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Welsh and French links
Posted: 07 September 2010 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Being resident in Wales, I made the same observation as flynn of the similarity between Welsh and French words.  However, history tells us that the Welsh were originally the Romano-British, driven out of England by the Saxons.  France was ruled by Rome, too.  Hence I don’t find it surprising that Welsh and French are full of words with a Latin origin.  The Celtic words in Welsh are, by and large, also to be found in Irish, like mawr, treath, llyn, glas etc.

[ Edited: 07 September 2010 11:44 AM by bayard ]
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Posted: 07 September 2010 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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“Crackpot scholar”, though, might be considered a somewhat debatable translation of the original écrivain très controversé, wouldn’t you say? ;-)

I know you’re joking, what with the smiley and all, but just to be clear: that was not a translation, it is my independent judgment on the guy, having looked him up.  I have no idea what D.H. Lawrence and Martin Luther have to do with anything.

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Posted: 07 September 2010 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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They were offered as examples of écrivains très controversés for ElizaD, who asked for a translation of the term

Note to those who have forgotten: it is considered bad form on this forum to use languages other than English without an accompanying translation. That goes for even just a word or two. The matter has been raised more than once.

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Posted: 08 September 2010 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Sorry if I upset anyone. languagehat had cited an article written in French which referred to Jean Markale as an écrivain controversé. I had assumed (wrongly, as it turns out!) that in describing Markale as a “crackpot scholar” lh was paraphrasing that article. Je m’excuse / I apologize.

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Posted: 30 September 2010 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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languagehat - 05 September 2010 05:19 AM

This French Wikipedia article quotes a crackpot scholar as saying that around 1,200 Celtic words are known, of which French has 200; it gives these examples: bief, if, bille, soc, ruche, claie, barque, chemin, lieue, lande, grève, roche, char, bec, jarret, briser, changer, border, petit, dru.  I have no idea how many of those are trustworthy.  A 1991 source gives 147 Celtic words, but doesn’t distinguish inherited words from borrowings (it includes backgammon, for instance).

French char ‘a tank’ is indeed of Celtic origin. French inherited it from Latin carrus, which has also led, via Old French or Old North French, to English carry, carriage, chariot, and charge. Spanish has also given English the doublet cargo.

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