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.
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 .
DumpstraTo dumpster dive, or retrieve useable food and other objects from what others throw away.
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:
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)’.
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.
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.
My son yesterday brought a leaflet about Nordic languages, “Nordens språk”.
When reading this paper I just recalled how close to each other the Nordic languages are. We have been travelling in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. And in all those countries I have had no problem in making myself understood in Swedish variant that is spoken in Finland.
Norwegian, Danish, Swedish (in Sweden) — no problem in communicating with the people in Swedish there.
The Swedish verb ‘hvila’ is nowadays not written that way anymore. Instead it is written ‘vila’, with the same meaning ‘to rest’. Regardless these minor changes in otrtography the language is modern Swedish for both.
To study possible changes in modern Swedish language, there is an interesting website called SAOLhistunder construction.
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
Google Maps is one of my favorite tools that I use when surfing in the Internet.
Today I zoomed to islands outside the Estonian coast, and guess what? I found an island with the following names of villages: Borrby, Rälby, Diby, Norrby, Söderby, Hosby, Sviby, Bussby, Förby, and Saxby. All these names are typical Swedish names.
Looking back in the history, there’s a good reason for the Swedish place names; during most of its history, the island has been inhabited by Estonian Swedes (“rannarootslased” in Estonian or “coastal Swedes” in English), whose population reached 3,000 before World War II. During the war, nearly all of Vormsi’s population, along with other Swedes living in Estonia, were evacuated, or fled, to Sweden. The island’s current population is approximately 240 inhabitants.
There is the tendency in Finland to tell that Finland is for the Finns and they should therefore all talk Finnish. And they moreover tell that Swedes were conquerors (when they arrived 1000 years ago the “Finnish” shores) and implanted Swedish, and the Russians tried that (200 years ago), too.
With that background, I couldn’t but laugh for myself as I encountered a map like this in a book about the root of the Europeans.
On the map areas 1 and 2 represent the Sami people around AD 0. Area 3 is area that the Sami inhabited during XIV and XV centuries.
And the area 2 is the area where the Finnish (first tribes, nowadays government) have pushed the Sami away. So with this background, the ongoing linguistic and cultural aggression towards the Sami, Swedish speaking Finns and other linguistic minorities can be seen as a continuum for what has gone on for more than 2 millenniums.