Monday, March 28, 2005

Imaginary languages
From Fr James Tucker

The Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be in Elvish
The Lord of the Rings phenom is one of those things that’s passed me by but I know that a few friends are into it. Tolkien was not only Catholic but brilliant, creating this whole fantasy world as a light diversion for himself; a linguist, he came up with Elvish including even a beautiful alphabet and script for it.

I understand that the fantasy world is so intricate that many people lose themselves in it, so you have people dressing up as hobbits and such, which wasn’t his intention (and he wouldn’t have any of it).

Also, he fell out with C.S. Lewis because he thought the Narnia books both were ham-handed preaching (which the Rings books aren’t) and a bad rip-off of his work!

Been to the Eagle and Child pub where they used to meet.

Anyway, of course the church has several such real languages in its rites: not only Latin but Slavonic (essentially archaic Russian) with its own beautiful script (something I use nearly every day) and of course languages such as Armenian and Aramaic.

Did you know... that language learning is so natural for young kids that twins left to themselves sometimes will create their very own language? Scientists have studied it — the language has a grammar, etc. like world languages do.

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