What's the difference between "translating" and "transcribing"?
I am frequently asked about writing in runes. People want to represent their names in runes, write secret or
cryptic messages, create runic inscriptions or spells, and a dozen other reasons. One of the big misconceptions is
that runes are a language and one has to translate modern English (or indeed any other modern language) into runes
before writing. But that is not the case.
The runes are not in any language. They are simply a system of writing, so you can write any word you can say using
runes instead of the letters of the modern Latin alphabet that we use to write English
and many other modern languages. Just think of the runes as an
alternative ancient alphabet called the Futhark of 24 runes instead of our alphabet of 26 letters.
There is no need to "translate" anything as it will sound the same whatever writing system you use. Just as the
letters we call English, Deutsche, Dansk, Nederlandse etc are not in any language because they are used
by scores of languages.
The original rune users did have their own different languages - Scythian, Etruscan, Teutonic, Saxon,
Old Norse, and
eventually old English or Anglo-Saxon. So there is no reason you can't use runes for any language you like,
including modern Western languages such as English.
The main thing to remember is that the runes are phonetic. In other words you write things the way they sound,
not the way they are spelled. Because runes do not follow English spelling.
Why should they? Runes were in use for hundreds of years
before today's crazy spelling conventions arose. I mean, why
would a runecarver write THROUGH for a word that
sounded like THRU? He wouldn't. He would write it the way he
heard it and so should anyone wanting to represent modern
words in an authentic runic transcript.
This is where those online rune translator programs slip up. They are called "write your name in runes" or
"runic translator" etc, I expect you've seen them in search engine results. But these scripts can't tell how
things are pronounced. They put double Ls and double Ts etc. in where they aren't needed, most of them don't know
that NG or TH are just one rune in place of two letters, they are unable to tell whether a letter is silent or voiced.
Nor can they tell whether an A is pronounced AY as in FATE or A as in FAT. I have even seen a couple of these
so-called "translators" using incorrectly drawn runes - Jera written backwards is a common mistake.
So far I haven't found one of these programs that knows how
to transcribe compound consonants like CH and SH, diphthong
vowels such as AI or OU, nor do they know how to deal with
a Q or an X. There are a dozen more examples of this sort of thing.
So how do you go on then? Well, if you want some names, words, phrases or even whole sentences correctly transcribed into runes, but you don't have the
time to learn all the ins and outs to do it yourself, this service is for you.
The act of changing
words written in the modern alphabet into written runic words is called "transcribing",
the process is known as "transcription", and the finished
piece is called a "transcript".
Runic Transcription Service
RM111 1 word only - US$6.95
2-5 words - US$11.95
6-12 words - US$17.95
13-20 words - US$25.95
21-30 words - US$32.95
RM110 Longer transcription prices on request,
email me first
Just fill out the form below and click the order button. Your runic transcript will be
supplied as a graphic image in a pdf document delivered by email attachment.
Delivery would normally be within a
few days but a huge influx of orders over the last few weeks will delay new orders placed now by as
much as 4 to 6 weeks.
How you use the transcript is entirely up to
you. For example if it is for a tattoo you can take the document to any professional
tattoo artist who may then use it to ink the transcript on your skin without needing to know
anything about the runes themselves.
Please be aware, I can read/write several European languages,
and I can use Google Translate for others. But my pronunciation is not good. Therefore
transcriptions are only supplied in runic characters representing modern English words and most
With your transcript you will also receive a free copy of my 19-page ebook A Runic Empowerment Ritual, see the
e-books page on my author website boboswald.com
for a full description.
PLEASE NOTE: The price is per WORD not per CHARACTER. For example "thank you for
buying my transcription service" might be 45 characters, but it's only 7
words so the cost would be US$17.95.