Posts Tagged ‘tools’


• Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'lako'.


  • (n.) hook
  • (adj.) hooked, having a hook
  • (v.) to catch with a hook, to fish

Li lako i ia ko…
“The hook brings you back…”

Notes: And this one’s a quote from the Blues Traveler song “The Hook”. It’s a fun one.

The iku for lako is based on the iku for iloa, which means “shoulder”. It’s basically the same, but it has a little notch on the right side (make it look more hook-like). Real Kamakawi hooks aren’t so angular, but it does the job.


• Monday, May 9th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'pewo'.


  • (n.) nest (of a bird)

Au neyana fuila ti’i: u paki iu pewo tou.
“Birds are better than me: They can build nests.”

Notes: This is a fun word: The iku is actually compositional, but the word itself isn’t.

If you’re familiar with ikuleyaka, the composition of the iku for pewo should be pretty straightforward: You’ve got your bird there (same one from fuila), and beneath him the “ground” determinative indicating a place. Thus, bird place = nest. Pretty straightforward!

The word pewo, on the other hand, has no such etymology. It’s a word that goes back many ages, and has meant “nest” from time immemorial (in fact, it’s older than the current word for “bird”, which is a [relatively speaking] recent invention and is used to refer to any bird, as opposed to a specific species).

Nests have always fascinated me. They look pokey. I couldn’t imagine them being comfy (unless you put feathers down [which, themselves, are pokey]). I’ll take a hammock any day.


• Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'itiá'.


Ioku oalala i “itiá” ti Kamakawi.
“There’s no word for ‘throne’ in Kamakawi.”

Notes: Neither is there one in Dothraki, but there is one in Zhyler: ÿsča (or hsca, in the orthography). And that one got borrowed into Kamakawi in a strange way. Usually ÿ gets borrowed in as u, but given that the vowel following is i, the vowel itself is unrounded, and it’s followed by s, the vowel ended up as i in Kamakawi.

Anyway, whence the throne word? Hence:

Me sitting in the Iron Throne.

That was from yesterday’s Game of Thrones premiere event. I was trying to adopt a stern expression, but Erin kept making me laugh. This was the best I could manage.

Now to hit the “publish” button and see if I royally screwed up the unicode in this post…

Update: Ha! Got it all right on the first try. High fiving a million angels… ;)

Update the Second: :lol: But I did get the Zhyler wrong. Oops! Tough thing to remember how to type in your own font…


• Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'eaka'.


  • (n.) fence, fencing (not the sport)

A a’i ipe eaka.
“That fence is white.”

Notes: There’s the word for fence!

So at halftime, we were down 21-20. By the time the game had ended, we had 27, and they had many, many more points. Not a great start, but not unexpected. We can’t expect to not play basketball for a solid year and then come back and play at peak efficiency. Good to get back out there, though!

I’m not sure if I should cal this an ikuiku… After all, it’s mu’a that’s the ikuiku, not this one. The only distinction between the two is the line determinative that tells you that the sign is what it looks like.

In fact, now that I think about it, that’s quite odd, isn’t it! The original iku is a depiction of bamboo, and this one has a mark that says the word is what it looks like—which isn’t bamboo, but a fence! Ha! How funny.

Well, time to go to the gym and run. I’m on the comeback trail!


• Monday, March 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'eakaka'.


  • (n.) fenced off enclosure or area
  • (n.) fortress (close approximation)
  • (n.) defense(s)

A itiki o uei i eakaka o uei.
“Our speed is our defense.”

Notes: I was tempted to make the sentence to eakaka, which means probably nothing, but which, if you look at it, kind of looks like “D” plus a fence. ;)

Tonight my friends and I start playing basketball again in a rec league we’ve played in probably seven or eight different times now. We’re out of practice and out of shape, but we’ve got talent and height (or, well, one of us has height). Hopefully we can keep it going this time, because my overall health is much better when I’m playing basketball.

For this game, I’m hoping to see how far I need to go cardiovascularly, and, as always, to make my “impression” on the other team (with my elbows and knees). Ordinarily, we can beat this team with ease, but given how out of it we are, we’re probably going to lose. No matter! It should be a good first game.

(Note: Regarding the iku, see mu’a, “bamboo”.)


• Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'kama'.


  • (v.) to color, to give color to
  • (v.) to paint
  • (n.) paint
  • (n.) ink
  • (n.) dye
  • (n.) color
  • (adj.) painted, colored

Oku kama ei oku; e eyanana i amo oku.
“I don’t paint; I’m not good at it.”

Notes: More than true. I hate painting. It’s aggravating!

I always thought this iku was nicely put together for an ikunoala. It’s a combination of ka on the left and ma on the right. It doesn’t look like painting, but it looks pretty nice. Kind of looks like a cereal box to me.

Mmm… Cereal…

Wait a minute, I already had cereal today. One bowl is enough!

Though I did get this nice granola mix: granola, flax seed, hemp and dried strawberries. Pretty good! I’ll look forward to having a bowl tomorrow.


• Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'okia'.


  • (n.) torch

Kakavamu okia i’i!
“The torch burns for me!”

Notes: I’m taking part in the 18th Conlang Translation Relay, and I just received the torch today! :D Nothing better to do when you’re sick and have a swollen ankle than participate in a good ol’ conlang relay. I’m looking forward to it!

Of course, I promised my wife I’d do something four days ago, and I have to go to sleep in 13 minutes, so I actually can’t get to it right away…

Oh, but I can’t resist! I have to at least look at the torch. Give me one second…

Dang. That looks long. That’s all right; I’ve got time.

I think. Oh wait, no I don’t… I never do. No, but I do have time for a relay. There’s always time for a relay!

And ice cream.

Now! Off to do those things I was supposed to do.


• Friday, August 6th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'leta'.


  • (n.) wing
  • (n.) bed sheet
  • (n.) sail, wind sail
  • (adj.) able to fly or waft on the breeze (flight-worthy)
  • (v.) to glide

A ae ei ie leta oi’i.
“I’m in your bed sheet.”

Notes: Messing up your sleeping arrangements.


Here’s Keli looking rather cattish:

Keli on the bed.

This is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite iku. I had no ideas for it going in (there is no easy combination of the awkward le and the elegant ta), so I just kind of drew what came to my head when I thought of wings. This is what I came up with. I kind of think of it as like a funky dancing bird strutting its stuff. This is one I’d get as a tattoo, if I were the type to get tattoos.

I think Keli would enjoy having wings. She could fly about the apartment, from the loft to the floor, and pretty much have the run of things. And she’d look cute when she curled up to go to sleep (she’s sleeping by my feet right now). She’s quite the cat.


• Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ikavaka'.


  • (n.) book, or other piece of writing (document, tract, etc.)

A fulele e ni’u i iko ikavaka…
“I want to bite this book…”

Notes: Happy Caturday! :D

Here’s the picture that inspired the sentence:

Keli getting cosy with a book.

So my wife’s brother sent us a book for us to scan and send to him while he’s in Sénégal (apparently he needs to finish it for school). I opened it up and put it on the bed, and Keli was fascinated by it. She rubbed up against, she started to bite it, she clawed at it a bit. Eventually she laid down on top of it, finding it to be a fine seat. We did get it scanned in, but not until she’d had her way with it.

This word is derived from kava—or at least that’s what it looks like. It’s not immediately apparent to me what fire has to with writing, but the derivation from “write” to “book” is pretty clear.

Oh, but I forgot to do an entry for “write”… Oops. I’ll get to it by and by.


• Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Glyph of the word 'livu'.


  • (n.) pot, cauldron

Ea, ka ilau ei ie Livu Lake.
“Yes, I’ve read The Black Cauldron.”

Notes: It’s true, you know.

I was going to do another word, but I noticed that one of my glyphs is broken in my dictionary. I don’t know if it’s because I use the wrong keystroke or…oh dear. I’ve looked up, and I found another glyph that’s broken. Darn it. I hate it when this happens…

The font I use for the Kamakawi script is actually four different fonts: a regular, bold, italic and bold italic version of the same font. If I want to use a particular glyph, I have to know the keystroke, and which of the four versions of the font it’s in. Sometimes if I do an accidental find and replace, a character will go AWOL, and I’ll have to go look it up and replace it—or, even worse, if I sometimes make a change to the font, certain characters will disappear (because, of example, I sometimes delete them on accident). I really wouldn’t want to have to redo these glyphs; it’s such a hassle…

True, Unicode would be best here, but I simply will not use the personal use area for conlang fonts. It just doesn’t work—and it’s inconvenient. I can’t wait until there’s a better, more permanent solution to the issue of personal script use.