Posted by Joel Martinsen on Saturday, July 28, 2007 at 6:50 PM
Language Log linked to a blog post at Geek of All Trades that looks at a how lettering in one language can be made to resemble another, with Urdu-ized Devanagari as a specific example.
In China this is most often done with Chinese characters and Tibetan script. Here are some fairly popular examples:
The image above is from the cover of an album by Han Hong, a singer born in Tibet whose songs flavor generic Mando-pop with Tibetan influences. The 日 element in her last name 韩 and the trailing stroke of the 红 are reminiscent of Tibetan writing.
The Chinese characters in the title are Tibetan-ized - certain elements have been replaced with Tibetan vowel indicators, and extra Tibetan letters and markings are strewn about randomly. It's surrounded by the familiar mantra of Avalokiteshvara (both rightside-up and upside-down).
Dongba symbols are found elsewhere on the cover (click to enlarge) and in the book's frontspiece.
The cover also includes a line in printed Tibetan that appears to be the book's title (please leave a translation in the comments if you can read Tibetan).
The cover (click for the full version) also contains some "real Tibetan" writing which is upside-down and backwards. The second volume, published in 2007, retains the type-design of the title but removes the extraneous Tibetan writing. And perhaps more than coincidentally, the author's name is written in the same typeface as Fan Wen's on the cover of Land of Water and Milk.
The effect was subsequently used on a number of other Hoh Xil-related book and CD titles.
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