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If you see many apostrophes, it's pre-reform. If you see î and only a few apostrophes, it's post-reform. — Arthaey

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I've gone through the Conlang mailing list's archives and compiled a list of translation exercises from old posts, including word lists, texts (paragraphs, stories, poems, etc.), and standalone sentences (or at least groups of sentences that don't form anything really coherent). Feel free to email me with suggestions for other material. Obviously, just about any text can become a translation exerecise; the ones list below were mostly suggested on the Conlang list and translated into at least one conlang.

Similar projects exist on the 'net: Muke Tever's archive of Aidan Grey's Vocab of the Week, J. K. Hoffman's Conlang Phrasebook, and Sally Cave's incredible Taxonomies.

Another good source of texts is Jan van Steenbergen's list of past relays. And, of course, there is always spam to translate, if you really get desperate. ;)

"X of the Day" Tweets

Word Lists

  1. Leipzig Valency Classes Wordlist
  2. Dublex
  3. Essential World English
  4. Ogden's Basic English (850 words), grouped:
  5. Ogden's Basic English (1500 words)
  6. Swadesh List
  7. Wierzbicka's Semantic Primes
  8. Graded Sentences for Analysis

Texts: Paragraphs, Stories, Poems

Starred translations refer to relay texts not based on the original text.

  1. Another Upon Her Weeping, by Robert Herrick, via Gary Shannon
  2. Babel (Genesis 11:1–9), via Jeffrey Henning
  3. Chunky Monkey, by Jonny Butler, via John Cowan
  4. City — Am Fenster, via Carsten Becker
  5. Conlangea Multilingual Phrasebook, 2nd edition, by Mia Soderquist
  6. Danti and the Donkey, by Gary Shannon
  7. Dizzy Fox, by Jonathan T., via David Peterson
  8. Don't wait for a sign, by Pablo Flores
  9. Drinking Alone Under the Moon, by Li Bai, via Thomas Wier
  10. Elokuno Animata, by Gary Shannon
  11. Eyes, by Pablo Flores
  12. Farmer Whose Horse Ran Away, by Joshua Shinavier
  13. Father, what are those lights?, via Fabian
  14. Flight, by John Fisher
  15. Fog, by Carl Sandburg, via Taliesin
  16. Galadriel's Lament, by J. R. R. Tolkien, via Helge Fauskanger
  17. Gate of the Year, by New Zealand King George VI, via Andrew Smith
  18. Grandfather and the Dragon, by Irina Rempt
  19. If Only, by Louis Sachar
  20. In the Womb-Dream
  21. Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll
  22. Language is a ford, by Vladislav Illich-Svitych, via Leo Moser
  23. Litany Against Fear, by Frank Herbert
  24. Many Zeroes , by Charles Simic, via Hanuman Zhang
  25. Miller's Son, via Joe Fatula
  26. Missierek mar ir-rahal, by Fabian
  27. Navajo Evening Prayer, via Charlie
  28. North Wind and the Sun, Æsop's fable, via Christian Thalmann
  29. On a Night of Snow, by Elizabeth Coatsworth, via Nokta Kanto
  30. One Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  31. Origin of the Strawberry, by Rogers Clinch
  32. Pater Noster (Matthew 6:9–13), via Catherine N. Ball
  33. Piercing Chill, by Taniguich Buson, via Charlie
  34. Schleicher's Fable,via Leo Moser
  35. Shepherd's Boy and the Wolf, by Joshua Shinavier
  36. Shipwrecked Man, via Padriac Brown
  37. Smile and be happy, by Christian Thalmann
  38. Solsbury Hill, by Peter Gabriel, via Carsten Becker
  39. Space Child's Mother Goose, by Frederick Winsor, via John Cowan
  40. Stabat mater dolorosa
  41. Starlings' Song (First Relay)
  42. El Suicida, by Jorge Luis Borges, via Pablo Flores
  43. Take my hand, by Andreas Johansson
  44. Wolf and the Dog, via David Bell
  45. Woodman and the Serpent, by Joshua Shinavier
  46. You are with me always, by Gustavo Adrián Salvini, via Carlos Thompson
  47. Zompist Phrasebook, by Mark Rosenfelder

Standalone Sentences

  1. I can begin, I want to persevere, I will succeed.
    Irina Rempt , 1999-04-03
  2. If you can understand this, you know too much.
    Christophe Grandsire , 1999-09-24
  3. Nobody remembers the names of ants.
    Carlos Thompson , 2000-05-01
  4. If you call me insane again, I'll eat your other eye.
    Daniel Seriff , 2000-07-08
  5. Fight linguistic extinction... invent a language!
    Jonathan Chang , 2000-09-25
  6. All your base are belong to us.
    — Zero Wing, via Nik Taylor , 2001-03-17
  7. I may be drunk, but tomorrow I shall be sober, and you will still be ugly.
    — Winston Churchill?, via Dan Jones , 2001-04-02
  8. Behold! From Hell's dark sisterhood am I, and War and Death are in my hand!
    — Vergil, via Daniel Andreasson , 2001-06-10
  9. Happy birthday!
    Daniel Andreasson , 2002-03-25
  10. Ez laist aizh dair ai anév dadair.
    Andreas Johansson , 2002-08-27
  11. Where do you come from?
  12. Who are you?
  13. Whose (man, servant) are you?
  14. What is your name?
  15. Where is your house?
  16. Why do you come? (What do you want?)
  17. Why are you here?
  18. I sit here to watch.
  19. What is the name of this village?
  20. Have you any errand (business)?
  21. Not any; I have come to no purpose.
  22. Then go home to eat (drink) your soup.
  23. Yes: please give me some medecine.
  24. I am ill (I have got, am befallen with, an illness).
  25. I feel pain.
  26. Where?
  27. In the stomach.
  28. I have headache.
  29. We should have taken a walk, but it is too hot.
  30. Take this!
  31. Take this with (you)!
  32. Bring this!
  33. How shall I do this?
  34. You must not do it in this way.
  35. I want some more milk.
  36. Clean this!
  37. Wash it with sand!
  38. Give me some water, please!
  39. Are (your) hands clean?
  40. Filter the milk through the filtering cloth!
  41. Put the little stove there!
  42. Put the pot (_degc`i_) down on the ground!
  43. Put the pot near the fire!
  44. Take it off!
  45. As soon as the sun sets, light a fire!
  46. Go to fetch the china!
  47. Come to take away this.
  48. If you wash with cold water, the china does not become clean; wash it well with some hot (water)!
  49. Unless all the work is done, don't go! (or) you must not go.
  50. Shall I make the table ready?
  51. Yes; lay (spread) the cloth!
  52. Is there much water in the teapot, or little?
  53. (But) a little.
  54. Fill the teapot with water, and bring it!
  55. The kettle leaks.
  56. It must be soldered (fastened with pewter).
  57. Take it to the blacksmith's.
  58. The tumbler (glass-cup) has got a crack.
  59. Unless I tell you, do not bring wood!
  60. When master commands, I shall bring.
  61. What did you say, sir (did the gentleman say)?
  62. Don't cast it away! Do not let it slip!
  63. Take care! Cautiously!
  64. You must not press!
  65. Put by the remainder the remainder of the rice!
  66. There is no remainder, nothing is left.
  67. Do not let the milk run over!
  68. Not cutting the liver, bring it as a whole!
  69. Peel the potatoes, and cut them in pieces!
  70. Don't tarry much!
  71. Come soon!
  72. Do not forget!
  73. (I) did not forget.
  74. Can you remember it (bear it in mind)?
  75. You must bear it in mind, (make it certain).
  76. Go in! Come in!
  77. Go (or come) in, sir!
  78. Sit down!
  79. Please sit down, sir!
    — H. A. Jäschke, via Tim May , 2002-09-22
  80. I shall kill you like [I would kill] a dog.
  81. I shall kill you like a dog [would kill you].
  82. I prefer grandma-style bread.
  83. She sings loudly.
  84. She sings in a way that makes her ridiculous.
    Christian Thalmann , 2002-10-16
  85. The wind now blowing hates you who have ruled for so long.
    Amanda Babcock , 2002-11-21
  86. This tavern/bar isn't as good as it used to be.
  87. What are you doing? I told you to leave them where they were!
  88. I would embrace the world if I could.
  89. The cat ate the mouse I gave her like a tiger [would].
  90. Yes, I've heard you, and no, I don't want to buy it.
  91. Welcome! Here's your room key. -- Thank you. -- You're welcome.
  92. Sir, could I please have a glass of water?
  93. Your mother was a prostitute. (Or equally insulting idiom.)
  94. Christian Thalmann , 2002-11-30
  95. The eyes are blind. One must look with the heart.
    Pablo Flores , 2003-04-09
  96. Él pega a su mujer [con frecuencia].
  97. ¿Has terminado de golpearme ya?
  98. ¿Por qué estás golpeando el tambor?
  99. ¿Desde cuándo has dejado de golpear a tu esposo?
  100. Nosotros no pegamos a nuestras esposas.
  101. Ella ha estado pegando a su esposo.
  102. Está enamorada de ti.
  103. Ellos se han enamorado de nosotros.
  104. Ellos están enamorados de ella.
  105. A los niños les gustan los libros.
  106. Nos gusta este libro.
  107. Esta chica está leyendo un libro.
  108. Los libros están sobre la mesa.
  109. Los chicos están acostados.
  110. Voy a poner al niño en la cuna.
  111. Algunos de nuestros amigos fuman en pipa.
  112. Fred fuma en pipa.
  113. Aquel amigo mío está aquí ahora.
  114. El granjero trajo a sus amigos.
  115. La chica de ahí es la prometida de Fred.
  116. Ella llevaba aquel vestido tan caro.
  117. Ella siempre viste elegantemente.
  118. ¿Cuánto tiempo estuviste allí?
  119. Aquellos amigos tuyos me levantaron temprano.
  120. Las rosas son bonitas: esta rosa es realmente bonita ahora.
  121. Hans es un ligón. Kurt las persigue.
  122. Ping es pescador.
  123. Aquellos ratones ciegos que ves allí asustaron a la esposa del granjero.
  124. Aquellas chicas tan bonitas siempre están enamoradas de granjeros ricos.
    Carlos Thompson , 2003-06-12
  125. We are sitting in the night, and like the night, we are silent.
    Christian Thalmann , 2003-06-14
  126. I know who I want to take me home.
    Mark J. Reed , 2004-01-24
  127. The dog with the man that I saw was green.
    Aaron Grahn , 2004-06-13
  128. I will begin to return all the way.
  129. The boy is coming from the house.
  130. They arrived only momentarily.
  131. The hunter is coming with father.
  132. I will come in January (remote).
  133. You painted a canoe for him.
  134. You bought the airplane in the mountains.
  135. You made the bicycle come back.
  136. He will sorrow for them who will teach her.
    Herman Miller , 2004-06-15
  137. This mower is so dull, all it's doing is bending the grass over.
    Roger Mills , 2004-06-20
  138. He opened the door and he (same referent) left the room.
    Trebor Jung , 2004-06-26
  139. He sang and danced.
  140. He sang and then danced.
  141. He1 sang and he2 danced.
  142. He1 sang and then he2 danced.
  143. He1 said that he1 sang and he1 danced.
  144. He1 said that he1 sang and then he1 danced.
  145. He1 said that he1 sang and he2 danced.
  146. He1 said that he1 sang and then he2 danced.
  147. He1 said that he2 sang and he1 danced.
  148. He1 said that he2 sang and then he1 danced.
  149. He1 said that he2 sang and he3 danced.
  150. He1 said that he2 sang and then he3 danced.
    Trebor Jung , 2004-06-26
  151. The sound came on.
  152. There is a Santa Claus.
  153. The genie appeared.
  154. There is hope.
  155. The footprints remained.
  156. The ball is-red.
  157. The rug is-shaggy.
  158. The lake is-deep.
  159. Water is-wet.
  160. The man is angry.
  161. The dog is being noisy.
  162. The towel is-wet.
  163. Bruce Wayne is Batman.
  164. Two plus two equals four.
  165. The ball is next to the box.
  166. The coat is under the table.
  167. The worm is in the bird.
  168. The bird has wings.
  169. The coat belongs to me.
  170. The buffalo is bigger than the dog.
  171. I am called 'Caine.'
  172. The dog jumps.
  173. The crowd booed.
  174. The man turned around.
  175. The girl laughed.
  176. The man sneezed.
  177. The doctor hiccoughed.
  178. The teacher got sick.
  179. The student fell.
  180. The lady died.
  181. The computer crashed.
  182. The bomb exploded.
  183. The fungus died.
  184. The fungus grew.
  185. The sun shines.
  186. The fire burns.
  187. The teacher fainted.
  188. The student got-a-head-rush.
  189. The artist experienced-esthetic-pleasure.
  190. The man washed the shirt.
  191. The man washed himself.
  192. The men washed each other.
  193. The hunters shot the deer.
  194. The hunters shot themselves.
  195. The hunters shot each other.
  196. The sun melted the ice.
  197. The fire burned the house.
  198. The woman sees the bird.
  199. The woman sees herself.
  200. The woman and the bird see each other.
  201. The student knows (about) statues.
  202. The student knows (about) herself.
  203. The students know (about) each other.
  204. The man gave food to the babies.
  205. The man gave food to himself.
  206. The men gave food to each other.
  207. The painting made me angry.
  208. The general made me an assistant private.
  209. The sun made the glue hard.
  210. Pa named his boy Sue.
  211. Futhor beat Huthor silly.
  212. Huthor beat Futhor to a pulp.
  213. The A'qhq people pound the roots to a thick paste.
  214. He called me a traitor!
    Jim Grossmann , 2004-06-28
  215. You can't add more years to your life, but you can add more life to your years.
    Christian Thalmann , 2004-08-11
  216. He who eats the food left after the sacrifice is freed from all sin.
    Patrick Dunn , 2004-08-13
  217. The book was read by my cousin.
  218. I was read to by my cousin.
    Adrian Morgan , 2005-02-06
  219. I didn't know that you were a philosopher.
    — Quizno's, via Mark J. Reed , 2005-02-09