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Also see the Belorussian translation provided by Fatcow. The English spelling system is such a pain, we'd might as well switch to hanzi-- Chinese characters. How should we go about it? Japanese style One way would be to use hanzi directly, asthe Japanese do. , and "ruler" as . , and "tycoon" as You can already see that this is going to be tricky. two readings, for instance-- /wrk/ and /gûng/-- and two as well-- /rulr/ and /kun/. Proper names will be a problem as well. for the name of the bodaciously cute singer Faye Wong-- but for English names we'd have no better recourse than to spell things out using the nearest Chinese syllables. Chinese style Maybe there's a better approach. The basic principle will be, one yingzi for a syllable with a particular meaning. Does that mean we need a completely separate symbol for each of the thousands of possible English syllables? Little pictures You've been reading for half a page and are probably wondering why I haven't yet talked about pictograms. wing. . Related:  writing systems

Trail Signs of Direction, Dan Beard When the trees blanketed our continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River with a dark and gloomy forest in which there were only occasional openings, or prairies like those which existed in Indiana and Illinois, it was necessary to mark the trails through the woods in order that one should not become lost. True, the country was traversed by Big Game trails, war-paths and Indian trails then known as "traces." But many of these, even the celebrated war-paths, were overgrown with underbrush and weeds so as to be only distinguishable to the initiated and accomplished wilderness man. Hence when the white men came, they marked roads for the settlers. The blazed trail is either made by chipping pieces of bark off the side of the trees along the line of travel, known as "Go by" blazes (surveyors' marks), or by what is called a "spot-trail," i.e., by making big blazes on the face of the trees along the line, so that one spot may be seen from any other preceding it.

Sounds: The Sound Change Applier This page describes a simple program which can apply a set of sound changes to a lexicon. You can use sounds to help work out a reconstruction for actual languages, to create plausible descendants of a conlang, or in fact to make any structured set of lexical changes to a database of words. I suggest using the more powerful SCA² instead. The program is available in three forms. C source code, which you can compile on any system (I've used it successfully on Windows, Unix, and MacOS), and modify for your own use a Windows executable. Basic operation sounds reads a text file containing a lexicon, applies a set of sound changes described in another text file, and outputs the results to a third file (and to the screen). For instance, sounds will take the two input files on the left and produce the output file on the right: The command line The program can be run with command line parameters (all of which are optional): sounds latin port control-parameters The .lex file The .sc file Variables

The Economist explains: How do you invent a language? MORE than 5m people now hear a few words in Dothraki or Valyrian, the fabricated languages spoken in the television series “Game of Thrones”, each week—more than the number who hear Welsh, Irish Gaelic and Scots Gaelic combined. From the unsung (Babm and Brithenig) to the celebrated (Esperanto and Elvish), constructed languages, in various states of completion, now outnumber the world’s natural tongues. Fantasy literature, science-fiction films and video games have fuelled a demand for otherworldly tongues—and fans increasingly expect them to be usable. So how do you invent a language from scratch? That depends on its purpose. These days most invented languages are created for artistic or aesthetic purposes, and often borrow features from existing tongues. Esperanto, the most successful invented language, may have as many as 2m speakers. • What else should The Economist explain?

Foreign Languages and Literatures | 21F.101 Chinese I (Regular), Spring 2006 Ancient Scripts: Home Hou tu pranownse Inglish © 2000 by Mark Rosenfelder Everybody agrees that English spelling is horrible. There have been almost as many proposals for spelling reform as there are rewrites of Esperanto. (Tellingly, there has been precisely one success in each category-- Noah Webster and Ido-- and neither caught on universally.) Whenever the subject comes up, someone is sure to bring up all the words in -ough, or George Bernard Shaw's ghoti-- a word which illustrates only Shaw's wiseacre ignorance. The purpose of this page is to describe those rules-- to explain the system behind English spelling, the rules that tell you how to pronounce a written word correctly over 85% of the time. Many people expect the opposite as well-- to predict the spelling from the pronunciations-- not realizing that few orthographies meet this goal. Several different types of people might be interested in this page: Thanks to Éamonn McManus, Aaron J. The sounds of General American Here's the vowels and consonants of my dialect. The rules 1.

Ancient Scripts: Home FSI Chinese Buy this domain. Chinese Characters and Genesis The purpose of this page is to respond to Web sites that claim that the composition of certain Chinese characters reveals that the ancient Chinese who created those characters had some knowledge of ideas that show up in Genesis. For now, I will respond specifically to those claims that have been published at The Genesis Site. (My purpose is not to write a treatise on the origins of Chinese characters, but simply to show where the creators of The Genesis Site have gone wrong.) I want to say at the beginning that I welcome any substantiated corrections--citing sources where appropriate. Mandarin pronunciations will be given in Pinyin romanization, with tone numbers, rather than tone marks. The format of the following pages will be a link to an original point of discussion on The Genesis Site, followed first by an illustration and then by an explanation from Chinese Characters: Their origin, etymology, history, classification and signification, by Dr. Si4. Liu4. Ba1. Languages Page