Animal Names in Gjarrda
xRinlOgag Jardat
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There are more than a million different kinds of animals, including some 9,000 birds and 4,000 mammals, and hundreds of thousands of beetles. It would be an enormous task to give a unique name to each different species, and an enormous burden on the memory to learn each name individually. The alternative is to classify the animals into a smaller number of categories, each of which has its own name, and to use some kind of descriptive adjective or phrase to distinguish the individual species in each category. The Latin binomial system used by biologists is a widely used system of this kind, classifying the 9,000 birds into some 2,000 genera, and the 4,000 mammals into some 1,000 genera. (The exact number of species and genera depends on who is doing the classifying.) For example, all crows and ravens belong to the genus Corvus, and all hares and jackrabbits belong to the genus Lepus. But this is still a rather large number of names to remember. Animal names in Gjarrda are mainly based on larger categories, such as family, order, class, and phylum. There are still a few species that don't seem to fit into any higher category, or whose classification is uncertain, but it is not the main purpose of Gjarrda names to represent accurate classifications. Once a Gjarrda name is assigned to a species, the name remains attached to that species even if it is moved into a different category.

Although it is customary to represent scientific names in the Latin alphabet, even in languages that use different writing systems, they may also be borrowed into Gjarrda as foreign names, and written in Ljoerr-teg. Since the exact spelling of Latin names is critical, they are borrowed by simply substituting ljoerr for Latin letters without regard to the pronunciation, as follows: a a, b b, c c, d d, e e, f f, g g, h h, i i, j j, k k, l l, m m, n n, o o, p p, q q, r r, s s, t t, u u, v v, w w, x x, y y, z z. The non-Gjarrda letter h is not pronounced, and q is pronounced the same as k. Thus, the Latin name Thryomanes bewickii can be written …thryomanes-bewickii (pronounced trrue-ou-ma-neiz-bei-wikj-kii).

Categories of animals (xRintjus)

Naming an animal species in Gjarrda is done in two steps. First, determine which category the species belongs to, then find a distinguishing characteristic to separate it from other species in the same category. Unlike genera in the Latin binomial system, the Gjarrda categories for animals may overlap. As an obvious example, every animal belongs to the category mezo meizou (Metazoa), in addition to any other categories it may belong to. Some obscure kinds of invertebrates belong only to the category mezo. All birds belong to the category tiR tir (Aves). Within the category tiR, the crows, ravens, jays, magpies, and nutcrackers belong to the category GEl ghel (Corvidae), and the ravens and crows belong to a subcategory of GEl, called vaR var (Corvus). (Technically, the category GEl is defined as the tribe Corvini, since Birds of the World 2.0 by Charles G. Sibley is the primary reference for Gjarrda bird names, but most other sources refer to it as the family Corvidae. The more familiar names will be used in this document.)

Although many subcategories, such as vaR var (crows and ravens), baRma barma (sheep), and snaRag snarag (cobras), have their own distinct Gjarrda names, most subcategories have compound names based on the category they belong to or resemble in some way. The mousebird family, Coliidae, is a small family of six species with no close relatives. The corresponding Gjarrda subcategory is niktiR niktir, which is simply a Gjarrda translation of "mouse-bird". Mole-rats (Bathyergidae) are called t8maRi5eg teomarisjeig ("mole-rat") in Gjarrda, although the family is not actually a subcategory of Ri5eg risjeig (rats). Other subcategories have compound names that are descriptive, such as pagcig8l pagkjigeol, "ant-eater", which is a translation of the English word "anteater" and the Latin name of the family Myrmecophagidae.


The Bewick's Wren, Thryomanes bewickii, is a bird of the family Troglodytidae. Many families of birds have their own Gjarrda categories, and Troglodytidae is one of them, corresponding to the category tril trril. To distinguish this species from the other 74 species of wrens, the Gjarrda name refers to the long tail of the Bewick's Wren. Other kinds of wrens have long tails, but only one species can be called a "long-tailed wren" (tril GiRzomni trril ghirzoumni). Deciding which species gets which name depends on how likely the name will be needed. In this case, T. bewickii is one of the two most common local wrens (the other being the Carolina Wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus), and Gjarrda names are more likely to be needed for a local species than one from Central or South America (such as the Gray-mantled Wren, Odontorchilus branickii, from the Andes mountains, which also has a long tail).

The Verdin, Auriparus flaviceps, is traditionally considered to belong to the family Remizidae, but Sibley & Ahlquist's work with DNA hybridization suggests that it is probably more closely related to the gnatcatchers (Polioptilidae). The gnatcatchers have been classified with the Old World warblers of the family Sylviidae, which is often lumped in with the conglomerate family Muscicapidae, but according to the DNA evidence they are most closely related to the wrens. This relationship suggests the name "gnat-wren" for the gnatcatchers as a group, and "yellow-headed gnat-wren" for the Verdin (a translation of the Latin flaviceps). But the English word "gnat" refers to various unrelated small flies, and Gjarrda lacks a category for "gnat", so the name ends up as "yellow-headed fly-wren", or ta5tril tRallaRni tasjtrril trallarni.

The Broad-billed Sapayoa, Sapayoa aenigma, from Colombia, is a bird of uncertain classification. Although formerly classified as a manakin (Pipridae), recent evidence indicates that it is probably not a manakin, but it is not clear which group (if any) it belongs to. It may actually be in a class by itself. Because of the uncertainty, the more generic category "flycatcher" (Tyrannidae, including manakins and cotingas) is probably more appropriate than "manakin", even though it may end up being just as inaccurate. There are other broad-billed flycatchers, so the Gjarrda name refers to the Sapayoa's former classification, calling it a "manakin-flycatcher", or 5Elkat0n sjelkatoen.

The Shoebill, Balaeniceps rex, is often put in a family by itself, Balaenicipitidae, but DNA evidence suggests that it is related to pelicans. An alternate name of this species is "whale-headed stork", and the Latin name Balaeniceps means "whale head", from the unusual shape of its bill. From this characteristic and the relation to pelicans, the Gjarrda name "whale-pelican" (slunJEspa slungjespa) is derived.

The Hoatzin, Opisthocomus hoazin, was once thought to be related to pheasants and curassows, but DNA evidence links it to the cuckoos. An unusual characteristic of hoatzins is the pair of claws on the wings of the young birds, which suggests the name "clawed cuckoo", or 5agniwug sjagniwug.

The Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger, might be called the "black squirrel", translating the Latin name, but black is only one of three color phases of this species, and other kinds of squirrels can also be black. Since Fox Squirrels are native to North America, it is appropriate to translate the English name, resulting in 2ilziRik zjilzirik.

The Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Tadarida brasiliensis, is one of over 900 different species of bats (citRa kjitra). It is a member of the family Molossidae, of the superfamily Vespertilionoidea. The Latin is not very helpful; molossus is Latin for a "Molossian hound", whatever that is, and vespertilio simply means "bat". One alternate name for free-tailed bats is "bulldog bats", and the German equivalent is Bulldog-Fledermäuse, so perhaps a "Molossian hound" was something like a bulldog. But "bulldog bat" is also a common name for bats of the family Noctilionidae. To avoid confusion, Gjarrda borrows the English name "free-tailed bat" (citRa klelzomni kjitra kleilzoumni) for the Molossidae, and uses the alternate name "fisherman bat" (citRa RinGoz8l kjitra ringhouzeol) for Noctilio. Now to distinguish Tadarida brasiliensis from the other 85 free-tailed bats. This species has large forward-facing ears that are separated, while the ears of most other species of Tadarida are joined. Other free-tailed bats have more widely separated ears. This characteristic gives the Gjarrda name, "separate-eared free-tailed bat" (citRa klelzomni voljazni kjitra kleilzoumni voulyazni).

The Japanese Macaque, Macaca fuscata, has a reddish face, and lives in colder climates than other kinds of monkeys. Either "snow monkey" or "red-faced monkey" would be an appropriate name for this species, but "snow monkey" (nevJan neivgjan) is shorter, and therefore preferable.

The Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, is called da4xiong2mao1 (big-bear-cat) or da4mao1xiong2 (big-cat-bear) in Chinese, and the Red Panda, Ailurus fulgens, is called xiao3xiong2mao1 (small-bear-cat) or xiao3mao1xiong2 (small-cat-bear). These two mammals have been classified with the bears (Ursidae), the raccoons (Procyonidae), or in a family of their own (Ailuropodidae). For the purpose of Gjarrda categorization, the Giant Panda is considered as a bear, and the Red Panda as a raccoon, following the classification in Walker's Mammals of the World (sixth edition), which is the primary reference for Gjarrda mammal names. This may not turn out to be the correct classification, but it is a plausible one, and it allows the shorter names "cat-bear" (mjyrmOr mjuerrmorr) and "bear-raccoon" (mOraRka morrarka) instead of "big-cat-bear" and "small-cat-bear".

The Axis Deer (or Chital), Axis axis, has a distinctly spotted coat all year round, in contrast to most other spotted deer, whose spots fade in the winter. Thus, the name "spotted deer" (gRazniGaz graznighaz) is most appropriate for this species.

The Lechwe, Kobus leche, is a kind of antelope, of the family Bovidae. This family corresponds to the Gjarrda category lEn len, which has subcategories for buffalo and oxen (wal wal), duikers (foRla fourla), and sheep and goats (kalgi kalgi). Other members of the family Bovidae, including antelopes and gazelles, fall into the main category lEn. The Lechwe's adaptation to life on flood plains suggests the name "water-antelope", but "waterbuck" is the English name of a related species, Kobus ellipsiprymnus. Despite the English name, however, "water-antelope" is a more appropriate name for the Lechwe than for the Waterbuck. Thus, the Gjarrda name for the Lechwe is pEnlEn penlen.

The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox, is a pit viper, a member of the subfamily Crotalinae of the family Viperidae. It is distinguished by the black-and-white rings on its tail; another name for this species is "coontail rattler". This suggests "raccoon-tailed viper" (viksa aRkazomni viksa arkazomni) as a Gjarrda name.

The Red-eyed Tree Frog, Agalychnis callidryas, is well-named, since it has distinctive red eyes and lives in trees. Gjarrda has only a single category for 3,000 frogs and toads, drig drrik. The tree frog family, Hylidae, is still rather large for a subcategory, with around 600 species, but it is a more acceptable size, and "tree-frog" (zandrig zandrrik) is an appropriate name for the subcategory. Thus, the Gjarrda name for the Red-eyed Tree Frog ends up being a direct equivalent of the English name, zandrig GoLnavni zandrrig ghouljnavni.

The Electric Eel, Electrophorus electricus, is not a true eel (Anguilliformes, Gjarrda b0lga boelga), but is more closely related to carp (Cypriniformes, Gjarrda zoRgi zourgi). Members of the suborder Gymnotoidei, including the families Gymnotidae, Electrophoridae, Apteronotidae, and Rhamphichthyidae, are called b0lzoRgi boelzourgi, or "eel-carp", in Gjarrda. The Electric Eel is distinguished from the other 50 or so members of the category by its ability to generate hundreds of volts of electricity. The Gjarrda name is therefore "electric-eel-carp", or Lazb0lzoRgi ljazboelzourgi.

The Small Copper, Lycaena phlaeas, is a common species of butterfly. Gjarrda has only one category for all of the 170,000 species of butterflies and moths, Jundi gjundi. Lycaenidae is a large and diverse family, but the subfamily Lycaeninae is a reasonable size for a Gjarrda subcategory, and many (but not all) of the species do have a coppery color, as the English name "copper" implies. Thus, "copper-moth" (vorJundi vourrgjundi) is a reasonable name for Lycaeninae. L. phlaeas is a small butterfly, but not the smallest of the Lycaeninae. The forewings have black spots and a brown edge; the hindwings are dark brown with a copper band along the edge. This description would make a rather long name, and the female Large Copper (L. dispar) and Bronze Copper (Hyllolycaena hyllus, or Lycaena thoe) have similar markings. The Gjarrda name, "front-spotted copper-moth" (vorJundi deggRazni vourrgjundi deiggrazni), is a compromise between the goals of a short name and an accurate description.


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