Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:46 pm

In my experience the main factor that might permit a speedy learning process is whether you know some related languages or not. If you do then the many words will look slightly different, but you will remember them much easier even with some minor differences. And it also helps if you can reuse some grammatical patterns. Without such support ... well, expect longer learning time. But full-time study in a class room under the supervision of a teacher? Not with me...

A couple of examples from my own learning history:

While I studied French at the university (with courses in some old Romance languages plus Catalan and Italian) we suddenly were told that there would be courses by a native Romanian teacher. We started out with 5 learners (including 3 students and 2 teachers), but already after the first semester I was alone. The first teacher went home and we got another, but all in all I had 3 years of courses, 2½ of which with just me and a native teacher, and I was fluent in Romanian after that, although we only did two hours each week - but on my wish totally in Romanian. Did I also forget it fast? Oh yes, when I left the university I didn't feel like visiting Ceaucescu's Romania, so I lost everything except the word for 'ashtray', "scrumiere" - heaven knows why it didn't loose that too (I'm a non-smoker). However when I discovered HTLAL and returned to the language I could resusscitate it within a few weeks to the level where I could have simple conversations during a trip to in Romania and Moldova - and since then I have done several monolingual trips to Romania without any problems.

As for Portuguese I had only had a comparative one-semester course for all Romance languages and definitely couldn't use the language for anything practical. But I knew some Spanish and French, and I also had also learnt Catalan (although it wasn't in topnotch condition back then). Then I happened to buy a trip to Cabo Verde in 2006 with less than a month to the departure, and I launched a frenetic homestudy attempt. And I got a chance to test it in practice already the first day down there because I had ordered a triple-island roundtrip through a local company down there, and the idea was that I should call them by phone when I arrived. But the lady who took the phone only spoke a little German so I had to discuss my travel details with her in a mixture of Portuguese and Spanish. Later, when I went to their office to fetch my tickets, it turned out that the owner was German and then we of course spoke German to each other. But I could still use my brand-new Portuguese for minor practical purposes later on the voyage - less than one month after I had started to study it. And just 5 months later I visited Moçambique where I spoke Portuguese all the time, even when my fridge didn't work - but NOT when I was told to leave the hotel because my Danish travel agency only had reserved two nights for me, but cashed for four nights.Then I spoke English (and got my last two nights after an angry telephone call to Denmark). Later I have also done several monolingual trips to Portugal and one to Brazil without having any trouble with the Portuguese language.

On the other hand, I have still not had the opportunity to really activate my Slavic languages on holidays. The best chance I had was during the polyglot gatherings in Bratislava - especially the last one where I didn't enter the venue except one afternoon to have a chat with some of the other participants. But during a two week roundtrip I spent time in Vienna (German), Bratislava (Slovak), Eastern Czechia (Czech - not studied), Lviv (Ukrainian - not studied) and Southern Poland (Polish) - and with such a schedule you never get to feel really immersed anywhere. As for my Greek I have been there 4-5 days the last two times, and only near the end I felt confident enough to speak the local lingo. And I have studied Greek and Russian in their written forms for close to ten years now, so it's about time that I get the final nudge to get them activated, but well, it hasn't happened yet. And corona doesn't help me to add new spoken languages.

PS: this rant originally was written for the thread about language learning as a full-time job, but then it just grew and grew ...

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:54 pm

In my opinion most flow TV is dumbed-down junk for coach potates who can't find something better to watch. But yesterday I actually saw a program that taught me something: it told me about a major fossil find at Coral Bluffs in Colorado (USA) with mammals from the first part of the Paleocene, i.e. the period that followed right after the extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous. It took the Earth quite some time to recuperate after the disaster, so living conditions were harsh for at least the first 100.000 years. It seems that ferns and then palm trees preceded the resurrection of proper forests with trees, but when the vegetation diversified the mammals did too, and when that happened you could suddenly find herbivores of some 50 kilos. This trend continued into the eocene with rhinosized critters like Uintatherium.

OK, normally I wouldn't mention programs in English, but in this case it inspired me to do some paleontological surfing in the Iberoromance languages.

SP: Durante el Paleoceno havian cuatro ordenes de mamiferos: los monotremas (el ornitorrinco y cuatro especies de equidnas viven ainda), los marsupiales, los placentarios (que incluye a ustedes), pero tambien on orden llamado multituberculados, hoy estinto, pero probablemente el grupo dominante durante los primeros años después de la caída de los dinosaurios. Y en el artículo en español sobre ellos hay un esquema cladístico completo, que enumera un montón de animales de los quales yo no tenía ningún idea de que existían. Muchos de estos no estaban descubiertos todavía en mi infancia donde comencé a estudiar paleontología, y entre los animales descubiertos los menos fueron mencionados en mis libros de divulgación científica popular: ¡hurra por Internet! Pero al menos yo conocía yá el Taeniolabis - la Wikipedia española no.

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EN: Along the way I discovered a wordpress page called pterosaurheresies, and it was quite interesting and controversial, and I saw a lot of Latin names I didn't know - but also some I knew.

PORT: Mas tarde aterricé en la era dou carbón, provavelmente através desta citação da Wikipedia portuguesa: "Gondwana, o supercontinente do hemisfério sul, sofreu uma grande glaciação chamada Glaciação Karoo", mas com um desvio para o catalão, porque li em algum lugar que há um grande buraco no início da era do carbón, i no feito ..

CAT: .., hi ha un article informatiu sobre el anomenat "Buit (o forat) de "Romer" en la Viquipèdia Català, un període de fa 360 a 345 milions d’anys al començament del carbonífer on simplement no s’han trobat gairebé ninguns bons llocs de fòssils. En efecte, algunes locacions en Escòcia forman una de les poques excepcións de la vall general de dol. Es pot, per descomptat, referir-se al fet que va acabar el període precedent, Devonià, amb una de les cinc grans extincions de la història de la Terra - però 15 milions d'anys per a recuperar-se és molt de temps! No obstant això, quan va acabar el buit Romeriá, va abundar de manera tan fastuosa els plantes i animals que l’època Carbonífer va deixar enrere la majoria dels dipòsits de carbó que tenim avui (i explotem malgrat les protestes dels ecologistes).

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:53 pm

Yesterday evening I studied a couple of short articles in Albanian about food, including on about "Eskallop derri ose viçi në tigan" from Wikipedia. And maybe I should write this in Albanian, but actually my main reason for addressing this topic is that it involves a curious case of multiconfusion from Google Translate - and it is a complicated subject which my poor ailing Albanian doesn't suffice to do justice.

I printed the bilingual text in question in Albanian and Danish some time ago and from the beginning I found the translation somewhat dubious: in Danish "Svinekød eller oksekødskammuslinger i panden", and today I have let GT try with English as target and got "Pork or beef scallops in the pan" (which basically says the same as the Danish version). According to the English Wikipedia "Scallop is a common name that is primarily applied to any one of numerous species of saltwater clams or marine bivalve mollusks." The funny thing is however that GT translates "viçi" in isolation correctly as "veal" - so where did those clams come from?

It is obvious that "Eskallop" is a French loanword (from "escalope"). So let's see what the English and the French Wikipediae have to say about the subject:

An escalope is a piece of boneless meat that has been thinned out using a mallet or rolling pin or beaten with the handle of a knife, or merely butterflied.
Une escalope est une pièce de viande ou de poisson résultant d'une découpe en longueur donnant une tranche émincée.

So apparently the Brits whack their veal slices, the French don't. And the French article then explains that vous pouvez avoir vos escalopes ...

• panées, elles s'appellent escalopes à la viennoise (en allemand Wiener Schnitzel), escalopes parisiennes, escalopes à la milanaise (parfois avec du parmesan) ou encore cordons bleus
• roulées dans du jambon, comme le saltimbocca alla romana
• farcies, elles servent, par exemple, à confectionner les paupiettes ou les fricandeaux.


I remember that my mother has a meat mallet of kinds stored in a cupboard, but it has not been used for ages - we have simply stopped flattening our meat by force. As for the second French variant (the saltimbocca from Italian, literally 'jump into mouth') I do remember having seen rolled slices af meat around a string of lard, but in Denmark we call that something else, namely "benløse fugle" ('boneless birds' - always in the plural because one isn't enough, and never made from birdies).

As for the simple flat slices they normally are breaded in Austria and Germany, and there they are called "Schnitzel", and that's also their name when we buy them cheaply in German supermarket chains. "Wienerschnitzel" is the same thing - it's only the accessories that separates it from what I can buy in Aldi or Lidl... well, and the price if you buy it in a restaurant.

The third variant, the 'fricandeau' type, is defined like this in the French Wiktionary: "Morceau de veau lardé, cuit dans son jus et qu’on accommode avec de l’oseille, des épinards." Or in other words: slices of veal cooked with lard and some vegetables. I shudder ...

And 'escalopes' made from fish? Well, not where I come from.

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:54 pm

NO: Eg har just sett et program på den norske TV-kanalen NRK. I den danske programoversikt kalles det "ugen der gak" (med ei tvilsom fortidsform), men den riktige tittelen er "Nytt på Nytt". Og selv om eg ikkje studerer norsk, liker eg dette program fordi det er en utmerket test av ens ferdigheter i å forstå norsk - fem mennesker snakker hver sin dialekt i munnen på hverandre. NRK betyder forresten "kaste ting rundt i riket", men heldigvis lander noe av det også her nede..

EN: Today I have been reading some pages in a "Polish in a Nutshell" grammar as entertainment during my return trip by train from my mother's place. She had observed a birdie in her kitchen, traces of mouse activity in her 'scullery' (who invented that idiotic word??) and she had received about 5 cm of snow in her area, so I went down to do something about it, but as soon as I had finished plowing nice footpaths through her entrance area and garden it started to snow again - about 7 cm in the second round, and then I had to start all over again. So I didn't get anything done yesterday. But Wednesday evening I did my stint - I studied texts in four different languages: Polish, Russian, Romanian and Albanian.

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PO: Polski tekst opowiadał o dojrzewaniu wołowiny - to pochodna mojego kulinarnego epizodu sprzed tygodnia.

RO: Atât textele românești, cât și cel albanez povesteau despre istoria pizza, și mai ales articulul român (din Wikipedia) conținea câteva detalii interesante despre legăturile sale cu orașul Napoli. Pizza a fost produsă încă din epoca romană, dar în jurul anului 1800, unii brutari din Napoli au decis să pună roșii pe pâinea plată. Oamenii s-au temut mult timp de roșii, deoarece fac parte din familia Solanum, care conține în mare parte plante otrăvitoare, dar sărăcii orașului Napoli le plăcea acest tip de masă, care era ieftină și convenabilă. Au fost chiar amenajate magazine de unde putea fi cumpărat și consumat.

Când regele Umberto I și regina Margherita într-o călătorie prin țară lor nou-asamblată Italia au trecut prin oraș Napoli, regina a devenit curioasă și, în ciuda consternării curtenilor, a ordonat unui brutar de pizza local pe nume R.Esposito să facă trei pizze diferite - iar articolul specifică conținutul acestora: "una cu slănină, brânză și busuioc; a doua cu usturoi, ulei și roșii; și al treilea cu roșii, mozarella și busuioc (culorile căreia reprezentau chiar steagul italian – roșu, alb și verde). Acest ultim sortiment a fost preferatul reginei, iar brutarul Esposito a numit acest fel de pizza după ea: Pizza Margherita." Ironia din acest lucru este că dacă comandați o Margherita în aceste zile obțineți numai fund, roșii și brânză - a unde au plecat frunzele?

IT: Forse il campo verde sia scomparso dalla bandiera italiana?

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RU: А для тех, кто устал читать про пиццы, мой русский текст был о совершенно другом, а именно о переходе от триаса к юрскому. Известно, что великое вымирание между перми и триасом произошло из-за большой трещины в современной Сибири (сибирские траппы), которая принесла с собой цепь бедствий, и что более известное вымирание между меловым и палеоценовым произошло из-за падения метеорита, но нет уверенности, почему многие животные и растения вымерли именно 199,6 миллиона лет назад. Однако отмечается, что вскоре после этого крупный мегаконтинент Пангея распался, но определенная причинно-следственная связь не была доказана. Но именно после этого эпизода, который предположительно длился ок. 10 000 лет назад динозавры стали доминировать на Земле.

Еще хочу напомнить, что один из лучших палеонтологических музеев мира - Палеонтологический музей имени Ю. А. Орлова - находится на южной окраине Москвы (немного севернее станции метро Теплый стан). В центре еще есть палеонтологический музей, но когда я посетил его в 2008 году, он нуждался в ремонте.

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Нет - это не страус!
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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Sun Feb 14, 2021 7:26 pm

The weather has been splendid for walking this weekend, so I have spent several hours walking around instead of studying. I know that some people wear headphones and listen to foreign languages while they walk, but I just walk and walk and walk and walk. But I have nevertheless done a bit of studying today: I studied several short articles about paleontology in Russian, including two I have mentioned earlier. And then I had a peek once again at my Indonesian Sejarah Bumi (history of the Earth), which almost certainly is a scantily edited machine translation from English, but still by far the most interesting text I have in the language so I keep returning to it. However I soon repented and then started to do wordlists in the language instead.

RU: Первый из русских текстов посвящен лабиринтодонтам, вымершей группе ранних земноводных, для которых характерна сильно складчатая зубная эмаль (отсюда и название). Они были одними из первых позвоночных, которые стали наземными животными, но из-за пробела Ромера во Времени Культа, о котором я недавно упомянул, есть пробелы в наших знаниях o их первого пребывания на суше. Также есть сомнения, составляли ли они на самом деле одну объединенную группу или несколько групп. Когда я поискал в Интернете изображение лабиринтодонта, я наткнулся на ссылку на шестипалого Педерпеса - в остальном все наземные животные в основном имеют пять пальцев, потому что у их общего предка было пять пальцев. Однако я не писал данную статью, а только ее читал.

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EN: The English articles about paleontology are normally the longest and most informative, but it has to be said that there also is a lot of good stuff in the Russian Wikipedia. However when I then searched for a suitable picture of Tiktaalik, I found it - of all places - in the Indonesian Wikipedia, although in a very short article. But why Tiktaalik (which by the way has got a name in the Inuktitut language because it was unearthed in Arctic Canada)? Well,

IND: Tiktaalik menarik karena sedekat mungkin menjadi hewan darat dengan empat kaki - dan pada saat yang sama menjadi ikan. Evolusi berlanjut ke tetrapoda awal seperti Acanthostega dan Ichthyostega, yang dikenal dari Greenland, dan dari sana mungkin ke amfibia awal seperti Labirintodont. Tetapi semua makhluk ini memiliki lima jari kaki atau jari.

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EN: By the way, I woke up this morning from a dream where I for once was challenged. I was in a hall with niches, somewhat similar to a railway station, and a stocky elderly lady was going to play my organ suite no. 1. I told her (in English) to do it "in a prairie fashion", and when she started to play the passage below I saw the instrument and noticed that it was more like a harmonium than a true organ (no pedal keyboard), and the sound was weak - but I could recognize my composition. However then people outside in the main hall started to walk around and talk, including some loud children, and suddenly I saw at least thirty or forty children sitting as in an arena in an adjoining niche. And then some salespersons started walk around and shout loudly in order to sell their oversized loquets and other kinds of worthless tinsel. At this point the elderly lady had wisely disappeared, and I could just as well wake up myself. But from a 'dream-technical' point of view the interesting thing about this dream was that I not only could recognize and remember my composition, but also check that it was played correctly - at least until all the disturbances came rolling in like a tsunami and spoiled the whole thing. And I spoke to the lady in English, not in Danish.

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:56 pm

Some may remember that I have a multi-word list project where I once in a while write wordlists in 29 languages. Actually it was at one point thirty languages, but I dropped Finnish last time (in January this year) because I not only don't study Finnish, nor understand even a shimmer of a gist of a standard text in it. But well, even 29 languages is quite a bit to chew, so I just do one column with around 30 words in each of them - and then I do the indispensable repetitions afterwards.

Since I started yesterday around noon I have written lists in English, Scots, Afrikaans, Dutch, Platt, High German, Icelandic, Norwegian (bokmål), Swedish, Latin, Ancient French, Modern French, Portuguese, Castilian, Catalan, Italian, Romanian, Albanian and Modern Greek, and then I'm going to do the rest (six Slavic languages, Irish, Esperanto and Bahasa Indonesia) this evening. And maybe add Czech as no. 30 - I have a good Czech dictionary from Langenscheidt, and it resembles Slovak.

DU: Ik heb gisteren ook een tekst van de Nederlandse website Grelane.nl bestudeerd. Het stelde de vraag waarom Europeanen een blanke (of liever gezegd roza) huid hebben terwijl hun voorouders een donkere huidskleur hadden - en nee, het is geen poging om verouderde raciale theorieën nieuw leven in te blazen, maar een uitdrukking van een legitiem wetenschappelijke nieuwsgierigheid. De eerste generatie Europeanen was waarschijnlijk lichtbruin met blauwe ogen (zie onderstaande foto van een tentoonstelling in Maribo, Denemarken), dus waar komt de bleke huid vandaan? Een mogelijkheid, die vreemd genoeg niet in het artikel wordt besproken, is dat we het hebben van de Neanderthalers geërfd die genoeg tijd hadden om dat soort dingen te ontwikkelen. De standaardverklaring is dat de lichte huid het gemakkelijker maakt om vitamine D te vormen - maar het moet toch een mutatie zijn die op een plaats en tijd heeft plaatsgevonden. En de geleerden proberen nu die plaats en tijd vast te stellen.

Het doet denken aan de discussie over het vermogen om melk als volwassene te verdragen (genoemd lactose-tolerantie). Het is vrij zeker dat het bloots naar voren is gekomen ongeveer 10.000 jaar geleden, en toen kwam dit praktische karakteristiek met de landbouw naar Europa - of alternatief: eerst met de Yamnaya-immigranten. Lola op de foto had niets om het voor te gebruiken, en ze kon nauwelijks kunne melk drinken zonder ziek te worden. En dat was in een zin een geluk, want zo vermeed ze het melken van oerossen..

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SCO: But my wirdlist project has had aw ane unexpectit eftercast, namely that ah fand a wee thing tae keep me enterteenid upon the nicht. Ah awn two Laaland Scots paper dictionars (plus the braw online ane frae Scots-online), and acause the peeriest ane cannae contain but a weeny number o wirds ah cannae use it for writing stuff nor for looking things up, houiver whan ah opened it the nou ah saw that it wis uncommonly informative aboot the few wirds it conteens, and it has a guid forewird wi information aboot the dialects o Scots, so ah've decidit tae use is as guidnicht readin for a wee speal o time.

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:46 am

So the job is done - I have made wordlists in seven Slavic languages (Bulgarian, Serbian, Slovak, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian and Russian )plus three 'outsiders' (Irish, Esperanto and Indonesian). And as you can see I have committed a minor calculation error: Czech was already in the sample, so with 9 Germanic languages, 8 Romance (incl. Latin), Greek, Albanian, 7 Slavic, Irish, Esperanto and Indonesian it all in all only sums op to a miserable 29 languages, and my goal was 30. But I'm not annoyed enough to include Finnish again. Instead my first thought was to include one more Slavic language - like Croatian, where I already have a decent Croatian <-> French dictionary and a closely related language in the shape of Serbian. But at closer hindsight it is the epithome of a pseudo problem since I already have included three languages which I don't study yet and one which I don't study for the time being. As if there weren't bigger problems in this world - like corona and hackers and politics and ...

I have a few comments about the Scots vocabulary, based on last night's study of the tiny Collins Gem dictionary. Sometimes the Scots have retained words that have an uncanny resemblance with something I know from a Scandinavian language - like the word "hoast" for coughing ("at hoste" in Danish). Or "kail" for cabbage ("kål" in Danish), "keek" for looking ("at kigge" or "kikke" in Danish) ...which reminds me of the name for one of the towers in Estonian Tallinn, "Kiek in de Kök" (because the watchmen could look down into the kitchens of the nearby burghers and see what people were having for dinner that day (probably the same thing as the day before)). Actually Talliin was under Danish rule for a short time in the 13. century, but then came under the rule of a German Order, and since the tower wasn't built until 1475 the name must be of Low German origin. But "keech" for poo reminds me more about Dutch (and German) "Kacke" - I remember that I once mentioned an exception from the rule that all names for toilets were euphemistic, namely the "kakhuis" of the Beekse-Bergen zoo near Tilburg. However this time you just get an innocent photo of the Virgin's and the Kiek-in-de-Kök towers of Tallinn:

F1621b02 _ towers, Tallinn.jpg
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No, by the way, you also get the Dutch facility:

F5651a05_kakhuis_Beekse-Bergen.jpg
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Breaking into people's houses and beating them up is apparently called "hamesucken" in Scots, and it looks like a relative of the Danish verb "at hjemsøge", to haunt - but in Danish it is (or was) mainly ghosts that haunted (or "hjemsøgte") poor innocent people. And to round the Scots rant nicely off: the word "kilt" for the skirt worn by tradition-aware Scottish men (and sometimes ladies) is said to come from Scandinavia, where Danish "at kilte" apparently meant "to truss, to tuck up". OK maybe that was the case in the 15. century where the Scots word is first attested, but now we have forgotten that word and only know 'kilts' from the Scottish kilties. By the way this piece of clothing was prohibited by the evil duke of Cumberland after the battle at Culloden Moor, and it only came into use again when king George the IV insisted on wearing it during a visit to his beloved fair bonnie Scotland.

And one final remark: the English word "quilt" has nothing to do with the kilts of Scottish men - it is said to be related to Latin word "culcita", meaning a bolster or cushion.

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PS: I have just noticed that Google has done some changes for the worse in its search layout. The easy access to advanced searching has disappeared, but can (at least for the moment) be reinvoked through a link like https://www.google.dk/advanced_search (or the same thing with your own language/country code). However I still haven't located the very useful hit counter in Google Search so I'll presumably have to switch to Bing for much of my search activity. Actually the language-restricted search has been made almost invisible there too, but you can activate it by adding the code language:XX (or just la:XX), where XX is a language code from a hidden list. At least the number of hits is still visible, which is a useful feature to have for assessing the frequency of a word or expression.

And then I ask: do the powers that be at the two companies really
hate their costumers that much ?? :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby DaveAgain » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:56 am

Iversen wrote:Breaking into people's houses and beating them up is apparently called "hamesucken" in Scots, and it looks like a relative of the Danish verb "at hjemsøge", to haunt - but in Danish it is (or was) mainly ghosts that haunted (or "hjemsøgte") poor innocent people.
I'm slightly horrified that this is common enough to have a dedicated word.

Looking at it, I assumed the -sucken would be related to the English sack - to sack a town, but my dictionary tells me this comes from French:
sack 2 |sak|
verb [ with obj. ]
(chiefly in historical contexts) plunder and destroy (a captured town or building). the fort was rebuilt in AD 158 and was sacked again in AD 197.

noun
the pillaging of a town or city: the sack of Rome.

ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French sac, in the phrase mettre à sac ‘put to sack’, on the model of Italian fare il sacco, mettere a sacco, which perhaps originally referred to filling a sack with plunder.


--------
In one of Bernard Cornwell's Uhtred books (the last kingdom?), a Danish household is surrounded and burnt out by rival Danes. I think there was a Danish word used to describe that.

EDIT
The border country between England and Scotland used to be rather lawless, fortified farmhouses were common there, perhaps that's where the word comes from?

George MacDonald Fraser wrote about this period in The Steel Bonnets (history) and The Candlemass Road (fiction).
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:24 pm

Well well, quite interesting. However it stirred my inner philologist enough to do some more research - mainly because of one information in daveAgain's dictionary, namely that "sack" should have been imported from French as late as the 16. century. That's a weird idea - you could understand if it had entered with the murderous Normans and Wilhelm de Bastard in 1066, but in the 16. century the 100 years war had ended and the Brits had been evicted from France, with their last possession Calais falling in 1558 .

So first I checked the internet and found this quote from the English Wiktionary:

From Middle English sak (“bag, sackcloth”), from Old English sacc (“sack, bag”) and sæcc (“sackcloth, sacking”); both from Proto-West Germanic *sakku, from late Proto-Germanic *sakkuz (“sack”), borrowed from Latin saccus (“large bag”), from Ancient Greek σάκκος (sákkos, “bag of coarse cloth”), from Semitic, possibly Phoenician.
Cognate with Dutch zak, German Sack, Swedish säck, Hebrew שַׂק‎ (śaq, “sack, sackcloth”), Aramaic סַקָּא‎, Classical Syriac ܣܩܐ‎, Ge'ez ሠቅ (śäḳ), Akkadian XX (saqqu), Egyptian XX. Doublet of sac.


So this contradicts the idea of a late import from French, but still retains a thin thread back to Latin, and from there even further back.

Ironically Politikens Etymologi Ordbog (2000) (on paper) actually claims that the Danish "sæk" comes from Ancient English "sæcc" (maybe the Vikings brought their spoils back to Denmark in sæccs ?)

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OK, back to Scots and Danish, and now we have left the topic of sacks. I don't have a Scots etymological dictionary, but the English wiktionary states that "hamesucken" comes from Old English "hám-sócn", literally "home-seeking, an attack upon a house; also the fine exacted for this", and that in Scotland - and nowhere else - it means "An assault on a person in his own home." So the element "sucken" does indeed come from an Anglosaxon strong verb that meant 'seek', as I had guessed.

I can't supply further evidence for my hunch that "hamesucken" and "hjemsøgning" are directly connected, but I do have some information about the Danish word. The homepage of Den Store Danske Ordbog without much ado states that it comes from German. But as mentioned above I also own Politikens Etymologi Ordbog, which prudently states that the word could come either from Ancient Danish ('olddansk') "*hēmsøkia" (which hasn't been found anywhere) or from 'middelhøjtysk' (Middle High Germany) "heime suochen", but then adds that both go back to 'fællesgermansk' ('Common' Germanic, or in other words: Proto-Germanic) "*χaimasōkjan" - likewise unattested, but it looks plausible.

Personally I doubt that the Danish word would come directly from Middle High German - Low German (the heir of Old Saxon) would be a much more likely source, being closer. However nothing excludes that it could have lived on through the Old Norse period from way back to Protogermanic and thus not be a loan from German.

Let's nevertheless follow the German trail and consult the Große Duden (1963), Band 7, p.257 (buried in the article about "heim"):
Heimsuchen (spätmhd., heimsuochen aus mhd. heime suochen "in freundlicher oder feindlicher Absicht aufsuchen, überfallen"), dazu Heimsuchung w (mhd. heimsuochunge, Hausfriedensbruch").

You may wonder how a raid into the home of somebody can be done "in freundlicher (...) Absicht" ('with friendly intentions'), but the good old days were not always good and dictionaries aren't always written by specialists in logic. However neither the paper nor the digital version of Duden follow the etymology further back than Middle High German, which simply isn't sufficient to clarify the matter. The element "Heim" ('home') can however be followed further back, for instance on the homepage of dwds.de.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby DaveAgain » Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:57 pm

Iversen wrote:Well well, quite interesting. However it stirred my inner philologist enough to do some more research - mainly because of one information in daveAgain's dictionary, namely that "sack" should have been imported from French as late as the 16. century. That's a weird idea - you could understand if it had entered with the murderous Normans and Wilhelm de Bastard in 1066, but in the 16. century the 100 years war had ended and the Brits had been evicted from France, with their last possession Calais falling in 1558 .
NB That's sack in the sense of to plunder. There would have been a lot of that going on in France during the 100 years war. :-(

Etymonline.com has:
sack (v.1)

"to plunder," 1540s, from French sac, in the phrase mettre à sac "put it in a bag," a military leader's command to his troops to plunder a city (parallel to Italian sacco, with the same range of meaning), from Vulgar Latin *saccare "to plunder," originally "to put plundered things into a sack," from Latin saccus "bag" (see sack (n.1)). The notion is probably of putting booty in a bag.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/sack?re ... ne_v_22575
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