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It means something close to “Want to read something interesting?” This is my wobbly beginner’s Finnish.
Finnish is maybe not the easiest thing for speakers of the Latin group of languages to learn, as you can see by trying to decipher a random front page of the country’s biggest newspaper, the Hensingin Sanomat. Like this one from last week:
Euronews has an article with a nice map of European languages in danger. The map is interactive on the Euronews site, here. Every now and then we hear a story about the rampant death of languages around the world. The news here is that in Europe, at least, languages are largely holding their own. The Euronews article is built around a UNESCO report, which you can view here.
Kazakhstan is changing its alphabet. From DuoLingo, here is an example of the old script compared to the new:
Cyrillic: Барлық адамдар тумысынан азат және қадір-қасиеті мен кұқықтары тең болып дүниеге келеді. Адамдарға ақыл-парасат, ар-ождан берілген, сондықтан олар бір-бірімен туыстық, бауырмалдық қарым-қатынас жасаулары тиіс.
New Latin: Barlyq adamdar ty’mysynan azat ja’ne qadir-qasi’yeti men kuqyqtary ten’ bolyp du’ni’ege keledi. Adamdarg’a aqyl-parasat, ar-ojdan berilgen, sondyqtan olar bir-birimen ty’ystyq, bay’yrmaldyq qarym-qatynas jasay’lary ti’is.
The Republic of Kazakhstan (Қазақстан Республикасы) will become Qazaqstan Respy’bli’kasy. Clear as a bell.
I put up this chart of the new Latinized script last November, in a post called Apostrophe Catastrophe. Now, a few months on, reviews of “the fulfillment of the dreams of our ancestors,” according to President Nazarbayev, are starting to come in. Here’s what people are saying.
Looks like my second book, Visiting Chernobyl, is on track for publication by the end of next week. The day it’s up on Amazon I’ll excerpt it here and send the first chapter to everybody who signs up over on the right (Go ahead, sign up now). While I’m tending to that, here are a few entertaining, well done or arcane things to spend some time with: