Swedish Names in Finland

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.

Swedish Placenames in Finland 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.

 References:

  • Kielikello Magazine: http://www.kielikello.fi/
  • Swedish placenames: http://kaino.kotus.fi/svenskaortnamn/
  • National Land Survey of Finland: http://www.maanmittauslaitos.fi/en
  • Map of Swedish dialects in Finland

 

 

Languages in the Past

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.

Languages in the history, heatmap
relative number of different languages on the area over time

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.

Links:

Spanish Verbs on Windows Phone

You soy, tú eres, él es, … now on the Windows Phone!

Yes, Verbix is now available for Windows Phone. This totally new version of Verbix is able to conjugate any Spanish verb on a Windows Phone (7 or 8).

Spanish verbs can now be conjugated on Windows Phone: you sou, tú eres, él es...
The Spanish verb “ser” on Windows Phone.

This Spanish verb conjugator is redesigned to meet the needs of the mobile user:

  • It’s faster, it’s even faster than on my PC.
  • Store favorite verbs. So instead of typing over and over the same verb, simply tap it and your done.
  • As you type, the verb list of 11,000+ verbs scrolls. You seldom need to type the whole verb.
  • The verb tables were designed to fit as well as possible on the screen. So instead of using Verbix in the web, you no more need to zoom/zoom-out.

More information:

Two Forest Finn Verbs

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.

Komehtia

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.

Laukaista

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)’.

Further reading:

 

 

Danish on Virgin Islands

During the summer vacations we visited Denmark. At one store I bought a book about Danish colonies around the world!Danish West Islands

One of the colonies was in the West Indies, on the today’s U.S. Virgin Islands. This former Danish colony was sold to the U.S. under one hundred years ago.

The Danish West Indies islands are marked in green in this map from the school atlas of my grand grand father.

Today Danish is not spoken on the islands, except if you happen to encounter a tourist from Denmark.

Links:

 

Extinct Languages

An extinct language is a language that no longer has any speakers.

Basically there are two ways that a language becomes extinct:

  1. The speakers switch to another language.
  2. The language evolves so much that it’s considered a different language.

Among the extinct or nearly extinct languages, the users of Verbix can conjugate Latin and Gothic verbs.

In WikiVerb there’s now also a page dedicated to extinct languages.

Links to go:

 

Writing Japanese, English Alphabet

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.

Read more: