Legal Translating

Rainbow with a foot in both camps


Being an interpreter in court requires a depth of skill and mastery not much seen elsewhere.




Translating a court case and judgment, from one jurisdiction and system to another, requires an even greater mastery.

You can’t just go, “X is like Y” (even though it may be), because it is too misleading for those who have never been on or seen the other side.

The French for ‘London’ is Paris.

On the other hand, with willing listeners in the tour group, two systems, although different at street-level, will have similarities and equivalences at a more abstract, functional level: deciding a question of fact, for example, will be the task of the tribunal of fact (however constituted), and so a court-panel in France or Italy, made up of career judges and community citizens acting as a board, can be referred to as a ‘jury’ in that respect, even though how they are selected and how they enter and leave the courtroom and where they sit is different. (More like a grand jury than the petty jury of TV shows.)*


*TV is another influence on how people** perceive a court case  should be like.

**Including law students.

Subjunctive Fading

Like the Cheshire cat’s grin

The subjunctive has faded so much from common view that its usage is now being marked as anomalous, overlapping with typing errors.

If it were the case otherwise, who would know? Probably only those with access to old matter.


Woodblock emulation

Latex: Can do


The moral of the story, in the Tex/Latex/Xelatex world, is that it is solvable.

Given the traditional Chinese woodblock printing style, from top-down, right-to-left, the typesetting algorithm puzzle to solve is: given a string of characters, what is the formula for sequentially printing them Chinese-style into a w x h grid starting from the top left corner as column 1 row 1?

Answer: (w – c) * h + r

The symmetry group is almost quark-like if a third dimension were to be added.



Conjecture: Any (ordered) arrangement of locations, whether characters on a page, vertices in a crystal, or gluons in a glob, would have the same underlying mathematics.


The TBRL result, using the Chinese Wikipedia article on the star Achernar (水委一, shuǐ wěi yī) as an excerpt source (mid-March 2018 version; it has since been edited), is:


River End Prime is a …”

Obviously, the next step is that punctuation etc needs to be made auto-adjusting, but that is solvable too.

It’s all in the formula.







Mayan is doable in Latex

Typesetting Glyphs In Mayan

Mayan is doable, in Latex, using MayaPS.

Because Postscript is doing the glyph layout algorithm based on DVI output and bitmap fonts, the compilation sequence is multi-step:

  • latex filename (produces dvi file)
  • dvips filename (produces ps file)
  • pkfix (converts bitmap fonts)
  • ps2pdf filenameo (produces pdf file).




Example tex code:

\input mayaps
\input mpfmap
\input red89


\maya{213} + \maya{219} = \maya{213:219}

\maya{545} + \maya{546} = \maya{545:546}



\mayaRGB{0 0 0.8}c \mayaRGB{0.9 0.6 0}{orange}
\maya{451.452orange 026.(314/314)c (570/014‘r.267.024)c}

\maya{T520} \th \maya{T520} \maya{T520} \codex \maya{T520}

{ \ga \maya{T520} \maya{T520} } \maya{T520}
{ \codex \maya{T520} \maya{T520} } \maya{T520}
{ \th \maya{T520} \maya{T520} } \maya{T520}
 \par \noindent\mayaC{ % \mayaC = glyphs with captions
 451.452 026.314/(314) 111.274 047.276/010 913 810
 451.452 026.314/(314) 570/014.267.024 111.+176/111 913 810
 451.452 026.314/(314) 245.234 026.172/0 23 913 810}

\par xxx
\mayaGlyph{900r} \maya{072:107} versus \maya{072.107}


The writers of the package expect less than 100 users worldwide.

I’m perhaps more optimistic.