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Latin typography

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Latin typography

Postby Rayven » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:38 am

Greetings,

Attending a fairly traditional Catholic school for 13 years exposed me to plenty of Latin. I have always been quite used to seeing Latin in my environment. So it surprised me today when I was writing up a lesson plan for my Typography class when I was confounded by a silly dilemma.

I am providing my students with samples of various typographic styles. I have a font called Latin Uncial. Latin Uncial does not contain a J or V (which is lovely and will allow me to reiterate that alphabets are not static things).

I am using the "quick brown fox" phrase as a sample of the letterforms. I type "vulpes". The "v" shows up as the placeholder when your typeface does not contain that character. Ah! Right, v is u. So I have "uulpes".

No matter how much I look at that, I'm not convinced it's correct.

And so, I have joined this forum hoping to receive some guidance. I'm not sure exactly how to phrase a search because "latin vu" isn't going to work. I did see a post about I/J and U/V but it had an example where the 'u' was first, like 'juventis' and it was suggested that it might look like 'IOVENTIS'. That makes sense to me (and it "sounds" right when I say it in my head) but since vulpes has the 'v' before the 'u', I'm not sure if a straight 'substitute the u for an o' is an appropriate solution.

So, how would one actually write the word vulpes?

Thank you in advance for any guidance and suggestions.
Rayven
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Re: Latin typography

Postby mwh » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:19 am

One would write uulpes. Another would write vvlpes. Who cares? I’d write vulpes, since it’s so helpful to have consonant and vowel distinguished in writing as well as in speech, and the distinction has long been enshrined in printed texts. (But I draw the line at j. No jam today, nor tomorrow.) As for the vowel itself, inscriptions and manuscripts sometimes vary between v and o in words such as uult/uolt.

Mmm, how does it go again? The quick brown fox ivmps over the lazy dog? :wink:

And welcome to Textkit.
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Re: Latin typography

Postby anphph » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:42 am

Renaissance texts are often so inconsistent (even within the same page, paragraph, even line) that you can easily come across descriptions of wine, juice of the vua.
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Re: Latin typography

Postby Rayven » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:23 pm

Left to my own devices I'd probably write "vulpes" as well just so my students wouldn't get too confused. After all, this is a typography class, not a Latin primer. However, the typeface doesn't have a character for 'v' at all. I'm using this typeface because I'm describing uncial lettering in general and I wanted something in addition to the Celtic varieties. Most of the time, when looking for Latin, you'll get the chiseled looking stuff like Trajan. For this part of the presentation, I need the "scribed by a hand with an angled nib" sort of look, not the "cut into stone with a chisel" look.

Here is the sentence I'm trying to transcribe (compliments of google search results pointing me to a linguaphile blog on Livejournal):

Vulpes celeris et fluva salit super ignavum canem.

Another suggested translation is:

Vulpes flava et velox canem tardum transilit.

Here is an image of the alphabetic characters available in this font file:
Image

So I can get:

Image

Or:

Image

I've been staring at it long enough that it's "reading" fine in my head but I doubt this will hold true for my students. The "vulpes flava" suggestion might end up being the best choice now that I look at it.

Thank you for the conversation, the welcome, and the assistance!
Rayven
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Re: Latin typography

Postby mwh » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:53 am

What’s the point of a translation that doesn’t use all the letters of the alphabet?
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Re: Latin typography

Postby opoudjis » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:56 am

Latin pangrams

http://clagnut.com/blog/2380/#Latin
http://thecampvs.com/2009/03/16/latin-h ... -pangrams/
https://latin.stackexchange.com/questio ... -brown-fox

The presence of j,v and of k,y, z are complications in Latin pangrams. Not finding anything old with j,v, but this contributions from the Stack Exchange thread will work:

Illecebróse spintria, quid jactáre juventam?
Karthágó interiit, fax citius moritur!
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Re: Latin typography

Postby Rayven » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:06 am

mwh wrote:What’s the point of a translation that doesn’t use all the letters of the alphabet?


Not every language, even today, uses the same alphabet. In this lovely digital world, that's actually something my small-town midwestern United States students actually need to appreciate. For now, this is an opportunity for a tiny history lesson. Later, it will also help them understand that you may have to make design choices that take you well away from your assumptions about language.

I actually grew up in an area where seeing Hebrew text was reasonably common (New York City metro). There's that whole "no vowels" thing that pops up. Knowing that fact, I am in a position to create designs that use Hebrew lettering without embarrassing myself (by downloading a scripty font and just typing "matzo", for example, which alas, has been done).

And who knows, maybe one of my students will be Indiana Jones later in life and they will look back fondly on me when they don't leap to their death because they remembered I taught them that 'j' is 'i' in Latin. :wink:
Rayven
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Re: Latin typography

Postby Rayven » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:10 am

opoudjis wrote:Latin pangrams

The presence of j,v and of k,y, z are complications in Latin pangrams. Not finding anything old with j,v, but this contributions from the Stack Exchange thread will work:

Illecebróse spintria, quid jactáre juventam?
Karthágó interiit, fax citius moritur!


Thank you very much for the links and this suggestion! Now I just need to practice saying them all aloud so I don't stumble during the presentation! :oops:
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