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Iversen’s Multiconfused Log (see p.1!)

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Iversen
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 Message 3313 of 3959
29 June 2013 at 8:24pm | IP Logged 
It is not easy to hide what I have been doing this afternoon - evidence is found in this thread. So let me just state in normal Modern English that I have read through Beowulf once again in a bilingual edition, searching for words meaning "many" and "more", and in the process I have refreshed my purely passive and very limited Anglosaxon. One little detail: I searched for examples of the word "micle" ('big', but also used with the meaning 'much') - known among other things from Micklegate in York - and wanted more examples than I could found in Beowulf. So I continued the search in some prose texts and as usual I found myself in the Saxon Chronicles, where I hit upon the expression "micle herehuðe" which I couldn't really understand. Sometimes it seemed to be a tax, sometimes looted booty - the question is how big the difference really is and was, today but even more in Medieval Britain.

Earlier today I studied a Russian text about psycholinguistic studies of sign language, but I only got halfway through it so I'll not comment on it yet. I'll finish it this evening.

And apart from that I have tried to get into contact with Radio Sonder Grense in Afrikaans, but to no avail. However I found some old transcript files on their site so at least I have now got some new stuff to read. I also tried the internet TV portal WWI.com, but there I only found four unappetizing Christian Channels, and on Youtube the really long clips turned out to present ugly creationists babbling in English with subtitles, and generally the clips in Afrikaans had a definite religious bias. So I left Youtube alone and finally I found some reasonably long podcasts (or rather potgoois) in Afrikaans, including one about astronomy - hurray. One reason that it has become somewhat urgent to hear some Afrikaans is that I have vague plans about visiting South Africa and Lesotho later this year, and even though I probably will have to waste my time on an English-speaking tourgroup there could with a bit of luck also be a slim chance to try out my rudimentary Afrikaans. But I must listen to the language first.

Edited by Iversen on 01 July 2013 at 10:00am

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Iversen
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 Message 3314 of 3959
02 July 2013 at 9:52am | IP Logged 
I went through the copying and/or retranslation routines with a number of languages last evening: I finished the article about sign languages in Russian (approx. one A4 page), I copied (while mentally translating) most of chapter IV from Harrius Potter II in Latin, after that I retranslated an article about the Bali Zoo (which has been established since my visit there) and finally I wanted to do something in Greek. When I took my dictionary out from the shelf a little red booklet fell out. I had totally forgotten all about it, but it turned out to be a miniature guide to Danish literature for Greek - I have probably received it when I bought either my Greek-Danish or my Danish-Grek dictionary, but it had nestled itself between a language guide and an English-Greek dictionary which I rarely use. The surprise was that I hardly needed to look any words up, which suggests to me that my tour-de-force through the Greek alphabet in January wasn't a waste of time.

This morning I read a bit of my Assimil language guide to Hungarian in the bus-to-my-job - although I still don't claim to study that language systematically the visit to Budapest in May has left me slightly interested - and I carry my Romanian guide to Schönbrunn along for reading in the-bus-back-home this afternoon.

Quite generally I try to do something about all my languages at least once a week, and it can be something of a puzzle to find interesting stuff in each and every one so that I have it ready when I suddenly decide to spend time on a certain language. For instance I have a heap of bilingual printouts, but I went through it yessterday evening and found that I already had worked with most of them - which means that I might use them for extensive reading (like the long article from Wikipedia about feathered dinosaurs yesterday), but I would be bored if I had to read the majority of them again. So I'll have to make a new collection soon to fill out the holes.

Edited by Iversen on 02 July 2013 at 10:58am

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Iversen
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 Message 3315 of 3959
03 July 2013 at 5:18pm | IP Logged 
When emk mentioned that my Guide to Learning languages had been mentioned on the Wikia I simply had to visit it - and I have to admit that it was my first visit in recent times. I also checked my old wordlist article - with later changes, but generally OK (it even contains my fairly recent changes when dealing with wordlists based on texts). But then I stumpled over a reference to a an article about Old English, and from there I ended up reading a wikipa about Old English, where the most surprising item was the early stages of an Old English phrasebook.

Many of the words here are marked as "new", which reminds me about the strategy problems for people who want to keep Latin alive: should you refrain from using new loan words or not? My position would be that some loanwords are so obvious and simple that even Cicero might have adoopted them if he turned up in Rome today (maybe even old stubborn Cato would have done so).

In the old days Greek would be the main source for loanwords in Latin, but today Italian and English would be more natural as sources. Or Latin itself - skipping some intermediary stages. For instance "video" is in my opinion an excellent word for a video (video, genitive: videonis 3.decl.)- and there is no risk at all to confuse it with the verb "video" so I don't buy that argument. For "computer" I would have chosen "computator", but the standard in Neolatin has become "computralis" which also is OK - it is short, easy to remember and shares its root with the word English/international 'computer'. In Harrius Potter II the translator uses three words to refer to the postal system of the Muggles. However either "posta" from Italian or something built on "currus" would have been simpler, The Hogwarts express train is a "haematostichon", with a Greek loanword, and given that the Romans stole not only their statues, artists and doctors from Graecia, but also a lot of words, this is a logical choice (in Indonesian a train is a "kereta api" - firewagon).

But back to Old English. There are some interesting choices among the newly created words. For instance 'Dutch' is translated as "Niðerlendisċ" (new term) or "Holtlendisċ" (new term). I was sceptical about no. 2 of these translations and checked the etymology to get a clear refutation. But no, according to Wikipedia "Holland is derived from the Middle Dutch term holtland ("wooded land"). This spelling variation remained in use until around the 14th century, at which time the name stabilised as Holland". And "The name Holland first appeared in sources in 866 for the region around Haarlem". My my, the people behind the language guide have done a thorough job here! I do however miss a good name for the Normans from Normandy, of all neighbouring peoples the one who eventually would destroy the world and language of the Anglosaxons.

Often the new words for technical gadgets are based on good ol' roots (after the Icelandic custom): "What is your phone number? - Hƿæt hāteþ þīn feorrsprecendȝetæl (new term)?" It is obvious that "feorrsprecendȝetæl" must mean something like far-speaking-device (Icelandic uses "síma", meaning thread).And a mobile phone is of course "handsprecendȝetæl"" (hand-speaking-device" - which reminds me of Stephen Fry making fun of the German use of "handy": "Wo ist mein Handy?" with the campest camp pronunciation he could muster).

Seeing "Eorlarabisċ" (Earl Arabia"´) for the Emirates is also quite funny. Unfortunately the good work done on the language guide hasn't continued into the dictionary section, where I had expected to find at least an Anglosaxon->Englisc dictionary - and dearly hoped also to find the rudiments of one in the opposite direction, which is a prerequisite for prospective active writers in venerable old language. Old French has the same problem: I own an old Ancien Français --> French dictionary (by Foulet), but not one in the opposite direction. And therefore both Old French and Old English will remain purely passive languages on my list - quite contrary to Latin, where my excellent "New College dictionary" can help me over the holes in my Neolatin.

Edited by Iversen on 10 July 2013 at 1:57pm

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Iversen
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 Message 3316 of 3959
05 July 2013 at 12:07pm | IP Logged 
LA: In epistola supra scripsi ut liber Harrii Potteri secundi pro Anglica 'post' tria vocabula necesse sit. Vocabularium neolatinum me valde tenet, et cordi mihi est eum excolare sine animam suam prodere. Quamobrem me dolet in glossario factores translatorum quam "interpres -tis" appellati esse. Forsitan professio una olim fuit, et omnes 'interpretes' et sermenes interpretabant et translationes scribebant, sed hodie professiones diversae sunt, et usus vocabuli "interpres" limitendus est ad usum huius interpretes qui sermones interpretantur. Secundum glossaria mea non existat vocabulum "translator", sed ego non video quid melius foramen subrogare possit, etiamsi non licet sit secundum opinionem puristarum. Num vocabulum 'purista' existat? Nescio, sed tale vocabulum mihi opus est. Quid nomen 'postman' est? Forsitan 'tabellarius', sed 'postal service' 'cursus publicus' est - et ego tabellarium per agros currentem video! Translator (!) Harrii Potteri secundi in pagina XXXIII scripsit: "Domino Vislio cordi erat Harrium propter se assidere ut eum rogitaret (...)". Num "rogitare" existat? Derivatio de "rogare" est, et significatio sua manifesta nobis est, igitur eam suscipimus sine querimoniis. Sic relatio nostra esse de lingva latina debet. Sed quid de constructione sententiae? Hic "rogitaret" verbum finitum est, et istud mihi in mente revocat quomodo in lingvae regionis balcaniae infinitivum suum in ordine redigebantur gratium constructionibus cum verbo finito - lingva portugalica (aut lusitana) aliquid simile habet cum infinitivo suo declinato.

Every time I read some Latin I start thinking about the Neolatin vocabulary. Take for instance the word "interpres", which according to my dictionaries has cover both interpreters and translators. Maybe that was good enough for Romans and medieval monks, but today it definitely isn't enough. And in such a case I'm all for linguistic self-help, with or without the consent of purist Latin teachers. The word "translatio" for a translation already exists, so "translator" would be the obvious word to use in Neolatin. Or "translatralis" if it is a machine, given that a computer by common consent now is called "computralis" in Modern Latin.

The word for a postman seems to be 'tabularius', and the service is called 'cursus publicus'. And then I see the poor postman running across the fields with a ton of wax tablets. But at least we have some words here. And for a postage stamp we have three choices according to Wikipedia: "Nota postalica, vel nota vectoria, vel pittacium cursuale[1], est chartula minuta pretio, quo a cuiusque rei publicae cursu publico edita est, inscripta." I'm not sure that moe than one euro for simple stamp here in Denmark is "minuta pretio", but we have at least a name or three for the expensive little thing (although I would have preferred "sigilla postalis").

The whole problem is to cover our world with Latin words, and if we can't find them in the antiquity everyone is entitled to propose suitable solutions - and then sources like Wikipedia in Latin and the more openminded dictionaries will have to decide which words should reflect the outcome of the fight.

In Harry Potter II (in Latin) I noticed a curious sentence which in a hyperliteral translation might look like this: "Dative[Mr. Weasley] heart was Harry beside him to sit, in-order-to him [3p,pres.subj]he-questions" ("rogito" is a derivation of "rogo" which means 'ask') - or in a slightly more meaning orientated version: " in order to he would-interrogate him". I would have expected an infinite here, but the construction used in the book reminds me of the tendency in Balcan languages like Modern Greek and Romanian to downgrade or even eliminate the infinitive and use a subordinate with a finite verb instead - Portuguese has the same aim, but uses a trick that goes in the opposite direction - here the infinitive is so to say 'upgraded' to 'infinitivo pessoal'. I like the Latin construction, but I wonder whether it is totally OK to use it.

Edited by Iversen on 10 July 2013 at 2:00pm

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Iversen
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 Message 3317 of 3959
07 July 2013 at 7:28pm | IP Logged 
This weekend I have visited my mother, so I have been doing a little bit of studying, somewhat more painting and a quite lot of gardening. My study efforts have been concentrated on two languages: Romanian and Modern Greek, and in both cases I did the retranslation thing. I did bring along my Routledge Essential grammar, but didn't find time to read it - not even in the train where I first came in to a wagon where some girls where humming and singing. When one of them angrily remarked to another that she once was blamed for always singing I silently agreed and fled to another car. Here the only source of disturbances was a couple of teenage girls who discussed their personal problems rather loudly, including how they had been cutting themselves, fought with doormen and been so drunk that they didn't know where they were. I just wish they had been discussing this in Assyrian or Quechua or Klingon or something else beyond my horizon. Or maybe - for their own sake - that they would grow up some day. Preferably far away from me.

OK, GR Το ελληνικό κείμενο ήταν μια σύντομη ταξιδιωτικός οδηγός για την Ιταλία, που βρήκα στο διαδίκτυο. Το είχα σε δίγλωσση έκδοση, αλλά δεν εμπιστεύομαι τυφλά τις μετάφραση του Google. Για παράδειγμα, Google σκεφτείτε οτι η φράση " Εισιτήρια μπορείτε να βγάλετε από το Internet" σημαίνει "Tickets can be removed from the Internet". Με καταπλήσσει τον τρόπο που οι Έλληνες τόσο εύκολο μπορούν να εισάγετε λέξεις με λατινικούς χαρακτήρες στα κείμενά τους. Ποια διάταξη του πληκτρολογίου χρησιμοποιούν οι άνθρωποι στην Ελλάδα;;

RO: Textul în limba română descriu aceea cameră de Schönbrunn, unde împăratul Franz Josef (Francisc Iosif) a dormit toată viața sa într-un pat de fier și unde a murit în 1916. După moartea sa curtea a provenit repede pe un pictor care ar putea picta imaginea finală de el ca cadavru.


Edited by Iversen on 07 July 2013 at 7:55pm

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tarvos
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 Message 3318 of 3959
10 July 2013 at 11:43am | IP Logged 
Quote:
But back to Old English. There are some interesting choices among the newly
created words. For instance 'Dutch' is translated as "Niðerlendisċ" (new term) or
"Holtlendisċ" (new term). I was sceptical about no. 2 of these translations and checked
the etymology to get a clear refution. But no, according to Wikipedia "Holland is
derived from the Middle Dutch term holtland ("wooded land"). This spelling variation
remained in use until around the 14th century, at which time the name stabilised as
Holland". And "The name Holland first appeared in sources in 866 for the region around
Haarlem". My my, the people behind the language guide have done a thorough job here! I
do however miss a good name for the Normans from Normandy, of all neighbouring peoples
the one who eventually would destroy the world and language of the Anglosaxons.


Holland wordt mijns inziens alleen gebruikt om de twee westelijke provincies Noord en
Zuid-Holland aan te duiden. Ik vind "Niðerlendisċ" de betere term, want bijvoorbeeld
Brabanders of Friezen hebben niet dezelfde identiteit als Hollanders en hun dialect (of
in het geval van de Friezen zelfs de taal) verschilt wezenlijk van de Hollanders. Er
zijn ook genoeg mensen in provincies buiten Holland die zich absoluut niet verbonden
voelen met die regio van Nederland, en duidelijk hun regionale identiteit behouden. Om
een Brabander of Limburger Hollander te noemen is dan ook niet zo'n heel goed plan.

Ik vind de vertaling "Holtlendisċ" dan ook niet synoniem, maar misschien dat de oude
Engelsen daar anders over dachten - voor mij zijn beide termen in ieder geval niet
synoniem en ik zou me dan ook nooit in het Engels voorstellen as "I'm from Holland"
(alhoewel ik persoonlijk wel in die regio geboren ben, dus nauwkeurig is het in mijn
geval wel), omdat dat mijns inziens de lading niet dekt en verwarrend is.

Haarlem ligt dan wel weer in Noord-Holland dus dat hebben ze dan wel goed uitgevogeld.
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Iversen
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 Message 3319 of 3959
10 July 2013 at 2:33pm | IP Logged 
Het is duidelijk verkeerd het woord "Holland" te gebruiken op het Koninkrijk van Nederland – net als het ook verkeerd is om te zeggen "Engeland" indien u verwijst naar het gehele Verenigd Koninkrijk, "United Kingdom". Het is echter interessant dat het woord 'Nederland' oorspronkelijk ook Vlaanderen gedekt het. Het was pas met de Unie van Utrecht, dat de noordelijke provincies dit woord hebben 'gegrepen'
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tarvos
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 Message 3320 of 3959
10 July 2013 at 2:43pm | IP Logged 
Ja, en tevens dekt de term "de Lage Landen" Nederland en België nog steeds.




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