Pig Sanskrit

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[This is a guest post by Jichang Lulu]

Victor's recent analysis of a certain Antibacterial Lotion of Woman ("Know your bird", 7/29/16) made me wonder what other felicitous Chinglish its purveyors might have come up with. I'd like to report on one mysterious product I found. Although no Chinglish is involved, another language is, more perfect than the Greek, more copious than Pig Latin.


(Via 51采药网)

The product's name is given as 印度神油 Yìndù shén yóu 'Indian godly oil'. Or mystical, magical, spirit oil. Although its origin remains unclear to me, the term has been used generically to refer to a product of supposed aphrodisiac qualities for quite some time. For a not-so-recent Mainland attestations that illustrate the currency of the term, legal scholars in the 90's used 'Indian divine oil' to exemplify the meaning of 'obscene items' (淫秽物品 yínhuì wùpǐn) in the context of a draconian 1990 NPC Standing Committee decision and Article 367 of the 1997 Criminal Law. More recent uses of 'Indian divine oil', also from Hong Kong and Taiwan and always as an aphrodisiac, are easy to find.

Just 'divine oil' 神油 shényóu, without the 'Indian' part, goes back to at least late-Qing times as part of names of medication, without implying an indication as an aphrodisiac. Huang Yi-long 黃一農 has described how in the late 19th century the Ji cheng tang 繼成堂 farmer's almanac (versions of which are still widely popular in Taiwan) was touting a cure-all 'Panacea (literally 'ten-thousand-effect') divine oil' (萬應神油 wànyìng shényóu) marketed by its publisher. In the 1880s a 'Jade tree divine oil' (玉樹神油 yùshù shényóu) was being sold in pharmacies in Shanghai.

At any rate, the modern Indian incarnation of the oil seems universally associated with the pudendum virile. The good news for its traders is that, despite the earlier legal opinions I referred to above, that put the product on the wrong side of the dreaded Article 367, law enforcement appears to be targeting the illegal import or sale of the product, not its sale by itself. Thus an online seller in Ningbo was prosecuted last year for selling the oil without appropriate labels, not for dealing in 'obscene items'. When a Foshan man's affair was revealed after his wife found a box of the miraculous oil, she decided to exact financial compensation from his mistress at knifepoint; apparently only the angry wife was arrested.

The product in the picture isn't simply oil though. Its description reads 印度神油延时湿巾 Yìndù shényóu yánshí shījīn 'Indian delaying (time-extending) wet wipes'. The packaging claims microbe-slaying prowess, and male-only use, so I'm guessing we're dealing with some sort of (disposable?) towels soaked in something antibacterial for gentlemen to wipe their relevant organs with. Presumably better wipeware than the proverbial curtains, granted. But why an Indian Divine Oil has to be involved, and how anointment with it delays the conclusion of carnal congress, remains unexplained.

Baike to the rescue. The concept of Time-Warping Soaked Towel 延时湿巾 yánshí shījīn is explained here, with little detail. The page on the Indian Divine Ointment, on the other hand, is much more copious.

印度神油,是产自印度的一款按摩精油,又称阿育吠陀印度神油,是一种男女性保健品,又称为"佛的香精"。印度神油因西藏喇嘛及俗称活佛之呼图克图,均沿袭其衣钵世代相承,保有秘方之真传,清世宗(雍正)因篡夺圣祖(康熙)朝政,罗致大量武功喇嘛为宫禁勇士,此油流入大内,清朝历代皇室均选为御用珍品。

Yìndù shényóu, shì chǎn zì Yìndù de yīkuǎn ànmó jīngyóu, yòu chēng Āyùfèituó Yìndù shényóu, shì yīzhǒng nán-nǚ xìngbǎojiànpǐn, yòu chēng "Fó de xiāngjīng". Yìndù shényóu yīn Xīzàng lǎma jí súchēng huófó zhī hūtúkètú, jūn yánxí qí yībō shìdài xiāngchéng, bǎoyǒu mìfāng zhī zhēnchuán, Qīng Shìzōng (Yōngzhēng) yīn cuànduó Shèngzǔ (Kāngxī) cháozhèng, luózhì dàliàng wǔgōng lǎma wéi gōngjìn yǒngshì, cǐ yóu liúrù dànèi, Qīng cháo lìdài huángshì jūn xuǎn wéi yùyòng zhēnpǐn.

Indian Divine Oil is an essential oil for massage produced in India. Also called Ayurvedic Indian Divine Oil, it is a sexual health product for men and women. It is also known as 'Buddha essence' [佛的香精 Fó de xiāngjīng]. The true tradition of the Indian Divine Oil's secret recipe was faithfully transmitted, handed down from master to disciple, generation after generation, by Tibetan lamas and Khutugtus [呼图克图 hūtúkètú < Mongolian ᠬᠤᠲᠤᠭᠲᠤ Хутагт (BJR Quduqdu)], commonly known as living Buddhas. Since, having taken over the court from [his father] Kangxi, Emperor Yongzheng had recruited numerous warrior lamas as guardians of the gynaeceum, this oil spread to the palace, and all successive generations of the Imperial household chose it as an Imperial treasure.

Thus the transmission involves a lineage of Tibetan lamas, Qing emperors from Yongzheng on, and eventually the author of the article, who provides a mobile and QQ number and WeChat handle at the bottom of the page.

While this seems to be a supplier of the mystery substance, I see no reason to assume they're the source of the specific fluid the time-dilation Wipes above are imbued with. The name is, after all, generic, and other providers of Indian Divine Oil are easy to find. A Hong Kong example is the Wah Yan Hong Chemical Factory (華仁行化工廠 Wa4jan4hong4 fa3gung1cong2) in Kuw Tung (古洞 gu2 dung6), in the New Territories. The factory (pictured here) is owned by the family of Henry Ho Kin-chung 何建宗, who in 2013 had to resign as political assistant to Development Secretary Paul Chan 陳茂波 after the local press revealed he had failed to declare ownership of land the government planned to develop. The oil's magical properties oil have thus been able to influence Hong Kong politics to some extent, even if Secretary Chan, who himself had a similar conflict of interest, remains immune to it and firmly in office.

At any rate, focusing on the particular supplier behind the fancy Baike page will provide more information on the godly ointment. This company offers the advantage of having a website.

The operation involves a Hong Kong company, Junbiqiang ('The Gentleman Must Be Strong') HK International Ltd (君必强香港国际有限公司 Jūnbìqiáng Xiānggǎng guójì yǒuxiàn gōngsī). It has a suspicious whiff about it, but the picture of Li Ka-Shing 李嘉誠 on their home page should dispel any misgivings.

If an invocation to the Supertycoon isn't reassuring enough, how about some Sanskrit? That's the least you should expect given the transmission story above, which mirrors the Qing idea of Buddhist rule passing from India to Tibet to Mongolia to the Manchus.

And indeed Messrs Let the Gents Be Strong also use the trade name 梵林伽 Fàn línjiā. The name is already heavily Sanskritic: the first element, 梵 Fàn, a mediaeval loan ultimately from brahman (the deity Brahmā is 梵天 Fàntiān), is used in the Chinese word for Sanskrit, 梵文 fànwén, the 'Brahmanic language'. The second half, 林伽 línjiā, is for liṅga 'mark; phallus; lingam, representation of Śiva'. The 'Sanskrit lingam' About page is quite Indian-themed, adorned with e.g. a statue of Śiva as Lord of Dance (naṭarāja) and references to the Kāma Sūtra (variously called in Chinese 愛經 Ài jīng 'Sūtra of Love', 欲經 Yù jīng 'Sūtra of Desire', 愛慾經 Ài yù jīng 'Sūtra of Love and Desire'; none of the published Chinese translations of the work seems to be directly from Sanskrit).

Most conspicuously, the page offers the following specimen of what we might call Pig Sanskrit (天猪文):

My attempt at as-is reproduction:

प्‌रधानं प्‌रकृतरि यदाहुर्‌लगिंउत्‌तम ।
गंध-वर्‌ण-रसहनिं शब्‌द-स्‌पर्‌शादविर्‌जतिं ॥

and as-is transliteration:

pradhānaṃ prakṙtari yadAhurlagiṃuttama |
gaṃdha-varṇa-rasahaniṃ śabda-sparśādavirjatiṃ ||

While the passage is in Devanāgarī, and clearly made out of recognisable Sanskrit words, the text is seriously broken. There are no ligatures (e.g. the first syllable pra appears as प्‌र instead of प्र); compounds are broken up with hyphens; anusvāra, the nasal diacritic transliterated as , is used haphazardly, with one clearly illegal use ("iṃu"). Most shockingly, all the i-mātrās (dependent i vowel signs ि) seem to have been shifted to the left, ending up on the wrong consonants. Even after fixing those errors, other problems remain (vowel lengths, endings; not enough syllables to conform to the expected śloka metre).

The text is so mangled up that it doesn't even render the word liṅga, which the page is supposed to be all about.

My guess is that the source for the text was transliterated, not Devanāgarī, and faulty to begin with. Someone converted it (mis-)using some online tool, or maybe by just changing the Latin text to a Devanāgarī font. Designers gonna design.

The text claims to be from the 林伽往世书 Línjiā wǎngshìshū, the Liṅga Purāṇa. And indeed, the second śloka of LP 1.3 (according to the version on GRETIL) reads

प्रधानं प्रकृतिश्चेति यदाहुर्लिङ्गमुत्तमम् ।
गन्धवर्णरसैर्हीनं शब्दस्पर्शादिवर्जितम् ॥

pradhānaṃ prakṛtiśceti yadāhurliṅgamuttamam |
gandhavarṇarasairhīnaṃ śabdasparśādivarjitam ||

Without even trying to render the philosophical terms accurately, here's my literal translation, simply meant to account for every word and the syntax (apologies for any errors).

"And the highest liṅga, which they call the principle [pradhāna, or] nature [prakṛti], is without smell, colour or taste, devoid of sound, tangibility and such."

And here are ślokas 1-4 (our verse is the second one) in the Liṅga Purāṇa translation by L. Shastri (my additions in square brackets):

"1. The non-characterized [aliṅga] is the root of the characterized [liṅga]. The manifest Prakṛti is the characterized, while Śiva is the non-characterized, but the characterized (Prakṛti) is said to be related to Śiva.
2-4. They call the characterized by the name Pradhāna or Prakṛti. But the non-characterized, devoid of smell, colour, taste, sound, touch and attributes, is Śiva who is stable and everlasting. [On the contrary] the characterized Pradhāna or Prakṛti is endowed with smell, odour, taste, sound and touch; it is the source of origin of the universe; it is elemental both in subtle and gross forms, O excellent brahmins; it is the physical body of the worlds; it has originated from the non-characterized, of its own accord."

The Chinese translation on the website says more succintly 林伽是宇宙的起源 Línjiā shi yǔzhòu de qǐyuán or "Liṅga is the origin of the Universe", which actually doesn't seem that far from the spirit of the Puranic text.

Among the multiple meanings of liṅga, the one intended in the Purāṇa is clearly much more abstract than 'phallus', and some would dispute any sexual symbolism is involved at all. I can imagine many would be displeased at this use of Śaiva scripture to market genital ointments.

Offence aside, it's a bit dissonant to use Śaiva text and imagery to cement or illustrate the Buddhist-transmission narrative the oil pedlars came up with. Tantric Buddhism and Śaivism were once competing traditions, and while Tibetan Buddhist texts seem to have borrowed from Śaiva scripture and traditions, Śaiva deities were 'tamed', 'converted' to Buddhism in the process. A straight Liṅga Purāṇa quotation looks out of place in a pretend-Buddhist context. Buddhish, rather than Hindu, scripture would have been more apposite, if perhaps just as offensive.

I can point to one specific occurrence of liṅga in the Buddhist canon. I'm not sure it would have been better suited for (pyramid?)-selling quack oil, but I think it's interesting as it illustrates certain Buddhist attitudes to Śaivism, and comes with an unexpected twist.

It's from the Kāraṇḍavyūha Sūtra, a Mahāyāna text with a partially preserved Indic original (in Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit), and translated in the Tibetan (ཟ་མ་ཏོག་བཀོད་པའི་མདོ། Za ma tog bkod pa'i mdo, Kanjur 116) and Chinese (佛說大乘莊嚴寶王經 Fó shuō dàchéng zhuāngyán bǎo wáng jīng, T. 1050) canons.

In it, Śiva is subordinated to the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (he's actually born from Avalokiteśvara's forehead). The passage that includes the liṅga reference indeed seems to be attacking Śaiva worship.

For brevity, I'll reproduce the passage from the English translation by Peter Alan Roberts with Tulku Yeshi (The Basket's Display, available online at the 84000 project), and only give the Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese for the lines with the liṅga reference. Notes in brackets are mine.

When those deities had come from Avalokiteśvara's body, that bhagavat said these words to the deity Maheśvara: 'Maheśvara ['the Great Lord' = Śiva, Ch. 大自在天 Dàzìzàitiān, Tib. དབང་ཕྱུག་ཆེན་པོ་ Dbang phyug chen po], in the kaliyuga, when beings have bad natures, you will be declared to be the primal deity who is the creator, the maker. All those beings will be excluded from the path to enlightenment. They will say these words to ordinary beings:

'It is said: the sky is his liṅga,
The earth is his seat.
He is the foundation of all beings.
The liṅga is so called because they dissolve into it.'

The last four lines in Sanskrit, from the 1961 edition by P.L. Vaidya (digitised by the Digital Sanskrit Buddhist Canon Project and online at GRETIL)

आकाशं लिङ्गमित्यायुः पृथिवी तस्य पीठिका ।
आलयः सर्वभूतानां लीलया लिङ्गमुच्यते ॥

ākāśaṃ liṅgamityāhuḥ pṛthivī tasya pīṭhikā /
ālayaḥ sarvabhūtānāṃ līlayā liṅgamucyate //

Roberts and Tulku Yeshi's note to the translation:

The etymology of liṅga is here given a fanciful etymology from the verb līyana ("dissolve" [verbal noun < √]), which is lost in [Tibetan and English] translation.

The Sanskrit above doesn't have a form of the verb 'dissolve', but instead the instrumental of the noun līlā 'play'. Roberts and Tulku Yeshi's reading is surely correct, since their translation used older Indian manuscripts than the Sanskrit edition I quoted from, and also agrees with the Tibetan. A third reason is that, shockingly, these lines are apparently not original to the Buddhist sūtra, but a quotation of a Śaiva text, the Śivadharmaśāstra (which indeed says 'dissolve'), as Peter Bisschop notes here.

If that attribution is correct, the authors of the Buddhist sūtra weren't only calling Śiva worship a kaliyuga error, but explicitly quoting a Śaiva text in the bodhisattva's prophesy as an illustration of the ills of the decadent age.

Here's the Tibetan version (Derge Kanjur, v. 51, p. 207a, via THLib)

ནམ་མཁའ་ནི་དེའི་རྟགས་སོ། །ས་ནི་དེའི་ཁྲིའོ། །སེམས་ཅན་ཐམས་ཅད་ཀྱི་ནི་གནས་སོ། ཞུ་བར་འགྱུར་བས་ན་རྟགས་སོ། །ཞེས་ཐེར་བར་འགྱུར་རོ། །ཞེས་རིགས་ཀྱི་བུ་ངས་དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་

nam mkha' ni de'i rtags so/ /sa ni de'i khri'o/ /sems can thams cad kyi ni gnas so/ zhu bar 'gyur bas na rtags so/

(with rtags for 'liṅga', zhu bar gyur ba for 'dissolve'),

and the Chinese (T. 1050 vol. 1 via CBETA)

此虛空大身  大地以為座
境界及有情  皆從是身出

Cǐ xūkōng dàshēn / dàdì yǐ wéi zuò
Jìngjiè jí yǒuqíng / jiē cóng shì shēn chū

where liṅga has become just 'body' ((大)身 (dà-)shēn) and 'dissolve' has dissolved in translation.

So the Chinese sūtra would have been ill-suited to the ends of the oil pedlars, but the Sanskrit might have worked just fine if conveniently taken out of context.

Time to face the elephant in the room (every second Sanskrit word means that after all). It's understandable that the oil quacks in China would come up with an India-Tibet-Qing narrative, because Tibetan Buddhism has a certain presence in Chinese popular culture. Awareness of the Purāṇas is, however, much more limited in a country where Hinduism essentially doesn't exist. How on Urf did our pedlars come up with a Puranic quote, since given the way they treated it they aren't precisely Sanskrit scholars?

We demand to know.

The answer is simple. The magic oil is imported from India, together with part of the advertising materials, which probably include a broken version of the Liṅga Purāṇa quote in Latin (mis-)transliteration. The Tibet-Qing transmission story was then added by the Chinese distributor pour faire plus joli.

Googling transliterated bits of the Puranic verse indeed reveals that it's been used in various broken forms to try to sell a miraculous oil from India. That quickly leads to the seemingly ultimate source of the product, Renovision Exports Pvt. Ltd of Patna. And it only gets more interesting: visitors to their homepage are greeted with a warning against counterfeit versions of their aphrodisiac oils being made and sold in China, by none other than Junbiqiang, the distributor who gave us the faux-Buddhist transmission tale and mangled-up scriptural marketing.

The dispute between Messrs Renovision and Junbiqiang probably falls outside the purview of Language Log, so let me go over some of the more language-related aspects of the Divine Oil.

The language used to tout the miraculous product is not without interest. While in China they thought the quack oil (in its original or knockoff version) could sell better if adorned with faux-Buddhist references and Pig Sanskrit scripture, some English-language advertisement prefers pseudoscientific babble:

Sanda Oil (Saanddha Oil) is conceived to directly load the testosterone with Vitamin E and other therapeutic herbs to the penile tissues and cells. This will assist rejuvenate the neuroarterial synapses for cell regeneration.

And there's still the problem of the name of the magic oil. English-language names for it are variations on a basic shape 'Sanda', to which any number of h's and duplicated letters can be added. Renovision themselves call it 'Saandhha Oiil'.

The actual packaging says साण्डहा sāṇḍahā. Someone with a knowledge of Hindi or other modern Indo-Aryan languages might be able to make sense of it, but I'm reduced to wild guesses. Monier Williams has Sanskrit साण्ड sāṇḍa 'with eggs (testicles)' > 'uncastrated', and I find a possibly related Hindi word for 'bull' spelt सांड or साँड़. That still leaves the -hā element unaccounted for.

At this point I would like to remark that Sāṇḍahā oil claims to be a herbal product. Indeed, as we have seen, it "directly load[s] the testosterone with Vitamin E and other therapeutic herbs" into tissue, to the great solace of the pudendum virile and its "neuroarterial synapses". Let's examine its annotated composition:

Kalaunji Seed oil (small fennel / nigella seed) : 0.5 ml – Kalaunji Oil is used to treat erectile dysfunction if applied on genitals.

Aswagandha Ext. (winter Cherry) : 100 mg – Ashwagandha is a powerful herb and is used as an aphrodisiac. Provides strength to the penis nerves if applied locally on the penis area.

Mustard Oil base – Q.S. – Mustard oil is a good muscle rejuvenant and a powerful base for sanda oil."

Black caraway in mustard oil. I've had those in my kitchen. Must have missed some big opportunities there.

Now my contention is that 'Saandhhaa Oiil' is basically a vegan version of another aphrodisiac. Again, I'm Hindi-hindered, but after googling several spellings I got सांडा का तेल, which appears to be oil extracted from a desert lizard. Perhaps the creators of the Divine Oil meant the name as an allusion to the reptile. The supernumerary letters in the 'Saandhhaa', perhaps even in the Devanāgarī spelling, could be just meant to avoid duplicating the (illegal or trademarked) name of the non-vegan oil.

The lizard goes by the scientific names of Saara hardwickii and Uromastyx hardwickii.

With apologies for the restriction to English-language sources, here's the evidence:

"Locally known as the sanda, it was earlier hunted in large numbers for its meat and oil obtained from the fat (sanda ka tel)."

Ramesh, M. and R. Sankaran (2013), "Natural History Observations on the Indian Spiny-tailed Lizard Uromastyx hardwickii in the Thar Desert". In B.K. Sharma et al. (eds.), Faunal Heritage of Rajasthan, India: General Background and Ecology of Vertebrates. NY: Springer.

Photograph by Faizan Khan uploaded to National Geographic's Your Shot site:

"Indian Spiny Tailed Lizard in Desert National Park, Rajasthan, this lizard is commonly known as "Saanda" in India and Pakistan They are hunted by local people in the belief that the fat extracted (Saanda Oil) from it is an aphrodisiac."

The Nation (Lahore):

"Take for example 'Saanday ka Tel', which is extracted by deep frying a particular variety of lizard (known locally as 'Saanda') and then selling the residual oil to alleviate rheumatism. What happens to the fried lizard I do not know, but I have personally witnessed this horrible procedure and find no reason, why those that practice it should not be incarcerated for animal rights abuse."

Dawn:

"Around 150 spiny-tailed lizards (local name Sandha) were confiscated by the wildlife staff in separate raids on two mountainous areas in Thatta district on Friday. "

"The Uromastyx hardwickii (local name Sandha) is found in desert areas all over Pakistan while the Uromastyx asmussi is extremely rare. The highly endangered species was first reported in Naukandi, Balochistan, by the British a century ago. "

"According to Dr Rehman, spiny-tailed lizards are widely hunted locally for their fat which is said to have aphrodisiac properties. The lizards are also eaten by poor villagers as well as rich Arab sheikhs. "

A blog post about Rajasthan reptiles gives the Devanāgarī spelling, which confirms the retroflex and vowel lengths:

"The same Spiny tailed lizard is called Sanda (सांडा) in Hindi and is sold by poachers in market as an aphrodisiac claiming that the tail of lizard has an oil that can cure erectile dysfunction. "

Although this seems a convincing explanation for the name of the 'Sanda' oil being sold in China as Indian Divine Oil, nothing suggests that Chinese usage of that name as a generic aphrodisiac was connected to this (or any) actual Indian product. Chinese 'Indian Divine Oil' could conceivably be a native coinage, adding 'India' for exotic flavour to the century-old concept of shényóu.

As far as I'm aware, the trainwreck of a Sanskrit quote by Junbiqiang is the first attestation of that language being used to advertise (possibly shanzhai) aphrodisiacs in China.

To finish where we started, a bit of Chinglish from Know You Bird, to enjoy "romantic, gentleness and fragrancy" in a spirit of asepsis and time dilation.


(via memecenter.com)



14 Comments

  1. Michael Rank said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 9:57 am

    In the first image the expression 男仕外用 seems strange. Shouldn't that be 男士外用 or 男子外用?

  2. cameron said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 10:37 am

    Selling snake oil with pig-Sanskrit. Love it. My neuroarterial synapses are all atingle.

  3. Victor Mair said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

    Jichang Lulu's ingenious Chinese translation of "Pig Sanskrit":

    Tiānzhū wén 天豬文 (lit., "heavenly / celestial-pig script"), which is a pun for Tiānzhú wén 天竺文 ("Indian script").

  4. David Marjanović said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 1:24 pm

    Wonderful. Just… wonderful. *applause*

    Among the multiple meanings of liṅga, the one intended in the Purāṇa is clearly much more abstract than 'phallus', and some would dispute any sexual symbolism is involved at all.

    You must admit, though, that "the characterized" would be one of the better euphemisms out there.

  5. Ben Zimmer said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 3:31 pm

    While it lacks the porcine pun, one might also call this "dog Sanskrit." From the OED:

  6. Brett said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 3:49 pm

    This post actually illustrates a common misunderstanding among non-native English speakers of what "pig Latin" actually refers to. While it may once have meant the same thing as "dog Latin" or even "kitchen Latin," it now means something entirely different (at least in American English).

    Pig Latin is a systematic modification of words. If the word begins with consonants, the consonants are moved to the end of the word. Then an -ay is added to the end. For example, "igpay atinlay."

  7. Bathrobe said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 4:32 pm

    A droll tour de force. Amazing how such a simple product name takes us through such a broad sweep of historical, geographical, linguistic, and biological space.

    I do like the way that Know You Bird translate 安全套 as Peaceful Complete Set. You could only know that this involves a condom from the reference to latex in the text.

  8. David Marjanović said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 5:55 pm

    igpay atinlay

    Although this is of course most popular among children, there are fluent adult speakers!

  9. Victor Mair said,

    August 10, 2016 @ 6:03 pm

    We used to talk in igpay atinlay a lot when I was a little boy. My sister Sue and her friends were really good at it and could speak flawlessly at a good clip.

  10. James Wimberley said,

    August 11, 2016 @ 5:02 am

    Rajasthan, which is largely desert, is home to a solar energy boom. I trust that the solar farms are being designed to offer habitat to the poor spiny-tailed lizards. Many British solar farms offer pasture for sheep, or just wildflowers. There is no technical justification for the philistine practice of bulldozing the land clean of life.

  11. Jichang Lulu said,

    August 11, 2016 @ 1:08 pm

    Thanks to everyone for the comments.

    @Ben Zimmer

    As you say, Dog Sanskrit is a better description, but it breaks the Chinese pun. I thought of something canine using the 吠 fèi 'bark' in 吠陀 Fèituó 'Veda', but it would have been a bit too cancrizans, and generated unwanted associations. The use of 'bark' in the word 'Veda' already looks pretty bad to me.

    'Canina facundia' seems to go back to Sallust.

    @Brett

    I'm not sure the post illustrates what you think it illustrates. Comments above yours explain the pun.

    Analogues of Pig Latin are known to people with different language backgrounds. Just like Pig Latin, those analogues are often named after existing languages: think of Javanais, Transpiranto. I'm sure many non-native speakers are familiar with the concept, just as I am.

    @Michael Rank

    I think 男仕 is more common in Hong Kong, but still considered wrong.

    @The creators of the Unicode Zero-Width Non-Joiner character

    I would like to thank the creators of the Unicode Zero-Width Non-Joiner (U+200C) for creating it. Typing the broken Sanskrit without ligatures would have been impossible without it. As far as I'm concerned, the ZWNJ does humanity a greater service than the 'eating Daruma bentō on the train next to a pregnant kangaroo in a bathing suit' emoticon.

    The capital 'A' in the transliteration of the broken śloka is a my mistake of my own. It should be a long 'ā'. An earlier version used a different transliteration system and that one letter was left unconverted.

  12. Brett said,

    August 11, 2016 @ 4:10 pm

    @Jichang Lulu: I saw the pun, but the references to "Pig Latin" just don't seem to make any sense. I can make no sense of "more copious than Pig Latin" that accords with what I understand "Pig Latin" to mean.

  13. David Marjanović said,

    August 11, 2016 @ 5:12 pm

    next to a pregnant kangaroo

    …not that anyone could tell that a kangaroo is pregnant from just looking at it! :-D

  14. Jichang Lulu said,

    August 12, 2016 @ 10:49 am

    Maybe that's what the emoticon is for.

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