This was my entry for the Stephen Spender prize in 2020. It is of a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). The entry includes my commentary on the translation. Translation The human raceShall fear the Gods.Their immortal hands holdThe reigns of powerAnd they can use their powerTo feed their whims.Their proteges, though on a…… Continue reading Song of the Fates
Trentatré Trentini entrarono a Trento, tutti e trentatré, trotterellando Meaning: thirty-three people from Trento (northern Italy) entered Trento, all thirty-three trotting. I first came across this tongue twister in the mid 1990s in an excellent BBC Italian course Italianissimo. Sadly, this no longer seems to be available.
Today I worked through the last chapter (chapter 12) of Norwegian in three months, covering: more about prepositionspast participle used as an adjectivecolloquial speechgreetings and congratulationsother words More about prepositions Some verbs and adjectives with av (by): le av (laught at); lide av (suffer from); stolt av (be proud of) Some verbs and adjectives with over:…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 39
A French former colleague of mine talked sometimes about doing her ironing. When she did, she pronounced the ‘r’ sound (a rhotic sound, rhotic from the Greek letter rho: ρ). This always made me think she was announcing a switch into an ironic mode.
Today I worked through the last chapter (chapter 12) of Swedish in three months, covering: ‘either .. or’, ‘neither … nor’, ‘both … and”all and ‘whole’ the impersonal pronoun ‘man’ adjectives without a nounhow to translate some common English verbsspellingother words ‘either .. or’, ‘neither … nor’, ‘both … and’ Antingen … eller = either ……… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 38
Today I worked through the last chapter (chapter 12) of Danish in three months, covering: more verbs ending in sverbs used as adjectives and as nounsword formationother words The chapter also comments briefly on punctuation and on writing letters (ie correpondence) in Danish. More verbs ending in s Some verbs occur only in the passive -s…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 37
Today I worked through chapter 11 of Norwegian in three months, covering: more expressions of timein order to more about ‘det’ verbs of position other words More expressions of time Prepositions: for … siden (ago): for fjorten dager siden (a fortnight ago)om (in, for [yet]):om en ukes tid (in a week)først om tre dager (not for…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 36
The asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen has struggled to establish its brand ever since it was formed by a merger in 2017 between the insurer Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management. Have they now found an answer? The company announced in April 2021 that it would rebrand itself as Abrdn and that the name would…… Continue reading Fleeting vowels in Abrdn
Today I worked through chapter 11 of Swedish in three months, covering: transitive and intransitive verbscreating verbs from adjectivepast participle as adjective passiveother words Transitive and intransitive verbs Pairs of related transitive and intransitive verbs: Transitivebränna (2) (burn)dränka (2) (drown)röka (2) (smoke)väcka (2) (wake)lämna (1) (leave)kyla (2) (chilll)ställa (2) (put, stand)lägga (4) (put, lay) Intransitivebrinna (4)…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 35
Today I worked through chapter 11 of Danish in three months, covering: numbers: fractions and collectivesadverbs of place and motionuses of adverbsconjunctions and adverbs used in pairsconfusable nounsother words Numbers: fractions and collectives The adjective halv means half and is inflected in the normal way: På en halVv dag spiste de et halvt får.(in half a…… Continue reading Scandinavian language challenge day 34