Questions tagged [language]

Questions on historical use of languages and their development.

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1
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2answers
147 views

Which immigrants became elected officials in an acquired language? [closed]

With some exceptions, candidates up for election are usually natural born citizens that are native speakers of the government's language. With the exception of the first generation of leaders in ...
8
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2answers
528 views

How long did Latin survive in Bavaria?

After my question What happened north of the Alps after the romans "left"?, I read through the sources given by the comments and answers. One paragraph in this post was especially interesting to me: ...
5
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2answers
402 views

Did 20% of the Soviet Population use a Latin script in 1935?

Did 20% of the Soviet Population use a Latin script in 1935? The literacy campaigns in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1940 taught many people to read. Many people who did not speak Russian had no ...
5
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2answers
299 views

Was there a historical figure named Fecund?

This is going to sound odd, but a Terry Pratchett book lead me to look up the meaning of the word "fecund", and the result included a google ngrams graph of its use in written works. As you can see, ...
5
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1answer
174 views

Have the Pyramid Texts been translated into German?

I would like to know if the Pyramid Texts have been "officially" translated into German and, if so, where I can find them. I am interested in the texts of Pepi I. There are some Incantations of Pepi ...
11
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1answer
394 views

What is the origin of currency signs being placed before the numerical value?

For most units, they symbol/abbreviation is placed after the number: 200 m, 75° F, 60 mph, 100 watts, etc. When stating values of money, such as $500, the dollar sign is placed before the number. ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Which of the Nuremberg defendants spoke English, French, or Russian?

At the first Nuremberg trial, twenty-one defendants were tried in person: Karl Dönitz, Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Hans Fritzsche, Walther Funk, Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Alfred Jodl, Ernst ...
10
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2answers
2k views

What was the standard spoken language (dialect) in the Three Kingdoms period?

Mandarin is the standard spoken language (dialect) in today's China, meaning distinct regions may have their own dialect, but they can all use Mandarin to communicate with each other. Since all ...
6
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1answer
708 views

Why and when were ancient Egyptian hieroglyph phonograms used?

There are writings on the walls of some Egyptian temples of Hellenistic period written in Egyptian hieroglyph phonograms. However it was strange for me to know that these are Greek texts actually. ...
2
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1answer
2k views

When and where was the term “nigra” used and what was its relation to “nigger”? [closed]

I was watching two movies (Selma and The Help). Both are set in the USA South, in the 1960s. I noticed the whites sometimes said "nigra" (rather than the more familiar "nigger"). Did people in the ...
6
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1answer
312 views

Was the term 'renaissance' used during said period?

Just as the title suggests, was the term for the renaissance years coined and used during those years, or is it a modern word used retrospectively?
7
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2answers
1k views

Did any Native Americans adopt a script from Europe (before being assimilated)?

As far as I know, no Native Americans developed their own written language. (Correct me if I'm wrong. There may have been some numeral systems, but that's all I'm aware of.) So now I'm wondering if ...
1
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1answer
212 views

When did the Hudson Bay get its current name in French?

In French, the Hudson Bay is called "La baie d'Hudson". Apparently it was originally called "mer du Nord" (North Sea) in the 1600's, the according to its french wiki page. Now obviously, Henry Hudson ...
2
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0answers
226 views

When and how (why) did the idea that gender is not biological start [closed]

In my understanding the gender originally was based on the organs, there was cross dressing but it was considered a man dressing as a woman. And latter this changed and gender became something ...
1
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1answer
185 views

In 1700-1900 England, how were 'manners an end in themselves and not merely a means to achieve propriety by conformity'?

What does 1 mean: 'manners were [...] by conformity'? I know little about English history. How does 1 justify or mitigate 2; because to Anglophones in 2016, 1700-1900 English (e.g. Sheridan's opening ...
9
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2answers
1k views

How much Ancient Egyptian survived into modern Coptic & Egyptian Arabic?

The Egyptian spoken language has evolved dramatically due to influences from the many foreign powers who ruled Egypt over the ages. Coptic is an Egyptian language with strong influences from Greek, ...
104
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3answers
14k views

Why are Germans referred to so differently in different languages?

I was inspired by the other question "Why are the German and French languages so different?". But while, for me, the answer was obvious (the Romans did not conquer most parts of today's Germany and so ...
2
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0answers
518 views

What was the stand of K Kamaraj about anti-Hindi agitation of 1965?

What was the stand of K Kamaraj in anti Hindi agitation in 1965? What were his actions to stop the people from riot? And whether the leaders from Congress in Tamilnadu supported the Hindi imposition?
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6answers
23k views

Why are the German and French languages so different?

My understanding (which could be wrong) is the following: During and before the period of the fall of western Rome (roughly 400 AD), the Franks and the Alemanni were tribal people who moved around a ...
6
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2answers
483 views

Did barbarians capture monks or priest of civilized kingdoms to teach them?

I'm watching the loosely accurate TV show Vikings. When Vikings pillage the Briton monastery of Lindisfarne, they also capture some monks as slaves. Later, one of the monks assimilates pretty well to ...
4
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2answers
2k views

How would one refer to/address a Shogun?

In the Bakumatsu era, how would one refer to a shogun (when talking about him with someone else) or address him directly if talking to him? Is it just name + -sama suffix? I am interest in the answer ...
3
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1answer
93 views

Is this alphabet from tawantinsuyu or is it a modern invention (from the latter centuries)?

I am asking about tawa. When I studied quichua as language, I was told that quichua was not written. However here, in Ecuador, I found many sources (the main one is a magazine delivered by Amawtay ...
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2answers
661 views

How did the written Polish language survive in eastern Germany during partition (if it survived at all)?

After the partition of poland in the late 18th century, Prussia aquired a large part of Polish territory. Those areas suffered heavy Germanization process through assimilation and suppression of ...
3
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1answer
200 views

Did French ever have any special status in Austria?

Did French ever have any special status in Austria or the Austrian empire, akin to it being the language of royalty in England (and possibly Russia, I'm not sure) (as opposed to it being just another ...
3
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0answers
170 views

What is the origin of language? [closed]

The use of language is one of the most conspicuous and diagnostic traits that distinguish Homo sapiens from other species. Unlike writing, spoken language leaves no trace.Can we get a direct method in ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Could any Habsburg kings of Hungary speak Hungarian?

From 1526 to 1918, Hungary was ruled by the Habsburgs. Could any of the Habsburg kings speak Hungarian, and if so, to what degree? I know that Sissi, the consort of Franz Joseph I, was particularly ...
10
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4answers
565 views

Why did Latin take root so deeply in Italy, Gaul, and the Iberian Peninsula, but not Greece or beyond?

I was just reflecting on the fact that Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French all evolved from Latin, the language spread across that area by the Roman Empire 2000 years ago. (Romanian too, I ...
11
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1answer
586 views

“The signal on the Zibby is dead” - what is the meaning of “Zibby”?

I am line editing a book about World War II and the Battle of the Coral Sea. The action is taking place in the front and rear cockpits of a Devastator torpedo-bomber aircraft. The pilot and gunner ...
31
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7answers
7k views

Why does Romanian culture have Latin influences?

Romania is located between Bulgaria, Serbia on one side and Ukraine/many Slavic countries on the other. Romanian is however a Romance (Latin) language, and not Slavic. They don't use the Cyrillic ...
8
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4answers
411 views

Did the passage from Latin to English, in England, help science flourish?

On a YouTube video about the origins of English, they said that replacing Latin with English in science was beneficial to the field; scientists were thus able to easily discuss and understand the ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Did the Byzantine Empire use Roman numerals?

Wikipedia says about Byzantine emperor Heraclius that he was responsible for "introducing Greek as the Eastern Empire's official language". If so, is it right to assume that Byzantines used Roman ...
8
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1answer
678 views

What does it mean: “French was a lingua franca in the Ottoman caliphal court?”

According to the Economist: The Ottoman caliphate: Straddling two worlds Ruling from Istanbul, the caliphs kept polyglot courts, reflecting the multiple religions and races represented there. ...
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0answers
238 views

How did French people greet in 1400? [closed]

How did French people greet in 1400? In particular I'm looking for french expressions that a peasant like Saint Joan of Arc could have used to greet a friend.
15
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3answers
13k views

Who was the last English king whose first language was French?

What I remember from my college course is that whenever a delegation of barons came to discuss their grievances in English, the King would hear them out politely without understanding a word, conclude ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Why is the motto of the Swedish university Chalmers in French: avancez?

Is there a historical reason for the fact that Chalmers university uses a French motto and not a Swedish one?
5
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1answer
379 views

What was the first book translated from Japanese to any of the European languages?

What was the first Japanese book translated and published in one of the European languages? By "first" I mean the date of translation, not the original.
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5answers
7k views

How and when was Portugal created?

We all know that the Iberian Peninsula is separated between two major countries Spain and Portugal. When and how was the country now known as Portugal formed? Portuguese is very similar to the ...
8
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2answers
789 views

When did English become a major subject in Japanese schools?

I used to think older Japanese people wouldn't have studied English at school, and recently came across someone who thought likewise (link available on request). A middle-aged Japanese person told me ...
7
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1answer
367 views

When were both minuscule and majuscule letters used for the first time in the same Latin manuscript?

I understand the first minuscule script appeared in the Latin alphabet in the 3rd century - "New Roman cursive". My question is: when did a script used both minuscule and majuscule letters in the ...
9
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1answer
216 views

What is the history of the use of word dividers in Greek?

In my understanding, Ancient Greek was usually written with a vertical line or three vertical dots separating words. This was phased out in favor of scriptio continua (continuous script) and ...
2
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1answer
182 views

Does written language change language more than oral tradition? [closed]

I'm not sure if this is a right forum, but I didn't find better from SE. I wonder if it is researched how much development of writing systems affects to language compared to languages that are not ...
5
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1answer
789 views

Oh the humanity!

I notice that during the legendary on-the-spot broadcast (and resulting newsreel) of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 features the exclamation from the broadcaster "Oh, the humanity!". Is this the ...
0
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1answer
6k views

Where can I find a reliable method of translating English to Ancient Egyptian? [closed]

Having no prior knowledge of the language I am working on a project that requires me to name things using languages similar to ancient Egyptian. So far I have been using this website: http://...
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6answers
4k views

What does the inscription on this sword mean?

The British Library has a 13th century sword with unknown inscription. They recently started a call to arms to translate the inscription. The inscription reads: NDXOXCHWDRGHDXORVI Its meaning is ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Why is German spoken in Upper Valais?

The Swiss region of Upper Valais is a German speaking region which is physically isolated from all other German speaking regions. The dialect spoken there is so different from other Swiss-German ...
13
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4answers
2k views

What was the northernmost region/city in the Roman Empire that spoke Greek as the native language?

My understanding is that prior to the migrations/invasions of the Goths, Huns and Sklavenoi into the Balkan peninsula, Greek and Latin where the most common native languages, alongside other steadily ...
2
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2answers
257 views

Did ancient peoples apply starch to clothing?

Source: See p 6 of 10 of the PDFs, first leftward para. Beware that p 6 of the PDF is labelled as p 18 on the document itself. The English name of starch, as well as its equivalent in German, ...
3
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1answer
693 views

How do historians decide who to refer to as 'the allies?'

In many major wars one side has been branded collectively as the allies. In WWI and WWII we refer to the American/British coalition as the allies. I have heard Rome both fighting against the 'allies' ...
5
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2answers
2k views

How did Napoleon I succeed in France despite his shortcomings in French?

TL;DR. My question: The following sources onfirm that despite Napoleon's industry and perseverance, he never refined his French to the level of a native fluent speaker. So how did he succeed in France,...
1
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1answer
284 views

What are the modern names of the nations mentioned in Ystoria Mongalorum?

Giovanni Carpini in his Ystoria Mongalorum lists as factions under the dominion of the Mongol Empire: Nations that have been subjugated: Meniti Colona-Thorati Sassi Thoas Sarthi ...