Sigynni, the Tribe I Never Knew About

The Sigynnae (Sigynni) were an obscure people of antiquity. They are variously located by ancient authors. Sigynnae — as mentioned by Herodotus — were “a people widely spread in the Danubic basin in the 5th century BC”.

The Sigynni were likely to be Iranian (Indo-Aryan) people.

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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!

European Languages 7000 Years Ago

After the latest ice age, Europe got free from the ice and the population could move to new areas from the refuges — or the inhabited areas during the ice age.

The language situation in Europe around 5500BC. IE = Indo-European languages, Bs = Basque languages, SU = Ugric languages
The language situation in Europe around 5500BC. IE = Indo-European languages, Bs = Basque languages, SU = Ugric languages

During this era Europe underwent the neolithic revolution, the time when people switched from hunter gathering to domestication. It is assumed that the Indo-Europeans brought the domestication to Europe and therefore won terrain over the other linguistic groups.

 

Where Do They Speak, vol. 2

Almost three years ago I updated the a webpage that tells where a specific language is spoken.

This page ws called “Where on Earth Do They Speak…”. The page itself consists of a list of languages, and clicking the language name would show the location on map.

Now there’s a new page that lets the user zoom and pan the world and see what language(s) are spoken on an area of interest. This new Languages of the World page is available here: http://maps.verbix.com/languages.html

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Geographical Names in Two Languages

Finland is a country with two official languages: Finnish and Swedish. Swedish is spoken mostly on the coastal areas, including the capital Helsinki (Finnish) / Helsingfors (Swedish).

Kulosaari Drumsö
Mistake in placenames: Kulosaari (Finnish) is not the same place as Drumsö (Swedish)

Because Helsinki/Helsingfors is a bilingual town, all the placenames are shown in two languages. Sometimes there are mistakes, however, that can mislead people.

The picture at right was taken in Kronohagen, Helsinfors. Kulosaari as shown on the shield is Brändö in Swedish. So either Finnish or Swedish speaking cyclists will find themselves in wrong place 😉

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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.

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