Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:41 am

You may be tired of listening to the same lithany over and over, but once again I have spent more time on music than on languages. For one, I have added two more movements to the trio for flute, cor anglais and cello which I mentioned two messages above this one, and now I'm pondering whether to add a fast finale movement or not. And I have been shuffling around in my music collection so that for instance now all ouvertures by W.A.Mozart (and not his ill-fated son F.X., whom you may remember from an earlier message) are kept in just two files and those of his symphonies which I have got in the collection are put in roughly their numerical order. By the way, did you know that one of Mozart's numbered symphonies was surreptiously stolen from Michael Haydn, the brother of the more renowned Joseph Haydn? So actually no. 41 is just no. 40, and so on. But nobody really cares - we know our numbers, and we aint gonna change them...

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Languagewise ...

RO: Am ajuns la pagina 2 a articolului despre București în revista Aeroportului de Kraków. Pe măsură eu studiez un text, operația merge foarte încet, dar eu pot simți că ciudatele litere poloneze cu creștere diacritiche mi se par din ce în ce mai normale și obișnuite. Încă nu fac nicio încercare de a vorbi limba poloneză, în parte pentru că înca operațiunea mea "gândește-rusă" continuă. Lucrul bun cu privire la citirea despre un oraș pe care l-ați vizitat de mai multe ori este că veți reîmprospăta amintirile. De exemplu, autorul menționează Calea victoriei - și, de asemenea, că ește muzee acolo. Muzee? Și apoi îmi amintesc planul orașului și muzeele pe care le-am vizitat. Am vizitat și marile prostii urâte ale lui Ceaucescu - dar numai o singură dată. Ce gust rău!

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Ser » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:08 am

Hi Iversen, can I ask you a question? According to this Wikipedia article, the Danish equivalent of English "it's Greek to me" is "det rene volapyk" 'this is pure Volapük'. Is this actually true?

Also, can Danish really skip its equivalent of the verb "to be" like that in this sentence?
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:59 pm

Yes, "Det er det rene volapyk" ('it is Greek to me') means that something is utterly incomprehensible - although I personally don't use the English version of the phrase since I can understand a little bit of Greek. But I don't understand a word of Volapük (the intended 'world language' of a catholic German priest by the name of Schleyer) so the Danish expression is still perfectly OK to me.

And no, you cannot drop the copula verb in Danish (as for instance in Russian in the present tense). But sometimes you can't hear it because it has been absorbed by the surroundings. For instance our version of "it is just as well" is "det er godt det samme", and because the 't' of "det" is silent we have two e's in a row - and then the result will just be a slightly prolongation of the flat /e/ sound: /de'e gɔt de samm/". Similarly, "det er det rene volapyk" is pronounced as "/de'e de rææn vɔlapyk/" in Danish. Or slightly faster: "/dedrææn vɔlapyk/"

And speaking about Danish: I went by train today, and in the railway magazine "Ud & Se" there was an article with examples of Danish expressions that still are in use in spite of the fact that the inventions they are based on are on their way out. To me the most shocking example was that "Det må jeg lige slå op" (I'll have to look that up) was included among the lot with the explanation "betyder at åbne en bog, et opslagsværk eller en avis (...) i stærk konkurrence med 'at Google' (to open a book, a reference work or a newspaper (...) in strong conpetition with 'to google' ". As if opening a book was akin to fighting a firespewing dragon. But actually many, if not most youngsters would never look anything up in any kind of paperbased medium.

Another example: to react immediately with an angry answer to something is still rendered as "fare i blækhuset" (literally "rush into the ink pot"). Actually I still use oldfashioned ink when I write music, and I was presented with ink and a steel pen when I started in school around 1960, but since then ink and pen have totally disappeared from first the schools, then the shops - leaving just a lingering memory in the form of the expression above.

Many of the expressions in the article had something to do oldfashioned telephones of the kind that had a cord attached to a plug in the wall which in its turn lead to a telephone station with unmarried ladies moving cords around between pairs of holes in a board. OK, later the women were replaced by automatized systems, and I still own a socalled "fastnettelefon" (fixed net(work) telephone") in addition to my almost equally oldfashioned mobile phone from Nokia. But that's only because I'm a senior citizen - you wouldn't find a single young person with such an antiquated contraption in his or her homely abode. Which hasn't made people drop antiquated expressions like "lægge røret på" ('put the reciver (back) on') for finishing a conversation - or if done in a more abrupt way: "at trække stikket ud" ('to pull the plug (out)'). 'At have en kunde i røret' ('to have a customer in the receiver') is to have a customer waiting on the telephone. And finally "at gribe knoglen' ('to grab the bone') means to grab the telephone and call someone.

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In the thread about how well people know their maternal language I was slightly surprised that native Anglophones could have any kind of problems reading Middle English - apart from a few words here and there and maybe some historical references whose real meaning have been lost in the mists of time. OK, before taking the train today I spent 1½ hour in the library of Kolding, and here I went down into the basement to see what they had got there. And lo and behold, I found a lovely printed book with the complete text of "Jydske lov" (the Jutish Law) from around 1241 with a translation into modern Danish. But apart from a lot of æ's it didn't look particularly intimidating to me, and I could read it almost withing peeking in the translation. Which was just as well since the sections weren't very well aligned. But some of my compatriots would probably find it difficult to read because they haven't tried to read Medieval Danish, let alone Old Norse. Reading old versions of your own language or related languages/dialects is in my opinion just as much a question of attitude and habituation as of actual knowledge about the language form in question.

I show a photo of the famous beginning below in the original version, but for those of you who can read Danish the semi-official translation is something like this: "Med lov skal land bygges, men ville enhver nøjes med sit eget og lade andre nyde samme ret, da behøvede man ikke nogen lov. Men ingen lov er jævngod at følge som sandheden, men hvor man er i tvivl om, hvad der er sandhed, der skal loven vise sandheden." ('with law should country be built, but would everyone be content with his/her own and let others enjoy the same right, then you didn't need any law. However no law is equally good to follow as the truth, but where you are in doubt about what the truth is, there the law should show the truth.') Pretty words (especially considering the epoch where they were written with a quill pen on vellum) - but most of us would probably have a less rosy picture of the laws of our country. More something like: what a mess!

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:53 pm

PO: W moim czytaniu krakowskiego magazynu, natknąłem się teraz na artykuł na temat francuskiego miasta Bordeaux, które odwiedziłem tylko raz - a mianowicie podczas mojej pierwszej podróży do Interrail. Odwiedziłem wieżę Pey Berland, w której bardzo stara dama pojawiła się w piwnicy pełnej czaszek, ale niewiele więcej. Noc spędziłem w lokalnym hostelu.

FR: En lisant cet article je me suis rappellé une des rares sources pour entendre la langue Occitaine. Quand j'ai étudié le français pendant les années 70, j'ai aussi eu l'occasion de suivre des cours de l'ancien français et l'ancien occitan, et depuis lors j'ai pu les lire sans problèmes tous les deux. J'ai deux ou trois fois écrit quelques lignes en ancien français ici (en utilisant toutes les ressources dont je dispose, soit sur l'internet, soit sur mes étagères personelles, mais une fois seulement j'ai essayé de formuler quelque chose en Occitan - et je ne vais pas essayer de le faire encore une fois aujourd'hui.

Pourtant le son de cette langue me plait, et je me suis rappelé que j'ai une fois eu entre mes mains une disque LP avec des chansons et des pièces instrumentales melées avec des renseignements biographiques sur les troubadours représentés - et pas n'importe quels renseignments, mais grosso modo les mêmes textes qui se trouve aussi dans mon anthologie de poésie ancien-provençale (de Hamlet-Ricketts-Hathaway), celui même que j'ai utilisé pendant mes études. Et quelqu'un - indubitablement un locuteur natif - avait lu tous ces 'vies' dans la langue provençale! Cela m'a donné une idée:

A FR: Por unes fouillis astus gie ai pu retrover cist mesme disque sur Youtube. Gie n'aime mie les chansonnelles mais tous les precieuses 'vidas' de Peire Vidal, Rambault de Vacqueiras, Bernart de Ventadorn et moult altres trobadors que gie ai altrefois oï furent entremesles la - prestes a estre nouvelement escoutés...

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:01 am

It's almost a week since my last message here, but I have an explanation: I went to Copenhagen to participate in the might annual "cultural evening" event, which actually is an open house evening where literally hundreds of private and public institutions open their doors to visitors carrying a badge that cost 95 DKK (around 11 €). And of course I extended this to a weeklong Zealand round trip now I was there. We once had a similar thing in my own town, but here it fizzled out because of lack of information. The last time it ran there were actually more volunteers and hosts at the locations than visitors. But in Copenhagen it seems they have cracked the code (aided by the fact that it is a bigger place), and there were lots of visitors running around in the streets in spite of one major problem: the inclement weather situation. Actually it rained heavily the whole evening so we stumbled around in streets with streams of running water (see picture below). But thanks to my umbrella I survived the floods.

I won't list all the places I visited but just mention the last area, which happened to be the university campus where mathematics and natural sciences had put up a vast assortment of stands where visitors could talk to students and teachers about sundry science themes. For instance I explained to those at the encrypting stand how those 3D pictures that initially look like visutal gibberish actually function, and then I told them about my ongoing 3Difying-my-paintings project - those of you who have followed this log may remember that I showed you some examples a few weeks ago. I then discussed forensic genetics with a guy who told me that they don't look for haplogroups, but instead use statistical profiles. And after that I went to the table where they told about neutrino detection under the ice on Antarktis. And of course I asked them whether they had found the missing 2/3 of the neutrinos from the Sun. Actually I have also written about that topic in this log, but long ago. The solution is of course that there are three kinds of neutrinos, and initially the researchers only looked for the kind they expected the Sun to produce (and produce in droves), but due to a phenomenon called oscillation the neutrinos can jump between all three kinds, and lo and behold: the people at the table could assure me that the total sum over all three kinds added up to the expected level. That truly is a good day for science, and the three persons I spoke to were actually involved knee-deep into precisely that kind of research.

But it was not a good day for the language departments. As far as I know there are still some remnants of language studying going on almost in secret at the fringes of the university (outside the campus, I presume), and I did visit a venerable old library building smack in the middle of downtown which once had hosted the collections of the 'humanities', but apart from that I didn't see anything in the program from those poor language guys. At the campus people spoke as much English as Danish, but that was all.

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As I mentioned I had extended the cultural evening into a weeklong trip where I also visited other parts of the island Sjælland (or Zealand, as it is called in some kind of foreignese), but I'm not going to list everything I saw - just assure you that when I'm on holiday I'm not sitting on my bum at some café, looking at people passing by.

I had timed my return home so that I could participate in the weekly language café at the local library. First I spoke French to a couple of newbees, and soon we were joined by a Frenchman and a German lady who also spoke fluent French. But I deserted the group when the Bulgarian lady I have mentioned before came along. When I first saw her she asked me to comment on her pronunciation while she read a text in Danish. Now we formed our own little group, and by chance I still had my bilingual sheets with Wikipedia texts about Scythians and Sarmates and Alans and related tribes that invaded Eastern Europe including Bulgaria from about the 7th century BC. I read aloud and we discussed some problems in the machine translation, but when she asked me to speak Bulgarian I had to turn the offer down because the sentences that popped up in my head were in Russian rather than Bulgarian - which is kind of ironical since I didn't even try to think in Russian just a month ago. I promised to do something about this embarassing calamity soon so that when I see her next time we can have a wee discussion in Bulgarian.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:34 pm

After I returned from my trip to Copenhagen etc. I have spent one full day organizing my photos and a couple of days running through my music collection to find items that need to be replaced - and plan how to replace them. In too many cases the reason is scratchy old rotten vinyl, which even may have been transferred through old cassette tapes. I simply don't get why vinyl should be so wonderful. Another thing I don't get is why concert recordings are so popular. Ok, if you watch Youtube videos you may be able so see what the performers look like, but I'm only interested in the music - and not the least in sneezing and coughing and rattling audience members. And it takes time to weed such aberrations out of a music collection. And that time goes from my languages studies (and everything else). But I have just listened through snippets of my 16 files with Vaughan-WIlliams items and expect to finish the control round this weekend when I reach Zemlinski.

I have nevertheless squeezed in some minutes to read the Esperanto magazine that dumped into my letterbox this week.- It is mostly about the Universala kongreso that took place a short while ago in Lahti, Finland - not an ideal place for me, because I haven't learnt Finnish yet. And because of the ugly thing with the gatherings I'm currently more likely to cut down on my participation in events of any kind than to continue to visit them. But I do still read the Esperanto magazine even though it is slightly boring with all its organisatorial stuff - it is one of the few things that still keep me in contact with this tutmonda lingvo. I didn't participate in the congress in Fukuoka Japan either. I got an offer to head a workshop in translation, ie.e. something that actually resembled the theme those #&¤#&¤#'s :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: didn't want to let me talk about in Bratislava. But since I don't speak neither Japanese nor Chinese I would have felt like a gasping fish on dry land. Maybe next year, if the location is more in line with my language assortment. But NOT Therezienstadt :twisted: :twisted: in 2020 ... no more gatherings as long as the same people are presiding over it!

EO: La revuo estis, kiel mi diris, plejparte pri la 104. Universala Kongreso en Lahtio (Finlando), kiu estis priskribita kiel "intima kaj tre memorinda" kongreso. Alivorte, ne unu el la plej vizitataj kongresoj, sed certe tre amika kaj agrabla (kaj sendube kun sauno). La ĉi-jara temo estis io kun naturo kaj kulturo. Mi rimarkis ke nova faka asocio nun aperis in Lahtio nomata "Teamanta Esperanta Organizo". Ĉu vi vere povas krei organizon ĉirkaŭ esperantoparolanta teotrinkado? Sed supozeble ili trinkas verdan teon... Pli ĝuste mi atendis tian tion en Fukuoko (kaj en silento). Krome estas mi legis intervjuon kun la ĝenerala direktoro Schäffer, kiu deklaras ke li laboras pli ol 60 horojn semajne por la organizo. Kompatindulo!

BU: Освен това съм отпечатал някои палеонтологични текстове на български език, а днес изучих статия за ордовициума (посочен като "ордовик" в текста).

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:47 pm

I didn't quite reach the end of the alphabet in my musical quest, but almost: this evening I'll check my files named after composers whose name start with a Z - and they are not exceeding numerous.

Right now I'm however listening to something different since..

SW: på svensk tv visas för närvarande en sändning om angelsaksiska dikten Beowulf. Professor Tolkien ansåg att poeten var engelska, men hela innehållet är säkerlegen nordiskt: kungen i dikten matchar Hrotgar, som var kung i Lejre på Själland kring år 500, och de svenska sändarna är naturligtvis nöjda med att Beowulf kunde vara en hjälte från nutida Sverige - en svensk arkeolog föreslår att han kom från Gotland, var ävan en lämplig borg har utpekts som hans bostad. Annanstans i utsändingen är jag lite förvånad över att en dansk arkeolog visar en stenlagd processväg vid Lejre på den danska ön Själland, men inte nämnar att man där faktiskt har hittat några enorma salar i trä som mycket väl kunde tillhöra en rejäl kung. I vilket fall som helst är Beowulf en nordisk berättelse skriven på gamla engelska, och korta passager läses på det gamla språket. Det är fantastiskt att höra!

De nämner också en klimatkatastrof som en del av bakgrunden. I vissa områden i Skandinavien dog nästan hälften av befolkningen ut - det var hemska tidor at leva! Vi vet nu att fimbulvintrana berodde på vulkanutbrott i Indonesien, men i nordisk mytologi gav dom upphov till berättelserna om Ragnarok, og befolkningens nedgång under 500-talet innebar också att många emigrerade - inklusive till England. Vilket förklarar att dikten var skriven där borta - kanske av en immigrerat nordisk diktare.

EN: This afternoon I went as usual to the language café at the library, and this time it turned out that no less than five persons were interested in trying out their Spanish. OK, then the native French man who spoke to last week arrived, and we divided into a French and a Spanish group. The loser was a Hungarian lady who came to train her Danish.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:26 pm

I have finished the inspection round of my musical collection. The work isn't finished since I now have a long list over works that should be replaced, but that won't happen overnight. So now I have suddenly more time to study languages. But during my work with the collection I did manage to read something about a number of minor composers - after all it is nice to know something about the composers when you listen to their music. And sometimes the information is quite interesting. For instance there were a number of travelling composer-virtuosos in the 19. century which now aren't played too often - and when it happens the purists lament that they just represent some decrepit blind alley in music with no sense of real music behind all their devilish trickery. In spite of this there is a lot of good music buried behind the wizardry, and luckily you can find some of it on the internet. And I would like to mention one name - not because I find his music particularly good, but for the way how he learnt to cut out an existence as one of those travelling violin wizards.

GER: Es handelt sich um einen gewissen Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, dem ich beim Anhören meiner Sammlung begegnet bin. Er war einer von mehreren reisenden Geigenvirtuosen, die die Konzertbesucher mit ihren immer wilderen Tricks auf dem Instrument begeisterten. Das Repertoire bestand oft aus Arrangements oder Phantasien von bekannter Stücke, meistens aus Opern, obwohl Ernsts charakteristischstes Werk auf dem Lied Erlkönig von Schubert basiert ist. Damals gab es ja noch keine Youtube so man mußte sich anders helfen. Dies ist jedoch nicht der Grund, warum ich ihn hier erwähne, sondern seine Beziehung zum legendären Paganini.

Also, der gute Heinrich hatte Violin gelernt, aber hörte dann Paganini spielen, und er wurde wahnsinnig eiferzüchtig. Paganini hatte die Gewöhnheit seine Werke nicht zu publizieren um Konkurrenz zu vermeiden, aber Ernst hat nur beim Zuhören an Konzerten das Stück "Nel cor pìù non mi sento" memoriziert, aufgeschrieben und gelernt, und ... dann hat er ein Konzert in Frankfurt in 1830 gegeben, wo er in der Anwesenheit von Paganini gerade dieses unpubliziertes Stück genau vorgespielt hat. Ernst hat später eine Wohnung als Nachbar des Meisters heimlich geliehen und ihn von dort regelrecht ausgespitzelt, bis er alles woran Paganini geübt hat selber spielen konnte. Heute würde man ihn wohl als "stalker" bezeichnen, aber wenigstens hat er bewiesen welche gute Gedächtnis er hatte, und auch wie gut er Musik analysieren konnte - absolutes Gehör ist nur ein kleiner Teil davon. Und dann denke ich natürlich auch an Leute wie der Sprachforscher Kenneth Hale, der etwas ähnliches auf dem Gebiet des Sprachenlernens geleistet hat.

Trotz seiner besondere Begabung ist Herr Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst aber in die Vergessenheit geraten. Von alle die Violinvirtuosen ist wohl nur Paganini noch ein bekannter Name geblieben.

BU: Наскоро споменах, че изучавам български текст за Ордовик. Но докато слушах дълго музикално произведение на компютърата, открих че гледам какво казва българската Уикипедия за шумерите, и с радост открих, че сега мога да прочета такава статия без да използвам превод или речник. Сега просто трябва да се науча как да мисля и говоря езиката.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Elsa Maria » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:00 pm

Your commentary about the Ud & Se article was very interesting. I looked up Ud & Se, and the digital edition is free online, so I was able to read the article. The whole magazine is a nice source of articles, and I learned some new idioms from the "Grib knoglen!" article. It doesn't matter to me if they are on their way out - I prefer reading older books anyway.

I'm a bit surprised and certainly saddened to hear that the language departments are fading at the university.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:53 pm

I'm glad when some of my messages turn out to contain useful stuff. I rarely give long lists of recommandations for the simple reason that most of my interests are somewhat nerdish, and I don't really expect people to start reading the same things. But for people who study Danish the magazine of the national railways is a fine and solid source and apparently its web version is free - I didn't know that because I read it in the trains.

Today I have been listening to music, but I have also been studying a number of texts, mostly in Slavic languages. For instance I have finished my collection of Bulgarian texts about paleozoic marine fauna, where I noticed the information that most shells in the Cambrian weren't based on limestone as today, but but on phosphorous compounds. And the explanation apparently is that the C02 level in the atmosphere was 7 times higher then it is now. Ahem, maybe it's time to invest in a phosphor mine somewhere if that's the way things are working in the wild - we may need more of the yellow stuff soon.

By the way, when I talked to the Bulgarian lady at a language café earlier this month I showed her the first of the paleontological articles (the one about the 'ordovic') and she commented dryly that it was some quite difficult stuff I had chosen for my studies, but that's not my impression. I know the topic well so for me it is easier to read such articles than for instance a novel.

I have also returned to my bilingual magazine from the Kraków airport, which still contains a lot of unused material in Polish.

And then have read about some of the composers I have listened to today. It started out with Antonin Dvorak in French, but the man was Czech so I thought it might be more relevant to have a peek at the article in the Czech Wikipedia. And actually I could understand most of it, with just a few missing words here and there. The reason is of course that I have spent a fair amount on related languages like Slovak and Polish, but again it must also count that I more or less know what mister Dvorak did during his life. From Dvorak I proceeded to read about his far lesser known collegues Fibich and Trojan, and this time I was much less in the clear about their biography - I could however still understand most of the articles. But since I haven't studied Czech I can't write anything in it, and much less speak it. I'll have to look into that problem later... too busy now...

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