On Saturday, March 21st, Grey Havens YA welcomed its second-ever guest speaker, Devon Towry! Devon came to talk to us about constructed languages and Norse mythology, but we got so caught up in discussing the languages part that we’ve asked her to come back at a later date for a full-length discussion on the likes of Thor and Loki.
Our young adults thoroughly enjoyed our con-lang discussion. (Sidenote, Robyn just learned that’s a real term!) We talked a lot about what it really means to communicate and explored the efficiency of a Universal Translator. Sure, it seems easy enough for the TARDIS to translate all those alien languages into British English, but what if an alien race said one thing and meant something completely different? What about idioms?
What if the translator encountered an entirely new language that wasn’t based in any of the languages it knew already, could it translate the new tongue? How long would that take?
We also talked a bit about how languages split and evolve. Towry surprised our members by reading the first few lines of Beowulf in Old English.
We were so impressed and inspired by the discussion, that we hoped to present it to you in an audio format as a podcast. However, it was our first attempt and the technology wizards might not have favored us this time… Stay tuned to see if we can get it up and running, and also keep an eye out for audio recordings of some of our future discussions!
Thanks for stopping by, Devon! We hope you enjoyed it, and we can’t wait to welcome you back to the Grey Havens YA table.
Devon Towry will be presenting at our Real Myth and Mithril Symposium on April 25-26 with her paper titled, “Magical Lordship: Loki and Odin, Sauron and Gandalf.” The early-bird deadline to register for the Symposium is April 1st! Don’t miss out and register here. (You can still register after April 1st, but please sign up soon because space is limited!)
Send us an owl: Have you ever worked on constructing your own language? What are your thoughts on a universal translator?