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View Diary: Phenomena of Language: The Great English Vowel Shift (141 comments)

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  •  Cool (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Allogenes, mayim, sboucher

    Of course, if you speak Arabic, Hebrew will be easy .... although the writing is completely different.

    I gotta say, looking at written Arabic, I'm amazed that it can be read!  

    •  I disagree with your assertion, sir! :) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, Allogenes, mayim

      They are not completely different. If you look closely enough you can see how they actually sprouted from the same original alphabet.

      As an example compare the Arabic alif with the little jigger on top and the cursive aleph of Hebrew. I would say there's some similarity there.

      So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

      by unspeakable on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 02:45:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, OK, not COMPLETELY different (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mayim

        but still .... the spoken languages are so similar.

        A question .... the Arabic word daaween (sp?) is used in Hebrew.  I understand it, I think, but what is it in English?

        I heard it in a song, lyrics (translated)

        My girlfriend wants to go to Paris, we can't afford to go to Haifa, what's with the her da'aween?

        •  I can't figure out which word you're saying. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          plf515, mayim

          Can you spell it out in Hebrew?

          So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

          by unspeakable on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 02:59:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I found this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mayim

            DAAWEEN - דאווין

            Retro synonym of AWANTA, above. As in the song, 'What is your daaween?'

            at this site

            and they are even nice enough to give an English translation -

            Retro reference: Noun denoting pretentiousness, hyper self-esteem.

            So, I guess google answered it.  

            I'm pretty sure it started as an Arabic word.

            •  OK, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              plf515, mayim

              I had never come across that word before so I called my mom. It "awanta" (with a teth not a tav) is indeed an Arabic word, and it means the same thing in Arabic as it does in Hebrew. Sometimes, you can add a /-ji/ at the end, which is a suffix borrowed from Turkish, and in this instance, is used to emphasized a person's "awanta-ness."

              I don't know where "daaween" comes from and I have no idea what a retro-synonym is, though.

              So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

              by unspeakable on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 03:24:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Have you ever seen Estrangelo? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Allogenes, mayim, unspeakable

        That's the alphabet used for writing Syriac.  It has the same 22 letters as Hebrew, and in several cases you can see parallels between their shapes and a simplified Hebrew script -- but the letters are linked like Arabic, and the script overall looks more like Arabic than Hebrew, and some of the letters are almost identical to their Arabic counterparts.

        •  Yep. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WIds, Allogenes, mayim, budr

          I'm especially struck by the similarity between voiceless pharyngealized stops and  the Arabic fa and Syriac pe.

          One of my best friends is Assyrian American, and she wanted to get a tattoo of some Assyrian word, but didn't know how to write it out. So I taught myself how to read her language so I could spell it out for her. She ended up not getting the tattoo, but at least I got something out of it. lol

          So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

          by unspeakable on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 03:04:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WIds, plf515, unspeakable

          The way I put it, if you imagine heating Hebrew printed characters over a low flame so they gradually melt and run together, the Syriac scripts are intermediate stages on the way to becoming Arabic...

          When civilizations clash, barbarism wins.

          by Allogenes on Sat Jan 31, 2009 at 03:54:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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