December 26th, 2017


A Christmassy poll - the answers, with screenshots

So, here are the answers to yesterday's poll:

1) ክብር ለእግዚአብሔር በአርያም

This is Amharic, the main language of Ethiopia. Greg and Pseudomantid were not too far off geographically with Demotic Egyptian and Coptic - but Amharic uses the Ge'ez script which is an abugida (ie syllabic).

2) Hueyixtica Dios ne ilhuicac, niman nican ipan tlalticpactli ma onya yolsehuilistli intzajlan on tlacamej yejhuan quipiaj tetlajsojtlalistli!

Nahuatl, the language descended from Aztec spoken in Mexico (so I'll give vilakins a half point.)

3) المَجدُ للهِ فِي الأعالِي

Arabic, as everyone guessed. (I should have chosen Farsi or Urdu for a laugh.)

4) Слава на Бога във висините.

Everyone thought this was Russian. It's Bulgarian - the use of ъ as a vowel is the clue.


Greg got this - Cherokee.

6) Gogoniant yn y goruchaf i Dduw, ac ar y ddaear tangnefedd, i ddynion ewyllys da.

Welsh, of course.

7) Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ.

Greek, of course.

8) Kunnia Jumalalle korkeuksissa, ja maassa rauha ihmisten kesken, joita kohtaan hänellä on hyvä tahto!

Finnish, of course.

9) स्वर्ग में परमेश्वर की जय हो

Greg correctly spotted that it is Devanagari script but for some reason thought it wasn't Hindi; it is.

10) Lavdi Perëndisë në vendet më të larta, dhe paqe mbi tokë njerëzve mbi të cilët qëndron mirëdashja e tij!.

Albanian. Only rcfinch got this, and two people guessed it was Estonian. The ë is the give-away, no other language uses it so much.

11) பரலோகத்தில் தேவனை மகிமைப்படுத்துங்கள்.

Tamil; the combination of curves and right angles is unusual. Greg not far off with Orissa/Oriya/Odia, but that comes up later on.

12) Lwanj pou Bondye anwo nan syèl la, kè poze sou latè pou tout moun li renmen.

Haitian Creole.

13) สรรเสริญพระเจ้าบนสวรรค์สูงสุด


14) ¡Wacami, ri chilaˈ chicaj sibilaj niyaˈox (nyaˈ) rukˈij rucˈojlen ri Dios! ¡Y waweˈ chuwech re ruwachˈulef xoka yan ri uxlanibel cˈuˈx. Xoka yan chiquicojol ri winek, ruma ri rutzil ri Dios!

The Mayan language Kaqchikel, spoken in Guatemala. Nobody got this, though guesses of Quechua and Inca were on the right landmass at least.

15) 天では、神に栄光があるように。

Japanese, as almost everyone spotted.

16) Dicsőség Istennek a Mennyben, és békesség a földön azoknak, akik Isten tetszése szerint élnek!


17) 가장 높은 하늘에서는 하나님께 영광!


18) Ȝode sy ƿuldor on heahnesse and on eorðan sybb mannum ȝodes ƿillan;

Three people thought this was or might be Icelandic (with the ð and ƿ, I suppose). But the letter Ȝ/ȝ is typical of Anglo-Saxon/Old English, in this case the West Saxon dialect of the Wessex Gospels.

19) स्वर्गात देवाला गौरव

Marathi, the main language of the Indian states of Maharashtra and Goa. Too obscure; nobody got it.

20) Aiboojoj ñan Anij ilo utiejtata, im aenōṃṃan ioon laḷ ippān armej raṇ E buñbūruon kōn er.

Nobody got this either. It's Marshallese, spoken in the Marshall Islands. The ṃ is the give-away letter here.

21) ସ୍ୱର୍ଗରେ ରହୁଥିବା ପରମେଶ୍ୱରଙ୍କ ଜୟ ହେଉ

This is Oriya or Odia, spoken in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. I'm generously letting Greg get a full point for this, even though he had already guessed the same answer for a different language. Two people thought it was Georgian, and I can see why.

22) Ilaah ha ku ammaanmo meelaha ugu sarreeya, Xagga dhulkana nabad ha ahaato dadka ka farxiya Ilaah dhexdooda.

Somali - the doubled consonants and vowels, and use of the letter X, are clues; also the word "Ilaah" for God indicates that it's a Semitic language. Nobody got it.

23) ਸਵਰਗ ਵਿੱਚ ਪਰਮੇਸ਼ੁਰ ਦੀ ਉਸਤਤਿ ਹੋਵੇ

Punjabi, the most widely spoken language in Pakistan (and also in the Punjab in India).

24) Sáng danh Chúa trên các từng trời rất cao, Bình an dưới đất, ân trạch cho loài người!

Vietnamese. Everyone got it.

25) 荣耀归于至高无上的上帝。


I'm giving vilakins a half point for Aztec rather than Nahuatl, and davidcook a half point for Middle English rather than Old English. The final scores are:

redfiona99 - 7
vilakins - 7½
davidcook - 9½

in third place:
pseudomantid - 10

and joint winners:
Greg Hullender - 11
rcfinch - 11 (entry received as I was typing this up).

Thanks to everyone!

My tweets


Re-#AnimateEurope, ed. Hans H. Stein

Second page of third story (“How to Save the World”, by Štěpánka Jislová):

Finishing the year by quickly writing up the books I hadn’t previously got around to - this has lingered a while, the finalists for this year’s comics competition run by the Brussels office of the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit, the political foundation associated with the liberal Free Democratic Party; I’m glad to say that they accepted my suggestion of one of the judges. The theme this year was “Re-Animate Europe”, and the entries were all pretty good - the one that particularly spoke to me was the eventual runner up, “My Uncle’s Dream” by Jordana Globerman, about conflict, migration, family and heritage; the winner was “The Old Lady Gives No Answer”, by Magdalena Kaszuba. For those who are interested in both European politics and comics, however superficially, this is a competition well worth following. The full book of finalists can be downloaded here.
train, tintin, leuven

Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Second frame of third chapter:

I read this years ago, of course, but read it again this year as part of a Facebook group of friends, some of whom were reading for the first time, taking it at the rate of a chapter a month, so as to recreate the experience of reading when it first came out in 1987. I had always enjoyed it, but I must say I really appreciated the detailed analysis that some people brought to it - in particular, I loved the observation that Chapter V is symmetrical, with the last frames mapping to reflect the first, advanced by a certain amount of time. Having also read V for Vendetta earlier this year, and Philip Sandifer's commentary on it, I still like Watchmen much more, and if you haven't already read it, you should. Ian has suggestions for other good comics.

This won the one and only Hugo Award for "Other Forms", in 1988, the other finalists being Wild Cards, ed. George R. R. Martin; I, Robot: The Movie, by Harlan Ellison (script for a film that was never made); The Essential Ellison: A 35-Year Retrospective, by Harlan Ellison, Terry Dowling, Richard Delap and Gil Lamont; and Cvltvre Made Stvpid, by Tom Weller. For all the criticism of the current Best Related Work category, I think it's a better solution.