Thursday, 21 February 2013


It's only a sweatshirt with Tibetan on it!
བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས bkra shis bde legs - the Tibetan greeting often written tashi delek.

This shirt is advertising the Yak & Yeti restaurant in Disney World's Animal Kingdom. The "Asia" area of Animal Kingdom has decor meant to evoke India, Nepal and Tibet. This includes a lot of signs in Devanagari, although I couldn't make sense out of a lot of them.

आनन्दपुर दूरसंप्रेषण - Anandapur telecommunication

अब आगे कहाँ - where next

 कोका-कोला - Coca-Cola

नए सदस्यों का स्वागत है - new members welcome
शौचालय - toilet

They're even throwing some Ranjana up there! I don't know if you would ever see Ranjana on a public telephone sign, but I love how the Disney imagineers know that this script exists and decided to use it.

This is Nepali! 
रोक्नु - stop
बिहिबार बेलुका - Thursday evening

Monday, 4 February 2013

ඩේවිඩ් කොපර්fපීල්ඩ්

This photo of a Sinhala poster was posted on Language Log, where I left some comments, some useful and a few not so useful. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Anyway, have a look at the vertical line in the second word that looks like a Roman lowercase f.

It looks like f because it is f!

One of the ways Sinhala used to represent /f/ in English words was fප - a Roman f followed by ප (pa). So I think the text is ඩේවිඩ් කොපර්fපීල්ඩ් ḍēviḍ koparfīlḍ "David Copperfield". Here is the title in a more traditional typeface:

The author is චාල්ස් ඩිකන්ස්ගේ cāls ḍikansgē - I assume -gē is a genitive suffix.

And Sinhala used to do something similar to represent /z/: zස. If anyone has any more examples of zස or fප (photos of books, signs etc), I'd love to see them.