Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Elvish Transliterator

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Well, after all the requests I’ve gotten for translating someone’s name into Tengwar, Sindarin or Quenya, finally someone has come up with an automatic transliterator. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to explain to someone in e-mail that I don’t know how to speak any form of Elvish and, therefore, cannot translate their favorite [Insert Relative Here]’s name into said language. So, imagine my reliefe and delight when I saw the Elvish Transliterator at 17 Web Place!
Now, I can just send everyone there. Of course, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of their application, but, frankly, I don’t care. I’m just overjoyed to have somewhere to send everyone who wants an Elvish name for their tattoo or boat or whatever, but doesn’t care quite enough to actually learn how to write in Tengwar themselves.

Besides, it’s Friday and an Elvish Transliterator has got to count as fun! So, go ahead, click the link and check it out.


Review: Facts About The World’s Lanuages

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

This is the coolest book since the first encyclopedia!
To me, it is, anyway. I’ve been borrowing a friend’s copy of Facts About The World’s Languages and really enjoying it. I saw it on the shelf at his house back around Thanksgiving time and fell in love with it. It’s a little rich for my blood, right now, but I know that I’ll eventually get a copy. In a nutshell, Facts About The World’s Languages has basic phological and morphological thumbnails of virtually all the world’s known languages. It is super, super cool to see the phonogical analysis of major languages all laid out in easy-to-read tables and summarized in neat, little paragraphs. For one thing, it pretty well shows people making up their own languages how to layout such a description. For another, it’s providing me fodder for my own ideas about language creation. Best of all, it’s helping me do the hard parts, choosing a phonology and displaying it for others to read! That, for some reason, is the hardest damn thing for me. I just have a really hard time getting my head around the different labels for the syllabic descriptors. Frankly, I just can’t remember the difference between a labiodental consonant and a straight labial consonant and all that sort of thing. I guess it doesn’t really matter that much, but it bothers me.
In any case, this is the coolest bit of language-related inspiration that I’ve seen in a very long time. It neatly lays out complicated morphological systems in a way that makes sense to me. And, the short histories of the various languages are fascinating, as well. But, these thumbnails go into fairly good detail. For instance, they include influences from other languages, the probable evolution of the language, as well as the geographical history of the language. Really, it’s completely captivating.
In short, Facts About The World’s Languages is a great book that will be the object of lust and envy of every conlanger who sees it on your shelf. Go buy one!


Martian Sea Monkeys

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

A new way to fund NASA?
Well, I’d sure buy some! Hey, why not? The side benefits of the space program have always been a reason to continue that kind of work, so why shouldn’t they make some money off it?
Okay, so they don’t have Martian Sea Monkeys, yet, but, according to this article on Slashdot, they might. At least, they’re convinced enough of the possibility of microbial life that could survive freezing for thousands of years that NASA is talking about sending probes to retrieve the little buggers from the Martian “ice ocean” that’s been recently discovered. Personally, I think it would be cool to have Martian life in your very own home, like those “living dinosaurs”, the Triops.
Well, I guess, we’ll have to wait for a Mars mission to know if they exist, but the thought sure is fun!

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