Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Panterra »

MrSamoa wrote:
14 Jun 2020 22:17
There are two Samoas: American Samoa and (Western) Samoa. When the islands were partitioned in 1900, America took the eastern islands (with Pago Pago) and Germany took the western islands (with Apia). (Great Britain took Tonga.) After WWI, the League of Nations mandated the western island to be under New Zealand control until independence could be achieved. (That finally happened in 1961.)

. . .
Just a correction to Marty's remarks: Samoa finally achieved freedom from the hated Kiwis in 1962, not 1961.
Samoa 1962 Independence set.
Samoa 1962 Independence set.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

One more post about Portuguese.

Let's look at a Portuguese postcard from the 1890's.
.
.<br />Portugal, 10 reis postcard: for destinations in Portugal and Spain; cds Aldegallega 24 Jan 1896
.
Portugal, 10 reis postcard: for destinations in Portugal and Spain; cds Aldegallega 24 Jan 1896
.
.<br />Imprinted 10 reis prepaid postage: Continente – continental (inland postage)
.
Imprinted 10 reis prepaid postage: Continente – continental (inland postage)
.
.<br />Postcard directive: The address only to be written on this side
.
Postcard directive: The address only to be written on this side
.
.
o bilhete, os bilhetesthe ticket/s, card/s
o bilhete postalthe postal card, postcard
o lado, os ladosthe side/s
a direcção, as direcçãosthe direction/s, address/es [Modern spelling: direção]
o endereço, os endereçosthe address/es
deste lado, daquele lado; o outro ladotthis side, that side; the other side
only
escreverto write
.
______________________________
.
Pronouncing Portuguese.

Notice that the images I show from this website have "blue arrows". On the website itself you can click on those buttons and hear a spoken version of the sound. :D
https://european-portuguese.info/
.
Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 1.11.05 am.png
Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 1.11.45 am.png
Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 1.19.04 am.png
Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 1.20.10 am.png
Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 1.22.25 am.png
.
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thanks to srgboy and Panterra for their latest posts on this thread.

Languages reflect history is a useful maxim to keep in mind. The Bahasa Indonesia = Indonesian language clearly reflects the influence of Dutch from the colonial era, and srgboy's post gives us relevant examples of this. Similarly, the closely related Bahasa Melayu = Malay language reflects the influence of English from the colonial era. Again, the related Filipino/Tagalog = Philippino language reflects the influence of Spanish from the colonial era.

The following comment on the relationship of these languages is made by an Indonesian who says he is not a "language professional", but speaks from his personal experience of these languages. They reflect the extent to which the languages are readily undertood by someone whose mother tongue is Bahasa Indonesia.
.
Andry Siregar wrote: 1. Bahasa Malaysia with Bahasa Melayu Singapura = Identical Twin siblings
2. Bahasa Malaysia with Bahasa Melayu Brunei = Twin siblings
3. Bahasa Malaysia with Bahasa Indonesia = Siblings
4. Bahasa Indonesia & Bahasa Malaysia with Tagalog (Bahasa Filipina) = Cousins
https://www.quora.com/Do-Malaysians-and-Indonesians-understand-Tagalog

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Motivated by srgboy's post, let's learn some Indonesian.
.
.<br />Indonesia 20 Dec 1961: First Day Cover, <br /> 4th Social Day charity/semipostal stamps, set of three, fruit subjects.
.
Indonesia 20 Dec 1961: First Day Cover,
4th Social Day charity/semipostal stamps, set of three, fruit subjects.
.
.<br />Official Bulletin, describing the 4th Social Day issue.
.
Official Bulletin, describing the 4th Social Day issue.
.
A philatelic introduction to Indonesian

The official insert for the First Day Cover gives us an excellent sample of philatelic terms, as well as other basic vocabulary. The spelling using 'dj' and 'tj' reflects the influence of Dutch spelling and pronunciation; modern spelling has replaced those digraphs by 'j' (pronounced like 'j' in English "jar") and 'c' (pronounced like 'ch' in English "char").

djawatandepartment, service [Modern spelling: jawatan]
Djawatan Pos, Telegrap dan TeleponPost, Telegraph and Telephone Service
umumgeneral
pengumumanannouncement, bulletin
pengumuman philateliphilatelic announcement
prangkopostage stamp
amalcharity
buahfruit
buahbuahanfruits [A superscript 2 denotes reduplication, for plurals]
tanggaldate
penerbitanissue, emission
tanggal penerbitaldate of issue
hargecost, face value
gambarpicture, image
anas, manggis, rambutanpineapple, mangosteen, rambutan
warnacolour
ditjetakprinted [Modern spelling: dicetak]
tjetakanprinting (process) [Modern form: pencetakan]
dalam tiga warnain three colours
putihwhite
kertaspaper
tanpawithout
tandasign, mark
airwater [Pronounced: "ah-eer"]
kertas tanpa tanda airunwatermarked paper
matjammanner, way, method [Modern spelling: macam]
ukuransize
perforasiperforation
lukisanpainting
pelukispainter, artist
olehby
lukisan oleh...painting by...
dilukis oleh...painted by...
sampulcover, envelope
pertamafirst
sampul hari pertamafirst day cover
di Bandungin Bandung

Slogan around the pentagonal cachet on the cover:
Bantulah pekerdjaan sosialHelp (support) social work.
[Modern spelling: kerjawork (particular); pekerjaan work (general). Pronunciation: pə-'ker-jə-'an]

Inscription in centre of special cancel:
Hari Social ke IVFourth Social Day
empatfour [Pronunciation: 'əm-paht]
keempatfourth [Pronunciation: kə-'əm-paht].

Background:

Under the logo of Kementrian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, in 2017
Kebudayaan Indonesia wrote:Hari Sosial — Social Day or Hari Kesetiakawanan Sosial Nasional (HKSN) = National Social Solidarity Day is celebrated on 20 December every year as gratitude and respect for the success of all levels of Indonesian society in facing the threat of other nations who want to recolonize the nation.
mentriminister (government official)
kementrianministry
pendidikaneducation
budayaculture (specific)
kebudayaanculture (in general)
danand [mnemonic for English speakers: 'dan', 'and' are anagrams]
Kementrian Pendidikan dan KebudayaanMinistry of Education and Culture

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Let's learn something about the Māori language.

Formally, it is called te reo Māori [tɛ ˈɾɛ.ɔ ˈmaːɔɾi] — the Māori language. The macron (horizontal bar) over the 'a' indicates a long vowel. It is common in New Zealand usage, though less often seen in usages outside New Zealand.
Wikipedia wrote:Māori (/ˈmaʊri/; Māori pronunciation: [ˈmaːɔɾi]), also known as te reo ('the language'), is an Eastern Polynesian language spoken by the Māori people, the indigenous population of New Zealand. Closely related to Cook Islands Māori, Tuamotuan, and Tahitian, it gained recognition as one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987. The number of speakers of the language has declined sharply since 1945, but a Māori language revitalisation effort slowed the decline, and the language has experienced a revival, particularly since about 2015...

New Zealand has three official languages: English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language. Māori gained this status with the passing of the Māori Language Act 1987. Most government departments and agencies have bilingual names ... and places such as local government offices and public libraries display bilingual signs and use bilingual stationery. New Zealand Post recognises Māori place-names in postal addresses. ... Increasingly New Zealand is referred to by the Māori name Aotearoa ("land of the long white cloud"), though originally this referred only to the North Island
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%81ori_language

A very recent stamp issue by NZPost:
This year, in celebration of Matariki, we highlight stories associated with Ngā Hau e Whā or The Four Winds. The four winds are Te Hau Rāwhiti (the easterly), Te Hau-ā-uru (the westerly), Te Hau Tonga (the southerly) and Te Hau Raki (the northerly). Hau can mean air, breath, aura, but it is best known as wind.
https://stamps.nzpost.co.nz/new-zealand/2020/nga-hau-e-wha-four-winds
.
.<br />Ngā Hau e Whā — The Four Winds
.
Ngā Hau e Whā — The Four Winds
.
.<br />New Zealand 2020: set of four stamps<br />Ngā Hau e Whā — The Four Winds
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New Zealand 2020: set of four stamps
Ngā Hau e Whā — The Four Winds
.
.<br />Minisheet on First Day Cover<br />Ngā Hau e Whā — The Four Winds
.
Minisheet on First Day Cover
Ngā Hau e Whā — The Four Winds
.
Intimate knowledge of the winds and the stars was essential to the peoples of the South Pacific, who navigated the ocean with great skill and endurance. They remain key elements in their cultures.
Matariki is the Māori name for the Pleaides star cluster [the "Seven Sisters"]. It rises during Pipiri (June/July) and marks the beginning of the Māori new year. The word is an abbreviation of Ngā Mata o te Ariki (Eyes of God) in reference to Tāwhirimātea, god of the wind and weather...
.
.<br />Te Iwa o Matariki — Nine stars of the Pleiades
.
Te Iwa o Matariki — Nine stars of the Pleiades
.
Matariki – signifies reflection, hope and our connection to the environment
Pōhutukawa – connects with those who have passed on
Waitī – ties to bodies of fresh water and the food within it
Waitā – ties to the ocean and the food within it
Waipuna-ā-rangi – associated with the rain
Tupuānuku – is for food that grows within the soil
Tupuārangi – is for food that grows up in the trees
Ururangi – is the star associated with the winds
Hiwa-i-te-rangi – the youngest, is the wishing star that also ties into our aspirations for the coming year
https://tinyurl.com/y9x5cjns

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Stewie1980 »

RogerE wrote:
09 Jun 2020 20:01
Tom Van Lint wrote:
[Tom Van Lint lives in Flanders (1959-present)]

Nevertheless, the Flemish use many words (mainly in their dialects) that also come from French
(I personally never use those words) :

trottoir (VL), stoep (NL) : pavement
srgboy wrote:
17 Jun 2020 19:08
Very interesting that in Indonesian (ID), trotoar (from VL trottoir) is the loaned word from the Dutch, and very few will have any ide what is a 'stoep'. And I don't think the Flemish colonized Indonesia :P
In Dutch we use the word 'trottoir' too. 'Stoep' is only used in spoken language.

For many things the Dutch language has two words. One word used in spoken language and one word used in official Standard Dutch as used in legal papers for example. In spoken language we call these words "dure woorden" (= "expensive words") because in the old days only politicians, rich people and aristocrats spoke with these words.

In the example above the word 'trottoir' is the "expensive" word.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thanks for your latest input Stewie1980 — another connection with the "real world", where everyday practice does not necessarily exactly match theoretical discourse. :D

The different levels of language, from formal to casual, are often described as registers of the language.
In sociolinguistics, a register is a variety of language used for a particular purpose or in a particular communicative situation. For example, when speaking officially or in a public setting, an English speaker may be more likely to follow prescriptive norms for formal usage than in a casual setting: for example by pronouncing words ending in -ing with a velar nasal instead of an alveolar nasal (e.g. "walking", not "walkin'"), choosing words that are considered more "formal" (such as father vs. dad, or child vs. kid), and refraining from using words considered nonstandard, such as ain't.

As with other types of language variation, there tends to be a spectrum of registers rather than a discrete set of obviously distinct varieties—numerous registers can be identified, with no clear boundaries between them. Discourse categorisation is a complex problem, and even in the general definition of "register" given above (language variation defined by use not user), there are cases where other kinds of language variation, such as regional or age dialect, overlap. Due to this complexity, scholarly consensus has not been reached for the definitions of terms such as "register", "field" or "tenor";
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Register_(sociolinguistics)

Perhaps Stewie1980 you can tell us whether there are any formal organisations which are regarded as guardians of "proper" Dutch.

In Australian English, the Macquarie Dictionary is regarded as an important standard. It includes various words regarded as slang (casual register), and every year it adds newly coined or popularised words not previously listed — but the process of doing so is rigorous, and involves quite a bit of scholarly evaluation and discussion.

In other settings there are organisations which endeavour to promote, protect, and in some cases make formal pronouncements about, "proper" language. One very formal organisation with this objective is the Académie Française, established by Cardinal Richelieu in 1635: it serves to this day as the guardian of "proper" French. Less formally, but still prestigious, is the government-backed Goethe-Institut, initiated in 1952: while not an official arbiter of "proper" German, nevertheless it does promote a widely recognised standard for the language. The terms Hochdeutsch and Niederdeutsch ("High German" and "Low German") correspond to levels of "properness" in German.

For Hebrew, a special need was recognised because the language had not been actively spoken for many centuries before being brought back to use as a primary language in recent times. To facilitate and manage the attendant challenges, building on the work of Eliezar Ben-Yehuda and other scholars, the Academy of the Hebrew Language (האקדמיה ללשון העברית) [ha-akademiah le-lashon ha-ivrit] was established in 1953. It is an official entity, "the Israeli body with legislated authority to study, guard, and guide the development of the Hebrew language".

At various times champions of the casual version of a language have succeeded in having it written and accorded greater status than previously. Afrikaans is a perfect example, recently discussed in this thread. Robert Burns's poetry did much to promote acceptance and popular use of Scots, especially in Scotland. As another example, NorwegianNynorsk was once regarded as a casual version of Danish.

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by cursus »

For Catalan, we have in Catalonia the "Institut d'Estudis Catalans" or Catalan Studies Institution ("IEC", for short), and symilar bodies in València, Andorra, l'Aguer and Balearic Islands. All coordinate into the Ramon Llull Institute, based in Barcelona and that takes its name from the XIII century Majorcan philosopher and churchman, Ramon Llull, considered the father of literary Catalan language. The normative dictionary is the "Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana" compiled by the IEC and regularly updated.
There's also a Catalan Grammar and some dictionaries that cover the linguistic wealth of Catalan.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Stewie1980 »

RogerE wrote:
18 Jun 2020 19:08
Perhaps Stewie1980 you can tell us whether there are any formal organisations which are regarded as guardians of "proper" Dutch.
We have the 'Nederlandse Taalunie' (Dutch Language Union) which governs the language issues since 1980.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Language_Union

They revised spelling in 1996 and 2006. I learned writting Dutch before 1996, so I still write many of the revised words in pre-1996 spelling. :D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Dutch_orthography

The spelling reforms of 1934 and 1947 made huge changes and introduced the Standard Dutch we still use today.

Image
Netherlands Anti-Tuberculosis stamp 1906

Amsterdamsche Vereeniging tot Bestrijding der Tuberculose
In modern Dutch this would be:
Amsterdamse Vereniging voor Bestrijding van Tuberculose
Amsterdam Accosiation to Control/Combat Tuberculosis

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by srgboy »

In Indonesia it's "Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa" (Agency for Language Development and Training) - actually both Pengembangan and Pembinaan means 'development' just that Pembinaan is more in a sense of developing the people (education & training). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_and_Book_Development_Agency

Language being dynamic, Indonesian is in kind of a weird crossroad right now between Dutch and English influence, as increasingly technical educational material and references are being consumed in English, not to mention popular culture. Some are even still understood but have connotation as 'words for old people' and the younger ones used the English equivalent. Some examples are Laundry (EN) vs binatu (ID native) vs waserai (ID loan from NL wasserij), korting (ID from NL) vs diskon (ID from EN), and many more.

Some are equally popular in sometimes slightly different context e.g. rekening (account e.g bank) vs akun (account e.g email account). As you can see above it does depend on the field too.

A lot of terms in civil and automotive works are basically Dutch. Had a Belgian client struggle to utter the English word 'formwork' and I asked if he's referring to the 'bekisting'. Cue him speaking Dutch for 30 seconds before I stopped him because I don't understand Dutch :lol: .

My pet peeve is that sometimes the English loanwords are adapted in a nonsensical manner to those that really know English. Back to 'sidewalk / trottoir / trotoar'. Somehow the term 'pedestrian walkway / pedestrian path' got into people's consciousness but they cut it to just 'pedestrian'. So nowadays you will see notices and banners prohibiting motorcycles from parking on the pedestrian. D'oh!

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

As another example, Norwegian — Nynorsk was once regarded as a casual version of Danish.
Hello Roger,

I'm not sure about that comment although of course there have always many opinions on the language of others! :D

The language history of Norway is fairly complicated and has been set against changing political structures over recent centuries.

The three languages Norwegian, Swedish and Danish have emerged from a dialect continuum so there is a certain amount of mutual intelligibility between them, particularly between spoken Norwegian and Swedish.

During the 16th to early 19th centuries Norway and Denmark were united with the king and main centre of influence in Copenhagen in Denmark and Danish acting as the main written language.

By the nineteenth century, Norway was in personal union with Sweden but there was still a significant influence from Danish and movements arose to establish a standard written form of Norwegian.

Two standards were proposed:

- Riksmål - retaining more Danish influence, and

- Landsmål - based on more traditional western rural dialects with less Danish influence.

Both names essentially mean "national language", i.e. "state language" and "country language".

Riksmål evolved to become Bokmål (book language) and Landsmål evolved to become Nynorsk (new Norwegian).

Both standards continue, with Bokmål mostly used in eastern and northern Norway and Nynorsk in rural western Norway.

Despite this there is still a wide variation in the spoken dialects.

A clear example of the two language standards for stamp collectors is in the form of the country name on Norway's stamps:

- Norge (Norway) in Bokmål, and

- Noreg (Norway) in Nynorsk.

Here are some examples:
Norge_Noreg_300.jpg
Nigel

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

There is one other language term which I neglected to include in relation to Norway: dansk-norsk (or "Dano-Norwegian").

Here's a useful summary from Wikipedia:

"Dano-Norwegian (Danish and Norwegian: dansk-norsk) was a koiné that evolved among the urban elite in Norwegian cities during the later years of the union between the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway (1536/1537–1814).

It is from this koiné that Riksmål and Bokmål developed.

Bokmål is now the most widely used written standard of contemporary Norwegian."


and in terms of the spoken language:

"During the period when Norway was in a union with Denmark, Norwegian writing died out and Danish became the language of the literate class in Norway.

At first Danish was used primarily in writing; later it came to be spoken on formal or official occasions; and by the time Norway's ties with Denmark were severed in 1814, a Dano-Norwegian vernacular often called the "cultivated everyday speech" had become the mother tongue of parts of the urban elite.

This new Dano-Norwegian koiné could be described as Danish with Norwegian pronunciation, some Norwegian vocabulary, and some minor grammatic differences from Danish."
Nigel

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thank you cursus and Stewie1980 for telling us about how standard Catalan and standard Dutch are "managed".

Orthography

orthography • the correct/standard spelling of a language
(from Greek orthoscorrect, graphia - writing)

Spelling reforms are quite desirable — a serious spelling reform is long overdue for English. (For example, consider "birch", "church", "perch", "search" — we have to learn how to spell each of those words, knowing the sound is not enough to be able to write them correctly. The problem is in the other direction with "bough", "cough", "enough", "through" and "although" — knowing the spelling is not enough, we have to learn how to pronounce each of those words.)

I will now take a brief look at orthographic reforms that have applied to several languages, with a few comments on the changes, and resulting acceptance or resistance.

Dutch orthography

We now know that Dutch adopted serious spelling reforms four times in the post 100 years: 1934, 1947, 1996, 2006. Stewie1980 has indicated that his pre-1996 schooling has him still using pre-1996 spellings.

German orthography

German underwent serious spelling reform in 1901; a reform attempt in 1944 failed; the next reform was in 1996 (put into effect in 1998), becoming obligatory in 2006:
Eventually, in 1996, the set of German spelling rules was officially reformed. This lead to numerous protests and to Germany splitting into three big factions: Those who welcomed the reform, those who declined it, and others who wanted it to be modified. Moreover, there were many media and publishing houses beginning to use the grammatical rules they liked best instead of complying with the new standards. Finally, German spelling was a complete chaos, also because other German speaking countries, like Switzerland and Austria, had their own opinions and practices.

In the end, it took eight years of quarrels and modifications until the new German spelling became accepted and obligatory on August 1st, 2006.

https://www.learn-german-online.net/en/learning-german-resources/german-spelling-reform.htm

Russian orthography

Russian gradually underwent various ad hoc orthographic reforms from 1708, until major reforms were introduced in 1917 by the Assembly for Considering Simplification of the Orthography. Changes included unifying several adjectival and pronominal inflections, and replacing the letter ѣ (yat) with е, the letter ѳ (fita) with ф, and the letters і (i) and ѵ (ižica) with и.

French orthography

From the first edition (1694) of the Dictionnaire de l'Académie française, new editions have been instrumental in introducing French spelling reforms. The third (1740) and fourth (1762) editions were particularly important, changing the spelling of around half the lexicon. Many mute/silent consonants were omitted: this was when the change estreêtreto be occurred. The letters 'j' and 'v' were introduced to replace 'i' and 'u' where these served as consonants (as in classical Latin).

More recent changes were rather minor, until 1990 when some general rules and a list of modified words were promulgated. For example, hyphens are now added to numerals: trois cent vingt et untrois-cent-vingt-et-un (321). Also the tréma (English: diaeresis) indicating when the u is not silent in gu + vowel combinations is now placed on the u instead of on the following vowel: aiguëaigüe [ɛɡy] – acute (f).

Simplified Chinese (SC) and Traditional Chinese (TC)
.
简体中文 — 繁體中文
Jiǎntǐ zhōngwén — Fántǐ zhōngwén
Simplified Chinese Traditional Chinese
.
In 1949 a set of Simplified Chinese (SC) characters was introduced, with perceived advantages over Traditional Chinese (TC). Subsequently choice between the two character sets has become entwined with political alignments. SC is used in PRC = People's Republic of China, TC is used in Taiwan [ROC = Republic of China].
Janet Yang wrote:Today this (SC) set of Chinese characters is used in mainland China and by people of Chinese origin in Singapore. A relatively modern form of text, Simplified Chinese (SC) was created as a way to encourage literacy and was made official with the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The characters have fewer strokes than Traditional Chinese (TC).

Although SC is simple, it continues to evolve. Even as recently as 2013, the Chinese government released an official List of Commonly Used Standardized Characters. This list contained 45 newly recognized standard characters (previously considered variant forms) and 226 characters simplified by analogy (most of which already were widely used).
https://www.vengaglobal.com/blog/differences-traditional-chinese-simplified-chinese-use/

A footnote on English spelling reform

In a 2010 opinion piece entitled Spelling Reform Efforts in English,
Richard Norquist wrote:The term spelling reform refers to any organized effort to simplify the system of English orthography.

Over the years, organizations such as the English Spelling Society have encouraged efforts to reform or "modernize" the conventions of English spelling, generally without success.

Examples and Observations
"[Noah] Webster proposed the removal of all silent letters and regularization of certain other common sounds. So, give would be giv, built would be bilt, speak would be speek, and key would be kee. Though these suggestions obviously didn't take hold, many of Webster's American English spellings did: colour → color, honour → honor, defence → defense, draught → draft, and plough → plow, to name a few."
(Kristin Denham and Anne Lobeck, Linguistics for Everyone: An Introduction. Wadsworth, 2010)
https://www.thoughtco.com/spelling-reform-english-1691987

Norquist's article goes on to discuss the Shavian alphabet (advocated by George Bernard Shaw as a phonetic script for English) and some observations on why spelling reform efforts for English fail. Interested viewers will enjoy the rest of that piece.

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

At various times champions of the casual version of a language have succeeded in having it written and accorded greater status than previously.
Robert Burns's poetry did much to promote acceptance and popular use of Scots, especially in Scotland.

Hello Roger,

Your other example is closer to home for me and gave me much to think about!

I agree there's an interesting comparison to be made for Scots with Norwegian but I'll not attempt that today.

I would though like to share a few thoughts on the history of Scots.

As a language, Scots arose in the south east of Scotland from the Old English of the kingdom of Northumbria.

The gradual unification of Scotland to form one kingdom, known in Gaelic as the "Rìoghachd na h-Alba", involved the bringing together of at least five different linguistic populations:

- Gaelic (the Goidelic language of the original "Scots" from northern Ireland, initially in the kingdom of Dalriada based in Argyll and then, after unification, more widely in north and central Scotland including the Scottish royal court).

- Cumbric (the Brittonic language of the kingdom of Strathclyde in south west Scotland)

- Pictish (probably also a Brittonic language spoken across Scottish Highlands and north east Scotland).

- Northumbrian Old English (the language of the kingdom of Northumbria that included much of south east Scotland)

- Norse (spoken for long periods in the Western and Northern Isles, and also at times in many parts of the west and north)

Other early influences included Latin and Norman French.

With the gradual unification of Scotland, Scottish Gaelic appears to have become the main language of government including the royal court, but over time this position was lost to Scots.

Scots was then also the main written language of the country with a robust literary tradition but this declined with the unification of the Scots and English thrones in 1603 when the King of Scots James VI moved with his court to London.

So, to what extent were/are Scots and English different languages?

They could well be described as closely-related sister languages or, in the days of the Stuart kings, as both representing one pluri-centric language.

By the time of Robert Burns, Scots would still have been the regular language of non-Gaelic speaking Scotland but writers and poets were more and more using standard English forms.

There have been several other literary revivals of Scots since then, particularly during the nineteenth century, and once again it is now getting attention and support.

Today, there seems to be a spectrum of usage from "Broad Scots" at one extreme to standard Scottish English at the other, with most Scots speaking a form closer to standard Scottish English but code switching to some extent depending on the context they find themselves in.
Nigel

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Ahhh, more helpful and relevant posts appeared while I was working on my latest post on orthography.
I continue to be very happy with the contributions of fellow Stampboarders to this thread. :D

Thanks to srgboy for telling us the name of the organisation charged with being the guardian of "proper" Indonesian, as well as adding some further details about language in everyday life.

Thanks also to nigelc for two posts about Norwegian — some helpful historical perspective, and some well-informed comments about distinctions by lineage and region. You have given a clearer specification of Bokmål and Nynorsk than I knew, so you have helped me understand Norwegian linguistic culture better. A gentle correction to the comment in my earlier post, much appreciated, thank you.
_______________
Ahh, and now there's another post from nigelc, while I was composing this one! Once again, much more detailed knowledge being offered about Scots and the other languages that neighboured and/or coexisted with it. Once again, my comparatively shallow knowledge of this linguistic culture is being improved and better informed thanks to your input. My efforts are not schemes, but as Robbie Burns observed, they gang aft a-gley ;)

/RogerE :D
Last edited by RogerE on 19 Jun 2020 03:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

Spelling reforms are quite desirable — a serious spelling reform is long overdue for English. (For example, consider "birch", "church", "perch", "search" — we have to learn how to spell each of those words, knowing the sound is not enough to be able to write them correctly.

I remember once at school seeing in an English schoolbook five words that supposedly had the same vowel sound but in my dialect they were all different!

For me, (1) "bird", (2) "church" and (3) "perch" & "search" have three different vowel sounds.

Dialects in UK English have an interesting pattern where in general the number of distinct vowel phonemes increases as you travel from south to north.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Waffle »

ee bie gum lad you be rightly there.
I prefer to collect UK, British Commonwealth esp Pacific area ( not excluding West Indies/Canada ) and Western Europe. At the bottom of my zone of interest is Eastern Europe and communist countries.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Some comments about dialects/regional pronunciation, motivated by nigelc's latest (‽) post [unless there's another incoming while I'm composing this one ;) ]
nigelc wrote:
19 Jun 2020 02:58
RogerE wrote:Spelling reforms are quite desirable — a serious spelling reform is long overdue for English. (For example, consider "birch", "church", "perch", "search" — we have to learn how to spell each of those words, knowing the sound is not enough to be able to write them correctly.

I remember once at school seeing in an English schoolbook five words that supposedly had the same vowel sound but in my dialect they were all different!

For me, (1) "bird" {I said "birch", but "bird" no doubt matches for sound}, (2) "church" and (3) "perch" & "search" have three different vowel sounds.

Dialects in UK English have an interesting pattern where in general the number of distinct vowel phonemes increases as you travel from south to north.
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Remarks on "dialect"

We have seen some other posts on this thread indicating that "dialect" is regarded by some as a pejorative term, diminishing the respect or status accorded to some regional/localised forms of language. A fairly neutral definition of the term is given in the Cambridge Dictionary:
a form of a language that people speak in a particular part of a country, containing some different words and grammar, etc.
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/dialect
This website [evidently via links to "Smart Thesaurus"] also produced an interesting variety of suggested related terms (some of which would widely be considered pejorative or condescending):
Ways of speaking
accented; accentuation; BBC English; breathe; brogue; cacoepy; cut glass; dialectal; flap; fluent; idiomatic; jawbreaker; lilt; pronunciation; Received Pronunciation; thickly; tongue-twister; unaccented; uptalk; vocally
Australian English

I regard myself as a speaker of Australian English.

According to Wikipedia, I speak a variety of English rather than a dialect of English. (That probably means Australia is too large to be accorded the status of a small region or part of a country. If we were much smaller — say, entirely confined to Tasmania ;) — would Australian English then be a dialect of English?)
Wikipedia wrote:Australian English (AuE; en-AU) is the set of varieties of the English language native to Australia. Although English has no official status in the Constitution, Australian English is the country's national and de facto official language as it is the first language of the majority of the population.

Australian English began to diverge from British English after the First Settlers, who set up the Colony of New South Wales, arrived in 1788. By 1820, their speech was recognised as being different from British English. Australian English arose from the intermingling of early settlers, who were from a great variety of mutually intelligible dialectal regions of Great Britain and Ireland, and quickly developed into a distinct variety of English which differs considerably from most other varieties of English in vocabulary, accent, pronunciation, register, grammar and spelling.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_English

In fact, the regional variations in pronunciation and vocabulary in Australian English are very minor, and pass virtually unnoticed in everyday interactions. This is probably due to quality national radio and television broadcasting. In my childhood there was an analogue of "BBC English" which could be fairly described as "ABC English" (no doubt modelled on the BBC version). That has long since disappeared, and now speech in the media is indistinguishable from everyday speech. (Indeed, grammatical slips and stumbling over pronunciations are now as common in the media as in the public domain: e.g. "bought" is increasingly being used for "brought", one of my current peeves!)

So, my examples "birch", "church", "perch", "search" do rhyme in Australian English. :D
I must say that the finely pronounced vowel phonemes af northerly UK English speakers are pleasant to my ear, and I admire the distinctions they convey, though they are absent from Australian English.

One of our ABC radio presenters of Classic Music currently is Russell Torrence, a graduate of University of Nottingham, and his accent has all those fine vowel phonemes along with retroflex r — a pleasure to listen to!
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Russell Torrence, ABC Radio presenter
Russell Torrence, ABC Radio presenter
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One more story about dialects/accents

In my childhood there were many comedy programs on radio (television arrived later, and was expensive, in black-and-white, and only available in very large population centres for a long time). Most of the radio comedy shows featured British comedians, many of them Cockneys. Two decades later, when I was first spending time in the UK, I found it almost impossible to suppress a big grin whenever I was speaking with someone with a strong regional accent, especially if it sounded to me like Cockney — the unconscious association in my mind was that anyone speaking with such an accent was being funny! It was an embarrassing association that took some time for me to overcome...

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

This thread has included several posts about the alphabet/messaging system represented by maritime flags (ICS = International Code of Signals).
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=170

National and provincial/state flags are a familiar "language", conveying information about identity, asserting nationalism, or simply celebrating participation in some event or gathering. Today's Stampboards Quiz of the Day features a selection of National Flags, and challenges us to identify as many as we can
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=80434&start=9874
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.<br />Stampboards Quiz of the Day: 54 National Flags<br />How many can you identify?
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Stampboards Quiz of the Day: 54 National Flags
How many can you identify?
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Philatelically, national and provincial/state flags are the message-carriers on a huge number of stamps, but also on postcards and postal cancellations. To illustrate the point, here's a small chronological selection of items from Canada.
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.<br />Canada, 3 Dec 1896, Flag cancel on illustrated commercial cover, Langlois &amp; Co.
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Canada, 3 Dec 1896, Flag cancel on illustrated commercial cover, Langlois & Co.
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.<br />Canada, 20 Apr 1909, patriotic postcard with<br />embossed flag, PM Laurier, maple leaves and beaver
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Canada, 20 Apr 1909, patriotic postcard with
embossed flag, PM Laurier, maple leaves and beaver
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.<br />  Canada, 14 May 1937, flag cancel on commercial cover,
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Canada, 14 May 1937, flag cancel on commercial cover,
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.<br />Canada, 30 June 1965, First Day Cover, newly adopted Canadian flag
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Canada, 30 June 1965, First Day Cover, newly adopted Canadian flag
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.<br />Canada, 15 June 1979, First Day Cover, Provincial flag of Alberta
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Canada, 15 June 1979, First Day Cover, Provincial flag of Alberta
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.<br />Canada, 1979, sheetlet of 12 Provincial Flags
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Canada, 1979, sheetlet of 12 Provincial Flags
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.<br />Canada, 11 Jan 1991 [yymmdd format], First Day Cover, National Flag
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Canada, 11 Jan 1991 [yymmdd format], First Day Cover, National Flag
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.<br />Canada, 2013, minisheet, set of five stamps featuring National  Flag in various formats
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Canada, 2013, minisheet, set of five stamps featuring National Flag in various formats
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Primarily flags are used to convey a message of nationalism, with various levels of assertion, from quiet pride to aggressive intimidation ("flag waving"!), but other messages are also possible, including identification, affiliation, celebration and recognition. :D

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

On the Stampboards Quiz of the Day there has been a post suggesting one of the National Flags is the flag of "Holland". A fellow Stampboarder has correctly pointed out that "Holland" is not a country, and the flag actually is that of Luxembourg. Can you see which one it is?

Regarding the National Flag of the Netherlands I found an interesting semi-official internet site with the following information. It gives us insight into the "messages" normally associated with the flying of that flag, and some particularly interesting cultural comments on celebrations of graduation from school. :D
https://www.netherlands-tourism.com/flag-of-the-netherlands/
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Netherlands Tourism wrote:The flag of the Netherlands consists of three horizontal striped colors: red, white and blue. These have been the official colours since 19 February 1937 when Queen Wilhelmina made the royal decree to make these the official colours. The flag stands for the unity and independence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There is an official flag instruction of the Dutch government for government related institutions that makes clear when the flag should be raised and how (for example half-mast or full). The Dutch flag is often confused with the French flag which has exactly the same colours but instead of horizontal [the French flag] is vertical.
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.<br />Netherlands National Flag
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Netherlands National Flag
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While in other countries it is quite common to use the country flag often and in all kinds of forms, like stickers on your car or backpack, this is not so common in The Netherlands. Use of the flag on clothing or other items is often interpreted as a connection to racism and extreme right wing ideas. Although this is of course not the case in an event of a national or international sports event where local sports fans will wear the colours of the flag (in addition to the orange national colour).
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.<br />Netherlands National Flag — celebrating school graduation
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Netherlands National Flag — celebrating school graduation
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The Dutch flag is not often prominently displayed on regular houses, however on Queensday or when the National Soccer Team plays in the European or World Cup many citizens put the flag on their house. Another reason to put the flag on their house is when one has graduated school; often also some books and a bookcase are hung on the flagpole.
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In 1972 the Netherlands issued a stamp commemorating the 400th anniversary of the flag. (I'm not sure how this accords with the 1937 decree of Queen Wilhelmina on the official status of the colours.)
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.<br />Netherlands, 1 Nov 1972, Nationsl Flag, two First Day Covers to Newcastle, Australia
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Netherlands, 1 Nov 1972, Nationsl Flag, two First Day Covers to Newcastle, Australia
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eerste dagfirst day
vanof
uitgifteissue
Nederlandse vlagNetherlands flag
Covers produced by
N.V.P.H. = Nederlandse Vereniging van PostzegelhandelarenDutch Association of Stamp Dealers [Founded 1928] https://nvph.nl/

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

For me, (1) "bird" {I said "birch", but "bird" no doubt matches for sound}, (2) "church" and (3) "perch" & "search" have three different vowel sounds.
Oops! Thanks Roger, I really shouldn't post so late at night! Yes, my comment also applies to "birch". :)
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

RogerE wrote:
20 Jun 2020 16:59
Philatelically, national and provincial/state flags are the message-carriers on a huge number of stamps, but also on postcards and postal cancellations. To illustrate the point, here's a small chronological selection of items from Canada.
.
Image
Great post Roger with some lovely examples. :D

I've picked out this one because of its clear postmark where the designer has made limited use of the traditional code of "hatching", indicating heraldic colours with patterns of lines or dots.

In this case only the red field has been hatched but this has been done in the standard way with a pattern of vertical lines.

In the same way, horizontal lines would represent blue, an area of dots would represent yellow (or gold), diagonal lines from top left to bottom right would represent green and so on.
Nigel

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

nigelc wrote:
20 Jun 2020 21:16
For me, (1) "bird" {I said "birch", but "bird" no doubt matches for sound}, (2) "church" and (3) "perch" & "search" have three different vowel sounds.
Oops! Thanks Roger, I really shouldn't post so late at night! Yes, my comment also applies to "birch". :)
All fine, Nigel = nigelc, my late night posts are prone to typos and oversights, so I understand perfectly.
More to the point, any follow up comments on my remarks about dialect and Australian English would be welcome ;)

Here are some follow up comments of my own:

Australian English pronunciation

The Macquarie Dictionary Australian English phonetic renditions of some sample words:
birch /bɜtʃ/; church /tʃɜtʃ/; lurch /lɜtʃ/; perch /pɜtʃ/; search /sɜtʃ/.
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A website for IPA = International Phonetic Alphabet representation of Australian English pronunciation is
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_English_phonology

The above examples of various spellings with the shared pronunciation /...ɜtʃ/ incidentally illustrate the non-rhotic character of Australian English.
Wikipedia wrote:Australian English (AuE) is a non-rhotic variety of English spoken by most native-born Australians. Phonologically, it is one of the most regionally homogeneous language varieties in the world. As with most dialects of English, it is distinguished primarily by its vowel phonology.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_English_phonology
Wikipedia wrote:Rhoticity in English is the pronunciation of the historical rhotic consonant /r/ in all contexts by speakers of certain varieties of English. The presence or absence of rhoticity is one of the most prominent distinctions by which varieties of English can be classified. In rhotic varieties, the historical English /r/ sound is preserved in all pronunciation contexts. In non-rhotic varieties, speakers no longer pronounce /r/ in postvocalic environments — that is, when it is immediately after a vowel and not followed by another vowel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoticity_in_English

Compare erg /ɜg/ with era /'ɪərə/, where the 'r' is pronounced in 'era' because of the following vowel (the "postvocalic environment").
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.<br />Australia, 2014, minisheet celebrating Banjo Patterson (1864–1941)<br />one of Australia's best loved literary heroes
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Australia, 2014, minisheet celebrating Banjo Patterson (1864–1941)
one of Australia's best loved literary heroes
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Bush ballads — the word 'bush' in this context has the Australian English meaning "the countryside in general, as opposed to towns" [Macquarie Dictionary].

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Another post sneaked in under my radar while I was composing my latest post... ;)
nigelc wrote:
20 Jun 2020 21:35
RogerE wrote:
20 Jun 2020 16:59
Philatelically, national and provincial/state flags are the message-carriers on a huge number of stamps, but also on postcards and postal cancellations. To illustrate the point, here's a small chronological selection of items from Canada.
.
Image
Great post Roger with some lovely examples. :D

I've picked out this one because of its clear postmark where the designer has made limited use of the traditional code of "hatching", indicating heraldic colours with patterns of lines or dots.

In this case only the red field has been hatched but this has been done in the standard way with a pattern of vertical lines.

In the same way, horizontal lines would represent blue, an area of dots would represent yellow (or gold), diagonal lines from top left to bottom right would represent green and so on.
.
Thanks Nigel = nigelc, I wasn't properly aware of the monochrome hatching conventions to represent various colours. Very interesting extra information, as always. :D

/RogerE

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

I need to tweak my recent post about Australian English.
RogerE wrote:
21 Jun 2020 01:04
[Here are] Macquarie Dictionary Australian English phonetic renditions of some sample words:
birch /bɜtʃ/; church /tʃɜtʃ/; lurch /lɜtʃ/; perch /pɜtʃ/; search /sɜtʃ/.
I intended (but forgot!) to include the definition of rhotic consonants:
Wikipedia wrote:In phonetics, rhotic consonants, or "R-like" sounds, are liquid consonants that are traditionally represented orthographically by symbols derived from the Greek letter rho [Ρ, ρ], including ⟨R⟩, ⟨r⟩ in the Latin script and ⟨Р⟩, ⟨p⟩ in the Cyrillic script. They are transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet by upper- or lower-case variants of Roman ⟨R⟩, ⟨r⟩:
r, ɾ, ɹ, ɻ, ʀ, ʁ, ɽ, ɺ
Some languages have rhotic and non-rhotic varieties, which differ in the incidence of rhotic consonants. In non-rhotic accents of English, 'r' is not pronounced unless it is followed directly by a vowel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhotic_consonant

This now better introduces the following:
Wikipedia wrote:Rhoticity in English is the pronunciation of the historical rhotic consonant /r/ in all contexts by speakers of certain varieties of English. The presence or absence of rhoticity is one of the most prominent distinctions by which varieties of English can be classified. In rhotic varieties, the historical English /r/ sound is preserved in all pronunciation contexts. In non-rhotic varieties, speakers no longer pronounce /r/ in postvocalic environments — that is, when it is immediately after a vowel and not followed by another vowel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoticity_in_English

Compare erg /ɜg/ with era /'ɪərə/, where the 'r' is pronounced in 'era' because of the following vowel.

At this point I made a mistaken remark, which should have been: In both "erg" and "era" the 'r' follows the vowel 'e' (that is, it is "postvocalic") but only in the second case is 'r' followed by a vowel, so in Australian English it is only pronounced in the second case.

Footnote: In Australian English the "standard" pronunciation of "Australia" is /ɐs'treɪljə/ [remember that IPA /j/ is like 'y' in "yet"], but some speakers have a rhotic ending: /ɐs'treɪlɪər/. That speech style is regarded as "broader" Australian, and "less educated".

/RogerE

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

National flags are a familiar set of symbols used to convey a variety of messages. In a very general sense they are a sign language. Depending heavily on context, the message conveyed by a national flag may be one of recognition, identification, affiliation, celebration, national identity, national pride, and even national assertion.

It needs to be recognised that national flags prompt emotional responses, so any discussion of them requires a measure of caution. In that spirit, may I say that the content of this post is intended to be objective and factual, with no political alignment or agenda.

I do not wish to have national flags become a dominant theme of this thread. However several recent posts have prompted me to think about how the Australian national flag has featured philatelically, and the messages conveyed by its philatelic appearances. Let's look at that theme.
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... o O o ...
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History of the Australian national flag

Federation of the Australian colonies into the Commonwealth of Australia was discussed for decades, and finally culminated with declaration of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 Jan 1901. Only then was the matter of a national flag actively pursued.

An official Australian Government website includes these details about the national flag;
https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/australian-national-flag
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In 1901 Australia’s first Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Sir Edmund Barton, announced an international competition to design a flag for the new Commonwealth of Australia. There were 32,823 entries and five nearly-identical entries were awarded equal first...

The flag was flown for the first time on 3 September 1901 at the Exhibition Building in Melbourne, which was then the seat of the federal government...

In 1903 King Edward VII approved two designs for the flag of Australia: the Commonwealth blue ensign, and the Commonwealth red ensign, for the merchant Navy...

In 1941, Prime Minister the Rt Hon Robert Menzies issued a press statement recommending the flying of the blue ensign as a national emblem. The Flags Act 1953 subsequently proclaimed the Australian blue ensign as the Australian National Flag and the Australian red ensign as the flag for merchant ships registered in Australia

An amendment to the Flags Act 1953 was passed in 1998 to ensure that the Australian National Flag can be changed only with the agreement of the Australian people.

Other official Australian flags include the Australian Aboriginal Flag, the Torres Strait Islander Flag and the ensigns of the Australian Defence Force.
Gradual appearance of Australian national flag on postage stamps

• The first postage stamp to show the national flag has it as an undistinguished generic flag on two flagpoles atop the newly opened Federal Parliament House, Canberra, 1927.
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.<br />Australia, 9 May 1927, Opening of Parliament House, Canberra, SG 105<br />Variety &quot;Flag half mast&quot; (plate flaw over flagpole on right)
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Australia, 9 May 1927, Opening of Parliament House, Canberra, SG 105
Variety "Flag half mast" (plate flaw over flagpole on right)
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• The first postage stamp with an identifiable version of the national flag was the mid-value stamp of the 1946 Peace set, though the representation is monocolour and partially obscured by the dove. The flags of allied nations feature in the cachet.
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.<br />Australia, 18 Feb 1946, Peace set, FDC cachet with flags of allies<br />3½d National flag and dove SG 214
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Australia, 18 Feb 1946, Peace set, FDC cachet with flags of allies
3½d National flag and dove SG 214
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• A first day cover of 1951 has a generic cachet with a cartoon version of the flag, lacking stars.
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.<br />Australia, 23 May 1951, 2½d definitive FDC,<br />Plunkett generic cover, cachet: cartoon version of flag (no stars)
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Australia, 23 May 1951, 2½d definitive FDC,
Plunkett generic cover, cachet: cartoon version of flag (no stars)
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• The flag began to appear "seriously" in postage meter impressions in the 1950s.
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.<br />Australia, 15 Oct 1958, commercial cover, Kodak (Aust.) Pty Ltd<br />Perth W.A. 3½d meter imprint with national flag
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Australia, 15 Oct 1958, commercial cover, Kodak (Aust.) Pty Ltd
Perth W.A. 3½d meter imprint with national flag
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• The first multicolour version of the flag appeared on the lower value of the Royal Visit set in 1970.
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.<br />Australia, 31 Mar 1970, FDC Royal Visit<br />5¢ National flag, SG 456
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Australia, 31 Mar 1970, FDC Royal Visit
5¢ National flag, SG 456
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• By the late 1970s there was increased effort to promote celebration of Australia Day on 26 January, the 1788 arrival date of the First Fleet, initiating European settlement (albeit as a penal colony far from Britain). The national flag was readily chosen as subject for stamps commemorating Australia Day.
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.<br />Australia, 26 Jan 1978, National flag, Australia Day, SG 657
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Australia, 26 Jan 1978, National flag, Australia Day, SG 657
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.<br />Australia, 21 Jan 1981, National Flag on map, Australia Day, SG 765
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Australia, 21 Jan 1981, National Flag on map, Australia Day, SG 765
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• The flags of the Australian states have not been featured on any Australian postage stamp, but they are the main components of the Queen's personal flag, which appeared on a Queen's Birthday issue of 1981.
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.<br />Australia, 21 Apr 1981, Queen's Birthday, SG 773<br />Australian states flags as components of Queen's personal flag for Australia
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Australia, 21 Apr 1981, Queen's Birthday, SG 773
Australian states flags as components of Queen's personal flag for Australia
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• The 1988 Bicentennial celebrations of European settlement prompted a rise in nationalism. A new Parliament House was celebrated philatelically with two different stamps — one seriously, the other light-heartedly (in the shape of a large birthday cake topped by the national flag).
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.<br />Australia, 16 Mar 1988, 5¢ Living Together stamp, SG 1115<br />Flag atop Parliament House, as a birthday cake with 200 (‽) candles
.
Australia, 16 Mar 1988, 5¢ Living Together stamp, SG 1115
Flag atop Parliament House, as a birthday cake with 200 (‽) candles
.
.<br />Australia, 9 May 1988, opening of new Parliament Hiouse, Canberra, SG 1144<br />Maxicard showing flag on huge flagpole atop Parliament House
.
Australia, 9 May 1988, opening of new Parliament Hiouse, Canberra, SG 1144
Maxicard showing flag on huge flagpole atop Parliament House
.
• In 1991 Australia Day was celebrated with a set of four flag stamps
.
.<br />Australia, 10 Jan 1991, Australia Day, 90th anniv. of national flag, SG 1275-8)<br />43¢ National flag, blue ensign<br />90¢ Royal Australian Navy, white ensign<br />$1 Royal Australian Airforce, light blue standard<br />$1.20 Merchant Marine, red ensign
.
Australia, 10 Jan 1991, Australia Day, 90th anniv. of national flag, SG 1275-8)
43¢ National flag, blue ensign
90¢ Royal Australian Navy, white ensign
$1 Royal Australian Airforce, light blue standard
$1.20 Merchant Marine, red ensign
.
.<br />Australia, 10 Jan 1991, Maxicard set, Australia Day, 90th anniv of national flag, SG 1275-8)
.
Australia, 10 Jan 1991, Maxicard set, Australia Day, 90th anniv of national flag, SG 1275-8)
.
Cinderella stamps led the way with flag representation
.
• WWI Government Printer cinderella label promoting War Loan
.
.<br />Australia, WWI cinderella (Govt Printer)<br />Union Jack and Red Ensign, Liberty Loan (War Loan) promotion
.
Australia, WWI cinderella (Govt Printer)
Union Jack and Red Ensign, Liberty Loan (War Loan) promotion
.
• 1938 cinderella celebrating 150 years of European settlement
.
.<br />Australia, 1938, Cinderella (Govt Printer)<br />celebrating 150th anniv of European settlement, flag and map
.
Australia, 1938, Cinderella (Govt Printer)
celebrating 150th anniv of European settlement, flag and map
.
• Another notable flag in Australian history is the flag of the Eureka Stockade, a gold miners' rebellion against Victorian authorities, 3 Dec 1854. A cinderella stamp (c1992) promoting Independence for Australia (as a Republic) chose the Eureka flag as its symbol.
.
.<br />Australia, c1992, Cinderella featuring Eureka flag,<br />issued to promote Independence (Republic) movement
.
Australia, c1992, Cinderella featuring Eureka flag,
issued to promote Independence (Republic) movement
.
• It was followed in 2004 by postage stamps commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Eureka event.
.
.<br />Australia, 29 June 2004, Eureka flag postage stamp, SG 2396
.
Australia, 29 June 2004, Eureka flag postage stamp, SG 2396
.
.<br />Australia, 29 June 2004, Eureka minisheet, SG MS 2398
.
Australia, 29 June 2004, Eureka minisheet, SG MS 2398
.
A prediction

The flag signifying Aboriginal culture and heritage was created in 1971, and became an official Australian flag in 1995, in accordance with the Flags Act 1953.
The flag was designed by Harold Thomas, a Luritja man of Central Australia, and was first flown on National Aboriginal Day in Adelaide in 1971. Gary Foley, a Gumbaynggirr man of north-east New South Wales and an Aboriginal Rights activist, took the flag to the East Coast where it was promoted in Sydney and Melbourne.

In 1972 the flag became more prolific when it was chosen as the official flag for the Aboriginal Embassy in front of Parliament House in Canberra.
https://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/articles/aboriginal-flag
.
• The Aboriginal flag has not yet been the subject of an Australian postage stamp. I predict that it will be featured in that way before long.
.
.<br />The Aboriginal flag, an official flag of Australia, not yet the subject of a postage stamp
.
The Aboriginal flag, an official flag of Australia, not yet the subject of a postage stamp
.
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by cursus »

I remember first seing the Australian Aboriginal flag on Barcelona's Olympic Stadium on the 1992 Paralympic Games opening ceremony.
My Aussie friends of Barcelona's Australian Paralympic Team (great people, with whon I had the pleasure/honour of sharing the moment), told me what that new (to me!) flag was and the meaning of the colours and symbols. Black, for the colour of Australian Native People, red for the blood caused by the colonisation and the yellow sun (also, of an Aboriginal meaning), rising among them.
It was an emotive moment.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by srgboy »

cursus wrote:
22 Jun 2020 17:30
I remember first seing the Australian Aboriginal flag on Barcelona's Olympic Stadium on the 1992 Paralympic Games opening ceremony.
My Aussie friends of Barcelona's Australian Paralympic Team (great people, with whon I had the pleasure/honour of sharing the moment), told me what that new (to me!) flag was and the meaning of the colours and symbols. Black, for the colour of Australian Native People, red for the blood caused by the colonisation and the yellow sun (also, of an Aboriginal meaning), rising among them.
It was an emotive moment.
Just a slight correction maybe, I think when in Australia a guide told me the red was for Australia's "Red earth" and the indigenous people's connection to that 'red land' including for various ceremonial uses.

'Blood' is an alternative and more poignant explanation I haven't heard about. But maybe our Aussie friends here would know it better

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thanks cursus and srgboy for your welcome posts. Here's additional information about the Australian Aboriginal flag, and some views of the red ochre landscape of much of inland Australia.
.
.<br />Simpson Desert
.
Simpson Desert
.

The Australian Aboriginal flag
.
The flag consists of a coloured rectangle divided in half horizontally, the upper half black and lower red. A yellow circle sits at the centre of the rectangle. The designer Harold Thomas says the colours of the flag represent the Aboriginal people of Australia, the red ochre colour of earth and a spiritual relation to the land and the sun, the giver of life and protector.
.
.<br />Australia , 12 Jul 2001, Uluru  at dusk, SG2124
.
Australia , 12 Jul 2001, Uluru at dusk, SG2124
.

The designer of the Aboriginal flag
.
[The flag designer] Harold Thomas was born in Alice Springs, his mother a Luritja woman from the Central Desert (Kings Canyon lies within the Luritja land area) and his father a Wombai man also from the Central Desert.

Harold was sent to St Francis' Anglican boys home in Adelaide and in 1965 won a scholarship to the South Australian School of Art. He was the first Aboriginal person to graduate from an Australian Art School. He also has an Honorary Degree in Social Australian Anthropology from Adelaide University.

In 1970 he started working as a survey artist at the South Australian Museum where he designed the flag. Since then, Harold has continued to work as an artist with his works on display in several Australian galleries.
https://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/articles/aboriginal-flag
.
.<br />Central Australia
.
Central Australia
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

In this post we take a brief look at Italian.

Earlier posts have included discussion of how the English verb "to be" is covered by two separate verbs in several other Romance languages, including Catalan, Spanish/Castilian, and Portuguese.

If you wish, you can refer back to those posts via the following links:
Catalan: https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=184
Spanish/Castilian: https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=196
Portuguese: https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=197
_________________________
.
Present tense of "to be" in Italian

Here are the conjugations of the corresponding Italian verbs:
.
essereto bestare

io sonoI amio sto
tu seiyou aretu stei
egli èhe isegli sta
ella èshe isella sta
noi siamowe arenoi stiamo
voi sieteyou arevoi state
essi sonothey areessi stanno
esse sonothey areesse stanno
.
In practice, the pronouns are normally omitted ("understood"), and only used explicitly when special emphasis is intended.
_______________
Some linguistics

Have you ever wondered why English grammar regards "It is I" and "She sees me" as correct, while "It is me" and "She sees I" as incorrect? The reason is that here the verb "to be" is an equivalence, and links a subject to a complement, whereas the verb "to see" carries action, and links a subject to an object. The first sentence could be transposed, as "I am it", without changing the essential meaning, whereas transposing the second to form "I see her" yields an entirely different meaning.
.
The English verb "to be" is classified as a copula, from Latin copula bond, link. In linguistics, a copula is a word or phrase that links the subject of a sentence to a subject complement. A copula is not always a verb. In some languages, such as Classical Chinese, copulas resemble pronouns; in others, such as Korean, and Inuit languages, they take the form of suffixes attached to a noun.

Relevance to Italian
Wikipedia wrote:In Italian, the infinitive essere continues Latin esse as existential "to be", while stare has the primary meaning "to stay" and is used as a copula only in a few situations: to express one's state of physical health (sto beneI am well); to form progressive aspects (sto parlando I am speaking); and (especially in the south of Italy) with the meaning of "to be located", although a distinction can be expressed in most varieties of Italian: è in cucinait's in the kitchen (where it usually is) versus sta in cucina it's in the kitchen (where it isn't usually located).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_copula#Italian

Parcel card — Bollettino di Spedizione

Here is a 1961 parcel card from Santo Stefano Belbo, near Turin, Italy to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

The front is filled out by the sender, with stamps and parcel number label attached by the dispatching postal officer, who applies the two-part parcel stamps, and severs the right hand end of the card (containing the receipt portions of the parcel stamps). The receiving office is supposed to add date stamps on the back to record arrival of the parcel card, arrival of the parcel, and collection of the parcel. Such details were seldom carried out at an overseas receiving office (perhaps partly because procedures were different, and partly because the Italian instructions were not understood).

In fact, such parcel cards for destinations outside Italy were inscribed bilingually — Italian and French — to maximize convenience for users.
.
Italy, 5 Jan 1951, Parcel card (front)<br />from S. Stefano Belbo, Piedmont, Italy to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Italy, 5 Jan 1951, Parcel card (front)
from S. Stefano Belbo, Piedmont, Italy to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
.
(back)
(back)
.
The infinitive essereto be is used in the instructional text on the front, and also on the back:
Può essere distaccata del destinarioMay be detached by the recipient.
.
Detail (front, top left)
Detail (front, top left)
.
Se il pacco non potesse essere consegnato demandoIf the parcel cannot be delivered, I request...
Sender completed in manuscript: si ritorniit be returned.
.
Detail (back, top left)
Detail (back, top left)
.
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Having made recent posts about several Romance languages, let's now have one about French.

To match the present tense conjugations of the verb(s) corresponding to the verb "to be" (the copula) here is the French conjugation (where être is the only verb serving this role in French):
.
Present tense of "to be" in French
.
êtreto be

je suisI am
tu esyou are
il esthe is
elle estshe is
nous sommeswe are
vous êtesyou are
ils sontthey are
elles sontthey are
_______________
.
This post is also motivated by my recent post about French bird stamps on the Happy Day thread
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=82193&start=4302
.
France, 1960, Protection of Nature: Puffin stamp, YT 1274
France, 1960, Protection of Nature: Puffin stamp, YT 1274
.
Protection de la nature protection/conservation of nature

A French dictionary definition
la protectionaction de protéger, de défendre qqn ou qqch. (contre un agresseur, un danger, etc.); le fait d'être protégé.
protection — action of protecting, defending someone or something (against an aggressor, a danger, etc.); the fact of being protected

Note the abbreviations
qqn = quelqu'un (m), quelqu'une (f)someone
qqch = quelque chosesomething
_______________
.
Plurals in French

Most nouns add -s to form the plural

le mot, les motsword(s)
le nom, les nomsname(s), noun(s)
le verbe, les verbesverb(s)
la dent, les dentstooth, teeth)
la couleur, les couleurscolour(s)
le trou, les troushole(s)

Nouns which already end in -s do not change to form the plural

la souris, les sourisfire(s)
une fois, deux foisone time, two times (twice)

Nouns which end in -au or -eu add -x to form the plural

le drapeau, les drapauxflag(s)
le feu, les feuxfire(s)
le cheveu, les cheveuxhair(s)

Nouns which already end in -x do not change to form the plural

le choix, les choixchoice(s)
la croix, les croixcross(es)

Note that le macareuxpuffin looks plural, but is in fact singular:
le macareux, les macareuxpuffin(s)

Nouns which end in -al change it to -aux to form the plural

le cheval, les chevauxhorse(s)
le journal, les journauxnewspaper(s)

The plural of a compound noun is formed by pluralising the basic noun
(Compound nouns can be formed by qualifying a basic noun by an adjective, verb or adverb,)

le timbre-poste, les timbres-postepostage stamp(s)
le porte-monnaie, les porte-monnaieswallet(s)
le sac à main, les sacs à mainpurse(s)
le sac à dos, les sacs à dosbackpack(s)

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by honza »

Ahoj Roger!

Your example of 'les trous' as a plural is correct but atypical.

Most words ending in -ou have a plural -oux

e.g. le bijou = jewel; les bijoux = jewels

le chou = cabbage; les choux = cabbages

Cheers,

Honza

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

My favorite choux are churros. :mrgreen:

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by FairyFoot »

I remember some of those French words. A pity I forgot most others, although one silly sentence I remember from the textbook I had, following a family and their pets was, Le singe s'est rasé. I've just come across a more bizarre sentence, a ripe blackberry whispers/murmurs to the wall.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

honza wrote:
23 Jun 2020 23:33
Ahoj Roger!

Your example of 'les trous' as a plural is correct but atypical.

Most words ending in -ou have a plural -oux

e.g. le bijou = jewel; les bijoux = jewels

le chou = cabbage; les choux = cabbages

Cheers,

Honza
Aaahh, quite so! As we say in Australian English*, That's bonza, Honza :)
I'll discuss the details a little here, but in any case, Honza, your comments will serve to make viewers/readers more aware of the fact that things can be a bit more complicated than a simplified discussion might suggest. :)

The only thing we can be sure of with trying to formulate rules to aid language-learning is that there are always exceptions (and that's a rule!). To be honest, i did think of chou (as did Joy) but I didn't think of bijou.
I suppose the question is this: which of the following would better serve learners as the relevant rule?

• "French nouns ending in -ou form their plurals by adding -x", so trou becomes one of the exceptions to be specially "learnt", along with clou, sou, filou and pitou, as further exceptions. (As with you, I was taught that -x "rule", so I admit to "simplifying" by choosing to describe the following alternative as the "rule".)
• "French nouns ending in -ou form their plurals by adding -s", so chou and bijou become exceptions to be specially "learnt".

An objective ruling might be reached if we could determine some metric on French words ending in -ou, weighing them with frequency of use, to see whether the -oux plurals have a greater weight than the -ous plurals. I really don't know which side of the scales would weigh more, though I assume there are experts who could make an informed judgement for us.

By the way, German has adopted filou as well:
.
Screen Shot 2020-06-23 at 11.22.31 pm.png
https://www.verbformen.com/declension/nouns/Filou.htm
.
/RogerE :D

*P.S. Macquarie Dictionary says: bonzer (also bonza), adj. Colloq. Excellent, attractive, pleasant. :D
Last edited by RogerE on 24 Jun 2020 01:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

For those who didn't get the connection, FairyFoot has just given us a couple of cross-language (bilingual?) puns. ;)

/RogerE :)

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

A little more about French.

As usual, my recent late night post replying to honza didn't escape a few oversights/misstatements.

The main one was I didn't clarify that (implicitly) I included words ending -ou in the general category of words forming plural by adding -s.

I didn't make an explicit statement about the -ou words, and I didn't attempt to indicate any exceptions to the rules, to avoid presenting a description that is too complex for learners. The exceptions, if listed, would include chou/choux and bijou/bijoux, as indicated in honza's post.

Another oversight was forgetting to correct an earlier copy-and-paste slip.
I correctly reported
le feu, les feux fire(s)
but muffed correctly reporting
la souris, les sourismouse, mice

I also intended to supplement
la dent, les dents tooth, teeth
with the philatelic comment that this also refers to the "teeth" on the boundary of a perforated stamp. In fact,
perforationperforation = hole
denttooth = paper remaining between two consecutive holes (on a stamp separated from its surrounds)
denteléperforated

In English the philatelic viewpoint actually focuses on the holes (perforations), whereas the French dentelé focuses on the paper left between the holes. In English we are familiar with stating that a stamp has a "short perf", but it would be more logical to say that it has a "short tooth" (sounds odd, doesn't it‽). When we use a perforation gauge, are we counting holes or counting teeth? You might say it doesn't matter, because the periodic spacing of the holes determines the periodic spacing of the teeth. But it does make this difference: when using the perforation gauge, do you line up the holes with the reference lines, or do you line up the teeth with the reference lines? In my experience, it is often easier and more definite to line up the teeth with the reference lines (and the teeth are often narrower than the holes). In earlier stamps the holes sometimes form a wandering line rather than a perfectly straight line, making them less compliant with the perforation gauge scale. Have you found that?

Interesting! Thinking about the relationship of English terminology and French terminology makes us think about a technical matter in philately ;) Language is a lens through which we view the world, and it influences our ways of looking at the world.

Indeed, the German word die Weltanschauung probably carries this idea with greater gravitas than the English word worldview (which may have been coined to translate the German word — speculation on my part, which experts could confirm or correct).

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Some more French. First some more fine engraved French stamps:
.
.<br />France, 1957: French technological pioneers — Terrillon, LeBon, Thimonnier
.
France, 1957: French technological pioneers — Terrillon, LeBon, Thimonnier
.
1. Octave Terrillon (1844–95)
Créateur de l'asepsiePioneer of asepsis

Terrillon was a French physician and surgeon, known as a pioneer of aseptic surgery. Somewhere around 1882 he advocated the procedure of using boiling water, a heat sterilisation technique for disinfecting surgical instruments.
Asepsis is the state of being free from disease-causing micro-organisms (such as pathogenic bacteria, viruses, pathogenic fungi, and parasites). There are two categories of asepsis: medical and surgical. The modern day notion of asepsis is derived from the older antiseptic techniques, a shift initiated by different individuals in the 19th century who introduced practices such as the sterilizing of surgical tools and the wearing of surgical gloves during operations. The goal of asepsis is to eliminate infection, not to achieve sterility. Ideally, a surgical field is sterile, meaning it is free of all biological contaminants (e.g. fungi, bacteria, viruses), not just those that can cause disease, putrefaction, or fermentation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asepsis
Ce concept émerge de la théorie de Louis Pasteur selon laquelle les micro-organismes existent dans l'environnement, les poussières, l'air, le sol, pouvant entraîner des maladies infectieuses lorsqu'ils contaminent le corps humain.
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asepsie
This concept emerged from Louis Pasteur's theory, according to which microorganisms exist in the environment, dust, air and soil, being able to cause infectious diseases when they contaminate the human body.


2. Philippe LeBon (1767–1804)
Le gaz d'éclairagegas lighting

LeBon was a French engineer and chemist, the first to develop a system for using "artificial" gas to fuel large-scale heating and lighting systems.
En 1786, ses travaux le conduisent à mettre en évidence les propriétés du gaz de distillation du bois, qu'il appelle gaz hydrogène carburé .... Il l'utilise par la suite pour l'éclairage et le chauffage, avec une première application pour l'éclairage de la ville de Paris.
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Lebon
In 1786 his work led him to study the properties of the gas from distillation of wood, which he called carbonised hydrogen gas ... He used it thereafter for lighting and heating, first applying it for lighting in Paris.

3. Barthélemy Thimonnier (1793–1859)
La machine à coudrethe sewing machine

Thimonnier was a French tailor. He invented a machine that produced a chain-stitch using a single thread and a crochet-type needle. It was much faster than hand stitching. The French Army set up a small factory using his machines to make uniforms. Seamstresses complained that his machines would put them out of work, so a mob smashed all the machines and threatened to kill him. He fled, and subsequently dies penniless in England.
En tirant l'aiguille pour habiller ses clients, il est hanté par l'idée de coudre mécaniquement et d'utiliser un crochet analogue à celui utilisé par les ouvrières qui font des broderies au crochet dans les monts du Lyonnais.
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barth%C3%A9lemy_Thimonnier
While wielding the needle to clothe his customers, he was hauntedby the idea of mechanical sewing and of using a crochet needle like the one used by the workers ho produced crochet embroidery in the Lyonnaise mountains.
___________________________
.
A further note on French plurals

We have been looking at plurals and simplified "rules" for forming plurals, to guide learners. I have several more examples to add.

• We have seen the "rule" that "nouns which end in -s or -x do not change to form the plural"

le pas, les passtep(s)
le prix, les prixprize(s)
The plural of le Grand Prix is les Grands Prix

That "rule" can be supplemented by adding "nouns which end in -z do not change to form the plural"

le gaz, les gazgas, gases
le nez, les neznose, noses

• Let's revisit the "rule" that "nouns which end in -ou add -s to form the plural". There are numerous examples, such as le trou, les troushole(s) , le clou, les clousnail(s), le filou, les filoustrickster(s). We have also seen that there are numerous exceptions, which form their plurals by adding -x, such as le bijou, les bijouxjewel(s), le chou, les chouxcabbage(s), le genou, les genouxknee(s)

I have a very nice "compliant" example to add:
le froufroua rustling sound, as made by silk fabric has the plural les frousfrous, treating it as composed of two copies of "frou".
English has adopted froufrou as an adjective meaning heavily ornamental, overly elaborate (especially regarding clothing).

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

This post visits some northern European languages. It will show that a single stamp can lead us quite deeply into linguistics, thanks to the internet as a convenient source of all kinds of information. This stamp might in fact be a record-setter, as it is inscribed with eleven different languages!

Recalling the recent national flags posts, let's begin with Estonia's flag:
.
.<br />Estonian flag (officially re-adopted in 1990)
.
Estonian flag (officially re-adopted in 1990)
.
The tricolour Estonian flag is known colloquially as the sinimustvalge - blue-black-white, combining sinine - blue, must - black, and valge - white.

In today's Happy Day thread Ubobo.R.O. has posted this nice Estonian stamp:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=82193&start=4331
I've supplemented by showing a First Day Cover currently on eBay.
.
.<br />Estonia, 23 Feb 2017, Baltic herring (National fish of Estonia)
.
Estonia, 23 Feb 2017, Baltic herring (National fish of Estonia)
.
.<br />Estonia, 23 Feb 2017, First Day Cover, Baltic Herring
.
Estonia, 23 Feb 2017, First Day Cover, Baltic Herring
.
Eesti Estonia
rahvas nation
rahvuslik national
kala fish
räim Baltic herring
heeringas (Atlantic) herring
esimene first
päev day
esimese päeva kate first day cover

Clearly the Baltic herring plays a very significant role in Estonian culture.
Wikipedia wrote:One of Estonia's national dishes is räim (Baltic dwarf herring), along with sprats; flounder, perch and pike-perch are also popular.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_cuisine
__________________
Herrings

clupea, harenga [Latin] — herring.
The herring is a fusiform fish.
fusiform — (chiefly botany, zoology) Shaped like a spindle with yarn spun on it; having round or roundish cross-section and tapering at each end.
From Latin fususspindle, +‎ -iform.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fusiform
The species of Clupea belong to the larger family Clupeidae (herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens), which comprises some 200 species that share similar features. They are silvery-colored fish that have a single dorsal fin, which is soft, without spines. They have no lateral line and have a protruding lower jaw. Their size varies between subspecies: the Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) is small, 14 to 18 centimeters; the proper Atlantic herring (C. h. harengus) can grow to about 45.72 cm (18.00 in) and weigh up 680 g (1.50 lb); and Pacific herring grow to about 38 cm (15 in).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clupea

The Atlantic herring is an important food source for humans, and supports fishing fleets from both sides of the North Atlantic.
.
Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) is a herring in the family Clupeidae. It is one of the most abundant fish species in the world. Atlantic herrings can be found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, congregating in large schools. They can grow up to 45 centimetres (18 in) in length and weigh up to 1.1 kilograms (2.4 lb). They feed on copepods, krill and small fish, while their natural predators are seals, whales, cod and other larger fish.
The Atlantic herring fishery has long been an important part of the economy of New England and the Canadian Atlantic provinces. This is because the fish congregate relatively near to the coast in massive schools, notably in the cold waters of the semi-enclosed Gulf of Maine and Gulf of St. Lawrence. North Atlantic herring schools have been measured up to 4 cubic kilometres (0.96 cu mi) in size, containing an estimated 4 billion fish.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_herring

Baltic herrings
The small-sized herring in the inner parts of the Baltic Sea, which is also less fatty than the true Atlantic herring, is considered a distinct subspecies (Clupea harengus membras) ("Baltic herring"), despite the lack of a distinctive genome.

The Baltic herring has a specific name in many local languages — Swedish strömming, Finnish silakka, Estonian räim, silk, Livonian siļk, Russian салака, Polish śledź bałtycki, sałaka, Latvian reņģes, Lithuanian strimelė.

... [It] is popularly, and in cuisine, considered distinct from herring. For example, the Swedish dish
surströmming is made from Baltic herring.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_herring
Surströmming ([ˈsʉ̂ːˌʂʈrœmːɪŋ]; Swedish — sour herring) is a lightly-salted fermented Baltic Sea herring traditional to Swedish cuisine since at least the 16th century.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surstr%C3%B6mming

Baltic herring in northern languages

The importance of the Baltic herring as a food source for the people living around the Baltic is reflected in the variety of languages in which it is named on the 2017 Estonian stamp. Here is an itemised list of the languages on the stamp:
räimEstonian
Baltic herringEnglish
strömmingSwedish
silakkaFinnish
салакаRussian
ReņģesLatvian
strimelėLithuanian
sałakaPolish
OstseeheringGerman
østersøsildDanish
The stamp also has the scientific name for the Baltic herring, so we could count clupea, harengaLatin

Livonian

One of the sources cited referred to a language not included on the Estonian stamp, namely siļk Livonian. What is Livonian?
Livonian (Livonian: līvõ kēļ or rāndakēļ) is a Finnic language. Its last native speaker died in 2013, but it has been revived with about 40 speakers and 210 having knowledge of the language. The native land of the Livonian people is the Livonian Coast of the Gulf of Livonia, located in the north of the Kurzeme peninsula in Latvia. Possibly unique among the Uralic languages, Livonian has been described as a pitch-accent language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livonian_language

Linguistic studies of words for Baltic herring

I found a professional linguist's study of the etymology of words for Baltic herring in three of the above languages:
Summary: In this article, the names of Clupea harengus membras will be considered in Estonian, (Salaca) Livonian and Latvian (respectively räim, reńǵ and reņģeBaltic herring). It will be shown that the source of all of these words is the Estonian-Swedish strämg (sträηg), or its preceding word shape *sträimg. The Latvian reņģe is borrowed from Estonian-Swedish through Salaca Livonian. Paul Ariste proposed an adequate etymology for the Estonian räim as early as 1933.
— Udo Uibo, Clupea harengus membras: about the etymology of a certain fish name in Estonian, Latvian, and Livonian, Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics.
https://doi.org/10.12697/jeful.2012.3.1.09

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Today’s starter post on the Happy Day thread shows another item from Estonia, which I will complement here with a first day cover (currently on eBay).
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=82193&start=4354
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.<br />Estonia, 24 Nov 2017, Christmas minisheet
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Estonia, 24 Nov 2017, Christmas minisheet
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Estonian

häid happy, joyous
puhkus, pühadholiday, holidays
Häid pühi!Happy Holidays!

Jõulud Christmas [English "Yule" comes from the same root source]
postmark, postmargid postage stamp(s)
neli postmarki four postage stamps
komplekt set
Jõulumargikomplekt Christmas stamp set
margikomplekti stamp sets

ostuga purchase
toetad you support
SOS Lasteküla SOS Children’s Village

Along with various other north European countries, Estonia links Christmas stamps and letter writing with fund raising for child welfare and related charitable causes.

SOS Children's Village in Estonia
The Estonian SOS Children's Village is a non-profit organisation founded in 1994 that operates thanks to donations from the local government, individuals, companies and international organisations. The association is a non-governmental, non-political and a non-confessional organization whose work is based primarily on public interest.

The SOS Children's Village is an alternative to foster families which is designed to ensure lasting families and homes for children.
The aim is to increase the welfare of children and families in Estonia and around the world. We offer community-based family care and tailored support for families. We also act as local and national development partners to promote the well-being of families with children. In addition, we collect funds to support children and families in Estonia.
https://www.sos-lastekyla.ee/about-us/sos-estonia
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.<br />Estonia, 24 Nov 2017, First Day Cover, Freeform Christmas stamps from minisheet
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Estonia, 24 Nov 2017, First Day Cover, Freeform Christmas stamps from minisheet
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rahu, rahulikpeace, peaceful
aegtime, period
Rahulikku jõuluaegaPeaceful Christmastime
jaand
õnne, õnnelikhappiness, happy
uutnew
aastatyear
õnnelikku uut astat!Happy new year!
___________________________
.
Several posts in this thread have included the present tense conjugation of “to be” in some Romance languages. In contrast, let’s look at the corresponding conjugation of the Estonian verb:
.
ollato be

ma olenI am
sa oledyou are
ta onhe/she is
me olemewe are
et oleteyou are
nad onthey are
.
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

While in the easter Baltic, let's visit Latvia.

Latvian
Wikipedia wrote:Latvian (latviešu valoda [ˈlatviɛʃu ˈvaluɔda]), also known as Lettish, is an Eastern Baltic language spoken in the Baltic region. It is the language of Latvians and the official language of Latvia as well as one of the official languages of the European Union…

As a Baltic language, Latvian is most closely related to neighboring Lithuanian, however Latvian has followed a more rapid development. In addition, there is some disagreement whether Latgalian and Kursenieki, which are mutually intelligible with Latvian, should be considered varieties or separate languages… [This is the Latvian version of the "dialect or separate language" debate.]

Primary word stress, with a few exceptions, is on the first syllable. There are no articles in Latvian; however, definiteness is expressed by an inflection of adjectives. Basic word order in Latvian is SVO = subject–verb–object; however, word order is relatively free.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvian_language

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.<br />Latvia, 1993, set of six traditional regional costumes
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Latvia, 1993, set of six traditional regional costumes
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.<br />Latvia, 2020, birds — Hazel Grouse and Common Kingfisher
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Latvia, 2020, birds — Hazel Grouse and Common Kingfisher
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.<br />Latvia, 26 June 2015, First Day Cover, Oriole.
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Latvia, 26 June 2015, First Day Cover, Oriole.
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Latvian (examples from the philatelic items shown)

pirmafirst
pirma dienafirst day
putns, putnibird, birds
Latvijas putniLatvia's birds
vālodzeoriole
mežirbehazel grouse
zivisfish
zivju dzenitiskingfisher
.
______________________
.
Latvian present tense conjugation of the verb "to be"
.
būtto be

es esmiI am
tu esiyou are
viņš irhe is
viņa irshe is
mēs esamwe are
jūs esatyou are
viņi irthey are
viņas irthey are
.
/RogerE :D
.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

A follow-up post about Latvian.

The national flag of Latvia was long suppressed (paralleling the Estonian and Lithuanian experience), so it carries a strong nationalistic message in the modern country.
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.<br />Latvia, 2010, 20th anniversary of renewed use of the national flag
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Latvia, 2010, 20th anniversary of renewed use of the national flag
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Wikipedia wrote:The Latvian national flag is carmine red with a white horizontal stripe. (Latvian: tumši sarkana/karmin). The colour on the flag is sometimes referred to as Latvian red.
.
sarkana red
tumši sarkana dark red
karmin karmin
karogsflag
valstcountry
dienā day
valsts karoga diena national flag day
gadā, gados year, years
1990. gada1990 [literally, "on the 1990th year"]
4. maija4th May [literally, "on the 4th May"]
deklarācijadeclaration
20. gadi 20 years
.
Wikipedia wrote:The national flag of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas karogs) was used by independent Latvia from 1918 until the country was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940. Its use was suppressed during Soviet rule. On 27 February 1990, shortly before the country regained its independence, the Latvian government re-adopted the traditional red-white-red flag.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Latvia
.
_____________________
.
Flag designer

Here is a stamp commemorating the flag centenary (1918–2018), and flag designer, Ansis Cīrulis
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.<br />Latvia, stamp celebrating centenary of national flag,<br />designer Ansis Cīrulis (1883-1942)
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Latvia, stamp celebrating centenary of national flag,
designer Ansis Cīrulis (1883-1942)
.
The Latvian language version of Wikipedia includes this information:
Vikipēdija wrote:Ansis Cīrulis (dzimis 1883. gada 25. februārī Majoros, miris 1942. gada 15. septembrī Rīgā) bija latviešu grafiķis, gleznotājs un lietišķās mākslas meistars, Latvijas Republikas pirmās pastmarkas meta un valsts karoga standarta autors.
Ansis Cīrulis (born on February 25, 1883 in Majori, died on September 15, 1942 in Riga) was a Latvian graphic artist, painter and master of applied arts, designer of the first stamp of the Republic of Latvia and the standard of the national flag.
https://lv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansis_C%C4%ABrulis
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.<br />Latvia, 1918 first stamp, Sc 1,<br />block of 8, printed on back of map (due to paper shortage)
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Latvia, 1918 first stamp, Sc 1,
block of 8, printed on back of map (due to paper shortage)
.
_____________________
.
Some more Latvian

The previous post included the linguistic information
There are no articles in Latvian; however, definiteness is expressed by an inflection of adjectives.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvian_language

The following examples help illustrate what this means in practice.

diena a day, the day
dienasdays
viena diena one day
divas dienas two days
dažas dienas some days
nedēļa a week [In upper case: NEDĒĻAA WEEK]
nedēļa ir septiņas dienasa week is seven days

pirmā diena the first day
pirmās dienas segumsfirst day cover
pirmajā dienā on the first day
pēc pirmās dienasafter the first day
saulainssunny
saulaina dienaa sunny day
saulainā dienā on a sunny day
diena ir saulainathe day is sunny

pastmarka postage stamp
pastmarkaspostage stamps
sarkana pastmarka a red postage stamp
sarkanas pastmarkas red postage stamps
sarkanā pastmarkathe red postage stamp
sarkanās pastmarkasthe red postage stamps
krāsacolour
pastmarka ir sarkanā krāsāthe postage stamp is red
šī pastmarka ir sarkanā krāsāthis postage stamp is red
šīs pastmarkas ir sarkanā krāsāthese postage stamps are red

Latvijas valsts karogs ir tumši sarkans un baltsLatvia's national flag is dark red and white.
To izstrādāja Ansis CīrulisIt was designed by Ansis Cīrulis.
Pirmā Latvijas pastmarka bija viņa izstrādātaThe first Latvian postage stamp was designed by him.
Arī viņa izstrādāta bija pirmā Latvijas pastmarkaThe first Latvian postage stamp was also designed by him.
Viņš izstrādāja pirmo Latvijas pastmarkuHe designed the first Latvian postage stamp.

/RogerE :D
.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Now let's look at Lithuanian, the logical next choice of language in the eastern Baltic region.
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Lithuanian
.
Lithuanian (Lithuanian: lietuvių kalba) is an Eastern Baltic language spoken in the Baltic region. It is the language of Lithuanians and the official language of Lithuania as well as one of the official languages of the European Union…
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_language

As with Estonia and Latvia, the national flag of Lithuania has a strong message of recently regained national independence.
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.<br />Lithuania, 1992, Newly revived National Flag, celebrating admission to UN
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Lithuania, 1992, Newly revived National Flag, celebrating admission to UN
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.<br />Lithuania, 2019, strip of three 0.84 € stamps<br />with Lithuanian Red Cross flag and National Flag
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Lithuania, 2019, strip of three 0.84 € stamps
with Lithuanian Red Cross flag and National Flag
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.<br />Lithuania, 17 July 2019, priority cover to Armenia,<br />franking includes two 0.49 € Mational Flag stamps.
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Lithuania, 17 July 2019, priority cover to Armenia,
franking includes two 0.49 € Mational Flag stamps.
.
Lithuanian, from the stamp inscriptions

LietuvaLithuania
jungtinių(it) will join
tautųpeople
Lietuva jungtiniu tautu organizaijos naré 1991 09 17
Lithuania will become a member of the United Nations on 17 Sept 1991
.
raudonared
kryžiuscross
Lietuvos Raudonajam Kryžiui Lithuanian Red Cross
100 metų100 years
.
Lietuvos paštasLithuania Post
pirmenybinépriority
gediminaičiųGediminas
stulpaipillars/columns
.
.<br />Columns of Gediminas
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Columns of Gediminas
.
The Columns of Gediminas or Pillars of Gediminas are one of the earliest symbols of Lithuania and one of its historical coats of arms. They were used in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, initially as a rulers' personal insignia, a state symbol, and later as a part of heraldic signs of leading aristocracy. During the period between World War I and World War II they were used by the Lithuanian Republic as a minor state symbol...

The Columns of Gediminas appears in the emblem of the Lithuanian land force, air force, navy, Military Police and National Defence Volunteer Forces...

The symbol is supposed to have been the insignia of Grand Duke Gediminas of Lithuania
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columns_of_Gediminas
.
_________________________________
.

Present tense conjugation of the Lithuanian verb "to be"
.
butito be

as esuI am
tu esiyou are
jis/ji yrahe/she is
mes esamewe are
jus esateyou are
jie/jos yrathey are
.
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Lithuanian

Lithuanian: lietuvių kalba
Wikipedia wrote:As a Baltic language, Lithuanian is closely related to neighbouring Latvian and more distantly to Slavic, Germanic and other Indo-European languages... Lithuanian is often said to be the most conservative living Indo-European language, retaining features of Proto-Indo-European now lost in other languages.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_language
.
Indo-European vocabulary

Language preserves history. Here is selection of traces of the roots present in Sanskrit in Lithuanian.
Wikipedia wrote:Lithuanian retains cognates to many words found in classical languages, such as Sanskrit and Latin. These words are descended from Proto-Indo-European. A few examples are the following:

• Lith. and Skt. sūnus (son)
• Lith. and Skt. avis and Lat. ovis (sheep)
• Lith. dūmas and Skt. dhūmas and Lat. fumus (fumes, smoke)
• Lith. antras and Skt. antaras (second, the other)
• Lith. vilkas and Skt. vṛkas (wolf)
• Lith. ratas and Lat. rota (wheel) and Skt. rathas (carriage)
• Lith. senis and Lat. senex (an old man) and Skt. sanas (old)
• Lith. vyras and Lat. vir (a man) and Skt. vīras (man)
• Lith. angis and Lat. anguis (a snake in Latin, a species of snakes in Lithuanian)
• Lith. linas and Lat. linum (flax, compare with English 'linen')
• Lith. ariu and Lat. aro (I plow)
• Lith. jungiu and Lat. iungo, and Skt. yuñje (mid.), (I join)
• Lith. gentys and Lat. gentes and Skt. jántis (tribes)
• Lith. mėnesis and Lat. mensis and Skt. masas (month)
• Lith. dantis and Lat. dentes and Skt. dantas (teeth)
• Lith. naktis and Lat. noctes (plural of nox) and Skt. naktis (night)
• Lith. ugnis and Lat. ignis and Skt. agnis (fire)
• Lith. sėdime and Lat. sedemus and Skt. sīdamas (we sit).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_language

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

The recent posts on Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian are nicely united by a joint issue of the three countries on 23 Aug 1999.

The Baltic Chain or Baltic Way

On 23 Aug 1939 Germany and USSR signed a pact which served as a basis for the Soviet Union to occupy the Baltic countries in 1940. The peoples of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania found a way to peacefully demonstrate on the 50th anniversary of that pact, to draw the world’s attention to continuing Soviet occupation of the Baltic countries. Their peaceful demonstration became known as the Baltic Chain.
The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain or Chain of Freedom (Estonian: Balti kett; Latvian: Baltijas ceļš; Lithuanian: Baltijos kelias; Russian: Балтийский путь [Baltiysky put]) was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on 23 August 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning 675.5 kilometres (419.7 mi) across the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which were considered at the time to be constituent republics of the Soviet Union.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Way

The three countries combined to issue stamps commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Baltic Chain, with their national flags prominently featured, celebrating the independence they were now enjoying.
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.<br />Estonia, 23 Aug 1999, First Day Cover minisheet celebrating the Baltic Chain of 1989,
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Estonia, 23 Aug 1999, First Day Cover minisheet celebrating the Baltic Chain of 1989,
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.<br />Latvia, 23 1aug 999, minisheet celebrating the Baltic Chain of 1989, Sc SS494
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Latvia, 23 1aug 999, minisheet celebrating the Baltic Chain of 1989, Sc SS494
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.<br />Lithuania, 23 Aug 1999, minisheet celebrating the Baltic Chain of 1989, Sc 640a-c, Mi 705-7, block 17
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Lithuania, 23 Aug 1999, minisheet celebrating the Baltic Chain of 1989, Sc 640a-c, Mi 705-7, block 17
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.<br />Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania: 23 Aug 1999<br />Individual local rate postage stamps celebrating the Baltic Chain of 1989
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Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania: 23 Aug 1999
Individual local rate postage stamps celebrating the Baltic Chain of 1989
.
.
Minisheet inscriptions

Estonian Balti kett — Lithuanian Baltijos KeliasBaltic Chain
Latvian Baltijas ceļšBaltic Way
Estonian Vabadus — Latvian Brīvība — Lithuanian LaisvėFreedom

A contemporary photograph of part of the Lithuanian section of the Baltic Way:
.
500px-Baltic_Way_in_Moteris_magazine.jpg
.
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by kuikka »

A comment on your post on Estonian:
ostuga — purchase
My Estonian is not perfect, but my understanding is that
ostu - purchase
-ga - with
ostuga - with purchase

Typical to Finno-ugric languages, many constructions that require a preposition in Indoeuropean languages are taken care with postfixes.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

Image

Hi Roger,

I find the map side of these stamps to be fascinating in terms of the languages that were involved.

These stamps were printing on around 65 different maps from a long series of 467 German military maps for "Western Russia".

The legend and marginal inscriptions are in German with a section in the bottom right with notes about the "local language" which is usually given as Polish but occasionally Latvian.

The place names on the maps that I've seen are sometimes clearly in Polish but at other times appear to be in German (or perhaps Polish place names spelt out in German).

This block shows some villages in Lithuania.

It includes two "W.H." abbreviations which I guess are German Wirtshaus = public house or tavern.
Nigel

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thanks kuikka and nigelc for your latest posts — both adding to the value of this thread. :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

In my recent post on the Baltic Chain/Baltic Way I forgot to comment on the map on the minisheets.
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.<br />Right hand portion of 1999 Lithuanian minisheet commemorating the Baltic Chain
.
Right hand portion of 1999 Lithuanian minisheet commemorating the Baltic Chain
.
Note that the three nations that participated in the 1989 Baltic Chain are identified on the map (slightly obscured by the 'S').
From north to south, they are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
The national flags, from top to bottom, are in the matching order.

I like the mnemonic that, from north to south, the three nations are in alphabetical order [strictly, that is lexicographic order]. :D

/RogerE

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

Here is a second Latvia map block, this time a perforated block of sixteen from near the top of a map:
LatviaMapBlock001-scfopt.jpg

This is once again in Lithuania with the place names in Polish.

The name of the village Kuże has the characteristic Polish letter "ż", z with an overdot, called żet or zet z kropka in Polish.

This is the Lithuanian village of Kužiai in Šiauliai County.

Here we have a number of places which include the word "Gut" which I assume is the German word meaning "estate".

The individual maps were produced in various editions with different colour schemes, level of details and style of text.

I particularly like this one because of its geographic details such as the land usage and the coloured contour lines.
Nigel

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