It’s a little less than a week until the start of the Olympic Games, and Londoners are braced for transport chaos.
If you’d like to help ease their stress levels, one thing will make a huge difference. That thing is standing on the right on escalators. This simple rule, which you will see on all escalators on the Tube, allows people in a hurry to walk down the left hand side of the escalator whilst others stand… on the right.
If you’d like to ease London stress levels even more, help out others by telling them to stand on the right – even in their own language. Londonist’s handy guide is here to help. Here are a few translations.
Cantonese: Mm goi kay yau bin
Catalan: Estigues a la banda dreta, si us plau
Klingon: Qam Daq nIH!
Latin: ad latus dextrum sta
Morse: … – .- -. -.. — -. – …. . .-. .. –. …. -
A fascinating article in the New York Times describes the rise of invented languages (conlangs) in Hollywood.
The most famous conlangs are probably Klingon (from Star Trek) and Esperanto but more recently languages have been invented for the film Avatar (Na’vi) and the television show Game of Thrones (Dothraki). Who is behind these new languages?
Trained linguists, it would seem. The person who constructed Dothraki is David J. Peterson, a linguistics graduate of the University of Southern California, San Diego. Paul R. Frommer, the man behind Na’vi is a professor at USC. Constructing new languages is apparently quite challenging:
Dothraki came with its own challenges. Mr. Martin’s books described the Dothraki people as nomadic warriors who live in grass fields and survive mostly on horsemeat.
“First you say, should this word exist at all?” Mr. Peterson said. He decided that the Dothraki, with their long braids, or “jahaki,” wouldn’t have a word for toilet, cellphone or even book since that implies they have a printing press. The Dothraki do however have more than 14 words for horse (including “hrazefishi” for a teeny-tiny horse).
Next, Mr. Peterson tried to establish words that would be native and basic (meaning they are not derived from another Dothraki word), toying with letter combinations and sounds he liked. His favorite sound is “JH” as in “genre,” so he made the word for man in Dothraki mahrazh.
“I said to myself, if I won the right to coin the word “man,” it better be cool,” Mr. Peterson said. (Source: New York Times)
The first production performed entirely in Klingon has premiered in the Netherlands.
Called u, the production was conceived by the Klingon Terran Research Ensemble (KTRE), based in the Hague. The title translates as ‘universe’ or ‘universal’.
Klingon was invented by linguist Marc Okrand as the language of the fictional Star Trek warrior race. Fans have taken up the language with enthusiasm and sometimes controversy – one American man decided to speak to his child only in Klingon for three years.
The opera apparently features a Klingon story with Klingon lyrics and Klingon singers although this has caused some difficulties:
..Schoenfeld admitted the KTRE had to “assume a lot of things”. “We can’t go to Qo’noS and hang out with the Imperial Opera,” he said. “That’s just not an option right now. And we’re hoping, of course, for some grants to allow that.” (Source: The Guardian)
Quite an achievement for an invented language.