I've read once there is a text about the Sun, which is created to use words and concepts which shall be present in any human language, and which is translated nearly to all human languages for using by linguists to show basic grammar, morphology and syntax. It contains phrases like "we like it very much", "we appreciate its coming each morning", "We all say 'Hello, Sun!'" Regrettably there were no links to the text.

Could anybody please point me to this text and its canonical translations? Is it used in common tradition, as this lost source states, or it's specific to a single scholar school?

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    I've never heard of anything resembling it. Could you provide some source for your belief that there is such a thing? It sounds like a children's school or prayer book, or perhaps a version of the Little Red Book for junior solar cultists.
    – jlawler
    Dec 22, 2012 at 21:09
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    You might also be interested in Swadesh lists. Dec 23, 2012 at 0:41

1 Answer 1


Not sure if this is the same text you're thinking of, but "The North Wind and the Sun" ("Βορέας καὶ Ἥλιος"), one of Aesop's fables, is commonly translated into various languages and used as an example text in phonetics. The International Phonetic Association has a tradition of using it as an example text to illustrate its phonological descriptions of languages and dialects (see the Handbook for many translations and transcriptions). But it doesn't contain the phrases you mention. Audio readings of the IPA's translations of the fable are available. Wikisource has a Polytonic Greek version, two versions in English, one in Spanish, and one in Japanese.

The Wikipedia article says it's also used "as a parallel text in comparative linguistics as it provides more natural language than the Lord's Prayer".

  • Thanks. This is definitely another text that I mean, and it seems not so generic as supposed (for example, it must be hard to translate it to Polynesian languages where the North is the hot side, and cloak is hardly known to local people). But it can be useful for this role at least for the Northern hemisphere...
    – Netch
    Dec 23, 2012 at 15:34

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