Re: Tolkien wanta-be has created entirely new language

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Thu Mar 13 2003 - 18:09:26 EST

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    Ruddy, James <James_Ruddy at Instron dot com> wrote:

    > I intend to write the novel in this language, hide it, and then
    > "discover" it five years later and "translate" it into English.

    Bon chance. Language is an immensely complex thing, and inventing one
    is far more difficult than inventing a script. (I've done the latter,
    wanted to do the former but gave up long ago.)

    > Is there a word processor or text editor out there that will allow me
    > to draw my own alphabet and then allow me to map these new characters
    > to my keyboard? Can these new characters be entered, even graphically,
    > into a SQL Server database (my new dictionary!), in such a way that
    > they can be printed out to a file?

    If you have Windows 2000 or above, then you have something called
    Private Character Editor (also called EUDCEDIT, which I think stands for
    End User Defined Character Editor). This allows you to draw your own
    glyphs in the Private Use Area from U+E000 through U+F8FF. There's an
    option to link the resulting "font" to any or all of your Windows
    TrueType fonts, and then if you go into Notepad (I don't know about
    other editors) and type the characters, your glyphs will be displayed.
    If you don't have Windows 2000, I don't know what to suggest.

    As far as *how* to type them, there is a tool called Tavultesoft Keyman
    [1] that lets you create your own Windows keyboards. I haven't used it
    much myself, but others on this list swear by it. There are other such
    tools as well, including Janko's Keyboard Generator [2], but I know even
    less about them. Make sure they are Unicode-enabled; you really don't
    want to get into the business of redefining the ASCII range (unless it's
    a cipher for ASCII; see below).

    If you already have, or can put together, a pretty good technical
    description of your script, you might try submitting it to Michael
    Everson and John Cowan for possible inclusion in the ConScript Unicode
    Registry [3]. That might be useful if you intend to publish the
    "untranslated" version of your novel on the Web. Of course, you'd have
    to create (or commission) a font with your glyphs, and then make the
    font available to prospective readers.

    For ConScript, it often helps if your script has *already* been
    published in some form, such as a book or on the Web. There needs to be
    some likelihood that people will want to interchange text in this
    script. I can take a preliminary look at it, if you like, to see if it
    stands a reasonable chance of being considered. Warning: a "script"
    that is merely a cipher for the Latin alphabet is NOT a candidate for

    John Hudson <tiro at tiro dot com> responded:

    > It would be much more interesting if someone else found it, deciphered
    > the script and translated it.

    I had assumed that either the initial writing or the discovering would
    take place under an assumed name.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

    [2] http://solair.eunet.yu/~janko/engdload.htm

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