Wednesday, December 3, 2008


In George Orwell's 1984, the nation of Oceania, where the novel takes place, comprises what in our world is the United States, Australia, England, the rest of the Americas, and a few other areas. The novel is set in London. The mostly English speaking nation is under a totalitarian dictatorship that seeks to replace English with a more significantly impoverished language, Newspeak, which would lack the linguistic tools needed to even contemplate rebellion. English is slowly phasing out as an irrelevent "Oldspeak," with the implication of being obsolete.

In this new language, old documents that would inspire rebels will be reduced to laughably contradictory piles of nonsense, say the literature students. I disagree, as I reject the Sapir Worf Hypothesis, and believe that some meaning can still be preserved. As an example of this, I'm going to translate the declaration of independence into Newspeak, a task the Sapir-worf followers have deemed impossible. (Because statements like "All men are created equal" would turn into the obviously and hilariously wrong "All mans same.")

Sometimes government ungood. People need destroy government when government work ungood. Position is not as natural, but should made as natural. When people leave government, they should say why, and government stopping is ungood.

We Bellyfeel this: All mans should same powers. All mans should have power to live, to do things, and try to be happy. State exists to give this, state power comes from all mans, and mans has power to change it or replace it. Mans should replace unbellyfeel state speedwise.

England coldplus unbellyfeel mans for a long time. We tell world.

King unaccept good laws we need.

King stop congress make law because unreason rubbish.

King make congress meet in unreason place.

King make congress go home for unreason.

King stop election, because he is a jerk.

King let foreign jerks in, and not let us stop it.

King stop court from make justice.

King make judge obey unreason rule.

King's thugs slept in our bed and ate our food. We unenjoy!

King make forces bother us.

King make forces rules follow over ours.

King let forces kill us, king ungoodful stop punish.

King not let us buy. Ungood!

King make ungood taxes we unenjoy.

King ungood punish for unreason.

King take us strange places for unreason punish.

King make arbitrary unreason rules near us too.

King take away our law.

King unlet us talk about law.

King unstate us, war unwith us.

King destroy our boats, ruin beach, destroy our towns, and killed us.

Now king send large foreign forces to kill us. How unmanful ungood!

King push riot on us, push riot on Indians.

We ask King stop humbleful, King unstop. What ungoodwise person!

We ask fellow British help, because we think they good manful. They unhear. Therefore, we war them until they hear.

Because this, we, who represent United States of America, say we are new state, unconnected England. This as should be. We unhear English King. We have power to War, Peace, Friend, Sell, and do all other state things. We promise do hero to protect United States.

I promise to change this translation if anyone finds a word that doesn't exist in Newspeak (like if "unhear" would be "unlisten" instead), or would produce a nonsensical result ("Enjoy" meaning "suitable to government").

FIRST EDIT: Oops, "honor" doesn't exist. Replacing.
SECOND EDIT: "Listen" has been replaced with "hear" to mean "auditory understanding." All instances of "unlisten" replaced with "unhear."
THIRD EDIT: "Army?" More like "Forces." Also, "hero" is a better description for what the politicians offer their new country. The oldspeak "stupid" replaced with newspeak "unreason."

1 comment:

Ryan Shaffer said...

Nice job; beat me to the chase, but I forgot about it a year or two ago, so it's not like I was going to get around to it, anyways. However, all the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis says is that word–meanng association is completely arbitrary, not that the Inner Party can succeed in wiping out all possible expressions of contrasting ideology and/or replacing/winnowing them to harmless meanings.

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