What is this mystery language?
August 2, 2012 11:41 AM   Subscribe

What language is this in, and what does it say?

This card was found in a box of materials relating to magic (the hocus-pocus kind, not the Cthulhu-f'tagn kind). Can you identify the language, and bonus points for a translation!
posted by Devoidoid to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
It is Bengali script, so most likely Bengali.
posted by Jehan at 11:58 AM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sanskrit?
posted by TheRaven at 11:58 AM on August 2, 2012


It's Devanagari script, but it could be any number of languages. Hindi is the most-spoken language that uses Devanagari.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:58 AM on August 2, 2012


> It's Devanagari script, but it could be any number of languages. Hindi is the most-spoken language that uses Devanagari.

No. It is not "Devanagari," it is specifically Bengali (Bangla), as the first comment points out. You can tell by the দ (d) in the middle of the first line, for instance. I'm afraid my Bengali, never good, has completely atrophied, but perhaps if you add "Bengali" to the tags it might attract the attention of someone who can read it.
posted by languagehat at 12:09 PM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank you! Halfway there.
posted by Devoidoid at 12:11 PM on August 2, 2012


The fourth line has one letter by itself (ও) which is "and" in Bengali.
posted by Houstonian at 12:12 PM on August 2, 2012


I stand corrected.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:22 PM on August 2, 2012


OK, I am practically illiterate in Bengali and don't have a lot of time to decipher this, but the title says something about "Aladdin's hypnotism" and the content appears to be either an account of, or an invitation to, some kind of mind-reading/fortune-telling session.
posted by chickenmagazine at 1:20 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Running this past a friend who reads Bengali, I got "OMG, that's old and also a bit weird Bangla!". He's going to give it a closer look in a little while and let me know, but I'm hopeful that he can translate it. Shall let you know if he can!
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 1:36 PM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


My mom to the rescue!


Magic master Alladdin's Hypnotism
Or
Application of power of mesmerization


Wonderful opportunity for anybody suffering from physical or mental sickness.
If any of you or your friends or relatives, have the following sickness, it can be cured through this treatment.
Stammering, Alcohol addiction, too much sleep or sleeplessness, Dream problems, Mental or imagined sickness, rheumatism, pain, Hysteria, lethargy, old Dysentery, Fear, Constipation, nervousness, Absentmindedness, bed wetting, Headache, Smoking etc.
Many more types of sickness besides these will be carefully treated.
Please write for an appointment with the complete description of your ailments.
Magic master Alladin


Chattagram ( Chitagang is in Bangladesh)
posted by chickenmagazine at 11:30 AM on August 3, 2012


From my friend (who says that chickenmagazine's mom's translation is also very good):

Hypnotism of Magic Master Aladdin
Or
Treatment of various kinds of physical and psychological illnesses
using hypnotism

A great opportunity has arrived for those who are suffering from
physical and psychological illness. See if any of you or your
relatives and friends are suffering from following illnesses. There
are many examples that these can be easily cured by following
guidelines of Magic Master Aladdin.

Stammering, drug addiction, habit of stealing, sleeplessness or
insomnia, nocturnal emission, imagined illness, rheumatism and pain,
hysteria, depression, chronic diarrhea, constipation, imagined
fearfulness, nervousness, diabetics, physical illness caused by mental
fear, absentmindedness and bad thinking, inattentiveness in study,
unwillingness in work, imaginary asthma, nocturnal enuresis, headache,
and smoking habit.

Many more types of sicknesses besides these are treated carefully.

For an appointment, please write to us with description of your illness.

Magic Master Aladdin
76, College Road
Chittagong


"P.S. - Magic master was written as “jadugeer” which is not a right
Bangla word. Assuming it was a typo (like few others in the text) they
wanted to mean “jadubeer” and that means “magic master” or “magic
hero”."
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 12:49 PM on August 3, 2012


Thank you all! This is far more than I'd hoped for.
posted by Devoidoid at 8:56 PM on August 3, 2012


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