Icelandic, etc., and digital extinction
Posted: 27 February 2018 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1427
Joined  2007-04-28

As described in the Guardian with a link to this.

It’s not all bad news. L’Académie française must be jealous of stuff like this

The Icelandic word for computer, for example, is tölva, a marriage of tala, which means number, and völva, prophetess. A web browser is vafri, derived from the verb to wander. Podcast is hlaðvarp, something you “charge” and “throw”.
This makes Icelandic quite special, a language whose complex grammar remains much as it was a millennium ago and whose vocabulary is unadulterated, but which is perfectly comfortable coping with concepts as 21st-century as a touchscreen.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 February 2018 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6485
Joined  2007-01-03

a language whose complex grammar remains much as it was a millennium ago and whose vocabulary is unadulterated

The article repeats this false trope. Icelandic was deliberately and artifically retrogressed in the nineteenth century to make it more like the language in the Eddas and sagas. The medieval grammar was taught in schools and after a generation people were speaking in a fashion more like that of centuries before than their parents. Prior to that, Icelandic had been changing at the same pace as just about every other language.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 February 2018 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4055
Joined  2007-02-26

Still, this is interesting. It’s like Uncleftish Beholding on a grand scale.

Hydrogen is vetni. Molecule is sameind.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 February 2018 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  535
Joined  2007-02-13
Dave Wilton - 27 February 2018 06:49 AM

The article repeats this false trope. Icelandic was deliberately and artifically retrogressed in the nineteenth century to make it more like the language in the Eddas and sagas. The medieval grammar was taught in schools and after a generation people were speaking in a fashion more like that of centuries before than their parents. Prior to that, Icelandic had been changing at the same pace as just about every other language.

That’s really interesting.  I’m surprised that idea worked.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 February 2018 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6485
Joined  2007-01-03

It probably only worked because it’s an island with a very small, non-diverse population, under 100K in the period in question.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 February 2018 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3102
Joined  2007-01-30

Yes, in a country the size of France diktats from its Academy concerning the language are usually completely ignored. These are often attempts to beat back the influence of perfidious Albion , le weekend, etc.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 February 2018 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  501
Joined  2007-02-17
Dave Wilton - 27 February 2018 06:49 AM


The article repeats this false trope. Icelandic was deliberately and artifically retrogressed in the nineteenth century to make it more like the language in the Eddas and sagas. The medieval grammar was taught in schools and after a generation people were speaking in a fashion more like that of centuries before than their parents. Prior to that, Icelandic had been changing at the same pace as just about every other language.

Is this really true? Everything I can find about Icelandic would seem to suggest that the archaisers confined themselves to vocabulary, and that the grammar had in fact remained largely unchanged.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 February 2018 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4055
Joined  2007-02-26

There’s an obvious disadvantage to this, particularly for people working with technical literature, much of which is in English or one of the other major European languages. Most major languages have words for hydrogen, molecule etc that are basically similar: Icelandic has set itself back a bit by cutting itself off from all these Greek and Latin derived words that are, broadly, shared by the major European languages.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 March 2018 12:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  501
Joined  2007-02-17

Words for hydrogen:

German: Wasserstoff

Dutch: waterstof

Swedish: väte

Danish: ilt

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 March 2018 02:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1566
Joined  2007-02-14
OP Tipping - 28 February 2018 09:20 PM

Most major languages have words for hydrogen, molecule etc that are basically similar

I was discussing languages with a friend who reads a number of Romance languages.  He told of a time when he was reading a scientific article in some Romance language and he slowly realized he didn’t know what language it was.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 March 2018 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4627
Joined  2007-01-29

More words for hydrogen:

Bulgarian: водород [vodorod]
Czech: vodík
Danish: brint
Estonian: vesinik
Greek: υδρογόνο [idrogono] (related, but not directly equivalent, and hardly recognizable to the uninitiated]
Croatian: vodík
Icelandic: vetni
Latvian: ūdeņradis
Polish: wodór
Serbian: водоник [vodonik]

I fear the wrong tree has been barked up…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 March 2018 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4627
Joined  2007-01-29

Also, I posted about this, and Dave’s explanation isn’t faring well.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 March 2018 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1427
Joined  2007-04-28

Very interesting comments on LH’s site. They make me feel like an enthusiastic amateur. Who is this Eric you thank for the link to the Guardian article though, LH?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 March 2018 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4627
Joined  2007-01-29

The guy who sent me the link.  I always thank people who send me links.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 March 2018 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4055
Joined  2007-02-26

Consider me much chastened, hydrogen was a bad example.

Despite that mistake, the general point stands. The other example I gave was molecule, and here it is in the 10 most spoken European languages, plus Icelandic.

Spanish: Molécula
English: Molecule
Portugues: Molécula
Russian: Молекула
German: Molekül
French: Molécule
Italian: Molecola
Polish: Molekuła
Ukrainian: Молекула
Romanian: Moleculă
Icelandic: Sameind

Here for electron:

Spanish: Electrón
English: Electron
Portugues: Elétron
Russian: Электрон
German: Elektron
French: Électron
Italian: Elettrone
Polish: Elektron
Ukrainian: Електрон
Romanian: Electron
Icelandic: Rafeind

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ Biscuits      Pain/poena/penalty ››