2010/09/14

La Moncloa prints press conference Arabic backwards

It may slowly be dawning on even Zapatero, with his great Alliance of Civilisations, that the road to الجحيم is paved with good intentions. A recent post here found Hebrew characters ordered back-to-front, and, perhaps to demonstrate evenhandedness in Spanish treatment of Semites, last week Zapatero's communications staff struck back with some arse-over-tit Arabic. Moeh Atitar de la Fuente has the story.

My personal theory is that the hippy chapter of the Illuminati have commissioned double agent José Luis to encourage the Middle Easterns to write left to right, right to left, or both ways at once, in order to sow relativism, a commodity historically in short supply in the region, or perhaps simply confusion.  

John F. Healey writes in The early alphabet that:
Some early Greek and South Arabian texts are written boustrophedon ... - like an ox ploughing a field: from left to right in the first line, right to left in the second, left to right in the third and so on (or starting on the right in the first line). In such inscriptions the letters are often reversed to face the direction of writing.
Perhaps someone like Eli Sagan has already argued that the anarchy in West Asiatic scriptal direction three thousand years ago was somehow a necessary precursor to the centuries of intense fixed-direction creative achievement that followed, and then that the childish tendency to draw letters back to front and upside down whilst learning to write is also a necessary precursor to subsequent creativity, once the system is mastered.

˙ʇuǝıɔıɟɟns ǝʇınb sı ǝɯıʇ ɐ ʇɐ ɐǝpı pɐɯ ǝuo ǝɯ ɹoɟ

5 comments:

Peter said...

It's not left to right, it's a mirror image. Your source specifically blames the printer (not the Moncloa) for flipping it.

But apart from that ...

kalebeul said...

Can I plead excessive vagueness? I got back to the back-to-front (and then upside-down) at the end.

Dear other, abusive commenter: I'm not who you think I am, as you will easily discover using this marvellous thing called Google.

Candide said...

"Mireu-me bé, sóc l'altre."

It is by one of my all-time-and-space favourite poets, Martí i Pol.

kalebeul said...

For those who do poetry, I think that's available in translation by someone called Elaine Marie Lily.

Candide said...

Oh, you just had to!

As if Catalan was not the mother of all languages.