Monday, 25 November 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 47

Jerrey hiaghtoo hiaghtin as daeed ny Shallee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Maya glyphs (Stephen D. Houston)

Nah lioar lhaih mee 'sy 'traih lioaryn shoh "Reading the Past" (by Egyptian Hieroglyphics ee y chied lioar). S'treih lhiam gra nagh vel Houston wheesh mie as Davies myr screeudeyr da'n lught gyn ynsaghey. Ta mysh kied lieh ny lioar mychione shennaghys sleih heear feaysley ny cowraghyn shoh - castreycair, agh cha nel mooarane dy anaase aym er shen. Eisht t'eh goaill toshiaght soilshaghey magh ny cowraghyn hene, agh cha daink lesh eh, er lhiam. She corys screeuee feer chramp t'ayn, ta covestey jallooyn crampey myr un 'ockle, as cha nel ee rieau cur bun mie dhyt trooid soilshaghey beggan er veggan cre'n aght t'ou uss nyn lhaih. 'Sy chied sampleyr hene, t'eh loayrt er cowraghyn ta cur meehastey da ny reillyn as ta caslys jeh tree cowraghyn crampey gyn coontey mie jeh ny t'ad gra. Cha nel eh rieau jus cur caslys jeed as insh dhyt ny t'eh dy ghra as cre'n fa. Myr shen, cha dennee mee rieau dy dod mee toiggal yn aght ta'n corys gobbraghey. Cha nel mee jerkal rish toiggal ny cowraghyn hene, agh erreish dou lhaih obbyr Ghavies chreid mee dy doig mee cree yn aght screeuee Egyptagh. She lioar hirrym t'ayn nagh vel cooilleeney y dean ta foee, er lhiam.

Cheau magh mee daa lioar elley. Gormenghast trilogy (er lhiam nagh vel mee son lhiah eh, as t'eh liauyr ass towse - cre'n feeu?) as Newid Byd, erreish dou feddyn magh dy nee çhyndaays 'sy Vretnish t'ayn ass y Vaarle. Er lhiam nagh neeu eh ceau traa er y lheid.

The end of week forty-seven of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Maya glyphs (Stephen D. Houston)

The second book I've read in this series "Reading the Past" (Egyptian Hieroglyphics was the first). I'm sorry to say Houston doesn't come across nearly as well as Davies as a writer for the lay audience. A big chunk of the early book is about history, but the history of Western attempts to decipher the script rather than its own history - okay, but I have no particular interest in the lives and rivalries of these academics. When he does begin discussing the scripts, it didn't go too well. It's a very complicated system, involving intricate pictures that are combined in clusters to create words, which are themselves arranged in rows. Houston just never spends the time to explain simply how a basic reading goes, by showing you a cluster and breaking it down into parts. The very first example you see, he's making a point about exceptions to the rules and shows a few signs and a reading, but since he's making about three separate points in the same example I couldn't decipher it at all. It's not clear how the transcription relates to the clusters, let alone the individual symbols. As a result I never had a sound basis to follow the further explanations. I didn't expect to come out understanding Mayan writing, but I did hope to come out feeling like I knew how it worked, as I did with the hieroglyphs. Sadly, Davies doesn't pull that off. It's a pretty dry book that doesn't really accomplish its aim, in my view.

I've also slung out two books unread. The first is the Gormenghast trilogy (in one book). I just realised that, from what I know of it, I'm not really interested in reading it, and since it's a massive and rather heavy book it's not something I can plough through quickly so's to have at least read it, nor skim over to get the gist. The other is Newid Byd, which turns out to be a Welsh translation of an English book. Since I got it because it was Welsh, I don't really feel much point in bothering with that.

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