Language of the Month

Language of the Month May 2022: Viossa

For May’s language of the month, I wanted to spotlight a constructed language project that I feel demonstrates the Internet’s unmatched ability to refute the statement “I would love to do [X], but I don’t think anyone else would want to.” Many throughout history have created their own languages; these constructed languages or conlangs for

Scenic low-angle view of Capurpuraoan Rocks, also Kapurpurawan Rock Formation at the coast near Burgos, Ilocos Norte, North Luzon, Philippines, Asia

Language of the Month April 2022: Ilocano

By Will Boodon My favorite linguistics course in college was LING 450: Workshop in Applied Linguistics. Over the course of the semester we, a group of around 10, interviewed 3 native speakers of languages from around the world. We then developed detailed profiles of each language based solely on translations of English words, phrases, and

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

Language of the Month November 2021: Nez Perce

The Niimíipuu (“The People”) or Nez Perce are a tribe in present day Idaho consisting of around 3,500 citizens. It is a federally recognized tribe by the United States government (Nez Perce, 2018). The Nez Perce were a nomadic people, traveling with the seasons as they hunted buffalo (Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, 2021). The

Exhibit in Museum of Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center

Language of the Month July 2021: Koyukon

If you are following us on social media, you have seen that during my travels I do as much as possible to document indigenous languages throughout the world. While in some places information is scarce, I have noticed that a large number of history, cultural, and even science museums in the US are making an effort

Language of the Month June 2021: Tupi-Guarani

Earlier this month, a fellow member of the Museum team (Linda, our excellent artist for the Philogelos jokes project) shared an article with me about a metal band. While this may seem a bit odd to share between colleagues, this particular band is raising awareness of the importance of the Amazon and its people in

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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.