Unknown language: Nautron respoc lorni virch

Faethin

Member
Spanish, Aeternae Veris Terra
I shall be extremely grateful to the one who can help me out with this one.

Near the beggining of chapter XV of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Professor Aronnax tells of a phrase the Nautilus' second officer pronounced almost every day, while scanning the horizon every morning, during their stay on board the ship.

Nautron respoc lorni virch

Not even the professor is able to decypher the meaning of this, assuming that it meant simply "Nothing on sight"; this owing to the fact that, the only time in which the phrase was replaced by some other equally incomprehensible sentence, Captain Nemo apparently detected something in the horizon which the professor never learnt of.

It does sound like "Nothing on sight", especially with the first and last words, both wich have a likeness to words commonly used in romanic languages such as the Italian niente, 'nothing'or the Spanish vista, 'sight'.

SPOILER!

Since captain Nemo is actually Indian, (and a very educated man overall), and considering its resemblance to the latin languages mentioned above, could this phrase be sanskrit?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Pregunta interesante, aunque mi sospecha sea que se trata de una lengua inventada.
     

    Agró

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Navarre
    Invented language (source):

    Cuando el profesor Aronnax y sus compañeros embarcaron en el Nautilus se encontraron frente a dos hombres calzados con botas de mar de piel de foca y vestidos con ropas de un tejido especial que los dejaban en completa libertad de movimientos. Uno de ellos se dirigió a su compañero en una lengua desconocida para el profesor. «Era un idioma armonioso, flexible, sonoro, y cuyas vocales parecían estar sometidas a una acentuación variadísima», nos cuenta. Más adelante, el viejo y admirado Verne nos regala unas palabras de esta maravillosa lengua: Nautron respoc lorni virch (20.000 leguas de viaje submarino, Julio Verne).
    El Capitán Nemo había creado un mundo propio, al margen del resto del mundo. Era una sociedad perfecta (aunque, al parecer, compuesta sólo por hombres), con su propia lengua, igualmente perfecta.
     

    Winho

    New Member
    Hindi
    These words sound like Sanskrit or an Indo-Aryanic language. I will begin with the word 'Virch.' In Sanskrit and other Indian langauges, it means 'year'. This makes it easier to decipher the phrase 'Nautron Respoc Lorni Virch.' Nau is nine (9), Tron (3). The meanings of Respoc and Lorni are unclear. But it seems that the First Officer of the Nautilus was counting days and years. Possibly the time they've been at sea. "93 days and Respoc Lorni" Years". Jules Verne writes that on one particular day, the first officer changed the phrase. This could indicate the end of a year or even a month. The Indian calendar is much different from others.
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    I doubt you'll find Catalan words ending in "-rch".
    Yes, one should go back to pre-Fabran spelling (before 1913), when final [k] was written as ch, as in the medieval poet Ausiàs March, which nowadays would simply be written Marc.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Yes, one should go back to pre-Fabran spelling (before 1913), when final [k] was written as ch, as in the medieval poet Ausiàs March, which nowadays would simply be written Marc.
    It would be so nice to go back to those days. "Ch" representing /k/ is pleasant. The language may be better with no Fabra.
    Nautron respoc lorni virch with "ch" as "k" could totally sound Catalan with "lorni" being some subjunctive verb.
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    It would be so nice to go back to those days. "Ch" representing /k/ is pleasant. The language may be better with no Fabra.
    Nautron respoc lorni virch with "ch" as "k" could totally sound Catalan with "lorni" being some subjunctive verb.

    Well, it would if we wrote Nau tron res poc l'orni Virch. "Throneship, may Virk adorn it little or nothing." :p
     

    djmc

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    To me it seems obvious that Jules Verne Was just inventing and it would be pointless to equate the words with anything else. What languages did Verne know anyway? The most one can say is that the collocation of letters is not unpronounceable.
     
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