Language of the Month December 2021: Aragonese

Spain is a country with many different linguistic and cultural wonders. There are several different languages spoken in the country, one of which is Aragonese. This language is also known as Aragoieraz, Altoaragonés, Aragonés, Fabla Aragonesa, Patués, or High Aragonese. This language is an Indo-European language spoken by fewer than 10,000 speakers in the Aragon valleys of the Pyrenees (Endangered Languages Project, n.d.). There are four different variations within Aragonese including Western Aragonese, Southern Aragonese, Central Aragonese, and Eastern Aragonese.

Aragonese is classified as an endangered language since there “are many thousands [of speakers] with some knowledge of the language. It is also studied as a second language. Few children learn the language” (Endangered Languages Project, n.d.). While the language is experiencing some revitalization, with few new native speakers learning the language, work would need to be done to ensure that the language is preserved.

Aragonese evolved from Latin and its modern iteration formed in the 8th century BCE (Charrando, n.d.). In the Middle Ages, the language grew in the region as the Kingdom of Aragon expanded. Catalan and Aragonese competed with one another, and Catalan became more dominant over time. The formal education system in Spain disfavored the use of Aragonese in school, which led to the language losing more prominence in the country. During the Spanish civil war in the early 1900s, Aragonese suffered further deterioration as efforts were made to reduce the influence of minority groups and their linguistic representations (Charrando, n.d.).

In 2009, the Languages Act of Aragon recognizes Aragonese and Catalan, giving both languages rights that they were previously not provided (see resource here). The law created a council that was to the advise the government on Aragonese and issues related to the language. Such efforts help to promote the language politically, which can aid in helping to preserve the language in the regions where it is spoken.

Language Resources

Learn more about the language and its usage:

Additional resources on Aragonese:

References
Charrando.com. Portal de l’Aragonés. (n.d.). Retrieved December 24, 2021, from http://www.charrando.com/infodoc1.php

Did you know Aragonese is endangered? (n.d.). Endangered Languages. Retrieved December 24, 2021, from http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/lang/949

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Fanni is Radnóti's wife
Located near the Tang capital city of Chang’an, site of the modern city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province, in central China.
Soldiers of that time commonly wore a white head cloth, similar to what is still worn by some peasants in China today.  The implication is that the conscripts were so young that they didn’t know how to wrap their head cloths, and needed help from elders.
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
The area of Guanxi, meaning “west of the passes”, refers to the area around the capital city of Chang’an.
This is an alternative name for a province in western China, now known as Qinghai, which literally means “blue sea”.  Kokonor Lake, located in Qinghai, is the largest saline lake in China.  
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
Oulart Hollow was the site of a famous victory of the Irish rebels over British troops, which took place on May 27, 1798. The rebels killed nearly all the British attackers in this battle. (Source: Maxwell, W. H. History of the Irish Rebellion in 1798. H. H. Bohn, London 1854, pp 92-93, at archive.org)
The phrase "United Men" is elaborated upon in the Notes section below.

Ghetto


An Italian word meaning “foundry.” It originally referred to a part of the city of Venice where the Jews of that city were forced to live; the area was called “the ghetto” because there was a foundry nearby. The term eventually came to refer to any part of a city in which a minority group is forced to live as a result of social, legal, or economic pressure. Because of the restrictions placed upon them, ghetto residents are often impoverished.

"You’re five nine, I am do-uble two"


A reference to the year 1959 and the year 2020.

"The Currency"


Meaning US dollars - this is drawing attention to the fact that Cuba is effectively dollarized.

"Sixty years with the dom-ino stuck"


This sentence is a reference to the Cold War notion that countries would turn Communist one after the other - like dominos. Cuba was the first domino, but it got stuck - no one else followed through into communism.

رحلنا


رحلنا, or "rahalna," means "we have left."

Habibi


Habibi means "my love."

Ra7eel


Ra7eel, or "raheel," means "departure."

3awda


3awda, or "awda," means "returning."

أهلاً


أهلاً, or "ahalan," means "welcome."

a5 ya baba


a5 ya baba, pronounced "akh ya baba," means "Oh my father."

golpe


Treece translates "golpe" as "beating", which is correct, however misses the secondary meaning of the word: "coup".

Carlos


The “Carlos” referred to in the poem is most likely Carlos Bolsonaro, a politician from Rio de Janeiro and the second son of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s current president. His and his father’s involvement in Marielle’s murder has been questioned and investigated.