Bj√łrnebanden er hunde!

Det er lige g√•et op for mig, at Bj√łrnebanden p√• engelsk hedder The Beagle Boys, og at de alts√• slet ikke er bj√łrne, men beagler (ligesom Nuser)! Jeg undrede mig som barn godt nok ogs√• over, hvorfor de dog lignede bj√łrne s√• lidt… Hvad t√¶nkte overs√¶tteren dog p√•?

Ved n√¶rmere eftertanke var det vel ogs√• den overs√¶tter, der oversatte McDuck til von And, s√• hvad kan man forvente? ūüôĀ

Christian the Great, King of the Incas

I posted the following to the soc.history.what-if newsgroup back in 2003. It didn’t attract any attention, though, so I’m reposting it here now, since I think it’s one of my better ATLs.

PoD ca. 1518. King Christian II of Kalmar decides that fighting the Swedish rebellions will only harden their resistance. Instead, he sees possibilities in the Americas, discovered only a few decades earlier. He thus sends out exploration teams headed by the most able Swedish noblemen. The remaining Swedish nobility are easily silenced.

Around 1523, a small strong force including Gustav Vasa, a young but very determined nobleman, arrive in the Inca Empire, beating the Spanish by a few years. In the following years, they manage to conquer the empire. Gustav Vasa becomes the Governor of this new Kalmar possession.

In the 1530s, King Christian II is convinced (i.a. because he wants to divorce his wife and marry his long-time lover Dyveke instead) to introduce Lutheranism in the Kalmar Union. The whole Bible is translated (“Biblia, Det er All den Hellige Scrifft”), based on Luther’s German translation, into one language which forms the basis of the Kalmarian language to our days.

To deal with the American trade, a new city is founded in 1542 on the mouth of the Göta River: Christiania. This also helps to keep the Swedish nobility happy, since not all money now flows directly to Copenhagen. The vast amounts of gold of silver flowing in from the Inca lands helps finance more colonies while playing a strong role in the European power game.

1559: Christian II (“The Great”), King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, of the Goths, Wends and Incas, duke of Sleswig and Holstein, dies, mourned in all parts of his possessions. He is succeeded by his son,
Hans II.

Habermas’ Birthday

This morning, I was trying to find a recipe for American breakfast pancakes amongst my notes. I didn’t succeed, but instead I found the recipe for a cocktail I once invented. I clearly remember it. It was a party at the Oriental Department (√ėstasiatisk Institut), i.e., most of the people there were students of Japanese or Chinese, and I somehow ended up behind the bar. There was a bottle of Pepino Secco that we were trying to find a use for, and I invented this drink that everybody seemed to like, although nobody liked the Pepino on its own. I called it “Habermas’ Birthday” – obviously, it was invented on his birthday, but why I knew this to be the case, I don’t remember, but I studied “Humanistisk Videnskabsteori” together with people from this department, so we might have been reading Habermas earlier in the day, I presume. Anyway, I guess everybody is by now anxious to get the recipe, so here it is:

For one glass of Habermas’ Birthday:

  • 2 cl vodka
  • 2 cl Pepino Secco
  • 1 cm [sic!] Sprite
  • 2 icecubes
  • 1 slice of lemon

Mix the ingredients well and serve.

Buikscots and Newscots

I just got an idea (well, actually, I’m sure I had the idea before, but I never did anything about it) how one might explain the Norwegian language situation to a speaker of English, using Alternate History.

Let’s imagine Scotland had regained her independence in the 19th century. And let’s ignore Gaelic for the moment. Because of the strong nationalist feelings unleashed back then, it’s very likely there would have been a strong urge to replace English with a national language, Scots.

This could be done in two ways.

One would be to recreate the Scots language by investigating the living dialects and picking the most conservative elements from each (using also the historical Scots language for comparison). This language would be very different from English, and it would probably be fairly close to the dialects of rural Aberdeenshire, I imagine.

The other way would be to adjust the written language to make it more similar to English as spoken by educated people in the cities, adjusting the orthography to make it look more Scottish and adding frequently used Scots words (such as wee and aye).

Most people would realise after a while that having two national languages (in addition to Gaelic, I suppose) would be somewhat overwhelming, so there would be attempts at unifying them. However, both groups would resent changing their own language, and the result would be a lot of variant forms in both language variants, without any unification happening.

Pupils would have to learn both variants in school, which they would hate, and Newscots would be seen as a dialect from rural Aberdeenshire, ridiculed by many people in the cities.