Open letter to the Indo-European Language Revival Association members, friends and supporters

Dear members, friends and supporters of Dnghu,

We are aware that we have neglected many of you over the last months. This letter is part of our attempt to put this right, informing you of the latest events.

After a long time of dealing with our professional issues, which have completely absorbed our time, partly due to the economic crisis, partly due to some special career compromises, we are already planning to resume work where we left it, beginning in march 2011.

During the last 10 months of standstill, some of you have proposed changes to our texts, or questioned reconstruction issues, while others have suggested improvements to the project’s short- and long-term aims; some did also help us solve common (spam or technical) problems in our websites.

Even though we didn’t answer ANY of you due to the lack of time, please be assured that we did (and do) read your mails and comments, and that we thank you very much for your support, proposals, and criticism. If you really needed a specific answer, please do not hesitate to resend your question after we have renewed the work on Dnghu.

Some members (and board members) have changed works, or have moved, or have been working harder due to the crisis and its effects on personal and family finances, and this has led to the long break.

However, due to the free and public nature of our works, our lack of activity hasn’t prevented many of you from downloading and buying the books, studying the language, and trying to speak it. You are thus helping create a more prepared community for the beginning of the (spoken) IE revival; we are aware of these facts, too, and that gives us another strong reason to renew our efforts as soon as possible.

I myself have been quite busy with practices in some hospital services during my last year at medical school, and for some months already I have been preparing myself for the State Exam for Medical Residents (the so-called “MIR”) in Spain. After taking the exam, I hope to have at least 3 free months before the beginning of hospital work, and I expect to dedicate some of that free time to the project.

Among the most pressing matters, there are some needed corrections and improvements to the Grammar (especially the Syntax) and vocabulary, some additional text translations into MIE, a learning method (Assimil– or Teach Yourself-like), and the long-awaited (and long-requested, by the way) podcasts, or at least some audios to help speakers with IE pronunciation.

As you probably understand, this is a project that began as an economic-revivalist one in 2006 – a theoretical proposal of one language for the EU for practical reasons, shared within the University, which got the attention and recognition of its leading members, and which should have been taken over afterwards – according to the initial plan – by its Faculty of Arts, with research projects on linguistics.

Dnghu has instead gradually become a mainly private, linguistic-revivalist project (with the Association as the accompanying ‘social’ branch of the language revival), which has also changed its “EU-only” initial vision, and in which the linguistic work is now the leading question, that needed (and needs) to be carefully discussed and reviewed by some of us with no direct contact between us, and who have other interests and careers in the daily world…

Thank you for your patience and support,

Best regards,

Carlos Quiles

New publication date of A Grammar of Modern Indo-European postponed until inclusion of the latest corrections

The date for the new publication of the reference book A Grammar of Modern Indo-European has been postponed until a full revision of the grammar and translated texts is carried out, and the mistakes found are corrected.

This decision has been taken – against previous reports – after a new full revision of the grammar and texts was planned for the next weeks.

As previously explained, extended distribution of the Printed Edition is an important decision which might slow down (and thus condition) the publication of future revisions. A correct revision process takes obviously priority over the extended (traditional) distribution of the book.

We think Easter should be a reasonable date for the new full revision of the grammar and translated texts – the lexicon won’t be extensively revised -, although no exact limit was set. This new revision isn’t expected to mean a relevant change to the Printed Edition, which will still be the Second (Revised) Edition, but it will probably drive the grammar up to version 4.5.

Translations not still assigned, as well as the learning courses and podcasts planned, will consequently be halted (again) until the new stable version is reached.

Your Indo-European language team.

Co-authoring the second edition of A Grammar of Modern Indo-European & opening of Indo-European bookstore

These are the latest developments of the Dnghu Association:

1. We have opened formally the possibility to participate in the authoring of the second edition of the book A Grammar of Modern Indo-European. We’ve added new download links, and the whole Word file might be downloaded as DOCX (original) and DOC format, and the book cover is available in Photoshop PSD format, both files in the latest available version.

2. Because of the interest in the printed version of A Grammar of Modern Indo-European, we have arranged a bookstore with Amazon, to let visitors choose among those books we deem interesting for Proto-Indo-European and Indo-European studies. This way, we recommend the books and at the same time obtain a percentage of Amazon’s earnings.

We have also added a tiny Ad link on Dnghu’s main websites, following our 2008 policy of recovering some money spent in non-associate visitors with Google ads.

Your Indo-European Language Team.

Modern Indo-European online language lessons, new website translations and open membership to the Association

During the last month and a half, there have been some improvements:

  1. We’ve begun a basic language learning project and favoured it over the rest of Indo-European development projects (news, encyclopaedia, texts, etc.). We want to help build a community giving them some basic knowledge, instead of just addressing those who already study (or have studied) Proto-Indo-European or Indo-European linguistics. We’ve just opened the online Modern Indo-European language lessons website at dnghu.org, still only in English, powered by Drupal.
  2. We’ve dedicated some time to keep building our main website, translating it into some new languages, like Polish, Russian, Greek, Czech, Romanian, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Catalan, Slovak, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Danish or Slovene. If the other “main” languages are mainly poor machine translations, these new ones are in a still lesser category, and could be tagged more or less like bad automatic translated menus… In other words, they are there for people to be able to collaborate directly correcting mistakes and adding information from the English website, as they could already do with the “main” languages. Any correction or addition might be (as always) discussed at our Indo-European languages forum.
  3. We opened the membership for the Dnghu Association back in February. We don’t want to advertise it too much, as our aim is not (yet) to develop the participative side of our society, but to offer to those interested the possibility to help our association with small donations, with the return of being officially members of the Association (apart from other benefits we’ll try to give them) and thus being able to take some ordinary decisions. The actual problem is that the society is legally based in Spain, and important decisions are taken in our town; therefore, legally speaking, to be a member right now will mean generally no participation in important or strategic decision-taking. To sum up: for those interested in being members and help us a little bit, there is a new option called membership, which gives some legal rights, quite limited for those living outside Spain. For those not interested in taking that step, participation and discussion in our public projects remains open for all.

In the following weeks we’ll try to:

  • Further develop the online language lessons, including some audio files to give a better idea of the Modern Indo-European pronunciation.
  • Publish some officially translated texts, like prayers and Bible passages, either here in this website or in the Wikis for Indo-European texts
  • Send more printed copiesof the Indo-European grammar to European libraries; we have almost completed a new list of another 100 public and university libraries, we’ll see if and when we have enough time to prepare the packages.

Your Indo-European Language Team.

Indo-European Translator-Dictionary, Indo-European Grammar printed editions, public stats and Google Ads

These are our latest developments following the beginning of the new year:

  1. We have eventually published our Indo-European Translator-Dictionary (again) before it works correctly, in a pre-alpha or aleph version. We preferred to face the challenge of possible fatal errors of MySQL and a worse character output (bad UTF encoding) than to wait for months to release it. It is the next generation of our WLQO dictionary-translator project at SourceForge, which has been abandoned due to the comeback of the Open Translation Engine (OTE) project, on which WLQO was based.
  2. Because our main sales (since we first started to sell our Indo-European Grammar in November) have come from Spain, we decided to publish it in other (international) book stores, namely those people already trust, and which are flexible enough for us to be able to modify our files – from Amazon to Lulu, from our Editor to us, there is a greater degree in flexibility, but a lesser degree in consumer confidence, we guess. As always, those printed editions are prepared for those who don’t want to read our work in their computers, or who prefer professional editions rather than their own printer’s outputs.
  3. More than 2 years ago we decided not to earn money with Google ads, because most free projects rely on donations, and we wanted to look like what we are, a not-for-profit society. We knew then, and it’s been confirmed, that most donations come from the USA and other similar ‘donation-cultures’; we kept the hope that some enthusiast could provide us with some means to cope with our costs, but apparently no such person is interested in (or even knows) the Indo-European language revival, as we have still the same (Spanish) institutional donors. Because we have (apparently*) thousands of visitors each month, we think it’s fair to get something back from those visitors, and are thus offering different Google ads, which in no way disrupt the normal functioning of our site.
  4. *Apparently the visit numbers (for a static website like ours) were big – up to 50.000 visits a month following Webalizer, which takes on account every page load, up to 10.000 unique visitors after Awstats , which sifts the data -, beginning on April (following the publication of Indo-European Revival news in Spanish media), growing until August, and growing each month a little bit after that. Now we are not so sure of those numbers our server logs give, and want to have official statistics. We know that most log files can only be made from our server, as documents in PDF, RAR, ZIP, images, etc. are not logged by Statcounter, and that it uses javascript (and therefore many users go unaccounted for), but at least we’ll have a good, independent stats counter to be used, especially for future petitions of (private or public) subsidies.

Your Indo-European Language Team.

A Grammar of Modern Indo-European (Printed Edition) – First 200 copies prepared to be freely redistributed

A Grammar of Modern Indo-EuropeanWe have received the first 200 books, and we will start sending them to different libraries tomorrow. The editor Imcrea Editorial has worked a press release to be distributed among journalists, which we reproduce here:

Report (revised automatic translation):

In order to understand each other, the 27 EU member states have to trust the biggest translation service of the world: more than 4,000 people work in the corridors of Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. Around them circulate the Spanish-Pole interpreter, the Spanish-Danish, Spanish-Finnish, Finnish-Estonian, Finnish-Bulgarian, Bulgarian-Maltese”¦ And so on until completing the 506 possible translation pairs that are necessary to have 23 official languages translated into each other. Not even the UN, with six working languages, wins in multilingualism.

All this distilled communication system bears an equally scandalous cost. The most recent data, of 2005, speak of 1,123 million euros invested in translations and interpreters throughout that year, which makes up 1% of the total budget of the EU, 2.28 euros per capita. Speaking in English, one of each 100 euros that leave the European box is used so that the 27 can understand each other. Whenever a language is added, the EU must add to the set of translations 25 million euros more.

Except for Finland, Hungary and Estonia [about 17 million inhabitants], the rest of Europeans, 97% of the population, have been speaking some language derived from Indo-European, a reconstructed language spoken 4,000 years ago in Europe and Asia. So why not recover this mother language, culturally neutral and common to all?

If some measures are not carried out, English, that has become the de facto lingua franca of the EU, will continue to prevail through the use of the argument of its world-wide weight. The Swiss François Grin, specialist in Linguistic Economy, published in 2005 a report which emphasized that Great Britain, thanks to the predominance of its language, gained between 17,000 and 18,000 millions euros annually because of the need of the other member states to learn English.

The Dnghu (‘Language’) Association is an international, non-profit organization located in Europe, whose main mission is to promote the Indo-European language and culture. Its primary concerns today are developing the Modern Indo-European Grammatical System, to bring the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language to its full potential, and teaching it as a second language for all European Union citizens. Our long-term objectives are the adoption of Modern Indo-European by the European Union as its main official language, as well as the use of Indo-European as the main international auxiliary language, to overcome present-day communication barriers, derived from the cultural implications that arise from the use of English as lingua franca.

The Dnghu Association is financed by a private Spanish education company, Biblos, and its work is supported by Extremadura University professors. The regional Government of Extremadura and other public economic agents have also supported the Dnghu projects’ present and future implementation.

After creation of group, the presentation of the project and the legal incorporation of the Association, the last hit in our task to revive Proto-Indo-European is the publication of “A Grammar of Modern Indo-European” (at the moment only available in English), which tries to agglutinate in a single volume all the knowledge acquired in the last two centuries of Indo-European studies, and to provide at the same time an appropriate writing system and updated vocabulary to the modern needs of the language speakers. In order to enable a quick distribution of the book – and thus also the learning of the language – the Association has published it under free licenses, so that anyone can copy, publish and redistribute it freely; in addition, almost all the units printed will be dedicated to free donations to different European libraries.

Nota de Prensa (original Spanish version):

Para hacerse entender, los 27 paà­ses constructores de la Unión Europea han tenido que poner en pie el servicio de traducciones más grande del mundo: más de 4.000 personas trabajan en los pasillos de Bruselas, Estrasburgo y Luxemburgo. Por ellos circulan el intérprete de español-polaco, de español-danés, de español-finés, de finés-estonio, de finés-búlgaro, de búlgaro-maltés… Asà­ hasta completar las 506 parejas de traducción posibles que surgen por tener 23 lenguas oficiales. Ni la ONU, con seis idiomas de trabajo, le gana en poliglotismo.

Todo este alambicado sistema de comunicación conlleva una factura igualmente escandalosa. Los datos más recientes, de 2005, hablan de 1.123 millones de euros invertidos en traducciones e intérpretes a lo largo de ese año, lo que supone un 1% del presupuesto total de la UE, 2,28 euros por habitante. Hablando en castellano, uno de cada 100 euros que sale de la caja europea es destinado a que los 27 puedan descifrarse entre sà­. Cada vez que se incorpora una lengua, la UE tiene que sumar a la partida de traducciones 25 millones de euros más.

Salvo Finlandia, Hungrà­a y Estonia [unos 17 millones de habitantes], el resto de los europeos, el 97% de la población, habla algún idioma derivado del indoeuropeo, un idioma hablado hasta hace 4.000 años en Europa y Asia, ya reconstruà­do en su mayor parte ¿Por qué no recuperar esta lengua madre, culturalmente neutra y común a todos?

Si no se lleva a cabo alguna medida, el inglés, que se ha convertido de facto en la lengua franca de la UE, seguirá utilizando el argumento de su peso mundial para imponerse. El suizo François Grin, especialista en Economà­a Lingüà­stica, publicó en 2005 un informe donde subrayaba que Gran Bretaña, gracias al predominio de su lengua, ingresaba entre 17.000 y 18.000 millones de euros anuales provenientes entre otros apartados de la necesidad del resto de paà­ses miembros de la UE de enseñar el inglés.

Dnghu (“lengua” en indoeuropeo) es una organización internacional sin ánimo de lucro situada en Extremadura que nació con la idea de promover la lengua y cultura indoeuropeas. Su principal objetivo hoy es el desarrollo de las reglas gramaticales básicas del indoeuropeo para que adquiera todo su esplendor como lengua moderna, y la enseñanza del indoeuropeo como segunda lengua en la Unión Europea. Su objetivo a largo plazo consiste en la adopción del indoeuropeo por la Unión como su principal lengua oficial y nacional.

La Asociación Dnghu está financiada por una institución educativa española, la Academia Biblos, y su trabajo es apoyado por profesores de la Universidad de Extremadura. La Junta de Extremadura y otras instituciones ya dieron su apoyo concediendo un premio al proyecto en el I concurso “Empresas de la Sociedad de la Imaginación”, organizado conjuntamente por la Universidad de Extremadura y el Gabinete de Iniciativa Joven, con la participación de diversas instituciones públicas en su tribunal.

Tras la creación del grupo, la presentación del proyecto y la fundación legal de la Asociación, el último hito en el camino para revivir el indoeuropeo lo constituye la publicación de la “Gramática del Indoeuropeo Moderno” (por el momento sólo disponible en inglés, “A Grammar of Modern Indo-European”), que pretende aglutinar en un solo volúmen todo el conocimiento adquirido en los últimos dos siglos de estudios de los grandes indoeuropeà­stas, y proveer al mismo tiempo a la lengua de un sistema de escritura apropiado y de un vocabulario actualizado a las necesidades modernas. Para agilizar la distribución del libro ““ y asà­ también el aprendizaje de la lengua ““ la Asociación lo ha publicado bajo licencias libres, con lo que cualquiera puede copiarlo, editarlo y redistribuirlo là­bremente; además, casi todos los ejemplares que se impriman se dedicarán a donaciones gratuitas a distintas bibliotecas europeas.

Your Indo-European Language Team.

Indo-European language in Second Life, Orkut and Google Groups

Three new online projects:

1) We have created a new blog for our Second Life virtual world adventure, to post events and news of what happens to our Indo-European language revival project “in-world”. We are looking forward to collaborating with other avatars in proving the advantages of virtual education and virtual communities.

2) If you are a member of Orkut, you can also join our efforts in our Indo-European community.

3) We have also created an Indo-European language Group with Google, but we will wait to see if (and when) we use it just for Indo-European languages’ research, for Indo-European language revival, or even for our virtual community.

Your Indo-European Language Team.

A new Indo-European website: free Indo-European languages’ resources at www.indo-european.eu

A new webblog has been configured in our Web servers to host free Indo-European languages’ resources.

We wanted to host a wiki site, but eventually believed that such a domain name under a Wiki engine would be in great risk of becoming the spammers’ objective for different language courses and learning promotion.

The blog, however, is indeed open for contributions, directly (in the form of comments) and indirectly, using emails to recommend us other websites and books. We plan to use it to host different ebooks and other resources, as well as general reports about other websites hosting free language resources.

Your Indo-European Language Team.