious.
Also, at least for now, when typing "Martian" words, I will make them red when first introduced. This is opposed to enclosing them in single quotes as I have been doing so far. This should alleviate confusion concerning the letters, a', i' and o'. If anyone finds this confusing, let me know and I'll see about another solution.
OK, now on to transliteration. Remember how I specified the way I limited the alphabet and, therefore, number of sounds? Well, this works as a shortcut for transliteration, as well. When encountering a missing letter/sound, you replace it with the letter it is related to. The primary exception to this is 'h' which is nearly always ignored - think "Cockney" accent. Occasionally, 'y' could be substituted if it makes phonetic sense, but generally, skip the letter 'h'. As far as the others, here's the basic progression: 'f' > 'v', 'j' > 'c', 'k' > 'g', 'n' > 'm', 'p' > 'b', 'q(u)' > 'gw', 'r' > 'l', 't' > 'd' and 'z' > 's'.
Ultimately, the important thing to remember about transliterating foreign words into "Martian" is that everything is as phonetic as possible. In other words, don't use the spelling of the other word; use how it "sounds". Along these lines, a trick common to Asian transliteration of Western languages is to change 'er' to 'a'. This seems natural for "Martian" as well since it also lacks an 'r' sound.
So let's try putting our guidelines into practice with the English word 'feet'. This would actually be transliterated as 'vid'. Since there is no 'f' or 't' in "Martian", they become 'v' and 'd' respectively and the long-'e' sound of 'ee' is written as 'i'. Note that the word 'feed' would also be transliterated the same way. This is an unfortunate side effect of the limited phoneme palette.
However, due to this same limitation, we have a "beneficial" side effect, as well... we have established a consistent and authentic "Martian" accent. If you were to take a sentence in any other language and transliterate using the above guidelines you would have the way a "Martian" would intuitively speak said foreign language. Of course, our hypothetical "Martian" could be well versed in the language and might not have an accent at all; but what we are seeing is the tendency to pronounce words from a "Martian" language bias.
Due to the cultural and philosophical nature of the "Martian" language, transliterating is only used for things when there is no real equivalent (aside from the example directly preceding - seeing how a typical "Martian" might pronounce foreign phrases). This means that pretty much the only "loan" words in "Martian" are proper names. And even these would only apply to things where there's no logical reason for "Martians" to not have their own word.
For instance, there would be native "Martian" words for the planets but not the individual nations of Earth/Terra. To create one of these, the name in question starts with the adj name native to its inhabitants. This is then transliterated and "Martian" grammatical rules are applied. For example, let's use Germany. The native adj to describe things pertaining to Germany is 'Deutsch'. Transliterated, this would would be Do'c. Applying "Martian" grammar, the adj would be Do'ci. A person from Germany (Deutschlander) would be an Do'ci-gibica, the German language would be Do'cida and the country itself (Deutschland) would be Do'ci[land]... sorry I'm not that far along with vocabulary. But I think you get the idea.
And this leads us perfectly into people's names. Transliteration of names simply follows the above rules. As far as naming conventions, "Martians" have three names (in order): a personal name, a paternal surname and a maternal surname. When a child is born, he/she is given a personal name by the parents and inherits the father's paternal surname and the mother's maternal surname.
So for instance: Abdul Galimsgi-Ximada and Olivia Iblahim-Samces have a daughter. They name her Malia. She inherits Galimsgi from her father and Samces from her mother, so her full name is Malia Galimsgi-Samces.
In common usage, names have three levels of "formality". In formal situations, a person's full name is often used, or at least an honorific + both surnames. In non-formal, non-familiar situations, an honorific + gender appropriate surname is used. The generic "Martian" honorific (regardless of gender) is simply Gibica (lit. 'person'). So, a man would be referred to as Gibica [Paternal Surname] and a woman as Gibica [Maternal Surname]. In informal/familiar situations, the personal name is used. Children are normally addressed by their personal name until they are sixteen, at which time the guidelines above apply.
To use the family above as an example (non-formal), we have the father: Gibica-Galimsgi or Abdul and the mother: Gibica-Samces or Olivia. The daughter would also be Gibica-Samces... once she turned 16. Prior to this, she would normally be addressed as Malia, Malia Samces or Malia Galimsgi-Samces, depending on how formal the situation was.
While "Martians" are not especially formal, there are some typical guidelines. As an example, Abdul Galimsgi-Ximada would usually address his colleague, Liam Wu-Xevalye, as Gibica-Wu unless it was a social situation. In this case, he would likely address him simply as Liam. If Liam was his boss/superior, Abdul would normally address him as Gibica-Wu-Xevalye or, in an especially formal situation, Liam Wu-Xevalye. In social situations, he might address him as Liam or Gibica-Wu... depending on the their level of familiarity. Also, when a "Martian" is introduced to someone for the first time, the full name is always given.
I've given a nice list of transliterated "Terran" names so that you can get an idea of the type of names "Martians" typically have. I settled on ten broad linguo-regional-ethnic groups then came up with 5 male, 5 female and 10 surname examples for each. Some are identical in "Martian"/"Terran" spelling, others are close and some are not so obvious - see how many you can decipher (remember the guidelines above!):
Adam, Adex, Aleando, Amad, Ba', Cals, Como, Da, Dev, Devid, Dida, Diego, Dube, Edwad, Gi, Idowu, Ilya, Isao, Ixmael, Leo, Li, Liam, Lui, Madias, Mags, Masami, Masud, Migel, Mixa, Mixel, Moamed, Musdava, Oleg, Ose, Sadao, Said, Salim, Samdib, Uva, Vasili, Vice, Vilelm, Vlad, Vlamswa, Wagim, Wamgali, We, Xi, Xoci, Yasuo
Emilya, Eva, Gamila, Gogomi, I'go, Isabel, Lalima, Lela, Lim, Lisa, Lola, Ludmila, Luisa, Magda, Malia, Masego, Maxa, Megu, Micigo, Mu, Olga, Olivia, Osumale, Salma, Sdevi, Soma, Sovia, Svedlama, Vadima, Xalad, Xu, Xulied, Yemamde, Yulia
Co', Dacev, David, Dawa, Devis, Dias, Docesda, Dugal, Dwivedi, Ga', Gadegi, Galaxmigov, Galil, Gemyada, Gimamdi, Gocima, Godie, Gomsales, Gubda, Gwo, Ivcemgo, Ixida, La', Lam, Leveba, Lewa, Li, Livi', Lu, Ludvig, Lugas, Ma, Magomde, Malimbwa, Maloba, Masamimo, Masi', Masuda, Medvedev, Memsa, Mewadi, Mi'a, Mi'ba'm, Miyasagi, Moales, Musab, Navalo, Odega, Odimga, Olivia, Oyama, Sadig, Sadovsgi, Salim, Samces, Samdiago, Samdu, Samsiba, Samyuls, Saud, Selewad, Suguma, Swami, Vagas, Vilalobos, Vimdix, Vogovic, Volmie, Wadase, Waxigdam, Wilyams, Wu, Xabas, Xabel, Xevalye, Ximada, Xmid, Xslesimga, Xumaga, Yadav, Yamaguci, Yaxgim, Yega, Yosev
So there you go. I'll start getting into more detailed grammar and vocabulary in future posts. But I think this is plenty to digest for now. And, again, I'm more than happy to get some feedback. I'd love to know what other people think after reading this. Thanks!
aka Habitual Gypsy