View Single Post
Old 15th October 2017, 10:19 PM   #2
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,956

Reading this sort of thing is not always as simple as might be expected. It looks like Javanese Hanacaraka, and if the letters have been reasonably closely executed I can probably get it brought into Roman text --- my own understanding of Hanacaraka is not good enough to read text presented like this, however I have sent images to a relative who will be able to read it if the letters are standard renditions and the words are in fact Javanese words.

The reason for the qualifications is that very often these sort of inscriptions can be written in a "secret language". In the past, but seemingly not so much now, people in Jawa would develop a language, or use an existing language, that we could liken to our own "pig latin", except vastly more complex. Social groups would do this sort of thing, as well as families.

Similarly, cypher languages were used, where an ordinary word could have a meaning other than it appeared to have --- a very simple parallel in English might be Cockney rhyming slang, the conversation of two people skilled in the use of this form of language can be totally incomprehensible to an outsider.

Add the further complication that Javanese is a multi level language to begin with --- minimum two levels, and dependent upon social context perhaps as many as 11 levels --- and it gets to the point where one can only understand something if the speaker or writer wishes another person to understand.

In any case, I've sent the query and when I get a response I'll post the result.
A. G. Maisey is offline   Reply With Quote