Tuesday, 23 August 2011

भारत के रॉयल न्यायालयों की स्प्लेंडर महाराजा

This is a T-shirt from the Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

It's a shame that the script couldn't be rendered more elegantly.

Devanagari script is an abugida: consonant letters are read with an accompanying vowel, so स is sa. Other vowels are represented by diacritics: सी , से se सु su, etc. To indicate that the consonant letter should not be read with an accompanying vowel, a diacritic called virama is used: स् is s.

And usually when two or more consonants are clustered, they are combined using halved forms of the letters called conjucts. So स् s plus प pa is combined as स्प spa.

Two words on this shirt use virama when they could have used conjuncts. These words
न् यायालयों
स् प् लेंदार
could have been written more elegantly as

Whatever software they used to render the script displayed it… not wrong, but it could have been better.

The text is भारत के रॉयल न्यायालयों की स्प्लेंडर महाराजा bhārat ke răyal nyāyālayoṃ kī spleṃḍar mahārājā, which is Hindi for "splendour maharaja of the royal courts of India". In my inexpert opinion, it might have been better with mahārājā at the front like it is in English.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Helpful advice to brow-beat your vocabulary into submission

Ladies and gentlemen: The Proper English Foundation. "The Proper English Foundation is similar to the Queen’s English Society, but slightly more militant." Be sure to check out the extremely informative articles on the Académie Von Anglais, George Orwell, and How languages don't evolve. And of course, The English-Speaking World.