These translations were transcribed from plaqes at Washington, DC.  Typos did appear on the plaques and were left as is.
KUANJI PREFECTURE 353 AD "IN THE YEAR 353, THE NINTH YEAR OF THE YONG-HE REIGN, EARLY IN THE LAST MONTH OF
SPRING, THERE WAS A GATHERING AT THE ORCHID PAVILION ON THE NORTHERN SLOPES OF THE KUAI-JI MOUNTAINS; OUR
PURPOSE, TO CARRY OUT THE SPRING CEREMONIES OF PURIFICATION, MANY A GOOD MAN CAME, THE YOUNG AND OLD
ALIKE.  THE PLACE WAS ONE OF MIGHTY MOUNTAINS AND TOWERING RIDGES COVERED WITH LUSH FORESTS AND TALL
BAMBOO, WHERE A CLEAR STREAM WITH SWIRLING EDDIES CAST BACK A SPARKLING LIGHT UPON BOTH SHORES.  FROM
THIS WE CUT A WINDING CHANNEL IN WHICH TO FLOAD OUR WINECUPS, AND AROUND THIS EVERYONE TOOK THEIR
APPOINTED SEATS.  TRUE, WE DID NOT HAVE THE HARPS AND FLUTES OF A GREAT FEAST, BUT A CUP OF WINE AND A SONG
SERVED WELL ENOUGH TO FREE OUR MOST HIDDEN FEELINGS. THE SKY THAT DAY WAS LUMINOUS, AND THE AIR WAS CLEAR;
GENTLE BREEZES BLEW SOFTLY AROUND US.  ABOVE US WE LOOKED ON THE IMMENSITY OF THE UNIVERSE; THEN, LOWER-
ING OUR EYES, WE SAW NATURE'S INFINITE VARIETY.  AND AS WE LET OUR EYES ROAM AND OUR HEARTS SPEED FROM
THOUGHT TO THOUGHT, WE COULD EXPERIENCE THE GREATEST DELIGHTS OF EAR AND EYE--THIS WAS TRUE HAPPINESS...

This passage is drawn form the preface to "The Orchid Pavilion Poems" by Wang Xizhi.  Translated by Stephen Owen
MOSCOW 1812 AD "TWO DAYS LATER, ON THE 15TH OF JULY, AN IMMENSE NUMBER OF CARRIAGES WERE STANDING OUTSIDE
THE SLOBËDA PALACE, THE GREAT HALLS WERE FULL.  IN THE FIRST WERE  THE NOBILITY AND GENTRY IN THEIR UNIFORMS,
IN THE SECOND BEARDED MERCHANTS IN FULL-SKIRTED COATS OF BLUE CLOTH AND WEARING MEDALS.  IN THE NOBLE-
MEN'S HALL THERE WAS AN INCESSANT MOVEMENT AND BUZZ OF VOICES.  THE CHIEF MAGNATES SAT ON HIGH-BACKED
CHAIRS AT A LARGE TABLE UNDER THE PORTRAIT OF THE EMPEROR, BUT MOST OF THE GENTRY WERE STROLLING ABOUT
THE ROOM, ALL THESE NOBLES, WHOM PIERRE MET EVERY DAY AT THE CLUB OR IN THEIR OWN HOUSES, WERE IN UNI-
FORM--SOME IN THAT OF CATHERINE'S DAY, OTHERS IN THAT OF THE EMPEROR PAUL, OTHERS AGAIN IN THE NEW UNI-
FORMS OF ALEXANDER'S TIME OR THE ORDINARY UNIFORM OF THE NOBILITY, AND THE GENERAL CHARACTERISTIC OF
BEING IN UNIFORM IMPARTED SOMETHING STRANGE AND FANTASTIC TO THESE DIVERSE AND FAMILIAR PERSONALITIES,
BOTH OLD AND YOUNG, THE OLD MEN, DIM-EYED, TOOTHLESS, BALD, SALLOW AND BLOATED, OR GAUNT AND WRINKLED,
WERE EXPECIALLY STRIKING, FOR THE MOST PART THEY SAT QUIETLY IN THEIR PLACES AND WERE SILENT, OR IF THEY
WALKED ABOUT AND TALKED, ATTACHED THEMSELVES TO SOMEONE YOUNGER.  ON ALL THESE FACES, AS ON THE FACES OF
THE CROWD P╦TYA HAD SEEN IN THE SQUARE, THERE WAS A STRIKING CONTRADICTION: THE GENERAL EXPECTATION OF A 
SOLEMN EVENT, AND AT THE SAME TIME THE EVERYDAY INTERESTS IN A BOSTON CARD-PARTY, PETER THE COOK, ZINA═DA
DMITRIEVNA'S HEALTH AND SO ON...

This passage is drawn from Leo Tolstoy's "War And Peace."  Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude
LINGUA COMPLETED MARCH 2003 IS AN ARTWORK BY JIM SANBORN

BARCELONA -1493 AD "IT WAS ABOUT THE MIDDLE OF APRIL THAT HE ARRIVED AT BARCELONA, AND THE BEAUTY AND 
SERENITY OF THE WEATHER, IN THAT GENIAL SEASON AND FAVOURED CLIMATE, CONTRIBUTED TO GIVE SPLENDOUR TO THE
MEMORABLE CEREMONY OF HIS RECEPTION.  AS HE DREW NEAR THE PLACE, MANY OF THE YOUTHFUL COURTIERS AND
CAVALIERS, FOLLOWED BY A VAST CONCOURSE OF THE POPULACE, CAME FORTH TO MEET HIM.  HIS ENTRANCE INTO THIS
NOBLE CITY HAS BEEN COMPARED TO THOSE TRIUMPHS WHICH THE ROMANS WERE ACCUSTOMED TO DECREE TO
CONQUERORS.  FIRST WERE PARADED THE SIX INDIANS, PAINTED ACCORDING TO THEIR SAVAGE FASHION, AND DECORATED
WITH THEIR ORNAMENTS OF GOLD.  AFTER THESE WERE BORNE VARIOUS KINDS OF LIVE PARROTS, TOGETHER WITH
STUFFED BIRDS AND ANIMALS OF UNKNOWN SPECIES, AND RARE PLANTS SUPPOSED TO BE OF PRECIOUS QUALITIES; WHILE
ESPECIAL CARE WAS TAKEN TO DISPLAY THE INDIAN CORONETS, BRACELETS, AND OTHER DECORATIONS OF GOLD, WHICH
MIGHT GIVE AN IDEA OF THE WEALTH OF THE NEWLY DISCOVERED REGIONS.  AFTER THIS FOLLOWED COLUMBUS, ON
HORSEBACK, SUROUNDED BY A BRILLIANT CAVALCADE OF SPANISH CHIVALRY.  THE STREETS WERE ALMOST IMPASSABLE
FROM THE MULTITUDE; THE HOUSES, EVEN TO THE VERY ROOFS, WERE CROWDED WITH SPECTATORS.  IT SEEMED AS IF THE
PUBLIC EYE COULD NOT BE SATED WITH GAZING AT THESE TROPHIES OF AN UNKNOWN WORLD; OR ON THE REMARKABLE
MAN BY WHOM IT HAD BEEN DISCOVERED...
This passage dscribes the reception given Christopher Columbus in Barcelona, Spain upon his return from his voyage to America.  The text is drawn from "The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus" by Washington Irving. Translated by Don Jose Garcia De Villalta.
IROQUOIS NATION 1450 AD "YOU CHIEFS SHALL SEPARATE INTO FIRESIDES AS 'FATHERS' AND 'SONS' OR 'MOIETY BROTH-
ERS'.--SIT DOWN ON BOTH SIDES OF THE FIRE, YOU CHIEFS.  AS FOR THATOTAH', THE FIREKEEPER, HE WILL SIT WHERE THE 
FIRE ENDS.--WHEN YOU ON THE 'FATHERS' SIDE RAISE AN ISSUE, YOU, TEKAIHOK╩, WILL START OUT BY DISCUSSING IT WITH
YOUR CHIEFLY COLLEAGUES.  AFTER YOUR GROUP HAS REACHED A DECISION, YOU WILL REFER IT TO YOUR MOIETY BROTH-
ERS ON THE SAME SIDE, SKANYATAIO' AND HIS COLLEAGUES.  JUST IN CASE YOU MOIETY BROTHERS HAVE REACHED UNA-
NIMITY, APPOINT ONE PERSON TO BE YOUR SPEAKER, AND HE SHALL MOVE THE QUESTION ACROSS THE FIRE TO THE OTHER
MOIETY, THAT OF THE 'SONS', EXPLAINING YOUR DECISION; FOR ONCE THE MOIETY BROTHERS HAVE REACHED UNANIMITY,
IT IS THE TURN OF THOSE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FIRE.  THEREUPON THE 'SONS', HO'TATSHEHTE' AND HIS COL-
LEAGUES, SHALL TAKE UP THE MATTER AND CONSIDER THEIR DECISION, AND THEN THEIR MOIETY BROTHERS HAKA'╩YUK
AND HIS COLLEAGUES.  UNTIL A SINGLE OPINION DEVELOPS AMONG THEM.  THEN THEIR SPEAKER SHALL REFER THE MAT-
TER BACK ACROSS THE FIRE TELLING THOSE ON THE OTHER SIDE WHETHER THE MOIETY BROTHERS CONFIRMED IT UNANI-
MOUSLY AND HOW THEY PROCEEDED WITH RESPECT TO THE ISSUE THE 'FATHERS' RAISED.--SUBSEQUENTLY, THEIR
SPEAKER WILL DIRECT THE DECISIONS OF THE TWO MOIETIES TO THATOTAHO', THE FIREKEEPER, SAYING, "THEY ARE
UNANIMOUS, AND NOW THEY ARE PLACING THE MATTER IN FRONT OF YOU."  THE FIREKEEPER WILL TAKE UP THE MATTER
PLACED BEFORE HIM, AND CONSIDER IT CAREFULLY.  THEN HE DECIDES, THAT IS, HE SHALL CONFIRM THE RESULT OF THEIR
DELIBERATIONS.  THEREAFTER THE DECISION BECOMES LAW...

This passage describes, in the Ononandaga language, a meeting of "the Condolence Council" of the Iroquois nation of the United States and Canada.  Many scholars believe that the legal system described here influenced the design of the United States Constitution.
Transcribed and translated from the oral tradition by Hanni Woodbury.

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