[tsat home] [#44] [columns]
Words, Words, Words
by The Phantom Websurfer
©2005 Bard and Cubist -- all rights reserved

Words and websites go together quite smoothly; this is not surprising, inasmuch as raw text is a major component of HTML in general. And as luck would have it, a fair number of websites are devoted to transformations of written language! In this installment of Random Access, we present a pair of the latter sort of site...

What did he say?

The World-Wide Web is built on programs that manipulate text in various ways. In many cases, this text-crunching serves a highly practical purpose; in other cases... well... not so much. As an example of the latter, we give you The Dialectizer! This site has one reason to live, that being to convert arbitrary text (including entire webpages!) from their original English into a variety of different linguistic styles. Now you can see how any chunk of text might have looked if it had been written by a stereotypical moron, hacker, or Cockney, to mention only three of the eight available options. You can do it to arbitrary text (type it in yourself or cut-and-paste from elsewhere), or you can supply a URL and let the Dialectizer convert that whole webpage for you.

See what the Dialectizer can do for you -- or at least your words, anyway.

No -- really -- what did he say?

The Omniglot website is devoted to written language in all its forms, be they real or fabricated. Want to know the Hungarian for My hovercraft is full of eels? Not a problem! It's here -- "Légpárnás hajóm tele van angolnákkal." -- plus 30 or 50 other languages. You want instructions on how to write in Tolkein's Tengwar script? They're here. You want a font which cannot be used on paper, because its glyphs actually rotate? It's here. You want a list of writing systems, sorted according how the direction they're read in (i.e., right-to-left and top-to- bottom, or what)? It's here. You want to see how the Tower of Babel story reads in the original Klingon? It's here...

Omniglot. One site which makes a strong effort to live up to its name.

If you know of any sites whose subject matter renders them suitable for inclusion in TSAT, send us the URL!

[tsat home] [#44] [columns]