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gasterea [userpic]

Salvete! A bit of shameless self-promotion by academic precariat, hope it's fine with you guys. We invite you to our Slow Horace Mondays. Supposedly, at some point in the late 40ies or, more likely, early 30ies of the first century BCE a party of travellers, consisting of some of the most prominent poets of the time – Horace himself and Virgil among others – and their patron, Maecenas, embarked on a way to the ancient transport hub of Brundisium on an important political mission. The travel that, for some of its participants, started at Rome, with others joining the party later en route, lasted anywhere from 12 to 17 days, and its events were compressed by Horace in 104 lines of his famous 5th satire of the first book (Serm. 1,5), often referred to as Iter Brundisinum. So starting from September 19 we are going to join Horace in his travels and dis volentibus make it to finis chartaeque viaeque (‘end of the tale and the way’) in 14 online meetings of close reading and commenting of the original. No previous knowledge of Latin required - we will be covering the basics of Latin from scratch as we go. The goal of this mini-course apart from having fun is an introduction to Latin while reading a fascinating original text full of vivid details of everyday life in Ancient Rome. It is, however, advised to read the Satire in English before considering whether to join us to make sure that it does not contain anything that you might not feel comfortable listening to during a zoom meeting (NB there will be a private recording for people who can’t make it Mondays, so if it bothers you please join under assumed name and switch off your camera). What we offer in a typical meeting:
- Detailed vocabulary and grammatical commentary to the text (written materials) in advance of each 90 minute session
- A brief talk on a subject related to the lines we will be reading, be it an introduction to the culinary realia (roasting blackbirds or rather thrushes in line 72) or what the magnae res (the important political business that lines 28-29 are alluding to) might possibly be
- Some fun grammar and vocabulary practice, made as accessible as possible
- In-depth person-place-profession commentary; discussion of the text’s literary models; etc.
- Roman visuals (plenty of mosaics, wall-paintings etc.)
- Actual reading – very close and slow (about 7 lines per class)
- Answers to your questions :)

Who are we? Antonina Kalinina is an independent researcher based in Oxford, teacher of Latin, author of a monograph on Porphyrio's commentary to Horace. https://oxford.academia.edu/AntoninaKalinina Sasha Grigorieva is an independent researcher (Classics and Food History) and teacher of Latin based in Helsinki. https://helsinki.academia.edu/AlexandraGrigorieva Her article on Roman mosaics has been recently published by Bloomsbury https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/seafaring-and-mobility-in-the-late-antique-mediterranean-9781350201705/ .
When? Zoom sessions Mondays 8-9.30 pm Oxford time from September 19 to December 19, 2022.
How to join and how much? Please email me at sashaonredmi10@gmail.com, pm me, or contact me via telegram @gasterea). If you really can’t afford to pay but want to join we have reserved a couple of free places (first come, first serve). Any people from Ukraine wishing to join join free (no limit).

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

Do French native speakers use the inversion in questions in the first person singular?

Je pèse --> pèse-je,

or do they simply say: Est-ce que je pèse (60 kilos - for example)?

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

I'd like to ask what forme is correct:

(1) What does an average day look like?


(2) How does an average day look like?

or maybe simply:

(3) What is the average day like?

This is a question from a job interview.

Living & Dying In 5/4 Time [userpic]

Are you guilty of saying “wait, what?” when you hear something surprising?

What about jumping on the trend of “asking for friend” when everyone, including yourself, knows it’s for you?

If a US university had its way, those words would be banned in 2022.

Lake Superior State University in Michigan has compiled an annual banished words list since 1976 to “uphold, protect, and support excellence in language”.

While last year most of the words were Covid-related, this time around it was colloquial language that was most criticised. Not great news for us Aussies!

The nominations of what words to ban came from within the US, but also Norway, Belgium, England, Scotland, Canada and Australia. Most were shunned for overuse.

“Most people speak through informal discourse. Most people shouldn’t misspeak through informal discourse. That’s the distinction nominators far and wide made, and our judges agreed with them,” the university’s executive director of marketing and communications Peter Szatmary said.

LSSU president Dr Rodney Hanley said every year submitters suggested what words and terms to banish by paying close attention to what humanity utters and writes.

“Taking a deep dive at the end of the day and then circling back make perfect sense. Wait, what?” he joked.

Here is the list of banished words.

1. Wait, what?

This ubiquitous imperative question is a failed “response to a statement to express astonishment, misunderstanding, or disbelief,” one nominator said.

“I don’t want to wait,” said another.

2. No worries

This phrase was nominated for misuse and overuse, for being an incorrect substitute for “you’re welcome”.

“If I’m not worried, I don’t want anyone telling me not to worry,” a contributor said.

LSSU notes that despite its “meaninglessness”, the term is recommended to emailers by Google Assistant.

3. At the end of the day

Twenty-plus years after original banishment of this phrase in 1999, the day still isn’t over for this misused, overused, and useless expression, LSSU said.

“Many times things don’t end at the end of the day — or even the ramifications of whatever is happening,” one person said.

Others considered “day” an imprecise measure. Today? Present times?

4. That being said

Nominators claimed this phrase was a verbal filler, redundant justification, and pompous posturing.

“Go ahead and say what you want already!” one entrant said.

5. Asking for a friend

This funny saying was banned for misuse and overuse through deceit — because the friend is a ruse.

This cutesy phrase, often deployed in social media posts in a coy attempt to deter self-identification, isn’t fooling anyone, LSSU said.

6. Circle back

Let’s circle back about why to banish this jargon. It’s a conversation, not the Winter Olympics, LSSU said.

A grammarian said it was “the most overused phrase in business, government, or other organisation since synergy”.

The university banished the word synergy in 2002 as evasive blanket terminology and smartypants puffery.

7. Deep dive

“The only time to dive into something is when entering a body of water, not going more in-depth into a particular subject or book,” a nominator said.

Another asked if the word deep was necessary. “I mean, does anyone dive into the shallow end?” they said.

8. New normal

It wasn’t as if Covid-related words didn’t get any mention this year.

“Those clamouring for the days of old, circa 2019, use this to signal unintentionally that they haven’t come to terms with what ‘normal’ means,” one person said.

“After a couple of years, is any of this really new?” said another.

9. You’re on mute

Ah we’ve all been through this one. You’d think it would have banished on its own, but the need still pops up from time to time.

LSSU banished it for overuse and uselessness, then, due to ineptitude.

“We’re two years into remote working and visiting. It’s time for everyone to figure out where the mute button is,” a nominator said.

10. Supply chain

Word-watchers noticed the frequent, unfortunate appearance of this phrase toward the end of this year as the coronavirus persisted, LSSU said.

“Supply chain issues have become the scapegoat of everything that doesn’t happen or arrive on time and of every shortage,” said a nominator.

Being Australian, of course I use the expression 'No Worries'... to not do so is, frankly, un-Australian. Use of alternatives like 'You're welcome', or 'Think nothing of it' get you earmarked as being 'Posh', or more eloquently 'Up yourself'...

Any others, while we're at it?!?!?

valeriy_osipov [userpic]

“Language is almost the only window available to us into an unfamiliar world, <...> an opportunity to live several lives at once, moving from one parallel universe to another. What could be more exciting?”

Alexander Stesin, “Non-Western civilizations translated from African”, Moscow, 2019

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valeriy_osipov [userpic]

It is not enough to read French correctly.

It is not enough to literally understand what is written.

You also need to be French in order to correctly understand the meaning of what was said...

Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

Source: http://www.paabo.ca/papers/pdfcontents.html

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Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

To the memory of Vladislav Illich-Svitych.

This is just to bring attention to something very ‘Nostratic’ (far beyond ‘Indo-European’ languages — which as a term itself is very outdated):

udi̮ni̮ (Udmurt), udni̮ (Komi) - to give to drink;
utta (Vepssian) - squeeze out;
udar, gen. udara (Est.), udār (ливон.), uhar (Votic), uar (Izhora), utare, udar (Fin.), udareh (Karelian), udare (Ludic), udar (Veps.) - udder, feeding breast;
odar (Erzia., Moksha), βoδar, vodar (Mari) - udder, feeding breast;
udder (archaic Eng.), uder (archaic Frisian), uyder (archaic Dutch), uijer (Dutch), utar (archaic Ger.), Euter (Ger.) - udder, feeding breast;
[outhar] (Greek), uber (Latin) - udder, feeding breast;
[udhar] (Sanskrit) - udder, feeding breast.

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Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

sammas, gen. samba, also Sampo (Fin., Est.) - in Finnic mythology: space pillar, pillar that supports the sky; a magic mill, the roof of which symbolizes the star-studded celestial dome revolving around the central axis - the pillar on which the whole World rests; according to Graham Hancock, the Sampo mill represents the precession of the Earth's axis of rotation, the full cycle of which is about 25,765 years: http://kladina.narod.ru/hancock/chast5.htm ; См. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Прецессия ).

स्तम्भ [stambha, skambha; стамбха, скамбха] (Sanskrit) - in the Indian Vedas, the column connecting the Heavens (svarga) and the Earth (prithivi); also a monumental stone pillar in Indian architecture topped with a lotus-shaped capital.

жамба [zhamba] (Ingush language, Caucasus) - a column from the middle and above.

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Тишинуша Гамимеря [userpic]

(Somewhat prompted by watching the Olympics.)

Why is that silly redundancy there in "three one-hundredths of a second"? Nobody says "two one-thirds of a second", or "four one-tenths of a second"; what so special in 100 as the denominator?

As a L2 English speaker, I cannot tell how unnatural to a L1 eye/ear would "three hundredths of a second" look/sound. I have little doubt that it will be understood; but how much of a mistake would it be?

Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

"... Agenor, king of the Phoenician city of Sidon, had a beautiful daughter Europa, literally (in Greek) the "wide-eyed". In fact, of course, not Europe is named after some daughter of Agenor, but, vice versa. There is an opinion that this word comes from the ancient Semitic "erebus" "west", "evening", "country of sunset", and the Greek meaning is just a result of people's rethinking."
prof. L.S.Klein, Time of the Centaurs (Время Кентавров), St. Petersburg, Eurasia, 2010, p. 13.

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valeriy_osipov [userpic]

The English word climax has two seemingly incompatible meanings of "climax" and "orgasm". Yet, we should not forget that the word has not only a specific meaning, but also a more general, broader meaning, not of a 'specialized' term.

Let's illustrate this via an example: a person may have a profession of a lawyer - yet, within this profession there are many specialties: a judge, an arbitrator, a prosecutor, a notary...

The general meaning for the word climax is 'the highest point, the culmination.' But there are several applied, special, narrower meanings. Climax is the culmination of adulthood - yet, climax as 'orgasm' is the culmination of pleasure.

The etymologist is obliged to grasp a common semantic core, which allows different meanings to co-exist under one 'sound roof'.

I was once amazed that the Arabic word شراء [SHARA] means both “buy” and “sell” at the same time. And now I look at this calmly: both narrow, special meanings go back to the broader, general meaning: "to engage in trade."

Valeriy D. Osipov

Kalju Patustaja [userpic]


The Oxford Etymologic Dictionary (OED) considers Ego / I as if it were a self-standing word developed within the Germanic and 'Indo-European' languages with a mere meaning of 'I / me / self, myself':[Spoiler (click to open)]

I (pron.)
12c., a shortening of Old English ic, the first person singular nominative pronoun, from Proto-Germanic *ek (source also of Old Frisian ik, Old Norse ek, Norwegian eg, Danish jeg, Old High German ih, German ich, Gothic ik), from PIE *eg- "I," nominative form of the first person singular pronoun (source also of Sanskrit aham, Hittite uk, Latin ego (source of French Je), Greek ego, Russian ja, Lithuanian aš).
Reduced to i by mid-12c. in northern England, later everywhere; the form ich or ik, especially before vowels, lingered in northern England until c. 1400 and survived in southern dialects until 18c. It began to be capitalized mid-13c. to mark it as a distinct word and avoid misreading in handwritten manuscripts.

ego (n.) by 1707, in metaphysics, "the self; that which feels, acts, or thinks," from Latin ego "I" (cognate with Old English ic; see I); its use is implied in egoity.

местоим., укр. я, др.-русск. язъ, я (и то и другое – в Мстислав. грам. 1130 г.; см. Обнорский – Бархударов I, 33), ц.-сл. азъ ἐγώ, реже ѩзъ (см. Дильс, Aksl. Gr. 77), болг. аз, яз (Младенов 702), сербохорв. jа̑, словен. jàz, jâ, чеш. já, др.-чеш. jáz (совр. чеш. форма – с начала ХIV в.), слвц. jа, др.-пол. jaz, пол., в.-луж., н.-луж. jа, полаб. joz, jо.
Праслав. *аzъ отличается своим вокализмом от родственных форм, ср. др.-лит. еš, лит. àš, лтш. еs, др.-прус. еs, аs, др.-инд. ahám, авест. azǝm, др.-перс. аdаm, арм. еs, венет. еχо, гр. ἐγώ, лат. еgо, гот. ik "я". Наряду с и.-е. *еǵ- (гр., лат., герм.), существовало и.-е. диал. *eǵh- (др.-инд., венет.). Недоказанной является гипотеза о существовании *ō̆go наряду с *еgō на основе слав. аzъ и хетт. uk, ug "я" (Мейе – Эрну 342 и сл.; см. Вальде – Гофм. I, 395 и сл.). Не объяснена еще достоверно утрата конечного -z в слав.; весьма невероятно, чтобы она совершилась по аналогии местоим. tу (напр., Ягич, AfslPh 23, 543; Голуб – Копечный 147), а также чтобы долгота начального гласного была обусловлена долготой гласного в tу (Бругман у Бернекера, см. ниже). Более удачна попытка объяснения аzъ из сочетания а ězъ (Бернекер I, 35; Бругман, Grdr. 2, 2, 382), но см. против этого Кнутссон, ZfslPh 12, 96 и сл. По мнению Зубатого (LF 36, 345 и сл.), в этом а- представлена усилит. част. *ā, ср. др.-инд. ād, авест. āt̃, ср. также др.-инд. межд. ḗt "смотри, глядь!" из ā и id; Педерсен (KZ 38, 317) видит здесь влияние окончания 1 л. ед. ч. -ō; сомнения по этому поводу см. у Бернекера (I, 35). Для объяснения -z привлекают законы сандхи (Сольмсен, KZ 29, 79); ср. Бернекер, там же; И. Шмидт, KZ 36, 408 и сл.; Вакернагель – Дебруннер 3, 454 и сл.

ich (Ger.), Εγώ [ego] (Gr.), ego (Lat.), io (Ital.), yo (Sp.), I (Eng.), jag (Sw.), я [ja] (Slavic)...

However, should one look beyond the hypothetic *constructions, established by the German philologists in the 19th Century, one would see an obvious Nostratic relation of the above words with the meaning of ' I ' to the following words with the meaning of ' 1 (one)':

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Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

TikTok by @evan.the.counselor

Schmuck is the most popular one in English.  The rest of these are funny. 

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

This is what happens when people randomly decide pronunciation. Plough is more commonly spelled plow now. There is a great video by Langfocus that explains the origins of middle and modern pronounciation. It may not have a rhyme but there are reasons including the one I mentioned above. If find it again I might post here. You can vent to me but remember I just speak English I did not create it. W

Kalju Patustaja [userpic]


The French, the British, the Germans, the Scandinavians and the Baltic Finns call Christmas with the following word that remains from pagan times: Yule (Eng.), Jul, Julen (Sw., Dan., Norw.), Jól (Icelandic), Joulu (Finnish, Izhorian), Jõulu(d) (Estonian, Votic) - allegedly considered to be a word 'of unknown origin': https://www.etymonline.com/word/yule .

Noteworthy, however, is that the followers of the Zoroastrian (Persian, Iranian) tradition use the same name when celebrating the winter Solstice: they call the longest and darkest night of the year as Shab-e Yalda, or Shab-e Chelleh (Çillə). [Spoiler (click to open)]In Zoroastrian tradition it is considered to be a particularly inauspicious night when the evil forces of Ahriman are imagined to be at their peak. One is advised to stay awake most of the night, to avoid any misfortune. People gather in safe groups of friends and relatives, and share their last remaining fruits of the past summer. The following day (the first day of Dae month) is a holiday. The word Yalda supposedly means 'the Birth' or 'to give birth'.

It is further comparable to:
[yuladu] يولد (Arab.), [yalad] יָלַד (Hebrew) - to give birth;
[hуlad] הוּלַד (Hebrew) - was born;
[yalud] יָלוּד (Hebrew) - newborn[Spoiler (click to open)];
[eled; yaldo] יַלדו ; יֶלֶד (Hebrew) - a boy, a child
– i.e. the infant Sun, which is 'born' each year at winter solstice).
Source: https://ich-neu-mon.livejournal.com/68150.html

It is obvious that the Birth of the new Sun is exactly what the name of the holiday, the Yule, reflects.

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valeriy_osipov [userpic]

A word that does not have strong ties and roots in a language, having lost its primary meaning, becomes a simple 'nominal unit'. It falls out of the language system, turning into a dull nameplate, one of many in a long line of similar gray and rootless icons, similar to prison numbers on the backs of prisoners. And then the consideration of convenience and usefulness commences to play its role.

The 'nameplate' word is being brought into line with this requirement. It is 'cut' and 'polished' in such a way that individual sounds 'fly off' from it in splinters and further distance it from other words within the framework of one language, as well as the entire community of languages.

In Russian such words, for example, include the word КРОВ [КРОВ] ('roof') with the initial sound "K" - but the relation to the English word ROOF is not recognized by philologists of official linguistic schools.

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Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

LUNCH - midday meal. Scholars explain its etymology as follows: 'Recorded since 1580; presumably short for luncheon, but earliest found also as lunshin, lunching, equivalent to lunch +‎ -ing, with the suffix -ing later modified to simulate a French origin. Lunch is possibly a variant of lump (as hunch is for hump, etc.), or represents an alteration of nuncheon, from Middle English nonechenche (“light mid-day meal”) (see nuncheon) and altered by northern English dialect lunch (“hunk of bread or cheese”) (1590), which perhaps is from lump or from Spanish lonja (“a slice”, literally “loin”). https://www.etymonline.com/word/lunch

However, LUNCH, being the mid-day meal, much more likely comes from:

launags (Latv.) - afternoon snack;
lȭnag (Livonian) - south-east; lȭnagist (Livonian) - mid-day meal;
lõuna (Est.) - south and mid-day meal;
lounas (Fin.) - south-west and mid-day meal;
lõunad, lõunaz (Votic) - south and mid-day meal;
lounad, loune(d) (Izhorian) - south and mid-day meal;
lounat (Karelian) - evening and main meal;
lun (Komi) - day and daylight;
lun-aǯ́e (Udmurt) - during the day.

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Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

The “beard” sticking out of the Egyptian pharaohs' chins is strikingly reminiscent of poturu, a cone-shaped “lip plug” made of bone or wood and inserted through the lower lip of everyone in a small Amazonian Indian tribe (self-name: Zo'é - 'we','us'- as opposed to non-Indians, enemies; external name - Poturu, in honor of the distinguishing attribute of Zoe; the tribe counts to only 160 people, and contacts with the tribe were only established in 1987); poturu is inserted when a child reaches the age of 7-9 years (which is one of the most important ceremonies, and a rite of passage for children); poturu is gradually enlarged throughout one's life; most adults wear poturu of approx. 18 cm in length and 2.5 cm in width: https://www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/zoe .

Most of the South American Indians do not have beard and other face hair. Poturu for Zo'é likely serves as a 'substitute' of what they do not have, but have seen on some foreign teachers long time ago - and wished to have, too.

And - the Egyptian pharaos seem to have belonged to the same beardless race as the Indians (also having the very same distinct face characters)!

And what else is the POTURU other than Ital. POTERE, Port., Sp. PODER - the POWER ?!

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valeriy_osipov [userpic]

Below is the text of my presentation at the 2nd International Conference "The Great Eurasian Partnership: Linguistic, Political and Pedagogical Aspects", arranged to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Moscow Oblast State University (MGOU).

Abstract. The similarity of the sound of a number of names of the same birds between Asian and European languages testifies to more ancient linguistic connections and influences than it is commonly believed when establishing lexical borrowings.

Keywords: names of birds, Arabic, language classification.

Kalju Patustaja [userpic]


To the memory of my friend, prof. Leo Klein (1927 - 2019)

The Greek language has a “powerful substrate lexical layer related to local natural conditions and high culture of the peninsula’s early civilization,” “not from native Greek lexics, but from the words of SOME OTHER non-Greek language of a people for whom Greece was a native nature, whereas for the Greeks it is not." L.S. Klein, Ancient Migrations, 2007.

Which "SOME OTHER"?? Why is the Odyssey full of Finnic words (See https://new-etymology.livejournal.com/25788.html) ?

Why the name Olympus, the highest mountain peak (in Greece - 2917 m, in Cyprus - 1952 m), is perfectly explained from Fin. ylempi - 'the highest'? ( -mpi being the superlative ending).

Why does Macedonia correspond to Est. mägedene - 'mountainous' ?

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valeriy_osipov [userpic]

Words get their birth and die out. The life expectancy, the vitality of each word depends on the need for it and on its ease 'in circulation'. Words are like coins, money in circulation. The latter developed from shells and skins to metals, then to coins, later - to paper bills, thereafter - to electronic money.

So are the words. All of them have 'a service life' and then get replaced with more convenient and useful ones in new circumstances and new reality.

The 'long-livers' among the words are conjunctions, prepositions, suffixes, pronouns and articles. They are the ones which are most in demand, and therefore are present in any texts. They inevitably become the most convenient to use, since over the centuries they have managed to be 'polished' in millions of lips - like pebbles polished by waves and sand. These words are always the shortest, easy to pronounce. And the brevity and simplicity of a word are the apparent signs of its antiquity.

Valeriy D. Osipov, PhD

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valeriy_osipov [userpic]

Each word consists of two merged halves: the sound and the meaning (i.e. the form and the content), like a person with its body and soul.

Human owes his birth to his/her father and mother. The word is also born by the fusion of meaning (the masculine beginning) and an external, "bodily" shell (the feminine beginning), that is, when the separated and isolated unit of meaning acquires its outer shell and is fixed inside of its verbal and written forms.

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Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

Barszczow A. N. [userpic]

Could you please help me to distinguish the words in this sentence?


Lena says something to the effect "You're a strange/funny cop", and all I can make out is "Bulle" at the end. She's speaking too fast for me.

Current Music: Maxim - Meine Soldaten
Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

Novgorodian birch bark in Finnish dialect, 11th Century - written in Cyrillic:

1. юмолануолиінимижи
Jumola nuolin imizhi
EST: Jumal noolnud inimesi.
ENG: God 'arrowed' people ( = taught people the word, the speech)*.
RUS: Господь пронзил стрелами людей ( = обучил, научил людей слову, речи)*.

2. ноулисъхянолиомобоу
noulise han oli omo bou
EST: noolja, ta oli oma poeg.
ENG: Arrow-shooter, he was His son.
RUS: Стрельцом ("метателем стрел") был Его Сын.

3. юмоласоудьнииохови
Jumola soudin iiohovi
EST: Jumal sõudnud iia-hoovi.
ENG: God rowed to the eternal yard (heaven).
RUS: И отбыл Господь на небеса (досл., "священный двор").

The author of the decryption is Andres Pääbo - who also decrypted hundreds of Venetian runic inscriptions :

* ...The word is what is sent, a message from person to person. It is no coincidence that the symbol of the word in the Vedic religion was an arrow.
Valery D. Osipov, PhD. 'The single language of humanity.' Moscow. Concept. 2016.

nool, gen. noole, part. noolt (Est.), nuoli (Fin., Karel.), nooli (Izhora), njuolla (Saami), nal (Erzia, Moksha), nölö (Mari), ńe̮l (Udmurt), ńe̮v (Komi), ńoᴧ, ńal (Khanty), ńāl (Mansi), nyíl (Hung.), ńi (Nenets, Enet.), ńī (Sekulp.), ńié (Kamas.), ńej, nej (Mator.) - an arrow;
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nyelv (Hung.) - language, words.

Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

LANGUAGES ACROSS OCEANS: http://www.paabo.ca/uirala/4A.whalers-languages.html

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valeriy_osipov [userpic]

This paper deals with words that sound similar in Arabic and English. It considers, in particular, the possible reason why the organ of smell was named with the help of this particular combination of sounds, namely, the word NOSE in English and the word ANF “nose” in Arabic. The author puts forward his own version (hypothesis) of the origin of these two words, and also gives some evidence that both words, Arabic and English, may have the same origin.

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Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

In English we use an idiom 'IT RAINS CATS AND DOGS' about a heavy rain and storm. And, although NO dogs or cats EVER fell from the clouds instead of raindrops, one imagines exactly these animals falling from above:

Some even create discussion of the topic at BBC, and propose the answers like as follows: "Peasants used to live in tiny hovels with thatched straw roofs. Their cats and dogs would live outside and often climbed onto the roof to bed down for the night, presumably warmed by the heat from the fires inside the hovels. When there was very heavy rain falling, the straw would become very slippery and the animals often fell to the ground!" http://www.bbc.co.uk/bristol/content/weather/2003/02/28/raining.shtml

Imagine this... :)

The British scholars, in their turn, attribute this expression to J.Swift, 1710, as it is first found in a text by him.[1] Yet, a similar phrase was recorded already in 1653 ("It shall raine... Dogs and Polecats").[2]

It does not mean, however, that this expression did not exist before then. And very likely it derived from something closer to real rain, shower and storm:

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valeriy_osipov [userpic]

An analysis of the words associated with the English word bad and the Persian word بد , as well as the using of facts from the Russian language, reveal additional links between these two words. As a result of the analysis, we can conclude that the words BAD and بد (BAD) are NOT 'FALSE' COGNATES.

Today, in Western European linguistics, the prevailing view is that the similarity of sound and meaning of the words bad and بد is a mere coincidence. In the online etymological dictionary of the English language (https://www.etymonline.com/) we find the following special note on this subject:

'Farsi has bad in more or less the same sense as the English word /bad/, but this is regarded by linguists as a coincidence. The forms of the words diverge as they are traced back in time (Farsi bad comes from Middle Persian vat), and such accidental convergences exist across many languages…'.

The author of this dictionary focuses on the uniqueness and originality of the English word bad. In his opinion, 'It has no apparent relatives in other languages'.

Meanwhile, the situation is, in our opinion, completely different. The word for “bad” is common to both languages, English and Persian. Moreover, this is the one and the same word.

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Kalju Patustaja [userpic]

Laurus, Laurel leaves have been used since time immemorial as a talisman to protect against the evil eye and damage:
"... Laurel leaves wreath attached to the baby's bed was thought to help protect the child from the negative effects of mystical creatures. The more of them - the stronger the protection. It is believed that in this way entire households get rid of the danger of the influence of evil spirits."

'Indo-Europeists' tell us, in their textbooks, that Latin laurus allegedly is... a phonetically transformed Greek daphnehttps://www.etymonline.com/word/laurel 

This is obviously a fairy-tale (as 1000s of others). Compare LAURUS to the following words with same phonetic stem -LAR-,-LOR-, and meaning related to 'protection' from Spain to Iran, and from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean:

Lares - Roman deities patronizing (protecting) homes, family and community in general;
ларой [laroy] (Ingushian language, Caucasus) - shamanistic: the Guardian spirit; modern: the Guardian angel.

лора, лорадар, лорадер [lora, loradar, lorader] (Ingush) - protection, defence; лоравала [loravala] (Ingush) - to get protected; лораде [lora-de] (Ingush) - to protect, preserve, guard, store (literally, "do the protection");
larru (Basque) - leather, skin, fur;
lorum (Latin) - a belt, bridle made of leather; loratus (Lat.) - tied, fastened with a belt;
lorica (Ital., Lat.) - a chain mail, armor; also shell of a grain; loricato (Ital.) - dressed in armor, in chain mail; zool. a crocodile;
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Living & Dying In 5/4 Time [userpic]

David Astle does the Friday Cryptic Crossword in the Sydney Morning Herald & is better known by his initials (DA - Don't Attempt). He was also the 'Dictionary Corner' in Australia's short-lived version of 'Countdown' (which we had to call 'Letters & Numbers', as there had been a music show called 'Countdown' in Australia for decades- itself a local version of 'Top Of The Pops') His weekly word columns are always amusing & often perplexing. For example...

Stumped on how to spell Woolloomooloo? Start with sheep toilet

David Astle
Crossword compiler, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

My very educated mother just served us nachos. Though some years earlier, she offered new potatoes. I blame the International Astronomical Union, demoting Pluto’s planetary status in 2006, obliging my very educated mother (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) to switch menus.

Everyone has a few memory tricks in reach, from the rainbow’s ROYGBIV to the orchestral mantra of Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit – the healthier alternative to nachos. Maths whiz Lily Serna taught me BODMAS – Brackets, Order, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction – and one day I look forward to applying my acronym.

Mnemonic is the technical term, a memory tool named after Mnemosyne, literally remembrance – the Greek goddess of recall. Deep into Scrabble nerdery, I drafted a brain-jogger to capture every valid initial for Gaelic’s AE ending, every hae and tae to furnish a Triple Word Score, but that chant has faded for lack of recital.

Other chants remain, however, many of them catchphrases to verify a treacherous word’s spelling. We are weird, for example, will never see me write wierd again. I’d also like to say hi to hieroglyphics, the image of a waving scarab inscribing the idea deeper.

Ever since the bubonic plague, teachers have warned students about a rat in separate. And if you’re in doubt, remember: the principal is your pal – a friend to the end. I label these devices orthographorisms, the mind-maxims that enable us to negotiate English, from the ice (noun) in practice (noun), to the sheep-toilet-cow-toilet sequence of Woolloomooloo.

Last week I issued a hieroglyphic hi on my Twitter scroll, curious to see what mnemonics came back. The response was affecting, as opposed to effecting, because RAVEN (A for Verb, E for Noun) is how Sharon Mulready distinguishes those two cousins.

Whether or not you realise, replied Katherine Forward, a wether on the farm has had its h castrated, while “weather holds heat – albeit as an anagram”. Dylan Walton believes a lie is essential to believe. Matthew Maher can’t unsee the nun in pronunciation. Just as David Neimann found definitely a difficult proposition, “until I realised the cause of that irritation was the nit in there!”

Embarrassment can be avoided if you remember to include both doubles, a similar configuration to the twin-bed suites within accommodation. (Or “two Cots, two Mattresses” as Sheree Strange prefers.) Likewise, when getting dressed, one Collar and two Socks are necessary, while occasion – the word – necessitates the opposite ensemble.

Stationary is a common stinker, most of us using envelope’s e to single out the paperwork. If it helps, the words are related, since a stationer’s reams and quires were too bulky to hawk on wheels, obliging his store to keep stock-still. Though maybe that only befuddles you further. Stick to envelope’s e.

Speaking of Es, we know the vowel precedes I after C – the timeless jingle designed to master ceiling and perceive, yet juicier deceit exists among a species of efficient scientists. Away from the familiar, I revelled in receiving many new mnemonics, like the Superman summoned by Peter Hayes, the hero’s emblazoned S rescuing Peter from the internal dilemma of supersede.

Or Linda Brady’s prompt to lead her through guide: “U go first and I will follow”. But beware the moose on the loose: the warning Anita Chesmond conjured to teach her kids how to shrug their loose/lose muddle. In other homes, dessert has twice the sugar than desert.

Acronyms were also playful, such as Lucy Ewing, who knows Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move. While Pete Johns bellowed “Dash In A Rush (Run, Hurry!) Or Else Accident!” Embarrassing, weird, and perhaps the principal consequence of my mum’s nachos.

Living & Dying In 5/4 Time [userpic]

Vanilla Slice? Or 'Snot Block'?

This is one of those cake shop treats we're all familiar with - I'm sure it's European in origin, but has found a place in the hearts & stomachs of Australians for generations. As for the name game, I grew up in New South Wales & have always known it as a Vanilla Slice & I remember the name 'Snot Block' from school... but can't claim to have heard it used by any adults in my circle, myself included

This sort of leads me on to the related topic of names you grow out of using... or should grow out of, anyway. 'Snot Block' is amusing to kids between the age of 6 - 16, let's arbitrarily say... but is it really that funny when anyone over the age of, say 25, uses it? What other names for things do you remember using as a child, that you don't use any more?

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

You have to love how slang evolves. In my day, insulting someone was dissing someone from the word disrespect. Now it is throwing shade, especially when it is subtle. A person who does it is shady. A new has also come on the scene to describe someone or something out of date or old-fashioned cheugy. A confused tiktoker mentioned it, which inspired a NY Times article exploring its meaning and use. Hillary Duff also wondered if she was cheugy. She probably is because she is not of the generation that invented and uses this term.
The term made me laugh. After all, it sounds too sophisticated to be slang because it looks like it is of foreign origin like the french derived related word passé. In my day, such a person was a square. Maybe the point of this term is to make the user feel smarter or keep us cheugies guessing.

Living & Dying In 5/4 Time [userpic]

Here's an article about Australian slang words, tacked onto a story about an ex-pat USA citizen grappling with what looks & sounds to be the base 'ocker' accent - the one we really wish people wouldn't try to imitate, as listening to the kind of Australians who genuinely have that accent is painful enough for the rest of us. Hello to any Queenslanders reading this... Yes, I mean YOU!!

The top 5:

1. Thongs
This one really baffles visitors, especially those from the United States. In the USA, a thong is a piece of underwear. In Australia, it’s what the USA calls flip-flops. Sometimes we also call them 'double-pluggers'. If we break our thongs you may hear one of us exclaim that “I’ve just had a blowout in my double-pluggers”.

2. Barbie
It’s not a plastic doll. Down Under a 'barbie' is short for barbecue. There is actually a whole range of confusing terms you may encounter at an Australian barbecue. An 'avo' is an avocado, a 'chook' is a chicken, an 'Esky' is a portable cooler, 'snags' are sausages, 'sunnies' are sunglasses and a 'tinnie' is a can of beer.

** WaitingMan's Note: Confusingly, 'tinnie' is also a name for a small 1-3 man fishing boat, so called as they're made from galvanised steel. It's a common sight on Australian rivers & lakes, to see someone piloting a tinnie rather haphazardly - usually because they've had more than a few tinnies while waiting for the fish to bite... And if you think 'Esky' is a funny name for a cooler (it's actually a trade name, like Kleenex for tissues), the New Zealanders call them 'chilly bins' & when you hear that term pronounced with the NZ accent, I challenge you to keep a straight face... **

And if they say “bring a plate” they don’t mean bring your own empty plate because they don’t have enough crockery. They mean bring a plate of prepared food to share.

3. Cactus
What you think it means? A spiky plant. What it means in Australia? Broken, or not functioning. For example, “I can’t drive us down the coast this weekend, my car is completely cactus.”

4. Shark biscuit
Believe it or not, this is not a type of Animal Cracker cookie. This is someone who is not very good at surfing.

5. Lappy
Not to be confused with an erotic dance, this is what Australians call their laptop computer.

**WaitingMan's Note: Not sure about this one - I haven't heard any of my circle refer to using a 'lappy'. I may, or may not, have actually heard the term used for the erotic dance. From a friend, obviously!!**

whswhs [userpic]

An old friend was talking with C and me lately, and she expressed an interest in learning more about the ideas behind yoga, and particularly about the Bhagavad Gita. I'd like to give her a copy, but I'm looking for a good translation. What I think would suit her is one that takes advantage of modern scholarship to be faithful to the original text, but that's aimed not at scholars or philosophers but at general readers, and is written in straightforward language. C suggests trying the Penguin edition, but I'd be happy to get other recommendations.

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

When you can use  a  German-derived term  that Germans speakers themselves probably don't use

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

Poor  English, none of the other  Germanic languages came to its defense.   Frisian is laughing.

whswhs [userpic]

I've been reading about this subject, growing out of a campaign I'm running, and I'm curious about a topic that falls within it. As I understand it, Tibetans often have multiple names that amount to short phrases, but with no element that exactly corresponds to the Western concept of a surname. But when they enter the US, and perhaps other Western countries, they get fitted into the Procrustean bed of given name/surname, usually by selecting two elements of the actual name.

I'm wondering if anyone here is knowledgeable enough to provide an example or two of how this might work: what's the original form and what does it turn into? Help would be much appreciated!

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

This was from 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Did any of these predictions come true?  I have heard 'rona occasionally.  Iso has always been short hand for isolation but I guess in iso is new.

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

When bilingual friends have kids, I wonder if they are going to teach the kid their native language.

Random language facts interest me even if I have never studied those languages.

I know what agglutinative and ergative mean. 

I know diphthongs are not underwear. 

I enjoy  translation 

My mom calls me a linguist

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

Don't say I don't understand when you speak a foreign language. A concrete thinker like me may find it too vague.  Instead, be specific or try to get clarification from the other person.  Learn phrases in the target language to solicit clarification. In case you are uncertain of the meaning, explain what you think it means and get it confirmed  This is helpful with context-dependent language like slang that you may be able to find in a dictionary. It sounds natural and will keep the conversation going

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

Do not let the varying perceptions of native speakers get you down. They are not professional teachers. Therefore, they will be unable to evaluate your abilities fully. Their reaction to foreigners is relative to their experience with them. It has been my experience that people perceive my Spanish abilities and accent differently.  Th

Don't fear "for a foreigner" comparison either. I know this might be frustrating when you try hard to fit in.  The statement is not insulting unless someone says it mockingly. To me, it acknowledges the effort I invested in learning the language that a native speaker would have acquired naturally. I know I will not sound the same as them, but I can try to improve.   Their confidence in my abilities and patience matter more to me. This also why I tell people that I am not a native speaker, so if I make an unusual mistake, the native speaker will know why. Don't be afraid to mention it when it feels appropriate.

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

 If I genuinely don't understand I will say it gently  I also tend to use more specific language  what do you mean?  This makes it clear to the listeners why I don't understand.  It is not always about bad grammar or misusing a word

I won't correct every little thing to keep the flow of the conversation going and not overload you with information only if I feel it will impede understanding  unless it is practice situation and you want me to.  I learned that the hard way in a college class. The person felt like I was distracting  her.  Accuracy comes with time.  The courage to express yourself is priceless.

Yes  I realize that communicating with second language speakers is an art that few natives possess unless they have studied  a foreign language themselves.  Simplification is hard because it hard to  assess the learner's level unless they are obviously bad. I have a Peruvian friend who speaks really well but occasionally I will  confuse him with what I say   That's why many learners feel imitated by trying to speak to a group of natives who are not used to second language speakers.  There the pressure to express yourself just right and they will throw around colloquialism and other informal language that you don't understand.   This also why it hard  for me to admit I don't understand  and  is why when I am speaking with a group of Spanish natives I freely admit that I speak it only as  second language. 

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Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

I know I may  be  a little late with this post  by maybe you just starting learning Spanish now, or have not learned vocabulary related to COVID-19 before. So I will sharing a little basic voculbary which some pronunciation  and grammatical tips for the English acronyms for the diease in Spanish

One of the most varied words in this category is the one for face mask.   La mascarilla, a diminutive of mascara  and the only that really applies to a mask  (whether for the face or skin).  The definition is a mask the covers mouth and nose to protect from pathogens   Tapabocas is also used but that can also refer to somethings that covers  an opening on a machine or even device. Cubrebocas is  new  that is doesn't even appear in the official Royal  Academy  dictionary as I write this.  In Argentina  Uruguay   Bolivia and Paraguay  the term barbijo is used  but  this word  also refers to a chin strap (barbaquejo in other reigions   and will translated as such by machine translators .  La mascarilla is the one I use most and recommend if you have to be neutral.  However, you should be aware of  these alternate  terms if you go where they are used speak to those who use them.

Hand santizer- alcohol en gel literally  gel alcohol.  You may also see desinfectante de manos.  However with the pouplarity  of the non-standard verb santizar for sanitize I wouldn't be surprised if a noun form appears despite the academy's objections 

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Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

Can  you tell me why the name of mythical bird is translated as Fenix in Spanish   but not the city with same name. I thought  Fenix would be easier for Spanish speakers to pronounce anyway?   I know there are specific rules but which applies here?

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

Can anyone tell me why gasoline for cars NAFTA in Argentine Spanish . Is this Lunfardo?

Margaret Nahmias [userpic]

My   name is Margaret  Nahmias.  I fit the name of this group.  I like learning a little about even languages I have not studied.  My native language is English  and I am fluent in Spanish and know a little of Brazilian Portuguese.  If anyone wants to know my history with Spanish  I can post in the group.  In my main journal I have some entries in Spanish  and  Spanish vocabulary lessons for different situation

If you want to talk to me keep in mind I am not a teacher nor would I want to teach uyu . I am most interested in conversation to practice or to help you practice.  I am patient though but do expect gentle and subtle correction  if it is not understandble.  If you are really high level I will be even more demanding   to help you sound more natural in  American English.  If you speak Spanish I may ask you to repeat what you meant in Spanish to get a better idea of what you mean.Don't be discouraged with that though.  This help me  help you when the intended meaning is not clear 

I like to stay in one  language or the other to challenge vocabulary and skills.  Unless I am clearly having a hard time in your or vice versa let's not switch every phrase or mix. 

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