Some things to do last weekend and some health problems afterwards mean I didn't do as much as I wanted to. Still, I'm quite happy with how things went during the last few days.Occitan
On lesson 33 of Assimil. Really wish that there were a bit more practice with verbal forms but otherwise fine. Since there are no FSI-type drills for Occitan (that is, none that I know of), I'll have to find something to get more directed input.
I read two of the Sherlock Holmes stories I mentioned in the post above. So far I'm quite pleased with my level of understanding and the speed with which I read (being familiar with the content helps a lot of course). In one of the stories (The Speckled Band
), the barba
of Holmes is mentioned twice, which surprised me since I was pretty sure Holmes never sported a beard. Turns out, Occitan barba
can mean 'beard' (French 'barbe', which is how I recognized the word) but also 'chin'!
Somewhere else, the translator added something to the original. When Miss Stoner describes her predicament, she says:
"Alas!" replied our visitor, "the very horror of my situation lies in the fact that my fears are so vague, and my suspicions depend so entirely upon small points, which might seem trivial to another, that even he to whom of all others I have a right to look for help and advice looks upon all that I tell him about it as the fancies of a nervous woman.
Which the translator has rendered as,
Ailàs, respondèt nòstra visitaira, l'orror de ma situacion ven del fach que mas crentas son tan foscas e mos sospièches son basats entièrament sus de pichons detalhs. Per qualqu'un mai aquestes detalhs semblarián ordinaris, e mai per lo qu'ai lo drech de li demandar ajuda e conselhs, valent a dire, mon pairastre. Aqueste pensa que tot çò que li disi son pas que de fantasiás de femna ernhosa.
The translator has slightly modified the structure of the sentence but, more importantly, he has also added the text in bold: "that is to say, my stepfather". I noticed it immediately because I've read the story many times and in my mind, "he to whom of all others I have a right to look for help and advice" always referred to Miss Stoner's fiancé, not her stepfather.
Anyway, this also interested me because the French equivalent of the word pairastre
("parâtre", with ^ lengthening the vowel and indicating a lost "s") is more or less out of use today (at least, I never heard or even read it I think), while its female counterpart "marâtre" only survives in fairy tales and has taken on a pejorative meaning, the stepmother invariably being an evil character
. Like barba
above, the pair mairastre/marâtre
is a good reminder that even if words may be the same across two languages, they are often, well, not the same.Manchu
Finished reading parts 4 and 5 of the Nogeoldae. Lots of haggling because the merchants are selling horses, buying silk and a bow.
Except for long lists of goods (various types of horses and silk), I find the dialogues really well done and quite lively:
- Beri uncara puseli dalaha age! Uncara sain beri bio?
- Cohome beri uncara puseli neifi sain beri akū oci aibe hūdašambi? Si ere suwayan alan alaha beri be gajifi uli tabu.
- Bi tatame tuwaki. Mangga oci, udambi.
- Age, teni tabuha beri elhei tata.
- Sain beri oci, ainu tatara de gelembi? Ara! Ere beri jafakū dahambi! Tatara de umesi icakū.
- Mr. Boss-of-the-bow-selling shop! Are there good bows for sale?
- If I especially open a bow shop and do not have any good bow, what would I trade in? Take this yellow birch wrapped bow and put the bowstring in the notch.
- I'll try and draw it, and if the draw weight is high, I'll buy it.
- Just go easy on the wrapped bow, Mr.
- If this is a good bow, why are you afraid of me drawing it? Hey, the handle has come off! [? lit. 'followed'] When drawing, that's very unpleasant.
A good week for Yiddish reading. Some satirical/funny short stories by Moyshe Nadir
and the beginning of a novel in which the narrator is a dead Jew who lies buried in a non-Jewish cemetery (Volf Tambur, Lebedike Meysim [Living Dead]
, 1976). So far, it is a good read, maybe it will develop into something like the Irish classic Cré na Cille