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321Ascii transliteration for tengwar

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  • Harri Perälä
    Nov 24, 2001

      Reading some of the recent Elfscript messages made me think about the
      ways of representing tengwar in email. Calling each tengwa by its name
      is fine, but sometimes a concise transliteration method might be useful.
      From the Elfling archives I found BP Jonsson's description of his
      transliteration conventions, in message 141
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/141>. However, I was not
      able to find anything more about this. Has this system been discussed
      further or described in more detail somewhere?

      I also started to design a different kind of proposal myself, being
      mainly inspired by SAMPA. It is mode independent and has one character
      for each tengwa and tehta. The LotR table would look like this:

      t p k q
      d b g c
      T f K Q
      D v G C
      n m N M
      ) V O w
      r R l L
      s S z Z
      h W E U

      You can find the whole draft (in very rough and unfinished form) at

      To make all the usual modes readable, my proposal has two
      transliteration styles: one where all vowels and modifiers are written
      after the tengwa (marked with \ \), and one where they are written
      before it (marked with / /). So, this is what some familiar inscriptions
      would look like:

      \<V )Arv< hA") EKAt-
      kElEbr<ib-Or O ErEg<iO) tE"TAt- <i T<iw h<i)\

      /he.rin iz set fo)T
      5 histori< _6 Vo) _6 riM .-d 5 retu)n _6 qiM aZ se<e<n b{< 5 ho_bi+t/

      Not very pretty, but I think this is fairly easy to write, and not
      impossible to read, once you get used to it. Also, if one wanted to
      write a piece of code that converts these transliterations back into
      tengwar with (say) Dan Smith's keymapping, it should be relatively

      Since a system like this is obviously only useful if several people
      adopt it, I wanted to ask for your opinions before developing the
      proposal any further. Do you think there would be use for a
      transliteration method like this? Does a similar (mode independent) one
      perhaps exist already?

      Harri Perälä perala@... http://www.sci.fi/%7ealboin/
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