esmaspäev, mai 12, 2008

villa lituania

Here in Barcelona, we wandered one day into the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Ironically, I had to come all the way to Spain to experience an exhibition known as the Villa Lituania, which combines pigeon races, Soviet artyfacts, and angst over the non-return of Lithuania's swanky pre-war embassy in Rome, still occupied by the diplomats of the Russian Federation.

A funny thing happened that I thought I had left the exhibition and entered one on Spanish post-war culture. Here were old movies of dark-haired women singing songs in some deeply Indo-European language. Was it Spanish? No. More like Portuguese, but, not quite. Hmm. Perhaps it was this mysterious Catalan they keep taking about, even though most people here say "gra>th<ias" instead of "si us plau". Then it dawned on me. They weren't Catalan. They were Lithuanian.

It must be a Catholic thing.

17 kommentaari:

Sunus ütles ...

Same thing occurs in India I hear.

Lithuanian may be close to proto-Indo-European. The father of us all, except for the Basques and Esto-Ugric tribes.

What I want to know is, anyone hear a Slavic tinge to Portuguese? What's that all about?

Colm ütles ...

What I want to know is, anyone hear a Slavic tinge to Portuguese? What's that all about?

That maybe be because of the post-alveolar and palatal consonants. Portuguese has two of each.*

Go here to see what I am talking about:
http://tinyurl.com/3r7la4

And here to hear what it sounds like:
http://tinyurl.com/7mv2p

* voiced AND voicless postalveolar fricative; voiced palatal nasal & voiced palatal lateral approximant

Ruslanas ütles ...

Catholic? Dark haired? It seems that you have not been to Lithuania yet my dear friend. Before generalising you should visit a country first, Gustino. Come and have a look how Catholic and Dark haired Lithuanians are. I will buy you a pint in Vilnius! Best regards from Ruslanas

Ruslanas ütles ...

> Same thing occurs in India I hear
‘What I want to know is, anyone hear a Slavic tinge to Portuguese?’ I dear to make an assumption that by mentioning a ‘Slavic’ you had in mind ‘Lithuanian’.
I am quite amazed to find out that one who reads such intelligent blog is not aware that the Lithuanian belongs not to a Slavic, but a Baltic language group in the Indo-European family. All Scandinavian languages, by the way are also Indo-European.

Giustino ütles ...

Ruslanas,

I have met several blue-eyed Lithuanians, which may explain my surprise that the "Catalan singers" were actually Lithuanian. That's why I wrote the post.

Giustino

Colm ütles ...

I am quite amazed to find out that one who reads such intelligent blog is not aware that the Lithuanian belongs not to a Slavic, but a Baltic language group in the Indo-European family.

It is possible (s)he made a statement about Lithuanian and then ask a seperate question about Portuguese unrelated to Lithuanian. What makes you think (s)he thought Lithuanian was Slavic?

All Scandinavian languages, by the way are also Indo-European.

As are most languages in Europe. Is that an attempt to link the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania with Scandinavia as Nordic states?

Third party observer ütles ...

"I dear to make an assumption that by mentioning a ‘Slavic’ you had in mind ‘Lithuanian’. "

You need to work on your English reading comprehension skills before questioning somebody's intelligence. He is asking a question completely unrelated to the Lithuanian question. He just wants to know why the Portuguese language sounds closer to a Slavic language than a Romance language (which it does). At no point does he say that Lithuanian is slavic.

Third party observer ütles ...

"Lithuanian belongs not to a Slavic, but a Baltic language group in the Indo-European family. All Scandinavian languages, by the way are also Indo-European."

So are Farsi, Urdu, Hindi, Russian, Belarussian, etc. What's your point?

Ruslanas ütles ...

Giustino wrote in his post ‘Was it Spanish? No. More like Portuguese, but, not quite…. They were Lithuanian.’ Hence, when I write a comment I usually relate it to the post. It appeared to me that Giustino assumed that he was listening to the Portuguese only later to find out that it was Lithuanian.

So, in the comment (s)he asks if ‘is, anyone hear a Slavic tinge to Portuguese’. Since Giustino mistakenly took the Lithuanian with the Portuguese, I made an assumption that the author of the comment by saying Slavic, meant another Slavic language, the Lithuanian.

Why did I make this assumption? Well, I have met many educated Westerners who assume that we speak Russian in the Baltics. Then, when you say that in Lithuania we speak Lithuanian they ask how different it is from the Russian. And you start that it belongs to a Baltic language etc. and etc. I simply sick and tired with such ‘knowledge’ of many educated Westerners.

Ruslanas ütles ...

to Colm

As are most languages in Europe. Is that an attempt to link the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania with Scandinavia as Nordic states?
Abstolutelly not, I am not trying to make any links here. We are not Scandinavian, we are not really Nordic, but we live in the Northern Europe, you like it or not.

Colm ütles ...

but we live in the Northern Europe, you like it or not.

I have no specific like or dislike of the geographical position of Latvia and Lithuania. And even if I did I doubt anyone would care and it wouldn't make any difference anyway.

I simply sick and tired with such ‘knowledge’ of many educated Westerners.

What gives? It's a pity they don't know but why get upset about it? If I got pissed off whenever a foreigner, be they a Western European or other, asked me about the 'war' in Ireland or is amazed that we have our own language seperate from English I would long ago have died from high blood pressure.

Just let it wash over you and be happy in the knowledge that you're a little bit smarter than they are on this topic. It would be naïve to assume that you are generally smarter than them for I am sure they would be amazed you do not know some important point of interest about their country, language or culture.

Why get upset? Just explain. If they don't follow that's their loss not yours.

sunus ütles ...

Colm is right. The comment on Portuguese had absolutely nothing to do with the post having a Lithuanian tie-in. BTW, scholarly linguistic answer.

Not to prod a nerve, but Lithuanian IS a cousin of Russian. They have the same grandparent -- the Balto-Slavic group.

To be on the safe side, I'm going to restrict my remarks to Old Prussian or something. Less polemical.

Ruslanas ütles ...

To Colm – perhaps you are right, but… I am not sure if we (Balts) should ignore the ignorant attitude in the West of the history and in many ways of the present. Of course Ireland suffered from the English (Brits) immensely, but your country have recovered economically at least. Still, for many Lithuanians it is very personal when our friends in the West mixes us with the Russians, especially the language. We are talking about nation which was constantly raped for more than half of the century by the Russians and freed itself some 18 years ago. There is a very thin line there.

About levels of intelligence… Of course you are right, and I nothing to add to this.

To Sunus - I suppose it is matter of interpretation of the text. I mentioned my version of it above. Lithuanian is not a Slavic language, and Lithuanian’s grandparent is Sanskrit.

Kind regards,

Third party observer ütles ...

"To Colm – perhaps you are right, but… I am not sure if we (Balts) should ignore the ignorant attitude in the West of the history and in many ways of the present."

And I suppose you know every little thing about every country in the world?

What is the national language of Andorra?
What is the second state language of the UK?
How many national languages are there in India?
What is the national language of Belize?
What is Castilian?
What do they speak in Mozambique?

I presume you know the answer to all those questions without having to look them up?

Perhaps you are annoyed that people are ignorant, but having such a hostile reaction is not going to encourage them to learn more about the truth - in fact it will probably piss them off and make them even less motivated to learn about your country.

"Lithuanian’s grandparent is Sanskrit"

I suppose beating up Indian pop stars in the middle of Vilnius is ONE way to celebrate the linguistic links.

john ütles ...

What is the national language of Andorra?

Whatever the Andorrans say it is. These mountainous enclaves are all the same when it comes to such issues -- just smile and act the tourist.

What is the second state language of the UK?

I would say Pakistani, but I suspect this is a trick question. Maybe Norman? Could it be?

How many national languages are there in India?

431.

What is the national language of Belize?

Trick question -- no such country?

What is Castilian?

Something to do with soap making.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Andorran national language is Catalan.
They speak Portuguese in Mozambique, I guess.
Csstilian is a person or a thing from Castilia (Spain)?

Ruslanas ütles ...

Wow, it is becoming a quiz! Thanks a lot for those fascinating questions! By the way, which part of the UK; England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, do you have in mind? Be more specific.

Well, when a Swede or a Norwegian is not aware what languages are spoken on the other side of the Baltic Sea and instead they can tell what is a national language of Mozambique or Nicaragua… I think it is a shame.

Having a hostile reaction? Well it has worked this time! Now you know that the Lithuanian is not a Slavic language and that it is a national language of Lithuania. Sometimes you have to shout in order to be heared, especially when you are small and in the midst of an ignorant crowd.

Best regards,

P.S. It is a shame about Berneen, I fully agree with you.