From Deutschlandradio, a story (in German) about a young student of Indo-European who likes learning languages, sometimes three or four in a year: “Pashto ist seine Lieblingssprache: Und das will wirklich was heißen, denn alles in allem spricht Sebastian Heine etwa 35 Sprachen: Altpersisch, Sogdisch, Sakisch, Aramäisch – die Liste ließe sich noch lange fortsetzen” (‘Pashto is his favorite language, and that really means something, since all in all Sebastian Heine speaks some 35 languages: Old Persian, Sogdian, Saka, Aramaic—the list can be lengthened still further’). It’s typical journalistic silliness to think you can “speak” Old Persian or Sogdian, but he’s clearly a man after my own heart. (Thanks, Franz!)
From the Telegraph, a story about “a campaign to preserve a unique hybrid language spoken by the descendants of the Bounty mutineers”:
Norfolk Island’s blend of 18th-century English and Tahitian, known as Norf’k or Norfuk, will be featured by Unesco in the next edition of its Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of Disappearing.
The language, one of the world’s rarest, is under threat because Norfolk Islanders are increasingly marrying outsiders and because of the influence of television and radio from neighbouring Australia and New Zealand…
Its broad burr evokes West Country English, but it is peppered with Tahitian and other Polynesian words incomprehensible to English speakers.
They give a list of phrases (All yorlye gwen? ‘How are you all?’; Car do far dorg et ‘Not good enough even for a dog’s meal’). Thanks, Trevor!
And the always interesting Mary Beard discusses Esperanto, Welsh and the language wars: “It was through my Dad that I ventured into Esperanto a little. He, in the spirit of his times, saw Esperanto as a weapon in Moral Rearmament – as well as a blow to Welsh…”