why Tengwar?

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Since Tengwar is the only non-Roman script for Lojban to have seen extensive use, and since it comes from a controversial background, it generates stronger feelings than the other alternate orthographies. Discussions of those feelings I propose be held here.


Tolkien's script, though visually beautiful and logical, puts Lojban on a level of sword and sorcery fantasy languages, with a nerdy sci-fi-convention connotation.

  1. Nerdy sci-fi is in fact the original cultural millieu for most pre-Internet Lojbanists, as exemplified by Eric Raymond. (Not that he was himself pre-Internet, but you get the idea.)
  1. Lojban is geeky already, and Geek cultural has a historical affinity to Sword-And-Sorcery culture. This is hardly surprising.
  1. .i pe'i le fapro be la tenguar. cu dukse leni junri tu'a la lojban. .i no prenu cu stidi lenu la tenguar. basti le latmo lerfu .i pe'i ji'a lo prenu poi xlapai lenu la lojban. cu se ciska sepi'o la tenguar. cu la'a ji'a xlapai lenu la lojban. cu na'e nalsucta plixau .i seni'ibo la tenguar. na ka'e xrani tu'a la lojban.

.i ca'a stidi le zu'o ciska le flalrpatenta bau la lojban .i .aunaisai la lojban. ckini le cfika .i .e'u ko finti le citno lerfu bo ciste be seba'i la tenguar. be'o poi zmadu ty. le ka ce'u mapti la lojban.


(I think "Lobgwar" (as i call it) is good for ornamental-calligraphy uses: titles of books & poems; perhaps for signatures on letters composed bau la lojban. I can't imagine deciphering, say, a whole webpage in it--but i might print it out & frame it on my wall.)

'I agree. Before starting to adjust Tengwar for Lojban (called my fonts "jboten.") I began reading "The Lord of the Rings" out of pure linguistical interest - never have been a sci-fi freak. The scope for using Tengwar was to give Lojban script a more "human" appearance and - now and then - strip off its "machine code look". Sorry, that's my impression - yet, it was this what first "hooked" my curiosity for this language :-)

On the other hand, it's quite clear that we cannot do more than just play around with fancy scripts like Tengwar on the internet, given that even Chinese or Hebrew (Yiddish) etc. are more and more coming to use Latin characters on this modern electronic media. mi'e .aulun.'

Hopefully Unicode will solve that problem. --Jay

(If someone were to create a program that would automatically convert Lojban written in Tengwar into Lojban in the Latin alphabet and vice versa, I have no doubts that it would sweep the field...)

Well, using the Tengwar Scribe (search on Google) you can convert Lojban text to Tengwar (after downloading the Lojban mode, link on the same site as the scribe) and to decode the other way, simply paste it into your word processor and select Times New Roman or whatever. -- la ragyv.

And you can download extra modes for Tengwar Scribe from me, [1] (never got around to posting this.) This almost addresses Elrond's modes, but it's a little dumb about all-caps stress, being context-free. -- nitcion

I vote we find a way to write lojban in Futhark, if you want the fantasy feel. That doesn't attatch to a specific writer, because it's a real alphabet. Also, if we had a katakana orthography (not like I expect that to be easy) we might could appeal to the anime crowd. Just a thought.

--> Katakana Orthography

Futhark's no problem - yet, I don't like it very much for this purpose, Tengwar's much nicer. How about this? ;-) .aulun.

--> Hebrew Orthography

The problem with futhark is that there are no voiced/unvoiced pairs - that was based on placement within words per the old norse phonology. The exception in younger futhark (as opposed to elder futhark which I prefer) is k, which as a stung rune is a g. Lojban needs to distinguish. BTW, I've just come up with an orthography for estrangela, a syriac alphabet. - la .kreig.daniyl.