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NORN KJOKL • View topic - Nynorn <> English dictionary

NORN KJOKL

The Orkney & Shetland Norn Forum
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:00 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:46 pm 
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I understand the pain well!

If I wasn't engaged in the very same venture for Mid-Argyll Gaelic, I would love to help out. As I said in one of the other posts though, time is very tight, as I have thousands of words for this to digitalise from handwritten IPA into the computer and it's driving me mad! :lol:

My interest in Norn has sustained itself naturally over the last five or six years, so if a window comes up I could see myself being a little more involved. I am in the same boat as yourself however in that I don't speak any Scandinavian languages, although my decent knowledge of German and especially of Lowland Scots seems to be handy.

What I would tend to recommend would be that you are all able to produce something that can function on a basic level, can be displayed at the website and that can be updated regularly. If people know it is a work-in-progress and is clearly stated as such, then you don't need to worry about getting everything right straight off. One of my dictionaries for Cowal contains only specifically Cowal words, but it was enough to act as a glossary for people using the available material as a resource to learn from, when their understanding of Gaelic was very much based in the standard form. I just e-mailed it to them as an Excel Workbook, although that was easy enough as it was among friends. I suppose it's similar -albeit much smaller- to the existing dictionary at your website. We are a good way into an English-Gaelic one too, along the same lines.

Although I can't be involved on anything more than a passive basis, I would very much like to learn as much Nynorn as possible, as even since the last time I posted, I have been on every day, going through the lessons. I was thrilled when I found out how much was preserved of the Cowal names for animals, plants, insects and birds by Holmer's unpublished work in the area and it is this kind of thing that I find most attractive in Norn also. I love the way people perceived nature and how they chose to refer to its myriad forms.

The one thing I have been noticing when I have been learning Nynorn from the lessons (which has been a lot of fun), is that a simple dictionary with perhaps the most common 500 words, English-Nynorn, or there or thereabouts if they are known -verbs, nouns, adjectives and connecting words- would be the most useful possible thing, so that I can begin to form my own thoughts on simple things through the tongue, especially once I have got to grips with word order, which I'm not sure about yet from what I've learned so far.

Sample texts, read by someone Faroese perhaps, would be great. I know that of course no-one knows exactly how it would have sounded, but that can't be more than a stone's throw and would really help.

I am very lucky in that I learn languages extremely quickly and I am also an experienced Gaelic tutor, so when the learning infrastructure has developed further, I would happily volunteer to act as a control in terms of ironing out how to teach the language at a distance. I have three private students who are learning a dead Gaelic dialect from me at a distance, so I suppose that's probably as close as you can get! :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:05 am 
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As Rogapl says, the work on the English-Nynorn dictionary is progressing slowly but surely (although yes, it could go a little bit faster). We plan to make a 4000 words vocabulary, although this list might be squeezed down to make it go faster. My goal is to convert the existing Nynorn-English dictionary into a database, from which we could generate Nynorn-English or English-Nynorn wordlists by respective one-line commands. I'll try to do this conversion whenever I have enough time for it and in case I succeed we could save a lot of time, effort and typing in the ongoing work on the dictionary.

Rogapl I know I owe you a reply to your last question, but I just haven't had time to go into that yet. You can take the same genders as in Nynorn/Faroese/Icelandic/Nynorsk/Old Norse, but in case you're not sure, just leave it to me (assigning a gender might be rather subjective if it's a word from Scots, which is genderless, or Danish/Norwegian, where masculine and feminine have merged into 'common gender', still opposed to neuter).


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:44 am 
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I will continue working on the English Nynorn dictionary. I would welcome any assistance from other members of the forum in reviewing my edits. I fully understand, Àdhamh, that your work on Cowal and Gaelic are keeping you very busy. I would like to receive copies of your Cowal and Gaelic dictionaries as they may contain words that might be incorporated into our English- Nynorn dictionary or at least provide ideas about the dictionary setup. I am also working through the lessons prepared by Hnolt as well as trying to learn more about Old Norse and how it compares with Norn and Nynorn.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:26 pm 
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I can send you through a copy of the Cowal dictionary without a problem. It's a pretty rudimentary Excel file, and I have denoted gender using blue or pink text :lol: but yuo are welcome to a look at it. It has all past, present, future and conditional forms of verbs and so on, as well as plurals of nouns and the like.

We are lucky in Gaelic in that there are no 'verb forms' -what I mean is- there is no eg er, du ert etc etc, just two forms of the verb 'to be', for the definition and condition of an object. They stay exactly the same no matter who or what is the subject.

Drop me a line here if you can Rogapl and I'll copy in the e-mail from the website if that will get me through to yourself Hnolt?

adhamhobroin@gmail.com

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:32 pm 
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And regarding the database, you should have a look at this:



My friend Michael Bauer, a ferocious linguist (and fluent speaker of Cantonese, Gaelic, English, Basque and German!) developed this with his friend and it really does the job brilliantly. This is where I got the Caithness Gaelic words from.

Can you imagine a fully searchable database like that for Nynorn? That would be outstanding. The difference of course is that Michael was dealing with a pre-structured book for which he simply had to input the entries (no mean feat, but he had a super head-start). The job for Nynorn would be having to structure the whole thing so that it made sense, but I reckon there's folk here with that kind of knowledge, or hot on the trail of it anyway! :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:46 pm 
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I looked at the Gaelic url and was absolutly amazed at how well the search engine works. If we could set up a similar search program for Nynorn it would be extremly useful. I haven't got the computer skills to set up a program like the Dwelly search engine but I would be willing to contribute information to it if Hnolt can arrange to establish it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:28 pm 
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Yes, that Gaelic search engine is obviously database-driven, so this is exactly what I've been thinking about for some time. As a temporary solution, I could make a search facility and place it on the Nynorn dictionary page to enable visitors to search for specific words or their combinations.

Thanks for the Cowal vocabulary, it seems that it has about 400-500 words roughly. It looks like the need of a good dictionary is driving the critical mass towards the boiling point, so there will be a brainstorm of this problem by my side very son ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:36 pm 
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That would be super. Having a handier resource will allow me to continue with light study of the language without having to spend a lot of time on finding relatively simple things. When you know how learning languages works, you know you just need to be able to find the basics with which to link sentences driven by a decent knowledge of verbs. You can fill in the nouns and adjectives as you go.

I find if I really need a word, it will stick the first time I look at it, because you've already created the place in your brain and the structure of the language for it to fit into. A quick reference for the basic adjectives, nouns, verbs and linking words would allow me to quickly acquire a working knowledge and then it will be much easier to start reading and re-reading the texts, especially if other lessons go up with more short sample texts in them. They were great.

I have actually detoured into German again recently for a trip to Berlin at the end of the month and it seems to have shunted the Nynorn sideways into another bit of my brain!

The German will get the elbow when I get back! :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:15 am 
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As you know I am working on an English-Nynorn dictionary. Progress lately has been much faster thanks to help from Ljun in reviewing the word lists.
I agree with Àdhamh's suggestion regarding the development of a core list of connecting words ie verbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. I can assist in doing this if you send me a list of words you think we need to have Nynorn equivalents for. I have had considerable practice lately in searching for words from Jacobsen's dictionary, other Shetland sources, and Scandinavian language dictionaries.


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