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Ascii transliteration for tengwar

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  • Harri Perälä
    Greetings, 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
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 24, 2001
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      Greetings,

      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
      <http://www.sci.fi/%7ealboin/asciitengwar.txt>.

      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
      simple.

      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/
    • Lisa Star
      ... **Harri Perala, I would like to first thank you for making your tengwar font available. That was both useful and generous of you. (I downloaded it from
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 26, 2001
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        >From: "Harri Per�l�" <harri.perala@...>
        >Reply-To: elfscript@yahoogroups.com

        **Harri Perala, I would like to first thank you for making your tengwar font
        available. That was both useful and generous of you. (I downloaded it from
        the Amanya Tenceli site, and I will probably use it in Tyalie Tyelellieva
        sooner or later).

        >Greetings,
        >
        >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.

        **I am snipping all this, and I would like to comment that a more concise
        transcription would be nice, but writing out the names has the advantage
        that people can sort of "picture" the transcription fairly easy as they are
        reading it.

        >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)\
        >
        >Not very pretty, but I think this is fairly easy to write,

        **Well it gets the big "eeek!" (expression of dismay and horror), though I
        do not dismiss it. I would just like to point out that it looks rather like
        Dan Smith's transcription, (before the font has been changed to tengwar),
        which is often used to send messages--that is, people type the message in
        such a transcription as will be readable in tengwar when the font is
        changed. They then send it in email and the receiver simply changes the
        font. This is commonly done, but I think that it may not work at all for
        people on certain types of computer systems. It is also difficult to
        produce the original texts (for the sender), but easy for the receiver to
        transcribe it and read.

        >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?

        **oh, another, simple type of transcription is to write the tengwar numbers
        in parentheses (2)a-tehta (21)(18)a-tehta, or something like that. Also
        transcribable.

        ** Lisa Star
        ** LisaStar@...
        ** http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/9902



        _________________________________________________________________
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      • Harri Perälä
        ... Thank you. ... I guess the amount of learning needed to use this kind of representation might be too large compared to the benefit. On the other hand, it
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 27, 2001
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          Lisa Star wrote:

          > **Harri Perala, I would like to first thank you for making your tengwar font
          > available. That was both useful and generous of you.

          Thank you.

          > >kElEbr<ib-Or O ErEg<iO) tE"TAt- <i T<iw h<i)\
          > >Not very pretty, but I think this is fairly easy to write,
          > **Well it gets the big "eeek!" (expression of dismay and horror), though I
          > do not dismiss it.

          I guess the amount of learning needed to use this kind of representation
          might be too large compared to the benefit. On the other hand, it would
          (in principle) make it possible to discuss the exact spelling of texts
          in any mode, even longer ones, quite efficiently.

          > I would just like to point out that it looks rather like
          > Dan Smith's transcription, (before the font has been changed to tengwar),
          > which is often used to send messages--that is, people type the message in
          > such a transcription as will be readable in tengwar when the font is
          > changed.

          That method must often be the best one in private email. I also agree
          that it cannot be used everywhere. On lists like Elfscript there is
          still need for representations that can be read and written even with
          some ancient misconfigured terminal. Whether the current methods are
          enough, I do not know. I must admit I am perhaps more excited about
          creating the system that about its practical uses. :)

          > **oh, another, simple type of transcription is to write the tengwar numbers
          > in parentheses (2)a-tehta (21)(18)a-tehta, or something like that. Also
          > transcribable.

          Yes, that seems quite straightforward, though personally I find it even
          more difficult to figure out.

          --
          Harri Perälä perala@... http://www.sci.fi/%7ealboin/
        • DDanielA@webtv.net
          I, too, have used a tengwar transliteration method based on the numbers, and it s not difficult if you have the chart in front of you! To denote the
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 27, 2001
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            I, too, have used a tengwar transliteration method based on the numbers,
            and it's not difficult if you have the chart in front of you! To denote
            the ómatehtar, I simply use the corresponding Roman letters: lower
            case for short vowels, upper case for long vowels. There is no need to
            distinguish the extra-long vowels of Sindarin as they are not different
            from the regular long vowels in the tengwar script. Other tehtar and
            other characters in my notation:
            nasal bar: ~
            double bar: _
            short carrier: sc
            long carrier : lc
            following w/u: +w
            's' hook: +s
            following y/i: +y
            halla: h+
            (E. g. 'ando' + nasal bar: 5~ ; 'e' tehta over short carrier: sc-e;
            'hl': h+27; etc.)
            When transliterating a 'full writing' Sindarin mode, I use 'a' to
            represent the vowel symbol (c) since it would not be confused with the
            tehta notation 'a': ómatehtar are not used in full writing modes,
            therefore no confusion would arise.
            'Namárië' would be transliterated thus: 17-a 18-A 25-i sc-e ...
            there is no need to denote the long carrier here because the symbol 'A'
            shows that it must be placed over a long carrier. The symbol 'lc' is
            more useful when describing full writing modes that use it for another
            purpose or for distinguishing between the use of the long carrier and of
            doubled tehtar for é, ó and ú. Doubled ómatehtar could, of
            course, be represented as EE, OO and UU.
            Another example, 'A Elbereth Gilthoniel' in the mode of Beleriand: a
            35 27 6 35 25 35 9 7 sc 27 9 23 21 sc 35 27 .
            I suppose any transliteration system seems cumbersome until you get te
            hang of it!
            Just my thoughts on the subject.

            Cuio mae, Danny.
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