Free Ukrainian! Special linguistic operation for the Ukraine: Free Ukranian-Danish-Ukrainian dictionary for displaced Ukrainians and their helpers.

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(див. український текст нижче)

When I visited an old friend, a farmer, in the countryside, he told me that he had given a safe haven in his farmhouse to a couple of Ukrainians who had fled the violence in their homecountry. The ladies and their families were very happy with their new place. In the meantime, they have moved on to Horsens and Hammel.

The challenge was, that my friend and the Ukrainians could not communicate with each other, because they had no language in common. The Ukrainians only spoke Ukrainian. It is an illusion that “everybody” speaks English. I estimate that one in 30 of the refugees speak some (some) English.

Then I thought: there is a task for …

Report from Liet International 2022 – Corsican victory and almost a Danish-language winner

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The music competition Liet International is specific to minority and regional languages. In the time before I became a linguistics student, I heard about it through the then-existing Sprogmuseum, and I remember finding the topic very interesting. Back then I did not expect that over 10 years later I would get the opportunity to be among the live audience – when in took place in Denmark, Tønder, on Friday 13th of May 2022, right between the semifinals and grand final of another song contest. I went there together with three other participants in Lingoslam.

At Liet International, there were 13 artists, each with one track. None of the participants sang in English, but they represented one language (or more) …

PRESS RELEASE: Liet International 2022 definitely in Nordschleswig/Denmark

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From 1st February 2022 there are no longer COVID-19 restrictions in Denmark. Therefore the host of Liet International 2022, the umbrella organisation of the German minority, Bund Deutscher Nordschleswiger (BDN) in cooperation with the foundation of Liet International have decided to definitely organise Liet International 2022 on 13 May 2022 in Tondern/Tønder, in the south of Denmark. Local host Uffe Iwersen says “We as German minority in Denmark are very proud to host LIET International 2022 in Tønder/Tondern. The German-Danish border region is one of the most diverse regions in Europe in terms of language and culture. It’s the perfect place to celebrate European diversity.”

28 songs were submitted for Liet International 2022. A selection jury consisting of Nick Veenstra …

How do you define “samfundssind”? – A little questionnaire study

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Along with the word “hygge”, the Danish word “samfundssind” (roughly ‘community mindedness’) has recently become one of the few internationally known Danish words. The concept it stands for has achieved worldwide credit for the comparatively successful handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Denmark.

The word was first introduced into the Danish language in 1936 by Thorvald Stauning (Danish Prime Minister 1924 – 1926 and 1929 – 1942) to urge the Danish people to solidarity in the difficult times around World War II. Since then, the word has been used, but without anyone paying too much attention to it (the online dictionary of The Danish Language Council ordnet.dk quotes, for example, a passage from the regional newspaper Fyens Stiftstidende from 2007: …

It’s just not quite the same

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On 21 September 2019, I was invited to give a speech at the departure reception of Professor Morten Kyndrup, former executive director and founder of Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, honoring his work in establishing the institute. I ended my address with a mention of a short skit I did with a Dutch friend for a Norwegian-American friend’s birthday in August 2019. The birthday deal? No gifts, only performances.

My Dutch friend and I had been speaking a lot about a concept we were both enamoured by and heard often in Denmark spoken by Danes to non-Danes when the latter try to make sense of many things Danish: “Well, you see, it’s just not quite the same.”

The sketch went

A dybtgoing study af nisse-engelsk

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Fra today, you can gense ‘The Julekalender’ on TV2 Charlie! So we bringer an indlæg about the nissers fictive sprog, which is a blanding of engelsk and Danish!

Margaret J. Blake skrev en article i 2007 om nisse-engelsk, som never blev publiceret. She kaldte her study, which she skrev in English, Just what I skut til to say! A description and analysis of NisseEngelsk, a Danish-English Mixed Language. Det er et meget scholarly værk, which toke her three kvart year to skrive.

She læste ikke mindre end sixty articles and bøgs. Manuskriptet is on 125 sider. Og de whole teksts of the three speakers Hansi, Gynter og Frits er analyseret. Optagelserne er from 1991, og of good kvalitet. …

The Danish pronoun ‘man’ used as ‘I’ in conversation

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In English, you is both a definite and an indefinite pronoun. This means that speakers can use the same form to refer to a specific person and to refer to someone unspecific, someone in general. In Danish, the pronoun man is used to refer to someone in general, just like the English indefinite you, and the word’s primary meaning, listed in dictionaries and grammars, is this generic function. However, there are instances in the language where man occurs as an indefinite pronoun with self-reference. These instances are only briefly mentioned in the literature and are not described in detail at all.

This blog post is based on a presentation and an article from the 17th MUDS – Møderne …