Friday, April 17, 2015

Editions from Sri Lanka

have gotten my hands on some Nancy Drew stories that have been translated into Sinhala, a language I wasn't even familiar with before now.  A little research reveals that the language is spoken in Sri Lanka and has about 16 million native speakers (thanks Wikipedia!).

The covers mimic the later Minstrel format of the giant silhouette head with Frank Sofo's artwork (except for Black Cat which uses a mash up of Nancy from the Files with a generic castle background; this is probably because Sofo did not do a cover for this title).  It looks like Vanishing Veil, Black Cat, Twin Teddy Bears, Fenley Place and maybe Mother Wolf were produced.

The Nancy Drew logo looks like the girl you see on an 18 wheeler's mud flaps, but with a cloche hat and a magnifying glass.  It's kind of a weird posture for sleuthing!  The Nancy Drew brand and title are in a futuristic font - maybe to bring in some Trekkie type fans?

Anyway, I decided to so a little research to learn about the pretty curlicue Sinhala alphabet since it was new to me.  The alphabet is written from left to right (similar to English) and it is derived from the ancient Brahmi script, which is also related to Tibetan, Javanese, Khmer and the Burmese "mon" scripts.  Generally speaking the characters mostly represent consonant sounds and vowels are expressed by accents or added curls (collectively called diacritics).  This is kind of like a didactic lesson I would normally get from reading a Nancy Drew story!

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