300 * 4 questions = Many Scripts

From: Mark E. Shoulson (mark@kli.org)
Date: Thu Nov 22 2007 - 22:36:42 CST

  • Next message: André Szabolcs Szelp: "Re: Display of Mongolian in Arabic or Hebrew documents"

    At my parents' house for Thanksgiving today, they gave me a copy of a
    book that might interest some of the readers here. A friend of my
    mother's, over ten years ago, started collecting translations of the
    "Four Questions" from the Passover Seder into as many languages as he
    could. According to him, finding out about me and getting from me the
    Klingon version gave him the impetus to really pursue the project and
    turn it into a book. The book has translations into 300 languages, each
    printed in its native script (if applicable), and comes with a CD and a
    DVD full of performances and readings of the various translations.
    (Things like signed languages couldn't be printed and are thus really
    only available in video on the DVD). I'm actually pretty impressed with
    the quality of the work and the explanations they give for each and
    every language. I'm sure not all the typography is 100% perfect, but
    there was definitely a lot of effort put into it. All the languages
    have the appropriate font, often with a transliteration as well.
    Mongolian, relevant to recent discussion, is shown in Cyrillic
    transcription, but in the "ancient/extinct languages" section there is
    an entry for "Ancient Mongolian" which is written in proper vertical

    Take a look: http://whyisthisnight.com/ The book is called "300 Ways to
    Ask the Four Questions: From Zulu to Abkhaz". The languages are
    somewhat annoyingly arranged in *reverse* alphabetical order, on the
    grounds that Hebrew reads right to left. Go figure.


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