Slavic Tribes Living Far in the West

Today Slavic languages are spoken in Eastern Europe, in countries like Russia, Poland, Czech, and Serbia, to name a few. But almost a thousand year earlier there lived Slavic speaking tribes close to today’s Netherlands. See the map below and compare it with today’s political borders.

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So I Read 1500 Year Old Scandinavian Language

The oldest runestones in Sweden are written in a language that was called Old Scandinavian (or Proto Norse). In that time the language was understtod throughout Scandinavia.

Järsberg runestone, 1400 years after it was written.

I visited one of the runestones in Järsberg, Sweden, in the summer. And I encountered a verbform that is still easily read today: ᚹᚫᚱᛁᛏᚢ writu (write). So despite the almost 1500 years there is still something very common with the language.

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Runic Swedish

I visited during the summer holidays the perhaps best known runestone in Sweden. The stone is called “Rök runestone” and has both an impressive size and a lot of Runic Swedish in its inscription. Runic Swedish was the predecessor of today’s Swedish and it was spoken 1000 years ago.

Rök Runestone still standing the time in 2017

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Top 25 English Verbs

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, these are the 25 most commonly used verbs in English: 1. be, 2. have, 3. do, 4. say, 5. get, 6. make, 7. go, 8. know, 9. take, 10. see, 11. come, 12. think, 13. look, 14. want, 15. give, 16. use, 17. find, 18. tell, 19. ask, 20. work, 21. seem, 22. feel, 23. try, 24. leave, 25. call.

All these verbs are one-syllable words; the first two-syllable verbs are become (26th) and include (27th).
Furthermore, 20 of these 25 are Old English words, and three more, get, seem, and want, entered English from Old Norse in the early medieval period. Only try and use came from Old French.

It seems that English prefers terse, ancient words to describe actions or occurrences.

Italic Peoples 500BC

The Italics were all the peoples who spoke an idiom belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages and had settled in the Italian peninsula.

As seen on the map, the Italic tribes and Italic languages were spoken on a very small area in the beginning. One of the languages, though, was Latin. The Roman conquests eventually spread it throughout the peninsula and beyond in the Roman Empire. The evolved dialects of Latin gave birth to the Romance languages; French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, etc. that are nowadays spoken allover the world.

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Germanic Tribes Allover

Today Germanic languages are spoken allover the world, mainly because the English language belongs to Germanic languages. In Europe, however, Germanic languages are spoken in Central and Northern Europe only.

But around AD 400 the Germanic tribes were on the move allover Europe, as can be seen in the map behind the link below.

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Celtic Languages in Ancient Europe

Celtic languages are those ancients with long history. They are nowadays spoken principally in Wales and on the countryside in Western Ireland.

Not so long ago (~ 2600 years ago) Celtic languages were spoken on a vast area of Central Europe, however. Follow the link to see where.

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