German Language Spoken Here

We know that German is spoken in Germany, Europe. Some of us know that it’s spoken in Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, as well.

But German dialects are spoken elsewhere too. Or perhaps the spoken German is so different in Papua New Guinea and Pennsylvania that it could be considered another language? See the verbs at Verbix language drafts.

New Words in Swedish in 2015

Happy new year 2016! And time to see the verbs that got official in the Swedish language year 2015. Click any of the new verbs to conjugate them in Swedish. As you will see, all new verbs are totally regular.

  • Avinvestera To disinvest, normally by selling shares in companies involved in industries viewed as unsustainable or unethical .
  • Dumpstra To dumpster dive, or retrieve useable food and other objects from what others throw away.
  • Haffa Rough, to hit someone.
  • Klittra Mastrurbate (like a woman).
  • Rattsurfa From ‘ratt’ steering wheel and ‘surfa’ to surf. Means to use cell phone or similar when driving, decreasing the concentration on driving the car.
  • Svajpa From English ‘Swype’, to steer a computer or phone by sliding a finger or stylus on the screen.
  • Svischa To transfer money to a friend or shop using the Swedish phone payment system Swish.
  • Vejpa To ‘vape’ or smoke an e-cig.

Julotta or to Awake Early in the Morning

In Swedish language there is the specific work for the Church worship held early in the Christmas day’s morning. The word is julotta.

The word julotta consists etymologically of two words:

  • jul Christmas
  • otta archaic word for the earliest time of the day, the hours before dawn that are related to activities such as work or other. More generally it refers to early morning.

So the word otta has nothing to do with number 8 ‘åtta’, but because the meaning of the word otta is not known commonly, people have thought that julotta is the Christmas Day’s worship at 8 o’clock. And yes, the word is commonly misspelled julåtta.

On the contrary the etymology of otta goes back to the ancient Sanskrit word aktú, which means darkness or ray.

And finally some Swedish speaking finns have adopted the word as a verb meaning ‘to wake up early in the Christmas day’s morning  (to clean up the living room)’.

Links:

  • Conjugate the Swedish verb julotta.
  • Wikipedia article about julotta.
  • Swedish (Finland) definition of julotta, including the verb julotta as used in Åboland, Finland.

 

Verbtable with Awesome Layout

Years ago there was the possibility to print out high-quality verb tables from Verbix for Windows.

This was in the ages when there was a very limited number of supported languages in Verbix; designing state-of-the-art layouts was tedious and time-consuming, and therefore the Verbix for Windows started to use HTML as the “layout engine”.

In early days of the HTML layout the internal webbrowser used by Verbix was very limited. Therefore the verbtables didn’t look so nice. Little by little the design has been improved, yet the printouts still don’t look like a “book page”.

No with the latest version of Verbix for Windows, there is the possibility to export Spanish verb tables as PDF.
And these verbtables are again like “book pages”.

Links:

Ancient Alphabets Made Easy

I was developing years ago verb conjugation for Ancient Scandinavian, Runic Swedish, and Gothic languages.

All these ancient — now extinct — languages were written in a an ancient script more that a thousand years ago. Although the grammar books transliterated the texts to modern alphabet, I wanted to also write the verbs forms in the original script.

The Gothic alphabet as it appears in the Gothic Bible of Wulfila
Runic inscriptions on a stone

Years ago that was hard. Either there was no font that supported Runic or Gothic scripts. Or there was no standard for encoding them.

Fortunately things have changed, and modern webbrowsers make use of such standards as webfonts and Unicode. Thanks to that I get the Runic and Gothic texts written as they should.

Read mode:

I Prefer Writing in Karelian over Russian…

… because one SMS (text message) can contain 160 characters in Karelian and only 70 characters in Russian. (the reason being that Karelian is written in latin characters and Russian is written in cyrillic characters).

Old houses in Karelia
Old houses in Karelia. Endless forests and lakes is typical for this sparsely populated region.

I spotted the abovementioned comment from a newspaper and the opinion was made by an older woman, whose native language is Karelian. The news article can be found News article about Karelian language.

The Karelian language (karjala, karjal or kariela) is closely related to the Finnish dialects spoken in eastern Finland and some Finnish linguists even classified Karelian as a dialect of Finnish. The language is spoken in Karelia, the part of Russia that lies closest to the Finnish border.

The language is in danger of dying; many children (not all) learn the language but most if not all become more fluent in Russian and largely stop using the language later in life. The reason is that Russian is de facto language in the communities of Karelia, yet the writing of SMS:s seem to be the exception in this.

 

Khevsur – Descendants of Crusaders?

My father was reading an over 100 year old book, where he found information about “Kevzor” people living in Kaukasus mountains and with the roots far away from Alsace, today’s France.Khevsureti, Caucasus

This was interesting enough to search for more information. And after a while I found out a Wikipedia article about Khevsureti.

The article tells “There has been a hypothesis, coming from the locals and descriptions by Russian serviceman and ethnographer Arnold Zisserman […], that these Georgian highlanders were descendants of the last European Crusaders.[…] the pure Crusader origin of Khevsurs is not supported by most modern scholars. However, some form of settlement of Crusaders in these areas is possible, as they are mentioned in several manuscripts of the time as participants of several battles against the Muslims in Georgia […], and the fact that some passed through here after the fall of the Holy Land.”

And the crusades reminded me from the medieval Europe and maps from that era. See the map from AD 1160 at Medieval Europe and the Middle East

 

Is the Language Vanishing?

The ethnologue tells that the Awjila language is moribund, meaning that language will vanish sooner or later.

Town of Awjila, the place where this Berber language is spoken
Plan of Awjila from Scarin 1937 (insert between pp. 76 and 77).

Despite this fact found in Ethnologue, I found a blog about the language and that tells that this Berber language is used a lot in the Facebook. So perhaps the possibility to use their own language in written form is going to save the language — who knows?

Sardinian x 4

Sardinian is a Romance language spoken on the island of Sardinia, Italy.

What makes it interesting is that there are actually 4 different Sardinian languages spoken there on an island of 24,000 km2 (9,300 sq mi).

The reason must be that the areas have been isolated by the nature in such way that their common ancestor language could evolve to different languages.

More (check out the sample verbs and compare the differences):

Friulian in Romania, really?

I found a great website with verbs of Romance languages.

One thing surprised me: I found out that Friulian is spoken in Romania. [See map] Could that be true? I used to know that Friulian is a language spoken in Italy.

Greci, Tulcea, Romania
View from Greci Town in Tulcea, Romania

After browsing for more information I found out in a book called Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia that “After 1880 Friulians moved to Romania (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), where they worked mainly as craftsmen or in the quarries near the town of Greci”.

Still amazing that a language survives there in these days!