If you are looking closely at my reading progress this year, you may have noticed something strange appearing lately. Oh, you haven’t? OK, let me show you:
- Dree Venier et al., Gnognosaurs 2
- René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, Asterix l Gaulés
I’m pretty sure none of you has ever heard of the first one (OK, none excluding husband and my sister), and while you may have recognized the second (I’ve already read it once before this year) I guess the only one who could guess what language it is this time is Alex (hint: no, it’s not Portuguese). So I thought that instead of a review I’d explain what these books are and why I read them.
You know I love languages, right? And words. You may also have noticed that I
speak fluently read in 5 major languages. What you don’t know is that I studied a little bit of three more. Including Irish. (Yes, I’m that crazy.) Also, I have a thing for minority languages, and if I ever moved to Barcelona I’d be sure to enroll in a Catalan course earlier than in a Spanish course. (I told you, I’m crazy.)
So back to the books. When Asterix was published in the Mirandese language, my husband (who shares in this craziness) decided he had to buy it. And we both read it.
Which was a strange experience, because I could follow almost everything (in writing, Mirandese language is quite similar to Portuguese with a sprinkle of French and Spanish), but I have no idea whatsoever as to how it sounds. If anyone knows where I could listen to some Mirandese online, please share. Also, if you want to suggest any book/link/resource about Portuguese linguistics, I’d appreciate.
The other book was a completely different experience. It’s an original comic written in Friulian by a Friulian author. And Friulian is the language of my hometown, and while I don’t speak it I do understand it and read it with native competence. And because it’s always good to feel at home, I read this for my husband (who is not from the same region at all, but is beginning to learn the language).
I don’t know if the theme interests you, but just in case here’s a few links:
- a list of all European minority languages, with Internet resources
- an article about minority languages in the face of globalisation (PDF)
- a less scientific but sweeter article about the experience of speaking a minority language