Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Chinese Astrological Calendar


The previous post, about 2022 = Year of the Water Tiger, complements the first subject on the previous page:
both posts include information about the Chinese Sexagenary Calendar:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=90529&start=1201
.
Hong Kong's 2022 minisheet for year of the Water Tiger:

Hong Kong, 2022: Year of the Water Tiger minisheet
Hong Kong, 2022: Year of the Water Tiger minisheet
.
/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

.
Stamps and Languages
Local Index 1201-1300

.
Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 6.10.09 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 6.11.39 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 6.12.06 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 6.12.22 pm.png
.
Using this Index

This index can be accessed from elsewhere in Stampboards by using the url:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=1300
.
If you wish to look at a post about the Chinese calendar, for example, this Index tells you that there are two
posts about the language in the local range 1201-1300, with "link numbers" 1201 and 1299.
To visit the first of these, use the above url, with "1300" replaced by "1201". Thus the adjusted url is
https://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=1201
.
If you paste that adjusted url into the search bar at the top of this page, you will be taken
to the first post about the Chinese calendar.
If you want to see earlier posts about Chinese, go to earlier Local Indexes. For instance, the 1001-1200 Local Index lists 1138 and 1173 as link numbers of posts about Hindi within its range. And so on.

Similarly, if you use the url
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=549
you will be taken to the post containing the Philatelic glossary A-D which was generated by posts to the "give away" celebrating 500 posts to this thread.

That "link number", and others not within the range of this Local Index, can be found by first going to the relevant earlier Local Index, in this case
https://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=1000
.
NOTE: "Link number" = "Post number" minus 1. This is because "link number" counts the number of replies to the original post starting the thread. ;)

/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Chinese Astrological Calendar (cont.)
.
The latest post about 2022 = Year of the Water Tiger,
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=90529&start=1299
complements the first subject in the range 1201-1300. Both posts include information about the Chinese Sexagenary Calendar:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=90529&start=1201
.
Hong Kong's 2022 minisheet for year of the Water Tiger:

Hong Kong, 2022: Year of the Water Tiger minisheet
Hong Kong, 2022: Year of the Water Tiger minisheet
.
/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Chanada »

RogerE wrote: 04 Aug 2022 19:25
.
Stamps and Languages
Local Index 1201-1300

.
...
/RogerE :D


RogerE, I'm impressed, that seems to be a lot of work !
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thanks Chanada :D

I believe that a thread like this has long-term learning and reference value. Creating a local index from time to time does take quite a bit of effort, but I think it's worth it to make the contents of the thread conveniently accessible to topical searches.


Index, from Latin
Origin of index in English.
Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 1.37.30 am.png
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/index


Meanings of Index in English
Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 1.36.23 am.png
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/index


Indexes (in Publishing)
Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 1.23.36 am.png
.
A classic example of an index
The first page of the index of Novus Atlas Sinensis <br />by Martino Martini, an altas of China published in 1655
The first page of the index of Novus Atlas Sinensis
by Martino Martini, an altas of China published in 1655
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_(publishing)
.
/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Chanada »

Index has much same meanings In French, but we could add this sad one :

"...catalogue instauré à l'issue du concile de Trente (1545-1563). Il s'agit d'une liste d'ouvrages que les catholiques romains n'étaient pas autorisés à lire, des « livres pernicieux », accompagnée des règles de l'Église au sujet des livres. Le but de cette liste était d'empêcher la lecture de livres jugés immoraux ou contraires à la foi."
From : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_librorum_prohibitorum

Translation :
"A catalogue established after the Council of Trent (1545-1563). It is a list of works that Roman Catholics were not allowed to read, "pernicious books", together with the Church's rules about books. The purpose of the list was to prevent the reading of books deemed immoral or contrary to the faith."
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Aaahh, yes! Thanks Chanada. That was another meaning also found in English.
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.
In a happier context, the mathematical use of index to indicate a power is of grammatical and mathematical interest.

Grammatically, the plural is indices, whereas the plural of the list-type index that appears in books is indexes.

Mathematically, using indices leads to "built up" notation that is a bane for printers, because it drives the height of a line of text beyond what is pleasing to the eye, and results in a page that does not look properly laid out. Consequently, and alternative notation using the caret ^ has been used to keep symbols with indices "in line". For instance, the cube of four can be written 4^3 or 4³. Each expression has the value 64.

In the "built up" notation, the use of smaller font for the index is really an attempt to minimise the increase in height of the line of text, whereas the "in line" notation using the caret keeps the font of the index the same size as the rest of the text, with the advantage of greater legibility,

The act of adding an index to a number is usually described as raising the number to a power. Mathematically, the formal term for this operation is exponentiation.

What is not well-known is that the operation of exponentiation is not associative. That means: if an expression uses exponentiation twice (or more), it is important to specify the order in which the exponentiation operations should be performed. For instance, consider "2^2^3". Brackets can be inserted, with the convention that operations within brackets are to be performed before operations outside the brackets. Then we have these two possibilities:
(2^2)^3 = 4^3 = 64
2^(2^3) = 2^8 = 256

Without the brackets (or some other convention about the order in which the exponentiation operations are to be performed), the expression "2^2^3" is ambiguous.

/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by ASPS_StampIT »

In reply to Chinese Sexagenary cycle

I've made an exercise in StampIT's Let's Look at China about this - Pages 6 and 7 of the Let's Look at China workbook.
https://scottishphilately.co.uk/moodle/pluginfile.php/251/mo ... _FINAL.pdf
Attachments
china 60 year cycle etc.jpg
line up.jpg
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Hello Sandie = ASPS_StampIT, thanks for sharing the Chinese zodiac/calendar post.
I've just now visited the link to the 16-page Let's Look at China through Stamps workbook.
It's attractive material, and certainly user-friendly.
Have you added a link to each exercise so the user can check whether they have answered correctly?
__________________
.
Here are two PRC sets of Goldfish stamps currently on eBay. The first set is "original" (and attracting a very large number of bids), while the second is a "replica" set. Would a knowledgeable Stampboarder kindly tell us about "replica" sets, and how to recognise the difference between "original" and "replica" sets.

China (PRC), 1960: Goldfish (Sc 506-517; S38)<br />&quot;original&quot; set
China (PRC), 1960: Goldfish (Sc 506-517; S38)
"original" set
China (PRC), 1960: Goldfish (Sc 506-517; S38)<br />&quot;replica&quot; set
China (PRC), 1960: Goldfish (Sc 506-517; S38)
"replica" set
.
Any information about replica sets would be appreciated, thank you.

/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Correct spelling in English is a recurring "need to check"...
.
In another post today I typed "benefitting", and once again paused and asked myself whether there should be a "double t" or a "single t". Here are some authoritative opinions:


Google's Oxford Languages quotation
Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 11.10.37 am.png
.

Grammarist's opinion
Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.38.32 am.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.39.01 am.png
https://grammarist.com/spelling/benefiting-vs-benefitting/

Grammarly's opinion
Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.48.37 am.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.49.06 am.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.49.27 am.png
https://www.grammarly.com/blog/benefited-or-benefitted/

ACT Parliamentary Counsel's Office — Spelling, Abbreviations and Symbols Guide
This is an Australian style guide.
Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 11.00.42 am.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.57.13 am.png
https://www.pco.act.gov.au/library/Spelling.pdf
.
Summary: Both "double t" and "single t" are in use, each with some authority and supporting rationale. There is an underlying flavour of "British English vs American English" preference.

/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by honza »

Ahoj Roger,

I feel we have discussed this before

Although British, I have always used 'benefited' and 'benefiting' as I would use 'edited' and 'editing', so I am somewhat appalled at your conclusion that I have been using Americanisms. I think the confusion comes from the familiarity with the monosyllabic verb 'fit', which obviously does produce 'fitted' and 'fitting'.

The rule I have in mind is that you don't double the final consonant if it is not the stressed syllable.

I have consulted my small Oxford dictionary here in Prague but sadly neither version is provided.

Cheers,

Honza
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by ASPS_StampIT »

Roger

Yes on the site there is also an answer book to the Let's Look at China - direct link here https://scottishphilately.co.uk/moodle/pluginfile.php/252/mo ... _FINAL.pdf

Glad you like. Thanks

Sandie
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

honza wrote: 12 Aug 2022 19:00 Ahoj Roger,

I feel we have discussed this before
Agreed! :)

For example:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=6986952#p6986952
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thank you honza and nigelc for your "single t or double t" contributions. Yes, the stressed or unstressed syllable rule has indeed featured in closely related earlier discussions, and I appreciated the appeal of that rule when honza originally made me aware of it. Nice work by nigelc to locate that earlier discussion.

As I remarked, there is no universal agreement by the "authorities", and familiarity with "fitting" makes "benefitting" more attractive than "benefiting". But that's probably because reading is usually visual rather than oral, so when reading (and spell-checking?) we mainly look at the shape of the word rather than test its sound.

And then there is "retrofitting", which is probably justified by the rule of the stressed syllable — in this case, there's a secondary stress involved...

______________
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Thanks Sandie = ASPS_StampIT for adding the link to the answer book for the Chinese/Mandarin exercises. :D

/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Old Architect »

ASPS_StampIT wrote: 13 Aug 2022 00:00 Roger

Yes on the site there is also an answer book to the Let's Look at China - direct link here https://scottishphilately.co.uk/moodle/pluginfile.php/252/mo ... _FINAL.pdf

Glad you like. Thanks

Sandie
Not to change the subject here, in response to Sandie's beautiful book -
I have always found it interesting that there exists many similarities in ideogrammic languages with the oldest written language - ancient Egyptian and its "shorthand" equivalent, hieratic. E.g.


Numbers 1, 2, 3 Vertical & Horizontal
1_2_3.jpg
Middle / "In the midst of..."
Middle.jpg
"Walk, come" /Part of Man
Walk_Part of Man.jpg
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Yes, some striking similarities, thanks Old Architect.
Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 3.24.25 am.png
I find that this item reminds me of "X marks the spot":
.
There seem to be some shared features with the Chinese character

[zhōng] — middle


Old Architect, perhaps that was also in your mind...

/RogerE
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Old Architect »

RogerE wrote: 14 Aug 2022 04:34 Yes, some striking similarities, thanks Old Architect.

There seem to be some shared features with the Chinese character

[zhōng] — middle


Old Architect, perhaps that was also in your mind...

/RogerE
Precisely. Ideograms appear to have similar roots in human thought across the globe. "In the midst of...& Middle" being some of the more obvious examples ('divided in two"). Even the archaic Chinese symbol for "sun" is identical to the ancient Egyptian. Always fascinating how the human mind operates :)
Thanks Roger
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

There is a very interesting thread about stamps that feature four or more languages. It's a sister thread of this "engaging with languages" thread. Here's a link to a nice recent post in that thread:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=39437&start=81


Today's Happy Day thread features this cover with three languages — not quite enough to qualify for the "four or more" thread, but still a notable example for those of us who inhabit the largely monolingual Anglosphere:

Malta, 1969: Victoria Gozo cover<br />commemorating the twinning of the <br />Philatelic Associations of Victoria and Trieste
Malta, 1969: Victoria Gozo cover
commemorating the twinning of the
Philatelic Associations of Victoria and Trieste
Commemorative boxed cancellation
Commemorative boxed cancellation
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=82193&start=14750
.
Maltese
Tewminaġġ filateliku Philatelic twinning
tewmintwin
Some additional vocabulary, related to place (from the text below)
pjazzasquare
triqstreet
ir-Repubblikathe Republic
ir-Rabatthe Suburb (Victoria)
it-Tokkthe Touch(?)
.
Italian
All' Associazione Filatelica e Numismatica Triestina
To the Trieste Philatelic and Numismatic Association
Banca GiurataleGuaranteed/Sworn(?) Bank
Victoria, Gozo
Here's a tourism-oriented description of Victoria, including a number of place names in Maltese, including Victoria's traditional name ir-Rabat.
ir-Rabat (Victoria)
ir-Rabat (Victoria)
Ir-Rabat (Victoria) is the capital city of the island of Gozo. The name Victoria was given to the town in 1887 in honour of the famous British Queen’s Golden Jubilee. At the same time, the town was raised to the status of a city becoming officially known as Citta’ ir-Rabat (Victoria).

Ir-Rabat (Victoria) embraces both the Citadel, the ancient fortified city at the centre of the Island, and the surrounding town old Rabat (meaning suburb in Arabic and Archaic Maltese) and its modern additions.

There are many places of historical and cultural interest in ir-Rabat (Victoria). A visit to the Citadel is a must. Its towering fortifications afford superb views over the whole Island and within the Citadel are many of the main historical sites of ir-Rabat (Victoria) including the The Cathedral Museum, the Museum of Archaeology, the Folklore Museum, the Gozo Nature Museum, the Old Prison, the Old Gunpowder Magazine, the Grain Silos, the Battery and the World War II Shelter.

The centre of ir-Rabat (Victoria) is Pjazza Indipendenza (Independence Square), known as it-Tokk. The square is dominated by the Banca Giuratale, built between 1733 and 1738, formerly the seat of the municipal government of Gozo and presently of the ir-Rabat (Victoria) Local Council. In the mornings, there is an open market that shares the square with several open air cafes.

The magnificent St.George’s Basilica stands in a smaller square just behind It-Tokk in the heart of the old town. The web of narrow streets around St. George’s are the oldest in town and well worth a walk around.

In Triq ir-Repubblika (Republic Street), ir-Rabat (Victoria)’s main street, there are all kinds of shops, a couple of shopping arcades, pharmacies, banks, the Police Headquarters, and the Bishop’s Chancery, as well as La Stella and Leone Band Clubs in their respective homes, the Astra and Aurora opera theatres. In lower Republic Street (a little further from It-Tokk) is Villa Rundle Public Gardens, laid out by the British in 1910 and recently refurbished. With a variety of local and imported trees and a cooling fountain, the gardens are an oasis of peace.
https://www.visitgozo.com/where-to-go-in-gozo/towns-villages/ir-rabat-victoria/
.
Languages of Malta
Wikipedia wrote:Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English. Maltese is the national language. Until 1934, Italian was also an official language in Malta, and in the 19th and 20th centuries there was a linguistic and political debate known as the Language Question about the roles of these three languages. The Maltese population is generally able to converse in languages which are not native to the country, particularly English and Italian. They can also somewhat understand Darija [also known as Maghrebi Arabic].

According to the Eurobarometer poll conducted in 2012, 98% of Maltese people can speak Maltese, 88% can speak English, 66% can speak Italian, and more than 17% speak French. This shows a recent increase in fluency in languages, since in 1995, while 98% of the population spoke Maltese, only 76% spoke English, 36% Italian, and 10% French. It shows an increase in Italian fluency, compared to when Italian was an official language of Malta, due to Italian television broadcasts reaching Malta.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Malta
.
Gozo Philatelic Society
Here's a link to the home page of the Gozo Philatelic Society:
Screen Shot 2022-08-15 at 2.13.44 pm.png
http://www.stamps-gozo.org/
.
/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

English — British vs American ;)

Two nations separated by a common language — where does that expression originate?
Screen Shot 2022-08-16 at 6.15.35 pm.png
https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2010/no ... r-language
.
Whether you are sympathetic with that extreme view, or not, I would like to share a case in point that cropped up unexpectedly for me. I was using Google Translate to check on Maltese equivalents for some English words. When I entered the English word "city", I was offered the Maltese word "belt", which presumably is perfectly valid (and just happens to be a Maltese/English bilingual homograph). What unexpectedly caught my attention was the "incidental" phonetic pronunciation of "city" that was offered below the English word (presumably being offered for a Maltese speaker who would like to learn how to pronounce the English word):

Screenshot of Google Translate
Screenshot of Google Translate
That pronunciation is unabashedly American, but that's not mentioned/clarified, and the British/Australian/etc pronunciation is not provided as an acknowledged alternative.

Elsewhere Google does offer us two pronunciations, recognising British vs American. Its written representation of the pronunciation doesn't change in the two versions, but aurally the "t"/"d" difference does occur:

British pronunciation of &quot;city&quot;
British pronunciation of "city"
American pronunciation of &quot;city&quot;
American pronunciation of "city"
https://tinyurl.com/zpkez8rb
.
/RogerE :D

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For reference, the actual url represented by the above tinyurl is 525 characters long! It is:
https://www.google.com/search?q=how+do+you+pronounce+%22city ... nt=gws-wiz
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Old Architect »

RogerE wrote: 16 Aug 2022 19:51 English — British vs American ;)

Two nations separated by a common language — where does that expression originate?
Image
That pronunciation is unabashedly American, but that's not mentioned/clarified, and the British/Australian/etc pronunciation is not provided as an acknowledged alternative.
/RogerE :D
Roger~~
Firstly, I didn't grow up learning "the Kings." I was taught in, what I believed to be, a standard American household. Only later did I realize the nuance, inflections and, of course, dialects, which I don't throw about lightly. There are over 80 distinct dialects in the US and only some of them, even I would admit, are "unabashedly American." That is almost an insult to those of us whom speak without a perceived dilect - only to be told by others that we do indeed have a geographic "accent."
So take care when saying EVERY pronunciation is a potential "Americanism" when there are still those of us whom get along just fine with our British/English counterparts & find some pronunciations, vernacular & colloquialisms equally "cringeworthy" as our UK and Aussie cousins.
Google & the internet are not without a certain degree of bias and subjectivity (what encyclopedia isn't?). Wikipedia was a great place until the last 10+ years or so. Now it is filled with subjectivity. We all must use our toolkits to filter out the wheat from Wikipedia's/internet's chaff...if either of those "products" are even discernable nowadays. :? :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by honza »

Ahoj Old Architect!

Roger~~
Firstly, I didn't grow up learning "the Kings." I was taught in, what I believed to be, a standard American household. Only later did I realize the nuance, inflections and, of course, dialects, which I don't throw about lightly. There are over 80 distinct dialects in the US and only some of them, even I would admit, are "unabashedly American." That is almost an insult to those of us whom speak without a perceived dilect - only to be told by others that we do indeed have a geographic "accent."
So take care when saying EVERY pronunciation is a potential "Americanism" when there are still those of us whom get along just fine with our British/English counterparts & find some pronunciations, vernacular & colloquialisms equally "cringeworthy" as our UK and Aussie cousins.
Google & the internet are not without a certain degree of bias and subjectivity (what encyclopedia isn't?). Wikipedia was a great place until the last 10+ years or so. Now it is filled with subjectivity. We all must use our toolkits to filter out the wheat from Wikipedia's/internet's chaff...if either of those "products" are even discernable nowadays.

Surely even in American English WHOM should be WHO (Subject case relative pronoun) in the two cases coloured red above? I thought the first was probably a typo, but when it occurred again .... ?

Cheers,

Honza
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Old Architect »

honza wrote: 17 Aug 2022 04:36
Ahoj Old Architect!
Surely even in American English WHOM should be WHO (Subject case relative pronoun) in the two cases coloured red above? I thought the first was probably a typo, but when it occurred again .... ?

Cheers,

Honza
Apologies honza. I was using my OXFORD dictionary where "who" is less formal & the exception to the rule, not a hard guideline, though, I understand how a possessive form might be confusing. I was being polite, as those in polite society should attempt to do amongst those they are not completely familiar with. I'm "old-school." Hopefully this isn't a point of contention on Americanisms "...for WHOM the bell tolls."
Courtesy is contagious.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Aaahh, apologies for straying into "sensitive" territory without much need to go there!

May I add a little personal background. Cumulatively I have lived and worked in USA for more than 20 years, in universities in Illinois. My most recent 18 years there, until I retired, was in central Illinois. There my Australian accent was noticeably different from the midwestern accent of my students and everyone in my local city. It was a happy working relationship. I was well attuned to the midwestern accent, and the students and others often indicated that they liked my Australian accent. While in that environment I made appropriate use of American terminology and spelling, but I consciously retained my Australian accent (which seems to be part of my self-image, the person I think I am). I often started the semester by telling my new classes some variation on the comment: "This semester you're going to learn Discrete Mathematics, and how to speak Australian!" The students took that in the intended light-hearted spirit, but it also served to identify my accent for them, and implicitly to indicate that I didn't plan to imitate their accent.

I enjoyed my teaching and research experience very much, and only retired when I did because of family pressures to return to Australia (where all my family live). In other circumstances, I would probably still be actively in my former academic position there, because there was no obligatory retirement age. My colleagues honoured me with a special retirement dinner event, and I still exchange appreciative messages with many of them...

/RogerE :D

Footnote: My academic career has been long and enjoyable. I have spent a year or more in universities in each of five different countries, shorter visiting work periods in several others, and contributed lectures in conferences in quite a few more. Currently I retain an honorary conjoint professorship with my local university here in Australia. The joke is that old academics never die, they simply lose their faculties. ;)
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

In today's Happy Day thread Puffin has posted this cover (among others):

Malta, 1970: 25th anniversary of United Nations<br />First Day Cover, set of three (SG 441-443)
Malta, 1970: 25th anniversary of United Nations
First Day Cover, set of three (SG 441-443)
Let's have another look at Maltese. First, the text on the first day cover:
.
Maltese
il-jumthe day
l-ewwel jumthe first day
tal-ħruġof the issue
l-ewwel jum tal-ħruġfirst day of issue
anniversarjuanniversary
magħqudacombined
tal-ġnusof the nations
anniversarju tal-Ġnus Magħqudaanniversary of the United Nations
XXV anniversarju:
ħamsa u għoxrin anniversarjutwenty-fifth anniversary
ħamsa u għoxrin senatwenty-five years
ħamsafive
għoxrintwenty


The Maltese Language

Screen Shot 2022-08-20 at 12.10.40 pm.png
Wikipedia wrote:Maltese (Maltese: Malti) is a Semitic language derived from late medieval Sicilian Arabic with Romance superstrata spoken by the Maltese people.

It is the national language of Malta and the only official Semitic language of the European Union. Maltese is a latinised variety of spoken historical Arabic through its descent from Siculo-Arabic (ª), which developed as a Maghrebi Arabic (ªª) dialect in the Emirate of Sicily between 831 and 1091. As a result of the Norman invasion of Malta and the subsequent re-Christianisation of the islands, Maltese evolved independently of Classical Arabic in a gradual process of Latinisation. It is therefore exceptional as a variety of historical Arabic that has no diglossic (º) relationship with Classical or Modern Standard Arabic. Maltese is thus classified separately from the 30 varieties constituting the modern Arabic macrolanguage (*). Maltese is also distinguished from Arabic and other Semitic languages since its morphology (^) has been deeply influenced by Romance languages, namely Italian and Sicilian.

The original Arabic base comprises around one-third of the Maltese vocabulary, especially words that denote basic ideas and the function words, but about half of the vocabulary is derived from standard Italian and Sicilian; and English words make up between 6% and 20% of the vocabulary. A 2016 study shows that, in terms of basic everyday language, speakers of Maltese are able to understand around a third of what is said to them in Tunisian Arabic, which is a Maghrebi Arabic related to Siculo-Arabic, whereas speakers of Tunisian Arabic are able to understand about 40% of what is said to them in Maltese. This reported level of asymmetric intelligibility is considerably lower than the mutual intelligibility found between other varieties of Arabic.

Maltese has always been written in the Latin script, the earliest surviving example dating from the late Middle Ages. It is the only standardised Semitic language written exclusively in the Latin script.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltese_language
Notes (sourced from relevant Wikipedia pages):
(ªª) Maghrebi Arabic: a vernacular Arabic dialect continuum spoken in the Maghreb region, in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Western Sahara, and Mauritania.
(ª) Siculo-Arabic: (Arabic: اللهجة العربية الصقلية) also known as Sicilian Arabic is the term used for varieties of Arabic that were spoken in the Emirate of Sicily (which included Malta) from the 9th century, persisting under the subsequent Norman rule until the 13th century. It was derived from early Maghrebi Arabic following the Abbasid conquest of Sicily in the 9th century and gradually marginalised following the Norman conquest in the 11th century.
(º) diglossic: In linguistics, diglossia (/daɪˈɡlɒsiə, daɪˈɡlɔːsiə/) is a situation in which two dialects or languages are used (in fairly strict compartmentalisation) by a single language community.
(*) macrolanguage: (plural macrolanguages) (linguistics) A language consisting of widely varying dialects. A group of mutually intelligible speech varieties that are sometimes considered distinct languages.
(^) morphology: (linguistics) the study of words, how they are formed, and their relationship to other words in the same language. It analyses the structure of words and parts of words such as stems, root words, prefixes, and suffixes. (Morphemes, such as prefixes, suffixes and base words, are defined as the smallest meaningful units of meaning. Morphemes are important for phonics in both reading and spelling, as well as in vocabulary and comprehension.)


Alphabet and Pronunciation
.
Screen Shot 2022-08-20 at 12.45.22 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-20 at 12.47.30 pm.png
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltese_language
.
/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

A small question about English

Q: What is the only English word that ends with "mt"?

And another question that comes to mind:

Q: What English word contains none of the vowels "a, e, i, o, u" but has three occurrences of "y"?

/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by nigelc »

RogerE wrote: 13 Sep 2022 04:36 A small question about English

Q: What is the only English word that ends with "mt"?

/RogerE :D
dreamt, undreamt
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Waffle »

For RogerE, some Norfolk Islandese.
Norfolk Isl;and 13/7/2006 F.D.C. Werken Dar Shep = Working the ship.
Norfolk Isl;and 13/7/2006 F.D.C. Werken Dar Shep = Working the ship.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RevRed+ »

RogerE wrote: 13 Sep 2022 04:36 A small question about English

Q: What English word contains none of the vowels "a, e, i, o, u" but has three occurrences of "y"?

/RogerE :D
A syzygy is the alignment of three celestial bodies in a straight line, commonly the Earth, the sun, and the Moon.
Red.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Thank you nigelc and RevRed+ for your quick, correct solutions to those English orthography quests.


May I first share some details on the linguistic and astronomical associations of syzygy, and follow later with something about dreamt?


Syzygy — the astronomical connections
.
Maldives, 1999: minisheet depicting stages of total solar eclipse<br />as seen from Earth-based observatory
Maldives, 1999: minisheet depicting stages of total solar eclipse
as seen from Earth-based observatory
Maldives, 1999: minisheet depicting stages of total solar eclipse<br />as seen from space (solar and heliosphere observatory)
Maldives, 1999: minisheet depicting stages of total solar eclipse
as seen from space (solar and heliosphere observatory)
Wikipedia wrote: In astronomy, a syzygy (/ˈsɪzədʒi/ SIZ-ə-jee; from Ancient Greek συζυγία [suzugía] — union, yoke) is a roughly straight-line configuration of three or more celestial bodies in a gravitational system.

The word is often used in reference to the Sun, Earth, and either the Moon or a planet, where the latter is in conjunction or opposition. Solar and lunar eclipses occur at times of syzygy, as do transits and occultations. The term is often applied when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction (new moon) or opposition (full moon).

The word syzygy is often used to describe interesting configurations of astronomical objects in general. For example, one such case occurred on 21 March 1894, around 23:00 GMT, when Mercury transited the Sun as would have been seen from Venus, and Mercury and Venus both simultaneously transited the Sun as seen from Saturn. It is also used to describe situations when all the planets are on the same side of the Sun although they are not necessarily in a straight line, such as on 10 March 1982...

Syzygy sometimes results in an occultation, transit, or eclipse.

• An occultation occurs when an apparently larger body passes in front of an apparently smaller one.
• A transit occurs when a smaller body passes in front of a larger one.
In the combined case where the smaller body regularly transits the larger, an occultation is also termed a secondary eclipse.
• An eclipse occurs when a body totally or partially disappears from view, either by an occultation, as with a solar eclipse, or by passing into the shadow of another body, as with a lunar eclipse (thus both are listed on NASA's eclipse page).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygy_(astronomy)
.
/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Now let's look at dreamt versus dreamed.

This is actually the tip of a very large linguistic iceberg. May I share a little of the massive submerged body?

Dreamt or Dreamed?

May I share the nice online discussion by Merriam Webster.?
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/is-it-dreamed-or-dreamt-usage
Screen Shot 2022-09-13 at 12.10.22 pm.png
The choice is much older than you might expect.
Both dreamed and dreamt have been past tense forms of dream since the 14th century. "I dreamt a dream tonight," says Romeo to Mercutio in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, written in the late 16th century. Shakespeare typically opted for dreamt in his works, but occasionally employed dreamed as well.

A century and change later, Jonathan Swift vacillated between dreamed and dreamt in Journal to Stella, a series of letters written between 1710 and 1713 and published posthumously in 1766, but chose dreamed for the one past-tense occurrence of dream in the 1726 Gulliver's Travels.

By the 19th century, evidence suggests that most major writers (or perhaps their editors and/or publishers) were somewhat conflicted. While Jane Austen and William Makepeace Thackeray were dedicated dreamt users, and Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf consistently favoured dreamed, other 19th and early 20th century writers — among them Charlotte Brontë, Mark Twain, G.K. Chesterton, Herman Melville, Walter Scott, Joseph Conrad, Jack London, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, H.G. Wells, James Joyce, and P.G. Wodehouse — used both. But both the literary world and English speakers generally were moving decidedly away from dreamt, with dreamed becoming the clearly dominant form in the first half of the 19th century.
.
The larger context:
strong and weak verbs/irregular and regular verbs
.
Merriam Webster wrote:Dreamed, of course, follows the pattern of most verbs. The great majority of English verbs take the familiar -ed for their past tense and past-participle forms. These are regular verbs that play by the rules. Other not-so-predictable verbs are irregular. The regular verbs are sometimes called weak and the irregular verbs sometimes called strong, presumably because the former are a docile and tractable bunch while the latter seem to do whatever they gosh darn well please.

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learners English Dictionary (a dictionary for non-native speakers) lists about 300 irregular verbs, the majority of them being simple, usually single-syllable words. It's a small number, but its members are powerful: they include those we use most often; as linguist Steven Pinker has pointed out, the ten most common English verbs (be, have, do, say, make, go, take, come, see, and get) are irregular [strong], and chances are quite good (70% good) that if you're using a verb it's an irregular [strong] one.

Both regular and irregular verbs date back to Old English, but the number of ho-hum [regular, weak] -ed forms has increased over the centuries, and only the most common irregular [strong] verbs have kept their quirky conjugations. There are still glimpses of the less common strong verb forms here and there, especially in dialectal English. Someone native to parts of the South might say "I love to climb trees but have never clomb/clome that one there." Climbed has been the norm since around the 16th century, but the other form still exists, secreted away in dialects.
Screen Shot 2022-09-13 at 12.38.40 pm.png
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/clomb
.
As a generalisation, American English has tended to adopt regular/weak forms of verbs while irregular/strong forms are retained longer in British English. A counter-example is provided by dived versus dove:
According to Garner’s Modern [American] English Usage, the phrase she dove appears 1.2 times for every instance of she dived. In other words, dove is here to stay, and its widespread use has caused it to be accepted into standard American English.

Despite its popularity in American English, dove still isn’t the preferred or most common form in British English. Dived is still favo(u)red in British English, and would probably be the preferable choice in formal writing, but dove is not incorrect.
https://writingexplained.org/dived-or-dove-difference#:
.
/RogerE :D

Footnote:
My childhood acquaintance with classification of verbs (German explained for English speakers) described the common verbs as strong, and the less common as weak, so I retain a preference for that classification. For me, the alternative terminology irregular and regular carries a negative undertone for verbs in the "irregular" category, whereas there is a positive undertone when they are described as "strong". They carry the most commonly expressed verbal duties, and as such preserve the oldest cultural elements present in the language. Through them we glimpse origins no longer visible in regular/weak verbs, even if the latter are "easy" for learners, while the irregular/strong verbs require much individual effort for learners.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Waffle wrote: 13 Sep 2022 07:52 For RogerE, some Norfolk Islandese.
Image
Thank you Waffle. Let's look at the language that evolved on Norfolk island.
Wikipedia wrote:Norfuk, Pitcairn-Norfolk: Norfuk (increasingly spelt Norfolk), or Norf'k, is the language spoken on Norfolk Island (in the Pacific Ocean) by the local residents. It is a blend of 18th-century English and Tahitian, originally introduced by Pitkern-speaking settlers from the Pitcairn Islands. Along with English, it is the co-official language of Norfolk Island... In 2007, the United Nations added Norfuk to its list of endangered languages
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norfuk_language
.
In 1856 the Pitcairners resettled on Norfolk Island, which had been unoccupied for a year or more.
.
Norfolk Island, 2006: Diorama representing Pitcairners' 1856 arrival on Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island, 2006: Diorama representing Pitcairners' 1856 arrival on Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island, 1981: Minisheet commemorating 125th anniversary of Pitcairners' arrival.
Norfolk Island, 1981: Minisheet commemorating 125th anniversary of Pitcairners' arrival.
Their language continued to evolve, and became what is now known as Norfuk/Norfolk/Norf'k. It was sufficiently valued by older Norfolk Islanders that Beryl Nobbs Palmer chose to publish (in 1986) a record of the terminology unique to Norfolk. That publication went through three editions:
Screen Shot 2022-09-13 at 11.39.09 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-09-13 at 11.40.45 pm.png
In the 1970s, the Norfolk community and specialists from mainland Australia noted that the Norfuk language was falling into decline and talks about how to implement Norfolk into the school system were under way.[9] At this point in time, Norfuk did not have a standardised writing system as it was mostly an oral language. Several other individuals and groups took it upon themselves to help craft the necessary tools to help promote the Norfolk language. One of the first noted instances in which Norfolk was being taught in schools was in the 1980s, by Faye Bataille. Additionally, the Society of the Descendants of Pitcairn Islanders was founded in 1977 and they proved to be a large driving force for the campaign to include Norfuk language as a teachable subject in schools...

Alice Buffett, a Norfolk Island parliamentarian and Australian-trained linguist, developed a codified grammar and orthography for the language in the 1980s, assisted by Dr Donald Laycock, an Australian National University academic. Their book, Speak Norfuk Today, was published in 1988. This orthography has won the endorsement of the Norfolk Island government, and its use is becoming prevalent.

Norfuk became a language of Norfolk Island in 2004 by virtue of the Norfolk Island Language (Norf'k) Act 2004 passed by the island's legislative assembly.

In 2018, Eve Semple and colleagues received a grant from the Australian Research Council, in order to promote and facilitate revival.
Pitkern-Norf'k
In 1858, and later in 1864, some of the Pitcairners on Norfolk Island returned to Pitcairn. Consequently both Norfolk and Pitcairn Islands have had their own isolated populations, whose daily language has continued to evolve, in two somewhat divergent forms, referred to as Pitkern-Norf'k.
.
Pitcairn Islands, 1961: Return from Norfolk Is (SG 29-31)
Pitcairn Islands, 1961: Return from Norfolk Is (SG 29-31)
Norfuk is descended predominantly from the Pitkern/Pitcairnese/Pi'kern spoken by settlers from the Pitcairn Islands. The relative ease of travel from English-speaking countries such as Australia and New Zealand to Norfolk Island, particularly when compared with that of travel to the Pitcairn Islands, has meant that Norfuk has been exposed to much greater contact with English relative to Pitkern. The difficulties in accessing the Pitcairn population have meant that a serious comparison of the two languages for mutual intelligibility has proven difficult.
Screen Shot 2022-09-14 at 12.49.11 am.png
Pitkern-Norf’k
The Language of Pitcairn Island and Norfolk Island
Peter Mühlhäusler
Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2020
Volume 17 in the series Dialects of English [DOE]
https://doi.org/10.1515/9781501501418
Personal Pronouns
The following table is due to Donald Laycock (1989). It gives us a glimpse into Norfuk, and shows a richness and complexity significantly influenced by Tahitian.
Screen Shot 2022-09-14 at 2.07.43 am.png
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norfuk_language
.
/RogerE :D
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Waffle »

Absolutely fascinating. A tiny speck of land with a distinctive take on the English language that has evolved since the Bounty mutineers arrived some 250 years ago.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

I've just enjoyed Symphony No.1 in C minor by Johannes Brahms on ABC Classic Radio.

Brahms has deservedly been commemorated on many stamps, not the least of which are the "rival" commemorations of the 150th anniversary(*) of his birth, issued in 1983 by West Germany and East Germany.

West German Brahms commemorative, 1983

West Germany, 1983: 150th anniversary of birth of Johannes Brahms (SG 2027, Sc 1394)
West Germany, 1983: 150th anniversary of birth of Johannes Brahms (SG 2027, Sc 1394)

West Germany, 1983<br />First Day Commemorative Sheet<br />150th anniversary of birth of Johannes Brahms
West Germany, 1983
First Day Commemorative Sheet
150th anniversary of birth of Johannes Brahms
der Tagday
erstfirst
das Blattleaf, page, sheet
die Ausgabegiving out, issue, distribution
die Sonderausgabespecial issue
wertworth, useful
das Zeichensign, symbol, character, mark
das Postwertzeichenpostage stamp, designation of postage paid
das Sonderpostwertzeichenspecial postage stamp, commemorative stamp
Screen Shot 2022-09-17 at 1.28.04 pm.png
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/german-english/postwertzeichen


East German Brahms commemorative, 1983

East Germany [DDR], 1983: minisheet, 150th anniversary <br />of birth of Johannes Brahms (SG MSE2481, Sc 2313, Mi Block 69)
East Germany [DDR], 1983: minisheet, 150th anniversary
of birth of Johannes Brahms (SG MSE2481, Sc 2313, Mi Block 69)
.
der Geburtstagbirthday
DDR = die Deutsche Demokratische RepublikGerman Democratic Republic, "East Germany"
Screen Shot 2022-09-17 at 2.40.11 pm.png
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/german-english/republik


Brahms's handwriting is in Fraktur style.
die Frakturfracture, (typographic) Gothic, Gothic print
die FrakturschriftGothic scripy
The composition fragment shown is dated "the 12th Sept. 1868"
The handwritten text shown deserves transcription from Fraktur to Roman:
Die Sinfonie Nr. 1 c-Moll op. 68 von Johannes Brahms wurde im November 1876 uraufgeführt. ...
Worten:
Hoch auf'm Berg, tief im Tal,
grüß ich dich viel tausendmal!
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/1._Sinfonie_(Brahms)
A close translation:
High upon the mountain, deep in the valley
I greet you many thousand times
A very free paraphrase:
From mountain high and valley deep
Calling to you until I sleep

.
The problems inherent in translating poetry from one language to another are greater than those associated with translating prose, because rhyme and meter deserve attention, so greater freedom with phrasing and vocabulary are often required.

/RogerE :D
__________________
.
(*)Footnote: It used to be more common for a 150th anniversary to be called a sesquicentenary, where sesqui- means "one and a half". Some Australian philatelic examples:
Australia, 1947: First day cover, Newcastle Sesquicentenary,  8 Sep 1947
Australia, 1947: First day cover, Newcastle Sesquicentenary, 8 Sep 1947
Australia, 1953: First day cover, 2s Tasmanian Sesquicentenary, 23 Sep 1953
Australia, 1953: First day cover, 2s Tasmanian Sesquicentenary, 23 Sep 1953
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Still thinking of Brahms, I delight in the Academic Festival OvertureAkademische Festouvertüre.

That was his Opus 80, paired with Opus 81, the Tragic Overture. Both overtures were composed in the summer of 1880 in tribute to the University of Breslau(*), which had notified him that it planned to award him an honorary doctorate.


Brahms Symphony No. 4, with the Academic Festival Overture (CD)
Brahms Symphony No. 4, with the Academic Festival Overture (CD)
Reverse of above CD holder
Reverse of above CD holder
.
In Symphony No. 4 we hear elements of Opus 80, the Academic Festival Overture, which adapts the tune of the traditional student drinking song Gaudeamus igitur.
Wikipedia wrote:De Brevitate Vitae, Latin for On the Shortness of Life, more commonly known as Gaudeamus igiturSo Let Us Rejoice or just "Gaudeamus", is a popular academic commercium(**) song in many European countries, mainly sung or performed at university and high-school graduation ceremonies. Despite its use as a formal graduation hymn, it is a jocular, light-hearted composition that pokes fun at university life.
The song is thought to originate in a Latin manuscript from 1287. It is in the tradition of carpe diemseize the day with its exhortations to enjoy life. It was known as a beer-drinking song.
I just found the full Latin text of the song, with two English translations:

Screen Shot 2022-09-17 at 4.50.53 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-09-17 at 4.51.22 pm.png
Screen Shot 2022-09-17 at 4.51.46 pm.png
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Columbia University, Commencement [Graduation], 1908
Columbia University, Commencement [Graduation], 1908
.
/RogerE :D
_______________
.
Footnotes:
(*) University of Breslau —> University of Wrocław
The University of Wrocław [UWr]. Polish: Uniwersytet Wrocławski Latin: Universitas Wratislaviensis, is a public research university located in Wrocław, Poland. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship with over 100,000 graduates since 1945, including some 1,900 researchers among whom many received the highest awards for their contribution to the development of scientific scholarship. Renowned for its relatively high quality of teaching, ... [it] is situated in the same campus as the former University of Breslau, which produced nine Nobel Prize winners.

It was founded in 1945, replacing the previous German University of Breslau. Following the territorial changes of Poland's borders, academics primarily from the Jan Kazimierz University of Lwów restored the university building heavily damaged and split as a result of the 1945 Battle of Breslau.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Wroc%C5%82aw
.
(**) What is a commercium?
A commercium is a traditional academic feast known at universities in most Central and Northern European countries. In German it is called a Kommers or Commers. Today it is still organised by student fraternities in Germanic and Baltic countries, as well as Poland.

At a commercium, tables are often placed in the form of a U or a W, and the participants drink beer and sing commercium songs. There are strict and traditional rules that govern this occasion but it may also integrate theatrical and musical aspects. A commercium is the more formal form of the tableround, called Kneipe in German.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercium
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Waffle »

Malta F.D.C.s. - Languages.
Malta 16/11/2013 F.D.C. Miniature Sheet for the 2013 Christmas issue Note Milied= Christmas.
Malta 16/11/2013 F.D.C. Miniature Sheet for the 2013 Christmas issue Note Milied= Christmas.
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

Yes, thank you Waffle.
The online dictionary WordSense has this entry:

Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 8.36.55 am.png
The Arabic مِيلَاد [milad] refers to the birth of Jesus,
and عيد الميلاد [eid almilad] is the day celebrating the birth of Jesus
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WordSense gives us a multilingual insight into translations of English phrases that include "Christmas" and "Milied". In fact, because Maltese starts with 'M', the context of the listed translations includes Malay (just before) and Manx (just after). Here is that multilingual sampler:
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Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 8.27.49 am.png
https://www.wordsense.eu/Milied/
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Notice in particular the Maltese phrase
.
il-Milied u s-Sena t-Tajba‎
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
uand
is-senathe year
tajba, tajjebgood, fair
.
Of course, Wikipedia has a detailed article about the Maltese language. Here is a screenshot of its discussion of the (definite) article in Maltese, giving us lots of insight into the examples just seen:
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Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 9.36.16 am.png
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltese_language
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/RogerE :D

Footnote: The Semitic languages have recognisable affiliations in their vocabularies. For example. the Hebrew phrase for "Happy New Year" is Shanah Tova (שנה טובה), clearly affiliated with the Maltese is-Sena t-Tajba.
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Waffle
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by Waffle »

Glad you found that interesting Roger. I have a great liking for language and find stamps teaches me a great deal of them In small alliquots but I find it fascinating and when I come across another, I place it on this thread( currying as much favour as I can). I wish I knew more, on a cruise to South America, we took Spanish and Portugese lessons. I am currently learning to count in Russian from one of my youngest daughter's formrr workmates. I love-davit=9.
I prefer to collect UK, British Commonwealth esp Pacific area ( not excluding West Indies/Canada ) and Western Europe. At the bottom of my zone of interest is Eastern Europe and communist countries.
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RogerE
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Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Post by RogerE »

I LOVE MAN ;)

Isle of Man, 2004: Harry Potter, set of 8
Isle of Man, 2004: Harry Potter, set of 8


Waffle, you can join us in the "Wave" thread and revise what you learnt/practise counting in Portuguese:
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=94268&start=7450
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?p=9214344#p9214344
.
/RogerE :D
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