Suggestion - The Elvish Section
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Author:  Johnny's Fan [ February 7th, 2012, 2:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

Okie-dokie. :-)

I'm posting here for the last time because we're going around in circles. I can't make my point any more plainly or nicer than what I'm about to say. If my comments cause someone else to fire off both cannons, please remember that's not my fault. As I can assure you this post does not have *heated debate* slapped over it.

The Facts:

1) We want the Elvish section made better either by adding new material or removing old material

2) dreamingfifi has offered to help us re-vamp the Elvish section by making it far more up to date and scholarly for the serious Tolkien linguists out there

3) This is going to be a good thing for AU as we'll be reaching out to more people and it's good to update things even if originally we never thought much about updating the Elvish itself, just sorting out the pages

4) Certain people (of which I can name more than 4 so let's not pick on one person here) would like to keep a certain page(s) just as they are in addition to the new pages that dreamingfifi has created for us.

5) Certain people (of which if we were voting they would be out voted) do not want this to happen for various reasons which can be found on previous pages. I gather, the main reason is the content which some want kept is totally wrong and is going to make people use Elvish that is wrong without them knowing.

6) A suggestion was offered to make it damn clear that the old content is really just fluff and for fun and if you hate seeing bad Elvish go the X amount of new shiny pages for your enjoyment instead. But this fair compromise (an unfair compromise would be to take dreamingfifi works and distort that to meet our fun needs) doesn't seem to have had the effect that it sensibly should

But ultimately..... if more people want the old content as well as the new to be on AU, than the people who only want the new content..... why are we still discussing this? Where else in our past conversations be it who is the murderer at the Hallowfest, or what colour layout should be use, have we not made a decision based on a majority ruling or a poll?

I'm not prepared to discuss this any further, because it's tiring and I'm worn out even thinking about it all and sadly, it looks like only some of us are being able to say what they really feel.

So whatever you guys decide, I'll go along with. Regarding the IPA thing, I've got no clue about it, so only the people who understand what is easier for people to learn, should be a part of making a decision about what format we use for the Elvish, which is why I haven't been involved in any of those discussions.

When you do decide what you want doing, Crutchie can get back to doing her job. :bye2:

I've nothing to say.... you have many things.... well nothing that's not be said....

Author:  dreamingfifi [ February 8th, 2012, 4:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

Alright, I lost my cool, sorry. I did take this monstrous task on right as a new semester started (bad timing) and pretty much destroyed myself physically and mentally to get it done before classes got serious, which I'm not sure I communicated.

There's another layer to this... I'm not really part of the community yet. I want to be, and was making a few steps towards it, but my comfort zone is wrangling languages and am slowly working my way to other sections... I'm weirdly shy like that. I'm far more comfortable chatting about languages than most of the rest of canon because that's what my passion has always been. That being said, most of you guys view me as an outsider. And when I criticized things that you hold dear, you guys took it as an outside attack on you.

It doesn't help that I never liked Arwen much to begin with. I joined up because I heard that she was gone.

But the truth of the matter is - I don't want this place to have bad translations on it. I'd like to see more good Elvish on the web.

I'm going to try to explain why this is important to me without getting emotional and angry.

This is something that I learned the hard way, over and over and over - so it's a little sore for me. It has to do with the way misinformation is spread. Now, the intentions behind the misinformation may have been completely benign, and might be clearly marked as harmless fun, but most people won't read the warning label. So, it spreads. No one knows the origins of the phrases, they just know that they saw it in someone's RP post or in someone's fanfic, thought it was genuine, and copy it to their own.

Compound it with people copying and pasting it onto their own websites WITHOUT the warning label, and there's a full-scale epidemic on our hands.

Then they come to me. They think they know a little Elvish, and want to study Elvish with my class. And they find out they haven't been using Tolkien's languages all along. Or, they received a message in A-U Sindarish, and thinking it's actual Elvish, ask me to decode it. Or it's some poor guy who finds out the "Elven name" he's been showing off actually means "Enslaved Female Eru" (Erumollien) in Quenya. (Or "Eru of female torment" in Sindarin. Either way - not a good name.)

I've been cleaning up the linguistic pollution of A-U for years. At least with Grelvish, people could figure out from the website that it's for a fantasy RPG that's unrelated to LotR. Here, to the untrained eye, it looks legit.

So, I got really excited when it looked like you were giving me a chance to remove this problem from the internet. And angry when it looked like you wanted to keep the problem up just to get more pageviews.

Author:  Taurquende [ February 8th, 2012, 6:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

I don't have time to write out a very detailed response, but I just like to note that it's not exactly the site's fault that people didn't read the warning label. It seems to me like the whole problem can be fixed by making it more conspicuous. :)

Author:  [ February 8th, 2012, 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

Thanks for explaining, dreamingfifi. Having a true passion is a gift and I understand how much this means to you. I still really hope we can solve this through constructive debate. There should be a place for everyone on A-U, oldie and newbie alike. However, now that so many people are actively involved in the revival, decisions will also be communal and reached through debating the issue in question. Just as it might make perfect sense to only feature correct Elvish om the site, pointing out that maintaining or even increasing traffic to the site might be as valid a goal.

Author:  dreamingfifi [ February 8th, 2012, 3:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

If this place has a good Elvish section, those of us who study Tolkien's languages will send traffic your way. Especially if there is something exceptional here, a tool that people will find useful and spread the word about.

It would also be nice if that tool wasn't something that people could just copy and paste onto their own websites. Something they'd have to come here for.

That's why I like the idea of building an interactive elvish pronunciation guide. There used to be one similar to what I have in mind: Ardhon Ellammath, but that website vanished from the web last year, and there hasn't been anything to fill its place since. What made Ardhon Ellammath so cool is that it connected how something is said with how it is written, and taught IPA at the same time.

IPA...The International Phonetic Alphabet. I realize that many of you are uncomfortable with it, but it's what the TolkLang community uses. If you open up the Hiswelókë Sindarin dictionary, you'll notice that IPA is used to describe the pronunciation. It's also more useful for people who learned English as a second language. They will not be able to use the system that is in place now - not with any confidence. Most did, however, learn IPA alongside our writing system. (It's in the English textbooks, because our writing system clearly has little to do with how words are pronounced.) Even though this website is in English, there are a lot of ESL speakers/writers out there, and we should make it easier for them.

Author:  Seren [ February 9th, 2012, 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

OK, I'm obviously being ignored about IPA. I give up with this. Looks like A-U is going to turn into yet another inaccessible Elvish website.. Like we need any more of those :eyeroll:

Author:  Arabella Baggins [ February 9th, 2012, 4:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

If we're nominating people to do the sound clips for pronounciation, I nominate ErulissEnnethNin. She speaks very good Elvish from what I can gather and her native language is Swedish, and wasn't Elvish influenced by Scandinavian languages?

Author:  Elthir [ February 9th, 2012, 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

Arabella Baggins wrote:
(...) and wasn't Elvish influenced by Scandinavian languages?

Welsh was a notable inspiration with respect to Grey-elven or Sindarin. About Quenya Tolkien once noted (in a letter): 'Actually it might be said to be composed on a Latin basis with two other ingredients that happen to give me 'phonaesthetic' pleasure: Finnish and Greek. It is however less consonantal than any of the three. This language is High-elven or in its own terms Quenya.'

To simplify matters anyway.

Author:  Taurquende [ February 9th, 2012, 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

Hravan wrote:
OK, I'm obviously being ignored about IPA. I give up with this. Looks like A-U is going to turn into yet another inaccessible Elvish website.. Like we need any more of those :eyeroll:

Hey, can we keep the sarcasm to a minimum? I know I'm being ridiculously strict now but obviously tensions are running high in this thread, and I think we should stick to productive arguments.

Author:  dreamingfifi [ February 9th, 2012, 7:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

Hravan wrote:
OK, I'm obviously being ignored about IPA. I give up with this. Looks like A-U is going to turn into yet another inaccessible Elvish website.. Like we need any more of those :eyeroll:

That's why we're planning sound-clips, to make it more accessible.

I've tried all sorts of phonetic transcription systems on my own website. They ranged from English orthography like what is up now, to IPA. I was trying to make the material more accessible too, but I found through trial and error with my Sindarin lessons, that IPA is the only way this can work.

I already explained this, but at the time I was seeing red, so perhaps I can do a better job of it now.
There are two main reasons that English orthography doesn't work with Sindarin.

1. The English language doesn't have the same sounds that Elven languages do. Sindarin and Quenya have many diphthongs, consonants, and one vowel that we have no way to write using our systems. They also have vowel and consonant length as phonemes; another thing that we don't have in English.

2. It's really vague. Every set of letters, no matter how precise we try to be, will have multiple different pronunciations. Even a seemingly simple sequence could be wildly misinterpreted.

English orthography has the poor chance of being a language that absorbs other languages' words - spelling and all - and having a chain shift in the pronunciation of long vowels - The Great Vowel Shift. That means our writing system has very little connection to the ways that words are actually said. It's the reason that the word "feet" (said /fe:t/ when the spelling was decided, and /fit/ after the GVS) makes so little sense now.

Long story short - English orthography doesn't work for languages that aren't English.

Author:  dreamingfifi [ February 10th, 2012, 9:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

I found an excellent singer/voice actress who can roll Rs like a pro and liven in Germany as a child, so she can produce all of the sounds needed. I also know a male singer/actor who can imitate accents and foreign languages very well. He starred in "The Foreigner" by Larry Shue.

On campus there's a recording studio that I can schedule time at. (it helps that I know a lot of people in the Media Arts department) I'm going to go ahead with this if no one else wants to do it.

Author:  Nurrantiel Mashiara [ February 11th, 2012, 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

^That sounds like a great plan!

Author:  Harthad [ February 11th, 2012, 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

Would everyone like me to continue my coding job now? :) I'll make a new sound clips page, just so you can see and so that it'll be up there once the sound clips are made.

Author:  dreamingfifi [ February 11th, 2012, 5:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

Getting time at the recording studio, while free for students, involves a waiting period and scheduling in advance. Also, there is a lot of material to record here - we likely won't be able to get it done in one session, and I need to train the actors.

This is going to take a while.

I thought that the sound clips of the voice-actors would be right alongside the elvish lines in the pages, not on a separate page.

What type of sound file should I submit them in?

Also... I'd like to pay the voice actors. Should I pay out of my own pocket or could we raise money to pay them?

Author:  Taurquende [ February 11th, 2012, 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

I envisioned the sound clips next to the elvish as well. I think that would be most convenient.

As far as paying the actors go, I don't think we as a community can raise the money. The logistics of transferring money over the internet are complicated, and we already have enough of a time raising money to support the domain name and the forum.
If you really are willing to pay out of your pocket, then that's great! But don't forget, we can always look to volunteers within the community. :) Spending money towards a fan site is a really big step.

Arabella Baggins wrote:
If we're nominating people to do the sound clips for pronounciation, I nominate ErulissEnnethNin. She speaks very good Elvish from what I can gather and her native language is Swedish, and wasn't Elvish influenced by Scandinavian languages?

Could someone possibly send her a PM asking if she'd be available or willing to do it? She doesn't seem to be following this thread, and if she is... Hey Eru! Would you be willing to try to record elvish sound clips for us?? :teehee:

Author:  Eruraina [ February 16th, 2012, 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Suggestion - The Elvish Section

Sorry for dropping off the face of the forum there. I just quickly scanned this last page and see some of the debate that went on. Not sure what all happened, but I'll stay out of that.

Right now I'd like to share a few ideas that came to mind as I was reading the page.

The first is about the what to keep vs what to trash vs what to add problem that seems to be here. There are people who want to keep some of the old, yet others who want to keep the new as such. What if we kept the (english) phrases we already have and asked dreamingfifi nicely to give us the proper translations for them? As well as add what she has already put together and offered us to add to the site? I'm sure some of what she has offered to add is at least close to what's already there.

The other things would be the IPA vs non-IPA. What if we did both? And for the non-IPA don't necessarily use a system(since according to dreamingfifi there isn't another system that gets it as close as IPA), but do our best to write out the proper sounds to see if we can get it to sound as close to it should be a possible. Which would require someone sitting and figuring it out. But wouldn't doing this make both the hardcore linguists and the not-hardcore-at-all-just-want-translation-for-RPG people at least somewhat happy?

And the way I see it, there's are at least two ways to accomplish this. The easiest way for the coders, but probably wouldn't look as organized would be to list the phrases(if we're still using the manner AU is currently using) like so:
Elvish phrase
IPA pronunciation
Non-IPA pronunciation
English Translation
{And Sound Clip if applicable, unless you wanted to put this on a separate page. Not sure how this will be done, whether it's through a media player like device or opened on a separate little window(like the smileys do when you click to see all smileys), or what.}
(I see no reason to give the 'literal' translation. Maybe we could just put at the top of the page 'Translations are not literal, but generally have the same meaning' or something like that).

Another is to have three separate pages that are generally the same, the only difference being what pronunciation guild you use. Have links at the top that say "IPA" "Non-IPA(suggested for beginners)" "Sound Clips" (And on the IPA page have a link to an IPA guild for those who are curious enough to want to figure it out).
And so then the words would be listed as:
Elvish phrase
Pronunciation(whether IPA, non-IPA, or Sound Clip)

These are just a few suggestions.

By the way, the idea of Erulisse being the voice of our sound clips is an awesome idea, if she's willing to do it.

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