Zuehl dëhn wortz Kobaian?
June 18, 2014 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Has there ever been any real linguistic exmamination of Christian Vander and Magma's constructed Kobaian language? It seems odd that the Zeuhl style would prove influential enough to have other bands adopt the style and language and yet never have any sort of official lexicon.
posted by mediocre to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know that the practical answer to this is that Kobaian is an essentially unknowable language, from uncountable millions of years in the future, and fully integrated with music as to make any sort of textual lexicon completely impossible. But still, has anyone even tried?
posted by mediocre at 3:17 PM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

There are partial dictionaries, online, which I'm sure you found googling, but nothing in google scholar as far as anything formal.
posted by empath at 11:58 PM on June 18, 2014

Google proves not a ton of help on the situation since anything that comes as a direct quote from Vander on the matter is in French. I know he has provided some direct translations, although only to French.. And I'm guessing that Kobaian to French to English loses quite a bit.. I guess I was hoping that some diehards took what they could verify and extrapolated something..

In the music, there does seem to be some internal consistency in the language. So it doesn't seem like he just made up a bunch of gibberish as he went along. I guess it is probably more likely that he made up a bunch of gibberish that sounded like a cross between something Germanic, something Slavic, and Esperanto then realized he needed some consistency so started re-using words..
posted by mediocre at 12:05 PM on June 19, 2014

Wait.. I just learned for the first time somehow that Magma did an English language album? Called "Merci", released in 1984 and while certainly still having a Zeuhl touch to it.. it is very oddly slick and 1980's sounding..
posted by mediocre at 3:50 PM on June 19, 2014

Christ.. my mind is kind of exploding listening to the second song linked above this one.. it's like.. wicked awesomely one night Magma did a shitload of cocaine and decided to record an Earth Wind & Fire album but they have never actually heard Earth Wind & Fire but their friend told them that it's like a slightly funkier version of ABBA's Super Trooper album.
posted by mediocre at 3:58 PM on June 19, 2014

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