Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

domingo, enero 29, 2012

Language Help Wanted (Updated!!)

This is a peace pole. This particular one is in my field in Spencertown, Columbia County, New York. It says, "May peace prevail on earth," in four languages: English, Hebrew, Tibetan, and Algonquin. Those languages seem appropriate to who I am and where the pole is.

According to the World Peace Prayer Society:

The Peace Pole Project is the official Project of The World Peace Prayer Society. It started in Japan in 1955 by Masahisa Goi, who decided to dedicate his life to spreading the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in response to the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Peace Poles are handcrafted monuments erected the world over as international symbols of Peace. Their purpose is to spread the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the languages of the world.

Mr. Goi believed that Peace begins in the heart and mind of each individual. As war begins with thoughts of war, Peace begins with thoughts of Peace. The Peace Pole reminds us to keep Peace ever-present in our thoughts. As we learn to honor one another, our environment, plants, animals and all creation on Earth, the vision of global Peace will gradually become a natural way of life, a true culture of Peace.

That is precisely the idea. It makes sense to me. I got the idea a few months ago that I needed an additional peace pole to plant in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The problem, this is the one I need your help on, is languages. English and Spanish make sense to me. That's a no brainer. But I think the other two languages on this particular pole should be Yucatecan Mayan and Nahuatl. I want two of the panels to be indigenous languages that are connected directly to Tulum. Mayan because Tulum is a Mayan part of Mexico. Nahuatl because that language descends from the language used by the Aztecs when they were the masters of most of Mexico.

I didn't think it would be hard to get the phrase "May peace prevail on earth" translated into Yucatecan Mayan and Nahuatl so I could put it on a peace pole, but I was wrong. My efforts to communicate with people who speak these languages have failed. My efforts to solicit help from people who teach these languages have failed. I've wondered about why this is being so challenging. Maybe that's because I'm not sitting in Tulum as I write this or beating the bushes there for a good translation. Maybe it's because the people I've contacted don't really want to help me. Or don't care about the project. Maybe it's because this pole isn't a good idea on some energetic or spiritual level. I have no idea what is causing the problem. I just know that it's being a problem to get the words "May peace prevail on earth" in both Yucatecan Mayan and Nahuatl.

Even when I've made progress, it didn't solve the problem. During my search I received a translation of the phrase into Mayan, "TE YUKSILE YOK KABIL." I was told that this was not literal. OK, fine. But I want to know what it means before I put it on a pole. And I haven't been able to confirm that this phrase is actually an acceptably accurate transmission of the idea. I have nothing in Nahuatl. Except emails to various people that haven't produced results.

Which brings me to this request for help. Dear Readers, I would like your help with this. If you have anyone who can help me with this, please leave a comment or email me. I want to be able to plant the pole in either March or June. But right now, I'm stuck.

Updated (1/30/12), 8:40 am ET: With the help of Stewart at I have language in Mayan and Nahuatl. In Mayan: JAT K'A RI KIKOTEMAL, K'O CHE NJE' CHUCH QATE' RUWACH'ULEW and
in Nahuatl: Ueye Pakillistie Ipan Tlalitpaktle. So far so good. Now all I need is confirmation that these are accurate AND that the Mayan dialect is correct (Stewart says it's Maya kaqchikel). So now I am well on my way. A special thanks to Stewart. This is just a great beginning.

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