Learn Northern Sami with Steve the vagabond Part 1

The IPA transcription appears after the phrase

Buorre iđit /buorːe iðit/ – Good morning
Buorre eahket /buorːe æʰːket/ – Good evening
Bures /bures/ – Hello
Mo dat manná? /mo dɑt mɑnːa/ – How are you?
Dat manná bures, giitu /dɑt mɑnːa bures giːtu/ – Fine, thank you
Mii du namma lea? /miː du nɑmːɑ læ/ – What is your name?
Mu namma lea ___ /mu nɑmːɑ læ/ – My name is ___
Juo /juə/ – Yes
A-a /ɑʔɑ/, Ii /iː/ – No
Mun in huma davvisámegiela /mun in humɑ dɑvːisaːmegielɑ/ – I can’t speak Northern Sami
Mun in ádde /mun in adːə/ – I don’t understand
Hupmago oktage dáppe eaŋgalsgiela? /hupmɑgo oktɑge dapːe æŋgɑlsgielɑ/ – Is there someone here who speaks English?
Gos don leat eret? /gos don læt eret/ – Where are you from?
Mun lean ___ eret /mun læn eret/ – I am from ___

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Your language is part of who you are

I hope that one day people will treat the language someone speaks like they do characteristics like eye colour or height. The more I learn  about languages the more I realise that language is fundamentally human. The language someone speaks natively says something about who they  are. Language is brought to a place by those who speak it. You only speak the language you speak because someone brought the language to  your area and those around you spoke it while you were growing up.

Because language is such an ever present part of our lives, things can get very messy. People look down on those who speak certain languages  because of associations they have with the group that speaks that language. The only way around this is to make people aware of what is  actually happening out in the world and to correct any misinformation or lack of knowledge people have. I can’t fix what people don’t know about history or politics or mathematics. But I can teach people about language.

One thing I know for sure. You should never be ashamed of the language you speak. Your language is the result of centuries and centuries of  evolution and change performed by ordinary people. Your language is an organism. It is like the fauna and flora of the world. It developed naturally. It is something to be proud of. Your language is part of who you are.

Each language carries in it the thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams of its people. Each time we lose a language, we lose an expression of what it means to be human. I always liked language before, but I see even more clearly now how marvellous and special language is.

Language is an inextricable part of culture. People know the language they know because of the culture they live in. A part of the reason languages die is because they stop being spoken by native speakers and thus don’t get passed on to future generations. Because language is a part of culture, cultural forces affect languages. If a culture decides that their language is no longer worth learning, it will probably disappear.

Maybe in a small way I can change that just by saying: Your language matters. Never be ashamed of your language. Your language is beautiful, messy, chaotic and wonderful. It is part of who you are and it is worth preserving.

“tch” in English

A lot (but not all) words in English that end on “tch” come from the ancestor of English which linguists call Proto Germanic. All Germanic languages come from Proto Germanic. Cognate means that the word shares an origin with a word in another Germanic language

ċ in Old English was pronounced like Modern English “ch”

fetch from Old English feċċan, cognate with Dutch vatten and German fassen
ditch from Old English dīċ, cognate with Dutch dijk and German Teich
watch from Old English wæċċan, cognate with Dutch waken and German wachen
stretch from Old English streċċan, cognate with Dutch strekken and German strecken
stitch from Old English stiċe, cognate with Dutch steek and German Stich
thatch from Old English þæċ, cognate with Dutch dak and German Dach

There are many more. This is just to give you an idea of what kind of words are out there. If they end on “tch”, they might be Germanic 🙂

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Each part is easy to follow and will build on the parts before. No matter how good or bad you think you are at languages, you will be able to follow this series and fulfill your dream of learning languages.

The first part introduces the language and gives and overview of its place in the world and some fun facts about it. The first part ends with some sample phrases in the language. The second part explores the verbs of the language in an easy to follow format.

Steve the vagabond brings languages to you in an easy to read format and offers new lessons every week. You can download one or all of the currently available lessons. It’s completely up to you. Discover a new way to learn languages with Steve the vagabond.