Category Archives: Hobbies

Creating fonts

Is this my second or third childhood? I’ve quite lost count.

When I was at primary school, I would occasionally design alphabets, which was a slow, painstaking job, hence I did not do a lot more of it. It wasn’t very practical either because the letters were all one-offs. Later, I also tried my hand at calligraphy using steel nibs, Indian ink, manuals which described how to draw letters in different styles. I quite liked traditional-style Gothic fonts (quite misnamed, of course) and uncial, and imitated a Roman-style uncial hand which was featured in the illustrated dictionary we had at home.

Later, when I owned my first computer, I had a program called Fontwise Plus which I used to reduplicate, rather clumsily, the Roman font. I have no clear recollection of the program, but I think you had to draw the glyphs in a 7×8 or 8×8 grid, which was slow and fiddly. My computer and I parted company before I could do much more with Fontwise Plus, although the desire to create fonts has been on a long, long sabbatical.

More recently (well, in the past three or four years or so), I was probably trying to track down some medieval-style fonts via Google, though quite why I can’t recall. It’s something I do – not recalling reasons and searching online for fonts. That led me to Pia Frauss (who I’ve mentioned before) who has created a range of fonts based on medieval manuscripts and later, and made them free for non-commercial use. From her website, I learnt about High Logic’s Font Creator software, but not having the means to buy such a piece of kit, I’ve been able to do nothing about it.

Until now.

Yes, now that I have the means to buy things online, I thought I might resume a hobby which I’ve never properly started.

Font Creator (but let’s be overly familiar about it and call it FC) offers two main means of creating fonts: images or contour editing. Thus it’s possible to turn handwriting into a font using a scanned image (or some sort of pad which allows the user to write by hand) or to be hardcore and create contours. A contour is basically a two-dimensional shape which seems to be the same as vector graphics in PaintShop Pro. Points can be added to, say, a rectangle and can either be on or off the curve. (The curve may be a straight line, which, I suspect mathematicians might tell me, is a special sort of curve; or vice versa, the curve being a special sort of line; I surmise it’s all just sophistry.) That puzzled me initially until I found that a point off the curve can be dragged around to create an actual curve. (Which may just be a special sort of straight line.)

I’ve managed to come to grips with the basics of the program fairly quickly, having progressed from points to angled guidelines to manual kerning to autometrics in a short space of time.

My first attempt at a font was using images I drew with my mouse in PaintShop Pro. The method lacks finesse and, as I discovered, my strokes were too thin. I needed to make the brush 30 units wide.

My second attempt was contour editing. From somewhere, I found an image of the Draconic alphabet, which is one of those details in D&D which is never utilised and is only good for the rendering of English because the creator has no idea of languages or linguistics and no appreciation of Appendix E in The Lord of the Rings. Anyway, the ignorance of non-linguists aside, I used Draconic as a source for creating a font manually. Fortunately, the whole thing is restricted to numbers and upper case letters or my job would have been much longer. It’ll never get out into the wild, but it’s been an interesting and educational process as I’ve turned the jagged original into a serif-style font.

At least at larger sizes, the result doesn’t look too bad even if the details don’t bear close scrutiny. I’ve been somewhat inconsistent about my placement of glyphs on the baseline or just below it. I spent much of the afternoon tinkering with the script, adjusting this and that.

However, I’m also thinking about trying to create a Chinese-style version with Chinese rather than Roman-style serifs since a lot of the characters are based on shapes like 元.

It’s early days and there’s much about FC which I don’t yet know. But as I said above, it’s taken me little time to acquire the basics of the program.

(Cross-posted from Green Bamboo LJ.)

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Slow brain day

I blame DVDs.
Now that I have a 3D edition of On the Murder of Eratosthenes I thought I’d translate the parts that I hadn’t already translated. Let’s say that I didn’t exactly make a good start. Mr Brain was in a tired mood yesterday and I was distracted by Coupling as I reacquainted myself with the first two series. So instead of making decent progress, I mulled over the first sentence far longer than ought to have been necessary. Anyway, I made much better progress this afternoon finishing off §§1-5.
 
I still wonder what the role of Euphiletus’ wife was in all this. Was she a willing or unwilling accomplice in adultery? Was she pliable? Or was Eratosthenes a charismatic young man in comparison with whom Euphiletus was a rather dull specimen? Or did the woman crave some attention which she wasn’t getting from her husband? In §6, Euphiletus presents the marriage as harmonious and stable:
[6] Ἐγὼ γάρ, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, ἐπειδὴ ἔδοξέ μοι γῆμαι καὶ γυναῖκα ἠγαγόμην εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, τὸν μὲν ἄλλον χρόνον οὕτω διεκείμην ὥστε μήτε λυπεῖν μήτε λίαν ἐπ’ ἐκείνῃ εἶναι ὅ τι ἂν ἐθέλῃ ποιεῖν, ἐφύλαττόν τε ὡς οἷόν τε ἦν, καὶ προσεῖχον τὸν νοῦν ὥσπερ εἰκὸς ἦν. ἐπειδὴ δέ μοι παιδίον γίγνεται, ἐπίστευον ἤδη καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐμαυτοῦ ἐκείνῃ παρέδωκα, ἡγούμενος ταύτην οἰκειότητα μεγίστην εἶναι·

Now, men of Athens, once I had made up my mind to get married and had introduced a wife into my household, for the time being I was disposed not to annoy her nor to allow her too much freedom to do what she might wish, and I guarded her as far as possible, and I paid attention to her as was reasonable. And when she bore me a child, I trusted her from this point on and entrusted the management of all my domestic affairs to her, considering that this was the strongest bond of intimacy that there could be between us.

For a start, I wonder what connotations λυπεῖν “to annoy” had or whether it simply covered a general range of transgressions.
 
I quite like Lysias’ style. That’s not something I’ve said about a Greek writer – ever. If I could write Classical Greek fluently, then this would probably be how I’d write it. Complements to the left of him, adjuncts to the right! Into the Valley of Oratio Obliqua rode the noble Mr Bamboo.

In unrelated news.
Earlier this afternoon I felt like cleaning the inside windows next to the desk. As I was doing so, I could hear this incessant buzzing. I couldn’t tell whether it was a model aeroplane or a helicopter or quite what until a motorised paraglider, heading south, appeared in view. It appeared to be some advertising stunt, although I couldn’t see what was on the banner from the angle which I was viewing it from.

A busy day for irony

You’re reading one text when four turn up at once.
This afternoon, I was reading another extract from Lysias’ oration On the murder of Eratosthenes from an exam paper that I found on the St Andrew’s website. It was a section that I hadn’t read before and one in which the maid has spilt the beans to Euphiletus. That was when I had a phone call from Linda to say that the books I ordered from Amazon had arrived. These are the volumes in the Greek Prose Reading Course for Post-Beginners. The first unit is the very text I was reading and all four were edited by Malcolm Campbell, who is a Reader in Greek at St Andrew’s. See, I told you there was irony.
Anyway, their arrival means that I’m no longer wholly dependent on the computer and can watch a DVD while translating some Greek. All right, ignore a DVD while translating some Greek.
Another miserable grey day today. Rained about mid afternoon and has remained damp. Last day of my unofficial holiday. Haven’t quite done as much as I’d been hoping, but I’ve managed to translate some text each day.

Predicative adjectives, wordpress blogs

And the three-hares problem.
three_hares I’ve mentioned wordpress in the title because on a whim I thought I’d try a link to a wordpress blog while I was looking for a picture for the three-hares problem. And there they are in the picture – all hairy [Are you sure about that? –ed.] and problematic. And lo and behold! the wordpress blog was accessible, though perhaps not unto the seventh generation. I note, on the other hand, that livejournal blogs are still off the menu.
 
Anyway, that’s not why we’re here today. I worked my way through the Greek exam from Durham University which I found while searching, I think, for Dikaiopolis, who features in JACT Reading Greek. I didn’t attempt the thing under exam conditions, but it was, in my view, a fairly easy exam. To get back to Dikaiopolis, though, he’s the main character in Aristophanes’ play Acharnians, which is a satire on the Peloponnesian War. Dikaiopolis concludes a private peace treaty with Sparta. I assume that the JACT text is based on the play, but is actually artificial Classical Greek prose. The passage in the exam was fairly simple, I thought.
 
For some reason this got me wondering about predicative adjectives. For those of you who missed the memo, a predicative adjective is the complement of a verb such as be, become, seem, appear, turn etc. as well as a few which take a direct object and an adjectival complement such as turn (e.g. The chemical turned the water green) and paint (e.g. They painted their house white). And Classical Greek was fairly similar.
 
One difference is that εἶναι “to be” may be omitted and the adjective may occur before or after its NP (e.g. καλὴ ἡ γυνή or ἡ γυνὴ καλή “The woman is beautiful”). It’s not really the same as Chinese in which adjectives are stative verbs, but the two languages do bear a superficial similarity on this point. On the other hand, Greek goes well beyond paint-verbs. A common pattern I’ve noticed on this occasion (of reacquainting myself with Classical Greek, that is) is the fronting of predicative adjectives. Morwood (2001:125) has this example:

ἀθάνατον τὴν περὶ αὑτῶν μνήμην καταλείψουσιν “They will leave behind a memory of themselves (that will be) immortal.”

(Isocrates 1.9.3)
If you wanted to be really prosaic about it, you could translate it as “Immortal will be the memory of themselves that they will leave behind”, although this sort of translation won’t necessarily work with more complex sentences or, indeed, even some simple ones. For example, Weir Smyth (1920:257, §915) has

μετεώρους ἐξεκόμισαν τὰς ἁμάξας “They lifted the wagons and carried them out.”

(Xenophon, Anabasis 1.5.8)
which more literally is “They carried out the wagons (which had been) raised”.
 
I assume that this fronting is emphatic, although that sentence from Xenophon hardly seems to demand that the adjective should be emphasised (“Raised were the wagons which they carried out” – O noble exercise in vehicular logistics!). But I’m not sure whether such adjectives are performing a limiting or non-limiting function, or whether they can do either. As far as I can find in Weir Smyth, there’s nothing about this.
 
As for what can be modified, Weir Smyth (1920:275ff., §1040ff.) mentions the usual verbs (be, become etc.) as well as active verbs which take a preposition.

νόμους ἔθεσθε ἐπ’ ἀδήλοις τοῖς ἀδικήσουσι “You have enacted laws with regard to offenders who are unknown.”

(Demosthenes 21.30)
I’m not really certain what Weir Smyth actually means because the verb is transitive and has an adverbial adjunct which, itself, contains a predicative adjective. Or perhaps he’s referring to the participle, ἀδικήσουσι “those who offend; offenders”. On the other hand, that’s dative because of the preposition ἐπί.
 
In other instances, an adjective of time, place or order of succession is used where English would use an adverbial expression instead (e.g. κατέβαινον σκοταῖοι “they descended in the dark”). Adjectives of degree and manner are used in the same way (e.g. φέρονται οἱ λίθοι πολλοί “The stones are thrown in great numbers”, Xenophon, Anabasis 4.7.7).
Although I’m unsure of the exact details because I’m not a syntactian, the adjective either remains in situ (e.g. φέρονται οἱ λίθοι πολλοί) or gets raised (e.g. μετεώρους ἐξεκόμισαν τὰς ἁμάξας). This would also apply to my original examples, καλὴ ἡ γυνή and ἡ γυνὴ καλή. I don’t know whether there are sentences of the type ἐξεκόμισαν μετεώρους τὰς ἁμάξας, but presumably it’s possible. It would also seem that the adjective cannot be raised outside of a preposition, although in the example above, it’s behaving like a conjunction. There’s probably some principle in syntactic theory which would explain this. I just don’t happen to know what it is.
And finally, what about attributive adjectives, or more exactly, the construction ἡ γυνὴ ἡ καλή “the beautiful woman”? One DP/NP or two? Have to be two, but I don’t know what the structure is above that.

The end of the Apology

Ever so sorry.
I finished the last selection from the Apology last night. The final extract was Socrates hoping that death might be a good thing. I wonder if he really believed that or whether he was merely trying to annoying the ἄνδρες δικασταί by making it seem as if they’d done him a favour. O Socrates, said Anytus. If I was actually clever, I would observe that if you consider life to be such a trial and death such a benefit, you should have killed yourself long ago. “Don’t worry,” Plato whispered to Socrates, who was looking slightly perplexed. “I’ll edit that bit out in the published version.”
The extracts from the Apology amounted to about a quarter of the entire work. The next selection is from Crito which is, if I remember rightly, an attempt to persuade Socrates to flee, which he rejects because it’d be against his principles and because he’d probably still make a nuisance of himself no matter where he went.

Class time was productively utilised

And you’re right. I did the productive utilising.

I had planned a media studies day for Class 7 this morning, but finding that I had quite a lot of copies of yesterday’s worksheet, I thought I’d give them that to stare at in class while I busied myself with some Greek. In fact, quite a number of the little darlings were absent because of this interminable arts festival, although that should be finishing today. And it was because quite a number of the bratlings in Class 5 had been absent yesterday that I had enough copies of the worksheet for Class 7. 

I was going through the chapter on time, place and space in Morwood when I wondered why the place is called αἱ Ἀθῆναι. Liddell and Scott supply an answer: it was plural because it consisted of several parts. My guess was that it might’ve meant “the people of Athena”, where the plural form of the goddesses name covered the whole people in much the same way that DJ use band names in the plural to mean a countable collective of the members within it. I suppose the principle is, in fact, similar. 

It’s interesting to note the different adverbial forms of the name. Ἀθήναζε “to Athens” is from Ἀθήνας (acc pl) + –δε, but Ἀθήνησι “at Athens” and Ἀθήνηθεν “from Athens” are based on the singular stem. Thus people went to the collective, but seem only to have been in or from one particular part.

I was also curious about the relationship between ἐνταῦθα “here, there; to here, to there” and ἐντεῦθεν “from here, from there”, and why the vowel is different. For a start, ἐνταῦθα is from ἔνθα “there”, whereas ἐντεῦθεν is from ἔνθεν. Both words have been affected by Grassmann’s Law (the first of a pair of aspirates in sequential syllables becomes a plain stop). But, I ask myself, where do the υ’s come from? Were they originally u-stems? 

If that is the case, then ἐντεῦθεν can’t be derived directly from ἔνθεν, but must rather come from ἐνθεῦ-. Similarly, ἐνταῦθα can’t really be from ἔνθα, but rather from ἐνθαῦ-. Besides, ἔνθα and ἔνθεν would appear to be underlying unaccented,[1] whereas –θαῦ– and –θεῦ– are inherently accented – perhaps.[2]

I got through quite a few more sections of Lysias’ oration On the murder of Eratosthenes (OME) yesterday and I’ve been gradually getting a translation of κατὰ Νεαίρας which, it turns out, was quite a long piece of work. I really need an edition of OME rather than just some marginal glosses (not that they’re handy). I read these things and find myself thinking that they all protested too much. Perhaps Athenian audiences were ready to buy into this. Never mind the facts, feel the emotion. I always feel sorry for Neaira, but know that a misogynistic Athenian audience wouldn’t have recognised that she was a victim of the society in which she lived. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the men of Athens were outraged by her behaviour, but hypocrites for being so.

Notes
1. But note ἐνθάδε “to here” and ἐνθένδε “from here”, where –δε appears to be a pre-accenting particle. I can’t explain Ἀθήναζε instead of *Ἀθηνάζε unless the leftmost of two lexical accents, provided it still falls within the window of stress at the right edge (i.e., doesn’t fall further from the final syllable than the antepenultimate), bears primary stress.
The stress on Ἀθῆναι is lexical because the nom pl morpheme –αι counts as light, which means that a phonologically assigned accent would fall on the initial syllable.
Things get even more complicated with doubly accented words such as Ὄλυμπόνδε “to Olympus”; Ἰθάκηνδε “to Ithaca”, which has a phonologically assigned accent; Φαληρόνδε “to Phalerum”, but note Φάληρον with the phonologically assigned accent on the antepenultimate syllable and the locative Φαληροῖ.
Perhaps some stems are inherently accented regardless of the source of the accent, while others aren’t.
Weir Smyth (1920:43, §186) says “Sometimes an enclitic unites with a preceding word to form a compound (cp. Lat. –que, –ve), which is accented as if the enclitic were still a separate word. Thus… the inseparable –δε in ὅδε, τούσδε, οἴκαδε”. Thus, Φαληρόνδε is an enclitic accent of the usual sort (which means that ἐνθάδε, ἐνθένδε, and Φάληρον, which has a recessive accent, are underlyingly unaccented; Ὄλυμπόνδε retains the antepenultimate accent, but I don’t know why this should be; Ἀθήναζε retains the original accent because the gap between the two accents isn’t bimoraic).
2. But –θεν behaves much like –δε with respect to accentuation, and –θα may behave in a similar fashion. –θαῦ– and –θεῦ– may not be inherently accented at all. On the other hand, I’m not aware of the enclitic accent producing a circumflex. As far as I’m aware, the resulting accent is always acute. Weir Smyth (1920:42, §183b) has φιλῶ σε and τιμῶν τινων, but these are the original accents with no possibility of the enclitic accent being assigned to the preceding syllable even before contraction because the distance between the two accents would be a single mora (e.g. φιλέω σε = é.oo.e; cf. ἄνθρωπός τις = á.oo.ó.i with a bimoraic span between the accents). In other words, it appears that –θαῦ– and –θεῦare inherently accented.

The Ephemeron

What has wings, four legs and lasts a day?

While I was compiling a table of contents for the Greek reader I mentioned yesterday, I came across the following in the natural history section.

περὶ τὸν Ὕπανιν ποταμὸν τὸν περὶ Βόσπορον τὸν Κιμμέριαν, γίγνεται ζῶον πτερωτὸν, τετράπουν. ζῇ δὲ τοῦτο καὶ πέτεται ἐξ ἑωθινοῦ μέχρι δείλης· καταφερομένου δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου, ἀπομαραίνεται, καὶ ἅμα δυομένῳ ἀποθνήσκει, βιοῦν ἡμέραν μίαν· διὸ καὶ καλεῖται Ἐφήμερον.

Around the River Hypanis in the area of Bosporus in Cimmeria, there is a winged, four-footed animal. It lives and it flies from early morning until the afternoon; and when the sun sets, it wastes away, and together with the setting of the sun, it dies, living one day; and for this reason, it’s called an Ephemeron.

And who’s the source of this information? Aristotle. (Yeah, that Aristotle, the one who blighted Western thought for so long.)

I find that these days an ephemeron is something from computer science.

Socrates is the wisest

And you believe some stoner chick, do you?
socrates_hemlock I’ve been a little tardy working my way through the second selection from the Apology of Socrates. Translating Greek vacuums up a lot of time to the detriment of other activities. This selection is about Chaerephon going to the oracle at Delphi and asking “εἴ τις [Σωκράτους] εἴη σοφώτερος” (whether anyone is wiser than [Socrates]). And the oracle replies “μηδένα σοφώτερον εἶναι” (no one is wiser). Socrates assumes that the oracle can’t be taken literally (which it usually couldn’t) and the god can’t be lying. He searches among various groups of people trying to disprove the declaration, but can find no one who’s wise enough to admit their ignorance.
Of course, if Chaerephon had been wittier, he would’ve asked, “Is there a bigger pain in the arse than Socrates?” to which the oracle should’ve said, “No one’s a bigger pain in the arse”. Socrates would then have tested the truth of the statement, found that he was the biggest pain in the arse in Athens, and have been spared a hemlock cocktail after a trial – it would’ve been served to him beforehand.
Meanwhile, my gallivanting about on line has reminded me of the dreaded unseen, some piece of prose or verse, the sole purpose of which seemed to be to baffled and bamboozle. But in the course of my wanderings, I found a guide to doing unseens. I don’t remember ever being given one of these. I do remember being given unseens. The problem was, I suppose, that they didn’t seem to achieve anything apart from vexation. For example, if the unseen was practice tackling a specific grammatical construction, these things might’ve been useful.

With floures white, blewe, yelwe, and rede

Fading blooms in focus.

Red flower at Shishi

After fiddling about with the camera last night to finally and properly familiarise myself with its functions, I went over to school this morning to try and get a picture of the elusive pink blossom. It’s not elusive because there are few of them, but elusive because my attempts to get one in focus have generally failed miserably. But as you can see, I was more successful today, although the blossoms are already beginning to fade.

It was good practice in using the macro setting on the camera, although I see from some of the other shots that I took that I needed to increase the depth of field to get the whole object in focus. It’s hard to tell from the screen (whether you enlarge the picture or not) how the details have come out. I’ve been keeping the aperture open to keep the background blurred, but with macro shots where the subject has some depth, you need that little bit of extra background as well.

But during my roaming around the school, I went into the building where the lecture theatre is. There were some workers chiselling the tiles off the wall, but the gate to the rooftop garden was open and, having never been up there before, I went up. There were a few bonsai trees up there and, unexpectedly, a display of stuff animals in a case running along the inside of the parapet.

stuffed01 stuffed02

There was also another room up there which I thought was going to be for storage. Instead, it turned out to be a small science classroom which seemed very much like the Marie Celeste, with equipment sitting on the tables as if it’d been being used moments earlier.

After a week during which the weather can only be likened to violent ejections from the posterior of a cow, the sun is shining and the sky is blue, filtered through the usual haze of pollution.


The Floure and the Leafe.

While I was looking for a title for this entry, I stumbled across (but not upon ^_^) an online concordance to the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. I remember using the Chaucer Concordance when I did my MA and wrote an essay about Chaucer’s use of cas, aventure and fortune in Troilus and Criseyde. The title is line 186 from The Parlement of Fowles. That was one of the texts we had to read when I did Chaucer as part of my MA. The reading got to be mechanistic so that I could keep up. I think with Chaucer I had to read 150 lines a day; from Homer (either Iliad III or Odyssey IX; I forget which) I had to translate 30; and I forget how many I needed to do to complete Beowulf.

I’ve only ever read The Book of the Duchess or The Parlement of Fowles once and think there’s a good chance that I’ll never read them again. Long gone would seem to be the days when I might read something more than once because if I’m going to read something, I feel that my time is better spent on something that I haven’t read before.

One poem in imitation of Chaucer which I’ve never read is The Floure and the Leafe. I’ve had an edition of it for years (I think probably the text to which the link above takes you), but never tried reading it.

When that Phebus his chaire of gold so hie
Had whirled up the sterry sky aloft,
And in the Boole was entred certainly;
When shoures sweet of raine discended soft,
Causing the ground, fele times and oft,
Up for to give many an wholsome aire,
And every plaine was clothed faire

When Phoebus had whirled his hair of gold so high to the starry sky, and had definitely entered into the Sign of the Bull; when sweet showers of rain descended softly, causing the ground many times and often to produce a wholesome air, and every plain was beautifully clothed

With new greene, and maketh small flours
To springen here and there in field and in mede –
So very good and wholsome be the shoures
That it renueth that was old and deede
In winter time, and out of every seede
Springeth the hearbe, so that every wight
Of this season wexeth glad and light.

with new green, and causes small flowers to bloom here and there in fields and meadows – so very good and wholesome are the showers that they renew what was old and dead in winter time, and out of every seed springs a plant so that every being of this season grows glad and happy.

And I, so glad of the season swete,
Was happed thus upon a certaine night:
As I lay in my bed, sleepe ful unmete
Was unto me; but why that I ne might
Rest, I ne wist, for there nas earthly wight,
As I suppose, had more hearts ease
Then I, for I nad sicknesse nor disease.

And I, so glad of the sweet season, happened to be in this situation one night: as I lay in bed, it was very unlikely I was going to get to sleep; but why I couldn’t rest, I didn’t know, because there was no creature on earth, I suppose, who was more content than me because I had neither sickness or disease.

Wherefore I mervaile greatly of my selfe,
That I so long withouten sleepe lay;
And up I rose, three houres after twelfe,
About the springing of the day,
And on I put my geare and mine array,
And to a pleasaunt grove I gan passe,
Long or the bright sonne up risen was;

Because of which, I marvel greatly about myself that I lay so long without sleep; and up I got, three hours after twelve, about the springing of the day, and I put on my kit and clothes, and I went to a pleasant grove long before the bright sun had risen;

In which were okes great, streight as a line,
Under the which the grasse so fresh of hew
Was newly sprong; and an eight foot or nine
Every tree well fro his fellow grew,
With braunches brode, lade with leves new,
That sprongen out ayen the sonne shene,
Some very red and some a glad light grene;

in which there were great oaks, straight as a line, under which the grass, so fresh in hue, was newly sprung, and eight or nine feet apart from its neighbour grew every tree, with broad branches and laden with new leaves that sprang out towards the bright sunlight, some very red and some a pleasant light green

Which as me thought was right a plesaunt sight,
And eke the briddes song for to here
Would have rejoised any earthly wight.
And I, that couth not yet in no manere
Heare the nightingale of all the yere,
Full busily herkened with hart and with eare
If I her voice perceive coud any where.

which, as it seemed to me, was truly a pleasant sight, and also to hear the song of the birds would have gladdened any earthy creature. And I, who could not yet in any way hear the nightingale throughout the year, listened very attentively with my heart and ear to see if I could perceive her voice anywhere.

And so the poem goes.

18.06.13. Edited HTML, altered the layout of the poem, and added tags.

Cowboy Bebop

In Lingua Franca Nova.

Here are the first couple of pages (with dialogue) of a scanlation of Cowboy Bebop translated into Lingua Franca Nova. I’ve had to think of ways of working round some words and phrases. (The manga is Japanese style, which generally means you have to read the panels right to left and downwards.)

Cowboy Bebop in Lingua Franca Nova. Page 1 Cowboy Bebop in Lingua Franca Nova. Page 2
Page 1
  1. I’ve taken the liberty of allowing clitic climbing in tu me pote oi? “Can you hear me?”.
  2. I’ve translated “Let’s do it” as Nos fa esta, modelled loosely on Italian andiamo “Let’s go”.
  3. I assume that Me es fante… “I’m doing it…” is acceptable for an action in progress.
  4. Fa ja esta! “(I have) done it!” should perhaps be Es fada! “(It) is done!” Also, finida “finished” might be a better choice.
  5. No oblida trae per me alga presentas “Don’t forget to bring me some presents” really ought to be No oblida trae alga presentas per me.

Page 2

  1. Plenida is used to mean “crowded”.
  2. Tu ia vole protesta comparti un table? is meant to translate “Would you mind sharing a table?”, but you might say something like El ia vole desplase a tu comparti un table?
  3. The waiter says “Enjoy”, but LFN lacks this word, hence the circumlocution.
  4. Spike says, “Damn! I’m outta luck!”, which I’ve had to translate as “Damn! My fortune is bad!”