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International Mother Language Day

Languages Living Library

21 February |18.00 | Old School Coffee House

Str. Andrei Saguna, nr. 6

PARTNERS:

Cluj Intercultural Awareness Organization (CIAO) ORGANISED BY:

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Editorial This catalogue includes 16 different books, each one representing a native language. If you are interested to hear how Icelandic or Danish sound, or to know what languages they speak in Burkina Faso and in Pakistan, how different is Belarusian from Russian and Czech, what are the main similarities between Romanian and Italian or French, how Estonian is in the same language family as Hungarian but has nothing to do with Latvian, find out if Austrian dialect is understandable for German speakers, hear British English – then The Language Living Library will give you a chance to come and “read” 16 different “Books” - native speakers of the languages. Total interaction, relaxed atmosphere, fully intercultural experience. With this event we celebrate the International Mother Language Day that is in 21st of February and has been observed every year since 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was first announced by UNESCO on 17th of November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh. Pick your book and discover somebody’s Mother Language! YOUth 4 Community Team

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Content Belarusian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Czech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Dagara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Danish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 English . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Estonian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 French . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 German (Germany) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 German (Austria). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Hungarian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Icelandic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Italian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Latvian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Romanian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Russian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Urdu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

How many languages do you speak? How many would you like to? Today you have a great chance to say the usual “say something in your language” to over 10 native speakers of different languages, and this time they won’t be frustrated by the question, because they are kinda … books! If you are ready to challenge your prejudices or knowledge about all these languages, welcome to the Living Library where books can speak! Enjoy your reading!

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БЕЛАРУСКАЯ (Belarusian) Pronounced as /bela ‘rusjen/, NOT /bela‘rashn/ Family of languages: Comes from East Slavic group of languages, together with Russian and Ukrainian. Within East Slavic, the Belarusian language is most closely related to Ukrainian. Official language of the Republic of Belarus, together with Russian. Native speakers: about 7 mln people (Mostly in Belarus, also in Poland, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and the USA) Alphabet: Has a Cyrillic alphabet consisting of 32 letters. Interesting facts: • According to UNESCO research Belarusian is the 2nd euphonic (nicely sounding) language after Italian. • Belarusian is possibly one of the oldest languages among all Slavic. • Belarusian is among vulnerable languages in the list of endangered languages of UNESCO. • There is one unique letter of Belarusian alphabet existing only in this language: Ў (u neskladovaie). There is a monument dedicated to this letter in the oldest Belarusian town Polatsk, a modern art gallery, a bar in Minsk and a music band named after this letter. • There are also Latin and Arabic versions of Belarusian alphabet (due to the history of Polish and Tatar residents on the territory of Belarus).

Published in 1987 in Babruisk, Belarus. 4


Čeština (czech) Family of languages: Slavic language (*Glagolic) Native speakers: Approximately 11, 5 million people Alphabet: Latin alphabet (42 letters, signs ˇ, ´, °) History: Czech evolved at the end of the first Millennium western ancient Slavonic dialect. The emergence of the printing press is dated the 15th century. Greatest development took place in the 19th century. Famous authors: Milan Kundera: He is the Czech Republic’s most recognized living writer. Of Czech origin. Kundera’s best-known work is The Unbearable Lightness of Being. His books were banned by the Communist regimes of Czechoslovakia until the downfall of the regime in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Josef Škvorecký: Josef Škvorecký was a Czech writer-novelist, translator and publisher who spent much of his life in Canada. He was one of the most important Czech postwar prose writers. Karel Čapek: Karel Capek was a Czech writer, journalist, playwright, translator and photographer. Interesting facts: • Inflectional language • Accent on the first syllable • High proportion of consonants in the words • Letter „ř“

Published in 1992 in Deštné, Czech Republic 5


dagara/dagaare Family of languages: The dagaree or Dagara, is a language GOUR subgroup oti-volta, spoken in Burkina Faso and Ghana. Ex: mòoré, frafra, safaliba (en), wali (en), dagaare–birifor (en) Native speakers: Nearly 700 000 people speak dagaare in North Ghana, and 400 000 in SouthWest of Burkina Faso. History of language, alphabet, accents and dialects: The Dagara language started to be written in Burkina Faso by the colonialists, in making lists of names of people, of villages and towns, and of rivers and hills Riddles in the language: Telling riddles is a way for children to maintain the knowledge of the customs of their ancestors. In an oral society, it is a way of maintaining traditions that should be passed on from generation to generation. A riddles session is really funny and introduced by an incantation that is a call-and-response. It can take the following format: • First narrator: “N ku n naab” [I slaughter my cow]. • A member of the audience: “N ir a nyââ” [I choose the chest] • First narrator: “N lε ku n naab” [Again, I slaughter my cow] • A member of the audience: “N ir a gbεr” [I choose a leg] • First narrator: “N lε ku n naab” [Again, I slaughter my cow] • A member of the audience: “N ir a puor” [I choose the stomach] • First narrator: “N lε ku n naab” [Again, I slaughter my cow] • A member of the audience: “N ir a nyagε” [I choose the intestines] • First narrator: “N lε ku n naab” [Again, I slaughter my cow] • A member of the audience: “N ir a zu” [I choose the head] Famous writers: Marie-Ange SOMDAH, Pénou-Achille SOME, Ansomwin Ignace HIEN, Jean-Baptiste Métuolé SOMDA

Published in 19__ in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 6


dansk (danish) Family of languages: North Germanic (Icelandic, Faroese, Greenlandic Norse, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish) Native Speakers: 6 million History and alphabet: • Danish is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era. • Unique letter in the danish alphabet are æ, ø and å. • Words are very difficult to pronounce for foreigners. Famous writers: • existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard • prolific fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen • playwright Ludvig Holberg. Interesting facts: • Several English words derive from Old Norse, for example, “knife” (kniv), “husband” (husbond), and “egg” (æg). The suffix “-by” for ‘town’ is common in place names in Yorkshire and the East Midlands that is, Selby, Whitby, Derby and Grimsby. The word dale in Yorkshire and Derbyshire is commonly used in place of valley. • Verbs are conjugated according to tense, but otherwise do not vary according to person or number.

Published in 1993 in Copenhagen, Denmark/ Published in 1992 in Rønde, Denmark 7


English Family of languages: Germanic Native speakers: Approximately 375 million native speakers, 750 million people are believed to speak English as a foreign language. History of language, alphabet, accents and dialects: English originated from the fusion of closely related dialects, now collectively termed Old English, which were brought to the eastern coast of Great Britain by Germanic settlers (Anglo-Saxons) by the 5th century. The Norman conquest of England in the 11th century gave rise to heavy borrowings from Norman-French to give the appearance of a close relationship with Romance languages. English has been subject to a large degree of regional dialect variation for many centuries. In the British Isles it could be said that there are about 30 to 40 or so major dialects. Around the world there are over 100 variants of English, from different American-English dialects, to those of Asia, Africa and Oceana. Famous writers: Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein, J.K. Rowling, Interesting facts: • No words in the English language rhyme with orange, silver or purple. • ‘Town’ is the oldest word in the English language. • The combination of letters ‘ough’ can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: ‘A rough-coated, doughfaced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough (American accent needed); after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed (hiccupped).’ • This sentence has every letter of the alphabet in it: ‘The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.’ • The word ‘screeched’ is the longest one-syllable word in English. Published in 1987 in London, United Kingdom 8


Eesti (Estonian) Family of languages: Finnish-ugric language Native speakers: 1.05 million History: The oldest written records of the Finnic languages of Estonia date back to the 13th century, but writings in Estonian became significant only in the 19th century with the spread of the ideas of the Age of Enlightenment, during the Estophile Enlightenment Period Alphabet: Including the “foreign letters”, Estonian alphabet consists 32 letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, Š, Z, Ž, T, U, V, W, Õ, Ä, Ö, Ü, X, Y. The most difficult for foreigners is to pronounce „Õ,“ because in most of countries it is not used or the pronounciation is different. Dialects: Estonian language has different dialects, according to the region. For example people from islands have difficulties with the letter Õ and most of them are pronouncing it as an Ö. At the same time, people from Võrumaa have a very specific dialect and that’s why it’s also difficult for Estonians to understand what they are talking about. Interesting facts: • The first Estonian book was bilingual (Estonian-German) and it was printed in 1535. It was Lutheran cathecism by S. Wanradt and J. Koell. • The birth of native Estonian literature was in 1810 to 1820 when the patriotic and philosophical poems by Kristjan Jaak Peterson were published. • Unfortunately Estonian most famous writers, like A.H Tammsaare or my favourite K. Ristikivi is not translated into many languages. In fact, for an example the most famous book in Estonia „Tõde ja õigus“ (Truth and justice) has never been translated into English. • So you just have to study one of the most difficult languages and then you can enjoy Estonian beautiful and interesting literature.

Published in 1992 in Saaremaa, Estonia 9


Français (french) Family of language: French comes from Roman Native speakers: Of course, it’s spoken in France, but not only. We’re only 64 millions there, and more than 220 millions people across the world are «francophones», 29 countries -> These guys know to read and write French. What’s weird with French is that it’s «academic». A lot of intellectuals worked on it, like «Pleiade» poets, or «French academy», to create new rules and words, much more than the people themselves. And so, Parisian French is the norm, because it follows dictionary rules, and some particularities survive in the rest of France without being quoted, so only verbaly. The good thing is French should grow someway: International Organisation of Francophonie (OIF) counts now 75 countries, so it’s the biggest linguistic world organisation. Of course, it’s a lot because of Africa: in 53 countries, 32 speak French, and there’s more people speaking French in Africa than in France. Famous writers: There are of course important writers in France. Some would say, too much: I’m not like this! But just to know, let’s say : René Descartes (1596-1650), Molière (1620-1673), Victor Hugo (1802-1885), Emile Zola (1840-1902), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). Of course, maybe you don’t know them all, but I’ll be proud to teach you a bit about them and discuss for fun too. Intersting facts: Do you know that the Catholic god speaks in French? Important texts from the Vatican are written in diplomatic tongue: French! Popes Paul VI and Jean-Paul II, at the UN, spoke in French. And so as we say in French, rendons à César ce qui appartient à César: « Le français permet la magistrature de l’essentiel. » Pope Paul VI to the French philosopher Jean Guitton.

Published in 1988 in Coulommiers, France 10


deutsch (German) Family of languages: West Germanic language, related to English and Dutch Native speakers: all around the world around 120 mio. people speak German. 90 mio. have German as their mother tongue. (Germany has ca. 81 mio. inhabitants). History: It can be divided into four epochs. The German of today is spoken since 1650. Accents and dialects: The dialects of German are typically divided into High German and Low German. The Low German dialects are more closely related to ‘Lower Franconian’ languages such as Dutch than to the High German dialects, which are closer to what we associate with the German that we hear on the international stage. In general Germany has a lot of dialects, too many to count. Famous writers: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Theodor Fontane, The Brothers Grimm, Karl May, Hermann Hesse, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Frank Schätzing, Cornelia Funke Interesting facts: • a girl has no gender, but a lamp has (it’s feminine) • we have a lot of stuff: Werkzeug (working stuff ), Flugzeug (flight stuff ), Feuerzeug (fire stuff ) • The first printed book in the world was in German. Johannes Gutenberg invented book printing and printed the first book in the world - a 42-page bible - in 1455. • The German language is exceptionally famous for forming long words. • e.g.: Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz • A 63-letter long word meaning: Beef labeling regulation & delegation of supervision law!;

Published 1992 in Ludwigsburg, Stuttgart, Germany 11


deutsch (austrian german) Family of languages: West Germanic language, related to English and Dutch Native speakers: German native speakers: 120 million; in Austria: 8.5 million Accents and dialects: Austrian German is one among several varieties of Standard German. Much like the relationship between British English and American English, the Austrian and German varieties differ in minor respects (e.g., spelling, word usage and grammar). In Austria mostly a dialect of the Austro-Bavarian group of the German language (Upper German dialect) is spoken, it is quite similar with the dialect that is spoken in German Bavaria. Only in the very western part of Austria, there is another dialect which is more similar to the language spoken in Switzerland. Famous writers: Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, Thomas Bernhard, Franz Kafka, Elfriede Jelinek, Georg Trakl, Franz Grillparzer, Rainer Maria Rilke Interesting Facts: • a girl has no gender, but a lamp has (it’s feminine) • we have a lot of stuff: Werkzeug (working stuff ), Flugzeug (flight stuff ), Feuerzeug (fire stuff ) • German is the language with the largest number of native speakers in the European Union, and is the second-most spoken language in Europe, just behind English and ahead of French. • the number 777.777 written out in German is siebenhundertsiebenundsiebzigtausendsiebenhundertsiebenundsiebzig • A lot of words that differ in Austria from Germany are about food – many of those words are similar to words of former countries of the Austro-Hungarian empire – for example: in Austria we call pancakes “Palatschinken”, in Hungarian it’s “palacsinta” (in Germany “Pfannkuchen” is more similar to the English word)

Published in1993 in Schärding, Austria 12


Magyar (Hungarian) One of the hardest languages in the world * Family of languages: It is part of the Finno-Ugric language family (Estonian, Finnish, Basque, Turkish – but these languages are so different that we can’t understand each other) Native speakers: (estimated) 17 million - Countries: 10 million in Hungary, 2.5 million in Romania, Slovakia 1 million, 700 thousand people in the former Yugoslavia, 250 thousand people in Ukraine, 50 thousand in Austria Interesting facts: • Phonetic spelling with some difficult letters: Á É Ú Ő Ö Ű Ü Ty Gy DZS Ly • We have only past and present forms; the future is expressed by a verb and not considered as a separate tense. The language is very concise, an answer can be expressed in one word, as a sentence (and not only yes/no answers). The Hungarian language has no grammatical gender. • The longest word: megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért • Read it backwards, it has the same meaning: Géza kék az ég. • Unlike many languages, except the Chinese and the Japanese, in Hungarian the order of names is: family name + first name = MÁRTON MÓNIKA • Common words with other languages: Tukrish: tulipán, zsebemben sok alma van (‘csebemben csok elma var’ Albanian: macska, sárgarépa Bulgarian: málna, kancsó, dinnye, cseresznye, sapka Dutch: sál Famous Hungarians: Joe Eszterhas (screenwriter: Basic Instinct), Joseph Pulitzer (journalist), Drew Barrymore (mother), George Cukor (film director: My fair lady), Tony Curtis, Harry Houdini (illusionist), David Krumholtz (actor: NUMB3RS), Andy Vajna (producer: Rambo), Robert Capa (photo reporter), Calvin Klein, John von Neumann (computer)

Published in 1991 in Odorheiu-Secuiesc, Romania 13


íslenska (Icelandic) Family of languages: Old Norvegian Native speakers: About 350.000 Alphabet:

Famous writers: Arnaldur Indridason is one of the most famous writers and his books are mostly about murders and crimes very heated and sold all over Europe. Then we have the female version of Arnaldur and that is Yrsa Sigurdardottir she writes as Arnaldur very dark novels about crimes in Iceland and one of her books „Aska“ was the top seller on the UK list. Dialects: In iceland we have four kinds of accents and, depends where you like, the north, the south, the west and the east. When you are from the north like me you talk very clear and hard.

Published in1994 in Dalvík, Iceland 14


italiano (italian) Hello! I’m the Italian languge. I belong to the Indoeuropean family of languages and I’m used by 55 million of people in Italy and by 61.7 million all over the world, together with Switzerland, Croatia, San Marino, Città del Vaticano, Slovenia, Etiopia, Malta, Somalia, Libia and United States of America but not only... I’m a neo-latin language: I came from Latin, especially from the type of the Latin language used in Italy after the end of the Roman Empire. I developed starting from the 14th century throughout the language used by some of the most important poets in italian history: Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio who wrote their works using the florentine dialect. One interesting aspect of me consists in the fact that besides me, the presence and the use of local dialects (my brothers) is generally current and is so strong that I’m also influenced, in my sound, by the different type of dialects all around the country; so it’s possible to understand the original homeplace of an Italian by the accent. After Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio - my fathers, it’s possible to mention throghout the centuries Vittorio Alfieri, Carlo Goldoni, Cesare Beccaria, Ugo Foscolo, Giosuè Carducci, Carlo Collodi, Benedetto Croce, Giovanni Verga, Alessandro Manzoni, Italo Calvino, Luigi Pirandello, Cesare Pavese, Umberto Eco, Andrea Camilleri, Primo Levi, Dario Fo and many others: all of them influenced greatly and deeply the Italian literature and culture; using me they portrayed theItalian society in all its positive and negative aspects; some of them won also the Nobel Prize for literature like Dario Fo, Maria Grazia Deledda, Giosuè Carducci, Salvatore Quasimodo and Eugenio Montale! One curious and fun aspect linked to me can be seen in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious basterds” referred to the scene in which Brad Pitt tries to have a conversation with a nazist general using me: it’s really nice. It’s also quite common to see Italians using gestures, the greatest example, the Italian comedian Roberto Benigni... he won an Oscar with “la vita è bella” and he made a great representation of me in Firenze and onTV speaking about Dante’s The Divine Comedy... Published in 1986 in Pisa, Italy 15


latviešu (latvian) Alphabet: A Ā B C Č D E Ē F G Ģ H I Ī J K Ķ L Ļ M N Ņ O P R S Š T U Ū V Z Ž Family: Latvian belongs to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. It is neither related to German or Russian though it has been influenced by both. Its only living relative is Lithuanian. Although the two languages are spoken quite differently, once you learn to read in Latvian, you will be able to understand the main points in Lithuanian texts. Dialects: There are three dialects in Latvian: the Livonian dialect, Latgalian and the Middle dialect. The Livonian dialect is divided into the Vidzeme variety and the Courland variety (also called tāmnieku or ventiņu). The Middle dialect, the basis of standard Latvian, is divided into the Vidzeme variety, the Curonian variety and the Semigallian variety. Native speakers: Approximately 1.4 million people within Latvia speak Latvian as their native language, along with another 150,000 speakers abroad. There are 3 million Latvian speakers worldwide. After Latvia’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Latvian once again became the national language of the Republic of Latvia. Intersting facts: The good news about learning Latvian is that the grammar rules are very strict and exceptions are less common than in either English or Russian. There is no neutral gender in Latvian. Despite the rigid grammar, Latvian word order is fairly flexible. Latvian pronunciation is less difficult than many other languages because word stress is almost always placed on the first syllable. The main difficulty in properly pronouncing Latvian is its common usage of long vowel signs. Making an error between a short and a long vowel sign may completely change the meaning of a sentence. Tās gan bija skaistas kāzas. Tās gan bija skaistas kazas. That was such a beautiful wedding. Those were so beautiful goats.

Published in 1988 in Riga, Latvia 16


română (Romanian) Origin and formation: It belongs to the family of Latin languages, along with Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese. Out of all these languages, Romanian is considered to have the closest grammar structure to the ancient Latin. The history tells us that starting with the year 100 A.D., the natives of Dacia (the former name of Romania), have mixed their language with the Roman colonizers, thus giving birth to the Romanian language. From the ancient Dacian language, there are about 300 words which are still known today. Native speakers: The Romanian language is spoken by approximately 28 million people across the globe, out of which 24 million persons have it as a mother tongue. The Romanian language, is also the official language of the Republic of Moldova, called Moldavian there. The increasing number of speakers of Romanian is due to the recent learning progress made by the EVS volunteers :-) Famous writers: • The national poet of Romania is Mihai Eminescu, who was known as the last of the romantics and whose works inspired also some far East fans from Japan to learn Romanian. • Another famous writer is Mircea Eliade, the first historian of the religious cults. • Worth mentioning is also Eugen Ionesco (considered, along Samuel Becket, to be the inventor of the absurd theatre) Some funny Romanian words: • The longest words made of only 1 syllable: strinchi, streang, truchi, stricti, strambi, schiopi. • The longest word made only of vowels: Uiuiu • And… a few animal sounds. Cat says:miau Dog says:Ham Frog says: Oac Cow says: Muu Donkey says: Iha Rooster yells: Cucurigu Bear says: Mor Published in 1981 in Zalau, Romania 17


РУССКИЙ (russian) Family of languages: Indo-European -> Balto-Slavic -> East Slavic Alphabet and Scripts: Cyrillic alphabet, got 33 letters. Native speakers: Russian language is 8th (between Bengali and Japanese) most popular language by native speakers and 5th (between Hindi and Arabic) by total number of speakers. Native speakers are 155 million, in Russia 138 (99,4% of population) million people speak Russian. Russian is used in Russia and post-Soviet countries. It is also spoken in Germany, Israel, US, Canada, in some parts of Western Europe. Famous writers: L.Tolstoy; F.Dostoyevsky; A.Chehov; V.Nabokov; M.Bugakov; N.Gogol; A.Pushkin; A.Solzhenitsyn. Interesting facts: Some English words with Russian origin: • Babushka (Russian: бабушка -grandmother”, “granny” or just an old woman), a headscarf folded diagonally and tied under the chin (this meaning is absent in the Russian language). • Vodka (Russian: водка; Russian derivative of вода voda “water”) A 40% alcoholic liquor distilled from fermented wheat mash, but now also made from a mash of rye, corn, or potatoes. • The meaning of the sentence may change cardinally because of the word order. I.e. “Я иду домой” means “I’m going home”, while “Я домой иду” means “It is home to which I’m going (not anywhere else)”, and “Домой иду я” means “It is I, who is going home” • It’s compulsory for all astronauts in the international space station to learn Russian, • There are 10 one-letter words in Russian: а, б, в, ж, и, к, о, с, у, я. Russian cursive can be hard to understand:

Published in 1988 in Daugavpils, Latvia 18


urdu Written right to left in an extension of the Persian and Arabic. Family of languages: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hindi Native speakers: It is the national language of Pakistan It is also an official language of five Indian States and one of the 22 schedualed languages in the Constitution of India. Based on the dialect of Delhi (India), Urdu developed under the influence of Persian, Arabic & Turkish languages over the course of almost 900 years. It originated in the region of Uttar Pardesh (Sub-Continent & Today`s Indian State) during the Delhi Kingdom (1206–1527), and continued to develop under the Mughal Empire (1526–1858). There are over 80 million native speakers of Urdu in Pakistan, India, Bangldesh, UK, Saudi Arebia, USA and Europe. Knowledge of Urdu allows one to speak with far more people than that, as Hindi-Urdu is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin, English, and Spanish. Interesting facts: • Urdu is National Language of Pakistan but the official language is English, it is the easiest way to keep away the ordinary people from good jobs available in the country. State schools and colleges are Urdu Medium and Private and very expensive schools are English medium. • ‘Brain’ is called ‘maghaz’, ‘finger’ is ‘ungli’ and ‘lungs’ are ‘phephare’. In the translation of lungs, the ‘PH’ is not pronounced as ‘F’. • The dialects of Urdu are Dakhini, Pinjari, Rekhta, and Modern Vernacular Urdu. Different dialects are spoken in different countries. • Mubarak Ho. In Urdu, ‘Mubarak’ is a word used to “congrats” someone while ‘Shukeriya’ is a word for “Thanks”, ‘Mauf Kijye’ is for “Sorry” and ‘Khush Amdeed’ is for “Welcome” • There are 37 letters in the Urdu language. The word ‘Urdu’ is derived from a Turkish word that means ‘camp’ or ‘army’. This language developed under the influence of the Muslim Empires that ruled South Asia from the early thirteenth century. Published in Pakistan 19


rules of the living library Languages Living Library - Say me something in your language! How does it work? • When you come for the first time, you have to register as a reader at the librarians’ desk. By becoming a reader you accept the policy of the Living Library. • From the library catalogue you can choose a book you would like to read and set a time to read the book with a librarian. • You can read a book for 20 minutes, but if you would like to read it longer, you should prologue it at the librarians’ desk (if the book is available, of course) • If your book is in a language you do not understand, the Living Library can also provide you with a dictionary (English-Romanian). • If the book you wish to read has already been borrowed by another reader, you can choose a different one or come back later! • The services of the Living Library are free of charge for registered readers. What are the rules for the readers? • Only registered readers who have accepted the Library rules can borrow a book. • Only one book can be borrowed at a time. • A book can be borrowed for 20 minutes, and then it must be returned to the Living Library. • Readers can extend reading time for a maximum of extra 40 min with the librarian. • The reader must return the book in the same mental and physical condition as borrowed. • It’s forbidden to cause damage to the book, tear out or bend pages, get food or drink spilled over the book or hurt her or his dignity in any other way. The reader is responsible for preserving the condition of the book. • The reader accepts the fact that the book can quit the conversation if she or he feels that the reader treats her or him in an inappropriate manner or hurts her or his dignity.


Languages Living Library Catalogue