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321Ascii transliteration for tengwar

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  • Harri Perälä
    Nov 24, 2001
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      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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