Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I love languages

It's been rumored that the reason that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" is because he was a fanatic linguaphile and wanted to have an outlet for his love of languages. He also desired to create a mythology. And so he did. I actually have a book that explained the lingual work Tolkien did, call "The Languages of Tolkien's Middle Earth". I bought it when I was highschool and the binding's just about to fall off from so much reading.

As for languages, I know...1. And some change. I took 4 years of German between High School and college, but don't remember much of it. I wish I did. I've subscribed to Google(tm) News, German to try to improve my reading comprehension. But, unfortunately, I don't have the time to sit down and read it. Likewise, with Biblegateway.com, I've got a copy (or 3) of the Bible, auf Deutsch, right there at my finger tips. I would like to take some time each day to try to read from that and use it to study. Something like that would help me to not only better read German, but it would help to slow down and study God's Word. Dual benefit!

There's something mysterious about different languages, especially those (like the above), that have a different alphabet. It's like a code. I remember in the 7th grade, over Easter break in 1988, when I bought Ultima V. I remember pulling out the beautiful cloth map that came with it (see below)
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And seeing the Runic font on the map. I was so much fun taking the map and the key to the Runic alphabet included in the player's guide and figuring out the names of the places on the map. Given that, at that time, I didn't actually own a computer, I couldn't do much with it while I wasn't at the computer lab. And so that's what I did -- entertained myself with the player's guide (and there was much to keep me entertained!). I learned the Runic alphabet, which made playing the game that much more fun.

Ultima 5 was, by far, the best game of the series. Before games focused on graphical spectacularness, U5 had good story and was so much fun to play.

I started out talking about languages and ended up talking about Ultima. Which, actually, ties into the original subject. Ultima used its own alphabet (though the language was still English), but it had a pretty cool history behind it. Which added to the enjoyment. I just downloaded Ultima IV to my laptop. I know I don't have time to play, but how I wish I could just go back to the 7th grade....with the Apple ][e computers, green and black graphics....

And journey back to Britannia.


twbowes said...

I am glad I am your friend, but whenever you begin to talk about Ultima, it's all Greek to me.

twbowes said...

Put something on for me to read!