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Early Indo-European Online
January 27, 2014 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Learn how to read Sanskrit, Hittite, Avestan, Old Persian, Classical Greek, Latin, Koine Greek, Gothic, Classical Armenian, Tocharian, Old Irish, Old English, Old Norse, Old Church Slavonic, Old French, Old Russian, Lithuanian, Latvian, and Albanian in ten lessons apiece.
posted by Iridic (26 comments total) 147 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't be ridiculous. Nobody can read Old Irish. It's not even a real language — it's just a bogeyman they made up to frighten Homeric Greek students who complain about the verbs.
posted by this is a thing at 10:00 AM on January 27 [9 favorites]


I learned Indo-European from my son, when he was 2.
posted by jfuller at 10:02 AM on January 27


Oh shit, my next game of Crusader Kings is about to get real. Especially with the Historical Immersion Project's Some What More Historical module.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:02 AM on January 27 [3 favorites]


Whoa, cool!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:14 AM on January 27


Already know and love this site. Mostly for the Old English stuff, but there's so much goodness in all of these.
posted by grubi at 10:22 AM on January 27


The introduction page for Ancient Sanskrit is hilariously demoralizing. Apparently the Rigveda has been so consistently mistranslated for so long that sources differ about whether juhū́ means "tongue" or "butter knife"; whether puroḷā́ś means "goat" or "sacrificial flat rice cake"; and whether grā́van means "ritual stone for pressing out Soma juice" or "man who sings."
posted by theodolite at 10:24 AM on January 27 [13 favorites]


I'm sure a tenor could serve as a juicer in a pinch.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:03 AM on January 27 [1 favorite]


theodolite: "whether juhū́ means "tongue" or "butter knife""

I'm sure there's a life hack out there somewhere showing how to cleverly use one's own tongue as a butter knife substitute at least for room temperature butter. Or maybe even for cold butter if you dip your tongue in hot water first.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:17 AM on January 27 [1 favorite]


Man, if it were only possible to learn these languages in just ten lessons. (Greek verb conjugation, I'm looking at you.)
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:47 AM on January 27 [1 favorite]


I know a little Old Russian. He's right over there.
posted by benzenedream at 11:50 AM on January 27 [3 favorites]


What, no classic Georgian?!
posted by LMGM at 1:45 PM on January 27 [4 favorites]


Yeah, this is a terrific site. Now, I know what some of you are thinking: "It's cool and all that I can learn Classical Armenian, but what about Old Georgian? Just because it's not Indo-European, I don't have a chance to learn a Caucasian language that combines the exotic beauty of the Georgian alphabet with a verbal system every bit as complicated as that of Old Irish?" Well, this guy is here to help you; he has lessons in Old Georgian (along with other "remarks—often with photos!—about manuscripts and the languages, literature, scholarship, and history of Christian culture in the Middle East." Enjoy!
posted by languagehat at 1:52 PM on January 27 [12 favorites]


On non-preview: see?
posted by languagehat at 1:52 PM on January 27 [6 favorites]


Well, now I'm satisfied.
posted by LMGM at 1:54 PM on January 27 [3 favorites]


Learn to read Sanskrit in 10 lessons? Permit me to take a moment to laugh hysterically.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:16 PM on January 27


> Learn to read Sanskrit in 10 lessons? Permit me to take a moment to laugh hysterically.

I'm far from a polyglot, but I'm sure I could learn to "read" most alphabetic languages in 10 lessons or less. Reading meaning that I can follow along and pronounce the letters. Comprehension is an entirely different thing, though.
posted by planetesimal at 2:26 PM on January 27


I actually teach a class on Old French, and promise my (already-French-reading) students that they will be able to read OF at the end of the three-hours.

Just looked over the OF 10-lesson guide. Technically correct. Absolutely insufficient for anyone to read OF, I'd wager, unless they were already fluent in both Latin and French.

Then again, if they were already fluent in both Latin and French, they wouldn't even need these 10 "lessons".

So, I'm gonna call bullshit on the claim. Nice overview of the languages, though.

EDIT: WHOA! Just found the REST of the text... it looks pretty good! I take it back, website - my bad!
posted by IAmBroom at 4:02 PM on January 27 [4 favorites]


planetesimal: "Reading meaning that I can follow along and pronounce the letters. "

That's not reading; that's pronouncing. Reading implies comprehension.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:08 PM on January 27


Next sentence.
posted by planetesimal at 5:30 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


theodolite: "The introduction page for Ancient Sanskrit is hilariously demoralizing. Apparently the Rigveda has been so consistently mistranslated for so long that sources differ about whether juhū́ means "tongue" or "butter knife"; whether puroḷā́ś means "goat" or "sacrificial flat rice cake"; and whether grā́van means "ritual stone for pressing out Soma juice" or "man who sings.""

This sounds like something Jack Vance would have written.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:04 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


whether juhū́ means "tongue" or "butter knife"

Ah. My cat thinks in Ancient Sanskrit. This explains so much.

I think you introduced an error; butter ladle (for Ghee) -> butter knife.

Because the poems were put to ritual use by the ancient priests, much of their vocabulary was assumed by the authors of the later texts to refer in some way to ritual activity. The word paśú 'beast, cattle' came to designate a sacrificial victim in texts of the Brāhmaṇas, for example, and juhū́ 'tongue' was thought to mean 'butter ladle'. ...
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:08 PM on January 27


Just last night I was watching Michael Wood effortlessly reading the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and thinking how amazing it was. What's more, it's currently being digitised by the British Library. Here's an extract:
The island Britain is 800 miles long, and 200 miles broad. And there are in the island five nations; English, Welsh (or British), Scottish, Pictish, and Latin. The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia, and first peopled Britain southward. Then happened it, that the Picts came south from Scythia, with long ships, not many; and, landing first in the northern part of Ireland, they told the Scots that they must dwell there. But they would not give them leave; for the Scots told them that they could not all dwell there together; "But," said the Scots, "we can nevertheless give you advice. We know another island here to the east. There you may dwell, if you will; and whosoever withstandeth you, we will assist you, that you may gain it." Then went the Picts andentered this land northward. Southward the Britons possessed it, as we before said. And the Picts obtained wives of the Scots, on condition that they chose their kings always on the female side; which they have continued to do, so long since. And it happened, in the run of years, that some party of Scots went from Ireland into Britain, and acquired some portion of this land. Their leader was called Reoda, from whom they are named Dalreodi (or Dalreathians).
posted by Acey at 3:00 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I found this the other day:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_forms_in_British_place_names

e.g.
weald, wold - from: OE high woodland - examples: Wealdstone, Stow-on-the-Wold,[63] Southwold, Easingwold, Methwold, Cuxwold, Hockwold cf. ger. Wald
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:54 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


Next sentence.

"May I see your passport, please?"
posted by grubi at 8:32 AM on January 28


[A couple comments removed, cool it please.]
posted by cortex at 1:03 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


What, no Linear B?
posted by faceattack at 4:20 PM on January 28


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