Archive for the 'Writing' Category

02
Mar
11

De la terre à la lune: Post 0

I’ve been meaning to translate some Jules Verne for a while. I know, I’ve been working on the New Testament, and I still feel like I ought to because it’s probably going to be harder to retain my Greek as I spend more time out of school, but the truth is that it’s kinda boring. I’ve always been a big Jules Verne fan, and I recently was given an e-reader (Sony PS300, wherein I assume PS stands for “Piece of Shit,” but it’s better than nothing), which makes it much more pleasant to read .txt files, which means I can read those Jules Verne books I got off Project Gutenberg lo these many years ago. Now, when I say “read those Jules Verne books,” I don’t mean Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Most easily-available copies of those are horrible translations with big hunks missing, measurements translated without being converted, and general localisation mayhem. No, I mean Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours and Voyage au centre de la terre.

And, hey, if I’m going to be reading them in French anyway, why not translate them while I’m at it?
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26
Jan
11

N-ary X-bar Conjunction Trees

I recently saw something… odd on YouTube. However, something good came out of this. See, back in Syntax class (and French Syntax, and even Semantics), when making a basic Principles and Parameters style tree of a sentence, based on X-bar theory, we were always told that everything needed to be formed in binary trees… except conjunctions for some reason. This always struck me as odd.

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29
Nov
10

Als Konig Abi-Esuh Gerechte Ordnung Hergestellt Hat

Last week, my friend, Jad, who is studying Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Toronto, contacted me, asking if I could translate something from German for him. This wasn’t exactly a surprising turn, since materials on the ancient Near East and Classical world are fairly evenly split between French, English, and German, and while he speaks English just fine and his French is good enough to slog his way through what he needs to, his German is completely nonexistent. (Lest you think I’m insulting him, he’s also native bilingual in Arabic, can read Syriac, and is as good as me in Latin and Imperial Aramaic, and his French is awesome considering the late start he got on it.) My response was that I could do it, but it’d be pretty slow because of my relative inexperience in German. Still, it was only six pages long, so I got crackin’ and, although it took longer than it should have because I kept second-guessing myself, I got it back to him in time for his presentation on the material, and I think I did a fairly good job on it. Good enough, in fact, that I feel like publishing my translation here. The original article is entitled “Als König Abi-ešuh Gerechte Ordnung Hergestellt Hat” Eine Bemerkenswerte Altbabylonische Prozessurkunde by Michael Jursa, published in the Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale volume 91 issue 2 © 1997 Presses Universitaires de France, translated and reprinted for reference and educational purposes, used without permission.

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07
Jul
10

Real Life Phonology

Linguistics is a relatively young science, so it’s still got a few kinks to work out. One I just recently noticed is that the definition of “phoneme” needs a little work. The official definition is a little hard to pin down, but let’s go with the great Wiki’s “the smallest segmental unit of sound employed to form meaningful contrasts between utterances.” That’s a good enough definition for most purposes. However, phonemes are referred to by their base allophones, so I suppose that’s really what I have a problem with.

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19
Apr
10

story idea

I’m not sure I’d call this a full post really. It’s just an idea I got from a comment on a message board concerning the possibilty of a certain character getting married as early as she does in a certain long-running fanfic. At one point, the author said “Sometimes, love uses a 2×4 to get someone’s attention.” Later, another poster responded, “And sometimes the 2×4 is ducked.” I just really wanted to avoid losing the possible story idea of this happening literally.

11
Nov
09

Orthography Is Not Speech

First of all, I’ve got my logo up; not too bad for an amatueur, I think. Now, on to actual content!


Let me just say that I read a lot of amateur fiction. I know, the whole world is laughing at me now, but just hear me out. A lot of it is really good, and some of it I wish could get published professionally. Now, a lot of it can’t be because it’s fanfiction (copyright laws and all, although I think some people who write in collective universes like the Star Wars Expanded Universe, which is essentially professional fanfiction, should be able to get some of their ideas out there), or because the medium precludes such considerations (Stefan Gagne’s Sailor Nothing is one example: most of it might work if the publisher were willing to spend enough on formatting, but chapter 7 wouldn’t work at all). However, I’ve noticed some things that people are doing that have become pet peeves for me.

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