Sunday, March 9, 2014

Week 10: Gate Translated

    The book-of-the-week for week 10 is titled Gate Translated. It's based on the idea that language is a sort of gate... by simply translating the word gate into 18 different languages. .

   A papyrus cover with mother-of-pearl button clasp and a red satin ribbon make up the outer cover of the little 3.5 inch by 3.5 inch book. Marbled paper accents the fore-edge flap. Inside, are the translations... hand-lettered on crimson ruled lines over lithographic prints of the Rosetta Stone.

The binding is made with the chain-link coptic stitch using a dyed linen thread. Added strength is created with Ethiopian headbands at top and bottom. A great resource book for instructions on corporating headbands onto handmade books is Headbands: How to Work Them, by Jane Greenfield and Jenny Hille.

A close-up view of a page spread shows a lithograph print of the Rosetta Stone, done in sepia ink. The Rosetta Stone dates back to approximately 196BC Egypt, and is one of the most important discoveries ever made with regards to translating ancient languages.. and ultimately opening the door to lost cultures. The prints are rotated in a variety of ways ... just as differing languages can change viewpoints and thought patterns...

Gate Translated...

Chinese: da men, fang men

Dutch: port, draaihek

French: porte, portillon

Egyptian: bab

German: tor, flugsteig, gatter, pforte

Icelandic: hliðið

Irish: geata

Italian: cancello, valvola, porta

Hebrew: sha’ar

Hindi: phāṭaka

Japanese: mon, gēto

Korean: mun

Portuguese: portão

Russian: geit

Spanish: paso, portalyn, verja

Swahili: mlango

Swedish: öppning, grind

Turkish: geçit, patika

   When two contemporaries speak the same language, the way is open for understanding and sharing. Learning a new language can take years of study, a quick memory, and the ability to think logically and reasonably. Certainly learning a language cannot be mastered by books alone, but requires the input of teachers and peers who already know the language. This is not a new concept. Linguistics was studied as early as 500 BC by Pāṇini... who, in studying Sanskrit, found over 3900 rules of grammar. Certainly, even today's modern languages are just as complicated...  and it can take years to master the nuances of the lexicon of a language. The words in Gate Translated are taken from literary sources and bilingual dictionaries, not necessarily the most common usage. Instead, they were chosen to make one regard the beauty of all the world's languages... and work for the blessedness of understanding... even if it's one word at a time.