chinook jargon

since the last time i posted here i’ve looked at chinook jargon (also called “chinuk wawa”) and indonesian, and have gotten a lot further in learning japanese. the three are pretty similar, but to explain why it’s similar to japanese it would take way too long because most people learn japanese with only wrong info so they see the language in a completely different light. chinook jargon is basically the language i would have grown up speaking if the USA hadn’t forced all the native americans to live on reservations (which might as well be called “internment camps”….)

anyway, indonesian and chinook jargon don’t actually have any difference between nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and prepositions. that is to say, it’s as if every single word in the language was a “noun”, and it only turns into an adjective or verb by word order, common sense, or by other words that make the meaning clear. it’s just like how we say “the colour red” (=noun) and “the red dog” (=adjective) without any change, same thing for “I’m talking” (=verb), “the talking man” (=adjective) and “the art of talking” (noun?).

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Stuff to do with the moon


In the 1600’s when a farmer wanted to know when it would be the next full moon, he held up his arm. He pointed his pointer-finger towards the sun and spread out his thumb in line with the moon. Then he measured how many thumbs were in the space between the sun and moon. If the distance from the sun to moon was, for example, seven thumbs, it had been seven days since the new moon. After this it was easy to count out how many days remained until the full moon, or to the month’s end and the next new moon. The only thing that’s needed is that both the sun and moon are visible in the sky at the same time, a phemenon that happens regularly in the Nordics (except for in winter).

Iceland still keeps the Old Norse calendar afloat because they have at least one holiday (“þorri”) that uses it. A quick search found this in English:

I came across a nice phase of the moon calendar on an Icelandic site, so if you want to know the phases of the moon simply go to this link and look on the right-hand side to find the calendar.
Key: Sun = sunday, mið = wednesday, fös = friday, lau = saturday.

Here is another moon calendar (in Swedish), which uses real photos:
Må = Monday, On = Wednesday, Fr = Friday, Sö = Sunday

Archaic Swedish Animal- & Place-names

This is mainly intended for people who want to write fantasy stories or make videogames (many of them use Nordic, or butchered Nordic, names). The words below are good for place-names, but both plant and animal names are used in even modern-day person names as well, so you can be named “Eagle Birch’s-Leaf” for example.

This is language from the 1860’s and a bit earlier, from Värend and Småland (south of Sweden), so it’s spelled a bit differently from modern Swedish and gives it that old-timey feel. Source is here. I wrote this post ages ago (back when my Swedish was a lot worse) and don’t intend to fix it up for some time, but it’s still usable.
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Japanese full 50 kana: yi, ye, wu

When learning hiragana and katakana, we’re quick to notice that some are missing. wu, we, yi… wi (ゐゑ) and we (ヰヱ) are in Unicode and in most fonts, as they were used all the way up until the 1950’s and show up sometimes even now (in places like usernames). Type them in the romaji-style input by writing “wyi” and “wye”.

There is no yi, ye or wu. Historically speaking, the Y sound is really just a short I with a bit more forceful breath, so yi would really be ii. E is the sound created in-between I and A, so it would have historically been iia for the same reason. The Japanese W is actually the same exact sound as its U, it’s just that U uses the voice and W is simply a puff of breath, so saying the two fast and close together is just too difficult (it’d be like saying “sz, td, pb”). Our English W is slightly different from our U, which is why we can say “woo” and Japanese can’t.

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Faroese Shrimp-Mint Sandwich

Translated from here.

300 g. shrimp
¼ cucumber (ca. 100 g)
300 g. fresh peas
200 g. cream cheese with garlic 29,5%, ex. Buko® Garlic
100 g. sour cream 9%
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1½ tbsp. largely-chopped fresh mint
¾ tsp. coarse salt
freshly-ground pepper
12 slices sandwich bread

some shrimp
and a few peas

Dry the shrimp with a rolling pin or dish towel. Cut the cucumbers into small pieces and simmer (lightly boil) the peas.

Stir the cream cheese together with the sour cream. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, mint, salt and pepper. Then add shrimp, cucumber, and peas into the dressing – mix them together well.

Divide the filling into 6 sandwiches. Stuff them well with filling and put them in the fridge for a day. Cut the crusts off with a good knife, and then cut each sandwich into 4 pieces. Decorate with shrimp and peas.