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

udvalgt billede

(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 …

Mbessa: The Cameroonian language that refused to be swallowed by Kom

Africa Map Cameroon
Mbessa (Mbesa) is a kingdom of over 25,000 people in the Anglophone Northwest Region of Cameroon. Mbessa, like the hundreds of other kingdoms in the grassfields of the Northwest Region, is actually called a Fondom and it is headed by a powerful traditional authority called the Fon, and specifically called Foyn in the Mbessa language. It should therefore be understood that Fondom equals kingdom while Fon or Foyn equals king.

The kingdom of Mbessa was founded in the 18th century (circa 1772) by an exiled Nkar man called Tfukenu and a self-exiled Oku prince called Nsuung Nyiete (Mala 2013). Geographically, Mbessa is located between Akeh, Din, Kom and Oku, all of which are neighbouring Fondoms.

Mbessa is found in a

Shaetlan. A contact language in the North Sea.

image001

Shetland is the northernmost part of the UK, an archipelago straddling the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the North Sea to the east between Scotland, Norway and Faroe. The strategic location, smack in the middle of maritime trade and migration routes, means that the islands have been a place of contact for centuries, if not millennia.

Shetland has been inhabited for at least 6,000 years: the earliest evidence of human settlement in Shetland is the shell midden of West Voe dated 4200-3600 BC. These settlers were hunter-gatherers/fishers, but we don’t know when they came to Shetland or from where .

At some point around 3700-3600 BC we see evidence of a farming lifestyle in West Voe, for example that …

Irish Travellers and their Language

thumbnail Speirs020502Dublin13809 22

Now I must begin with a confession: I have never been to Ireland and I do not personally know any Irish Travellers, but I have always been fascinated by their language. I know that there are some every year in my hometown in Denmark, and most often they are heading north with their caravans. I once saw, on my way to work, a group at Tangkrogen in Aarhus, but when I came back they were gone. As far as I understood, they were sent away by the police.

Irish Travellers are a minority ethnic group.  This status was recognised by the Irish State on 1st March 2017.  The Equal Status Act refers to Irish Travellers in the following way: “Traveller …

A dybtgoing study af nisse-engelsk

images 4 1

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. …

When Rihanna ‘mumbles’ in her native language

rihanna 749861 1280

You probably noticed that you can’t understand what Rihanna is singing in the chorus of her song “Work”. What most people don’t know, is that she isn’t singing in English. The language she is singing in is the creole language ‘Bajan’.

A creole language is a type of language that can arise under certain circumstances, where people who don’t have any language in common need to communicate. Bajan arose several hundred years ago among West African slaves who were transported to the Caribbean island of Barbados and bought by plantation owners. The slaves needed to communicate with each other, but since they came from many different places in Africa, they didn’t have one language in common. However, when people need …

LingoLit: A Linguist’s Quarantine Reading Guide

The Wug Test 1

Blogger’s note:
I originally wrote this blog entry with the intention of asking the editors of Lingoblog to release it shortly before the summer holidays. However, since then another situation has arisen, which to an even higher degree seems to leave people needing something good to read, so I’ve decided instead to submit this entry now, as a guide to quarantine rather than summer reading. I urge you to consider it a bit of tragic irony when I refer to the holidays below, rather than to the current situation.
The libraries here in Denmark may be closed, but there’s still audio- and e-books as well as online bookstores that are accessible without venturing into the public and risking contamination. I