I bough the other day Kielikello, a magazine of language use in Finnish. There was an interesting news about a new portal with Swedish placenames that was opened recently.
That reminded me of the fact that National Land Survey of Finland has released their geoinformation as open source. Not much later I downloaded the placename data of all Finnish topographic (1:25,000) maps.
From the dataset with 2 Million names, I extracted the Swedish names and put them on map. Not surprisingly the Swedish placenames are located in the same area where Swedish is spoken in Finland; the coastal areas in south and west. These are marked in red on the map.
My plan is to later add the possibility to drill down in the map and let users check different kinds of names; house names, lake names, to name a few.
Kielikello Magazine: http://www.kielikello.fi/
Swedish placenames: http://kaino.kotus.fi/svenskaortnamn/
National Land Survey of Finland: http://www.maanmittauslaitos.fi/en
The languages are not static; the languages evolve, new languages appear, and some languages disappear. Besides these changes the speakers might also migrate from one place to another.
This has happened in the history, and this goes on today.
Based on information of people migrations, I compiled a map that shows languages of Europe. This is not a typical map that shows what language is spoken where and today. Instead it’s a ‘heatmap’. The darker color, the more there have been different cultures and languages in the area.
In the summer I got a list of Finnish verbs from a dictionary of Finnish folklore. Some of the verbs were classified according to the province. Based on that, I found two verbs that were typical for the Forest Finns of Värmland, Sweden.
The verb komehtia sounds like it would be related to komea ‘handsome’. But I mistook. Instead it means ‘to curse‘. In Savonian dialect (the Forest Finns migrated from Savonia to Värmland) komuska means ‘witch’, which explains the meaning of komehtia.
The verb laukaista means in standard language ‘to fire’ in the meaning of shoot. In Savonian and the Forest Finn dialect it also means ‘to heal (from a curse)’.
The Japanese language was added a month ago to the supported languages of the Verbix verb conjugator. Currently Verbix allows users to enter the verbs to conjugate in letters of the English alphabet.
This is achieved by supporting romaji, i.e., writing the letters in Latin script. This is also called romanization.
There are several romanization systems, from which Verbix chose Hepburn romanization with minor modifications. Hepburn is the most common romanization system in use today, especially in the English-speaking world.