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View Diary: Icelandic Exceptionalism (211 comments)

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  •  Haha, we have a lot of that. (4+ / 0-)

    But there's also a lot of words that are "false friends" - misleadingly similar to English words.  ""Harma" means "regret".  "Dekk" means tire.  "Melta" means digest.  "Leg" means uterus.  "Krap" means slush.  "Göng" means tunnel.  Etc.  Can't just trust the "looks or sounds similar" approach!  If you rely on that, I'd hate to see people's reactions to how use the word "fagmenn"  ;)

    •  False Cognates, yeah. I've discovered a lot of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crose, foresterbob, elfling

      those in various languages.

      And right now, I'm looking at the difference between svindla alone and að svindla, which seems to have a different meaning. I suspect that my usage may not have been the correct one.

      Languages are cool, and Icelandic is one of the more unique ones. I have a thing for languages that aren't spoken widely.

      A lot of people want to learn languages like Spanish and French, to expand their horizons and widen their ability to communicate.

      I want to learn the languages that aren't as widely spoken. Icelandic is one, because Iceland has such a small population. Gaidhlig, Cymraeg, Euskadi (Basque), and others. I'm researching  íslenska and it's linguistic genetics now.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:38:29 PM PST

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      •  Svindla is the nafnháttur (name mood), (4+ / 0-)
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        OllieGarkey, Bronx59, milkbone, elfling

        Aka, the infinitive.  „að svindla“ is like "cheating".  að + infinitive is roughly equivalent to -ing in English.

        Fun word related to "cheating".  The Icelandic word for casino?  „spilavíti“ - literally, "game hell"  ;)

        Feel free to drop me a line if you have any Q's (or should I say S's? ;)  )!

      •  Don't forget Navajo (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, OllieGarkey, terjeanderson

        That language is a work of art.

        And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

        by Pale Jenova on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 07:33:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it is. (1+ / 0-)
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          And it's not the only language. Cherokee script is beautiful.

          I wonder what people would think of offering native languages in schools as a language requirement?

          Those langauges are an important part of our national tapestry, and we have a duty to do what we can to preserve them.

          My only worry about something like that is that what happened with Irish will happen to our native languages.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 10:02:48 AM PST

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          •  What happened to the Irish language? /nt (1+ / 0-)
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            •  Well, there were two very strong dialects that (1+ / 0-)
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              were being spoken widely in the country. The government, and the nationalists that supported it, created an anglicized form of gaelige and started teaching it in schools to revive the language.

              The problem is, people who actually spoke the language in its living form were being forced to learn the anglicized form.

              It destroyed the orthography of the language, and while everyone is required to learn some Irish in school, the number of people who speak it as a primary language has been dropping.

              They meant well, but it was a disastrous policy that has harmed the language very badly. The worst part is that anglicized school gaelige is still being taught.

              That's an oversimplification of a really complex issue, and there's a movement in Ireland to move over to the welsh method, and use the still living dialects instead of the anglicized form.

              If you want an example of the split in the irish language, just listen to the pronunciation  differences in music.

              Here's Darach O Cathain, a native Irish speaker, singing Oro se do Beatha Bhaillie:

              Here's Sinead O'Connor, who knows school gaelic, singing the same song.

              You'll notice that the second sounds a lot more like English. Her vowels are all English. The dipthongs are gone.

              If something isn't done, any future revival of the Irish language will have to rely on Manx or Gaidhlig, the other Goidelic languages, to revive its orthography.

              And that's almost as bad as anglicizing the language!

              Take the word Tiocfaidh. As in Tiocfaidh leat fanacht. Darach would pronounce that word something like Tchyukay, while Sinead would say Chucky. Chucky is closer to the original Irish, but Gaidhlig speakers pronounce it Hoo-koo, and you'll hear that difference if you listen to the link I sent you, it's in Scots Gaidhlig.

              So yeah, Irish is in trouble. There's still a chance to save it, but that would require a huge shift in every policy being used to attempt a preservation, it would require most of the textbooks to be rewritten, and a new system to teach it.

              At this point, it's likely to go the way of Cornish. It'll be revived, it will be a living language, but Cornish sounds almost exactly like welsh, and Irish will sound like Manx or Gaidhlig.

              An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

              by OllieGarkey on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 12:36:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  "'Krap' means slush." (4+ / 0-)
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      Bronx59, milkbone, Pale Jenova, elfling

      No way that's a false friend. Anytime I have to wade through slush to get to the bus stop you'll hear me calling it "krap" loud and long.

      If you can't say anything nice about the GOP, please post here more often.

      by Omir the Storyteller on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:29:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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