You know you're a language nerd when…

General discussion about learning languages
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vogeltje
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby vogeltje » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:05 pm

Alphathon wrote:
vogeltje wrote:
Cavesa wrote:
vogeltje wrote:
Cavesa wrote:Yep. A few hundred years ago, Charles IV (the most important Czech king, who was even more importantly a Holy Roman Emperor) once paid an outrageous amount of money for a dragon skull. The crocodile is still part of the exposition at Karlštejn, as it wasn't worth stealing later (unlike most things in the castle).


I thought that he would be Charlemagne, but I searched and he was Charles I, not IV, and the one I thought wasn't Czech.

It's really interesting and fun that they muddle up the descriptions of the animals and put them on their heralds.


:-D Charlemagne in Prague :-D

Nope. Charles IV had been educated in France. He spent there half his youth, under his original name Václav and his first wife was French (as the time went, he got married four times). And he took the name Charles as a great admirer of Charlemagne, when he got the crown.



oups :? haha I don't know anyhting about history at all. I've heard of 2 Roman Emperors: Charlemagne and Caesar. sorry to the other ones. I am terribly ignorant about most things like history, politics, chemistry, computing, etc etc etc etc. But I know where Prague is :D and Paris :lol: It's funny that he thought a crocodile was a dragon because the crocodiles don't breath fire.
The Roman Empire ≠ the Holy Roman Empire, as much as the Holy Roman Emperors would have liked you to think otherwise. ;)

In the 4th century the Roman Empire was split in two: the Western half centred on Rome lasted for less than 100 years more and its fall led to the dark ages; the eastern half was centred on Constantinople (modern Istanbul). It became known as the Byzantine Empire since Constantinople was originally called Byzantium/Byzántion, although it was always officially known as the Roman Empire. It lasted until the 15th century when it was conquered by the Ottomans (the predecessors of modern Turkey).

I forget who said it but the Holy Roman Empire was "neither holy, nor Roman nor an empire". For much of its existence it can basically be thought of as equivalent to Germany, and indeed was sometimes known as the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in later centuries, although it covered a larger area than the German Sprachraum and also included the Kingdoms of Bohemia, Arles/Burgundy and Italy (although the latter two had been long since lost when it finally came to an end in 1806). Sometimes Charlemagne is considered the first Holy Roman Emperor but while he is the predecessor of the Holy Roman Emperors and was crowned "Emperor of the Romans" (in Rome by the Pope), his empire is usually called the Carolingian Empire or the Frankish Empire since it evolved from the Kingdom of the Franks/Francia. Basically he and his successors claimed to be the successors of Roman authority in the west. Eventually the imperial title became defunct again, but was ultimately reclaimed by Otto I of East Francia (a.k.a. the Kingdom of Germany/Kingdom of the Germans), one of the divisions of the Frankish realm, following his conquest of Italy (the other main divisions were West Francia – a.k.a. the Kingdom of France – Burgundy and Italy). The realm of Otto and his successors ultimately developed into the Holy Roman Empire. There's a lot more to it than that but we're off-topic enough as it is.

Of course while it was called the Kingdom of Germany, this was Germany in the Latin sense, and covered almost all of the continental West Germanic Dialect continuum, not just High and Low German; the only major exceptions are North Frisian and West Flemish (for most of its existence; it did fall under the empire at some points). I have do doubt this strongly affected the development of all these languages, although there was no Dachsprache really until Luther translated the Bible in the 16th century, at which point Central High German slowly became the standard. Prior to that Low German and Dutch were also quite prominent, particularly in the Hanseatic league.

Incidentally, and to bring it back to languages a little bit, the title Caesar* became Germanicised and ultimately led to the words for emperor in most Germanic languages: the German Kaiser, the Dutch keizer, the Old Norse/Icelandic/Faroese keisari, the Norwegian keiser/keisar, the Danish kejser, the Swedish kejsare and the Gothic kaisar; the Gothic term was subsequently borrowed into proto-Slavic and became tsar etc and the Old Norse was borrowed into Finnish.

*Caesar was originally a name, that of Julius Caesar, but by the end of the Roman Empire had become a title.


Alphathon, that is the most interesting post i have read in all my life!!!!!

History seems very interesting. I didn't realise because I never learned it, or one year I think in the secondary school, but not this history. it is sort of inseparable of the langauges. I've saved your infos in my laptop and will spend more time on it. Thank you so much for your wonderful explanation and post.




Teango wrote:When you see a crazy ol' lady gesticulating and talking to herself in the middle of the road (Friday nights in Honolulu, eh!), only to realize you've been signing to yourself for the last 15 minutes on the way to the supermarket and must have looked equally as eccentric. :shock:

the lady is probably overwhelemed by the voices and someone must help her so she isn't in the middle of the road, and also give her some food and drink.
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby vogeltje » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:22 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:I love this thread. It's got everything -- etymology, mythology, history -- triple nerdiness.

(Autocorrect thinks "nerdiness" should be "nerd inescapable." Yeah, it's that too.)


yes haha :D
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby Cavesa » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:30 pm

Alphathon wrote:[

Incidentally, and to bring it back to languages a little bit, the title Caesar* became Germanicised and ultimately led to the words for emperor in most Germanic languages: the German Kaiser, the Dutch keizer, the Old Norse/Icelandic/Faroese keisari, the Norwegian keiser/keisar, the Danish kejser, the Swedish kejsare and the Gothic kaisar; the Gothic term was subsequently borrowed into proto-Slavic and became tsar etc and the Old Norse was borrowed into Finnish.

*Caesar was originally a name, that of Julius Caesar, but by the end of the Roman Empire had become a title.


The Czech word is císař. It suits the Czech pronuncitaion of Latin caesar, with no "k" at the beginning.

If you have a bit of time and budget, visit Nürnberg. There is an awesome exposition about Charles IV there (it was in Prague last year) focused on him in the european context. It will be there till the end of March, I think. I saw it last year in Prague, and I hope to see it in Nürnberg in a few weeks, as there should be some difference between the two.
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby PfifltriggPi » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:27 pm

Alphathon wrote:I forget who said it but the Holy Roman Empire was "neither holy, nor Roman nor an empire".

I believe it was Voltaire.
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby Amerykanka » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:50 am

When you are convinced that the Russian word неделя must mean "Sunday", and take it as a personal affront when you discover that it actually means "week", because this makes no sense, etymologically speaking.

When you are still indignant about this several days later. But hey, some good came from the discovery - since, after all, it led to you and your roommate spending a happy 30 minutes comparing the etymologies of the days of the week in English, Old English, Spanish, French, Latin, Polish, and Russian. (It is becoming increasingly clear to me that my roommate is a closet language nerd.)
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby arthaey » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:26 pm

DaveBee wrote:TV5 Monde offer a TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français) test. RFI offer graded 'placement tests' A1-B2.

When you're excited that the "organization name + plural verb agreement" that you noticed has led you to correctly identify a forum user as someone from the UK. :)

Vive la différence !
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby Teango » Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:59 am

When you read "Sign in to Goodreads to Learn More" and your hands automatically move to sign good read [+pl. classifier]...
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby vogeltje » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:16 pm

Teango wrote:When you read "Sign in to Goodreads to Learn More" and your hands automatically move to sign good read [+pl. classifier]...


I met a deaf girl yesterday and I thought of you and that you'd talk in sign langauge with her, although I don't know if she knows it. I don't think that all deaf people know sign language. She can speak spoken English, but you can notice that she's deaf when she speaks. I would love to learn sign language.
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby geoffw » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:54 pm

When news of Schoenhof's closing necessitates a phone call, multiple texts, and a trip to Facebook. =(
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Re: You know you're a language nerd when…

Postby Cainntear » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:48 am

vogeltje wrote:
Teango wrote:When you read "Sign in to Goodreads to Learn More" and your hands automatically move to sign good read [+pl. classifier]...


I met a deaf girl yesterday and I thought of you and that you'd talk in sign langauge with her, although I don't know if she knows it. I don't think that all deaf people know sign language. She can speak spoken English, but you can notice that she's deaf when she speaks. I would love to learn sign language.

Teango speaks New Zealand Sign Language, not British Sign Language.
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