When you beat on that drum

Today’s reader mail is from Dave Kellum, director of the short film called Ambassador’s Day. I’m playing one of the roles therein.

In our movie, the Rendezvous Zone is a solid, unmarked metal (or wood, treated to look like metal) disk 30 feet across. It’s surrounded by seven “Standing Stones”. Each of the standing stones is a pile of moss-covered rocks, covered with plaques that say “Rendezvous Zone 87 Northwest” in about thirty different languages.

I’ve got the Japanese, Cajun, Russian, and others taken care of… That’s where I need YOUR help. I still need:

BASQUE (plain old Roman alphabet)

HIGH GERMAN (plain old Roman alphabet with lots of umlauts)

HINDI (or anything from the Indian sub-continent)

MONGOLIAN (looks VERY cool, written vertically)

BURMESE (spoken in Myanmar nowadays, it’s a beautiful alphabet)

LAO (just as pretty as Burmese)

PORTUGUESE (preferably an African dialect)

AFRIKAANS (plain old Roman alphabet)

FARSI (spoken mostly by Iraqi and Iranians)

ARABIC (spoken mostly by anyone from the Arabian Peninsula (except maybe


CHEROKEE (alphabet was devised in the 1800’s)

CREE (alphabet was devised in the 1700’s)

OJIBWAY (alphabet was devised in the 1800’s)

ESPERANTO (plain old Roman alphabet)

INUKTITKUT (Inuit Eskimo)

+ any others you can think of

If you know anyone who speaks AND writes any of those languages, please have them translate “RENDEZVOUS ZONE 87 NORTHWEST” into that particular tongue, and have them write it down. I’ve acquired TrueType fonts of each of these alphabets.

Those of you in Schools and Universities might hit up your language departments (pretty please).

“Rendezvous” is pretty obviously French, so I doubt it will have a counterpart in many languages. “Meeting Place” or “Embassy” would be suitable alternatives. “87” is written with Arabic numerals in most languages, but if there’s no native numeral system for a given language, then have them spell it out, “eighty-seven”. “Northwest” is just the cardinal direction- It will probably have more than two words in whatever you translate it to.

NOW… If you find someone who can speak any of these tongues, see if you can have them “mutate” the words… Remember, “Ambassador’s Day” takes places 20,000 years in the future. What would these languages sound like after almost two-dozen millennia? I’m probably asking for too much, but if you think the translator can handle it, go for it. I’d be happy just to get this in Eskimo.

P.S. Although the Klingon language is recognized as an official language in most circles, it’s owned by Paramount Studios. Otherwise, I’d totally use it. That and Sindarin.

You got a translation? Add a comment to this thread.

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