Martian grammar: Activity 2

Aliens have landed on Earth, but don’t worry: they come in peace. Or at least, we think they do, but we can’t quite understand what they’re talking about.

Their language is not familiar and even highly trained experts are struggling to work out what they are saying. Your job is to work with the Martian examples that they have translated and work out some of the rules of their language. In doing so, you might even learn something about your own language.

First you will be given some examples of English clauses translated into Martian. You will then need to use these examples to solve the translation puzzle given on the next slide.

It may help to write out the Martian examples and try to break them into meaningful parts.

Note: If you have done the earlier lesson on Martian grammar, be warned that the Martian examples in this lesson come from a slightly different dialect. The rules of this dialect are slightly different.

Here are the examples of English clauses with Martian translations:

English Martian
I am happy joffo osaveb
I will be eating omangixeret
He had a friend makky ukalex
They were not happy joffo uunixsavex
We have friends makkyz ookaleb
She will eat a meal akky umanget
You did not sleep (where you is one person) enixzizex
You are not sleeping (where you is one person) enixzizixereb
He doesn’t like apples poggyz unixkimeb
They are eating a banana bluggy uumangixereb

And here is your translation puzzle. These English examples need to be translated into Martian:

English Martian
We were not happy  
They will be sleeping  
I like bananas  
I ate an apple  
She will not be happy  
You (plural) were not happy  
He was not eating apples  
You (plural) will not have friends  

Are you ready to tackle a further challenge? These Martian messages need translating into English:

Martian English
akky omangixeret  
bluggyz uukimeb  
unixzizixerex  
joffo esaveb  
poggyz oonixkalex  

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