Talk about a hiatus …

Posted in General at 1:34 am by Mithridates

Hmmm … the place really fell apart while I was away.

I guess several illnesses, a new house in a new state, a new job, and an amazing new baby daughter might have each played their role.

So it goes.

In other important news, the book count is over 8,000 - I have plenty of room for them now, but not the energy to unpack and arrange them. I’m working on it.


EU Languages

Posted in Language at 1:15 pm by Mithridates

Sorry about the light posting lately - real life has been intruding. In any case, here is some info about Welsh and the EU:

Plaid Cymru’s Euro-MP Jill Evans has welcomed last night’s decision by Europe’s Foreign Ministers on a framework which gives semi official status to languages such as Catalan, Galician and Basque and on the regulation which gives the Irish language the status of a working language used at the European level.

Ms Evans - who has been leading Plaid Cymru’s campaign for Welsh to become an official EU language - says that the deal opens the door for Welsh to get a similar status if the UK Government has the will.


Cree Preservation

Posted in Language at 10:02 am by Mithridates

With traditional songs, hand puppets and an enthusiasm that’s infectious, Sonia Kinequon is fighting to preserve her culture through the minds — and mouths — of young people.

Kinequon is a Cree language teacher at Albert elementary school in inner-city Regina.

It’s a place where, starting last fall, administrators and parents decided to replace French class with the study of the indigenous language as part of a pilot program.

The aim is to give the aboriginal students a better connection to their past .

“Without the language and without the children learning it, it is going to evaporate,” Kinequon says. “And if we don’t have a setting where children can learn their language, they are eventually going to lose it.”

Full story here.


Nootka dictionary

Posted in Language at 10:45 am by Mithridates

A debut dictionary of all known words in Nootka, the 5,000-year-old tongue of North American tribes in an island outpost of the Rockies, has been published by a team in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Years of interviews with some 300 surviving speakers of the language, almost all now aged over 60, have led to 537 pages of unique and remarkably versatile terms. Entire sentences of meaning can be crammed into very short words.

“There are only three basic vowels but 40 consonants and a very complex sound structure when they are spoken,” said John Stonham, of Newcastle University, who started collecting Nootka words 20 years ago. His dictionary also draws on the fieldwork of the linguist and anthropologist Edward Sapir, who investigated the tribes’ homeland on Vancouver Island between 1910 and 1924.

Full story here (via Cronaca), and the website for the Nootka Nation is here.


Learn Euro referendum speak

Posted in Language at 3:57 pm by Mithridates

In case you were planning on voting on the EU consitution in a country in which you do not speak the lanaguage, here’ s a primer.


Bahasa Blogging

Posted in General at 11:15 am by Mithridates

Not that I can read it, but here’s a blog in (I think) Indonesian.


Bahtssal (Eastern Pomo) Language

Posted in Language at 10:31 am by Mithridates

A Pomo site with some basic info and phrases, including sound files.


Pomo Language Preservation

Posted in Language at 11:00 am by Mithridates

Eighteen-year-old Kristin Amparo, a tribal member of the Big Valley band of Pomo Indians, lives with her parents and five siblings in a large house on their reservation in Clear Lake, about three hours north of San Francisco. She likes bouncing on a trampoline to slam-dunk a basketball in her back yard, zooming past the creamy white Konocti Vista Casino in a yellow all-terrain vehicle and, now, speaking Bahtssal with her 14-year-old sister Felicia.

Only a few elders of the Big Valley tribe are fluent in Bahtssal, a tribal dialect that began to fade after settlers forced Northern California Pomos off their lands. Today, Amparo and her sister are among a small group of young people on the 470-member reservation who are learning to speak the dialect as part of a newly formed language program.

Full story here.


Kyrgyz Wikipedia

Posted in Computing, Language at 10:46 am by Mithridates

Via Learning Kyrgyz, the (very) preliminary Kyrgyz Wikipedia.


Indigenous-language web site to explain legal system

Posted in Language at 12:58 pm by Mithridates

Representatives from Aboriginal Resource and Development Services are attending an Indigenous communications forum in Alice Springs to find out more about the latest technological advances that might assist their project.

The organisation’s Maratja Dhamarrandji says the web site is being created in the local Yolgnu [sic] Matha language.

He says it is an important step that needs to be taken if the rate of Indigenous people going through the judicial system is to be reduced.

Full story here.

Some additional Yolngu resources:


Bad News is the Same in Any Language

Posted in Language at 10:24 am by Mithridates

The Education Department already translates many student records into Spanish, Chinese and Russian, the most common foreign languages in the city.

But with the city’s immigrant population exploding - and a new $5.3 million translation unit within the Education Department - officials hope to add Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Urdu and Arabic.

Full story here.



Posted in Lexicography at 2:12 pm by Mithridates

While trying ot find a reference for the “word” hypmotized, I ran across the Pseudodictionary - the dictionary for words that wouldn’t make it into dictionaries.



Posted in General, Language at 12:28 pm by Mithridates

In case you ever are stranded on Tattooine, this site offers some information about the constructed language Huttese, including a phrasebook and dictionary. Rumor has it that it was influenced by Quechua (about which there’s also some info at the site).



Posted in Language at 10:18 am by Mithridates

I have been getting a lot of searches for the definition of the Hawaiian word heluhelu (when I say a lot, I mean about 10). It had been mentioned in my post about Hawaiian language revival classes. Using this very nice online Hawaiian dictionary, the definition is:


1. v. To read, count. (2 Nal. 23.2.) Mea heluhelu, reader (either a book, or a person who reads). Poʻe heluhelu, reader (person). Aʻo heluhelu, reader (book); to learn to read.

2. Redup. of helu 4; to scratch.

As an aside, the University of Hawai’i will be offering a Master’s Degree program in Hawaiian studies (via Languistics):

The College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature will offer a Masters of Arts in Hawaiian as an effort to revive the Hawaiian language, emphasize the study of Hawaiian literature and improve teacher-training in schools.


Slang Dictionaries

Posted in Language at 9:50 am by Mithridates



Posted in Early Imprints, Language at 1:52 pm by Mithridates

In honor of Bush’s successful visit to Georgia, here are some Georgian links:


Manx Monday

Posted in Bibliography, History, Language, eTexts at 12:34 pm by Mithridates

A Manx Note Book has a wealth of Manx-related resources, including a number of full texts. Sadly, only the intro to Cregeen’s 1835 A Dictionary of the Manks Language is available, but surely there is something that will catch your interest here.


Whence motherese?

Posted in Language at 8:19 pm by Mithridates

Happy Mother’s Day! to all the women who taught us to speak.



Posted in Language at 1:21 pm by Mithridates



Posted in Language, Military, Philately at 2:40 pm by Mithridates

Update: A very nice handbook of Paraguayan philately, with a discussion of Paraguay’s military history.

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