October 15th, 2007

  • pne

What does this say? (Old[?] Italian)

What does this text mean, and how would it be written in modern Italian?

Oltre a ciò possono i corrieri, et le staffette de Turchi pigliare il cauallo del Christiano, et seruirsene sin che egli è stanco, in quel mezo il Christiano gli ua dietri a piedi

I can see that a couple of u would probably be v today (cavallo, servirsene, va) and the et is probably e, but I'm not sure whether there are other differences—nor do I know what it means. (Even with my extremely limited Italian, though, it looks to me quite a bit closer to contemporary Italian in language and spelling than the German quotes.)

The context is a double page from a text, apparently talking about the status of dhimmis under Ottoman(?) rule, in German, which includes citations from various sources, most of them in old German; a colleague gave it to me and asked me to "translate" (as far as I can) the quotes to modern German. One of the quotes is in what looks to me like slightly old Italian (from a book by MENAVINO, Vita et legge), the above.

FWIW, the German is along the lines of "Wo sy in ein dorff khomen, durchlauffen sy alle heuser, nemen den armen leutten alles vmb sunst", which looks quite different compared to the modern standard language.

Portuguese Homestay Letter

I'm applying for a study abroad program in Brazil, for which I need to write a letter to the family that will host me there. The letter is below. If anyone could check it over for major mistakes or just to suggest useful information to add I'd really appreciate it. I've never written a formal letter in Portuguese before, so I really hope it's okay.

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  • iluq

(no subject)

In my introductory linguistics course we learned that one of the three reasons overlap was a phonological benefit was because of comprehension.

But wouldn't comprehension be more of a result of the fact that overlap has become mainstream in most (all?) languages studied? I'm sure our comprehensibility of words would be the same if overlap were not a common feature in any language at all and we pronounced each segment of a word distinctively.

It's just been something that I've been pondering, as it seems more of an effect than a cause.
Llid Y Bledren Dymchwelyd


A guy at work showed me this site from the University of Iowa. Useful for those wanting to perfect pronunciation in German, Spanish, or English. It's got video, sound, and moving mouth diagrams with descriptions, to show you how to position your mouth for every sound. The descriptions are in the respective languages, so you'll need to know a little to be able to read them. Sorry if this has been posted before. Enjoy!