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Similarities to Latvian and Lithuanian

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Similarities to Latvian and Lithuanian

Postby Mithridates » Tue May 27, 2008 8:36 am

I'm curious whether there is any data available on IME vocabulary compared to English, Latvian and Lithuanian, that is, how much more similar IME is to those two than English is. If this data is available I'm curious what the Latvian and Lithuanian governments would make of it. Finland for example has been actively involved in promotion of Latin so it seems that it's not beyond a government to support language revival projects.

I tried a bit of this myself using the example phrases on the site but I'd prefer something more along the lines of a Swadesh list (individual vocab as opposed to phrases).

Thanks.
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Re: Similarities to Latvian and Lithuanian

Postby indoeuropean » Fri May 30, 2008 10:00 am

Qeime Mithridates:
I'm curious whether there is any data available on IME vocabulary compared to English, Latvian and Lithuanian, that is, how much more similar IME is to those two than English is.

There are Swadesh lists comparing English with Latvian (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix: ... adesh_list) and with Lithuanian (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix: ... adesh_list). I cannot find any Proto-Indo-European one, but there are lots of vocabulary comparisons out there, including our grammar and Oxford's Proto-Indo-European manual. None of them, I guess, is exactly what you are looking for. We prepared e.g. a tiny leaflet for the Forom des Langues de Toulouse, although - because of space requirements - we left a "Balto-Slavic" column, instead of separated Baltic and Slavic columns:

indoeuropean.jpg
Indo-European proto-languages - word comparison
indoeuropean.jpg (58.87 KiB) Viewed 9406 times

If this data is available I'm curious what the Latvian and Lithuanian governments would make of it. Finland for example has been actively involved in promotion of Latin so it seems that it's not beyond a government to support language revival projects.

I don't know about the Lithuanian or Latvian government objectives, but Finland used Latin to translate official news about the EU - as far as I know - just to end the discussions with the German government, because, while Finland held the EU Presidency, official documents were only translated into English and French... It was, according to Finnish officials, just "a weekly roundup of news in classical Latin", which "attracted much curiosity", but wasn't in any case a language policy Finland would like to follow; it was something more like "I'll translate EU documents to the language I want, you #$^%@* Germans! 8) ". What reveals, in fact, how 'good' and 'generally accepted' the current linguistic policy actually is for the member states...

I contacted personally the EU language commissioner years ago (Jan Figel, I think), when we won the University prize for the project (2006 then), and he replied saying that the EU was "not looking for a common language, however good one might think it is. The current objective of the EU is to support multilingualism". So, if we want the European Union to support one common official language, then we'll have to make such proposals, as you say, to the individual EU member states, because commissioners aren't there to make their own policies or to change anything at all, but to make an administrative work following the policies of the member states. That was another reason to create an Association, instead of keeping our language revival work in private groups.

Anyway, I think I'll prepare a complete Swadesh list in the future (or request that it be made), with Proto-Indo-European and other European languages, to show it to different EU Presidency holders. I don't think I'll wait until 2013 to contact the Lithuanian government, though... (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidency ... 07_onwards) :wink: .

And, by the way, I looked for the etymology of the name "Mithridates" and its Indo-European translation: http://dnghu.org/Indo-European-Languages/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=201 :D
Chair - Indo-European Language Association - http://dnghu.org/
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Re: Similarities to Latvian and Lithuanian

Postby emidon518 » Thu May 16, 2013 7:16 am

Latvian and Lithuanian indeed are quite similar. I (a Latvian) can listen to a Lithuanian conversation or radio and get the main idea of what they are talking about, however without studying it would be absolutely impossible to say anything meaningful in Lithuanian..............
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Re: Similarities to Latvian and Lithuanian

Postby kirke » Mon May 27, 2013 1:51 pm

Lithuanian is closer to PIE even more than Latin or Sanskrit was. Some words are still almost identical.
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Re: Similarities to Latvian and Lithuanian

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Re: Similarities to Latvian and Lithuanian

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