On Monday, February 3, 2003, at 02:51 PM, jlhmarson
> Hi Everyone, I'm having a little trouble translating Italian names
> and words.
Any language uses tengwar in a way suited to the language. Typically,
that is a manner that follows the phonology of the language. Sometimes,
this is done in a manner that follows an existing orthographic
convention for the language.
The assignment of tengwar to letters or sounds is called a "mode." A
mode will also include conventions on how to use tehtar (the vowel
diacritical marks) and where tehtar get placed (e.g., above either the
preceding or following consonantal tengwa). A mode will also specify
conventions for other diacritical marks (like the underline for a
double-length consonant) and sometimes punctuation, too.
Quenya and Sindarin modes follow the phonology of Quenya and Sindarin
respectively. Since Quenya tends to have a lot of words ending in
vowels and very few beginning in vowels, tehtar are placed above the
preceding consonant. Sindarin is the opposite - words tend to end in
consonants, so a tehta is placed above the following tengwa.
There are many different modes for English. Some follow an orthographic
convention - the tengwar are assigned to letters of the English
alphabet and then normal english spelling is used. Modes like this will
often follow the Mode of Beleriand as an example and assign vowels to
full tengwar, not to tehtar marks.
> The problem is the fact that you often get names with 2
> or 3 vowels together and of course virtually all words finish in a
Yes, suggesting you'd like to start with a Quenya-like mode.
If you use the TengScribe windows application, there's a mode for
Italian listed on this page:
Whether you like that mode or not depends on your personal taste.....
> Do I just use a carrier? even if it's 2 or 3 in a row? Any
> help would be appreciated. Thanks J
If you follow the example of most modes and went with a Quenya-like
mode as a basis, you'd put the first tehta over the preceding
consonant, with subsequent tehta over one or two carriers.
A somewhat less orthodox mode might allow tehtar to be drawn *below* a
tengwa as well as above. If you do this, then a pair of vowels bracket
one tengwa. A triplet of vowels might bracket the tengwa with the first
two vowels while the third might be on a carrier or might be below the
second vowel. Alternatively, at the end of the word you might allow the
third tehta to be placed immediately after the tengwa. Arguably, this
kind of approach is very "Italian" in that it recognizes the frequency
of vowel clusters (ObDisclaimer - I don't speak Italian).
I took this approach in an alternative to Eric Raymond's lojban mode
that I had worked on a while ago. In lojban, words always start with a
consonant and end in a vowel - hence a Quenya-like basis for the mode.
There can be adjacent pairs of vowels, but never adjacent triples -
thus above and below works quite neatly.
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet
hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry,
bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a
hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.