Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Translation Challenge: Foucault's Pendulum

From:Carsten Becker <carbeck@...>
Date:Friday, July 28, 2006, 11:09
As seen on the ZBB. It's a real challenge, but worth it.
See: --
I translated the text from German, as explained in that
file. The German version of the extract adds some extra
pepper to this, so I translated it into English for those
who want to try. I don't know which version of both is
closer to the Italian original, the official German one,
which I used, or the English one. You'll see the

----- Original Message: -----


Or, a challenge for the semioticians - the first page of
Umberto Eco's _Foucault's Pendulum_.
This is a relatively complex passage, which should put any
conlang through its paces. Is your conlang up to it? Go on,
I dare you.

<< That was when I saw the Pendulum.

The sphere, hanging from a long wire set into the ceiling
of the choir, swayed back and forth with isochronal majesty.

I knew - but anyone could have sensed it in the magic of
that serene breathing - that the period was governed by the
square root of the length of the wire and by pi, that number
which, however irrational to sublunar minds, through a
higher rationality binds the circumference and diameter of
all possible circles. The time it took the sphere to swing
from end to end was determined by an arcane conspiracy
between the most timeless of measures: the singularity of
the point of suspension, the duality of the plane's
dimensions, the triadic beginning of pi, the secret
quadratic nature of the root and the unnumbered perfection
of the circle itself.

I also knew that a magnetic device centred in the floor
beneath issued its command to a cylinder hidden in the heart
of the sphere, thus assuring continual motion. This device,
far from interfering with the law of the Pendulum, in fact
permitted its manifestation, for in a vacuum any object
hanging from a weightless and unstretchable wire free of air
resistance and friction will oscillate for eternity. >>



In the thread on the ZBB this is from there are also
translation of the above into Icelandic and Indonesian -- by
native speakers, but unfortunately without interlinears or
any other explanations.

Have fun,

"Miranayam kepauarà naranoaris." (Kalvin nay Hobbes)
Tenena, Tyemuyang 19, 2315 ya 10:54:38 pd


Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Sylvia Sotomayor <terjemar@...>