The Maniac Collector's Inbox
I was in the Texas Hill Country this past week. I flew to San Antonio on Monday and drove to Kerrville. Normally, when I travel, I visit Google Maps and print out directions from the airport to my hotel; from the hotel to the site, I am visiting; and so forth. I have been to our Kerrville site so many times in the past seven year that I did not need to Google my route. The hotel I stay at is on Texas State Highway 16, on of my favorite roads in Texas. When I checked in, they gave me room 221. To further my delight, State Highway 16, going through town is named Sidney Baker Street, thus allowing me to stay at 221 Baker Street!
Outside of my room, 221 in Kerrville, TX
It was a good week for my collection. Back on December 6, 2009 (no. 388) I wrote “Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian, Oh My!” and in it I explained why I was breaking apart the Serbo-Croat section in my collection. Instead of one listing, I now have three – Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. Since Serbia and Croatia list their languages separately and according to Ethnologue, Bosnian is recognized language, I chose to list them in my collection. The irony of all of this that out of blue I searched the Internet for the Bosnian edition Dolina straha (VALL) and I found a copy at an online bookshop in Croatia. The next day Takahiko Endo, in Tokyo, found another copy in Serbia. All my previous searches have been empty.
The only problem was the site was in Croatian, one of the many languages I can neither read nor write. I was able to register and buy the book, thanks to Google Translate. I was also able to checkout, convert the 95 (HRK) Croatia Kunas into sixteen dollars and fifty-one, U.S. and that was registered post. I sent the site a nice thank you leader and explained to them my quest for translations of Sherlock Holmes. I typed it in English, converted it into Croatian, and sent it off to Croatia. In the message, I also explained that I used Google Translate to be able to write in Croatian. I had a nice email back from the owner, in English, telling me to cease and desist. He could understand English perfectly. At least I tried.
Bosnian edition of VALL
It is funny how things seem to happen. One of my co-worker’s brothers is an ordained minister and has a PhD in electronics. In his spare time, he translated the Bible into Choctaw. My co-worker asked if I want a Sherlock Holmes story translated into Choctaw and I managed to squeak out ‘Yes’. The translation will be Choctaw on the left side and English on the right. The last progress report I had was there were twenty page down and forty more to complete.
There was an email this week from the Director of Communication for the Cherokee Heritage Foundation. The Directory told me upfront she was a big fan of Sherlock Holmes but I guess not that big because due to the lack of translators, currently they were too busy to undertake Sherlock Holmes. At least I tried. So did Dean Clark, Tulsan Sherlockian extraordinaire, as he invited her to a meeting of The Afghanistan Perceivers. He had an invitation to a Cherokee Nation Fund Raising event on the same day. I see Dean as being a sparking plug for keeping the hopes of Cherokee translation alive. Stay tuned to this one.
Past 2009 Columns