April 17th, 2011

Про трудные и легкие языки

Вопрос сравнительной трудности того или иного языка может возникнуть только на самом начальном этапе его изучения. Тут сразу можно сказать, что испанский легче английского, английский легче датского, датский легче хинди, хинди легче китайского. Конечно, это мой собственный список начальной трудности языков. У других этот список может выглядеть по-иному. Однако в любом случае по мере углубления в тот или иной язык оказывается, что для серьезного овладения даже таким «лёгким» языком, как эсперанто, требуется приложить много сил и времени. Сами же эсперантисты называют тех, кто плохо говорит на эсперанто, «крокодилами». Хотя задумывался этот язык, в том числе, и как противовес «трудным» естественным языкам. Но на самом деле очень мало кто берёт на себя бремя углублённого изучения иностранного языка. Поэтому иллюзия того, что есть лёгкие языки, не исчезает у широких масс студентов.

Una Historia de la Vida Real

Hace veinte años trabajé en un instituto de investigación médica. Una vez estaba en una reunión de médicos. Era yo el único representante del sexo fuerte. Después de beber una copa, todo el mundo comenzó a fumar. Yo no fumo, por eso para pasar el rato coloqué mi mano sobre la rodilla de mi vecina y subí su falda. Las demás chicas se asombraron al ver que sus pantimedias  estaban  rotas. De inmediato se justificó diciendo que se habían rotas aquella mañana mientras ella iba al trabajo. Salió del cuarto para quitarse sus pantimedias rotas. Pero todo el mundo comprendía perfectamente que simplemente se había puesto las pantimedias rotas y no esperaba que nadie lo notara. No sabía que un varón le llegara aquel día. Difícilmente pudé contener la risa para no ofender a la chica. Pero camino a casa me moría de la risa para terminar de reír antes de llegar a casa. De otra manera mi mujer se interesaría por la razón de la risa, y era difícil mentir para que mi mujer creyera en mi fantasía.

London During the Eighteenth Century

Из письма Эразма:
As to the floors, they are usually made of clay covered with rushes that grew in fens, which are so slightly removed now and then that the lower part remains sometimes for twenty years together, and in it a collection of spittle, vomit, urine of dogs and men, beer, scraps of fish, and other filthiness not to be named. Hence upon change of weather a vapor is exhaled very pernicious in my opinion to the human body. Add to this, that England is not Only surrounded with the sea, but in many parts is fenny, and intersected with streams of a brackish water; and that salt fish is the common and the favourite food of the poor. I am persuaded that the Island would be far more healthy, if the use of these rushes were quite laid aside, and the chamber so built as to let in the air on two or three sides, with such glass windows as might be either thrown quite open, or kept quite shut, without small crannies to let in the wind. For, as it is useful sometimes to admit a free air, so is it sometimes to exclude it. The common people laugh at a man who complains that he is affected by changeable and cloudy weather; but, for my part, for these thirty years past, if I ever entered into a room which had been uninhabited for tome months, immediately I grew feverish. It would also be of great benefit, if the lower people could be persuaded to eat less of their salt fish; and if public officers were appointed to see that the streets were kept free from mud and that not only in the City, but in the Suburbs. You will smile, perhaps, and think that my time lies upon my hands, since I employ it in such speculations; but I have a great affection for a country which received me so hospitably for a considerable time, and I shall be glad to end the remainder of my days in it if it be possible. Though I know you to be better skilled in these things than I pretend to be, yet I could not forbear from giving you my thoughts, that, if we are both of a mind, you may propose the project to men in authority; since even Princes have not thought such regulations to be beneath their inspection.

the alphabet

I. the alphabet

(The Alpha-Beta: The A-B-C's)

Historical Sketch

1. The Greek alphabet is the parent of all modern European alphabets, including our own.

The ancient Greek alphabet was derived from the Phenician alphabet. Modifications were made to some extent in the forms of the letters, and still more in the sounds for which they stood. The Phenician alphabet had no characters to represent vowel sounds, and so some of the Phenician characters which represented sounds not found in the Greek language were used by the Greeks to represent vowel sounds.

2. Our knowledge of the ancient Greek alphabet is obtained chiefly from inscriptions on such durable materials as stone, bronze, and pottery. The oldest of the preserved inscriptions date from about 600 B.C. As we come down to later times they become more and more numerous. It is interesting to compare these inscriptions and observe how the forms of the letters, and sometimes their values, varied in different periods and in different localities. Some of these variations are especially interesting because we can find in them the origin of differences which exist today in the European alphabets.
Our own alphabet comes from the Roman alphabet, which originally was the Greek alphabet as found in the Chalcidian Greek colonies in Southern Italy. Collapse )