Some notes on the challenges inherent in translating Elvis Presley's songs into Sumerian, from a man who released a CD of same.
I must admit translating Elvis into Sumerian was not easy, but it was an interesting experience, and I learned a lot in the process. The main difficulty was lexical: because of the great distance in time and hence differences in culture -- Sumerian became extinct as a spoken language about 1800 BC -- it was difficult to find Sumerian equivalents for certain modern concepts and words. For example, the Sumerians of course didn't have nylon socks, so I had to improvise and made it "cotton boots," šuhub gu. (I resolutely resisted the temptation to take the easy road and use modern words as loan words in Sumerian, which would have ruined the whole experiment). It took me some time to solve this problem, because there does not exist a dictionary where you could simply look these things up. The only modern dictionary of Sumerian, the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary, ed. Å. Sjöberg (Sumerian-English, not English-Sumerian!), has not yet advanced beyond the letters A and B!
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]
Learning to code is a perfect way to grow your technical sophistication, and open up a host of new career options. But since most “learn to code” initiatives focus heavily on web development, it can be tough to find good resources for general-purpose computer science outside of a 4-year degree program. To get a broad […]
While many newer smartphones boast decent water resistance, most of us are still stuck with the kind of handsets that need to spend the night in a bowl of rice when they get wet. If you want to enjoy your favorite podcasts in the shower but are holding out for your next phone upgrade, this […]