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Riccardo Bertani

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vilas
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Italy
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 Message 1 of 9
13 December 2005 at 12:05pm | IP Logged 
An Italian gentleman ,Riccardo Bertani,knows 100 languages ,some of them are:
Russian,Ukrainian,Serbo-Croatian,Basque,Etrurian, Ajunu,Samojedian,Persian ,Tungusian,Mongolian, Siberian,Lapponian,Jugakirian,Orochian,Longobardian, Rutulian....
You have just to go to google and search for "Riccardo Bertani un poliglotta sedentario" (in Italian)
Ciao Vilas    



Edited by Fasulye on 27 March 2011 at 10:27am

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vilas
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 Message 2 of 9
16 December 2005 at 8:23am | IP Logged 
Translation on what I found about him in internet


Riccardo Bertani learned more than 100 languages

He, son of the communist mayor of Campegine (Province of Reggio Emilia) found the “ Russians ” at home
(Gogol,Puskin,Gorki), the great master Tolstoy ). So in his twenty, he start to study Russian and become a phenomenon, In few months he learn it and translates the poems of the Ucrainian Shevchenko , discovered in a book that a fugitive forgot in the house of the Cervi brothers, friends of his uncle. Since then, this gentleman that now is in his 75 and doesn’t wear glasses has learnt more than 100 languages.”Let’s say that I read it and I write it, but I don’t think I pronounce it well” explains “ You know, to speak a language you need to travel. And I always feared to be disappointed travelling abroad. Riccardo Bertani is the most extravagant   Italian intellectual. Glottologue and distinguished translator, is considered in the world as one of the greatest expert of central- asian languages and cultures. He knows among others, Serbo-Croatian, Lithuanian, Basque, Etruscan, Ajnu, Samojedan, Persian, Tungusian, Recently he accomplished
an italian – mongolian dictionary , he also translated siberian proverbs, chants of   Jukagheeres sheperds and fairies of Lapland . He edited a grammar of his Reggiano dialect, a dictionary of Orochian ( tungusian – manchurian language of Siberia ) and. a longobardian glossary . This man, in all his life raised goats, living with his mother and few cats in his house in the “reggiana”prairie . He is an expert of toponomy and dialects , but also of   apicolture . Bertani has connections with several european universities ,as well as with the Royal Academies of Danmark and Sweden . In forty years of activity he edited articles and essay writings , he collaborated with the Utet encyclopedia , he held conferences in several italian universities and elaborated new theories. For instance he realized the fact that Etrurian , with the Basque , could be an iberian-caucasic language . And that Maya and some siberian languages are neighborly .
All this did’n’t change his lifestyle : he keeps writing with a ballpoint pen on old agendas in an unkept and dusty office between a mass of stacked books all over the place . He keeps wearing woden shoes and spoiled pullovers , going around in the house bare-chested ,and using an old heater that blackens the ceiling. Today his house has becomed almost a museum , on the brass nameplate it is written “ County Library of Campegine, Riccardo Bertani Foundation” The County allocated the money to catalog all his writings, and the house is full of any kind of thing: mongolian,siberian,karelian magazines ; arab proverbs ,a rutulian lexicon (“they live on the Caspian Sea ,also the ancient roman poet Virgilius talks about them”) a gothic-italian glossary and books on the Chechnian tradition that not even in Chechnya are remembered . A legacy that sooner or later will become of public domain and for the time being found place in shelves too much aseptic for Bertani . Because the life of that man did’n’t changed “ he never go out” this is what say his neighbours . He wake up at 3 a.m. and studies till 9 a.m. “in these hours my mind is fresher” he explains. Then lunch, siesta , some work in the vegetable garden and then goes to bed after the news . He like to say that is inspired by the great Tolstoy “according to the ethic of simple things , that someone is worth for who he is not for what he has “ And when you ask him if he did ever traveled , his answer is disarming “ Yes I visited the Florence University once..”
.

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Iversen
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 Message 3 of 9
10 January 2011 at 2:44pm | IP Logged 
When I see such high numbers and such an unusual profile, I want some secondary confirmation that the person really exists. However in this case this seems to be the case, as he has presented his Rutulian - Italian dictionary on a meeting, according to this announcement (in Italian). Apparently he has pointed out a certain likeness between a language spoken in Dagestan and Basque. Weird stuff, but I know that similar claims have been made about the more wellknown Kartuli ('Georgian') and Basque.

And this link to a pdf-file proves that he has compiled a dictionary based on the few remaining fragments of Longobardian, which was briefly spoken in the region now called Lombardia.

And here you can actually buy his book about Russian proverbs.

If he actually knows such arcane languages well enough to write dictionaries and other things then the rest of the story becomes fairly credible. And then I'm duly impressed.


Edited by Iversen on 10 January 2011 at 2:59pm

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vilas
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 Message 4 of 9
10 January 2011 at 3:31pm | IP Logged 


So if you want a second confirmation , try to talk with him , his number is on the Italian phone book online. He does'n't like protagonism . He is an old style farmer (modest and cautious) He is 80 y.o. now

He is a specialist of eastern european language .
You can talk with him in Italian ,Russian and Roumanian. ( from what I see in your language's list)

.
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Iversen
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 Message 5 of 9
10 January 2011 at 10:32pm | IP Logged 
As I wrote in my previous message, the things I have found on the internet makes it credible that he really has worked with all those languages (which isn't the same thing as speaking them), so I don't feel I need to disturb his studies just to satidfy my own curiosity.
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tmp011007
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 Message 6 of 9
26 January 2011 at 7:04pm | IP Logged 
Riccardo Bertani?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmuDLVMCjug

Quote:

Riccardo Bertani is 75 years old and despite being a great autodidact, does not yet wear glasses, even to read. He lived with his mother and two cats his whole life (typical unmarried Italian man in that sense) and he has almost never left his home area of Reggio in the Province of Emilio-Romagnolo in northern Italy.

A confirmed eccentric, he wakes up at 3 AM and studies until 9 AM every day. Then he goes about his chores, especially enjoying puttering about the garden.

The house is strange. Books and manuscripts are everywhere. An old heater has blackened the ceiling, but he has not bothered to replace it. He has raised goats his whole life, and he’s never held a professorship. In addition to his linguistic scholarship, he is also an expert on toponymy and the science of beekeeping.

Riccardo Bertani, incredibly enough, is able to read to and write to some extent over 100 different languages. He can’t speak them as well as he can read and write them, mostly because he has not been to the places where they are spoken to practice. In fact, he has seldom left Reggio. Well, once, he avers, he did go to Florence. That’s about 150 miles away. That’s about as far away as he has ever been from home.

In his 20′s, son of a Communist mayor, he taught himself Russian. In a few months, he learned it and was also translating Ukrainian. He speaks, among other languages, Italian, Reggiano Emilian (his native language), Russian, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Etrurian, Lithuanian, Persian, Basque, Ainu, Etruscan, Mongolian, Mayan, Chechen, Yukaghir, Rutul (a Caucasian language), Karelian, Arabic, Gothic, Lombard, Oroch (a Tungus language of Siberia), Samoyedic and Saami.


Edited by tmp011007 on 26 January 2011 at 7:11pm

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Fasulye
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 Message 7 of 9
27 March 2011 at 10:07am | IP Logged 
To complete the post about the polyglot Riccardo Bertani I want to quote the link written in Italian:

In Italian: Riccardo Bertani un poliglotta sedentario

It's always interesting for those with knowledge of the foreign language to read the original link!

I have listened to the video in Italian about Riccardo Bertani. He says that he has left elemenatry school with the 5th grade and never had any higher education. His whole life long he has lived as a famer in a village and worked as a translator and writer of books about languages. An he has never left Italy. Considering these circumstances I find his knowledge of many languages very impressive.

Fasulye



Edited by Fasulye on 27 March 2011 at 10:52am

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artemidora
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 Message 8 of 9
27 March 2011 at 1:53pm | IP Logged 
i am also fascinated with siberian and central asian cultures, but i didn't try hard enough to get books, magazines and all that.
this gentleman inspires me. i think i have been quite lazy... now i feel i could set myself a new goal and look for ressources and learn all those languages that the film Dersu Uzala made me dream of. one day i would like to travel the transiberian line.

and i don't know why i have such a weakness for anything central asian. but till now i have only studied kazak. only one book. i haven't read any other material. and now there are no excuses for it, because on the internet i could find many texts and sounds and images.

anyhow, i am a little specialized in ancient decyphered and undecyphered languages... and there's no much to be known about etrurian.

i for my part would like to learn tokharian. get prepared for reading weird manichean texts!

Edited by artemidora on 27 March 2011 at 1:55pm



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