Hi, David! I've read your last answer about Shiväisith. As I can see we have some options:1) use the regular runes (oh my, so many variants!), 2) thinking about creating it by us, fans and 3) ask you to create it... I'd really like to see it from you. And I think not me only. You're the creator after all. If that comes true... But I know you're really busy and, after all, you have a lot things to do and to think.
lol Yeah, I do have a lot to do. At the moment I’m creating two new languages, in addition to doing my regular translation duty—plus I have some other projects I’m working on, and I’m still getting over being sick. Creating a new writing system is tough enough, but creating a font takes hours of work—even for a relatively simple alphabetic script. Plus, anything I’d create at this point wouldn’t be official (the movie’s long over), and there’s little chance of there ever being Dark Elves in a movie again. Even if the people writing the current Thor comics saw a script I created and liked it and wanted to use it, I should get paid to create the script and font (as happened with Defiance and Star-Crossed), rather than create it for free. Plus, there’s next to no interest in this language, outside of one loyal fan, and it’s doubtful that the language will have a future of any kind. It would be an ENORMOUS mistake to actually sit down and create a script and font for the Dark Elf language.
But I did it anyway.
Allow me to present the Dark Elf runic script which I call Todjydheenil (itself the plural of the word for “rune” in Shiväisith, todjydheen):
That’s Shiväisith in Todjydheenil. I took a look at all the runic systems from Northern Europe to get inspiration, but ultimately I decided the runes, like the language, should be original, so there are no phonological correspondences between this system and any natural system. I tried to get it to look vaguely sinister (that’s a technical term) while still obviously being a runic system. I also figured since the Dark Elves have been around for a while and are fairly technologically advanced, they could handle serifs. (Didn’t look good without the serifs—despite the fact that going back and adding serifs took a lot of extra time. It didn’t look right!)
Below are some charts detailing all the runes and what they stand for. This makes exclusive use of the romanization of Shiväisith, so if you’re not familiar with it, check out this post. First up, the vowels:
You’ll notice that the doubled vowels all have separate glyphs. That’s the way the system works (makes words shorter, which is nice). The nice thing is that if you type the doubled letters of the romanization, the correct glyph will pop right up, so no need to go hunting.
Okay, now for the consonants:
All right, something to note about the above. You’ll notice that there aren’t separate glyphs for f, th or dh. In addition, you’ll notice that both k and g have h as an alternate reading. This is no accident. In Shiväisith, these sounds are in complementary distribution, meaning you’ll never distinguish the meanings of two words with, for example, t and th. The sounds are thought of as identical by Shiväisith speakers. This means that to use the system, you’ll have to learn to use p everywhere you would use f (though, honestly, the ligatures I’ve created have got your back. If you type the romanization exactly, it’ll come out perfectly). The tricky one is h. There is indeed a separate h sound, but it is not the same as the h that generally occurs between vowels. For example, you know all those infinitives (pohahi, liljahi, karihi, etc.)? All k. That is, karihi is actually spelled kariki. That means it’s actually slightly more difficult to write in the runic script than the romanization, because you’ll have to remember which h’s are actually h, and which are either g or k, but them’s the breaks.
Moving on, these are runes for the diphthongs in Shiväisith:
Those should be fairly self-explanatory. In addition, there are a number of runes that stand for common combinations of consonants that occur at various places in a word. Their forms should be obvious, for the most part:
That’s the system. For the few ancillary bits one might need, I threw in some minimal punctuation:
You can use that period for a period, a comma, a colon, a semi-colon—whatever (they’re runes! Runes don’t care about fancy punctuation!).
And finally, the number system:
I’m hoping you can infer how to use the system just based on the cells for 5 through 9 and 20 there, because I ran out of room. Basically, numbers go to the right of the placeholder until you exceed the placeholder, then you add a counter to the left. With this system, you can go up to 999,999. If you need a million, round down to 999,999.
To put a name to the numbers, see the list below (cardinal numbers are listed first, followed by ordinal numbers—oh, and you just use tifidhoh, “nothing”, to refer to zero):
- heth / kyäthis
- kör / köös
- mitta / mittas
- kitta / kittas
- pesh / peshish
- täni / tänis
- gah / gakkis
- dulin / dulis
- djyyr / djyysh
- jav / javis
- javeth / javethis
- jav kör / jav köös
- jav mitta / jav mittas
- jav kitta / jav kittas
- jav pesh / jav peshish
- jav täni / jav tänis
- jav gah / jav gakkis
- jav dulin / jav dulis
- jav djyyr / jav djyysh
- körjev / körjevis
- körjev heth / körjev kyäthis
After that, you should be able to get the hang of it. You’ll just need the rest of the tens, and so forth. Those are:
- 30: mitjev / mitjevish
- 40: kitjev / kitjevish
- 50: peshev / peshevish
- 60: tänjev / tänjevis
- 70: gakjev / gakjevis
- 80: duljev / duljevis
- 90: djyyrjev / djyyrjevish
- 100: vysh / vyshish
- 1,000: teem / teemis
- 10,000: jav teem / jav teemis
- 100,000: teemidheen / teemidheenis
And that’s that.
Here are some sample words so you can get a feel for it. This is the name Älgrim:
I wanted to make sure his name looked cool. Love the le combination.
Here’s the word for “Dark Elf”, älfenää:
Here’s the word for the Dark Elf home world, Harudheen:
And here’s a word I think just looks kind of cool—the word for Asgardian, Äskärdhiksä:
Now, since this script and font I created are totally unofficial and are in no way connected to the movie or the Marvel Universe, cinematic or otherwise, I am releasing it to all and sundry. You can download it here (comes with installation and usage instructions). It comes with a CC license (this one), meaning that I don’t want anyone modifying or trying to sell the font, or claim it or the script or some derivative of either as their own work. What you use the font on, though, is your business. If you find some problem with the font, let me know and I can try to put out a new version if I have the time. (Though fair warning: either the ligatures, the kerning or both may not work on Microsoft Word. Microsoft hates anything it does’t already know how to deal with.)
This concludes Shiväisith day on my Tumblr. I hope you enjoyed it! Now let’s get back to talking about The 100, which comes back from its winter break tomorrow! ~:D