Author Topic: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*  (Read 23039 times)

Cheese Ninja

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2010, 04:11:53 PM »
The Alethi alphabet is rather elegant in the way it organizes phonemes, and graphemes seem to be systematically derived from the sound properties of their corresponding phonemes, rather than simply being abstract symbols.  Each grapheme has two elements that describe its sound properties: shape and size. The different shapes correspond to the location in the mouth the sounds are produced: hashes are vowels, left and right arrows are various alveolar consonants, diamonds are bilabial consonants, and fancies are velar consonants.  Height relates to breath control - the amount of stress and voicing the sound recieves. The taller the line, the greater the stress.
Reading written Alethi script evokes speaking the word aloud in a much more direct fashion than English letters, with the sound rising and falling with the letters' curves.

This is pretty awesome, I understand the general idea, even if I don't know the particular types of consonants.

The writing style is pretty, but I think for a personal research/observation journal, it would make more sense to use the shorthand (just top or bottom) instead of bothering with the mirroring.  Unless this isn't her personal research journal, and instead an official research paper that Navani is going to be getting peer reviewed.
Is it just me, or does this manner of writing seem a bit impractical?

This is probably a special way of writing. Your everyday girl (men don't write unless their ardents) writes in a normal language like in Shallan's journal.  This writing is probably a more formal way of writing. Remember Jasnah holds prejudices against Shallan's way of writing, which may be shared by her mother (they do seem kind of close).

I get the impression that Shallan's journal is in English (along with some of the other pictures in the series) just to make it easy for us to understand.  Any writing to convey information would really be done in the Alethi way in the series itself, regardless of how it's presented to us.  That said, do all the cultures in Stormlight Archive use this same alphabet,  even though their words and meanings are different?

Harakeke

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2010, 06:42:04 PM »
We take the idiosyncrasies of our own languages for granted because we learn them at such an early age, but many real world languages could be considered just as "impractical" as Alethi.

For example, Japanese words can be written in as many as 4 different ways depending on the setting, writing implement, and intended reader. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_writing_system
Even with English, you can have printing, cursive, shorthand, etc.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 06:43:57 PM by Harakeke »

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2010, 07:09:04 PM »
Not to mention that the English language, especially American English, is (as the singer put it) ka-RAAAYY-zeeee... it's loaded with synonymic idiosyncrasies and pronunciation/definition tricks that you generally only pick up in context.

Harakeke

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2010, 07:47:42 PM »
Not to mention that the English language, especially American English, is (as the singer put it) ka-RAAAYY-zeeee... it's loaded with synonymic idiosyncrasies and pronunciation/definition tricks that you generally only pick up in context.
Exactly.  Even native English speakers have trouble keeping all the rules straight.  I mean, you hear ordinary words like ghoti and ghoughpteighbteau spoken all the time, but they always get written down as something convoluted like fish and potato instead. (This is part of a nefarious Librarian scheme, I'm fairly certain.)

douglas

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2010, 07:54:55 PM »
I've seen a quote somewhere stating something like "English likes to hunt down other languages in dark alleys and go through their pockets for loose grammar." English is an unusually difficult language to learn for non-native speakers because it has a huge number of words, phrases, and special cases adopted from other languages, and many of these have exceptions to normal English grammatical rules because for that particular word/phrase/etc. the rules of the language it came from were adopted with it. As a result, English has an enormous number of exceptions to every rule, and really learning the language well requires learning both the rules and the gigantic list of exceptions.

From the perspective of designing a language from scratch, English has an extremely impractical and illogical language design. This hasn't done anything to stop it from becoming the dominant language in much (most?) of the world.

JustinCarmony

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2010, 11:31:11 PM »
Hrm, darn it. Now I want to write a tool to write English to Alethi.... Wouldn't be too hard....

Darn it, I can feel a silly weekend project coming up. Now if I only had time to do it... :P

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2010, 12:39:18 AM »
We have a font. I doubt it can be released though.
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rjl

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2010, 12:51:19 AM »
If this is Alethi script there is a question of why Shallan's notebooks had normal english writing unless it's meant to be two different styles of writing that they use.

Harakeke

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2010, 01:46:54 AM »
If this is Alethi script there is a question of why Shallan's notebooks had normal english writing unless it's meant to be two different styles of writing that they use.
Probably the same reason all the Nazis  in WWII movies speak English as well -- so that the audience can understand.  ;)
Shallan's pages are directly relevant to the plot, so they need to be readily understandable. There are also a couple pages by Navani in plain English.  The Shattered Plains battle map comes to mind.  Again, these are directly related to the story.
The Alethi script pages seem like much more of an Easter egg for the hardcore fans, just like the snippet of Dula language in that Interlude chapter.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 01:49:08 AM by Harakeke »

FollowYourMuse

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2010, 03:43:24 PM »
We have a font. I doubt it can be released though.

Ok, well then I do not ned to create one.  cross that project off the list :)

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2010, 07:58:44 PM »
The person who translated these books into English treated certain art pages different ways in order to tailor it to the English-speaking audience. The Navani pages are meant to give a flavor for what the writing looks like, yet still be something readers can figure out and understand.
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

Morsker

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2010, 09:26:52 PM »
Someone translated Roshar-speak into English?! It must've been Hoid. :P

rjl

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2010, 09:32:42 PM »
The person who translated these books into English treated certain art pages different ways in order to tailor it to the English-speaking audience. The Navani pages are meant to give a flavor for what the writing looks like, yet still be something readers can figure out and understand.
Cool, we can drop the theorising about different scripts then...

Tasslehoof

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2010, 12:03:50 AM »
Amazing, I wish I had the patience to sit down and something like this.  Many props to you :)
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Ari54

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Re: WOK: Navani's Notebook Translation *MAJOR SPOILERS*
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2010, 12:27:36 AM »
Not to mention that the English language, especially American English, is (as the singer put it) ka-RAAAYY-zeeee... it's loaded with synonymic idiosyncrasies and pronunciation/definition tricks that you generally only pick up in context.

While English is a little worse than other languages because we steadfastly resist a comprehensive spelling reform, (I'm not talking about the vague and half-hearted attempts Americans well-meaningly implemented to clean up a little, that's not even a beginning) I think crazy is going a bit far. All languages have irregularities because that's just how languages evolve, because there's some interchange of words and they don't always get fully (or sometimes not even partially) naturalised, and finally because irregular words make the words themselves stand out, which can be pretty convenient for an irregular verb like "to be".

I've seen a quote somewhere stating something like "English likes to hunt down other languages in dark alleys and go through their pockets for loose grammar." English is an unusually difficult language to learn for non-native speakers because it has a huge number of words, phrases, and special cases adopted from other languages, and many of these have exceptions to normal English grammatical rules because for that particular word/phrase/etc. the rules of the language it came from were adopted with it. As a result, English has an enormous number of exceptions to every rule, and really learning the language well requires learning both the rules and the gigantic list of exceptions.

From the perspective of designing a language from scratch, English has an extremely impractical and illogical language design. This hasn't done anything to stop it from becoming the dominant language in much (most?) of the world.

Your quote is from Terry Pratchett. :)