Naš jezik

There’s an article in The Economist this week about how Serbocroatian is being revived in a fashion under the label of naš jezik (“our language”).

It’s really an interesting linguistic situation in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Even within one country, it seems that more than one variant is used. For instance, if one goes to the Serbian Wikipedia, one can view each page in four variants by using the selectors on top called ????, ??????, ekav and ijekav, or in other words, one can choose between two alphabets and two linguistic variants, the latter choice being whether a river is called reka (a form often associated with Serbian) or rijeka (a form more often associated with Croatian); the variant rika is not included here, so presumably that is not allowed in Serbian.

Sebastians weblog: Hør en bog

Sebastian har et indlæg på sin blog om lydbøger. Det mindede mig om Ric fra datalogi, som havde købt en maskine, udviklet til blinde, som kunne læse ASCII-filer på engelsk op med vilkårlig hastighed. Ric trænede så sig selv op til at forstå en meget høj hastighed, så han til sidst var i stand til at høre bøger hurtigere, end han kunne læse dem!

Wormsoapy cock poetry

I bought a passaverdura in Italy. In Italian, it reasonably enough tells me to “lavare bene prima dell’uso” – which in English has become “before first use, wash in wormsoapy water”.

That reminds me of a friend of my dad, Ötz, who wanted to buy a gasket for his tap. In German, a gasket is called a Dichtung, and Hahn means both tap and cock, so he reportedly asked for una poesia di gallo d’acqua!

I – a grandmother

The last meal
Originally uploaded by viralbus.

One of the really odd things about Georgian is the words for members of the family. It’s bad enough that “father” is mama and “mother” is deda, but to confuse matters further, most terms can be used both ways, i.e., mama can mean both “father” and “son/daughter” (when addressed by their father). This meant that because Caca bebo (whom I lived with in Georgia) adopted me as a grandson (she’s pictured here with her two real grandsons, my mates Lasha and Kakha), she would often call me grandmother. She sadly passed away years ago, so I doubt I will ever be called grandmother again! 🙁