Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

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RogerE
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thanks turtle-bienhoa for the post about Alexandre de Rhodes.

Would you mind to transliterate and translate the Vietnamese overprint on the last stamp for us, please?
Any further comment about the overprint would be welcome.

/RogerE :D

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Re: Corona Slogan Cancel of Kolkata

Post by Joy Daschaudhuri »

RogerE wrote:
12 Aug 2020 03:28
In the thread about Corona Virus stamps there is a recent post showing a slogan cancel from Kolkata:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=89900&start=211
.
Image
.
This reminds us that at the national level, India's two administrative languages are Hindi and English.
It gives us another opportunity to exercise our ability to read the Devanagari script:
.
कोरोना कोविद 19 से बचें
koronā kovid 19 se baceṃ [c = tʃ] — avoid corona covid 19
कोरोना = क k/kə, को ko; र r/rə, रो ro;न n/nə, ना nā
कोविद = क k/kə, को ko; व v/və. वि vi; द d/də
से बचें = स s/sə, से se; ब b/bə = ba; च c/cə [tʃə], चे ce [tʃe], चें ceṃ [tʃə̃]
से बचने [se bacane] — to avoid

कोलकाता
kolkātā — Kolkata [formerly Calcutta]
कोलकाता = क k/kə, को ko; ल l/lə; क k/kə, का kā; त t/tə, ता tā
.
/RogerE :D
Image

Left over Devnagari inscriptions:

हमेशा मास्क पहने
(Hameshā Mask Pahne)
Always wear mask.

सामाजिक दूरी का पालन करे
(Sāmājik Dūrī kā Pālan Kare)
Practise social distance.

भीड़ नहीं लगाएं
(Bhīṛ Nahī̃ Lagāẽ)
Don't crowd.

Literal Meanings of the Words

हमेशा Always
पहने Wear

सामाजिक Social
दूरी Distance
का of
पालन Comply/Follow
करे Do

भीड़ Crowd
नहीं No/Not
लगाएं Put

से from
बचे Save

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thanks Joy and Pratik for helpful corrections and additions to my post about the Covid-19 slogan cancel.

Pratik, I didn't even notice that I had used द instead of ड, so it's good to have that correction. :D
The IAST transliterations are ड = ḍ Ḍ and द = d D .
IAST = International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration.
I added a recent post about IAST on this thread, using
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Alphabet_of_Sanskrit_Transliteration

Joy, your additional input about the slogans around the encircled images in the cancel are very helpful.
I found the words too indistinct to read — it required a reader fluent in both languages to decipher the texts.
It is very satisfying to have that further information. :D

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by turtle-bienhoa »

RogerE wrote:
12 Aug 2020 03:47
Would you mind to transliterate and translate the Vietnamese overprint on the last stamp for us, please? Any further comment about the overprint would be welcome.
It's fairly simple. The translation is as follows:
Image

VIET-NAM DAN-CHU CONG-HOA
Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cộng Hòa - Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV).
Searching for musical instruments, Lions International, Rotary International, the sport of cricket, round and triangular stamps, and PIGS. OINK!

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thank you turtle-bienhoa.
You gave us this transliteration and translation of the overprint:
.
VIET-NAM DAN-CHU CONG-HOA
Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cộng Hòa — Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV).
Dân Chủ — Democracy/Democratic
Cộng Hòa — Republic
.
The proper transliteration in chữ Quốc ngữ National language script was what I was particularly needing (and could not supply by myself).

So now I have two follow-up requests:
• Why did the all-caps overprint use Latin [Roman] alphabet rather than National language script?
• Here is my "reading" of the tones for that inscription: can you confirm/correct that "reading" please?
.
Việt Nam Dân Chủ Cộng Hòa
Word — (tone name) tone description, IPA suprasegmental notation for tone
Việt — (Nặng) glottalized falling, ˧˨ˀ (Northern); low rising, ˩˧ (Southern)
Nam — (Ngang) mid level, ˧
Dân — (Ngang) mid level, ˧
Chủ — (Hỏi) mid falling, ˧˩ (Northern); dipping, ˨˩˥ (Southern)
Cộng — (Nặng) glottalized falling, ˧˨ˀ (Northern); low rising, ˩˧ (Southern)
Hòa — (Huyền) low falling, ˨˩
.
Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 8.50.35 pm.png
.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_alphabet
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by turtle-bienhoa »

OK, RogerE.
For the first question, the stamp with the overprint was issued when Vietnam became independent in 1945. Every overprinted stamp at the time had the overprint with no diacritics whatsoever. When the first non-overprinted stamps of Vietnam were issued, there were also no diacritics on the stamp. So, from the observations, I think there were not a diacritic on the stamps is because it was a standard for stamps at the time.
Image
First non-overprinted stamps of Vietnam (DRV).
P/S: Your "tone reading" is correct.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Vietnamese (continued)

Thanks turtle-bienhoa. It's reassuring to have confirmation about the tones.

Regarding the Vietnamese inscriptions without diacritics, based on the evidence provided by the stamps themselves I propose two conjectures.

First conjecture: Although the French made the use of chữ Quốc ngữ National language script compulsory in 1910, I conjecture that it was nevertheless not widely mastered by French administrators, who would mostly have used French in their administrative communications. The inscriptions on the stamps issued under the French administration were in French, and chữ Quốc ngữ did not make an appearance. So, when North Vietnam declared independence there was still the habit/convention of using Latin [Roman] script on stamps, and this persisted within the Vietnamese administration for some time.
Second conjecture: After the declaration of independence by North Vietnam, the letter press fonts available to printers were dominantly those that had been used for French, and the specialised character set for chữ Quốc ngữ was not yet widely available. It would have taken time and investment of resources to make it widely and easily available, and therefore it would be some time until it was the preferred alphabet used for "ordinary" purposes like the overprinting of stamps.

If any Stampboarder has authoritative information to support or correct those conjectures, please tell us :D
On 2 Sept 1945 Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. Some time after this date, and until December 1946, the stamps of Indo-china were reprinted and overprinted by the new government.
.
.<br />Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 1945 — Mi 8; Scott 1L20
.
Democratic Republic of Vietnam, 1945 — Mi 8; Scott 1L20
Overprint in allcaps Roman, and National language script equivalent
VIET-NAM = Việt-nam — Vietnam
DOC-LAP = độc-lập — Independent
TU-DO = từ-đó — from
HAHN-PHUC (?) — henceforth (?)
BUU CHINH = bưu-chính —Postal service
.
I could not get a satisfactory chữ Quốc ngữ version of HAHN-PHUC, and I'm not confident about the suggested translation for TU-DO HAHN-PHUC. Can turtle-bienhoa help us, please?


Let's look again at the early Hồ Chí Minh stamps shown by turtle-bienhoa.
.
s-l1600-2.jpg
.
Text in allcaps Roman, and National language script equivalent
BUU CHINH = bưu-chính — postal service
PHU-THU CUU-QUOC = Phụ thu cứu quốc — Surcharge to assist the country
CHU-TICH = chủ tịch — chairman
HO-CHI-MINH = Hồ Chí Minh

phụ — extra
thuế phụ —surtax
cứu — assist
quốc — country
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by turtle-bienhoa »

Fixing the translation:
TU-DO: Tự-do = Freedom.
HANH-PHUC: Hạnh-phúc = Happiness.
ĐỘC-LẬP TỰ-DO HẠNH-PHÚC = Independence, Freedom and Happiness
(National Motto of Vietnam).
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Aaahh! Thank you turtle-bienhoa, that's helpful and so much more satisfying! ;)

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

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Vietnamese (continued)

Vietnamese: tiếng việt, 㗂越
Vietnamese is a member of the Vietic branch of the Austroasiatic language family. It is spoken mainly in Vietnam, and in Guangxi Province in southern China, and in Cambodia and Laos. There are also significant numbers of Vietnamese speakers in France, Australia, and the USA. In 2007 there were about 75 million speakers of Vietnamese.
Some history of the Vietnamese language
During the period when Vietnam was dominated by China the main written language used was Classical Chinese (chữ nho). Chinese texts were read with Vietnamese pronunciation, and many Chinese words were borrowed into Vietnamese, to create a Sino-Vietnamese form of language.

From about the 13th century, Vietnamese was written with a script adapted from Chinese known as Chữ-nôm, 𡨸喃 or Nôm, 喃. At first most Vietnamese literature was essentially Chinese in structure and vocabulary. Later literature developed a more Vietnamese style, but was still full of Chinese loan words. The greatest literary work in Vietnamese is Kim Vân KiềuTale of Kieu, a romance written by Nguyễn-Du (1765-1820).

Chữ-nôm was used until the 20th century. Courses in the Chữ-nôm script were available at Ho Chi Minh University until 1993, and the script is still studied and taught at the Han-Nôm Institute in Hanoi, which has recently published a dictionary of all the nôm characters.

During the 17th century, Roman Catholic missionaries introduced a Latin-based orthography for Vietnamese, chữ Quốc ngữ (national language script), which has been used ever since. Until the early 20th century, chữ Quốc ngữ was used in parallel with Chữ-nôm. Today only chữ Quốc ngữ is used.
https://omniglot.com/writing/vietnamese.htm
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Braille revisited.

Previously in this thread we have discussed Braille.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=47
This minisheet from Brazil prompts a revisit with Braille.

.<br />Brazil, 1979, Minisheet commemorating 150 years since <br />publication of the first book in Braille. Sc 1650, Yv. Br BF40
.
Brazil, 1979, Minisheet commemorating 150 years since
publication of the first book in Braille. Sc 1650, Yv. Br BF40


Louis Braille and the first book in Braille
Ginny A. Roth, MLS and Elizabeth Fee, PhD wrote: LOUIS BRAILLE (1809–1852) was born in Coupvray, a town in north central France, on 4 Jan 1809. At the age of three, he accidentally blinded himself in one eye with a stitching awl taken from his father's leather workshop. His other eye went blind because of sympathetic ophthalmia, an inflammation of both eyes following trauma to one.

When he was 15, he invented a universal system for reading and writing to be used by people who are blind or visually impaired that now bears his name. He published the first Braille book, Method of Writing Words, Music, and Plain Songs by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged for Them, in 1829, at age 20. A talented musician, he also developed a Braille musical codification.

As an adult, Braille became the first blind apprentice teacher at the New School for the Blind in Paris, France. There he taught algebra, grammar, music, and geography. He later became the first blind full professor at the school. Braille saved enough money from his teaching position to buy himself a piano so he could practice whenever he wished. Despite his small salary, he also made many personal gifts and loans to his students to help them purchase warm clothing and other necessities. Braille developed tuberculosis in his mid-20s, and for the rest of his life had periods of good health interspersed with times of pain and illness. When in good health, he maintained a heavy teaching load and held several jobs playing the organ.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3036681/
Am J Public Health. 2011 March; 101(3): 454.
doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.200865


Text on Brazil's 1979 minisheet

The Portuguese inscriptions:
150 anos da primeira publicação em Braille
150 years since the first publication in Braille
Ao tocar os relevos do papel, o cego participa da evolução do mundo
By touching raised dots on paper, the blind person participates in the evolution of the world


Braille text on the minisheet

Viewed from the back, it is evident that the minisheet has a text in Braille:
.
.<br />Brazil, 1979, Braille minisheet (reverse)
.
Brazil, 1979, Braille minisheet (reverse)
.
This reverse view is in fact how Braille would normally look to a person creating the text using a slate and stylus. The cells are created in reverse, and in reverse order, from right to left. This way when the paper is removed from the slate and turned over for reading, the raised dots are in correct orientation and reading order.

Here is a transcription of the Braille text:
.
Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 11.18.01 pm.png
.
Transliteration:
(Cap.) Ao tocar
os relevos
do papel,
o cego pa
rticipa da
evolução
do mundo!
My transliteration was impeded by some "technical" problems — I couldn't scale the size of the Braille elements I used, so the line breaks in my transcription don't match those on the minisheet. Also the elements specific to Portuguese Braille (such as ç and ã) were of a smaller size.


Portuguese Braille
Braille's original set of characters were designed for the French language. Each language that has adopted
a Braille alphabet has adapted the original in various ways (for example, the
Braille alphabet for Hebrew is shown in the post
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=47
The Portuguese version of Braille is in use in Brazil. Here are its main elements:

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 11.35.12 am.png
Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 11.37.38 am.png
Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 11.40.49 am.png
Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 12.07.04 pm.png
Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 11.42.21 am.png
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Braille
.
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Māori revisited

For earlier discussion of Māori language in this thread, visit
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&hilit=te+reo&start=204

A nice New Zealand CAL cover was posted in today's Happy Day thread by Ubobo.R.O.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=82193&start=4981


I admire the cultural wisdom of the traditional sayings:
.
IMG_20200817_0001.jpg
.
A new stand alone brand, Real Aotearoa, was created to showcase the country's culture and creativity to upmarket tourists and those shopping for quality New Zealand made gifts.

(The bilingual text on the cover also appears on the wall to the left of this store photograph.)
.
Real+shop+interior2.jpg
.
https://www.meandeye.co.nz/real-aotearoa
.
Resurgence of Māori language

In an earlier post in this thread I cited:
Māori /ˈmaʊri/, Māori pronunciation: [ˈmaːɔɾi], also known as te reothe 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 declined sharply after 1945, but a Māori language revitalisation effort has slowed the decline, and the language has experienced a revival, particularly since 2015.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%81ori_language
Looking at some of te reo Māori — the Māori language

With the aid of Google translate...

kotahi, rua, toruone, two, three

te tangatathe man
te wahinethe woman
te tamaitithe child

tenei tangata, taua wahine, era tamarikithis man, that woman, those children

he teitei te tangata, he ataahua te wahine, he harikoa te tamaiti
the man is tall, the woman is beautiful, the child is happy

ahakoathough
ahakoa itithough small
pounamugreenstone
Ahakoa iti, he pounamuAlthough small, it is greenstone
.
NZ-G1.jpg
.
Called nephrite jade by geologists, pounamu by the Māori and greenstone by early settlers, this mineral is mainly sourced from the west coast of the South Island. Greenstone was originally carved and shaped into weapons and tools as well as decorative ornaments by the Maori.
https://wollemigems.com.au/c/other/new-zealand-green-stone/

waiholeave
potoshort, brief, concise
mea potobriefly
waiho i te toipotoleave it at that/to put it briefly
kauanot
kaua i te toiroanot to be confused(?)
I think Google translate doesn't know what "toiroa" means!
waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroalTo put it briefly, don't stay too distant from each other (My suggested version)

te meathe thing
homaigive
te mea homaithe gift
e iti noa anait is small
te arohathe love
e iti noa ana, na te arohait is small, but comes with love

whakairocarving
toi whakairoicarving art/ art of sculpture
mana tangatahuman rights/values
he toi whakairoi, he mana tangataWhere there is artistic skill, human values are expressed (My suggested version)

I have tried to get a sense of the Māori phrases using Google translate (though it clearly has limitations for Māori), along with the elegant translations on the cover shown. In some places I have suggested possible alternative versions in English, but from a very limited level of understanding. Helpful corrections and comments from others with real fluency would be very welcome.

Modern philatelic promotion of Māori language

I am reminded that New Zealand issued a bilingual minisheet intended to promote awareness of contemporary technology terms in Māori:
.
.<br />New Zealand, 2017, minisheet with 10 stamps showing modern technology<br /> with corresponding terms in Māori and English
.
New Zealand, 2017, minisheet with 10 stamps showing modern technology
with corresponding terms in Māori and English
.

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Māori continued

There are quite a few websites where the Māori language is being taught,
at levels from complete novice to various degrees of experience. Many of
these websites are based in New Zealand, and have various levels of official
status. Most seem to be user-friendly, and participation comes free of charge.

I just visited a website called "Learning Māori in Australia" —
https://www.facebook.com/reomaoriguide/

Here is a vocabulary list from that link:

Screen Shot 2020-08-18 at 2.47.08 pm.png
.
Some positive features of that list include the practice of introducing one or two
single words first, and immediately following with a short phrase incorporating
them in use together. This builds a sense of how the vocabulary can be used for
real conversation, and implicitly develops a "feel" for the language structures.

Some personal observations:
• As I encounter new Māori words and phrases, I have a strong positive reaction
to them — they seem to be attractive/elegant/euphonious. I hope they also appeal
to other readers in this way.

• The column heading Te Reo Māori clearly means The Māori Language,
and the expression was already translated in the previous post.
The matching column heading Te Reo Ingarangi uses the word Ingarangi
not previously seen, but from context it is clear that it must mean English.

• Note that kōrerospeak, tell, say, talk seems likely to be connected with
reolanguage. Let's keep this observation in mind to help us develop our
intuition/"feel" for the language in future.

• The phrases tatari maiwait for me and kōrero mai [ki a au]speak to me/
tell me
strongly suggest that mai is the personal pronoun me or, more extensively,
[to/for] me

Google translate supplies these translations for me:
my question —> ko taku patai
my questions —> aku patai
my word —> toku kupu
my words —> aku kupu
your question —> tou patai
your questions —> au patai
your word —> to kupu
your words —> koutou kupu
These examples show that the appropriate translation of "my" or "your"
is complicated, and needs detailed grammatical explanation. Evidently
the noun does not alter for the plural, but the pronoun does.

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Polynesian Languages

Māori and Samoan have both been discussed in this thread. Let's take a wider look at the language
family they belong to...

Polynesian Languages
Wikipedia wrote:There are approximately forty Polynesian languages. The most prominent of these are Tahitian, Samoan, Tongan, Māori and Hawaiian. As humans first settled the Polynesian islands relatively recently and because internal linguistic diversification only began around 2,000 years ago, the Polynesian languages retain strong commonalities. There are still many cognate words across the different islands, for example: tapu, ariki, motu, kava, and tapa as well as Hawaiki, the mythical homeland for some of the cultures.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynesian_languages
Cognate Polynesian words

Language and culture are intimately related, and language preserves much of culture. The migrations which populated the Pacific islands carried culture, still preserved in various ways in languages which have evolved over time, but bear many features reflecting their origins. Here are some cognate words from across the region, with particular attention to their form and significance in Māori culture.

Tapu or tabu is a Polynesian traditional concept denoting something holy or sacred, with "spiritual restriction" or "implied prohibition". It involves rules and prohibitions. The English word taboo derives from this later meaning, dating from Captain James Cook's visit to Tonga in 1777. The concept exists in many societies, including traditional Fijian, Māori, Samoan, Kiribati, Rapanui, Tahitian, Hawaiian, and Tongan cultures.

In Māori and Tongan tradition, something that is tapu is considered inviolable or sacrosanct. Things or places which are tapu must be left alone, and may not be approached or interfered with. In some cases, they should not even be spoken of.

In Māori society the concept was often used by tohunga (priests) to protect resources from over-exploitation, by declaring a fishery or other resource as tapu. There are two kinds of tapu, the private (relating to individuals) and the public tapu (relating to communities). A person, object, or place that is tapu, may not be touched by human contact, in some cases, not even approached. A person, object, or place could be made sacred by tapu for a certain time. In pre-contact society, tapu was one of the strongest forces in Māori life.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapu_(Polynesian_culture)

• A member of a hereditary chiefly or noble rank in Polynesia is an ariki (New Zealand, Cook Islands), ali‘i (Samoa, Hawai‘i), ‘eiki (Tonga), etc.
.
.<br />New Zealand, 1981, Māori leaders
.
New Zealand, 1981, Māori leaders
.
Political leadership or governance in Māori society has traditionally come from two different groups of people – the ariki and the rangatira. The ariki are the "persons of the highest rank and seniority", inheriting their positions from their forebears.

Rangatira Māori: [ɾaŋatiɾa] are the hereditary Māori leaders of hapū clans, and were described by ethnologists such as Elsdon Best as chieftains. Ideally, rangatira were people of great practical wisdom who held authority on behalf of the tribe and maintained boundaries between a tribe's land and that of other tribes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rangatira

The ariki, resin based sculpture by Allan Davey
The ariki, resin based sculpture by Allan Davey


Motu, a Polynesian reef islet formed by broken coral and sand, surrounding an atoll, such as Motu One, Motu Nao and Motu Paahi.

Kava or kava kava, Piper methysticum [Latin 'pepper' and Latinized Greek 'intoxicating'] is a crop of the Pacific Islands. The name kava is from Tongan and Marquesan, meaning 'bitter'. Other names for kava include ʻawa (Hawaiʻi), ʻava (Samoa), yaqona (Fiji), etc. Kava is consumed for its sedating effects throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia, and some parts of Micronesia. To a lesser extent, it is consumed in nations where it is exported as an herbal medicine. The root of the plant is used to produce a drink with sedative, anesthetic, and euphoriant properties.

Kawakawa, Piper excelsum, known also as "Maori kava", may be confused with kava. While the two plants look similar and have similar names, they are different but related species. Kawakawa is a small tree endemic to New Zealand, having importance to traditional medicine and Māori culture. As noted by the Kava Society of New Zealand: "In all likelihood, the kava plant was known to the first settlers of Aotearoa [New Zealand]. It is also possible that (just like the Polynesian migrants that settled in Hawaii) the Maori explorers brought some kava with them. Unfortunately, most of New Zealand is simply too cold for growing kava and hence the Maori settlers lost their connection to the sacred plant... the Maori gave the name kawa-kawa to another Piperaceae [M. excelsum], in memory of the kava plants they undoubtedly brought with them and unsuccessfully attempted to cultivate. The Maori word kawa also means "ceremonial protocol", recalling the stylised consumption of the drug typical of Polynesian societies""
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kava

Tapa cloth, or simply tapa, is a barkcloth made in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, primarily in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, but as far afield as Niue, Cook Islands, Futuna, Solomon Islands, Java, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Hawaii.

The word tapa is from Tahiti and the Cook Islands, where Captain Cook was the first European to collect it and introduce it to the rest of the world. In Tonga, tapa is known as ngatu, and here it is of great social importance to the islanders, often being given as gifts. In Samoa, the same cloth is called siapo, and in Niue it is hiapo. In Hawaiʻi, it is known as kapa.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapa_cloth

Gatu vakaviti, a 19th century wedding tapa
Gatu vakaviti, a 19th century wedding tapa


• In Polynesian mythology, Hawaiki, also rendered as Avaiki (Society Islands and Cook island), Savai'i (Samoa), Havai’i (Reo Tahiti) is the original home of the Polynesians, before dispersal across Polynesia. It also features as the underworld in many Māori stories.

Havai'i is the old name for Raiatea, the homeland of the Māori. When James Cook first sighted New Zealand in 1769, he had Tupaia on board, a Raiatean navigator and linguist... At Tolaga Bay, Tupaia conversed with the priest, tohunga, associated with the school of learning located there, called Te Rawheoro. The priest asked about the Maori homelands, Rangiatea (Ra'iatea), Hawaiki (Havai'i, the ancient name for Ra'iatea), and Tawhiti (Tahiti).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaiki

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Panterra »

RogerE wrote:
19 Aug 2020 04:00
Image
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Political leadership or governance in Māori society has traditionally come from two different groups of people – the ariki and the rangatira. The ariki are the "persons of the highest rank and seniority", inheriting their positions from their forebears.

/RogerE :D
Let me tell you a funny tale about this set of stamps, issued in 1981 as part of the definitive issue.

When these stamps were being planned, a certain Maori member of parliament heard about it, and said to the Post Office bosses:
"Don't announce this yet! Let me announce it to the Maoris at a big gathering they are holding shortly, so I can claim some political kudos for it!"

So the posties agreed, and the politician waltzed off to the big gathering.

As a member of parliament, he had some status, so was given the floor to make a speech. Seeking to ingratiate himself with the crowd, he said:
"I plan to talk with the bosses of the Post Office, and ask them to issue stamps with the faces of some of our famous ancestors, so that they will be widely seen on everyone's mail!"

The Maoris present discussed this for a while, then responded: "No, this would be deeply insulting! Whatever you do, DO NOT show our ancestors' faces on any stamps!"

He was of course mortified, as the stamps were already being printed. So when they were issued shortly after, his reputation was in the toilet!

The joys of being a smartypants politician!!

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Polynesian Languages (continued)

Classification of Polynesian Languages
The contemporary classification of the Polynesian languages began with certain observations by Andrew Pawley in 1966 based on shared innovations in phonology, vocabulary and grammar showing that the East Polynesian languages are more closely related to Samoan than they are to Tongan, calling Tongan and its nearby relative Niuean Tongic and Samoan and all other Polynesian languages of the study Nuclear Polynesian.

Previously, there had been only lexicostatistical studies... Since Pawley's 1966 publication, inferring the ancient relationships of the Polynesian languages has proceeded by the more diagnostic findings of studies employing the comparative method and the proofs of shared innovations.
Internal Correspondences within the Polynesian Language Family

Sound shifts are notable. These are best described using the phonetic notation of the IPA = International Phonetic Alphabet.
For example, sound shifts occur between /ŋ/ (IPA for the 'ng' sound in standard English "thing") and /n/ (IPA for the 'n' sound in standard English "thin"). Also, between /k/ (IPA for the 'k' sound in standard English "king") and the glottal stop /?/ (IPA for the glottal stop in Cockney English "bu'er" /ˈbʌʔə/ = butter). The glottal stop, a feature of many languages, is usually transcribed as an apostrophe ' in romanisations.
Certain regular correspondences can be noted between different Polynesian languages. For example, the Māori sounds /k/, /ɾ/, /t/, and /ŋ/ correspond to /ʔ/, /l/, /k/, and /n/ in Hawaiian. Accordingly, man is tangata in Māori and kanaka in Hawaiian(*), and Māori roalong corresponds to Hawaiian loa. The famous Hawaiian greeting aloha corresponds to Māori arohalove, tender emotion. Similarly, the Hawaiian word for kava is ʻawa.
(*)Note: The word Kanak /ˈkɑːnək/ is used in English (since 1910) for an indigenous Melanesian inhabitant of New Caledonia, matching French Canaque. It is derived from Hawaiian Kanakaman, via English usage as a general term for "South Sea Islander". As often noticed, such usages often have pejorative undertones.
Partly because Polynesian languages split from one another comparatively recently, many words in these languages remain similar to corresponding words in others. The table below demonstrates this with IPA pronunciations of the words for 'sky', 'north wind', 'woman', 'house' and 'parent' in a representative selection of languages: Tongan; Niuean; Samoan; Sikaiana; Takuu; Rapanui language; Tahitian; Cook Islands Māori (Rarotongan); Māori; North Marquesan; South Marquesan; Hawaiian, and Mangarevan. {*In two sections, to accommodate width*}

Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 1.17.14 pm.png
Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 1.18.41 pm.png
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynesian_languages

The Polynesian Languages in the comparison table

Here are brief descriptions taken directly from the relevant Wikipedia entries on each language:

Tongan /ˈtɒŋən/ or /ˈtɒŋɡən/ lea fakatonga, is an Austronesian language of the Polynesian branch spoken in Tonga. Withs around 187,000 speakers, it is a national language of Tonga. It is a VSO (verb–subject–object) language.

Niuean /njuˈeɪən/ ko e vagahau Niuē, is a Polynesian language, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup of the Austronesian languages. It is most closely related to Tongan and slightly more distantly to other Polynesian languages such as Māori, Samoan, and Hawaiian. Together, Tongan and Niuean form the Tongic subgroup of the Polynesian languages. Niuean also has a number of influences from Samoan and Eastern Polynesian languages.

Samoan: Gagana Sāmoa, IPA: /ŋaˈŋana ˈsaːmʊa/ or Gagana faʻa Sāmoa, is the language of the Samoan Islands, comprising Samoa and the US territory of American Samoa. It is an official language, alongside English, in both jurisdictions.

Samoan, a Polynesian language, is the first language for most of the Samoa Islands' population of about 246,000 people. With many Samoan people living in other countries, the total number of speakers worldwide is estimated at 510,000 [2015]. It is the third most widely spoken language in New Zealand, where more than 2% of the population, 86,000 people, were able to speak it as of 2013.

The language is notable for the phonological differences between formal and informal speech as well as a ceremonial form used in Samoan oratory.

Sikaiana is a Polynesian language, spoken by about 730 people on Sikaiana in the Solomon Islands.

Takuu, formerly known as Tauu and also known as Takuu Mortlock or Marqueen Islands, is a small, isolated atoll off the east coast of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea.
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.<br />Takuu atoll, NASA photograph
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Takuu atoll, NASA photograph
520px-Pacific_Ocean_laea_location_map.svg.png
While the atoll is likely to persist physically for some time, a variety of problems due to apparent climate-change related phenomena and the political situation are making life on Takuu very difficult. Moyle has predicted that climate change will eventually extinguish the atoll's ability to sustain life. "Takuu families living elsewhere in Papua New Guinea will take in as many as they can, but with no single resettlement location, I can't see Takuu continuing to function as a community" (Moyle, quoted in Wane 2005:10).
[Joanna Wane, 2005. 'Before the Flood'. Ingenio et Labore: Magazine of Univ. Auckland, Spring 2005, 10–12.]


/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Polynesian Languages (continued)

While in process of editing and adding to my previous post, my window of opportunity "timed out".
Here I complete the last section.

I was disappointed that the location map for Takuu lost its labels, so I was going to replace it with a more useful map. This map does much better:
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takuu1.gif
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And here are some delightful children on Takuu. The looming threat of loss of their tiny atoll
due to climate change has not marred their happiness in this ABC photograph.
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download.jpg
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Now let's us conclude the brief descriptions of the languages included in the comparative table
of the earlier post [Wed Aug 19, 2020 14:50:31 pm]. As before, the descriptions are taken directly
from the relevant Wikipedia entries on each language:

The Polynesian Languages in the comparison table (continued/concluded)

Rapa Nui or Rapanui, /ˌræpəˈnuːi/, also known as Pascuan /ˈpæskjuən/) or Pascuense, is an Eastern Polynesian language of the Austronesian language family. It is spoken on the island of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island.

The island is home to a population of just under 6,000 and is a special territory of Chile. There are about 3,700 people on the island and on the Chilean mainland who identify as ethnically Rapa Nui. In 2008, the number of fluent speakers was reported as low as 800. Rapa Nui is a minority language and many of its adult speakers also speak Spanish. Most Rapa Nui children now grow up speaking Spanish and those who do learn Rapa Nui begin learning it later in life.

Tahitian, autonym Reo Tahiti, part of Reo Māꞌohi, languages of French Polynesia [and more!] is a Polynesian language, spoken mainly on the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It belongs to the Eastern Polynesian group. As Tahitian had no written tradition before the arrival of the Western colonists, the spoken language was first transcribed by missionaries of the London Missionary Society in the early 19th century.

Tahitian includes a glottal stop or ꞌeta. It is a genuine consonant. This is typical of Polynesian languages (compare to the Hawaiian ʻokina and others). Glottal stops used to be seldom written in practice, but are now commonly written, though often as straight apostrophes, ꞌ, instead of the curly apostrophes used in Hawaiian. Alphabetical word ordering in dictionaries used to ignore the existence of glottals. However, academics and scholars now publish text content with due use of glottal stops. [The alphabetical order lists ꞌeta last, after <v>.

Cook Islands Māori is an Eastern Polynesian language that is the official language of the Cook Islands. Cook Islands Māori is closely related to New Zealand Māori, but is a distinct language in its own right. Cook Islands Māori is simply called Māori when there is no need to disambiguate it from New Zealand Māori, but it is also known as Māori Kūki 'Āirani (or Maori Kuki Airani), or, controversially, Rarotongan. Many Cook Islanders also call it Te reo Ipukareathe language of the Ancestral Homeland.

Māori /ˈmaʊri/, Māori: /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. [Māori is more fully discussed in recent posts in this thread.]

Marquesan is a collection of East-Central Polynesian dialects, of the Marquesic group, spoken in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. They are usually classified into two groups, North Marquesan and South Marquesan, roughly along geographic lines.

Hawaiian: ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi /ʔoːˈlɛlo həˈvɐjʔi/, is a Polynesian language that takes its name from Hawaiʻi, the largest island in the tropical North Pacific archipelago where it developed. Hawaiian, along with English, is an official language of the State of Hawaii. King Kamehameha III established the first Hawaiian-language constitution in 1839 and 1840.

For various reasons, including territorial legislation establishing English as the official language in schools, the number of native speakers of Hawaiian gradually decreased during the period from the 1830s to the 1950s. Hawaiian was essentially displaced by English on six of seven inhabited islands. In 2001, native speakers of Hawaiian amounted to less than 0.1% of the statewide population. Linguists were unsure if Hawaiian and other endangered languages would survive.

Nevertheless, from around 1949 to the present day, there has been a gradual increase in attention to and promotion of the language. Public Hawaiian-language immersion preschools called Pūnana Leo were established in 1984; other immersion schools followed soon after that. The first students to start in immersion preschool have now graduated from college and many are fluent Hawaiian speakers. The federal government has acknowledged this development. For example, the Hawaiian National Park Language Correction Act of 2000 changed the names of several national parks in Hawaiʻi, observing the Hawaiian spelling. However, the language is still classified as critically endangered by UNESCO.

Mangareva or Mangarevan, locally Magareva, IPA: /maŋareva/, is a Polynesian language spoken by about 600 people in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia, especially the largest island Mangareva, and on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea, located 1,650 kilometres to the North-West of the Gambier Islands, where Mangarevians have emigrated over time.
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Karta_FP_Gambier_isl.png
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5e4cf7acd6aa3c0f995df72f896f3f1e.jpg
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pfoceania.png
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/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Polynesian Languages (continued)

Recently I added a post which included the following. I can now add some relevant information.
RogerE wrote:
18 Aug 2020 17:37
Google translate supplies these translations into Māori for me:
my question —> ko taku patai
my questions —> aku patai
my word —> toku kupu
my words —> aku kupu
your question —> tou patai
your questions —> au patai
your word —> to kupu
your words —> koutou kupu
These examples show that the appropriate translation of "my" or "your"
is complicated, and needs detailed grammatical explanation. Evidently
the noun does not alter for the plural, but the pronoun does.
The following lightly edited quoted passages are from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynesian_languages

Personal Pronouns in Polynesian Languages
Personal pronouns
In general, Polynesian languages have three numbers for pronouns and possessives:
singular, dual and plural.
For example, in Māori:
Third person singular: iahe/she;
Third person dual: rāuathey (two);
Third person plural: rātouthey (three or more).
The words ruatwo and toruthree are still discernible in endings of the dual and plural pronouns...

Polynesian languages have four distinctions in pronouns and possessives.
For example, in Māori, the plural pronouns are:
First person plural exclusive: mātouwe (exc),
First person plural inclusive: tātouwe (inc),
Second person plural: koutouyou,
Third person plural: rātouthey.
The difference between exclusive and inclusive is the treatment of the person addressed. Mātou refers to the speaker and others but not the person or persons spoken to — "I and some others, but not you", while tātou refers to the speaker, the person or persons spoken to, and everyone else — "You and I and others".
Possessive Pronouns in Polynesian Languages
a and o possession
Many Polynesian languages distinguish two categories of possessives. The a-possessives, so-called because they contain that letter in most cases, also known as subjective possessives, refer to possessions that must be acquired by one's own action: this category is alienable possession.
The o-possessives or objective possessives refer to possessions that are fixed to someone, unchangeable, and do not necessitate any action on one's part but upon which actions can still be performed by others: this category is inalienable possession.
Some words can take either form, often with a difference in meaning.
One example is the Samoan word susu, which takes the o-possessive in lona susuher breast, and the a-possessive in lana susuher breastmilk. (*)
Compare also the particles used in the names of two of the books of the Māori Bible: Te Pukapuka a HeremaiaThe Book of Jeremiah with Te Pukapuka o HōhuaThe Book of Joshua. The former belongs to Jeremiah in the sense that he was the author, but the Book of Joshua was written by someone else about Joshua. The distinction between one's birth village and one's current residence village can be made similarly.
(*)Note: In Indonesian and Malay, susu is milk, surely cognate!

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Russian

After the recent series of posts on Polynesian languages, languages of the Indian subcontinent, and Vietnamese, let's go to European languages for a while. A Happy Day post by Ubobo.R.O. prompts me to present some related Russian language and culture notes today.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=82193&start=5057


Russian 2019 minisheet
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.<br />Russia, 2019,  St Petersburg architecture minisheet
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Russia, 2019, St Petersburg architecture minisheet
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.<br />Russia, 22 Nov 2019, First Day Cover,<br />St Petersburg architecture
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Russia, 22 Nov 2019, First Day Cover,
St Petersburg architecture
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The captions
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On the minisheet (plus transcriptions into other fonts):
САНКТ-ПЕТЕРБУРГ = Санкт-Петербург [Sankt Peterburg] IPA /ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk/
St. Petersburg
ГАЗПРОМ АРЕНА = Газпром Арена [Gazprom Arena]
Gazprom Arena
ЛАХТА ЦЕНТР = Лахта Центр [Lakhta Tsentr]
Lakhta Centre
РОССИЯ = Россия [Rossiya]
Russia
= РУБЛЬ = Рубль [Rubl']
Ruble

On the first day cover (plus transcriptions into other fonts):

ДОСТОПРИМЕЧАТЕЛЬНОСТИ САНКТ-ПЕТЕРБУРГА

= Достопримечательности Санкт-Петербурга
[Dostoprimechatel'nosti Sankt-Peterburga]
The attractions of St Petersburg

Grammar: бург —> бурга forms the genitive ["possessive"] case burg —> burg's.
Grammar: город —> города forms the genitive ["possessive"] case town, city —> town's, city's.
Related words:
достойный [dostoyniy] — worthy, dignified
примечательный [primechatel'niy] — notable, noteworthy
The suffix -ность [-nost'] is like the English suffix -ness
(*) See endnote.

Some cultural aspects

1. The City
The population of St Petersburg is around 5 million. It is Russia's second largest ciry, after Moscow (pop. almost 12 million).
St. Petersburg is a Russian port city on the Baltic Sea. It was the imperial capital for two centuries, having been founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, subject of the city's iconic “Bronze Horseman” statue. It remains Russia's cultural center, with venues such as the Mariinsky Theatre hosting opera and ballet, and the State Hermitage Museum showcasing Russian art, from Orthodox icon paintings to Kandinsky works.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Petersburg
2. The Hermitage Museum Complex
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.<br />The State Hermitage Museum <br />— Hermitage Theatre, Old Hermitage, Small Hermitage and Winter Palace, <br />all part of the current museum complex
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The State Hermitage Museum
— Hermitage Theatre, Old Hermitage, Small Hermitage and Winter Palace,
all part of the current museum complex
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Petersburg
3. The City name
Formerly St Petersburg, renamed Petrograd (Петроград) (1914–1924), then Leningrad (Ленинград) (1924–1991), then the earlier name restored, St Petersburg (Санкт-Петербург) (1991—).
On 26 January 1924, five days after Lenin's death, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad. Later some streets and other toponyms were renamed accordingly. The city has over 230 places associated with the life and activities of Lenin. Some of them were turned into museums, including the cruiser Aurora — a symbol of the October Revolution and the oldest ship in the Russian Navy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Petersburg
4. The Gazprom ArenaГазпром Арена

The Gazprom Arena is situated on the picturesque Krestovsky Island just to the north of the centre of St. Petersburg. The arena has two metro stations within 20-30 minutes walking distance and a number of amenities and attractions close by.
https://en.fc-zenit.ru/club/gazpromarena/how_to_get/
Saint Petersburg Stadium, also referred to as Gasprom Arena, Zenit Arena, Krestovsky Stadium, and Piter Arena, is the recently opened new stadium of FC Zenit. It got built at the site of the former Kirov Stadium.
Planning for the new stadium began late 2005, and first construction works started by the end of 2008. The stadium was initially planned to be completed in 2009, but works were hampered by a series of delays, including a redesign to comply with FIFA requirements and fraud investigations.
Saint Petersburg Stadium was initially to be funded by Russian gas firm Gazprom, however after they pulled out, the project was taken over by the St. Petersburg city government. Works finally sped up in 2016 and the stadium was completed in April 2017. However overall costs had soared past $1 billion, which made it one of the most expensive stadiums ever built.
https://www.stadiumguide.com/zenitnew/
caption.jpg
86232025_detail_page.jpg
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The competition between architectural projects was won by Kisho Kurokawa's "The Spaceship". The design of the stadium is a modified and enlarged version of Toyota Stadium in Toyota City, Japan, which was also designed by Kurokawa. The stadium was built on the location where the former Kirov Stadium used to stand before it was demolished.
In January 2009 The St. Petersburg Times reported that the project was now to be funded by the city government of St Petersburg, with Gazprom switching to build a separate skyscraper project. The City Hall had to step in after Gazprom declined to invest any further money into the stadium's construction.
On 25 July 2016 the general contractor, Inzhtransstroy-Spb, issued a statement that the city authorities had failed to pay for 1 billion rubles ($15.8 million at the current exchange rate) worth of construction work and stopped the work. The next day the contract was terminated. On 1 August there were reports of wind damage to parts of the metal sheathing, and a flood.
In the end of August 2016, the new general contractor, Metrostroy, resumed construction works on the site.
The first official match held at the stadium was the Russian Premier League game between FC Zenit (Saint Petersburg) and FC Ural on 22 April 2017. Branislav Ivanović scored the first goal in the stadium's history.
On 17 June 2017, the first game of 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup was held on the stadium with the Group A match between the host Russia and New Zealand.

"Стадион "Санкт-Петербург". Информация о стадионе". Официальный сайт ФК «Зенит» (Санкт-Петербург) // fc-zenit.ru.
{"St Petersburg" Stadium. Information about the Stadium. Information site of FC Zenit (St Petersburg).}
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krestovsky_Stadium
5. The Lakhta CentreЛахта Центр
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KOR_1156_1.jpg
The Lakhta Centre, Ла́хта це́нтр [Lakhta tsentr] is an 87-story skyscraper built in the northwestern neighbourhood of Lakhta in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Standing 462 metres tall, it is the tallest building in Europe, the tallest building in Russia, and the fourteenth-tallest building in the world. It is also the second-tallest structure in Russia and Europe, behind the Ostankino Tower in Moscow, in addition to being the second-tallest twisted building and the northernmost skyscraper in the world.

Construction of Lakhta Centre started on 30 October 2012, with the building topping out on 29 January 2018. It surpassed Vostok Tower of the Federation Towers in Moscow as the tallest building in Russia and Europe on 5 October 2017. The centre is designed for large-scale mixed-use development, consisting of public facilities and offices. First designed by RMJM, the project was then continued by GORPROJECT (2011-2017) based on the RMJM Concept (2011) under the main contractor, Rönesans Holding. The Lakhta Centre is intended to become the new headquarters of Russian energy company Gazprom.

On December 24, 2018, Lakhta Centre was certified according to the criteria of ecological efficiency at LEED Platinum, making it one of the five most eco-friendly skyscrapers in the world. The concrete pouring of the bottom slab of Lakhta Centre's foundation on March 1, 2015 was registered by Guinness World Records as the largest continuous concrete pour; 19,624 cubic meters of concrete were used during 49 hours, which is approximately 3,000 cubic meters more than in the previous record registered at Wilshire Grand Tower. The record has since been surpassed. The tower's curtain wall is also the world's largest cold-bent facade by area.

The opening date of the complex will be determined after the completion of finishing and landscaping. The improvement of the embankments is planned to be completed at the end of 2020.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakhta_Center
(*) Endnote
When discussing the Russian text on the minisheet, I added:
The suffix -ность [-nost'] is like the English suffix -ness
This prompts me to recall the politically charged terms of the 1980s:
гласность [glasnost'] — publicity, transparency
перестройка [perestroika] — rebuilding, restructuring

Google's online dictionary tells me:
glas·nost /ˈɡläzˌnōst,ˈɡlazˌnōst,ˈɡläzˌnôst/
noun (in the former Soviet Union) the policy or practice of more open consultative government and wider dissemination of information, initiated by leader Mikhail Gorbachev from 1985.
pe·re·stroi·ka /ˌperəˈstroikə/
noun (in the former Soviet Union) the policy or practice of restructuring or reforming the economic and political system. First proposed by Leonid Brezhnev in 1979 and actively promoted by Mikhail Gorbachev, perestroika originally referred to increased automation and labor efficiency, but came to entail greater awareness of economic markets and the ending of central planning.
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.<br />USSR, 1988, stamp promoting Perestroika
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USSR, 1988, stamp promoting Perestroika
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перестройка [perestroika] — restructuring
перестроить [perestroit'] — to rebuild, reconstruct
перестройка — это опора на живое творчество масс
[perestroika — eto opora na zhivoye tvorchestvo mass]
reconstruction is based on the vital creativity of the masses

The Russian language version of Wikipedia [Википедия] says:
Слово «гласность» вошло в широкий обиход с 1987 года как обозначение одного из ключевых направлений реформ («гласность — перестройка — ускорение»), проводившихся в 1987—1991 годах М. С. Горбачёвым на посту Генерального секретаря ЦК КПСС, широко известных под общим названием «Перестройка». Тогда же возникли и лозунги момента: «Больше гласности! Больше демократии!».

The word "glasnost" came into wide use from 1987 as a designation of one of the key directions of reforms ("glasnost — perestroika — acceleration"), carried out in 1987-1991 by Mikhail Gorbachev as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviet Union], widely known under the general the title "Perestroika". This was accompanied by the popular contemporary slogans: “More publicity! More democracy! "
/RogerE :D
Last edited by RogerE on 23 Aug 2020 17:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Waffle »

A stunningly beautiful city. We have visited twice, not often enough. The Hermitage, Winter Palace, The Aurora and the canals are lovely, as are the bridges and lighthouses. Many of the exhibits in the Winter Palace are indescribable. A gold peacock sculpture in a glass case, that announces the hours by moving, displaying it's tail and crowing, is one of many, stunning beauties.

Across the square behind them is an exhibition of amazing paintings, that are second to none. If you get the chance, visit and marvel. Like me, you will find that one visit to this Venice of the North, is not enough.
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 »

Languages on the Italian Riviera

In another thread Catweazle has added a post about Monaco and Ventimiglia.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=54430&start=515
Catweazle wrote:However, [in Monte Carlo] we had no money to spend at the casino on expensive caviar, helicopters or McLaren joy-rides so we jumped back on the train and popped across into Italy (Ventimiglia) for a late afternoon stroll and dinner. We preferred Ventimiglia for its laid-back, untouristique nature.
I wondered whether the name Ventimiglia means "twenty miles", so I did some online searching. The following notes share where this took me.

Ventimiglia on the Italian Riviera

The Wikipedia entry on Ventimiglia shows no fewer than five regional languages have relevant toponyms:
Wikipedia wrote:Ventimiglia, Italian: /ventiˈmiʎʎa/, Intemelio: Ventemiglia /veŋteˈmiʎa/, Genoese: Vintimiggia, French: Vintimille /vɛ̃timij/, Provençal: Ventemilha /venteˈmiʎɔ/ is a city, comune (municipality) and bishopric in Liguria, northern Italy, in the province of Imperia. It is located 130 km southwest of Genoa, and 7 km from the French-Italian border, on the Gulf of Genoa. It has a small harbour at the mouth of the Roia River, which divides the town into two parts. Ventimiglia's urban area has a population of 55,000.
The origin of the name Ventimiglia involves yet more historical languages:
The name Ventimiglia derives from Ancient Ligurian Albom Intemeliomcapital city of the Intemelii. The name was Latinized as Album Intimilium, which later became Vintimilium and later still Vintimilia. This became Ventimiglia in Italian. The similarity to the phrase venti migliatwenty miles is coincidental, although the town was almost exactly 20 statute miles from France's border during the time period 1388–1860.
These passages are slightly edited quotes from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ventimiglia

Generalisation

Numerous languages have been, and are, spoken in the Ventimiglia area. The bottom line is that no doubt this applies throughout a much greater region — with changes in the mix of relevant languages from one place to another. In earlier times it was probably the usual case that a variety of local languages, often similar, but not necessarily mutually intelligible, would have been spoken in any particular location. Sustained interactions of speakers of those languages, with a need for communication, cooperation, and/or exchange of goods, would have promoted evolution and transfer of those languages. This dynamic has probably only really changed dramatically in recent times, as technological development has led to mass media and relatively easy means of international travel. This modern context has tended to promote a few dominant languages, and to suppress or sideline all the others...

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Monaco, Ventimiglia, and the Italian Riviera; the Ligurian Language

Following on the previous post, I have found some helpful maps of the area.

Antibes to San Remo, with Nice and Monaco
Antibes to San Remo, with Nice and Monaco
.
Larger scale: Monaco and Ventimiglia
Larger scale: Monaco and Ventimiglia
.
Monaco, showing railway stations
Monaco, showing railway stations
.
Italian Riviera
Italian Riviera
.
Divisions of the Italian Riviera
Divisions of the Italian Riviera


Riviera dei Fiori — Floral Riviera
Wikipedia, L'enciclopedia libera wrote:La Riviera dei Fiori (Rivêa d'e Sciûe in ligure) è quel tratto di costa della Liguria, facente parte della Riviera Ligure di Ponente che, esattamente, s'estende, da Est ad Ovest, dal punto di scollinamento del Capo Mimosa, nel territorio comunale di Cervo (IM), fino alla foce del Rio San Luigi, nel comune di Ventimiglia (IM), al confine con la frazione di Garavan, nel comune di Mentone (Francia), coincidendo con il litorale dei comuni costieri amministrati dalla Provincia di Imperia.
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riviera_dei_Fiori
A modestly edited version of the "automatic" English translation:
The Riviera dei Fiori (Rivêa d'e Sciûe in Ligurian) is that stretch of coast within the Ligurian Riviera di Ponente which stretches between the headland of Capo Mimosa, in the municipal area of Cervo (IM = Imperia Province) in the East, to the border with the hamlet of Garavan, in the municipality of Menton (France) in the West, and includes the mouth of the San Luigi River, in the municipality of Ventimiglia (IM). It comprises the coastal municipalities administered by the Province of Imperia.
The following portion of the article lists the scenic/tourist attractions inland from this coastline, so you won't just want to visit for the seaside attractions:
Among the most well-known tourist centers of the hinterland are Taggia (the second largest medieval village in the region only in Genoa), Dolceacqua ["Sweet Water"] (dominated by the Doria Castle, accessed by a scenic bridge over the River Nervia), Pigna (centre of "'art and spa"), Apricale (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, known for the Lucertola castle [lu·cèr·to·la, lizard]), Rocchetta Nervina (an important hiking centre), Perinaldo (site of the "Cassini" astronomical observatory), Triora (notorious for its historical witchcraft trials), Pieve di Teco (with its characteristic arcades), the ski resort of Monesi, and Bussana Vecchia.

Postcards of Menton, just inside the Frnch border
Postcards of Menton, just inside the Frnch border
.
Postcards of San Remo, Riviera dei Fiori
Postcards of San Remo, Riviera dei Fiori
.
San Remo: medical welfare tax stamps
San Remo: medical welfare tax stamps


Ligurian Language

Let us learn about Ligurian. As usual, Wikipedia serves as my main information source.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligurian_(Romance_language)

Status of the Language
Ligurian does not enjoy an official status in Italy. Hence, it is not protected by law. Historically, Genoese (the dialect of Ligurian spoken in the city of Genoa) is the written koine(*), owing to its semi-official role as the language of the Republic of Genoa, its traditional importance in trade and commerce and its vast literature. Like other regional languages in Italy, the use of Ligurian and its dialects is in rapid decline.
(*) Note re koine: In linguistics, a koiné language, koiné dialect, or simply koiné, is a standard or common language or dialect that has arisen as a result of the contact, mixing, and often simplification of two or more mutually intelligible varieties of the same language. [Wikipedia]

Classification
Ligurian (ligure, lengua ligure or also zeneize or zeneise ["Genoese"] in Ligurian) is a Gallo-Italic language spoken in Liguria in Northern Italy, parts of the Mediterranean coastal zone of France, Monaco and in the villages of Carloforte and Calasetta in Sardinia. It is part of the Gallo-Italic and Western Romance dialect continuum. Although part of Gallo-Italic language, it exhibits several features of the Italo-romance group of central and southern Italy. The Zeneize (literally for Genoese), spoken in Genoa, the capital of Liguria, is the language's prestige dialect on which the standard is based.

There is a long literary tradition of Ligurian poets and writers that goes from the 13th century to the present, such as Luchetto (the Genoese anonym), Martin Piaggio and Gian Giacomo Cavalli.
Variants

The variants of Ligurian include
Genoese (main Ligurian variant, spoken in Genoa);
Monégasque (in Monaco)
Intemelio (in Sanremo and Ventimiglia)
Tabarchino (in Calasetta and Carloforte, Sardinia)
Bonifacino (in Bonifacio, Corsica)

Orthography and Pronunciation
No universally accepted orthography exists for Ligurian. Genoese, the prestige dialect, has two main orthographic standards. One, known as grafia unitäia (unitary orthography), has been adopted by the Ligurian-language press – including the Genoese column of the largest Ligurian press newspaper, Il Secolo XIX. The other, proposed by the Academia do Brenno is the self-styled grafia ofiçiâ (official orthography). The two orthographies mainly differ in their usage of diacritics and doubled consonants.

The Ligurian alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet, and consists of 25 letters: ⟨a⟩, ⟨æ⟩, ⟨b⟩, ⟨c⟩, ⟨ç⟩, ⟨d⟩, ⟨e⟩, ⟨f⟩, ⟨g⟩, ⟨h⟩, ⟨i⟩, ⟨l⟩, ⟨m⟩, ⟨n⟩, ⟨ñ⟩ or ⟨nn-⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨p⟩, ⟨q⟩, ⟨r⟩, ⟨s⟩, ⟨t⟩, ⟨u⟩, ⟨v⟩, ⟨x⟩, ⟨z⟩.

The ligature ⟨æ⟩ indicates the sound /ɛː/, as in çit(t)æcity /siˈtɛː/. The c-cedilla ⟨ç⟩, used for the sound /s/, generally only occurs before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, as in riçettarecipe /riˈsɛtta/. The letter ⟨ñ⟩, also written as ⟨nn-⟩ (or more rarely ⟨n-n⟩, ⟨n-⟩, ⟨nh⟩, or simply ⟨⟩), represents the velar nasal /ŋ/ before or after vowels, such as in canpaña bell /kɑŋˈpɑŋŋɑ/, or the feminine indefinite pronoun uña one (fem.) /ˈyŋŋɑ/.

There are five diacritics, whose precise usage varies between orthographies. They are:
The acute accent ⟨´⟩, can be used for ⟨é⟩ and ⟨ó⟩ to represent the sounds /e/ and /u/.
The grave accent ⟨`⟩, can be used on the stressed vowels ⟨à⟩ /a/, ⟨è⟩ /ɛ/, ⟨ì⟩ /i/, ⟨ò⟩ /ɔ/, and ⟨ù⟩ /y/.
The circumflex ⟨ˆ⟩, used for long vowels ⟨â⟩ /aː/, ⟨ê⟩ /eː/, ⟨î⟩ /iː/, ⟨ô⟩ /uː/, and ⟨û⟩ /yː/ at the end of a word.
The diaeresis ⟨¨⟩, used analogously to the circumflex to mark long vowels, but within a word: ⟨ä⟩ /aː/, ⟨ë⟩ /eː/, ⟨ï⟩ /iː/, and ⟨ü⟩ /yː/. It is also used to mark the long vowel ⟨ö⟩ /ɔː/, in any position.
The multigraphs are:
⟨cs⟩, used for the sound /ks/ as in bòcs box /bɔks/.
⟨eu⟩, for /ø/.
⟨ou⟩, for /ɔw/.
⟨scc⟩ (written as ⟨sc-c⟩ in older orthographies) which indicates the sound /ʃtʃ/.
Vocabulary

The ISO 639-1 standard language codes used are: Cat = Catalan; De = German; Fr = French; Gl = Galician; It = Italian; Pt = Portuguese; Ro = Romanian; Sp = Spanish.
According to the spelling of the Genoese Academia Ligustica do Brenno:
• Fruit
o péi or a péia: pear (It & Sp pera, Pt pêra, Ro pară); pl.: e péie (f.)
o mei or a méia: apple (It mela, Ro măr); pl.: e méie (f.)
o çetrón: orange (cf. Fr citron lemon; replacing Gen limon— cf. It limone)
o fîgo: fig (It fico, Sp higo, Fr figue, Gl & Pt figo), plural e fîghe (f.)
o pèrsego: peach (It pesca, Ro piersică, Fr pêche, Cat préssec, Gl pexego, Pt pêssego); pl.: e pèrseghe (f.)
a frambôasa: raspberry (Fr framboise, Sp frambuesa, Pt framboesa)
a çêxa: cherry (It ciliegia, Sp cereza, Ro cireaşă, Fr cerise, Pt cereja)
o meréllo: strawberry
a nôxe: walnut (It noce, Sp nuez, Pt noz, Ro nucă)
a nissêua: hazelnut (It nocciola, Fr noisette, Sp avellana, Pt avelã)
o bricòccalo: apricot (It albicocca, Sp albaricoque, Cat albercoc, Pt abricó)
l'ûga: grape (It, Sp & Pt uva, Ro. strugure)
o pigneu: pine nut (It pinolo, Sp piñón, Pt pinhão)
l'articiòcca: artichoke (It carciofo, De Artischocke, Fr artichaut)
a tomâta: tomato (It pomodoro, De Tomate, Sp, Fr & Pt tomate)
• Body parts
l'éuggio: eye (It occhio, Sp ojo, Ro ochi, Fr l'œil, Cat ull, Gl ollo, Pt olho)
a bócca: mouth (It bocca, Sp & Pt boca, Fr bouche)
a tésta: head (It testa, Ro ţeastă; Pt testa is forehead)
a schénn-a: back (It schiena, Ro spinare, Cat esquena)
o bràsso: arm (It braccio, Sp brazo, Ro braţ, Fr bras, Pt braço)
a gànba: leg (It gamba, Ro gambă, Fr jambe, Cat cama)
o cheu: heart (It cuore, Sp corazón, Fr cœur, Pt coração, Ro cord
— more commonly, in Ro, heart is rendered as inimă).
• Various
arvî: to open (It aprire, Fr ouvrir, Sp & Pt abrir)
serrâ: to close (It chiudere, Ro închidere, Sp cerrar)
ciæo: light (adj.) (cf. It chiaro, Sp claro, Ro clar)
a cà or a casa: home, house (It, Sp & Pt casa; Ro casă, Cat & Ven: 'Ca(sa))
l'êuvo: egg (It uovo, Sp huevo, Fr l'œuf, Ro ou, Gl & Pt ovo)
Philatelic Instances of Ligurian Language

Presumably letters and postcards would have been written in Ligurian, though it is not clear to me whether these stampless folded letters from San Remo to Bordighera are examples, but it seems likely to be the case. Anyway, there must surely be surviving examples written in the language:
.
Stampless folded letters, San Remo to Bordighera, <br />1853, 1862 and 1855.
Stampless folded letters, San Remo to Bordighera,
1853, 1862 and 1855.
.
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Panterra »

Let's look at one of the oldest languages of the planet, Ancient Egyptian.

This language is quite famous, as its earliest written form was hieroglyphic (also frequently called "picture-writing".) The most interesting thing about this language is that it is still used today in a slightly altered form, Coptic, but now written with mostly Greek characters (plus seven additional signs derived from hieroglyphs for sounds that don't occur in Greek).
Image
Occussi-Ambeno 1986 Heb-Sed Festival set.
This set was issued on 5th November 1986. It took an immense effort in both composing and printing to achieve. The set was primarily issued to test out my plan to use ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs printed in colour on modern letterpress equipment.

In ancient Egypt, the Heb Sed was celebrated as a festival to rejuvenate the Pharaoh, and featured (among the usual feasting and imbibing) the King sprinting! It was often celebrated on the 30th anniversary of the King’s coronation, or at any other time the King may decree.

The top register, along with the stamp value, has the name of our country, Occussi-Ambeno, in the Occussian script.

The centre register has six hieroglyphic signs, which show the six main events associated with the festival. From left to right, they are:

GIVE PRAISE TO THE GODS.

GET WASHED & BE PURIFIED.

GET HIGH.

SING.

EAT & DRINK.


(and finally, when all that is done,)

BE WEARY.

The lower register again shows hieroglyphs. At the left is the Djed Column, the human tailbone with the first four vertebrae, which means Stability. (This is the essential part of the human body relating to stability: most folks who get an injury to that area are thenceforth confined to bed or wheelchair.) At the right is a bird with a human head, and a bowl of burning insense in front, which represents the Soul. The four red signs in the centre say Heb Sed Festival.

Image
Occussi-Ambeno 1986 Heb-Sed Festival set, on a first day cover, postmarked at Topol, a village on the small offshore Maldoror Island.


Egyptian-Alphabet.jpg
The basic Egyptian alphabet.


Seeing the hieroglyphic alphabet here, you may think it will be easy to use. But Egyptians also had many other signs, and always preferred to use a multi-letter sign rather than a single letter in written use.

For instance, take the word
nefer, which means "good". If you took the basic alphabet shown above, you could write this word as
n f r
Egyptian-Alphabet-nfr.jpg
(as Egyptians didn't write vowels, only consonants.)

But
nefer was never written that way. Instead, there is a hieroglyph sign
nefer.png
which is always used to write Nefer (a term frequently found in names, such as Queen Nefertiti and Queen Nefertari.)

So instead of only having a small alphabet of 26 signs to learn, Egyptian students need to learn about 800 or so. But most signs are easily recognisable pictures, such as frogs, birds, men and women doing various actions, etc. so this is not a big chore, unlike those who set their hearts on learning classical Mandarin, with some 50,000 signs, for example.

And while many hieroglyphs have a sound (these are called phonetic signs), others are there to convey the "sense" of a word (these are called "determinatives"). Examples of these include a rolled-up scroll, sealed shut, to indicate an "abstract" word. Or a ram's head, as determinative of "dignity".

And some hieroglyphs represent an entire word (or possibly one of several words, depending on what determinative accompanies it.) These are called logographs.

One theory on hieroglyphs which I have advanced (but which has not as yet been widely accepted) is that hieroglyphs are like theatrical stage notes, and describe the body-language and actions that an orator would use when declaiming her/his piece. This theory suggests that an Egyptian would not have declaimed their spiel in a boring monotone, but instead would use vivacious hand gestures and body movements, so a distant listener who could not hear clearly, could still understand the sense of what the speaker was saying by interpreting the body language.

An example would be a speaker talking about a "high and beautiful pyramid." As he says "high", he would raise both hands high above his head. And indeed, the word "high" ends with a man with hands raised high: see the third sign from left on the Occussi-Ambeno "Heb-Sed Festival" stamps shown above. In my hypothesis, this is a stage direction for the action the speaker should perform as s/he declaims this word.

As it is such an appealing visual script, hieroglyphs have been shown on many stamps of various countries.

I am happy to help with translations and suggestions.


For more information on the Heb Sed Festival, click here. For more information on Egyptian hieroglyphs, click here. To learn hieroglyphs, enrol in a course of Near-Eastern Studies at your local university, or buy the textbook: Egyptian Grammar by Sir Alan Gardiner (Oxford University Press.)

.·:*¨¨*:·..·:*¨¨*:·..·:*¨¨*:·..·:*¨¨*:·.
.·:*¨¨*:·..·:*¨¨*:·..·:*¨¨*:·.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Panterra »

Some more on
Ancient Egyptian:


If you are contemplating buying a copy of Sir Alan Gardiner's excellent book on the subject (mentioned in my earlier post), here is an example of hieroglyphics in usage, taken from it:
Royal-accounts-hiero.jpg
A papyrus of accounts of the Royal Court, Dynasty 13 (approx 1803 BC until 1649 BC.)
(Those portions underlined in red are written in red in the original.)


And here is the translation:

Royal-accounts-eng.jpg
A papyrus of accounts of the Royal Court, Dynasty 13
Two minor arithmetic errors on the final two items in the right column.
"l.p.h." in the above are abbreviations for "May he have LIFE, PROSPERITY, and HEALTH!", the usual blessing following mention of the Pharaoh.

I mentioned that hieroglyphs have been shown on numerous stamps. Many of course on Egypt's, but surprisingly on other lands also.
Austria-65-cursives.jpg
Austria 1965 WIPA Exhibition, showing hand-written hieroglyphs.

GB-infotech-M.jpg
GB 1982 Information technology, showing hieroglyphs at left.

DDR-81-Ebers.jpg
East Germany 1981, showing a page from the Ebers Medical Papyrus,
a medical textbook now preserved in the library of the University of Leipzig.
This latter item is actually written in hieratic, which is akin to a longhand-written version of hieroglyphic.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Panterra »

Yet more on
Ancient Egyptian:


I mentioned the famous medical textbook, the Papyrus Ebers.

Here is a photo of it on display (but not on the "borrowable list") at the Leipzig University Library:

Ebers_c41-bc.jpg
A page of the Ebers Medical Papyrus (approx 1550 BC)
Wikipedia wrote:The Ebers Papyrus, also known as Papyrus Ebers, is an Egyptian medical papyrus of herbal knowledge dating to circa 1550 BC. Among the oldest and most important medical papyri of ancient Egypt, it was purchased at Luxor (Thebes) in the winter of 1873–74 by Georg Ebers. It is currently kept at the library of the University of Leipzig, in Germany.
DDR-81-Ebers.jpg
East German stamp of 1981 honouring the Papyrus Ebers.
Wikipedia wrote:The Ebers Papyrus is written in hieratic Egyptian writing and represents the most extensive and best-preserved record of ancient Egyptian medicine known. The scroll contains some 700 magical formulas and folk remedies. It contains many incantations meant to turn away disease-causing demons and there is also evidence of a long tradition of empiricism. The papyrus contains a "treatise on the heart". It notes that the heart is the center of the blood supply, with vessels attached for every member of the body. The Egyptians seem to have known little about the kidneys and made the heart the meeting point of a number of vessels which carried all the fluids of the body—blood, tears, urine and semen. Mental disorders are detailed in a chapter of the papyrus called the Book of Hearts. Disorders such as depression and dementia are covered. The descriptions of these disorders suggest that Egyptians conceived of mental and physical diseases in much the same way. The papyrus contains chapters on contraception, diagnosis of pregnancy and other gynecological matters, intestinal disease and parasites, eye and skin problems, dentistry and the surgical treatment of abscesses and tumors, bone-setting and burns.
Examples of remedies in the Ebers Papyrus include:

Birth control
To prevent conception, smear a paste of dates, acacia, and honey to wool and apply as a pessary.

Diabetes mellitus
Drink a mixture including elderberry, asit plant fibers, milk, beer-swill, cucumber flowers and green dates.
It is not known exactly which plant is referred to as "asit."

Guinea-worm disease*
Wrap the emerging end of the worm around a stick and slowly pull it out.
3,500 years later, this remains the standard treatment.

Medicinal use of ochre clays

One of the more common remedies described in the papyrus is ochre, or medicinal clay. It is prescribed for intestinal and eye complaints. Yellow ochre is also described as a remedy for urological complaints.

Insect repellents
The use of insect repellents derived from plants and other organisms found in nature is known from the time of the Ebers Papyrus. Several examples of such repellents can be found in the text.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I mentioned that hieroglyphs have been shown on numerous stamps. Many of course on Egypt's, but surprisingly on other lands also.
GB-Tut-stp-M.jpg
GB 1972 50th anniversary of the discovery of Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb.

Venda-83-hiero-25c.jpg
Venda 1983 History of writing 25c, showing Pharaoh Tutankhamun's names in cartouches,
and at the right, the name of his wife, Queen Ankh-Es-En-Amun, also in a cartouche.

Eg-74-labourers-day-M.jpg
Egypt 1974 Labourers' Day, showing ancient Egyptian shipwrights at work on boat building, with hieroglyphic caption.


Eg-25-Fuad.jpg
Egypt 1925 Geographic Congress 5m, showing the god Thoth writing the name of the then-present pharaoh, His Majesty, King Fuad.

This latter is my favorite hieroglyph stamp. It was the start of a long string of attractive commemorative issues by the keen philatelist, King Fuad, pioneer of the Royal Oblique Misperfs.

_________________
* Apologies to philatelists and citizens of the Republic of Guinea. The disease (like the "Spanish flu" which falsely blames Spain) casts unfair and undeserved slander on the good name of your country.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Panterra »

And even more on
Ancient Egyptian:


I haven't yet mentioned the famous scholar Champollion, who deciphered hieroglyphs, after they had fallen out of use in the Roman period.

Monaco-90-Champollion.jpg
Monaco 1990 Champollion birth bicentenary.
Wikipedia wrote:Jean-François Champollion (23 December 1790 – 4 March 1832), was a French scholar, philologist and orientalist, known primarily as the decipherer of Egyptian hieroglyphs and a founding figure in the field of Egyptology. A child prodigy in philology, he gave his first public paper on the decipherment of Demotic in 1806, and already as a young man held many posts of honor in scientific circles, and spoke Coptic and Arabic fluently. During the early 19th century, French culture experienced a period of 'Egyptomania', brought on by Napoleon's discoveries in Egypt during his campaign there (1798–1801) which also brought to light the trilingual Rosetta Stone. Scholars debated the age of Egyptian civilization and the function and nature of hieroglyphic script, which language if any it recorded, and the degree to which the signs were phonetic (representing speech sounds) or ideographic (recording semantic concepts directly). Many thought that the script was only used for sacred and ritual functions, and that as such it was unlikely to be decipherable since it was tied to esoteric and philosophical ideas, and did not record historical information. The significance of Champollion's decipherment was that he showed these assumptions to be wrong, and made it possible to begin to retrieve many kinds of information recorded by the ancient Egyptians.
eg-37-opthalomology-15-M.jpg
Egypt 1937 Opthalmology Congress, 15m.
This design features the hieroglyph for the Sacred Eye of Horus (known in Egyptian as the Udjat Eye), and has the signs for Udjat on both sides of the Eye hieroglyph.
Note how the hieroglyph signs can be turned mirror-like to face either left or right. The direction the people and animals face is the direction you read from
(as hieroglyphs can be read from right to left, left to right, or top to bottom. All are equally valid, though right to left was the main form used.
Wikipedia wrote:The Eye of Horus, also known as wadjet, wedjat or udjat, is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power, and good health. The Eye of Horus is similar to the Eye of Ra, which belongs to a different god, Ra, but represents many of the same concepts.

Funerary amulets were often made in the shape of the Eye of Horus. The symbol "was intended to protect the pharaoh [here] in the afterlife" and to ward off evil. Ancient Egyptian and Middle-Eastern sailors would frequently paint the symbol on the bows of their vessels to ensure safe sea travel.
The ornate udjat eye surrounded by goddesses, shown on this stamp, is an elaborate jewellery item from the tomb of the then-recently-discovered tomb of King Tutankhamun.

eg-74-SolarBark-Museum-M.jpg
Egypt 1974 The Solar Bark Museum, Giza.
Hieroglyphic description at the right.
Wikipedia wrote:The Khufu ship is an intact full-size vessel from ancient Egypt that was sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza around 2500 BC. The ship is now preserved in the Giza Solar boat museum. The ship was almost certainly built for Khufu (King Cheops), the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Like other buried Ancient Egyptian ships, it was apparently part of the extensive grave goods intended for use in the afterlife, and contained no bodies, unlike northern European ship burials.

Khufu's ship is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved vessels from antiquity. It measures 43.6 m long and 5.9 m wide. It was thus identified as the world's oldest intact ship and has been described as "a masterpiece of woodcraft" that could sail today if put into a lake, or a river.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thank you Panterra for your recent posts on Ancient Egyptian and hieroglyphics. I particularly like the stamps you have included to illustrate the subject.

I confess that I had planned some time ago (but hadn't "gotten around to it") to include a post about hieroglyphics, prompted by Eli's earlier post about Champollion on this thread:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&p=6541425&hilit=Champollion#p6541425

Well, now I'm remotivated on that topic. However, I would like to begin by commenting about the last stamp you showed, especially its modern inscription in Arabic. (Hieroglyphics will follow!)

.<br />Egypt, 1974, Solar Bark Museum commemorative, SG 1226, Sc C165
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Egypt, 1974, Solar Bark Museum commemorative, SG 1226, Sc C165


Arabic inscriptions
.
Screen Shot 2020-08-26 at 12.41.10 pm.png


جمهورية مصر العربية
[jumhuriat misr alearabia]
Arab Republic of Egypt

مصر
[misr]
Egypt

جمهورية
[jumhuria]
Republic

الجمهورية العربية
[aljumhuriat alearabia]
Arab Republic

بريد جوي
[barid jawiyin]
airmail

١٣٩٤هـ
1394 hijri = 1974 CE (Gregorian)


Screen Shot 2020-08-26 at 12.41.47 pm.png


متحف
[mathaf]
museum

مراكب الشمس
[marakib alshams]
sun boat

شمس
[shams]
sun

خوفو
[Khufu]
Cheops


Nile boats
The surviving images of Nile boats include carved images on functional objects, murals, and rock art.

Sabu-Jaddi rock art site: Nile boats
Wikipedia wrote:Located at the downstream end of the third cataract region on the east bank of the Nile, the rock drawings cover the rugged sandstone cliffs along the Nile bend between the villages of Sabu and Jaddi. Additional rock drawings are found along the edges of the narrow wadi Jaddi running inland.
Due to Kajbar Power Station construction plans, the site was included in the 2016 World Monuments Watch List which contains endangered monuments that need attention, promotion, and protection
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabu-Jaddi
.
.<br />Nile boats, ancient rock art at the Sabu-Jaddi site <br />in the Nile Valley, within modern Sudan
.
Nile boats, ancient rock art at the Sabu-Jaddi site
in the Nile Valley, within modern Sudan
/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Hieroglyphics and Ancient Egyptian

Following Panterra's recent posts about hieroglyphics, let's have some further information, and a few clarifications.

Terminology: Language vs Script

"Ancient Egyptian" is not the same as "hieroglyphics".

We need to distinguish between a language and its script. For instance, Russian is a language, and the Cyrillic alphabet is the script normally used to write it. However it can also be written in other scripts, such as Russian Braille, known in Russian as Шрифт Брайля [Shrift Brailya] — Braille Script. And the Cyrillic alphabet is the usual script used for various other languages, such as Ukrainian and Mongolian. In summary: the Russian language is not Cyrillic script, and Cyrillic script is not the Russian language.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Braille

The "informal" terminology which uses "Russian" to refer to Cyrillic script is an instance where "Russian" is used as a metonym — a word, name, or expression used as a substitute for something else with which it is closely associated; sometimes described as "the container for the think contained". For example, "Canberra" is an Australian metonym for the Federal government.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=352

Ancient Egyptian Language

Here and subsequently I quote from the Wikipedia entry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_language
Wikipedia wrote:The [Ancient] Egyptian language, Egyptian: r n km.t, Middle Egyptian pronunciation: [ˈraʔ n̩ˈku.mat], Coptic: ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, is an Afro-Asiatic language which was spoken in ancient Egypt. Its attestation stretches over an extraordinarily long time, from ... mid-4th millennium BC (Old Kingdom of Egypt). Its earliest known complete written sentence has been dated to about 2690 BC, which makes it one of the oldest recorded languages known, along with Sumerian.

Its classical form is known as Middle Egyptian, the vernacular of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt which remained the literary language of Egypt until the Roman period. The spoken language had evolved into Demotic by the time of Classical Antiquity, and finally into Coptic by the time of Christianisation. Spoken Coptic was almost extinct by the 17th century, but it remains in use as the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria...

The Egyptian language is conventionally grouped into six major chronological divisions:
Archaic Egyptian (before 2600 BC), the reconstructed language of the Early Dynastic Period.
Old Egyptian (c. 2600 – 2000 BC), the language of the Old Kingdom.
Middle Egyptian (c. 2000 – 1350 BC), the language of the Middle Kingdom to early New Kingdom and continuing on as a literary language into the 4th century.
Late Egyptian (c. 1350 – 700 BC), Amarna period to Third Intermediate Period.
Demotic (c. 700 BC – AD 400), the vernacular of the Late Period, Ptolemaic and early Roman Egypt.
Coptic (after c. 200 AD), the vernacular at the time of Christianisation, and liturgical language of Egyptian Christianity.
Scripts for the Egyptian language
Wikipedia wrote:Old, Middle, and Late Egyptian were all written using both the hieroglyphic and hieratic scripts. Demotic [script] is the name of the script derived from hieratic beginning in the 7th century BC.
The Coptic alphabet was derived from the Greek alphabet, with adaptations for Egyptian phonology. It was first developed in the Ptolemaic period, and gradually replaced the Demotic script in about the 4th to 5th centuries of the Christian era.
Insofar as the hieroglyphic and hieratic scripts are phonemic, they are abjads rather than alphabets. They represent consonants, without representing the linking vowels present in the spoken language.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=262
Wikipedia wrote:Since vowels were not written until Coptic, reconstructions of the Egyptian vowel system are much more uncertain and rely mainly on evidence from Coptic and records of Egyptian words, especially proper nouns, in other languages/writing systems...

While the consonantal phonology of the Egyptian language may be reconstructed, the exact phonetics are unknown, and there are varying opinions on how to classify the individual phonemes. In addition, because Egyptian was recorded over a full 2000 years, the Archaic and Late stages being separated by the amount of time that separates Old Latin from Modern Italian, significant phonetic changes must have occurred during that lengthy time frame.

Egyptological pronunciation
As a convention, Egyptologists make use of an "Egyptological pronunciation" in English: the consonants are given fixed values, and vowels are inserted according to essentially arbitrary rules. Two consonants, alef and ayin, are generally pronounced /ɑː/, yodh is pronounced /iː/, and w is pronounced /uː/. Between other consonants, /ɛ/ is then inserted. Thus, for example, the name of an Egyptian king is most accurately transliterated as Rꜥ-ms-sw and transcribed as RɑmɛssuRa has fashioned him (literally, "borne him").

In transcription, ⟨a⟩, ⟨i⟩, and ⟨u⟩ all represent consonants; for example, the name Tutankhamun (1341–1323 BC) was written in Egyptian as twt-ꜥnḫ-ı͗mn. Experts have assigned generic sounds to these values as a matter of convenience, which is an artificial pronunciation and should not be mistaken for how Egyptian was ever pronounced at any time. For example, the name twt-ꜥnḫ-ı͗mn is conventionally pronounced /tuːtənˈkɑːmən/ in English, but, in his lifetime, it was likely to be pronounced something like *[taˈwaːt ˈʕaːnxu ʔaˈmaːn].


Hieroglyphic script
Wikipedia wrote:Egyptian hieroglyphs /ˈhaɪrəɡlɪfs/ were the formal writing system used in Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphs combined logographic, syllabic and alphabetic elements, with a total of some 1,000 distinct characters

The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek adjective ἱερογλυφικός [hieroglyphikos], a compound of ἱερός [hierós] — sacred and γλύφω [glýphō] — I carve, engrave.

The glyphs themselves, since the Ptolemaic period, were called τὰ ἱερογλυφικὰ (γράμματα) {tà hieroglyphikà (grámmata)] — the sacred engraved letters, the Greek counterpart to the Egyptian expression mdw.w-nṯrgod's words. Greek ἱερόγλυφος meant "a carver of hieroglyphs".

.<br />Stela, 1321 BC, with hieroglyphic inscription [Louvre]
.
Stela, 1321 BC, with hieroglyphic inscription [Louvre]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_hieroglyphs


Hieratic script

A nice discussion of hieratic script is provided by Omniglot at
https://omniglot.com/writing/egyptian_hieratic.htm
Omniglot wrote:Notable features of hieratic script
• A simplified and abbreviated form of the hieroglyphic script in which the people, animals and object depicted are no longer easily recognisable.
• Structurally the same as the hieroglyphic script.
• Written almost exclusively from right to left in horizontal lines and mainly in ink on papyrus
• Written in a number of different styles such as "business hand" and the more elaborate "book hand"
•There were a number of regional variations, one of which, a northern version, developed into the Demotic script by the 25th Dynasty
Screen Shot 2020-08-29 at 1.40.02 am.png
.
smp_hieratic.jpg


Demotic script
Wikipedia wrote:The demotic script was referred to by the Egyptians as sš/sẖ n šꜥ.t, "document writing," which the second-century scholar Clement of Alexandria called ἐπιστολογραφική ['epistolographikí] — letter/epistle writing.
Omniglot wrote:The Demotic or popular script, a name given to it by Herodotus, developed from a northern variant of the Hieratic script in around 660 BC. The Egyptians themselves called it 'sekh shat' (writing for documents). During the 26th Dynasty it became the preferred script at court. However during the 4th century it was gradually replaced by the Greek-derived Coptic alphabet. The most recent example of writing in the Demotic script dates from 425 AD.
https://omniglot.com/writing/egyptian_demotic.htm
.
.<br />Ostracon with demotic inscription<br />— prayer to Amun to cure a man of blindness<br />(Read from right to left)
.
Ostracon with demotic inscription
— prayer to Amun to cure a man of blindness
(Read from right to left)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demotic_(Egyptian)


Coptic script

The Omniglot entry explains:
The name Coptic derives from the Greek word for Egyptian: Aigyptioi which became Qibt in Arabic and then was Latinised to become Copt.
Omniglot wrote:The Coptic language, a member of the Egyptian branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family and a descendant of the Ancient Egyptian language. Coptic was an official language in Egypt until around the 13th Century AD, when it was replaced by Arabic. Nowadays Coptic Christians all speak Arabic as their every day language, but use Coptic in their religious ceremonies.

Coptic script (ⲘⲉⲧⲢⲉⲙ̀ⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ)
The Coptic alphabet is variant of the Greek alphabet, containing a number of extra letters for sounds not found in Greek. The extra letters come from the Demotic form of the Egyptian script. The Coptic alphabet came into being during the 3rd century BC after the Greek conquest of Egypt and the subsequent spread of Christianity.
https://omniglot.com/writing/coptic.htm
Screen Shot 2020-08-29 at 2.24.03 am.png
Screen Shot 2020-08-29 at 2.23.35 am.png
The conventional numerical values assigned to the Coptic letters are included in this list.

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Egyptian Hieroglyphics (continued)

Hieroglyphic Script

Let us look a little more at Egyptian hieroglyphic script, and clarify some aspects.

Hieroglyphics is not "picture writing".

Before scholars, principally Champollion, succeeded in deciphering hieroglyphic script, one common mistaken assumption was that the script is picture writing, and tells pictorial stories rather like a wordless comic strip. This is quite false. Hieroglyphic script represents the Egyptian language, its phonemes and words. It has enabled us to recover an approximation to the spoken language, and its meaning.


Hieroglyphics is not an "alphabet".

Tables like the following, intended to teach children about the "earliest writing", suggest that hieroglyphics are a kind of "picture code" in one-to-one correspondence with the English alphabet.
https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/381328293430534728/

37d615616baaf1f0803a334a06096bb6.jpg


This is an attractive table, but it is more misleading than informative. In the most unsophisticated interpretation, it might have children thinking that to write the word "man", all it would take would be to draw the picture sequence "owl–vulture–water". With more sophistication, even if it is realised that "man" is an English word, and the corresponding Egyptian word would have sounded quite different, still the child might imagine that the set of Egyptian phonemes is the same as the set of English phonemes, and an Egyptian scribe would have drawn the pictures from this "alphabet" that spell out the Egyptian word, so the child, equipped with this table, would be able to pronounce the Egyptian word.

In contrast, a more realistic list of hieroglyphics and matching phonemes would avoid many of those misdirections:

Screen Shot 2020-08-30 at 12.03.16 am.png
.
https://omniglot.com/writing/egyptian.htm
.
In fact, this set of hieroglyphics is an abjad, representing the consonants of the Egyptian language, but not its vowels. In particular, the vulture does not represent the vowel/phoneme 'a', but the consonant ꜣ or 3, two half-rings opening to the left, sometimes replaced by the digit '3', the Egyptian alef. Likewise for the other phonemes matched to vowels in the colourful table. Moreover, it is clear from this list that there are more consonants than those simply represented by the 21 consonants in the English [Latin, Roman] alphabet.
Typically hieroglyphic graphemes in this group represent the initial consonant from the Egyptian name of the object they picture.


Hieroglyphics is richer than an abjad.
.
Omniglot wrote:A fairly consistent core of 700 glyphs was used to write Classical or Middle Egyptian (ca. 2000-1650 BC), though during the Greco-Roman eras (332 BC — c400 AD) over 5,000 glyphs were in use.
The additional glyphs included graphemes representing sets of two or three consonants. An important group are ideograms, representing categories, so two words with the same sequence of consonants could be distinguished with an additional hieroglyph indicating the category to which the word belongs. The hieroglyphs used as classifiers are called determinatives. See the terminology discussion at
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=265
An example of two apparently identical words being distinguished by appropriate determinatives::
.
Screen Shot 2020-08-30 at 3.18.41 am.png
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_hieroglyphs
.
A selection of determinatives, from the Omniglot site:
.
Screen Shot 2020-08-30 at 12.05.05 am.png


Hieroglyphic numerals

One of Panterra's recent posts shows a record-keeping document with various numerical entries.
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=423
Compare that post with the following from the Omniglot site:
.
Screen Shot 2020-08-30 at 3.36.47 am.png
.

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Before we leave Ancient Egyptian for other subjects, I would like to share some information about the Rhind papyrus. This fragile and precious 3,500-year-old survivor is one of our best sources documenting mathe-matical knowledge and practice in ancient times.
Wikipedia wrote:The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus (RMP; also designated as papyrus British Museum 10057 and pBM 10058) is one of the best known examples of ancient Egyptian mathematics. It is named after Alexander Henry Rhind, a Scottish antiquarian, who purchased the papyrus in 1858 in Luxor, Egypt. It was apparently found during illegal excavations in or near the Ramesseum. It dates to around 1550 BC. The British Museum, where the majority of the papyrus is now kept, acquired it in 1865 (along with the Egyptian Mathematical Leather Roll, also owned by Henry Rhind); there are a few small fragments held by the Brooklyn Museum in New York City and an 18 cm central section is missing. It is one of two well-known Mathematical Papyri, the other being the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus. The Rhind Papyrus is larger than the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus, while the latter is older.
Two images of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus from the
BBC program: A History of the World in 100 Objects
.
p01gnr7m.jpg
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qg5mc
.
image026-1.jpg
https://erenow.net/common/a-history-of-the-world-in-100-objects/18.php
.
The text of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus is in the Ancient Egyptian language, written in hieratic script.
Wikipedia wrote:The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus dates to the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. It was copied by the scribe Ahmes [= Ahmose (Ahmes is an older transcription favoured by historians of mathematics)], from a now-lost text from the reign of king Amenemhat III (12th dynasty). Written in the hieratic script, this Egyptian manuscript is 33 cm tall and consists of multiple parts which in total make it over 5 m long. The papyrus began to be transliterated and mathematically translated in the late 19th century. The mathematical translation aspect remains incomplete in several respects. The document itself is dated to Year 33 of the Hyksos king Apophis and also contains a separate later historical note on its verso, likely dating from the period ("Year 11") of his successor, Khamudi.

In the opening paragraphs of the papyrus, Ahmes presents the papyrus as giving "Accurate reckoning for inquiring into things ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhind_Mathematical_Papyrus
.
The text deals with a variety of computational problems, including reference tables for frequently used computational results, and worked examples, especially calculations of areas of triangles and quadrilaterals. These kinds of calculation were used to determine the areas of cultivated fields, as a basis for tax collection.

Modern mathematical style favours theorems and formulas [= formulae, the traditional (Latin) plural that was still favoured in my distant school days, but the Anglicised plural has since taken over], and in introductory textbooks these are accompanied by "exercises". The idea of using representative worked examples is a practical way of teaching the relevant methods, but only implicitly conveys the underlying general principles. The main differences between ancient and modern practice are the ideas of general formulation and proof ("How can we know the method gives correct results? How can we be sure there are no exceptions?"). Those characteristics were added by classical Greek mathematicians, taking the level of abstraction/generality and confirmation to the levels we are familiar with today.

A case in point: Ancient Egyptian calculations included use of fractions, but the notation (hieroglyphic and hieratic) basically showed denominators only. For instance, one third was effectively "a quantity for which three lots would make the whole". A fraction with numerator one (such as a half or a third) is called a unitary fraction (or sometimes an Egyptian fraction, for obvious reasons). So the question of representing more general fractions as sums of distinct unitary fractions was a practical problem for Egyptian computations. For instance, two-thirds is one half plus one sixth. One table in the Rhind papyrus lists conversion of 2/n as a sum of distinct unitary fractions, for odd denominators n from 3 to 101.

A modern calculation: For the odd denominator n = 2m–1, note that
.
2/n = 2m/m(2m-1) = [(2m-1) + 1]/m(2m-1) = 1/m + 1/m(2m-1)
.
so 2/n is equal to the sum of two distinct unitary fractions.
For instance, with m = 3, this shows that 2/5 = 1/3 + 1/15.

Also 3/n = 1/n + 2/n, and if n is odd then 2/n can be replaced by the sum of two distinct unitary fractions (with denominators different from n), so if n is odd then 3/n is always the sum three distinct unitary fractions.

What about 4/n ? This is where it gets interesting. For instance,

4/5 = 8/10 = (5 + 2 + 1)/10 = 1/2 + 1/5 + 1/10,
4/7 = 8/14 = (7 + 1)/14 = 1/2 + 1/14,
4/9 = (3 + 1)/9 = 1/3 + 1/9,
4/11 = 12/33 = (11 + 1)/33 = 1/3 + 1/33,
4/13 = 16/52 = (13 + 2 + 1)/52 = 1/4 + 1/26 + 1/52, ...


Those worked examples make it quite plausible that for odd denominators n ≥ 5, the fraction 4/n can always be expressed as the sum of at most three Egyptian [unitary] fractions.

You might be astonished to learn that this is a famous unsolved mathematical problem, to this day! No-one has proved that it can always be done, and no-one has found a counter-example! This shows clearly the difference between the ancient Egyptian approach to mathematics ("worked examples imply the general method") and the "modern" approach, pioneered in ancient Greece, requiring general formulation and proof ("does it always work, or will it turn out that there are exceptions?"). The apparent pattern in a worked example might have unexpected limitations...

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Pinyin Script for Chinese

There have already been a few posts about Mandarin Chinese in this thread.
• The first detailed one is:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=56

• A post including discussion of the simplified script and traditional script is:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=212

• A post which links to a discussion of the quality of computer-based translation of Chinese is
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=334

In the present post I discuss the Pinyin script for Chinese.

What is Pinyin Script?

The Pinyin script is an adapted version of the Latin [Roman] alphabet, intended to represent the pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese words.

For example, Pīnyīn is the phonetic script corresponding to the characters 拼音.

Nowadays sources relevant to the Chinese language typically give simplified and traditional characters together with the pinyin rendition, thereby conveying the pronunciation.
The pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by a group of Chinese linguists including Zhou Youguang(*), and was based on earlier romanisations of Chinese. It was published by the Chinese [PRC] government in 1958 and revised several times. The International Organization for Standardization = ISO /ˈaɪsoʊ/, adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, and was followed by the United Nations in 1986.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Organization_for_Standardization
(*) In 1955, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanisation system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. [Wikipedia]

What does "Pinyin" mean?

The full name is Hànyǔ Pīnyīn phonetic script for the spoken language of the Han people.
HanyuHan language = Mandarin Chinese.
Pinyinspelled sounds/phonetic script.
Wikipedia wrote:Hanyu Pinyin, Chinese [simplified]: 汉语拼音; [traditional]: 漢語拼音; pinyin: Hànyǔ Pīnyīn, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanisation system for Standard Chinese in mainland China,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin
How does Pinyin script indicate tones?

Superficially pinyin is a version of the Latin [Roman] alphabet with four additional diacritics, to indicate four tones [and a fifth tone by default], placed on vowels, such as: ā, á, ǎ, à, a.
Wikipedia wrote:
• The first tone (flat or high-level tone) is represented by a macron (ˉ) added to the pinyin vowel:
ā ē ī ō ū ǖ Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū Ǖ
• The second tone (rising or high-rising tone) is denoted by an acute accent (ˊ):
á é í ó ú ǘ Á É Í Ó Ú Ǘ
• The third tone (falling-rising or low tone) is marked by a caron/háček (ˇ). It is not the rounded breve (˘), though a breve is sometimes substituted due to ignorance or font limitations.
ǎ ě ǐ ǒ ǔ ǚ Ǎ Ě Ǐ Ǒ Ǔ Ǚ
• The fourth tone (falling or high-falling tone) is represented by a grave accent (ˋ):
à è ì ò ù ǜ À È Ì Ò Ù Ǜ
• The fifth tone (neutral tone) is represented by a normal vowel without any accent mark:
a e i o u ü A E I O U Ü
Initials and finals in Pinyin script

Although pinyin is based on an alphabet, structurally it represents syllables as an initial followed by a final, where the initial is a "consonant", and the final is essentially a "vowel", but in practice may be a diphthong, and may be nasalised.
Wikipedia wrote: Unlike European languages, clusters of letters — initials (声母; 聲母; shēngmǔ) and finals (韵母; 韻母; yùnmǔ) — and not consonant and vowel letters, form the fundamental elements in pinyin . Every Mandarin syllable can be spelled with exactly one initial followed by one final (except for the special syllable er).
Pinyin Initials: standard list, orthography and approximate pronunciation guide

The bold letters indicate pinyin and the brackets enclose the symbol in IPA = International Phonetic Alphabet.
(The arrangement is systematic, reflecting phonology, but to simplify, I suppress the technical terminology.)

Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 12.34.06 am.png
.
The conventional lexicographical order (excluding w and y), derived from the zhuyin system ("bopomofo"), is:
Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 12.33.18 am.png
According to the Scheme for the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet, zh, ch, and sh can be abbreviated as ẑ, ĉ, and ŝ (z, c, s with a circumflex). However, these compact forms are rarely used due to difficulty of entering them via most computer keyboards, and are confined mainly to Esperanto keyboard layouts.

An approximate pronunciation guide, based on English language:
.
Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 12.42.12 am.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 12.42.44 am.png
.
English speakers need to pay special attention to b, d, g, h, j, q, x, zh, z, c.


Pinyin Finals: IPA, and orthography as stand alone form, and final within a syllable

The table of finals shows the "medial" on the left (corresponding to the rows of the table), and the "coda" at the top (corresponding to the columns of the table). The symbol ∅ ("empty set") indicates a null field, when the medial or the coda is absent.
.
Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 12.36.21 am.png


English speakers need to pay special attention to
-ü, -üe, -ui, -uai, -ou, -iu, -ao, -iao, -en, -un, -ün,
-ian, -üan, -ong, -iong, -eng, weng, -ang, -iang, -uang
.



End note on Chinese phonetic script pioneers

Pinyin is the latest in a series of phonetic scripts for Chinese. Jesuit missionaries in the early 1600s produced romanisations, mainly intended for Westerners. However, Chinese pioneers made their own contributions from around that time.
Wikipedia wrote:One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi (方以智; Fāng Yǐzhì; Fang I-chih; 1611–1671).

The first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu 宋恕 (1862-1910) , a student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan. Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there. This galvanised him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script. While Song did not himself actually create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts.
/RogerE :D

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Pinyin Script for Chinese (cont.)

This is a follow-up note on the tone markers used in pinyin.

The previous post included:
Superficially, pinyin is a version of the Latin [Roman] alphabet with four additional diacritics, to indicate four tones [and a fifth tone by default], placed on vowels, such as: ā, á, ǎ, à, a.
Wikipedia wrote:
• The first tone (flat or high-level tone) is represented by a macron (ˉ) added to the pinyin vowel:
ā ē ī ō ū ǖ Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū Ǖ
• The second tone (rising or high-rising tone) is denoted by an acute accent (ˊ):
á é í ó ú ǘ Á É Í Ó Ú Ǘ
• The third tone (falling-rising or low tone) is marked by a caron/háček (ˇ). It is not the rounded breve (˘), though a breve is sometimes substituted due to ignorance or font limitations.
ǎ ě ǐ ǒ ǔ ǚ Ǎ Ě Ǐ Ǒ Ǔ Ǚ
• The fourth tone (falling or high-falling tone) is represented by a grave accent (ˋ):
à è ì ò ù ǜ À È Ì Ò Ù Ǜ
• The fifth tone (neutral tone) is represented by a normal vowel without any accent mark:
a e i o u ü A E I O U Ü
Names of the tone markers (diacritics) used in pinyin

• The names "acute accent" (ˊ) and "grave accent" (ˋ) are familiar to many, through acquaintance with French.

• Less familiar is the name "macron" (ˉ).
A macron, /ˈmækrɒn, ˈmeɪ-/, is a diacritical mark: it is a straight bar (¯) placed above a letter, usually a vowel. Its name derives from Ancient Greek μακρόν [makrón] — long, since it was originally used to mark long or heavy syllables in Greco-Roman metrics.

(It now more often marks a long vowel. In the IPA = International Phonetic Alphabet, the macron is used to indicate a mid-tone; the IPA sign for a long vowel is instead a modified triangular colon ⟨ː⟩.) (*)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macron_(diacritic)
(*) Note that this commentary is useful for etymology and for usage in European language contexts, but it does not mention the tone-marker function of macron in pinyin script.]

• Let's now look at the term caron /ˈkærən/. The name "caron" (ˇ) acquired currency from the computer world, through usage at Adobe and later in Unicode. As such, it is the most common name in many computer environments, whereas some form of "háček" is more common in linguistic circles.
https://www.wordsense.eu/caron/

Etymology unknown; first known use is the United States Government Printing Office Style Manual of 1967, where it apparently referred to an inverted caret. Possibly derived from caret (^) after its similar shape, and with -on either from macron or as an augmentative after reanalysis of -et as a diminutive.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/caron


• The name "háček" (ˇ) comes from the Czech language: the Czech alphabet has a number of diacritics, including the háček /ˈhɑːtʃɛk/, /ˈhatʃɛk/, on the consonant 'c', so 'č' is pronounced /tʃ/. Czech: háčeklittle hook, diminutive of hákhook.
https://www.lexico.com/definition/hacek

• The "breve" (˘) is not one of the official diacritics in pinyin, but it sometimes appears as a substitute for the caron (ˇ).
A breve, /briːv/, less often /brɛv/; French: [bʁɛv]; neuter form of the Latin brevis short, brief, is the diacritic mark ˘, shaped like the bottom half of a circle. As used in Ancient Greek, it is also called βραχύ [brachy] — short, brief. It resembles the caron (the wedge or háček in Czech) but is rounded, in contrast to the angular tip of the caron.
Breve vs. caron
Breve Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ Ŭ ŭ
Caron Ǎ ǎ Ě ě Ǐ ǐ Ǒ ǒ Ǔ ǔ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breve
• In Esperanto, 'u' with breve (ŭ) represents a non-syllabic u in diphthongs /u̯/, such as hodiaŭtoday, hieraŭyesterday, morgaŭtomorrow.
• In Romanian, 'a' with breve represents /ə/, as in măr /mər/— apple.
• Another use of "breve" refers to a stretched version (the "double breve"): On maps notated in German, a double breve is often used in abbreviated place names that end in -b͝g., short for -burg, a common suffix originally meaning “castle”. This prevents misinterpretation as -berg, another common suffix in place names (meaning “mountain”). Thus, for example, Freib͝g. stands for Freiburg, not Freiberg.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breve

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Bopomofo Script for Chinese

Pinyin is not the only phonetic script especially created for Mandarin Chinese.
It was preceded by the system commonly called "bopomofo" script. Let's look at that script now.

Introduction to bopomofo script

Calling this script "bopomofo" is analogous to calling the Roman [Latin] alphabet the "abc",
whereas the term "Zhuyin" is analogous to the term "Roman alphabet". That is, "bopomofo" is a
listing of the first four characters of the Zhuyin script, just as "abc" is a listing of the first three
characters of the Roman alphabet.
Wikipedia wrote:Bopomofo, also called Zhuyin: 注音Mandarin Phonetic Symbols, is the major Chinese transliteration system for Mandarin Chinese and other related languages and dialects which is nowadays most commonly used in Taiwanese Mandarin. It is also used to transcribe other varieties of Chinese, particularly other varieties of Standard Chinese and related Mandarin dialects, as well as Taiwanese Hokkien.

Zhuyin Fuhao and Zhuyin are traditional terms, whereas Bopomofo is the colloquial term, also used by the International Organization for Standardization = ISO /ˈaɪsoʊ/, and by Unicode. Consisting of 37 characters and four tone marks, it transcribes all possible sounds in Mandarin. Zhuyin was introduced in China by the Republican Government in the 1910s and used alongside the Wade–Giles system, which used a modified Latin [Roman] alphabet. The Wade system was replaced by Hanyu Pinyin in 1958 by the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC), and at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1982. Bopomofo is an official transliteration system in Taiwan, being used in dictionaries and other documents. It is widely used as the main electronic input method for Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan (ROC). Taiwan adopted Hanyu Pinyin as one of the official romanisation systems for Mandarin Chinese in 2009, but the system is not commonly used in electronic input.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bopomofo
Names for this script

Zhuyin, 注音, literally means "phonetic notation".
Bopomofo comes from the first four letters of Zhuyin: ㄅ, ㄆ, ㄇ, ㄈ.
Wikipedia wrote:The original formal name of the system was 國音字母 [Guóyīn Zìmǔ] — National Language Phonetic Alphabet and 註音字母 [Zhùyīn Zìmǔ] — Phonetic Alphabet or Annotated Phonetic Letter'. It was later renamed 注音符號 [Zhùyīn Fúhào] — phonetic symbols.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bopomofo
The characters in this quotation are traditional script. Compare
Traditional script: 注音符號 [Zhùyīn Fúhào] — phonetic symbols
Simplified script: 注音符号 [Zhùyīn Fúhào] — phonetic symbols

Use of this script
Wikipedia wrote:Bopomofo is the predominant phonetic system in teaching reading and writing in elementary school in Taiwan. It is also the most popular way to enter Chinese characters into computers and smartphones and to look up characters in a dictionary. In elementary school, particularly in the lower years, Chinese characters in textbooks are often annotated with bopomofo as ruby characters(*) as an aid to learning.
(*) So-called "ruby" or "rubi" characters are small characters placed unobtrusively adjacent to each text character, to show how to pronounce the character. The term is not a colour reference.
[My personal conjecture is that the word might derive from "rubric" (which did originally include a colour reference!)]
Bopomofo is shown in a secondary position to Hanyu Pinyin in all editions of Xiandai Hanyu Cidian(*) from the 1960 edition to present 2016 (7th) edition
(*) Xiandai Hanyu Cidian, Chinese [simplified]: 现代汉语词典, traditional]: 現代漢語詞典; pinyin: Xiàndài Hànyǔ CídiǎnModern Han Language Word Dictionary , also known as A Dictionary of Current Chinese or Contemporary Chinese Dictionary is an important one-volume dictionary of Standard Mandarin Chinese published by the Commercial Press. [Wikipedia]

The bopomofo script

The Wikipedia source here is
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bopomofo

The Zhuyin characters were created by Zhang Binglin, taken mainly from "regularised" forms of ancient Chinese characters, the modern readings of which contain the sound that each letter represents. The consonants are listed in order of place of articulation, from the front of the mouth to the back: /b/, /p/, /m/, /f/, /d/, /t/, /n/, /l/ etc.

Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 2.00.23 pm.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 2.01.10 pm.png


The terminology implicit in these tables is: "syllable = initial + final" and "final = medial + rhyme [rime]"
Some earlier posts in this thread discuss these terms.
.
Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 2.02.01 pm.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 2.02.38 pm.png


How to write the bopomofo script

Learning to write the "abc" includes (1) where to start each mark, (2) the direction of making the mark, (3) the appropriate shape of the mark, and (4) the order in which all component marks should be made. You have probably forgotten what it was like to learn those letters, and now it is so familiar you don't pay conscious attention to it when you write. Well, it's just the same with any other script. And learning a new script requires careful attention to those four elementary "directions" for making each component [grapheme] of the script.
Here are the pictorial instructions for writing the bopomofo script:

Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 2.03.27 pm.png
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How bopomofo script represents the tones

The glyphs used to represent tones in bopomofo were later adopted for pinyin, so both scripts use the same set of tone markers. The main difference is that in bopomofo they are written separately, at the end of each syllable [word] (or before the syllable in the case of the dot, for neutral/fifth tone), whereas in pinyin they are written as a diacritic over a relevant vowel. The macron is always used in pinyn for the first tone, but it is usually omitted in bopomofo.

Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 2.05.32 pm.png
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Using bopomofo script to show pronunciation with a text

Because each Chinese character is a logogram(*), it does not have an inherent directionality, so a sentence written in Chinese characters can be written vertically from top to bottom, horizontally from left to right, or horizontally from right to left, and in each case can easily be read by a reader familiar with the characters. The vertical arrangement was traditionally favoured, in columns which begin on the right side of the page (or scroll), the second column immediately to its left, and so on, with the last column leftmost on the page.
(*) Discussed at https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=265

When the sentence in Chinese characters is written vertically, the pronunciation is normally written vertically, to the right, in smaller bopomofo script [ruby/rubi script]. When the sentence is written horizontally, the pronunciation is written horizontally above, in smaller bopomofo script [ruby/rubi script]. (While bopomofo is quite adaptable to horizontal and vertical arrangements, pinyin is only suitable for horizontal text.)
Example:
Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 2.07.10 pm.png


Comparing finals in IPA, Zhuyin and pinyin bopomofo scripts

This table expands on the table given earlier for pinyin, now with the inclusion of bopomofo characters:
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Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 2.08.46 pm.png
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/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by kuikka »

After checking from my son (my wife is Taiwanese) I like to add something on using bopomofo. Where it is written doesn't appear to depend on the direction of writing the text. Also, he said that he has seen (rarely) them placed under the character.

Also a quick note on writing Chinese on computer and mobile phone. There are (if I remember correctly) only about 250 different syllables in Chinese. As each character is one syllable, there are more than one character that matches each syllable. The computer (and phone) uses predictive typing (which you are used to in mobile phones) to guess what combination makes sense for the phrase written and the user then can correct it (from a list of all possible characters for that syllable) if it was not correct.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Homophones in Mandarin Chinese

Thanks for your comments kuikka. Let's take up the subject of homophones in Chinese.

The number of distinct syllables in Mandarin Chinese is much smaller than the number of characters, because the language has many homophonic syllables — syllables which have the same pronunciation but different meanings.
Oxford Languages wrote:Homophone /ˈhɒməfəʊn,ˈhəʊməfəʊn/
Homophones — two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling; each of a set of symbols denoting the same sound or group of sounds.
Some examples of homophones in English include {aloud, allowed}, {draft, draught}, {ewe, yew, you}.
In Mandarin Chinese, homophones are much more common than in English, and the size of a typical set of homophones is significantly larger than in English. The homophones in Mandarin Chinese typically have
quite different characters. If tones are ignored, there can be quite large sets of homophonic syllables; even
when the pronunciation includes the same tone, the set of homophones can be quite large.

For example, my dictionary lists 15 characters having pronunciation "shen", with bopomofo ㄕㄣ .
Of these, 7 have first tone, 2 have second tone, 2 have third tone, and 4 have fourth tone.
Those with first tone include:
[shēn] — express, state;
[shēn] — body;
[shēn] — deep, difficult;
[shēn] — stretch, extend;
[shēn] — groan.
Those with fourth tone include:
[shèn] — kidney;
[shèn] — go so far;
[shèn] — seep.

Entering the bopomofo characters ㄕㄣ or ㄕㄣˋ into a smart phone or computer will produce one of the
appropriate characters, but if it is not the desired one, then others are presented as alternatives so the
correct one can be selected.
(When ㄕㄣ is input into Google translate, the software yields "shen1", while ㄕㄣˋ yields "shen4".)

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Statistical data about Mandarin Chinese

Further to kuikka's recent post, here is some statistical information on Mandarin Chinese.

This post quotes from an answer to the query "How many possible syllables are there in Mandarin Chinese?"
https://www.quora.com/How-many-possible-syllables-are-there-in-Chinese-Mandarin

The response was provided by Robert Matthews (馬學進), Univ retired, EFL/FFL/CFL in Taiwan.
since MA in Chinese linguistics @NTU 72~74 [NTU = Nanyang Technological University, Singapore].
[Answer posted 29 Feb, 2016]
Robert Matthews wrote:How many syllables are there in standard Mandarin? As with many questions involving numbers, the answer is “it depends.”

Not counting tones, there are over 400 syllables in standard Mandarin (416 in the Xinhua dictionary, the most authoritative dictionary published in China). According to the 中國語言生活狀況報告 [Zhōngguó yǔyán shēnghuó zhuàngkuàng bàogào} — Report on Contemporary Chinese Language Usage, there are 9231 Chinese characters being used in newspapers, television broadcasts and online, but 2377 characters can provide 99% coverage. The 6000 most commonly used Chinese characters account for 372 different syllables (in other words, around 45 syllables are rarely used).

After analysing the 6000 most commonly used Chinese characters, it turns out that the fourth tone is the single most common tone, accounting for 35.3% of all uses, and the third tone only accounts for 15.9% of all uses:

Tone frequency Across the 6000 Most Commonly Used Chinese Characters:
1st Tone 19.6%
2nd Tone 21.8%
3rd Tone 15.9%
4th Tone 35.3%
Neutral Tone 7.4%
Total 100.00%
From close counting based on the 11th edition of 新華字典 [xīnhuá zìdiǎn] — The Xinhua Dictionary, he found 416 syllables. He reports that when tones are taken into account, the number of syllables is around 1600.

He prepared a file of those 416 syllables, released under a Creative Commons license, CC--BY-NC-SA Robert Matthews, 2016. The file is accessible at https://tinyurl.com/yy874b3e
(The html for this link uses 321 characters; the tinyurl condensed version uses just 28 characters. ;) )

Here is a sample portion of the table. Note that each syllable is listed alphabetically by tone-free pinyin,
with just one representative character for the syllable. I have chosen to show portion of the table that
includes shen (Syllable 303), to complement the discussion in the previous post. (The sample character is the first tone homophone [shēn] — deep, difficult.)

.<br />Part of Mandarin Chinese syllable table, <br />compiled by Robert Matthews
.
Part of Mandarin Chinese syllable table,
compiled by Robert Matthews


/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Radicals in Mandarin Chinese characters

Look at these Mandarin Chinese characters — what do they have in common?
.
清 海 湖 河 油 汉

.
I selected a group of characters each of which has the componenton the left side. This component of these characters is called a radical. It is a classifier indicating a feature shared by the items referred to by the words/syllables these characters represent.

Radicals in Mandarin Chinese characters function in a way quite similar to that of determinatives in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic script (and hieratic script), discussed recently in the post: https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&hilit=determinative&start=428

A Chinese-English dictionary would tell us the pronunciation and English translation of each character.
But how would you go about finding those characters in the Chinese-English dictionary? I will explain.

How a Chinese dictionary works

The radicalis the water radical. The stand-alone character for water is
.
[shuǐ] — water
.
The water radicalis a reduced version of the character , with simplified strokes and a compressed arrangement to fit the usual vertical height of whole characters while occupying only a small width on the left of the character, to leave room for the rest of the character to still fit into a notional square.
When you see a character with the radical on its left side, you can know that it has something to do with water. In many cases the relationship with water will be obvious, but in other cases it might be more subtle, and perhaps difficult to figure out — the reason for categorising the word with the water radical might lie deep in the origins of the character, and no longer quite evident.

In any case, all the characters that include the radicalare listed in a group near the beginning of a typical bilingual Chinese–English dictionary, and each is accompanied by the page number where it is defined, shown in pinyin, and translated into English, along with examples of phrases in which it is used. The same principles apply to the organisation of a typical monolingual dictionary of Chinese for Chinese speakers, but the pronunciation might also be given in bopomofo script, and of course there is no English translation.

In fact there are over 200 radicals identified in a normal dictionary — 214 is the number often used, but there are some small disagreements among experts, so the number is not quite fixed, and even the representation of a radical can differ a little between different listings.

A Chinese dictionary typically has three parts. Part 1 is the list of radicals, and typically occupies a single page. Part 2 is the list of characters: all those with the first radical are listed first; those with the second radical are listed next; and so on. This part of the dictionary occupies about 20 pages. The radicals for the groups on a given page are listed in order at the top of the page. Part 3 is the body of the dictionary, perhaps 700 pages. It contains the characters listed by pinyin order, all those corresponding to the same pinyin syllable being listed together, first those pronounced in first tone, then those pronounced in second tone, then third tone, then fourth tone, and finally neutral (fifth) tone when such exist. Those with syllable 'a' appear first, then those with syllable 'ai', followed by those with 'an', and so on. The last syllable in the dictionary is 'zuo'.

How are the radicals arranged? By number of strokes. Those with a single stroke come first, then those with two strokes, followed by those with three strokes (the water radicalis among them), and so on. The more strokes, the "rarer" the radical. The maximum number is 14 strokes — my dictionary lists two radicals that have 14 strokes. There is a conventional ordering of all the radicals with the same number of strokes, but it is not "obvious", and the list is small enough that you can run down it by eye to search for the desired radical in the first step of looking up an given character.

Let's take the first character from the list offered at the start of this post:

In Part 1 of my Chinese-English dictionary the water radicalis the very first on the list of radicals with three strokes, and against it is the number 10. This refers me to page 10 in Part 2 of the dictionary.

The header on page 10 lists six radicals, the last five of the two-stroke radicals, followed by the first of the three-stroke radicals, which is .

Now I have to count the number of additional strokes in the character . I see four strokes in the top portion (three horizontal and one vertical), and four strokes in the bottom portion (冂 counts as two strokes, comprising the left vertical drawn from top down, then the second started at top left, drawn horizontally to the right and then vertically down, without lifting the pen/brush; those two strokes are followed by the two horizontal strokes, upper first, then lower).

So now I need to look among the characters with water radicaland eight additional strokes. The list begins with those having two additional strokes, then those with three additional strokes, and so on, all the way to one with 15 additional strokes. In the middle of the list there are thirty-one with 8 strokes, and I find seventh on the list: against it is the number 408. This refers me to page 408 in Part 3 of the dictionary.

On page 408 I find characters with pinyin syllable qing. Early on the page is
.
[qīng] — clear
.
In fact, the dictionary lists various possible meanings:
(1) clear, unmixed; (2) clarified, distinct; (3) quiet; (4) completely, thoroughly; (5) settle, clear up; (6) count; (7) the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Among the examples for option (1) is 清水 [qīng shuǐ] — clear water. I decide from this that "clear" is a common meaning for [qīng], and "transparent like water" is the water association motivating the choice of radical.

All the other characters at the start of this post have the same radical, so they should all be listed on page 10 of Part 2 of my dictionary. But in each case I need to count the number of additional strokes to find the character within the group having the radical:
Here is the list, with my stroke count in each case. In two cases my stroke count didn't locate the character in the relevant part of the list, but I did find it in the section with one fewer or one more stroke. (The conventions for stroke making take a lot of practice, and my rather novice level of experience leaves me prone to make some wrong moves in stroke making.)


8 additional strokes —> 7 additional strokes: page 178. [hǎi] — sea, large lake.
9 additional strokes: page 194. [hú] — lake.
4 additional strokes —> 5 additional strokes: page 185. [hé] — river.
5 additional strokes: page 604. [yóu] — oil, fat, grease.
2 additional strokes: page 180. [hàn] — Han/Chinese language.

Examples of these characters in terms from Chinese history, geography or culture

清朝 [Qīngcháo] — Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
[Hàn] — Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE, "by the sea".
上海 [Shànghǎi] — Shanghai, "by the sea".
海南 [Hǎinán] — Hainan (Island/Province), "south sea".
湖北 [Húběi] — Hubei (Province), "north lake".
湖南 [Húnán] — Hunan (Province), "south lake".
黄河 [Huánghé] — Huanghe (River), "yellow river".
食用油 [shíyòng yóu] — cooking oil.

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by piaoyou »

RogerE wrote:
07 Sep 2020 02:50
Statistical data about Mandarin Chinese

Further to kuikka's recent post, here is some statistical information on Mandarin Chinese.

This post quotes from an answer to the query "How many possible syllables are there in Mandarin Chinese?"
https://www.quora.com/How-many-possible-syllables-are-there-in-Chinese-Mandarin

The response was provided by Robert Matthews (馬學進), Univ retired, EFL/FFL/CFL in Taiwan.
since MA in Chinese linguistics @NTU 72~74 [NTU = Nanyang Technological University, Singapore].
[Answer posted 29 Feb, 2016]
Robert Matthews wrote:How many syllables are there in standard Mandarin? As with many questions involving numbers, the answer is “it depends.”

Not counting tones, there are over 400 syllables in standard Mandarin (416 in the Xinhua dictionary, the most authoritative dictionary published in China). According to the 中國語言生活狀況報告 [Zhōngguó yǔyán shēnghuó zhuàngkuàng bàogào} — Report on Contemporary Chinese Language Usage, there are 9231 Chinese characters being used in newspapers, television broadcasts and online, but 2377 characters can provide 99% coverage. The 6000 most commonly used Chinese characters account for 372 different syllables (in other words, around 45 syllables are rarely used).

After analysing the 6000 most commonly used Chinese characters, it turns out that the fourth tone is the single most common tone, accounting for 35.3% of all uses, and the third tone only accounts for 15.9% of all uses:

Tone frequency Across the 6000 Most Commonly Used Chinese Characters:
1st Tone 19.6%
2nd Tone 21.8%
3rd Tone 15.9%
4th Tone 35.3%
Neutral Tone 7.4%
Total 100.00%
From close counting based on the 11th edition of 新華字典 [xīnhuá zìdiǎn] — The Xinhua Dictionary, he found 416 syllables. He reports that when tones are taken into account, the number of syllables is around 1600.

He prepared a file of those 416 syllables, released under a Creative Commons license, CC--BY-NC-SA Robert Matthews, 2016. The file is accessible at https://tinyurl.com/yy874b3e
(The html for this link uses 321 characters; the tinyurl condensed version uses just 28 characters. ;) )

Here is a sample portion of the table. Note that each syllable is listed alphabetically by tone-free pinyin,
with just one representative character for the syllable. I have chosen to show portion of the table that
includes shen (Syllable 303), to complement the discussion in the previous post. (The sample character is the first tone homophone [shēn] — deep, difficult.)

Image


/RogerE :D
There are 416 syllables without tones. If with tones taken into account, the number of syllables is around 1600.

Just checked it, and found that the Baidu Knowledge Snippet suggests the similar numbers.

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Post by RogerE »

Thanks to piaoyou for reporting another source for the count of Mandarin Chinese/pinyin syllables with/without tones.

Radicals in Mandarin Chinese characters (cont.)

In a recent post I showed a group of six characters, which I now expand with four more:

清 海 湖 河 油 汉 漢 汽 泪 溪


All include the radical water radical .
It is called 水字旁 [shuǐ zì páng] — the water radical, because it is a simplified form of [shuǐ] — water.
.
Summary of "main" meanings of each character
[qīng] — clear.
[hǎi] — sea, large lake.
[hú] — lake.
[hé] — river.
[yóu] — oil, fat, grease.
[hàn] — Han/Chinese language [simplified script]
[hàn] — Han/Chinese language [traditional script]
[qì] — vapour, steam
[lèi] — tear, teardrop
[xī] — creek, rivulet

Examples of these characters in use (including terms from history, geography)

清朝 [Qīngcháo] — Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
[Hàn] — Han [Dynasty] (206 BCE–220 CE).
汉朝 [Hàncháo] — Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE).
汉字 [Hànzì] — Chinese/Han character/script (simplified script)
漢字 [Hànzì] — Chinese/Han character/script (traditional script)
上海 [Shànghǎi] — Shanghai, "by the sea".
海南 [Hǎinán] — Hainan (Island/Province), "south sea".
湖北 [Húběi] — Hubei (Province), "north lake".
湖南 [Húnán] — Hunan (Province), "south lake".
黄河 [Huánghé] — Huanghe (River), "yellow river".
食用油 [shíyòng yóu] — cooking oil.
汽油 [qìyóu] — petrol = gasoline.
泪水 [lèishuǐ] — tears.
溪水 [xīshuǐ] — creek water.

However, a word of caution: not every word with a water association includes the water radical!
For example:
[yún] — cloud
[yǔ] — rain
[xuě] — snow

/RogerE :D

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Radicals in Mandarin Chinese characters (cont.)

Here is another group of Mandarin Chinese characters with a common radical:

你 他 们 体 休 什


All characters in the list above include the radical .
It is called 人字旁 [rén zì páng] — the man radical, because it is a simplified form of [rén] — man.
The radical is [rén] [bopomofo ㄖㄣˊ] — man
The radical has two strokes, so appears very early in the list of radicals.

Summary of "main" meanings of each character

[nǐ] — you (sing.).
[tā] — he.
[men] — pronoun.
[tǐ] — body.
[xiū] — stop, rest.
[shén](*) — [part of question marker
[shí](*) — assorted, various

(*)Note: A heteronym (also known as a heterophone) is a word that has a different pronunciation and meaning from another word but the same "spelling" [English pair: wind /ˈwɪnd/ (blowing air), wind /ˈwaɪnd/ (wrap around)]. These are homographs that are not homophones. Here we have a Mandarin Chinese pair: 什 [shén], 什 [shí]


Examples of these characters in use

你们 [nǐmen] — you (pl.).
你好 [Nǐ hǎo] — "hello there!".
你好吗? [Nǐ hǎo ma?] — "How are you?".
他们 [tāmen] — they (m, or m&f).
我们 [wǒmen] — we; [wǒ] — I.
体谅 [tǐliàng] — considerate; [liàng] — forgive.
休会 [xiūhuì] — adjourn.
什么 [shénme] — what?
你想要什么 [Nǐ xiǎng yào shénme] — What do you want?
什锦 [shíjǐn] — assorted.

/RogerE :D

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Radicals in Mandarin Chinese characters (cont.)

Here is one more group of Mandarin Chinese characters with a common radical:

它 宅 守 安 宋 宗


All characters in the list above include the roof radical
.
The radical is [gài] [bopomofo ㄍㄞˋ] — roof
The radical has three strokes, so appears fairly early in the list of radicals.

Summary of "main" meanings of each character
(Pronunciations are shown in pinyin and bopomofo scripts.)

[tā] [ㄊㄚ](*) — it, other.
[zhái] [ㄓㄞˊ] — house, residence.
[shǒu] [ㄕㄡˇ] — to protect, guard.
[ān] [ㄢ]— safe, secure, content.
[sòng] [ㄙㄨㄥˋ] — Song Dynasty (960-1279)
[zōng] [ㄗㄨㄥ] — clan, family, ancestor

Examples of these characters in use

它们 [tāmen] — they (inanimate objects).
宅院 [zháiyuàn] — house with a courtyard.
住宅 [zhùzhái] — residence, tenement.
住宅区 [zhùzháiqū] — housing development, residential area.
看守 [kānshǒu] — to watch over, guard.
安全 [ānquán ] — safety, security.
不安 [bùān] — restless, disturbed.
宋朝 [Sòngcháo] — Song Dynasty (960-1279).
祖宗 [zǔzōng] — ancestor, forebear.
宗旨 [zōngzhǐ] — objective, goal, aim

I found these examples at
https://www.archchinese.com/chinese_english_dictionary.html?rad=5b80

Note on homonyms

(*)Note: A homonym (also called a homophone) is one of a set of words that have the same pronunciation with different "spelling" and meaning [for example, here is an English group: awe, oar, or, ore /ɔː/].
Here are some triples of Mandarin Chinese homonyms:
他, 她, 它 [tā] — he, she, it;
他们, 她们, 它们 [tāmen] — they (m, or m&f), they (f), they (inanimate).

/RogerE :D

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Post by RogerE »

Chinese Zodiac

牛年 [niú nián] — Year of the Ox
牛年大吉 [niú nián dàjí] — Good Luck for Year of the Ox

s-l1600-2.jpg
.
Argentina, 2009: Minisheet for Year of the Buffalo/Ox,
depicting the full Chinese zodiac,
issued to promote China 2009 World Stamp Exhibition

Spanish text: Felicidad para el año del búfaloHappiness for the Year of the Buffalo/Ox


What is the Chinese "Zodiac"?

生肖 [shēngxiào] — Chinese "zodiac"

Although usually referred to as a "zodiac", the Chinese 生肖 [shēngxiào] is basically a cycle of 12 years (not months), traditionally designated by 12 animals, which served as a time-keeping calendar device, along with an associated horoscope/astrological tradition. The following (lightly edited) description from Wikipedia gives us a good introduction.
The Chinese zodiac is a classification scheme, based on the lunar calendar, assigning an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle...

Originating from China, the zodiac and its variations remain popular in many East Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

Identifying this scheme using the generic term "zodiac" reflects several superficial similarities to the Western zodiac: both have time cycles divided into 12 parts, each labels at least the majority of those parts with names of animals, and each is widely associated with a culture of ascribing a person's personality or events in their life to the supposed influence of the person's particular relationship to the cycle.

Nevertheless, there are major differences between the two: the animals of the Chinese zodiac are not associated with constellations spanned by the ecliptic plane. The Chinese 12-part cycle corresponds to years, rather than months. The Chinese zodiac is represented by 12 animals, whereas some of the signs in the Western zodiac are not animals, despite the implication of the etymology of the English word zodiac, which derives from zōdiacus, the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek ζῳδιακός κύκλος [zōidiakòs kýklos] — cycle/circle of little animals.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_zodiac
The Chinese "Zodiac" Animals

The standard sequence for the animals is
1. [shǔ] — Rat
2. [niú] — Ox
3. [hǔ] — Tiger
4. [tù] — Rabbit
5. 龙/龍 [lóng] — Dragon [simpl./trad.]
6. [shé] — Snake
7. 马/馬 [mǎ] — Horse [simpl./trad.]
8. [yáng] — Goat
9. [hóu] — Monkey
10. 鸡/雞 [jī] — Rooster [simpl./trad.]
11. [gǒu] — Dog
12. 猪/豬 [zhū] — Pig [simpl./trad.]

The radical 犭

Several characters in the 生肖 [shēngxiào] include the three-stroke beast radical [quǎn] [ㄑㄨㄢˇ].
These are included in this short list:
猴 狗 猪 猫 狆 犰 犴 犯
.
[hóu] — monkey
[gǒu] — dog
[zhū] — pig
[māo] — cat
[zhòng] — Pekinese dog, pug
[qiú] — armadillo
[àn] — prison, goal/jail
[fàn] — attack, assail
Evidently some of the animal names are onomatapoeic — most clearly: māo — cat.
Although the characters for many animals include the beast radical , not every animal name includes this radical, as horse, goat and ox/buffalo demonstrate.

A note on translation of the animal terms

Another lightly edited passage from Wikipedia:
Due to choice of synonyms for translation, some of the animals referred to in English translations (or other European languages) did not exist in ancient China.
The term Rat can be translated as Mouse, as there are no distinctive words for the two genera in Chinese. However, Rat is the most commonly used synonym.
The term Ox, a castrated Bull, can also be translated interchangeably with other terms related to cattle, such as Bull, Cow and Buffalo. However, Ox is the most commonly used synonym.
The term Goat can be translated as Sheep and Ram, a male Sheep. However, Goat is the most commonly used synonym.
The term Rooster, the male term for Fowl, can be translated interchangeably with Fowl/Chicken, as well as the female Hen. However, Rooster is the most commonly used one among all the synonyms.
The term Pig is sometimes translated as Boar (after the name used in Japan).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_zodiac
The Spanish terms used on the 2009 minisheet from Argentina are
1. ratarat;
2. búfaloox, buffalo;
3. tigretiger;
4. conejorabbit;
5. dragóndragon;
6. serpientesnake;
7. caballohorse;
8. cabragoat;
9. monomonkey;
10. gallorooster;
11. perrodog;
12. chanchopig.

/RogerE :D

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Post by RogerE »

Numerals in Mandarin Chinese

Let's look at numerals in Mandarin Chinese.
An early post in this thread included some introductory discussion of the numerals:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=56
We now look at the subject more thoroughly.

Of course, the numeral characters are the same in various forms of Chinese, but their pronunciation
differs if they are pronounced in Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, and so on. I will give the Mandarin
Chinese pronunciations.

普通话 [pǔtōnghuà] — Mandarin Chinese

Basic Mandarin numerals

一到十 [yī dào shí] — one up to ten

[yī] — one
[èr] — two
[sān] — three
[sì] — four
[wǔ] — five
[liù] — six
[qī] — seven
[bā] — eight
[jiǔ] — nine
[shí] — ten

Compound Mandarin numerals

In English and other European languages there are special words for various numbers beyond ten.
In Mandarin Chinese the numbers beyond ten (and below a hundred) are straightforward compounds
of the simple numbers. The principles are readily conveyed by a few examples, as follows:

十一至九十九 [shíyī zhì jiǔshíjiǔ] — eleven to ninety-nine

十一 [shíyī] — eleven
十二 [shíèr] — twelve
十五 [shíwǔ] — fifteen
十八 [shíbā] — eighteen

二十 [èrshí] — twenty
三十 [sānshí] — thirty
四十 [sìshí] — forty
七十 [qīshí] — seventy

二十一 [èrshíyī] — twenty-one
三十二 [sānshíèr] — thirty-two
三十九 [sānshíjiǔ] — thirty-nine
五十四 [wǔshísì] — fifty-four
八十七 [bāshíqī] — eighty-seven
九十九 [jiǔshíjiǔ] — ninety-nine

Larger Mandarin numerals

一百 [yībǎi] — one hundred = 10^2
一千 [yīqiān] — one thousand = 10^3
一万 [yīwàn] — ten thousand = 10^4
一百万 [yībǎiwàn] — one million = 100 x 10^4
一亿 [yīyì] — one hundred million = 10^8
十亿 [shíyì] — one billion = 10 x 10^8
一兆 [yīzhào] — one trillion = 10^12

Larger Mandarin numerals (examples)

二百五十六 [èrbǎi wǔshíliù] — 256
二千二十 [èrqiān èrshí] — 2020

Western numerals are widely used. Today's date, for example:
2020年9月17日 [èrqiān èrshí nián jiǔ yuè shíqī rì]
17 September 2020
Literally: "2020 year 9 month 17 day".

Two sets of Mandarin numerals
Wikipedia wrote:There are two sets of characters for Chinese numerals: one for everyday writing, known as xiǎoxiě Chinese (trad.) 小寫, (simpl.) 小写, lit.— small writing, and one for use in commercial or financial contexts, known as dàxiě Chinese (trad.) 大寫, (simpl.) 大写, lit.— large writing. The latter arose because the characters used for writing numerals are geometrically simple, so simply using those numerals cannot prevent forgeries in the same way spelling numbers out in English would. A forger could easily change the everyday characters 三十 (30) to 五千 (5000) just by adding a few strokes. That would not be possible when writing using the financial characters 參拾 (30) and 伍仟 (5000). They are also referred to as "banker's numerals", "anti-fraud numerals", or "banker's anti-fraud numerals".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_numerals
The complex numerals are used on cheques, coins and bank notes
[yī] — one
[èr] — two
[sān] — three
[sì] — four
[wǔ] — five
[liù] — six
[qī] — seven
[bā] — eight
[jiǔ] — nine
[shí] — ten

拾壹 [shíyī] — eleven
拾貳 [shíèr] — twelve
拾伍 [shíwǔ] — fifteen
拾捌 [shíbā] — eighteen

貳拾 [èrshí] — twenty
叁拾 [sānshí] — thirty
肆拾 [sìshí] — forty
柒拾 [qīshí] — seventy

貳拾壹 [èrshíyī] — twenty-one
叁拾貳 [sānshíèr] — thirty-two
叁拾玖 [sānshíjiǔ] — thirty-nine
伍拾肆 [wǔshísì] — fifty-four
捌拾柒 [bāshíqī] — eighty-seven
玖拾玖 [jiǔshíjiǔ] — ninety-nine

壹佰 [yībǎi] — one hundred = 10^2
壹仟 [yīqiān] — one thousand = 10^3
壹萬 [yīwàn] — ten thousand = 10^4
壹佰萬 [yībǎiwàn] — one million = 100 x 10^4
壹億 [yīyì] — one hundred million = 10^8
拾億 [shíyì] — one billion = 10 x 10^8
壹兆 [yīzhào] — one trillion = 10^12

/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Chinese numerals in use:

,<br />PRC Banknote, 1980, 1 Jiao
,
PRC Banknote, 1980, 1 Jiao


/RogerE :D

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by kuikka »

One important point to understand large Chinese numerals. In (at least most) western languages the large numbers are named with multiplying with 1000:

1000 thousands = 1 million
1000 million = 1 billion
1000 billion = 1 trillion

...

In Chinese multiplying is done by 10 000. To make it easier, I call here 一万 (10 000) as 'zzz' and 一亿 (100 000 000) as 'yyy'.

English...........................Chinese
expression.....................expression

One.................................one
Ten..................................ten
Hundred..........................hundred
Thousand........................thousand
Ten thousand..................zzz
Hundred thousand..........ten zzz
Million..............................hundred zzz
Ten million ......................thousand zzz
Hundred million...............yyy
Billion................................ten yyy

....

That makes the conversion of large numbers somewhat tricky.

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Post by AMark »

RogerE wrote:壹佰 [yībǎi] — one hundred = 10^2
壹仟 [yīqiān] — one thousand = 10^3
壹萬 [yīwàn] — ten thousand = 10^4
壹佰萬 [yībǎiwàn] — one million = 100 x 10^4
壹億 [yīyì] — one hundred million = 10^8
拾億 [shíyì] — one billion = 10 x 10^8
壹兆 [yīzhào] — one trillion = 10^12
Personally, I think superscript (i.e. scientific notation) looks much better. :)

壹佰 [yībǎi] — one hundred = 10²
壹仟 [yīqiān] — one thousand = 10³
壹萬 [yīwàn] — ten thousand = 10⁴
壹佰萬 [yībǎiwàn] — one million = 100 x 10⁴
壹億 [yīyì] — one hundred million = 10⁸
拾億 [shíyì] — one billion = 10 x 10⁸
壹兆 [yīzhào] — one trillion = 10¹²
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Waffle »

Perhaps I need a new pair of glasses but both of those posts look identical to me. I cannot distinguish any different Chinese features that stand out. To quote a famous or should that read infamous Australian person, " Please explain."
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by kuikka »

Waffle,

If your post is concerning Mark's post above, the difference is not in Chinese but in the mathematical expression of their value.

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Ubobo.R.O. »

Yes. AMark's reply doesn't have that upside down v thing.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Many thanks to AMark for the conversion of my powers of 10 to exponent notation.

According to Ubobo.R.O., the difference was that AMark's reply doesn't have that "upside down v thing".

Shall we have some related terminology? It's always good to have the appropriate terms available, as they sharpen precision and awareness of distinctions.

1. caret ^
The caret /ˈkærɪt/, is a V-shaped grapheme, usually inverted and sometimes extended, used in proofreading and typography to indicate that additional material needs to be inserted at this point in the text.

A similar mark has a variety of unrelated uses in programming, mathematics and other contexts. The symbol ^ was included in typewriter and computer keyboards so that circumflex accents could be overprinted on letters (as in ŵ). This facility is not provided as standard on typical US keyboard settings and so the character became reused in computer languages for many other purposes. The misnomer "caret" is frequently applied to the circumflex symbol in that context, because of its similarity to the proofreading mark for insertion....

Surrogate symbol for superscript and exponentiation

In mathematics, the circumflex can signify exponentiation ( such as 10^8 for 10⁸), when the usual superscript is not readily usable, as on some graphing calculators. It is also used to indicate a superscript in TeX typesetting.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caret
2. circumflex ^
The circumflex is a diacritic in the Latin and Greek scripts that is used in the written forms of many languages and in various romanization and transcription schemes. It received its English name from Latin circumflexusbent around, a translation of the Greek περισπωμένη [perispōménē]. The circumflex in the Latin script is chevron-shaped ˆ, while the Greek circumflex may be displayed either like a tilde (˜) or like an inverted breve ( ̑).

In English, the circumflex, like other diacritics, is sometimes retained on loanwords that used it in the original language: for example, crème brûlée.

A similar typographical symbol, the caret ^ is used in proof-reading and in programming.
In mathematics and statistics, the circumflex is used to denote a function and is called a hat operator.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumflex
3. caron ˇ
A caron ˇ /ˈkærən/, háček or haček /ˈhɑːtʃɛk/ or /ˈheɪtʃɛk/, plural háčeks or háčky, also known as a hachek, wedge, check, kvačica, mäkčeň, inverted circumflex, inverted hat, or flying bird, is a diacritic commonly placed over certain letters in the orthography of some Baltic, Slavic, Finnic, Samic, Berber, and other languages to indicate a change in the pronunciation of the related letter.

The use of the caron differs according to the orthographic rules of a language. In most Slavic and European languages it indicates (i) present or historical palatalization (e → ě: [e] → [ʲe]), or (ii) iotation or postalveolar articulation (c → č: [ts] → [tʃ]).
In Salishan languages, it often represents (iii) a uvular consonant (x → x̌: [x] → [χ]). When placed over vowel symbols, the caron can indicate (iv) a contour tone, for instance the falling and then rising tone in the Pinyin romanization of Mandarin Chinese.

It is also used to "decorate" symbols in mathematics, where it is often pronounced /ˈtʃɛk/ "check".

The caron is shaped approximately like a small letter "v." In serif typefaces, the caron generally takes one of two forms: either symmetrical, essentially identical to a rotated circumflex; or with the left stroke thicker than the right, like the usual serif form of the letter "v" (but without serifs). The latter form is often preferred by Czech designers for use in the Czech language, while for other uses the symmetrical form tends to predominate, as it does also among sans-serif fonts. The caron is not to be confused with the breve ˘, which has a curved bottom, while the caron is pointed:
Caron vs. Breve
Caron Ǎ ǎ Ě ě Ǐ ǐ Ǒ ǒ Ǔ ǔ
Breve Ă ă Ĕ ĕ Ĭ ĭ Ŏ ŏ Ŭ ŭ
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caron
4. breve ˘
A breve (/briːv/, less often /brɛv/; French: [bʁɛv] (About this soundlisten); neuter form of the Latin brevisshort, brief, is the diacritic mark ˘, shaped like the bottom half of a circle. As used in Ancient Greek, it is also called βραχύ [brachy]. It resembles the caron (the wedge or háčeklittle hook, in Czech) but is rounded, in contrast to the angular tip of the caron.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breve
/RogerE :D

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