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The Fertile Crescent of the Near East, being humanity’s first home to agriculture and civilization, tends to have some of the unexpected disadvantages of deep cultural diversity, such as everybody has their own alphabet.

This is not to say that every country in Western and Central Europe has the same alphabet: Slovakia has 46 letters, but they are all written as variants of familiar Roman letters, which monoglot English speakers tend to see as less baffling:

Because Western Europe has younger civilizational roots, it was easier to more or less adopt the Roman alphabet.

 
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  1. Anonymous[195] • Disclaimer says:

    It is easy to forget that organised religion, namely Christianity, introduced letters and scholarship wherever it prevailed.
    The priesthood was the original intellectual class. Universities began as religious institutions, to train priests. Record keeping, for various reasons, was important to the Church, hence the priests were, basically, initially the only people who could read and write – and that includes the nobility.
    It is no accident that the English world ‘clerk’, and the widespread surname ‘Clark’ or ‘Clarke’ is derived from the word ‘cleric’.

    • Replies: @donut
    That's nice , but the torments of the damned have not diminished , we the simple fear the judgement of the gods . The powerful and the wealthy do not . One day everyone will get their bill .
    , @Ian Smith
    Then why is Christian Ethiopia so behind heathen Japan?
    , @Agathoklis
    There was plenty of scholarship before Christianity and organised religion more generally.
    , @Paul Jolliffe
    As Steve pointed out in his poignant look at the (still mysterious) fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral last year, one of the better takes on Western Civilization generally (and on Gothic Cathedral architecture in particular) was from the BBC and Sir Kenneth Clark:

    By the way, Clark in his 1969 documentary paid tribute to the critical role that Irish priests played in the 6th and 7th century in keeping literacy alive ("The Skin of Our Teeth"), a point later echoed in Thomas Cahill's 1995 book, "How the Irish Saved Civilization".

    https://youtu.be/TxsVroiUHik

    , @Difference maker
    Not so celibate after all. Although perhaps the Clarks are from after the meaning had already morphed into clerk.

    They were certainly murderous

  2. anonymous[166] • Disclaimer says:

    On the topic of diversity and its fruits:

    One of the schizophrenic talking points from “diversity” advocates, (meaning, the provost, dean and faculty of every university in the United States and Western Europe, and virtually every talking head on television) is that diversity is (1) “such an unadulterated good that we must import an unlimited supply of it into all our countries, campuses and boardrooms” and (2) that “the natural factionalism that diversity inevitably produces will only be gone once we all blend, intermarry, become the same pallor of brown and lose our ethnocultural and religious distinctions.” That is, diversity and multiculturalism are apparently so “awesome” that we must do away with them forthwith through miscegenation.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist I might suggest that this apparent contradiction in propagandistic talking points is because the ultimate objective of “diversity and multiculturalism” is to destroy the groups who are being subjected to it. Namely, the people who have historically made up the populations of Europe, the US and the Anglosphere.

    • Replies: @Hebrew National

    the ultimate objective of “diversity and multiculturalism” is to destroy the groups who are being subjected to it.

     

    You think?

    You can drive a Mack Truck through their logical inconsistencies...
    , @Dr. X

    If I were a conspiracy theorist I might suggest that this apparent contradiction in propagandistic talking points is because the ultimate objective of “diversity and multiculturalism” is to destroy the groups who are being subjected to it.
     
    The purpose of "diversity" is to expropriate the wealth, technology and power of whites and redistribute it to nonwhites theough affirmative action preferences, flooding white countries with nonwhite immigrants, and breeding the white race out of existence.

    It's not a "conspiracy," it's called "communism" and it's quite out in the open. Whites are the new kulaks.
    , @jbwilson24
    Yes, I've noticed this strange schizophrenia with left wingers. Diversity is wonderful, but things will be even better when the various races disappear and we are all brown.

    I had a team member at work who was an outright communist express that very sentiment. I looked at him in horror and said 'you want Japanese people and Maori to die out? Even Hitler wasn't that genocidal'.

    He was not very happy with me and never brought it up again.

    I also get them angry by pointing out that genetic diversity with species arises through segregation. We have numerous variants of particular species (e.g., finches) precisely because they occupied different regions that introduced different evolutionary pathways. Selective pressures, random mutations, reproductive isolation from other members of the species. It's amazing how quickly you can be banned from left wing sites for pointing this out.
  3. India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It’s incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.
     
    It was once explained to me that having so many languages and scripts is actually an advantage, because people in one state are usually blissfully unaware of what's going on in other states, or what the neighboring peoples are saying about them.

    The languages are like internal firewalls in India, and social discontent and political controversy tends to stay localized.

    , @J.Ross
    You can see the path of derivation from devanagari by comparing the letters, to include in your own illustration. Bangla is like a kuficized or fraktur Nagari. For that matter, older dictionaries talk about the German "alphabet."
    , @Aardvark
    Of which Phoenician is allegedly a simplification of the Egyptian system of symbols of birds and people pointing at shit.
    , @DW
    Korean Hangeul, too.
    Look up the Mongolian Phags-pa script.
    , @prosa123
    Banana leaves were a common writing surface in the south of India long ago. This is reflected in the largely circular or curving letters of southern Indian alphabets like Maylalam and Telugu, which made pens less likely to tear the leaves.
    , @Daniel H
    The rosetta stone, so to speak, of all those Indian scripts can be referenced off of one simple script: H1B.
    , @(((Owen)))

    "It’s incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian."
     
    Japanese Hiragana, Japanese Katakana, and Korean Hangul don't derive from Phonecian.

    And there are plenty of obsolete scripts that pre-date Phonecian as well, especially its direct ancestors. Linear A is lost completely and has never been decoded, though we have many texts.
    , @Neoconned
    No wonder india & the Middle East are such politically chaotic places....
  4. You should look at the alphabets of India. Apparently at one point having your own distinct alphabet became a status symbol among India ethnic groups.

  5. @Reg Cæsar
    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It's incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.


    https://omansaubhari.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/writting-script-of-india.png

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prasenjit_Majumder/publication/228599935/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Some-major-Indian-Language-scripts.png

    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It was once explained to me that having so many languages and scripts is actually an advantage, because people in one state are usually blissfully unaware of what’s going on in other states, or what the neighboring peoples are saying about them.

    The languages are like internal firewalls in India, and social discontent and political controversy tends to stay localized.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    I've known Dravidians who knew Hindi fine, but refused to speak it: if somebody asked them a question in Hindi, they'd pretend to not understand.

    English serves as a neutral candidate that is non-obnoxious to everybody.

    , @Dave Pinsen
    I suspect that wasn’t by design, but just how things evolved where there were geographic obstacles limiting movement in and out of a region. Entrepôts such as Calicut would have been exceptions.
    , @mikemikev
    The converse of that would be a multinational ethnic group able to print bad stories about other countries and stir conflict.
    , @Escher

    The languages are like internal firewalls in India, and social discontent and political controversy tends to stay localized.
     
    That’s changing rapidly with the spread of cheap mobile connectivity along with WhatsApp. Real and fake news spreads rapidly across state borders.
    , @RSDB
    I think people in the general Hindi-Urdu belt can understand each other most of the time, but the local cultures and local languages serve as a barrier to centralization and an aid to the federal system.

    As nebulafox mentioned this spirit is probably strongest in the South (which is of course outside the Hindi-Urdu area anyway). Southerners are naturally antipathetic to interference in their affairs by the federal government and resistance to Hindi-speaking is a good way to emphasize this.

  6. @PiltdownMan

    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.
     
    It was once explained to me that having so many languages and scripts is actually an advantage, because people in one state are usually blissfully unaware of what's going on in other states, or what the neighboring peoples are saying about them.

    The languages are like internal firewalls in India, and social discontent and political controversy tends to stay localized.

    I’ve known Dravidians who knew Hindi fine, but refused to speak it: if somebody asked them a question in Hindi, they’d pretend to not understand.

    English serves as a neutral candidate that is non-obnoxious to everybody.

    • Replies: @Meretricious
    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.
    , @oneworld
    I had a this experience on a trip to Madurai, India. Being a culturally ignorant American, I attempted to compliment my host, a Tamil, saying how impressive it was that she could speak not only Tamil, but also Hindi and English. She immediately bristled asking, "Why do you think I speak Hindi? I don't. Why do think I would?" My faux pas was a real eye opener into Indian cultural unity.
    , @Thea
    Cubans in South Florida do the same.
  7. The Farsi alphabet is mininally modified Arabic (but Persians were perhaps more influential: their system of adaptations was picked up by Urdu writers). Armenian and Georgian are funky.
    ——–
    Brian Dennehy was not really in Vietnam, but he did really die; guess the pods got used up.
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/16/entertainment/brian-dennehy-dead/index.html
    https://archive.fo/rwk0x

    • Replies: @anon
    The alphabet that the Persians use today might be a minimally modified Arabic but don't forget that the Farsi language is Indo-European and the original religion was Zoroastrianism which many Persians wish would come back into use.
  8. @Reg Cæsar
    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It's incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.


    https://omansaubhari.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/writting-script-of-india.png

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prasenjit_Majumder/publication/228599935/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Some-major-Indian-Language-scripts.png

    You can see the path of derivation from devanagari by comparing the letters, to include in your own illustration. Bangla is like a kuficized or fraktur Nagari. For that matter, older dictionaries talk about the German “alphabet.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    All the pre-WWII language textbooks and primers in German were in the “Germanic script”. I’m an old book fiend and have played at learning German, but the old script is very hard for me to read.

    Postwar books are all in the customary (to us) Latin script, with umlauts and something like the Greek majuscule beta for the eszett.

    Our local public library had a good selection of foreign language instructional works- most Western languages, Russian, and some Asian- until, unannounced, in the dead of night, they threw it all in locked dumpsters and brought in a lot of Spanish books, mostly potboilers, dry vagina romance crap and car repair manuals. Mestizos don’t read, so they don’t circulate except for phony checkouts and returns to keep the circ count up.
    , @RSDB
    You have to go back to Brahmi, not Devanagari, to get a common ancestor for all the scripts in common use. தமிழ் is not a variation of तमिल .
  9. @PiltdownMan

    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.
     
    It was once explained to me that having so many languages and scripts is actually an advantage, because people in one state are usually blissfully unaware of what's going on in other states, or what the neighboring peoples are saying about them.

    The languages are like internal firewalls in India, and social discontent and political controversy tends to stay localized.

    I suspect that wasn’t by design, but just how things evolved where there were geographic obstacles limiting movement in and out of a region. Entrepôts such as Calicut would have been exceptions.

  10. Counting Arabic and Farsi as two different alphabets is a stretch. Farsi uses the Arabic alphabet, with the addition of a few extra dots for the P and V sounds (and perhaps others).

    • Agree: Peter Akuleyev
    • Replies: @Hebrew National
    It's worse than a stretch. It's like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.

    Greek, Latin and Russian are pretty much the same too. There are a few extras for sound combinations like ps, ts, ch and shch. Other letters — including Russian letters people might think of as weird, like я and и — are just minor matters of caligraphic style. The я, which at first glance looks like a backward 'R', is actually a handwritten 'a', and the и is two i's connected.

    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do. (And maybe throw in Ktav Rashi for good measure!)

    , @Reg Cæsar

    Farsi uses the Arabic alphabet, with the addition of a few extra dots for the P and V sounds (and perhaps others).
     
    And vowels. Semitic languages don't bother with writing those out, as the consonants carry the meaning, and various vowels merely add shading. It's like sang-sing-song-sung in English, but for every word in the language.

    Non-Semitic languages don't do this. Pat, pet, pit, pot, put, pate, Pete, and pout have no common underlying meaning. Thus it's critical to write the vowels. This is done in Arabic (and in Hebrew) by the addition of dots. These are optional in Arabic butcritical in Persian (Farsi), which is Indo-European like English.

    An analogous case is Vietnamese, which uses the Roman alphabet with some diacritics, and is tonal. Which requires more diacritics. That's why it looks "splattered" to us.

    I imagine Persian seems splattered to an Arab, and Yiddish to an Israeli. Semitic scripts are a poor fit for Indo-European tongues.


    Here's a handy chart of non-Arabic additions to Arabic script:


    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-5d2ae1d5943a294595f98310bb11fd4d


    In addition to diacritics and ligatures, things like Þ, Ȝ, and ß pop up in local Roman alphabets the same way. For that matter, our U, W, and J were such innovations.
  11. @nebulafox
    I've known Dravidians who knew Hindi fine, but refused to speak it: if somebody asked them a question in Hindi, they'd pretend to not understand.

    English serves as a neutral candidate that is non-obnoxious to everybody.

    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.

    • Replies: @Hebrew National

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.
     
    Which is now an unpleasant side-effect no one can avoid. Try to straighten something out with your bank or your phone company, and you get a Philipino lady who doesn't understand you, and who can't form a sensible English sentence if she has to go off her canned scripts ("Thank you for your patience", "We regret the incovenience"...)

    If instead you "oprima 2 para Español" you always get a native Spanish speaker.
    , @John Achterhof
    Yeah, considering that language is the basis of learning and (economic) cooperation, having a native language that's easy to learn, efficient and widely in use is quite a benefit.
    , @I was like shocked to read that
    Like Dude, there is no way my fellow english native speakers could ever like, you know, like mangle the language.
    , @AnotherDad


    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.
     
    One would think so. But it turns out if your language is the lingua franca then everyone thinks they own a piece of you. You are the target of all the globalist propaganda. Your nation is treated like a hotel or a whore--open to all.

    It turns out weirdly enough that having a language no one much speaks or understands is a nice barrier to globo scum running their globo scams. People like the Japanese will still be Japanese when the minoritarians have reduced America to a globalist goo.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.
     
    Hardly. It makes one lazy, and deprives one of a fundamental human skill, shifting between languages.

    Educated boys in colonial America were expected to be grounded in Latin, and the smarter ones in Greek. Jefferson advanced to Hebrew and Anglo-Saxon.

    Better yet than learning another language is learning in another language. Or teaching in it. In baseball terms, monolingualism is Class A level, learning in another, major-league.

    Africans are way ahead of us there.

  12. @Anonymous
    It is easy to forget that organised religion, namely Christianity, introduced letters and scholarship wherever it prevailed.
    The priesthood was the original intellectual class. Universities began as religious institutions, to train priests. Record keeping, for various reasons, was important to the Church, hence the priests were, basically, initially the only people who could read and write - and that includes the nobility.
    It is no accident that the English world 'clerk', and the widespread surname 'Clark' or 'Clarke' is derived from the word 'cleric'.

    That’s nice , but the torments of the damned have not diminished , we the simple fear the judgement of the gods . The powerful and the wealthy do not . One day everyone will get their bill .

    • Agree: R.G. Camara
  13. @PiltdownMan

    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.
     
    It was once explained to me that having so many languages and scripts is actually an advantage, because people in one state are usually blissfully unaware of what's going on in other states, or what the neighboring peoples are saying about them.

    The languages are like internal firewalls in India, and social discontent and political controversy tends to stay localized.

    The converse of that would be a multinational ethnic group able to print bad stories about other countries and stir conflict.

    • Replies: @but an humble craftsman
    Interesting idea for a fictional story.

    Luckily there is no such thing in reality.
  14. (Modern) Persian uses the same alphabet as Arabic, much like how Turkish uses the Latin alphabet. Before the Islamic conquests, Middle Persian did have its own unique alphabet.

  15. @Meretricious
    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.

    Which is now an unpleasant side-effect no one can avoid. Try to straighten something out with your bank or your phone company, and you get a Philipino lady who doesn’t understand you, and who can’t form a sensible English sentence if she has to go off her canned scripts (“Thank you for your patience”, “We regret the incovenience”…)

    If instead you “oprima 2 para Español” you always get a native Spanish speaker.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    That's just on the phone HN/IJ. In any big American city, the dieversity is so ridiculous that for pretty much all taxi drivers, convenience store clerics, or anyone in a service industry, I will only ask rudimentary questions. Anything else results in a couple of minutes of back-and-forth and the trying to walk away politely "uhh, never mind. I'll go ask someone else."

    I'd like to see a video of someone asking people in New York City for directions, then following him to see if he ever gets there. The video star is allowed to ask as many people as he wants. Even most of the white people would have to consult their phones, though at least they could explain better ... in Ukrainian or what-have-you...

    Then there's the (alleged) NY City rudeness:

    Tourist: "Excuse me, Sir, what time is it?"
    NYorker: "I don't know, buddy - I'm not from around here."
    , @Jonathan Mason

    If instead you “oprima 2 para Español” you always get a native Spanish speaker.
     
    Yes, indeed. I have sometimes used this route to get a faster response, even though Spanish is not my native language, though I can speak it fairly well. You usually get fast, more accurate, and more friendly service.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    a Philipino lady
     
    Philippine.

    Or pilipina to the locals. Or, in colonial Spanish, filipina.
  16. The US is seeded with upscale contributers to American society of Asiatic descent, Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Koreans who were born here. English is their native language. A very large number of the most attractive women of that cohort marry white men. Their foreign-born parents assimilated their children into mainstream civilization, the heir of Athens and Jerusalem and in fact an enduring historical enterprise in which America is a major participant. I am refering to American born men and women of Asiatic descent who speak native American English. That their skin color is not Caucasian in hue seems to be a big problem for commenters here. I fail to see why their skin color is significant. To this day, some Italians and Jews have retained non-Caucasian features in their faces. How is that significant? If some Jewish scientist is interviewed on the tube and contributes to our understanding of something, the fact that he is both ugly and Jewish-looking ugly may cross one’s mind but that thought doesn’t impede the pleasure of learning something. Or a Chinese scientist or an Indian scientist speaking native English as your fellow citizen. As I see more and more of this cohort making up the top people, I am gladdened as a citizen.

    • Agree: JohnPlywood
    • Disagree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Troll: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @Meretricious
    Yes, yes. Thanks for sharing, Fellow White Person.
    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    And the kids of those Asians that marry Whites are exponentially more likely to marry Whites themselves, and so on and so on until their Asian bloodline de facto vanishes. Not sure how the remaining full-blooded Asians will feel about that (and there will still be plenty since we will keep importing more), but since Whites are no longer as uptight about the whole “one drop” thing, most of the fractional-Asians will be considered White by other Whites. How the fractional-Asians want to view themselves is another matter entirely.
    , @Joseph Doaks
    So you believe that skin color is the only heritable distinction between races?
    , @Blubb
    Tiny Duck?
  17. @anonymous
    On the topic of diversity and its fruits:

    One of the schizophrenic talking points from "diversity" advocates, (meaning, the provost, dean and faculty of every university in the United States and Western Europe, and virtually every talking head on television) is that diversity is (1) "such an unadulterated good that we must import an unlimited supply of it into all our countries, campuses and boardrooms" and (2) that "the natural factionalism that diversity inevitably produces will only be gone once we all blend, intermarry, become the same pallor of brown and lose our ethnocultural and religious distinctions." That is, diversity and multiculturalism are apparently so "awesome" that we must do away with them forthwith through miscegenation.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist I might suggest that this apparent contradiction in propagandistic talking points is because the ultimate objective of "diversity and multiculturalism" is to destroy the groups who are being subjected to it. Namely, the people who have historically made up the populations of Europe, the US and the Anglosphere.

    the ultimate objective of “diversity and multiculturalism” is to destroy the groups who are being subjected to it.

    You think?

    You can drive a Mack Truck through their logical inconsistencies…

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    "Diversity and multiculturalism' in this country is a code term more truthfully rendered thus: replace organic cultures with an a set of contrivances which is driven by the status strata manufactured by the New Class clerisy". The 'destruction' consists of declaring the inherited core culture gangrenous.
  18. @Shmendrix
    Counting Arabic and Farsi as two different alphabets is a stretch. Farsi uses the Arabic alphabet, with the addition of a few extra dots for the P and V sounds (and perhaps others).

    It’s worse than a stretch. It’s like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.

    Greek, Latin and Russian are pretty much the same too. There are a few extras for sound combinations like ps, ts, ch and shch. Other letters — including Russian letters people might think of as weird, like я and и — are just minor matters of caligraphic style. The я, which at first glance looks like a backward ‘R’, is actually a handwritten ‘a’, and the и is two i’s connected.

    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do. (And maybe throw in Ktav Rashi for good measure!)

    • Replies: @dearieme
    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do.

    Which Yiddish-speaking regions do you have in mind?

    I hadn't known that there were people who wrote Yiddish in Hebrew script. Was it common?
    , @Jonathan Mason

    It’s like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.
     
    Well they do have different keyboards to cover accented letters and such like and have some different punctuation marks too, like upside down question marks. If you can touch type on an English keyboard, it can be extraordinarily difficult to knock out a simple e-mail letter on a Spanish keyboard and you may not be able to find the @ symbol at all.

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/V-DZg3HmjfE/maxresdefault.jpg
    , @slumber_j
    Well, the Spanish certainly think they have their own alphabet: just ask the Spanish Royal Academy, which does top-down mandatory language prescription in the French style. The Spanish alphabet used to include the characters "ch" and "ll"--which the academy dropped at some point--and still includes "ñ". You'll say that's not a letter, but they say otherwise, and when children recite the alphabet, they include it.

    (Thanks to the metric system, the Spanish alphabet also includes the otherwise officially useless "k"--although that letter is sometimes used in place of hard "c" by hipster types in an attempt to inject coolness via exoticism, and a lot by the Basques in order to differentiate their written language from Spanish, especially in the case of loan words. It's also used in Seville for Avenida Kansas City, the main approach to the city center from the airport and train station, named for its sister city.)
    , @Anon
    Re Russian letters you are quite wrong. И is derived from Greek Eta which also gave birth to Latin H. The reason the bar is slanted is due to gradual calligraphy development. The reason it stands for an I sound is because that's the way medieval (and I believe modern) Greek pronounced Eta.

    Neither is Я a handwritten variant of A. It is completely unrelated and derived from a now defunct ancient letter Ѧ. Seriously, a simple google search can reveal all this info. Why spread misinformation?

    , @AnotherGuessModel

    Greek, Latin and Russian are pretty much the same too.
     
    You can't intuitively read all three languages having been taught to read only one of them. You can only make out some of the individual letters, but even then many of them have different phonetic sounds from the language you have been taught to read. To me, "pretty much the same" would mean something like the different Cyrillic alphabets, eg. Russian and Bulgarian. What standard are you using?
  19. @Anonymouse
    The US is seeded with upscale contributers to American society of Asiatic descent, Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Koreans who were born here. English is their native language. A very large number of the most attractive women of that cohort marry white men. Their foreign-born parents assimilated their children into mainstream civilization, the heir of Athens and Jerusalem and in fact an enduring historical enterprise in which America is a major participant. I am refering to American born men and women of Asiatic descent who speak native American English. That their skin color is not Caucasian in hue seems to be a big problem for commenters here. I fail to see why their skin color is significant. To this day, some Italians and Jews have retained non-Caucasian features in their faces. How is that significant? If some Jewish scientist is interviewed on the tube and contributes to our understanding of something, the fact that he is both ugly and Jewish-looking ugly may cross one's mind but that thought doesn't impede the pleasure of learning something. Or a Chinese scientist or an Indian scientist speaking native English as your fellow citizen. As I see more and more of this cohort making up the top people, I am gladdened as a citizen.

    Yes, yes. Thanks for sharing, Fellow White Person.

  20. Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran & Syria all shared the same sort of script either Arabic or Nasta’liq (the Persian variant, which Ottamanish was written in).

    There are deep cultural ties to the Muslim Middle East while the Christian nations (Armenia, Georgia, Greece & Bulgaria) have pretty ancient histories.

    Script diversity (like language diversity) is very healthy.

    India, like China, is a civilisation masquerading as a nation state.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    So it turns out that Nakhchivan, which is an exclave of Azerbaijan, shares a 5-mile border with Turkey. So that's the bordering country that at least shares an alphabet with Turkey.
  21. Kentucky has open borders with 7 States, all of which used to contain nothing but English speakers. Also, the State itself still has one of the lowest number of Ebonics speakers in any part of The South. Yet it’s somehow come a long way despite this terrible paucity of diversity.

    Don’t look at your phone (Millennials!), wall map, or globe, and see if you can name all 7 border States.

  22. @Meretricious
    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.

    Yeah, considering that language is the basis of learning and (economic) cooperation, having a native language that’s easy to learn, efficient and widely in use is quite a benefit.

  23. @Hebrew National
    It's worse than a stretch. It's like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.

    Greek, Latin and Russian are pretty much the same too. There are a few extras for sound combinations like ps, ts, ch and shch. Other letters — including Russian letters people might think of as weird, like я and и — are just minor matters of caligraphic style. The я, which at first glance looks like a backward 'R', is actually a handwritten 'a', and the и is two i's connected.

    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do. (And maybe throw in Ktav Rashi for good measure!)

    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do.

    Which Yiddish-speaking regions do you have in mind?

    I hadn’t known that there were people who wrote Yiddish in Hebrew script. Was it common?

    • Replies: @Hebrew National
    Yiddish (when written for Yiddish speakers of course) is written in the Hebrew alphabet. It's not the best system for rendering the sounds of a Germanic language, but it works well enough and the target audience apparently preferred the Hebrew alphabet.

    To your first question, I'll have to take back what I said; I forgot that to get from Turkey to the places where a lot of Yiddish-speaking (i.e. Ashkenazi) Jews lived, you'd have to skip over Soviet Georgia.

  24. @Hebrew National

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.
     
    Which is now an unpleasant side-effect no one can avoid. Try to straighten something out with your bank or your phone company, and you get a Philipino lady who doesn't understand you, and who can't form a sensible English sentence if she has to go off her canned scripts ("Thank you for your patience", "We regret the incovenience"...)

    If instead you "oprima 2 para Español" you always get a native Spanish speaker.

    That’s just on the phone HN/IJ. In any big American city, the dieversity is so ridiculous that for pretty much all taxi drivers, convenience store clerics, or anyone in a service industry, I will only ask rudimentary questions. Anything else results in a couple of minutes of back-and-forth and the trying to walk away politely “uhh, never mind. I’ll go ask someone else.”

    I’d like to see a video of someone asking people in New York City for directions, then following him to see if he ever gets there. The video star is allowed to ask as many people as he wants. Even most of the white people would have to consult their phones, though at least they could explain better … in Ukrainian or what-have-you…

    Then there’s the (alleged) NY City rudeness:

    Tourist: “Excuse me, Sir, what time is it?”
    NYorker: “I don’t know, buddy – I’m not from around here.”

  25. China borders 15 countries when you give up on “Free Tibet!”. She (in Pat Buchanan parlance) would lose a lot of them if she lost Tibet. Maybe that’s what the whole Tibet occupation is about anyway, just that coveted spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

    This is a pretty honest crowd*, for a bunch of anonymous people on the internet: Anyone who can name all 15 of these without looking at any source can call himself a true Geographer. I WiLL NOT TAKE MYANMAR (spit!) as a valid answer. (Perhaps, “what was Myanmar?” will pass.)

    .

    * reminding me, where the heck is Charles Pewitt?

    • Replies: @anon
    I think I did (without checking). In no particular order: Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, India, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea, South Korea.
    OK, I'm sure I missed some and added ones that are near, but don't border China.
  26. @nebulafox
    I've known Dravidians who knew Hindi fine, but refused to speak it: if somebody asked them a question in Hindi, they'd pretend to not understand.

    English serves as a neutral candidate that is non-obnoxious to everybody.

    I had a this experience on a trip to Madurai, India. Being a culturally ignorant American, I attempted to compliment my host, a Tamil, saying how impressive it was that she could speak not only Tamil, but also Hindi and English. She immediately bristled asking, “Why do you think I speak Hindi? I don’t. Why do think I would?” My faux pas was a real eye opener into Indian cultural unity.

    • Replies: @AnotherGuessModel
    There is this joke among Ukrainians: When there is a Russian among them, there is an unwritten rule that they all speak in Ukrainian. When the Russian departs, the Ukrainians resume their usual conversing in Russian.
  27. @Hebrew National

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.
     
    Which is now an unpleasant side-effect no one can avoid. Try to straighten something out with your bank or your phone company, and you get a Philipino lady who doesn't understand you, and who can't form a sensible English sentence if she has to go off her canned scripts ("Thank you for your patience", "We regret the incovenience"...)

    If instead you "oprima 2 para Español" you always get a native Spanish speaker.

    If instead you “oprima 2 para Español” you always get a native Spanish speaker.

    Yes, indeed. I have sometimes used this route to get a faster response, even though Spanish is not my native language, though I can speak it fairly well. You usually get fast, more accurate, and more friendly service.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    You usually get fast, more accurate, and more friendly service.
     
    I'm confused ... is it because your call was or was not routed to Manila?
  28. @Meretricious
    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.

    Like Dude, there is no way my fellow english native speakers could ever like, you know, like mangle the language.

  29. @Hebrew National
    It's worse than a stretch. It's like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.

    Greek, Latin and Russian are pretty much the same too. There are a few extras for sound combinations like ps, ts, ch and shch. Other letters — including Russian letters people might think of as weird, like я and и — are just minor matters of caligraphic style. The я, which at first glance looks like a backward 'R', is actually a handwritten 'a', and the и is two i's connected.

    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do. (And maybe throw in Ktav Rashi for good measure!)

    It’s like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.

    Well they do have different keyboards to cover accented letters and such like and have some different punctuation marks too, like upside down question marks. If you can touch type on an English keyboard, it can be extraordinarily difficult to knock out a simple e-mail letter on a Spanish keyboard and you may not be able to find the @ symbol at all.

    • Replies: @slumber_j

    you may not be able to find the @ symbol at all.
     
    I don't remember that problem when I lived in Spain, but maybe I just don't remember. In any case, that's ironic in light of the history of the symbol:

    Whatever the origin of the @ (at) symbol, the history of its usage is more well-known: it has long been used in Spanish and Portuguese as an abbreviation of arroba, a unit of weight equivalent to 25 pounds, and derived from the Arabic expression of "the quarter" (الربع pronounced ar-rubʿ).[8] An Italian academic, Giorgio Stabile, claims to have traced the @ symbol to the 16th century, in a mercantile document sent by Florentine Francesco Lapi from Seville to Rome on May 4, 1536.[9] The document is about commerce with Pizarro, in particular the price of an @ of wine in Peru. Currently, the word arroba means both the at-symbol and a unit of weight.
     
  30. Because Western Europe has younger civilizational roots, it was easier to more or less adopt the Roman alphabet.

    I see your point, but of course Turkey itself did that in 1928.

  31. @Jonathan Mason

    It’s like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.
     
    Well they do have different keyboards to cover accented letters and such like and have some different punctuation marks too, like upside down question marks. If you can touch type on an English keyboard, it can be extraordinarily difficult to knock out a simple e-mail letter on a Spanish keyboard and you may not be able to find the @ symbol at all.

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/V-DZg3HmjfE/maxresdefault.jpg

    you may not be able to find the @ symbol at all.

    I don’t remember that problem when I lived in Spain, but maybe I just don’t remember. In any case, that’s ironic in light of the history of the symbol:

    Whatever the origin of the @ (at) symbol, the history of its usage is more well-known: it has long been used in Spanish and Portuguese as an abbreviation of arroba, a unit of weight equivalent to 25 pounds, and derived from the Arabic expression of “the quarter” (الربع pronounced ar-rubʿ).[8] An Italian academic, Giorgio Stabile, claims to have traced the @ symbol to the 16th century, in a mercantile document sent by Florentine Francesco Lapi from Seville to Rome on May 4, 1536.[9] The document is about commerce with Pizarro, in particular the price of an @ of wine in Peru. Currently, the word arroba means both the at-symbol and a unit of weight.

    • Replies: @Anonymouse
    That's like the # character having a number of meanings - number, weight in pounds, phonepad key, a sympbol with an assigned meaning in computer languages. Like Humpty-Dumpty said about words more or less "I pay them on payday and they mean what I tell them to mean."

    That English after WW II became the default world language is a great gift to the English-speaking nations. Some of the commenters on this forum seem to resent it that foreigners are allowed to write in English or speak it. I read somewhere of a Japanese hearing a round-eye speak Japanese competently saying that there should be a law against foreigners speaking it that competently.

  32. @Anonymouse
    The US is seeded with upscale contributers to American society of Asiatic descent, Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Koreans who were born here. English is their native language. A very large number of the most attractive women of that cohort marry white men. Their foreign-born parents assimilated their children into mainstream civilization, the heir of Athens and Jerusalem and in fact an enduring historical enterprise in which America is a major participant. I am refering to American born men and women of Asiatic descent who speak native American English. That their skin color is not Caucasian in hue seems to be a big problem for commenters here. I fail to see why their skin color is significant. To this day, some Italians and Jews have retained non-Caucasian features in their faces. How is that significant? If some Jewish scientist is interviewed on the tube and contributes to our understanding of something, the fact that he is both ugly and Jewish-looking ugly may cross one's mind but that thought doesn't impede the pleasure of learning something. Or a Chinese scientist or an Indian scientist speaking native English as your fellow citizen. As I see more and more of this cohort making up the top people, I am gladdened as a citizen.

    And the kids of those Asians that marry Whites are exponentially more likely to marry Whites themselves, and so on and so on until their Asian bloodline de facto vanishes. Not sure how the remaining full-blooded Asians will feel about that (and there will still be plenty since we will keep importing more), but since Whites are no longer as uptight about the whole “one drop” thing, most of the fractional-Asians will be considered White by other Whites. How the fractional-Asians want to view themselves is another matter entirely.

  33. @Hebrew National
    It's worse than a stretch. It's like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.

    Greek, Latin and Russian are pretty much the same too. There are a few extras for sound combinations like ps, ts, ch and shch. Other letters — including Russian letters people might think of as weird, like я and и — are just minor matters of caligraphic style. The я, which at first glance looks like a backward 'R', is actually a handwritten 'a', and the и is two i's connected.

    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do. (And maybe throw in Ktav Rashi for good measure!)

    Well, the Spanish certainly think they have their own alphabet: just ask the Spanish Royal Academy, which does top-down mandatory language prescription in the French style. The Spanish alphabet used to include the characters “ch” and “ll”–which the academy dropped at some point–and still includes “ñ”. You’ll say that’s not a letter, but they say otherwise, and when children recite the alphabet, they include it.

    (Thanks to the metric system, the Spanish alphabet also includes the otherwise officially useless “k”–although that letter is sometimes used in place of hard “c” by hipster types in an attempt to inject coolness via exoticism, and a lot by the Basques in order to differentiate their written language from Spanish, especially in the case of loan words. It’s also used in Seville for Avenida Kansas City, the main approach to the city center from the airport and train station, named for its sister city.)

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    ¿Do they have little Sevillian hippy chicks standing on the corner there drinking cheap rot gut sangría?


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEtgGSeGtwI
  34. Anon[409] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hebrew National
    It's worse than a stretch. It's like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.

    Greek, Latin and Russian are pretty much the same too. There are a few extras for sound combinations like ps, ts, ch and shch. Other letters — including Russian letters people might think of as weird, like я and и — are just minor matters of caligraphic style. The я, which at first glance looks like a backward 'R', is actually a handwritten 'a', and the и is two i's connected.

    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do. (And maybe throw in Ktav Rashi for good measure!)

    Re Russian letters you are quite wrong. И is derived from Greek Eta which also gave birth to Latin H. The reason the bar is slanted is due to gradual calligraphy development. The reason it stands for an I sound is because that’s the way medieval (and I believe modern) Greek pronounced Eta.

    Neither is Я a handwritten variant of A. It is completely unrelated and derived from a now defunct ancient letter Ѧ. Seriously, a simple google search can reveal all this info. Why spread misinformation?

    • Replies: @Hebrew National
    You're quite right, and thanks for setting the record straight. I was reporting what I heard from someone, and the information seemed credible. I don't check everything against Google or Wikipedia.

    The origin of и and я, however, is not a matter of great importance and I'm sure my mistake harmed no one, so your moralizing about "misinformation" is misplaced. Being an asshole is a lot worse than being wrong on a point of trivia.

  35. @Anonymous
    It is easy to forget that organised religion, namely Christianity, introduced letters and scholarship wherever it prevailed.
    The priesthood was the original intellectual class. Universities began as religious institutions, to train priests. Record keeping, for various reasons, was important to the Church, hence the priests were, basically, initially the only people who could read and write - and that includes the nobility.
    It is no accident that the English world 'clerk', and the widespread surname 'Clark' or 'Clarke' is derived from the word 'cleric'.

    Then why is Christian Ethiopia so behind heathen Japan?

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    Christian Ethiopia is miles ahead of its pagan African counterparts.

    Race exists, but so does scholarship.

    Nature AND Nurture, son.
    , @PiltdownMan

    Then why is Christian Ethiopia so behind heathen Japan?
     
    Until the Meiji Restoration, it almost certainly wasn't.

    https://l450v.alamy.com/450v/racphj/good-friday-coptic-ethiopian-christian-procession-on-the-via-dolorosa-jerusalem-israel-middle-east-racphj.jpg
    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/1c/4a/ca/1c4aca47a16b0d3cf8f9ed78274faed9--orthodox-wedding-christian-weddings.jpg
    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Qx0uH_5rNto/UUhKVMFRQZI/AAAAAAAChlE/nqsbu5j7rFQ/s1600/Color+Photos+of+Life+in+Japan+in+the+Late+19th+Century+(18).jpg
    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wU9_a1h6Hu0/VmbqdrZZ9vI/AAAAAAAAJWk/-azanSNuLBA/s1600/%2BOld%2BJapan%2Bin%2Blate%2B19th%2BCentury%2B%25281%2529.jpg

  36. @Anonymous
    It is easy to forget that organised religion, namely Christianity, introduced letters and scholarship wherever it prevailed.
    The priesthood was the original intellectual class. Universities began as religious institutions, to train priests. Record keeping, for various reasons, was important to the Church, hence the priests were, basically, initially the only people who could read and write - and that includes the nobility.
    It is no accident that the English world 'clerk', and the widespread surname 'Clark' or 'Clarke' is derived from the word 'cleric'.

    There was plenty of scholarship before Christianity and organised religion more generally.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    There was plenty of scholarship before Christianity and organized religion more generally.
     
    That's a common misconception. Prior to the Greeks, the idea of "truth" as something true whether people believed it or not was restricted to physical events. Everything else was politics.

    The idea of truth of abstract concepts was invented by the Greeks (credit usually given to Plato), and promptly rejected by pretty much every society on Earth that heard of it. Perhaps world was illusion (possibly consensus reality), in which case truth was another illusion, opinion at bast. Perhaps the world was the instant by instant creation of an all powerful God, who could change the rules at any second. Perhaps the Gods were multiple and could intervene at any time, so a human knowing the truth was a human zapped by a God for being a smarty pants. Perhaps there was "no old man in the sky"but society was ruled by ritual. Perhaps the truth that could be stated was not the real truth. Rejection after rejection, usually in favor of social stability. The Postmodernist idea that there is no truth, only oppression a attempts to impose acceptance of that oppression is scarcely new- it's just another attempt to reject truth.

    Christianity didn't reject truth. It continued to use tests of logic and checks against reality as criteria for beliefs and actions. Nobody else did that.

    And for quite some time during the 1800s other societies imitated the West and imported the idea of truth. As of now, they've all rejected it as dangerous to social stability, or the Westernizers have simply been out-bred by the traditionalists and persecuted out of existence.

    So, today, some variation on "political reality" prevails almost everywhere. It has bad results when the "political reality" people get hold of contemporary industrial/medical equipment-- the PRC financed Wuhan's Level 4 lab to make a political point, but were far enough away from truth that they couldn't get a staff that believed in the truth of abstracts such as "don't sell lab animals for food" and "don't take shortcuts in sterile procedure", but instead believed only in "what can I do to get money and prestige right now?".

    Human life isn't quite a simple as you might think, nor is truth quite as disposable for an industrial society as you might think. In your foolish arrogance, you've thrown away the inheritance that could have kept you and your descendants alive.
  37. Anonymous[152] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross
    You can see the path of derivation from devanagari by comparing the letters, to include in your own illustration. Bangla is like a kuficized or fraktur Nagari. For that matter, older dictionaries talk about the German "alphabet."

    All the pre-WWII language textbooks and primers in German were in the “Germanic script”. I’m an old book fiend and have played at learning German, but the old script is very hard for me to read.

    Postwar books are all in the customary (to us) Latin script, with umlauts and something like the Greek majuscule beta for the eszett.

    Our local public library had a good selection of foreign language instructional works- most Western languages, Russian, and some Asian- until, unannounced, in the dead of night, they threw it all in locked dumpsters and brought in a lot of Spanish books, mostly potboilers, dry vagina romance crap and car repair manuals. Mestizos don’t read, so they don’t circulate except for phony checkouts and returns to keep the circ count up.

  38. @slumber_j
    Well, the Spanish certainly think they have their own alphabet: just ask the Spanish Royal Academy, which does top-down mandatory language prescription in the French style. The Spanish alphabet used to include the characters "ch" and "ll"--which the academy dropped at some point--and still includes "ñ". You'll say that's not a letter, but they say otherwise, and when children recite the alphabet, they include it.

    (Thanks to the metric system, the Spanish alphabet also includes the otherwise officially useless "k"--although that letter is sometimes used in place of hard "c" by hipster types in an attempt to inject coolness via exoticism, and a lot by the Basques in order to differentiate their written language from Spanish, especially in the case of loan words. It's also used in Seville for Avenida Kansas City, the main approach to the city center from the airport and train station, named for its sister city.)

    ¿Do they have little Sevillian hippy chicks standing on the corner there drinking cheap rot gut sangría?

  39. Turkey borders 7 countries with 7 different alphabets

    Pfffft. You call that diversity? THIS is diversity:

    Queens is both the largest borough of New York City and the second most populated. Queens is also notable for being the most ethnically diverse urban area in the entire world, representing over 100 nations and speaking 138 different languages.

    Think of all the restaurants! Indeed, I went to a Himalayan restaurant one time (admit it, you don’t have one of those is your neighborhood, do you, bigot?). It was just sort of slightly different yet recognizably Asian food, and utterly mediocre. But it was authentic and it mocked my white privilege.

    • Replies: @fish

    It was just sort of slightly different yet recognizably Asian food, and utterly mediocre. But it was authentic and it mocked my white privilege.
     
    Well you certainly don't get that at Sonic.
    , @Rex Little

    I went to a Himalayan restaurant one time (admit it, you don’t have one of those is your neighborhood, do you, bigot?).
     
    There's one in the small city (population just over 5000) where I used to live in California.
  40. @anonymous
    On the topic of diversity and its fruits:

    One of the schizophrenic talking points from "diversity" advocates, (meaning, the provost, dean and faculty of every university in the United States and Western Europe, and virtually every talking head on television) is that diversity is (1) "such an unadulterated good that we must import an unlimited supply of it into all our countries, campuses and boardrooms" and (2) that "the natural factionalism that diversity inevitably produces will only be gone once we all blend, intermarry, become the same pallor of brown and lose our ethnocultural and religious distinctions." That is, diversity and multiculturalism are apparently so "awesome" that we must do away with them forthwith through miscegenation.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist I might suggest that this apparent contradiction in propagandistic talking points is because the ultimate objective of "diversity and multiculturalism" is to destroy the groups who are being subjected to it. Namely, the people who have historically made up the populations of Europe, the US and the Anglosphere.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist I might suggest that this apparent contradiction in propagandistic talking points is because the ultimate objective of “diversity and multiculturalism” is to destroy the groups who are being subjected to it.

    The purpose of “diversity” is to expropriate the wealth, technology and power of whites and redistribute it to nonwhites theough affirmative action preferences, flooding white countries with nonwhite immigrants, and breeding the white race out of existence.

    It’s not a “conspiracy,” it’s called “communism” and it’s quite out in the open. Whites are the new kulaks.

  41. @Reg Cæsar
    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It's incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.


    https://omansaubhari.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/writting-script-of-india.png

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prasenjit_Majumder/publication/228599935/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Some-major-Indian-Language-scripts.png

    Of which Phoenician is allegedly a simplification of the Egyptian system of symbols of birds and people pointing at shit.

  42. I spent several years teaching at a bilingual multiracial community college.

    It is always in the interests of the ruling classes to divide us.

    Nothing divides people faster than language.

    Workers of the world cannot unite if they can’t speak to each other.

    • Agree: Jedi Night
    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I spent several years teaching at a bilingual multiracial community college.
     
    Care to elaborate on your experience?

    It is always in the interests of the ruling classes to divide us.

    Nothing divides people faster than language.
     
    Bilingual does not mean that people do not have a common language that they can speak to each other in.
    , @The Anti-Gnostic
    Huh. It's almost like that's what separate countries are for.

    If only those ignorant workers could figure out how much more bargaining power they would have with a global lingua franca and free movement of capital and labor!

    Seriously, did you fall asleep under a tree at the Fourth Internationale and just wake up?
  43. Because Western Europe has younger civilizational roots, it was easier to more or less adopt the Roman alphabet.

    That is a bizarre claim to make. It is simply because Latin was the sole written language everywhere in Western Europe until early in the second millenium after Christ. If anything the East Slavic nations have “younger” civilizational roots. At least two of these alphabets (Cyrillic, Arabic/Farsi) were invented long after the territories of Western Europe had already adopted Latin. Those new alphabets basically replaced Greek, which had dominated in this region.

    The Middle East and North Africa are hardly diverse – Arabic and the Arabic alphabet are the sole writing system for hundreds of millions of people, and it is only in the last century that Turks and Central Asians dumped the Arabic alphabet for Latin/Cyrillic.

    The interesting thing is how religious diversity is pretty much the direct cause of alphabetic diversity or lack thereof.

    • Replies: @Faraday's Bobcat

    It is simply because Latin was the sole written language everywhere in Western Europe until early in the second millenium after Christ.
     
    Not true. Greek was used to render several Western European languages such as Gaulish, Gothic and Iberian before the Roman conquests, and the Irish, not having truckled to Rome until the Norman invasions, had Ogham from c. 400 AD.
  44. Because Western Europe has younger civilizational roots, it was easier to more or less adopt the Roman alphabet.

    ?? If I’m not mistaken, the Greek and Roman alphabets antedate all the scripts in general use in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia.

    • Replies: @Hebrew National
    I think what he meant was that before Rome expanded into Gaul, Spain and Britain, there wasn't much there in the way of written language. So the Latin alphabet didn't need to replace an established writing system. In the Near East, they already had writing, so even if the Arabic alphabet is relatively new, the locals had something before that and along with it some firm ideas, I suppose, about the way of doing things writing-wise.
  45. Anonymous[379] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve Sailer:

    “Because Western Europe has younger civilizational roots, it was easier to more or less adopt the Roman alphabet.”

    Define “younger”? The oldest city-states in Europe, like Corinth, Troy and Brindisium, were actually founded in the 3rd millenium B.C at the end of the Chalcolithic Era and before the beggining of the Bronze Age. Yes, before the Bronze Age even begun! When Rome was founded in 753 B.C(or around), there were city-states in Europe almost 2,000 years old.

    Europe is actually incredibly, incredibly, old. Only northern Europe has a more recent civilizational root, and even then it is 2,000 years old already.

    The U.S, founded in 1776 and settled only 400 years ago, is like a baby. If you were to compare the time scales, if America were a child of primary school age, Europe would be like an octogenarian on the verge of becoming a nonagenarian.

    There is a reason why America is the New World and Europe is the Old World: European time-scales dwarf the scale of American history by more than an order of magnitude. Is this perhaps the reason why Europeans are so cynical and pessimistic compared to Americans? Because they have seen and experienced so much?

    • Replies: @Dr. X

    European time-scales dwarf the scale of American history by more than an order of magnitude. Is this perhaps the reason why Europeans are so cynical and pessimistic compared to Americans? Because they have seen and experienced so much?
     
    It's not just that they have "seen and experienced so much," it's that every square inch of the place was spoken for by a power elite thousands of years ago. The cynicism and pessimism is born of the reality that when you come onto the scene, the question is "What is your place into the pre-existing order of things?" Politics then becomes a Machiavellian quid pro quo.

    By contrast, America was defined by the frontier, as Frederick Jackson Turner theorized. It's characteristic optimism was derived from the ability of anyone to go forth onto open land and claim your own destiny, almost entirely free of government.

    Of course, the frontier has been closed for a century, and our own politics are consequently becoming more European and more Machiavellian.

    , @ScarletNumber

    The U.S, founded in 1776 and settled only 400 years ago, is like a baby.
     
    In the US, 100 years is a long time, but in Europe, 100 miles is a long way.
  46. Anonymous[683] • Disclaimer says:

    Why isn’t Steve writing posts anymore to advocate for halting immigration and for repatriating illegal aliens?

    There’s more reason than ever to do so now. And there’s never been a greater opportunity.

  47. @Anonymouse
    The US is seeded with upscale contributers to American society of Asiatic descent, Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Koreans who were born here. English is their native language. A very large number of the most attractive women of that cohort marry white men. Their foreign-born parents assimilated their children into mainstream civilization, the heir of Athens and Jerusalem and in fact an enduring historical enterprise in which America is a major participant. I am refering to American born men and women of Asiatic descent who speak native American English. That their skin color is not Caucasian in hue seems to be a big problem for commenters here. I fail to see why their skin color is significant. To this day, some Italians and Jews have retained non-Caucasian features in their faces. How is that significant? If some Jewish scientist is interviewed on the tube and contributes to our understanding of something, the fact that he is both ugly and Jewish-looking ugly may cross one's mind but that thought doesn't impede the pleasure of learning something. Or a Chinese scientist or an Indian scientist speaking native English as your fellow citizen. As I see more and more of this cohort making up the top people, I am gladdened as a citizen.

    So you believe that skin color is the only heritable distinction between races?

    • Replies: @Anonymouse
    to Joe Doaks -

    huh? I was talking about the minds of a cohort of non-white complected individuals who were logged on and participating in the American enterprise as their command of native American-English and productivity indicates. The French used to have a saying L'ame n'a pas du sexe. Speaking for myself, I have never been conscious of my sex when not thinking of the objects of sexual desire. I once asked a black girl I had kissed what it was like to be/feel black. She was unable to supply an intelligible answer. The skin color is inherited. What has that got to do for example with the mind of Fleur Pellerin a Korean war adoptee raised and educated in France who became a government minister? Of course I was referring to native-born Americans of Asiatic descent. I was not speaking about American negroes who bear the burden of being one SD less intelligent on average than whites and Asiatics and the additional burden of being brought up in a dystopic black culture.
  48. Anonymous[683] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paleo Liberal
    I spent several years teaching at a bilingual multiracial community college.

    It is always in the interests of the ruling classes to divide us.

    Nothing divides people faster than language.

    Workers of the world cannot unite if they can’t speak to each other.

    I spent several years teaching at a bilingual multiracial community college.

    Care to elaborate on your experience?

    It is always in the interests of the ruling classes to divide us.

    Nothing divides people faster than language.

    Bilingual does not mean that people do not have a common language that they can speak to each other in.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    His meaning is clear: this is one of those cases where language is submerged in innocuous vagueness, and the foreigner can misunderstand while nominally correctly interpreting. A community of bilingual people can probably enjoy communication between different groups as you observe. A Constitution-hating America-overwriting ghetto which cannot be bothered to learn the national language and which has declared itself to be "bilingual" cannot enjoy communication between groups.
    ------
    Finally watched Pat Rooney's excellent short film Love Thy Neighbor, it's must watch if you have forty minutes.
    It actually has footage of the screamingly corrupt town council boasting and laughing to each other about how they snuck an unpopular vote through by piling on less important matters and holding the key vote as late into the night as possible.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOS4ES7OSvo
  49. @Peter Akuleyev
    Because Western Europe has younger civilizational roots, it was easier to more or less adopt the Roman alphabet.

    That is a bizarre claim to make. It is simply because Latin was the sole written language everywhere in Western Europe until early in the second millenium after Christ. If anything the East Slavic nations have "younger" civilizational roots. At least two of these alphabets (Cyrillic, Arabic/Farsi) were invented long after the territories of Western Europe had already adopted Latin. Those new alphabets basically replaced Greek, which had dominated in this region.

    The Middle East and North Africa are hardly diverse - Arabic and the Arabic alphabet are the sole writing system for hundreds of millions of people, and it is only in the last century that Turks and Central Asians dumped the Arabic alphabet for Latin/Cyrillic.

    The interesting thing is how religious diversity is pretty much the direct cause of alphabetic diversity or lack thereof.

    It is simply because Latin was the sole written language everywhere in Western Europe until early in the second millenium after Christ.

    Not true. Greek was used to render several Western European languages such as Gaulish, Gothic and Iberian before the Roman conquests, and the Irish, not having truckled to Rome until the Norman invasions, had Ogham from c. 400 AD.

    • Replies: @songbird
    I think Ogham was mainly meant for carving on stone or wood. That's why it is straight lines, such as are easy to do with a knife or chisel. I bet anything they simultaneously used the Latin alphabet on paper or vellum.
  50. @Reg Cæsar
    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It's incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.


    https://omansaubhari.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/writting-script-of-india.png

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prasenjit_Majumder/publication/228599935/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Some-major-Indian-Language-scripts.png

    Korean Hangeul, too.
    Look up the Mongolian Phags-pa script.

  51. @Reg Cæsar
    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It's incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.


    https://omansaubhari.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/writting-script-of-india.png

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prasenjit_Majumder/publication/228599935/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Some-major-Indian-Language-scripts.png

    Banana leaves were a common writing surface in the south of India long ago. This is reflected in the largely circular or curving letters of southern Indian alphabets like Maylalam and Telugu, which made pens less likely to tear the leaves.

    • Replies: @82-IQ H1B Indian

    Banana leaves were a common writing surface in the south of India long ago.
     
    Its Palm-leaf not banana leaf.



    Banana leaves are used as plates. Even today during festivals/ ceremonies, banana leaves are used as plates.

  52. @Jonathan Mason

    If instead you “oprima 2 para Español” you always get a native Spanish speaker.
     
    Yes, indeed. I have sometimes used this route to get a faster response, even though Spanish is not my native language, though I can speak it fairly well. You usually get fast, more accurate, and more friendly service.

    You usually get fast, more accurate, and more friendly service.

    I’m confused … is it because your call was or was not routed to Manila?

  53. @prosa123
    Banana leaves were a common writing surface in the south of India long ago. This is reflected in the largely circular or curving letters of southern Indian alphabets like Maylalam and Telugu, which made pens less likely to tear the leaves.

    Banana leaves were a common writing surface in the south of India long ago.

    Its Palm-leaf not banana leaf.

    Banana leaves are used as plates. Even today during festivals/ ceremonies, banana leaves are used as plates.

    • Replies: @Alden
    Palm leaves are too narrow and stiff to use for writing. Banana leaves would be better, being bigger and more supple.
  54. @PiltdownMan

    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.
     
    It was once explained to me that having so many languages and scripts is actually an advantage, because people in one state are usually blissfully unaware of what's going on in other states, or what the neighboring peoples are saying about them.

    The languages are like internal firewalls in India, and social discontent and political controversy tends to stay localized.

    The languages are like internal firewalls in India, and social discontent and political controversy tends to stay localized.

    That’s changing rapidly with the spread of cheap mobile connectivity along with WhatsApp. Real and fake news spreads rapidly across state borders.

  55. @Anonymous

    I spent several years teaching at a bilingual multiracial community college.
     
    Care to elaborate on your experience?

    It is always in the interests of the ruling classes to divide us.

    Nothing divides people faster than language.
     
    Bilingual does not mean that people do not have a common language that they can speak to each other in.

    His meaning is clear: this is one of those cases where language is submerged in innocuous vagueness, and the foreigner can misunderstand while nominally correctly interpreting. A community of bilingual people can probably enjoy communication between different groups as you observe. A Constitution-hating America-overwriting ghetto which cannot be bothered to learn the national language and which has declared itself to be “bilingual” cannot enjoy communication between groups.
    ——
    Finally watched Pat Rooney’s excellent short film Love Thy Neighbor, it’s must watch if you have forty minutes.
    It actually has footage of the screamingly corrupt town council boasting and laughing to each other about how they snuck an unpopular vote through by piling on less important matters and holding the key vote as late into the night as possible.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    "It actually has footage of the screamingly corrupt town council boasting and laughing to each other about how they snuck an unpopular vote through by piling on less important matters and holding the key vote as late into the night as possible."

    "Snuck?" In Illinois, this is not required. As Dan Proft (WIND-AM) pointed out in the latest primary election this year, every single referendum to raise money for schools passed in the Chicago area. The voters have spoken; they are totally in agreement to paying ever more MORE money ("taxes") for the educational-industrial complex.

    IL Gov. "Jelly Belly" Pritzker (D) is pushing for the passage of a so-called "Progressive Income Tax." He refuses to lay off government workers, reduce pay, reduce spending. I will NOT be surprised if the PIT passes in November because of all the Black, Hispanic and other lefty voters.
  56. @Hebrew National
    It's worse than a stretch. It's like counting English and Spanish as distinct alphabets.

    Greek, Latin and Russian are pretty much the same too. There are a few extras for sound combinations like ps, ts, ch and shch. Other letters — including Russian letters people might think of as weird, like я and и — are just minor matters of caligraphic style. The я, which at first glance looks like a backward 'R', is actually a handwritten 'a', and the и is two i's connected.

    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do. (And maybe throw in Ktav Rashi for good measure!)

    Greek, Latin and Russian are pretty much the same too.

    You can’t intuitively read all three languages having been taught to read only one of them. You can only make out some of the individual letters, but even then many of them have different phonetic sounds from the language you have been taught to read. To me, “pretty much the same” would mean something like the different Cyrillic alphabets, eg. Russian and Bulgarian. What standard are you using?

  57. @Anonymouse
    The US is seeded with upscale contributers to American society of Asiatic descent, Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Koreans who were born here. English is their native language. A very large number of the most attractive women of that cohort marry white men. Their foreign-born parents assimilated their children into mainstream civilization, the heir of Athens and Jerusalem and in fact an enduring historical enterprise in which America is a major participant. I am refering to American born men and women of Asiatic descent who speak native American English. That their skin color is not Caucasian in hue seems to be a big problem for commenters here. I fail to see why their skin color is significant. To this day, some Italians and Jews have retained non-Caucasian features in their faces. How is that significant? If some Jewish scientist is interviewed on the tube and contributes to our understanding of something, the fact that he is both ugly and Jewish-looking ugly may cross one's mind but that thought doesn't impede the pleasure of learning something. Or a Chinese scientist or an Indian scientist speaking native English as your fellow citizen. As I see more and more of this cohort making up the top people, I am gladdened as a citizen.

    Tiny Duck?

    • Replies: @FLgeezer
    >Tiny Duck?

    No. Too literate to be Tiny.
  58. @Faraday's Bobcat

    It is simply because Latin was the sole written language everywhere in Western Europe until early in the second millenium after Christ.
     
    Not true. Greek was used to render several Western European languages such as Gaulish, Gothic and Iberian before the Roman conquests, and the Irish, not having truckled to Rome until the Norman invasions, had Ogham from c. 400 AD.

    I think Ogham was mainly meant for carving on stone or wood. That’s why it is straight lines, such as are easy to do with a knife or chisel. I bet anything they simultaneously used the Latin alphabet on paper or vellum.

  59. @nebulafox
    I've known Dravidians who knew Hindi fine, but refused to speak it: if somebody asked them a question in Hindi, they'd pretend to not understand.

    English serves as a neutral candidate that is non-obnoxious to everybody.

    Cubans in South Florida do the same.

  60. there were pre-Latin scripts, not exactly alphabets but neither is Chinese, in Western Europe. They didn’t survive but who can compete with the Romans?

  61. It appears that no sub Saharan written script remains in widespread use today.

    In an unrelated development, the coronavirus is adversely affecting African migrant workers, traders, and students in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou as reported by CNN, the BBC and Foreign Policy.

    From Foreign Policy
    APRIL 15, 2020, 1:31 PM

    Over the past week, Africans in the southern city of Guangzhou were removed from the homes and refused service in restaurants. Chinese officials behavior is a response to growing fear of a reemergence of coronavirus infection but is also built “on long-standing hostility toward Africans in southern China.”

    “Anti-African feelings in China go back decades, including riots aimed at Africans in 1988-1989 in Nanjing. In Chinese media, Africans are often characterized as backward or primitive and blackness as unattractive.”

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    These kinds of stories are irresponsible. They are going to incite additional hate crimes by the African American population against Chinese, and other innocent Asian populations, in the United States. Several websites that cater to this demographic run these kind of clips on a loop. The comments below them are scary.
  62. @Meretricious
    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.

    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.

    One would think so. But it turns out if your language is the lingua franca then everyone thinks they own a piece of you. You are the target of all the globalist propaganda. Your nation is treated like a hotel or a whore–open to all.

    It turns out weirdly enough that having a language no one much speaks or understands is a nice barrier to globo scum running their globo scams. People like the Japanese will still be Japanese when the minoritarians have reduced America to a globalist goo.

    • Agree: Meretricious
  63. @Hebrew National

    the ultimate objective of “diversity and multiculturalism” is to destroy the groups who are being subjected to it.

     

    You think?

    You can drive a Mack Truck through their logical inconsistencies...

    “Diversity and multiculturalism’ in this country is a code term more truthfully rendered thus: replace organic cultures with an a set of contrivances which is driven by the status strata manufactured by the New Class clerisy”. The ‘destruction’ consists of declaring the inherited core culture gangrenous.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The ‘destruction’ consists of declaring the inherited core culture gangrenous.
     
    Is this the "Gangrene New Deal" that AOC yammers about?
  64. @Hebrew National

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.
     
    Which is now an unpleasant side-effect no one can avoid. Try to straighten something out with your bank or your phone company, and you get a Philipino lady who doesn't understand you, and who can't form a sensible English sentence if she has to go off her canned scripts ("Thank you for your patience", "We regret the incovenience"...)

    If instead you "oprima 2 para Español" you always get a native Spanish speaker.

    a Philipino lady

    Philippine.

    Or pilipina to the locals. Or, in colonial Spanish, filipina.

  65. Anonymous[397] • Disclaimer says:

    Would China be surrounded by Deep Diversity too?

    Japan and Korea have their own writing systems.

    Vietnam adopted alphabet.

    Thailand has its own phonetic system.

    India does too.

  66. @Joseph Doaks
    So you believe that skin color is the only heritable distinction between races?

    to Joe Doaks –

    huh? I was talking about the minds of a cohort of non-white complected individuals who were logged on and participating in the American enterprise as their command of native American-English and productivity indicates. The French used to have a saying L’ame n’a pas du sexe. Speaking for myself, I have never been conscious of my sex when not thinking of the objects of sexual desire. I once asked a black girl I had kissed what it was like to be/feel black. She was unable to supply an intelligible answer. The skin color is inherited. What has that got to do for example with the mind of Fleur Pellerin a Korean war adoptee raised and educated in France who became a government minister? Of course I was referring to native-born Americans of Asiatic descent. I was not speaking about American negroes who bear the burden of being one SD less intelligent on average than whites and Asiatics and the additional burden of being brought up in a dystopic black culture.

  67. @Meretricious
    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Even if a side effect is having to endure its being mangled daily by non-native speakers, and others.

    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.

    Hardly. It makes one lazy, and deprives one of a fundamental human skill, shifting between languages.

    Educated boys in colonial America were expected to be grounded in Latin, and the smarter ones in Greek. Jefferson advanced to Hebrew and Anglo-Saxon.

    Better yet than learning another language is learning in another language. Or teaching in it. In baseball terms, monolingualism is Class A level, learning in another, major-league.

    Africans are way ahead of us there.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Interesting

    Many years ago I taught at a bilingual college. The same classes would be taught in English and Spanish.

    I taught the English versions. I had quite a few Spanish speaking students — sometimes with limited English skills — taking my classes instead of the Spanish version to challenge themselves.

    I remember one introductory class in which every one of my Spanish speaking students got at least a B, and most got an A. They worked their butts off. The professor who taught the Spanish language version of the class told me most of his students were rather lazy. Only a few got an A or even a B.
    , @Anonymouse
    To Reg Caesar. I beg to differ. Some of dimmest bulbs I have known are linguinis - my term of art for multiphonic individuals. Have you not read the theory that Africans are so good at picking up languages because their native languages are so conceptually impoverished that it permits them to pick up quickly the basic building blocks of a new language. John LeCarre's The Mission Song is a readable novel about just that phenomenon.

    On the other hand, it is fun to speak a foreign language with some facility; one is always charmed by the differences in expressing the same thought.

    Your notion of colonial youth being grounded in Latin and Greek and mine differ. I once heard Mason Hammond at Harvard say that no one really knows Latin. To be sure, Harvard profs. greatly indulge in side so you never know their real opinion. I can report that Harvard's Charles Segal used to cover up the Greek or Latin side of a Loeb Classical Library volume and apparently for amusement translate the English translation back into the original in the style of that author - classical authors' styles vary greatly.

  68. @Art Deco
    Because Western Europe has younger civilizational roots, it was easier to more or less adopt the Roman alphabet.

    ?? If I'm not mistaken, the Greek and Roman alphabets antedate all the scripts in general use in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia.

    I think what he meant was that before Rome expanded into Gaul, Spain and Britain, there wasn’t much there in the way of written language. So the Latin alphabet didn’t need to replace an established writing system. In the Near East, they already had writing, so even if the Arabic alphabet is relatively new, the locals had something before that and along with it some firm ideas, I suppose, about the way of doing things writing-wise.

  69. @slumber_j

    you may not be able to find the @ symbol at all.
     
    I don't remember that problem when I lived in Spain, but maybe I just don't remember. In any case, that's ironic in light of the history of the symbol:

    Whatever the origin of the @ (at) symbol, the history of its usage is more well-known: it has long been used in Spanish and Portuguese as an abbreviation of arroba, a unit of weight equivalent to 25 pounds, and derived from the Arabic expression of "the quarter" (الربع pronounced ar-rubʿ).[8] An Italian academic, Giorgio Stabile, claims to have traced the @ symbol to the 16th century, in a mercantile document sent by Florentine Francesco Lapi from Seville to Rome on May 4, 1536.[9] The document is about commerce with Pizarro, in particular the price of an @ of wine in Peru. Currently, the word arroba means both the at-symbol and a unit of weight.
     

    That’s like the # character having a number of meanings – number, weight in pounds, phonepad key, a sympbol with an assigned meaning in computer languages. Like Humpty-Dumpty said about words more or less “I pay them on payday and they mean what I tell them to mean.”

    That English after WW II became the default world language is a great gift to the English-speaking nations. Some of the commenters on this forum seem to resent it that foreigners are allowed to write in English or speak it. I read somewhere of a Japanese hearing a round-eye speak Japanese competently saying that there should be a law against foreigners speaking it that competently.

  70. @Reg Cæsar

    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.
     
    Hardly. It makes one lazy, and deprives one of a fundamental human skill, shifting between languages.

    Educated boys in colonial America were expected to be grounded in Latin, and the smarter ones in Greek. Jefferson advanced to Hebrew and Anglo-Saxon.

    Better yet than learning another language is learning in another language. Or teaching in it. In baseball terms, monolingualism is Class A level, learning in another, major-league.

    Africans are way ahead of us there.

    Interesting

    Many years ago I taught at a bilingual college. The same classes would be taught in English and Spanish.

    I taught the English versions. I had quite a few Spanish speaking students — sometimes with limited English skills — taking my classes instead of the Spanish version to challenge themselves.

    I remember one introductory class in which every one of my Spanish speaking students got at least a B, and most got an A. They worked their butts off. The professor who taught the Spanish language version of the class told me most of his students were rather lazy. Only a few got an A or even a B.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Once I worked a temp shift with a Valparaiso student. She told of a course on Islam she took which had a number of Arab students who would raise their hands (I think) to argue some point or other with the instructor.

    I asked her why these guys signed up for a class in which they already knew all the material. Silly question...

    "Easy A!"

  71. @J.Ross
    You can see the path of derivation from devanagari by comparing the letters, to include in your own illustration. Bangla is like a kuficized or fraktur Nagari. For that matter, older dictionaries talk about the German "alphabet."

    You have to go back to Brahmi, not Devanagari, to get a common ancestor for all the scripts in common use. தமிழ் is not a variation of तमिल .

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    There are exceptions but there are also plenty of obvious and even unmodified overlaps in his own illustration.
  72. @Paleo Liberal
    Interesting

    Many years ago I taught at a bilingual college. The same classes would be taught in English and Spanish.

    I taught the English versions. I had quite a few Spanish speaking students — sometimes with limited English skills — taking my classes instead of the Spanish version to challenge themselves.

    I remember one introductory class in which every one of my Spanish speaking students got at least a B, and most got an A. They worked their butts off. The professor who taught the Spanish language version of the class told me most of his students were rather lazy. Only a few got an A or even a B.

    Once I worked a temp shift with a Valparaiso student. She told of a course on Islam she took which had a number of Arab students who would raise their hands (I think) to argue some point or other with the instructor.

    I asked her why these guys signed up for a class in which they already knew all the material. Silly question…

    “Easy A!”

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    That is why so many Hispanic kids take Spanish in middle school and high school. Easy A and get the foreign language requirement out of the way.

    At least in Madison, non-Hispanic kids are far more likely to take French than in my generation. In my day almost everyone I knew took Spanish for their foreign language requirement, and we took the class with all the other English speakers. These days, the Spanish classes are packed with native Spanish speakers, so the class is far more difficult than French.

    So now when my kids want to talk among themselves without their parents understanding, they speak in bad French.
    , @R.G. Camara
    True story.
    , @J.Ross
    I saw that multiple times, a lot of them have been taught religiously that hypotheticals and mental flexibility (with regard to the doctrine) are sinful and factually incorrect. I saw a guy walk out because the professor (himself a devout Muslim, but Westernized and urbane) was putting things a certain way so that non-Muslims with no background would be able to understand.
  73. @PiltdownMan

    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.
     
    It was once explained to me that having so many languages and scripts is actually an advantage, because people in one state are usually blissfully unaware of what's going on in other states, or what the neighboring peoples are saying about them.

    The languages are like internal firewalls in India, and social discontent and political controversy tends to stay localized.

    I think people in the general Hindi-Urdu belt can understand each other most of the time, but the local cultures and local languages serve as a barrier to centralization and an aid to the federal system.

    As nebulafox mentioned this spirit is probably strongest in the South (which is of course outside the Hindi-Urdu area anyway). Southerners are naturally antipathetic to interference in their affairs by the federal government and resistance to Hindi-speaking is a good way to emphasize this.

    • Replies: @RSDB
    Scots nationalists try to do this wi' Scots and fail, while Catalans do pretty well at the same game with Catalan (they're probably not getting their own country, but they have successfully differentiated themselves from the rest of Spain).
  74. @RSDB
    I think people in the general Hindi-Urdu belt can understand each other most of the time, but the local cultures and local languages serve as a barrier to centralization and an aid to the federal system.

    As nebulafox mentioned this spirit is probably strongest in the South (which is of course outside the Hindi-Urdu area anyway). Southerners are naturally antipathetic to interference in their affairs by the federal government and resistance to Hindi-speaking is a good way to emphasize this.

    Scots nationalists try to do this wi’ Scots and fail, while Catalans do pretty well at the same game with Catalan (they’re probably not getting their own country, but they have successfully differentiated themselves from the rest of Spain).

  75. @J.Ross
    His meaning is clear: this is one of those cases where language is submerged in innocuous vagueness, and the foreigner can misunderstand while nominally correctly interpreting. A community of bilingual people can probably enjoy communication between different groups as you observe. A Constitution-hating America-overwriting ghetto which cannot be bothered to learn the national language and which has declared itself to be "bilingual" cannot enjoy communication between groups.
    ------
    Finally watched Pat Rooney's excellent short film Love Thy Neighbor, it's must watch if you have forty minutes.
    It actually has footage of the screamingly corrupt town council boasting and laughing to each other about how they snuck an unpopular vote through by piling on less important matters and holding the key vote as late into the night as possible.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOS4ES7OSvo

    “It actually has footage of the screamingly corrupt town council boasting and laughing to each other about how they snuck an unpopular vote through by piling on less important matters and holding the key vote as late into the night as possible.”

    “Snuck?” In Illinois, this is not required. As Dan Proft (WIND-AM) pointed out in the latest primary election this year, every single referendum to raise money for schools passed in the Chicago area. The voters have spoken; they are totally in agreement to paying ever more MORE money (“taxes”) for the educational-industrial complex.

    IL Gov. “Jelly Belly” Pritzker (D) is pushing for the passage of a so-called “Progressive Income Tax.” He refuses to lay off government workers, reduce pay, reduce spending. I will NOT be surprised if the PIT passes in November because of all the Black, Hispanic and other lefty voters.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    I figure that they wouldn’t put it on the ballot unless they knew it would carry.
  76. @anonymous
    On the topic of diversity and its fruits:

    One of the schizophrenic talking points from "diversity" advocates, (meaning, the provost, dean and faculty of every university in the United States and Western Europe, and virtually every talking head on television) is that diversity is (1) "such an unadulterated good that we must import an unlimited supply of it into all our countries, campuses and boardrooms" and (2) that "the natural factionalism that diversity inevitably produces will only be gone once we all blend, intermarry, become the same pallor of brown and lose our ethnocultural and religious distinctions." That is, diversity and multiculturalism are apparently so "awesome" that we must do away with them forthwith through miscegenation.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist I might suggest that this apparent contradiction in propagandistic talking points is because the ultimate objective of "diversity and multiculturalism" is to destroy the groups who are being subjected to it. Namely, the people who have historically made up the populations of Europe, the US and the Anglosphere.

    Yes, I’ve noticed this strange schizophrenia with left wingers. Diversity is wonderful, but things will be even better when the various races disappear and we are all brown.

    I had a team member at work who was an outright communist express that very sentiment. I looked at him in horror and said ‘you want Japanese people and Maori to die out? Even Hitler wasn’t that genocidal’.

    He was not very happy with me and never brought it up again.

    I also get them angry by pointing out that genetic diversity with species arises through segregation. We have numerous variants of particular species (e.g., finches) precisely because they occupied different regions that introduced different evolutionary pathways. Selective pressures, random mutations, reproductive isolation from other members of the species. It’s amazing how quickly you can be banned from left wing sites for pointing this out.

    • Replies: @Hebrew National
    Well, strictly speaking, those Galapagos finches Darwin discovered didn't practice legal segregation and they didn't enforce border controls either. What really kept finches from multiplying in environments they weren't adapted to, was the absence of welfare.
  77. @Blubb
    Tiny Duck?

    >Tiny Duck?

    No. Too literate to be Tiny.

  78. @Shmendrix
    Counting Arabic and Farsi as two different alphabets is a stretch. Farsi uses the Arabic alphabet, with the addition of a few extra dots for the P and V sounds (and perhaps others).

    Farsi uses the Arabic alphabet, with the addition of a few extra dots for the P and V sounds (and perhaps others).

    And vowels. Semitic languages don’t bother with writing those out, as the consonants carry the meaning, and various vowels merely add shading. It’s like sang-sing-song-sung in English, but for every word in the language.

    Non-Semitic languages don’t do this. Pat, pet, pit, pot, put, pate, Pete, and pout have no common underlying meaning. Thus it’s critical to write the vowels. This is done in Arabic (and in Hebrew) by the addition of dots. These are optional in Arabic butcritical in Persian (Farsi), which is Indo-European like English.

    An analogous case is Vietnamese, which uses the Roman alphabet with some diacritics, and is tonal. Which requires more diacritics. That’s why it looks “splattered” to us.

    I imagine Persian seems splattered to an Arab, and Yiddish to an Israeli. Semitic scripts are a poor fit for Indo-European tongues.

    Here’s a handy chart of non-Arabic additions to Arabic script:

    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-5d2ae1d5943a294595f98310bb11fd4d

    In addition to diacritics and ligatures, things like Þ, Ȝ, and ß pop up in local Roman alphabets the same way. For that matter, our U, W, and J were such innovations.

    • Replies: @Hebrew National
    That's a cool chart. (Is there a corresponding one for languages that use the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets? If there, I couldn't find it.)

    By the way, it's not strictly true that Hebrew (or Arabic) are written without vowels. In Hebrew, there are three consonants (א, ו, and י) that get tossed in where helpful, to represent (respectively) o/u, a/e and i. Modern Hebrew uses them quite liberally, but even Biblical Hebrew made some use of them. Indeed the story of Hebrew, from its earliest origins, is also the story of the gradually increased use of these three letters as aids to reading.

    I know a lot less about Arabic, but my sense is that Arabic uses the corresponding three letters to represent the long versions of vowels.

    Are you sure Persian uses dots to represent vowels? I never heard that before (but then I know very little about Persian).

    As a general note, Arabic (and Persian and Urdu and Sindhi and the others) wouldn't need all those single, double, triple and even quadruple dots above, inside and below letters, if they had more letter forms to begin with. But of course that's their decision to make (and I'll guess it comes down to their culture of caligraphy).

    As a second general note: for a competent reader of Hebrew, the absence of vowels (dot-vowels that is) is no problem at all. Unvoweled ("unpointed") Hebrew is no more ambiguous than vowel-rich English. However, I notice that for machines, Hebrew is much harder. Google Translate is terrible at Hebrew, and so is the spell checker built into my Android phone's keyboard.

  79. @Reg Cæsar
    Once I worked a temp shift with a Valparaiso student. She told of a course on Islam she took which had a number of Arab students who would raise their hands (I think) to argue some point or other with the instructor.

    I asked her why these guys signed up for a class in which they already knew all the material. Silly question...

    "Easy A!"

    That is why so many Hispanic kids take Spanish in middle school and high school. Easy A and get the foreign language requirement out of the way.

    At least in Madison, non-Hispanic kids are far more likely to take French than in my generation. In my day almost everyone I knew took Spanish for their foreign language requirement, and we took the class with all the other English speakers. These days, the Spanish classes are packed with native Spanish speakers, so the class is far more difficult than French.

    So now when my kids want to talk among themselves without their parents understanding, they speak in bad French.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    Except Puerto Ricans, who don't speak Spanish, but think they do.

    (/rimshot)

    Tip your waitresses and bartenders, folks!
  80. @Art Deco
    "Diversity and multiculturalism' in this country is a code term more truthfully rendered thus: replace organic cultures with an a set of contrivances which is driven by the status strata manufactured by the New Class clerisy". The 'destruction' consists of declaring the inherited core culture gangrenous.

    The ‘destruction’ consists of declaring the inherited core culture gangrenous.

    Is this the “Gangrene New Deal” that AOC yammers about?

  81. @Reg Cæsar

    Have to admit, having your native tongue being the world-wide lingua franca is one heck of an advantage.
     
    Hardly. It makes one lazy, and deprives one of a fundamental human skill, shifting between languages.

    Educated boys in colonial America were expected to be grounded in Latin, and the smarter ones in Greek. Jefferson advanced to Hebrew and Anglo-Saxon.

    Better yet than learning another language is learning in another language. Or teaching in it. In baseball terms, monolingualism is Class A level, learning in another, major-league.

    Africans are way ahead of us there.

    To Reg Caesar. I beg to differ. Some of dimmest bulbs I have known are linguinis – my term of art for multiphonic individuals. Have you not read the theory that Africans are so good at picking up languages because their native languages are so conceptually impoverished that it permits them to pick up quickly the basic building blocks of a new language. John LeCarre’s The Mission Song is a readable novel about just that phenomenon.

    On the other hand, it is fun to speak a foreign language with some facility; one is always charmed by the differences in expressing the same thought.

    Your notion of colonial youth being grounded in Latin and Greek and mine differ. I once heard Mason Hammond at Harvard say that no one really knows Latin. To be sure, Harvard profs. greatly indulge in side so you never know their real opinion. I can report that Harvard’s Charles Segal used to cover up the Greek or Latin side of a Loeb Classical Library volume and apparently for amusement translate the English translation back into the original in the style of that author – classical authors’ styles vary greatly.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Harvard’s Charles Segal used to cover up the Greek or Latin side of a Loeb Classical Library volume
     
    What is a “Loeb Classical Library volume”?
  82. @Paleo Liberal
    I spent several years teaching at a bilingual multiracial community college.

    It is always in the interests of the ruling classes to divide us.

    Nothing divides people faster than language.

    Workers of the world cannot unite if they can’t speak to each other.

    Huh. It’s almost like that’s what separate countries are for.

    If only those ignorant workers could figure out how much more bargaining power they would have with a global lingua franca and free movement of capital and labor!

    Seriously, did you fall asleep under a tree at the Fourth Internationale and just wake up?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Huh. It’s almost like that’s what separate countries are for."

    We do have separate countries. It's just that the United States is a mutt nation. Where have you been?
  83. @Reg Cæsar
    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It's incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.


    https://omansaubhari.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/writting-script-of-india.png

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prasenjit_Majumder/publication/228599935/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Some-major-Indian-Language-scripts.png

    The rosetta stone, so to speak, of all those Indian scripts can be referenced off of one simple script: H1B.

  84. @oneworld
    I had a this experience on a trip to Madurai, India. Being a culturally ignorant American, I attempted to compliment my host, a Tamil, saying how impressive it was that she could speak not only Tamil, but also Hindi and English. She immediately bristled asking, "Why do you think I speak Hindi? I don't. Why do think I would?" My faux pas was a real eye opener into Indian cultural unity.

    There is this joke among Ukrainians: When there is a Russian among them, there is an unwritten rule that they all speak in Ukrainian. When the Russian departs, the Ukrainians resume their usual conversing in Russian.

  85. John Ioannidis got the data
    medrxix.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.14.20062463v1

  86. @J.Ross
    The Farsi alphabet is mininally modified Arabic (but Persians were perhaps more influential: their system of adaptations was picked up by Urdu writers). Armenian and Georgian are funky.
    --------
    Brian Dennehy was not really in Vietnam, but he did really die; guess the pods got used up.
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/16/entertainment/brian-dennehy-dead/index.html
    https://archive.fo/rwk0x

    The alphabet that the Persians use today might be a minimally modified Arabic but don’t forget that the Farsi language is Indo-European and the original religion was Zoroastrianism which many Persians wish would come back into use.

  87. @peterike

    Turkey borders 7 countries with 7 different alphabets

     

    Pfffft. You call that diversity? THIS is diversity:

    Queens is both the largest borough of New York City and the second most populated. Queens is also notable for being the most ethnically diverse urban area in the entire world, representing over 100 nations and speaking 138 different languages.

    Think of all the restaurants! Indeed, I went to a Himalayan restaurant one time (admit it, you don't have one of those is your neighborhood, do you, bigot?). It was just sort of slightly different yet recognizably Asian food, and utterly mediocre. But it was authentic and it mocked my white privilege.

    It was just sort of slightly different yet recognizably Asian food, and utterly mediocre. But it was authentic and it mocked my white privilege.

    Well you certainly don’t get that at Sonic.

  88. @Ian Smith
    Then why is Christian Ethiopia so behind heathen Japan?

    Christian Ethiopia is miles ahead of its pagan African counterparts.

    Race exists, but so does scholarship.

    Nature AND Nurture, son.

  89. @Reg Cæsar
    Once I worked a temp shift with a Valparaiso student. She told of a course on Islam she took which had a number of Arab students who would raise their hands (I think) to argue some point or other with the instructor.

    I asked her why these guys signed up for a class in which they already knew all the material. Silly question...

    "Easy A!"

    True story.

  90. @Paleo Liberal
    That is why so many Hispanic kids take Spanish in middle school and high school. Easy A and get the foreign language requirement out of the way.

    At least in Madison, non-Hispanic kids are far more likely to take French than in my generation. In my day almost everyone I knew took Spanish for their foreign language requirement, and we took the class with all the other English speakers. These days, the Spanish classes are packed with native Spanish speakers, so the class is far more difficult than French.

    So now when my kids want to talk among themselves without their parents understanding, they speak in bad French.

    Except Puerto Ricans, who don’t speak Spanish, but think they do.

    (/rimshot)

    Tip your waitresses and bartenders, folks!

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Tip your waitresses and bartenders, folks!
     
    I think you mean "delivery boys". And how do you tip from six feet away?
  91. @Anonymous
    Steve Sailer:

    "Because Western Europe has younger civilizational roots, it was easier to more or less adopt the Roman alphabet."

    Define "younger"? The oldest city-states in Europe, like Corinth, Troy and Brindisium, were actually founded in the 3rd millenium B.C at the end of the Chalcolithic Era and before the beggining of the Bronze Age. Yes, before the Bronze Age even begun! When Rome was founded in 753 B.C(or around), there were city-states in Europe almost 2,000 years old.

    Europe is actually incredibly, incredibly, old. Only northern Europe has a more recent civilizational root, and even then it is 2,000 years old already.

    The U.S, founded in 1776 and settled only 400 years ago, is like a baby. If you were to compare the time scales, if America were a child of primary school age, Europe would be like an octogenarian on the verge of becoming a nonagenarian.

    There is a reason why America is the New World and Europe is the Old World: European time-scales dwarf the scale of American history by more than an order of magnitude. Is this perhaps the reason why Europeans are so cynical and pessimistic compared to Americans? Because they have seen and experienced so much?

    European time-scales dwarf the scale of American history by more than an order of magnitude. Is this perhaps the reason why Europeans are so cynical and pessimistic compared to Americans? Because they have seen and experienced so much?

    It’s not just that they have “seen and experienced so much,” it’s that every square inch of the place was spoken for by a power elite thousands of years ago. The cynicism and pessimism is born of the reality that when you come onto the scene, the question is “What is your place into the pre-existing order of things?” Politics then becomes a Machiavellian quid pro quo.

    By contrast, America was defined by the frontier, as Frederick Jackson Turner theorized. It’s characteristic optimism was derived from the ability of anyone to go forth onto open land and claim your own destiny, almost entirely free of government.

    Of course, the frontier has been closed for a century, and our own politics are consequently becoming more European and more Machiavellian.

  92. Anonymous[284] • Disclaimer says:
    @DevOps Dad
    It appears that no sub Saharan written script remains in widespread use today.

    In an unrelated development, the coronavirus is adversely affecting African migrant workers, traders, and students in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou as reported by CNN, the BBC and Foreign Policy.

    From Foreign Policy
    APRIL 15, 2020, 1:31 PM

    Over the past week, Africans in the southern city of Guangzhou were removed from the homes and refused service in restaurants. Chinese officials behavior is a response to growing fear of a reemergence of coronavirus infection but is also built "on long-standing hostility toward Africans in southern China."

    "Anti-African feelings in China go back decades, including riots aimed at Africans in 1988-1989 in Nanjing. In Chinese media, Africans are often characterized as backward or primitive and blackness as unattractive."

    These kinds of stories are irresponsible. They are going to incite additional hate crimes by the African American population against Chinese, and other innocent Asian populations, in the United States. Several websites that cater to this demographic run these kind of clips on a loop. The comments below them are scary.

    • Replies: @DevOps Dad
    These kinds of stories are irresponsible.

    Writing about factual world events are not irresponsible and your reply implies a willingness to impose censorship, and raises the question of why *you* are here. Under most circumstances your presence here would imply you are an ally.

    Nevertheless, by your implied definition, a majority of the content on this website is irresponsible, wildly irresponsible.

    So you feel the African American or African population doesn't watch CNN?

    What is it really about what I wrote that disturbs you?
  93. It’s not correct to say that Arabic or Georgian are “alphabets” : they’re writing systems. Technically, only the Roman, Greek and Cyrillic writing systems are alphabets.
    About the only good thing that Attatürk ever did was to enforce the use of Roman alphabet, better suited for Turkish than the Arabic aliphat.
    Persian would also gain by using the Roman alphabet.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    >about the only good thing Ataturk ever did
    No. Learn more about him. Ataturk was that rare third world autocrat who was ethical and loved his country. A lot of his reforms failed, like trying to get rural Muslims to wear fedorae, but what he accomplished was to make Turkey a major regional power with (for the neighborhood, and until the present presssh-cious) a uniquely stable and ethical government.
    , @Anonymous
    Wouldn’t Hebrew by definition be an alphabet? What about the Shavian or Deseret alphabets?
  94. @R.G. Camara
    Except Puerto Ricans, who don't speak Spanish, but think they do.

    (/rimshot)

    Tip your waitresses and bartenders, folks!

    Tip your waitresses and bartenders, folks!

    I think you mean “delivery boys”. And how do you tip from six feet away?

  95. @Anonymous
    These kinds of stories are irresponsible. They are going to incite additional hate crimes by the African American population against Chinese, and other innocent Asian populations, in the United States. Several websites that cater to this demographic run these kind of clips on a loop. The comments below them are scary.

    These kinds of stories are irresponsible.

    Writing about factual world events are not irresponsible and your reply implies a willingness to impose censorship, and raises the question of why *you* are here. Under most circumstances your presence here would imply you are an ally.

    Nevertheless, by your implied definition, a majority of the content on this website is irresponsible, wildly irresponsible.

    So you feel the African American or African population doesn’t watch CNN?

    What is it really about what I wrote that disturbs you?

  96. @82-IQ H1B Indian

    Banana leaves were a common writing surface in the south of India long ago.
     
    Its Palm-leaf not banana leaf.



    Banana leaves are used as plates. Even today during festivals/ ceremonies, banana leaves are used as plates.

    Palm leaves are too narrow and stiff to use for writing. Banana leaves would be better, being bigger and more supple.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    Palm leaves are too narrow and stiff to use for writing. Banana leaves would be better, being bigger and more supple.
     
    Banana leaves rot quite quickly, or dry up and crumble. Apparently, palm leaves have fibrous tissue and resins that keeps them stable a long time.


    Palm leaf manuscripts are produced from two main types of palms: palmyra and talipot. The palmyra leaf is rather thick and inflexible and tends to get brittle over time. The talipot is thinner and more flexible and has excellent durability, reportedly lasting as long as 600 years. Palm leaf manuscripts include many unique sources on Indian, Nepalese, and Southeast Asian culture and religion.

    Palm leaves are plicate (that is, have parallel folds) and segmented, with a central rib. The hard yet flexible flaps on either side of the rib yield the material that is prepared by drying and polishing for writing or painting or for incising characters with a metal stylus. Incised writing is made visible by applying a mixture of lampblack, bean plant or berry juice, and aromatic oil. The oils used have included camphor, citronella, castor, lemongrass, cedarwood, mustard, neem, eucalyptus, clove, and sesame. They are chosen for their insect repellent qualities.

     
    https://chinapreservationtutorial.library.cornell.edu/content/palm-leaf-manuscripts/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm-leaf_manuscript
  97. @Anon
    Re Russian letters you are quite wrong. И is derived from Greek Eta which also gave birth to Latin H. The reason the bar is slanted is due to gradual calligraphy development. The reason it stands for an I sound is because that's the way medieval (and I believe modern) Greek pronounced Eta.

    Neither is Я a handwritten variant of A. It is completely unrelated and derived from a now defunct ancient letter Ѧ. Seriously, a simple google search can reveal all this info. Why spread misinformation?

    You’re quite right, and thanks for setting the record straight. I was reporting what I heard from someone, and the information seemed credible. I don’t check everything against Google or Wikipedia.

    The origin of и and я, however, is not a matter of great importance and I’m sure my mistake harmed no one, so your moralizing about “misinformation” is misplaced. Being an asshole is a lot worse than being wrong on a point of trivia.

  98. Anonymous[683] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymouse
    To Reg Caesar. I beg to differ. Some of dimmest bulbs I have known are linguinis - my term of art for multiphonic individuals. Have you not read the theory that Africans are so good at picking up languages because their native languages are so conceptually impoverished that it permits them to pick up quickly the basic building blocks of a new language. John LeCarre's The Mission Song is a readable novel about just that phenomenon.

    On the other hand, it is fun to speak a foreign language with some facility; one is always charmed by the differences in expressing the same thought.

    Your notion of colonial youth being grounded in Latin and Greek and mine differ. I once heard Mason Hammond at Harvard say that no one really knows Latin. To be sure, Harvard profs. greatly indulge in side so you never know their real opinion. I can report that Harvard's Charles Segal used to cover up the Greek or Latin side of a Loeb Classical Library volume and apparently for amusement translate the English translation back into the original in the style of that author - classical authors' styles vary greatly.

    Harvard’s Charles Segal used to cover up the Greek or Latin side of a Loeb Classical Library volume

    What is a “Loeb Classical Library volume”?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I'm not terribly sure but apparently they were compilations of much of the surviving writ of antiquity in Greek. Revilo Oliver wrote of them in detail in many contexts: apparently in his day "any good library" would have had a set and anyone learning Greek would have used them on occasion.

    Wikipedia, not always the best resource, says:


    The Loeb Classical Library (LCL; named after James Loeb; /loʊb/, German: [løːp]) is a series of books, originally published by Heinemann in London, today by Harvard University Press,[1] which presents important works of ancient Greek and Latin literature in a way designed to make the text accessible to the broadest possible audience, by presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each left-hand page, and a fairly literal translation on the facing page. The General Editor is Jeffrey Henderson, holder of the William Goodwin Aurelio Professorship of Greek Language and Literature at Boston University.
     
    , @PiltdownMan
    The Loeb Classical Library comprises 500+ titles, basically all of the entire corpus of books in Greek and Latin from antiquity. Some school libraries used to have a full set, and most large college and university libraries still do. Full sets still come up for sale in the used book market, for several thousand dollars.

    https://i.imgur.com/tLr6hGE.jpg

  99. People for whom English is a second language cannot put a modestly complex idea into words. I am forced to say to them, for example: Are you telling me blah blah blah number one, or, is it blah blah blah number two? Then the person (who might be my physician) replies that it is number two. In other words, I need to put the idea up there, so he can click on it. Increasingly, this person is someone who is actually native in English. Often in the above situations I am unable to guess what the concept or answer is, and so I am unable to put it up there to be clicked on.

    The reverse situation occurs when I must explain something to this person. Even though I am able to speak fluently, I do not. I interject so-called auditory pauses, um and yuh-know, to assist comprehension. If this doesn’t work then I say, Hey, I am not a very good explainer, let me try this a different way.

  100. @Joe Stalin
    "It actually has footage of the screamingly corrupt town council boasting and laughing to each other about how they snuck an unpopular vote through by piling on less important matters and holding the key vote as late into the night as possible."

    "Snuck?" In Illinois, this is not required. As Dan Proft (WIND-AM) pointed out in the latest primary election this year, every single referendum to raise money for schools passed in the Chicago area. The voters have spoken; they are totally in agreement to paying ever more MORE money ("taxes") for the educational-industrial complex.

    IL Gov. "Jelly Belly" Pritzker (D) is pushing for the passage of a so-called "Progressive Income Tax." He refuses to lay off government workers, reduce pay, reduce spending. I will NOT be surprised if the PIT passes in November because of all the Black, Hispanic and other lefty voters.

    I figure that they wouldn’t put it on the ballot unless they knew it would carry.

  101. Perhaps having neighbors different from oneself makes a country more insistent on internal homogeneity. Turkey is a country that will not accept internal diversity — like the America of my grandparents, Turkey expects all of its citizens to assimilate/integrate.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Actually, what they've done is to run the antique minorities off the premises (Armenians first, then Greeks) and harass the residue. (See, for example, the mass confiscation of minority property by the Turkish government in 1942, disguised as a poll tax. See also the ongoing refusal to allow the Kurdish minority ordinary courtesies, such as speaking Kurdish in a public place w/o getting a citation for it). Your grandparents and mine promoted assimilation among voluntary migrants to the United States, not among antique indigenous populations. One continuing injury: the refusal of the Turkish government to allow the installation of an Oecumenical Patriarch unless that person is drawn from the tiny residue of ethnic Greeks in Turkey.
  102. @Alden
    Palm leaves are too narrow and stiff to use for writing. Banana leaves would be better, being bigger and more supple.

    Palm leaves are too narrow and stiff to use for writing. Banana leaves would be better, being bigger and more supple.

    Banana leaves rot quite quickly, or dry up and crumble. Apparently, palm leaves have fibrous tissue and resins that keeps them stable a long time.


    Palm leaf manuscripts are produced from two main types of palms: palmyra and talipot. The palmyra leaf is rather thick and inflexible and tends to get brittle over time. The talipot is thinner and more flexible and has excellent durability, reportedly lasting as long as 600 years. Palm leaf manuscripts include many unique sources on Indian, Nepalese, and Southeast Asian culture and religion.

    Palm leaves are plicate (that is, have parallel folds) and segmented, with a central rib. The hard yet flexible flaps on either side of the rib yield the material that is prepared by drying and polishing for writing or painting or for incising characters with a metal stylus. Incised writing is made visible by applying a mixture of lampblack, bean plant or berry juice, and aromatic oil. The oils used have included camphor, citronella, castor, lemongrass, cedarwood, mustard, neem, eucalyptus, clove, and sesame. They are chosen for their insect repellent qualities.

    https://chinapreservationtutorial.library.cornell.edu/content/palm-leaf-manuscripts/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm-leaf_manuscript

  103. @Reg Cæsar
    Once I worked a temp shift with a Valparaiso student. She told of a course on Islam she took which had a number of Arab students who would raise their hands (I think) to argue some point or other with the instructor.

    I asked her why these guys signed up for a class in which they already knew all the material. Silly question...

    "Easy A!"

    I saw that multiple times, a lot of them have been taught religiously that hypotheticals and mental flexibility (with regard to the doctrine) are sinful and factually incorrect. I saw a guy walk out because the professor (himself a devout Muslim, but Westernized and urbane) was putting things a certain way so that non-Muslims with no background would be able to understand.

  104. @BB753
    It's not correct to say that Arabic or Georgian are "alphabets" : they're writing systems. Technically, only the Roman, Greek and Cyrillic writing systems are alphabets.
    About the only good thing that Attatürk ever did was to enforce the use of Roman alphabet, better suited for Turkish than the Arabic aliphat.
    Persian would also gain by using the Roman alphabet.

    >about the only good thing Ataturk ever did
    No. Learn more about him. Ataturk was that rare third world autocrat who was ethical and loved his country. A lot of his reforms failed, like trying to get rural Muslims to wear fedorae, but what he accomplished was to make Turkey a major regional power with (for the neighborhood, and until the present presssh-cious) a uniquely stable and ethical government.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Ataturk was that rare third world autocrat who was ethical and loved his country.
     
    Is it true that Ataturk was of Jewish descent?
    , @BB753
    Yeah, I can recall the "ethical" extermination of Armenians Attatürk undertook, and the "ethical" exchange of Greek populations, not to mention the "ethical" occupation of Constantinople, which he should have returned to Greece. Turkey should be limited to Anatolia. They have no business keeping Istambul and European lands.
  105. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Harvard’s Charles Segal used to cover up the Greek or Latin side of a Loeb Classical Library volume
     
    What is a “Loeb Classical Library volume”?

    I’m not terribly sure but apparently they were compilations of much of the surviving writ of antiquity in Greek. Revilo Oliver wrote of them in detail in many contexts: apparently in his day “any good library” would have had a set and anyone learning Greek would have used them on occasion.

    Wikipedia, not always the best resource, says:

    The Loeb Classical Library (LCL; named after James Loeb; /loʊb/, German: [løːp]) is a series of books, originally published by Heinemann in London, today by Harvard University Press,[1] which presents important works of ancient Greek and Latin literature in a way designed to make the text accessible to the broadest possible audience, by presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each left-hand page, and a fairly literal translation on the facing page. The General Editor is Jeffrey Henderson, holder of the William Goodwin Aurelio Professorship of Greek Language and Literature at Boston University.

  106. @Xerxes the Magian
    Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran & Syria all shared the same sort of script either Arabic or Nasta’liq (the Persian variant, which Ottamanish was written in).

    There are deep cultural ties to the Muslim Middle East while the Christian nations (Armenia, Georgia, Greece & Bulgaria) have pretty ancient histories.

    Script diversity (like language diversity) is very healthy.

    India, like China, is a civilisation masquerading as a nation state.

    So it turns out that Nakhchivan, which is an exclave of Azerbaijan, shares a 5-mile border with Turkey. So that’s the bordering country that at least shares an alphabet with Turkey.

  107. @Anonymous
    Steve Sailer:

    "Because Western Europe has younger civilizational roots, it was easier to more or less adopt the Roman alphabet."

    Define "younger"? The oldest city-states in Europe, like Corinth, Troy and Brindisium, were actually founded in the 3rd millenium B.C at the end of the Chalcolithic Era and before the beggining of the Bronze Age. Yes, before the Bronze Age even begun! When Rome was founded in 753 B.C(or around), there were city-states in Europe almost 2,000 years old.

    Europe is actually incredibly, incredibly, old. Only northern Europe has a more recent civilizational root, and even then it is 2,000 years old already.

    The U.S, founded in 1776 and settled only 400 years ago, is like a baby. If you were to compare the time scales, if America were a child of primary school age, Europe would be like an octogenarian on the verge of becoming a nonagenarian.

    There is a reason why America is the New World and Europe is the Old World: European time-scales dwarf the scale of American history by more than an order of magnitude. Is this perhaps the reason why Europeans are so cynical and pessimistic compared to Americans? Because they have seen and experienced so much?

    The U.S, founded in 1776 and settled only 400 years ago, is like a baby.

    In the US, 100 years is a long time, but in Europe, 100 miles is a long way.

  108. @Anonymous

    Harvard’s Charles Segal used to cover up the Greek or Latin side of a Loeb Classical Library volume
     
    What is a “Loeb Classical Library volume”?

    The Loeb Classical Library comprises 500+ titles, basically all of the entire corpus of books in Greek and Latin from antiquity. Some school libraries used to have a full set, and most large college and university libraries still do. Full sets still come up for sale in the used book market, for several thousand dollars.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    The Loeb Classical Library comprises 500+ titles, basically all of the entire corpus of books in Greek and Latin from antiquity. Some school libraries used to have a full set, and most large college and university libraries still do.
     
    Thank you. How good are the translations, compared to other versions?
  109. @RSDB
    You have to go back to Brahmi, not Devanagari, to get a common ancestor for all the scripts in common use. தமிழ் is not a variation of तमिल .

    There are exceptions but there are also plenty of obvious and even unmodified overlaps in his own illustration.

    • Replies: @RSDB
    It's not that there are exceptions, it's that there are several branches. Some of them (particularly a few of the northern ones) are practically identical, others are not. And the descent is sometimes startling-- one would expect Sinhalese, for example, to be similar either to northern scripts (given the shared Aryan language heritage) or to Tamil (given the geographical proximity), but it is in fact closer to the modern Telugu script.
  110. Anonymous[328] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross
    >about the only good thing Ataturk ever did
    No. Learn more about him. Ataturk was that rare third world autocrat who was ethical and loved his country. A lot of his reforms failed, like trying to get rural Muslims to wear fedorae, but what he accomplished was to make Turkey a major regional power with (for the neighborhood, and until the present presssh-cious) a uniquely stable and ethical government.

    Ataturk was that rare third world autocrat who was ethical and loved his country.

    Is it true that Ataturk was of Jewish descent?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Probably not, but he went to a school run by Sabbatean crypto-Jews in Salonika as a boy.
  111. Anonymous[328] • Disclaimer says:
    @PiltdownMan
    The Loeb Classical Library comprises 500+ titles, basically all of the entire corpus of books in Greek and Latin from antiquity. Some school libraries used to have a full set, and most large college and university libraries still do. Full sets still come up for sale in the used book market, for several thousand dollars.

    https://i.imgur.com/tLr6hGE.jpg

    The Loeb Classical Library comprises 500+ titles, basically all of the entire corpus of books in Greek and Latin from antiquity. Some school libraries used to have a full set, and most large college and university libraries still do.

    Thank you. How good are the translations, compared to other versions?

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    The series began in 1912, as a way of making classical texts available to well-educated people who had no grounding in Latin or Greek, which started becoming increasingly common by the late 19th century. An additional aim is to make the texts accessible to "everyman."

    What is lost is the ambiguities and contextual information that more scholarly tomes, with their footnotes (or that professors of Latin and Greek) would provide. But it is, by far, the most comprehensive go to resource and has everything the ancients wrote that has survived to the present day.

    I've read a couple of volumes. They are far from pedestrian or dry translations (at least what I read). But my two volumes of Richmond Lattimore's translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey, written about fifty years ago, are quite a bit more engaging.

    I just came upon this in Wikipedia, for what it is worth.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_translations_of_Homer
  112. @Anonymous

    Ataturk was that rare third world autocrat who was ethical and loved his country.
     
    Is it true that Ataturk was of Jewish descent?

    Probably not, but he went to a school run by Sabbatean crypto-Jews in Salonika as a boy.

  113. @J.Ross
    There are exceptions but there are also plenty of obvious and even unmodified overlaps in his own illustration.

    It’s not that there are exceptions, it’s that there are several branches. Some of them (particularly a few of the northern ones) are practically identical, others are not. And the descent is sometimes startling– one would expect Sinhalese, for example, to be similar either to northern scripts (given the shared Aryan language heritage) or to Tamil (given the geographical proximity), but it is in fact closer to the modern Telugu script.

  114. @Anonymous

    The Loeb Classical Library comprises 500+ titles, basically all of the entire corpus of books in Greek and Latin from antiquity. Some school libraries used to have a full set, and most large college and university libraries still do.
     
    Thank you. How good are the translations, compared to other versions?

    The series began in 1912, as a way of making classical texts available to well-educated people who had no grounding in Latin or Greek, which started becoming increasingly common by the late 19th century. An additional aim is to make the texts accessible to “everyman.”

    What is lost is the ambiguities and contextual information that more scholarly tomes, with their footnotes (or that professors of Latin and Greek) would provide. But it is, by far, the most comprehensive go to resource and has everything the ancients wrote that has survived to the present day.

    I’ve read a couple of volumes. They are far from pedestrian or dry translations (at least what I read). But my two volumes of Richmond Lattimore’s translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey, written about fifty years ago, are quite a bit more engaging.

    I just came upon this in Wikipedia, for what it is worth.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_translations_of_Homer

    • Replies: @Anonymouse
    The picture of the shelf of green Loeb Classical Library books is only half the story. LCL titles in Greek are green, LCL titles in Latin are red. The LCL texts lack what are called critical apparatuses on the bottom of the page in so-called scholarly editions of ancient texts. The critical apparatus provides significant variant readings of a particular word on that page from different manuscripts of that text. The quality of the translations vary but in general are excellent. Most notably the 2 volume edition of the Republic translated by Paul Shorey, the American Wilamowitz, with more notes than the typical LCL volume, is indispensable. His insight into difficult passages is usually superior to that of James Adams' edition of that dialogue.

    The LCL collection is available online in the Perseus archive from Tufts University http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/collection?collection=Perseus:collection:Greco-Roman

    Some but not all LCL titles are also available at Archive.org in the form of optical scans of the book itself. That way you can see the whole page and then the English translation - page by page. That is way more convenient that the Perseus archive which just serves up one column of a Stephanus page at a time. Very tedious to use. Stephanus, a 16th century French scholar named Henri Estienne, published an edition of the complete works of Plato. Each page of his edition had five columns A through E. All subsequent editions of Plato use the Stephanus pagination system.
  115. @Ian Smith
    Then why is Christian Ethiopia so behind heathen Japan?
    • Replies: @Ian Smith
    Pre-Meiji Japan had a very rich literature, theater, painting, etc. Ethiopia mainly looks good compared to the rest of Africa.
    Ethiopia seems very similar to medieval Russia to me; architecture and written language, yes, but almost solely devoted to religion. All Jerusalem and no Athens.
  116. @mikemikev
    The converse of that would be a multinational ethnic group able to print bad stories about other countries and stir conflict.

    Interesting idea for a fictional story.

    Luckily there is no such thing in reality.

  117. @Reg Cæsar
    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It's incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.


    https://omansaubhari.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/writting-script-of-india.png

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prasenjit_Majumder/publication/228599935/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Some-major-Indian-Language-scripts.png

    “It’s incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.”

    Japanese Hiragana, Japanese Katakana, and Korean Hangul don’t derive from Phonecian.

    And there are plenty of obsolete scripts that pre-date Phonecian as well, especially its direct ancestors. Linear A is lost completely and has never been decoded, though we have many texts.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Japanese Hiragana, Japanese Katakana, and Korean Hangul don’t derive from Phonecian.
     
    I noted hangul as the exception. The kana of Japan are not alphabets, but syllabaries. No one said any syllabaries were branches of the Phoenician tree.

    And there are plenty of obsolete scripts that pre-date Phonecian as well, especially its direct ancestors.
     
    Phoenician isn't claimed to be the first script, just the most recent common ancestor of modern scripts. A bottleneck. Just as all of Pocahontas's descendants come from a single great-grandchild.
  118. @dearieme
    What the map does miss is the Hebrew alphabet. Israel may not border Turkey but formerly Yiddish-speaking regions do.

    Which Yiddish-speaking regions do you have in mind?

    I hadn't known that there were people who wrote Yiddish in Hebrew script. Was it common?

    Yiddish (when written for Yiddish speakers of course) is written in the Hebrew alphabet. It’s not the best system for rendering the sounds of a Germanic language, but it works well enough and the target audience apparently preferred the Hebrew alphabet.

    To your first question, I’ll have to take back what I said; I forgot that to get from Turkey to the places where a lot of Yiddish-speaking (i.e. Ashkenazi) Jews lived, you’d have to skip over Soviet Georgia.

  119. @Reg Cæsar

    Farsi uses the Arabic alphabet, with the addition of a few extra dots for the P and V sounds (and perhaps others).
     
    And vowels. Semitic languages don't bother with writing those out, as the consonants carry the meaning, and various vowels merely add shading. It's like sang-sing-song-sung in English, but for every word in the language.

    Non-Semitic languages don't do this. Pat, pet, pit, pot, put, pate, Pete, and pout have no common underlying meaning. Thus it's critical to write the vowels. This is done in Arabic (and in Hebrew) by the addition of dots. These are optional in Arabic butcritical in Persian (Farsi), which is Indo-European like English.

    An analogous case is Vietnamese, which uses the Roman alphabet with some diacritics, and is tonal. Which requires more diacritics. That's why it looks "splattered" to us.

    I imagine Persian seems splattered to an Arab, and Yiddish to an Israeli. Semitic scripts are a poor fit for Indo-European tongues.


    Here's a handy chart of non-Arabic additions to Arabic script:


    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-5d2ae1d5943a294595f98310bb11fd4d


    In addition to diacritics and ligatures, things like Þ, Ȝ, and ß pop up in local Roman alphabets the same way. For that matter, our U, W, and J were such innovations.

    That’s a cool chart. (Is there a corresponding one for languages that use the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets? If there, I couldn’t find it.)

    By the way, it’s not strictly true that Hebrew (or Arabic) are written without vowels. In Hebrew, there are three consonants (א, ו, and י) that get tossed in where helpful, to represent (respectively) o/u, a/e and i. Modern Hebrew uses them quite liberally, but even Biblical Hebrew made some use of them. Indeed the story of Hebrew, from its earliest origins, is also the story of the gradually increased use of these three letters as aids to reading.

    I know a lot less about Arabic, but my sense is that Arabic uses the corresponding three letters to represent the long versions of vowels.

    Are you sure Persian uses dots to represent vowels? I never heard that before (but then I know very little about Persian).

    As a general note, Arabic (and Persian and Urdu and Sindhi and the others) wouldn’t need all those single, double, triple and even quadruple dots above, inside and below letters, if they had more letter forms to begin with. But of course that’s their decision to make (and I’ll guess it comes down to their culture of caligraphy).

    As a second general note: for a competent reader of Hebrew, the absence of vowels (dot-vowels that is) is no problem at all. Unvoweled (“unpointed”) Hebrew is no more ambiguous than vowel-rich English. However, I notice that for machines, Hebrew is much harder. Google Translate is terrible at Hebrew, and so is the spell checker built into my Android phone’s keyboard.

  120. @Achmed E. Newman
    China borders 15 countries when you give up on "Free Tibet!". She (in Pat Buchanan parlance) would lose a lot of them if she lost Tibet. Maybe that's what the whole Tibet occupation is about anyway, just that coveted spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

    This is a pretty honest crowd*, for a bunch of anonymous people on the internet: Anyone who can name all 15 of these without looking at any source can call himself a true Geographer. I WiLL NOT TAKE MYANMAR (spit!) as a valid answer. (Perhaps, "what was Myanmar?" will pass.)

    .

    * reminding me, where the heck is Charles Pewitt?

    I think I did (without checking). In no particular order: Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, India, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea, South Korea.
    OK, I’m sure I missed some and added ones that are near, but don’t border China.

    • Replies: @üeljang
    The PRC shares land borders with fourteen countries, not fifteen. It does not share any land border with Turkmenistan, Bangladesh, South Korea, or Cambodia, but it does share a land border with Bhutan, Afghanistan (the Wakhan Corridor), and Pakistan (in terms of actual line of control; if one accepts India's claim that Pakistan's Northern Areas/Gilgit-Baltistan belong to India rather than Pakistan, then China shares land borders with only thirteen countries).
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Pretty good job for no checking. I messed up, thinking Bangladesh had a border with China also. OK 14 - I listed them in a reply to Uejiang. Thanks for the reply.
  121. @Anonymous
    It is easy to forget that organised religion, namely Christianity, introduced letters and scholarship wherever it prevailed.
    The priesthood was the original intellectual class. Universities began as religious institutions, to train priests. Record keeping, for various reasons, was important to the Church, hence the priests were, basically, initially the only people who could read and write - and that includes the nobility.
    It is no accident that the English world 'clerk', and the widespread surname 'Clark' or 'Clarke' is derived from the word 'cleric'.

    As Steve pointed out in his poignant look at the (still mysterious) fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral last year, one of the better takes on Western Civilization generally (and on Gothic Cathedral architecture in particular) was from the BBC and Sir Kenneth Clark:

    By the way, Clark in his 1969 documentary paid tribute to the critical role that Irish priests played in the 6th and 7th century in keeping literacy alive (“The Skin of Our Teeth”), a point later echoed in Thomas Cahill’s 1995 book, “How the Irish Saved Civilization”.

  122. @(((Owen)))

    "It’s incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian."
     
    Japanese Hiragana, Japanese Katakana, and Korean Hangul don't derive from Phonecian.

    And there are plenty of obsolete scripts that pre-date Phonecian as well, especially its direct ancestors. Linear A is lost completely and has never been decoded, though we have many texts.

    Japanese Hiragana, Japanese Katakana, and Korean Hangul don’t derive from Phonecian.

    I noted hangul as the exception. The kana of Japan are not alphabets, but syllabaries. No one said any syllabaries were branches of the Phoenician tree.

    And there are plenty of obsolete scripts that pre-date Phonecian as well, especially its direct ancestors.

    Phoenician isn’t claimed to be the first script, just the most recent common ancestor of modern scripts. A bottleneck. Just as all of Pocahontas’s descendants come from a single great-grandchild.

  123. @J.Ross
    >about the only good thing Ataturk ever did
    No. Learn more about him. Ataturk was that rare third world autocrat who was ethical and loved his country. A lot of his reforms failed, like trying to get rural Muslims to wear fedorae, but what he accomplished was to make Turkey a major regional power with (for the neighborhood, and until the present presssh-cious) a uniquely stable and ethical government.

    Yeah, I can recall the “ethical” extermination of Armenians Attatürk undertook, and the “ethical” exchange of Greek populations, not to mention the “ethical” occupation of Constantinople, which he should have returned to Greece. Turkey should be limited to Anatolia. They have no business keeping Istambul and European lands.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    None of your "counterexamples" are domestic. A good leader does screw over foreigners, that's not an exception, that's what they're supposed to do. The third world norm is that leaders are like the Clintons and yet here was a guy who wasn't just trying to get rich.
  124. @Reg Cæsar
    India is even worse. All those scripts that look the same to us are actually different, one per language. In one country.

    It's incredible that all the alphabets of the world except hangul and perhaps runic all derive from Phonecian.


    https://omansaubhari.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/writting-script-of-india.png

    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prasenjit_Majumder/publication/228599935/figure/fig1/AS:[email protected]/Some-major-Indian-Language-scripts.png

    No wonder india & the Middle East are such politically chaotic places….

  125. Anonymous[578] • Disclaimer says:
    @BB753
    It's not correct to say that Arabic or Georgian are "alphabets" : they're writing systems. Technically, only the Roman, Greek and Cyrillic writing systems are alphabets.
    About the only good thing that Attatürk ever did was to enforce the use of Roman alphabet, better suited for Turkish than the Arabic aliphat.
    Persian would also gain by using the Roman alphabet.

    Wouldn’t Hebrew by definition be an alphabet? What about the Shavian or Deseret alphabets?

    • Replies: @BB753
    No, technically it's an abjad writing system, like Aramaic, Arabic, etc. It's syllabic in nature.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abjad

    As for deseret and Shavian, I had to look them up, and they're more like crude attempts to transcribe phonetically the English language on the principle of made-up alphabetic signs . For that, we now have the excellent International Phonetic Alphabet, wich can be used to transctibe any language on earth.
  126. @anon
    I think I did (without checking). In no particular order: Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, India, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea, South Korea.
    OK, I'm sure I missed some and added ones that are near, but don't border China.

    The PRC shares land borders with fourteen countries, not fifteen. It does not share any land border with Turkmenistan, Bangladesh, South Korea, or Cambodia, but it does share a land border with Bhutan, Afghanistan (the Wakhan Corridor), and Pakistan (in terms of actual line of control; if one accepts India’s claim that Pakistan’s Northern Areas/Gilgit-Baltistan belong to India rather than Pakistan, then China shares land borders with only thirteen countries).

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Anon did pretty well without looking, and I'd thought that Bangladesh touched China, but you are right, only 14.

    CW from N. Korea (that's one), Vietnam, Laos, Burma, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Krygyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia.
  127. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
    @Agathoklis
    There was plenty of scholarship before Christianity and organised religion more generally.

    There was plenty of scholarship before Christianity and organized religion more generally.

    That’s a common misconception. Prior to the Greeks, the idea of “truth” as something true whether people believed it or not was restricted to physical events. Everything else was politics.

    The idea of truth of abstract concepts was invented by the Greeks (credit usually given to Plato), and promptly rejected by pretty much every society on Earth that heard of it. Perhaps world was illusion (possibly consensus reality), in which case truth was another illusion, opinion at bast. Perhaps the world was the instant by instant creation of an all powerful God, who could change the rules at any second. Perhaps the Gods were multiple and could intervene at any time, so a human knowing the truth was a human zapped by a God for being a smarty pants. Perhaps there was “no old man in the sky”but society was ruled by ritual. Perhaps the truth that could be stated was not the real truth. Rejection after rejection, usually in favor of social stability. The Postmodernist idea that there is no truth, only oppression a attempts to impose acceptance of that oppression is scarcely new- it’s just another attempt to reject truth.

    Christianity didn’t reject truth. It continued to use tests of logic and checks against reality as criteria for beliefs and actions. Nobody else did that.

    And for quite some time during the 1800s other societies imitated the West and imported the idea of truth. As of now, they’ve all rejected it as dangerous to social stability, or the Westernizers have simply been out-bred by the traditionalists and persecuted out of existence.

    So, today, some variation on “political reality” prevails almost everywhere. It has bad results when the “political reality” people get hold of contemporary industrial/medical equipment– the PRC financed Wuhan’s Level 4 lab to make a political point, but were far enough away from truth that they couldn’t get a staff that believed in the truth of abstracts such as “don’t sell lab animals for food” and “don’t take shortcuts in sterile procedure”, but instead believed only in “what can I do to get money and prestige right now?”.

    Human life isn’t quite a simple as you might think, nor is truth quite as disposable for an industrial society as you might think. In your foolish arrogance, you’ve thrown away the inheritance that could have kept you and your descendants alive.

    • Replies: @AnonymousMillenarian
    Sounds like you have a tenuous grasp of Truth yourself: you're conflating it with rumors
    , @Corvinus
    "Prior to the Greeks, the idea of “truth” as something true whether people believed it or not was restricted to physical events. Everything else was politics."

    No.

    https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691176352/philosophy-before-the-greeks

    "The idea of truth of abstract concepts was invented by the Greeks (credit usually given to Plato), and promptly rejected by pretty much every society on Earth that heard of it."

    You mean the explanation of the truth of abstract concepts was presented in comprehensive detail by the Greeks.

    "Christianity didn’t reject truth. It continued to use tests of logic and checks against reality as criteria for beliefs and actions. Nobody else did that."

    You are forgetting Zoroastrianism, which predates Christianity.

    "And for quite some time during the 1800s other societies imitated the West and imported the idea of truth."

    Actually, the West in part adapted and adopted Chinese philosophers on truth. In other words, non-western societies had their own conceptualization.

    https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/theories-of-truth-in-chinese-philosophy-a-comparative-approach
  128. @jbwilson24
    Yes, I've noticed this strange schizophrenia with left wingers. Diversity is wonderful, but things will be even better when the various races disappear and we are all brown.

    I had a team member at work who was an outright communist express that very sentiment. I looked at him in horror and said 'you want Japanese people and Maori to die out? Even Hitler wasn't that genocidal'.

    He was not very happy with me and never brought it up again.

    I also get them angry by pointing out that genetic diversity with species arises through segregation. We have numerous variants of particular species (e.g., finches) precisely because they occupied different regions that introduced different evolutionary pathways. Selective pressures, random mutations, reproductive isolation from other members of the species. It's amazing how quickly you can be banned from left wing sites for pointing this out.

    Well, strictly speaking, those Galapagos finches Darwin discovered didn’t practice legal segregation and they didn’t enforce border controls either. What really kept finches from multiplying in environments they weren’t adapted to, was the absence of welfare.

  129. @Anonymous
    Wouldn’t Hebrew by definition be an alphabet? What about the Shavian or Deseret alphabets?

    No, technically it’s an abjad writing system, like Aramaic, Arabic, etc. It’s syllabic in nature.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abjad

    As for deseret and Shavian, I had to look them up, and they’re more like crude attempts to transcribe phonetically the English language on the principle of made-up alphabetic signs . For that, we now have the excellent International Phonetic Alphabet, wich can be used to transctibe any language on earth.

  130. @Anonymous

    There was plenty of scholarship before Christianity and organized religion more generally.
     
    That's a common misconception. Prior to the Greeks, the idea of "truth" as something true whether people believed it or not was restricted to physical events. Everything else was politics.

    The idea of truth of abstract concepts was invented by the Greeks (credit usually given to Plato), and promptly rejected by pretty much every society on Earth that heard of it. Perhaps world was illusion (possibly consensus reality), in which case truth was another illusion, opinion at bast. Perhaps the world was the instant by instant creation of an all powerful God, who could change the rules at any second. Perhaps the Gods were multiple and could intervene at any time, so a human knowing the truth was a human zapped by a God for being a smarty pants. Perhaps there was "no old man in the sky"but society was ruled by ritual. Perhaps the truth that could be stated was not the real truth. Rejection after rejection, usually in favor of social stability. The Postmodernist idea that there is no truth, only oppression a attempts to impose acceptance of that oppression is scarcely new- it's just another attempt to reject truth.

    Christianity didn't reject truth. It continued to use tests of logic and checks against reality as criteria for beliefs and actions. Nobody else did that.

    And for quite some time during the 1800s other societies imitated the West and imported the idea of truth. As of now, they've all rejected it as dangerous to social stability, or the Westernizers have simply been out-bred by the traditionalists and persecuted out of existence.

    So, today, some variation on "political reality" prevails almost everywhere. It has bad results when the "political reality" people get hold of contemporary industrial/medical equipment-- the PRC financed Wuhan's Level 4 lab to make a political point, but were far enough away from truth that they couldn't get a staff that believed in the truth of abstracts such as "don't sell lab animals for food" and "don't take shortcuts in sterile procedure", but instead believed only in "what can I do to get money and prestige right now?".

    Human life isn't quite a simple as you might think, nor is truth quite as disposable for an industrial society as you might think. In your foolish arrogance, you've thrown away the inheritance that could have kept you and your descendants alive.

    Sounds like you have a tenuous grasp of Truth yourself: you’re conflating it with rumors

  131. @Anonymous

    There was plenty of scholarship before Christianity and organized religion more generally.
     
    That's a common misconception. Prior to the Greeks, the idea of "truth" as something true whether people believed it or not was restricted to physical events. Everything else was politics.

    The idea of truth of abstract concepts was invented by the Greeks (credit usually given to Plato), and promptly rejected by pretty much every society on Earth that heard of it. Perhaps world was illusion (possibly consensus reality), in which case truth was another illusion, opinion at bast. Perhaps the world was the instant by instant creation of an all powerful God, who could change the rules at any second. Perhaps the Gods were multiple and could intervene at any time, so a human knowing the truth was a human zapped by a God for being a smarty pants. Perhaps there was "no old man in the sky"but society was ruled by ritual. Perhaps the truth that could be stated was not the real truth. Rejection after rejection, usually in favor of social stability. The Postmodernist idea that there is no truth, only oppression a attempts to impose acceptance of that oppression is scarcely new- it's just another attempt to reject truth.

    Christianity didn't reject truth. It continued to use tests of logic and checks against reality as criteria for beliefs and actions. Nobody else did that.

    And for quite some time during the 1800s other societies imitated the West and imported the idea of truth. As of now, they've all rejected it as dangerous to social stability, or the Westernizers have simply been out-bred by the traditionalists and persecuted out of existence.

    So, today, some variation on "political reality" prevails almost everywhere. It has bad results when the "political reality" people get hold of contemporary industrial/medical equipment-- the PRC financed Wuhan's Level 4 lab to make a political point, but were far enough away from truth that they couldn't get a staff that believed in the truth of abstracts such as "don't sell lab animals for food" and "don't take shortcuts in sterile procedure", but instead believed only in "what can I do to get money and prestige right now?".

    Human life isn't quite a simple as you might think, nor is truth quite as disposable for an industrial society as you might think. In your foolish arrogance, you've thrown away the inheritance that could have kept you and your descendants alive.

    “Prior to the Greeks, the idea of “truth” as something true whether people believed it or not was restricted to physical events. Everything else was politics.”

    No.

    https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691176352/philosophy-before-the-greeks

    “The idea of truth of abstract concepts was invented by the Greeks (credit usually given to Plato), and promptly rejected by pretty much every society on Earth that heard of it.”

    You mean the explanation of the truth of abstract concepts was presented in comprehensive detail by the Greeks.

    “Christianity didn’t reject truth. It continued to use tests of logic and checks against reality as criteria for beliefs and actions. Nobody else did that.”

    You are forgetting Zoroastrianism, which predates Christianity.

    “And for quite some time during the 1800s other societies imitated the West and imported the idea of truth.”

    Actually, the West in part adapted and adopted Chinese philosophers on truth. In other words, non-western societies had their own conceptualization.

    https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/theories-of-truth-in-chinese-philosophy-a-comparative-approach

  132. @The Anti-Gnostic
    Huh. It's almost like that's what separate countries are for.

    If only those ignorant workers could figure out how much more bargaining power they would have with a global lingua franca and free movement of capital and labor!

    Seriously, did you fall asleep under a tree at the Fourth Internationale and just wake up?

    “Huh. It’s almost like that’s what separate countries are for.”

    We do have separate countries. It’s just that the United States is a mutt nation. Where have you been?

    • Troll: Hail, Manfred Arcane
  133. @PiltdownMan
    The series began in 1912, as a way of making classical texts available to well-educated people who had no grounding in Latin or Greek, which started becoming increasingly common by the late 19th century. An additional aim is to make the texts accessible to "everyman."

    What is lost is the ambiguities and contextual information that more scholarly tomes, with their footnotes (or that professors of Latin and Greek) would provide. But it is, by far, the most comprehensive go to resource and has everything the ancients wrote that has survived to the present day.

    I've read a couple of volumes. They are far from pedestrian or dry translations (at least what I read). But my two volumes of Richmond Lattimore's translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey, written about fifty years ago, are quite a bit more engaging.

    I just came upon this in Wikipedia, for what it is worth.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_translations_of_Homer

    The picture of the shelf of green Loeb Classical Library books is only half the story. LCL titles in Greek are green, LCL titles in Latin are red. The LCL texts lack what are called critical apparatuses on the bottom of the page in so-called scholarly editions of ancient texts. The critical apparatus provides significant variant readings of a particular word on that page from different manuscripts of that text. The quality of the translations vary but in general are excellent. Most notably the 2 volume edition of the Republic translated by Paul Shorey, the American Wilamowitz, with more notes than the typical LCL volume, is indispensable. His insight into difficult passages is usually superior to that of James Adams’ edition of that dialogue.

    The LCL collection is available online in the Perseus archive from Tufts University http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/collection?collection=Perseus:collection:Greco-Roman

    Some but not all LCL titles are also available at Archive.org in the form of optical scans of the book itself. That way you can see the whole page and then the English translation – page by page. That is way more convenient that the Perseus archive which just serves up one column of a Stephanus page at a time. Very tedious to use. Stephanus, a 16th century French scholar named Henri Estienne, published an edition of the complete works of Plato. Each page of his edition had five columns A through E. All subsequent editions of Plato use the Stephanus pagination system.

    • Thanks: PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @PiltdownMan

    The picture of the shelf of green Loeb Classical Library books is only half the story. LCL titles in Greek are green, LCL titles in Latin are red.
     
    https://blackwellclassics.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/loeb21.jpg
  134. @Cato
    Perhaps having neighbors different from oneself makes a country more insistent on internal homogeneity. Turkey is a country that will not accept internal diversity -- like the America of my grandparents, Turkey expects all of its citizens to assimilate/integrate.

    Actually, what they’ve done is to run the antique minorities off the premises (Armenians first, then Greeks) and harass the residue. (See, for example, the mass confiscation of minority property by the Turkish government in 1942, disguised as a poll tax. See also the ongoing refusal to allow the Kurdish minority ordinary courtesies, such as speaking Kurdish in a public place w/o getting a citation for it). Your grandparents and mine promoted assimilation among voluntary migrants to the United States, not among antique indigenous populations. One continuing injury: the refusal of the Turkish government to allow the installation of an Oecumenical Patriarch unless that person is drawn from the tiny residue of ethnic Greeks in Turkey.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    See also the ongoing refusal to allow the Kurdish minority ordinary courtesies, such as speaking Kurdish in a public place w/o getting a citation for it).
     
    That is a good rule. People should be encouraged to use a nation’s common language, especially in public.

    The Kurds are divisive.

    One continuing injury: the refusal of the Turkish government to allow the installation of an Oecumenical Patriarch unless that person is drawn from the tiny residue of ethnic Greeks in Turkey.
     
    They have their reasons.
  135. @peterike

    Turkey borders 7 countries with 7 different alphabets

     

    Pfffft. You call that diversity? THIS is diversity:

    Queens is both the largest borough of New York City and the second most populated. Queens is also notable for being the most ethnically diverse urban area in the entire world, representing over 100 nations and speaking 138 different languages.

    Think of all the restaurants! Indeed, I went to a Himalayan restaurant one time (admit it, you don't have one of those is your neighborhood, do you, bigot?). It was just sort of slightly different yet recognizably Asian food, and utterly mediocre. But it was authentic and it mocked my white privilege.

    I went to a Himalayan restaurant one time (admit it, you don’t have one of those is your neighborhood, do you, bigot?).

    There’s one in the small city (population just over 5000) where I used to live in California.

  136. Anonymous[394] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art Deco
    Actually, what they've done is to run the antique minorities off the premises (Armenians first, then Greeks) and harass the residue. (See, for example, the mass confiscation of minority property by the Turkish government in 1942, disguised as a poll tax. See also the ongoing refusal to allow the Kurdish minority ordinary courtesies, such as speaking Kurdish in a public place w/o getting a citation for it). Your grandparents and mine promoted assimilation among voluntary migrants to the United States, not among antique indigenous populations. One continuing injury: the refusal of the Turkish government to allow the installation of an Oecumenical Patriarch unless that person is drawn from the tiny residue of ethnic Greeks in Turkey.

    See also the ongoing refusal to allow the Kurdish minority ordinary courtesies, such as speaking Kurdish in a public place w/o getting a citation for it).

    That is a good rule. People should be encouraged to use a nation’s common language, especially in public.

    The Kurds are divisive.

    One continuing injury: the refusal of the Turkish government to allow the installation of an Oecumenical Patriarch unless that person is drawn from the tiny residue of ethnic Greeks in Turkey.

    They have their reasons.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    That is a good rule. People should be encouraged to use a nation’s common language, especially in public.

    We're not talking about the language used in civil service or school examinations. Neither are we talking about the contrived bilingualism you find here ('presione 2 para español'). We're talking about two Kurds getting hit with citations for speaking to each other in a cafe.


    The Kurds are divisive.

    No, the Kurds are Kurds. They're remarkably patient, all things considered. If Turkey doesn't want 'division', they can be constructive and off-load the Kurdish provinces.
    , @Art Deco
    They don't have any defensible reasons. Note, Egypt and Israel have no objection to foreign residents in the patriarchate. The current Orthodox patriarch in Antioch is a Syrian national, but some of his predecessors were Lebanese.
  137. @üeljang
    The PRC shares land borders with fourteen countries, not fifteen. It does not share any land border with Turkmenistan, Bangladesh, South Korea, or Cambodia, but it does share a land border with Bhutan, Afghanistan (the Wakhan Corridor), and Pakistan (in terms of actual line of control; if one accepts India's claim that Pakistan's Northern Areas/Gilgit-Baltistan belong to India rather than Pakistan, then China shares land borders with only thirteen countries).

    Anon did pretty well without looking, and I’d thought that Bangladesh touched China, but you are right, only 14.

    CW from N. Korea (that’s one), Vietnam, Laos, Burma, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Krygyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia.

  138. @anon
    I think I did (without checking). In no particular order: Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, India, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, North Korea, South Korea.
    OK, I'm sure I missed some and added ones that are near, but don't border China.

    Pretty good job for no checking. I messed up, thinking Bangladesh had a border with China also. OK 14 – I listed them in a reply to Uejiang. Thanks for the reply.

  139. @Anonymouse
    The picture of the shelf of green Loeb Classical Library books is only half the story. LCL titles in Greek are green, LCL titles in Latin are red. The LCL texts lack what are called critical apparatuses on the bottom of the page in so-called scholarly editions of ancient texts. The critical apparatus provides significant variant readings of a particular word on that page from different manuscripts of that text. The quality of the translations vary but in general are excellent. Most notably the 2 volume edition of the Republic translated by Paul Shorey, the American Wilamowitz, with more notes than the typical LCL volume, is indispensable. His insight into difficult passages is usually superior to that of James Adams' edition of that dialogue.

    The LCL collection is available online in the Perseus archive from Tufts University http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/collection?collection=Perseus:collection:Greco-Roman

    Some but not all LCL titles are also available at Archive.org in the form of optical scans of the book itself. That way you can see the whole page and then the English translation - page by page. That is way more convenient that the Perseus archive which just serves up one column of a Stephanus page at a time. Very tedious to use. Stephanus, a 16th century French scholar named Henri Estienne, published an edition of the complete works of Plato. Each page of his edition had five columns A through E. All subsequent editions of Plato use the Stephanus pagination system.

    The picture of the shelf of green Loeb Classical Library books is only half the story. LCL titles in Greek are green, LCL titles in Latin are red.

  140. @BB753
    Yeah, I can recall the "ethical" extermination of Armenians Attatürk undertook, and the "ethical" exchange of Greek populations, not to mention the "ethical" occupation of Constantinople, which he should have returned to Greece. Turkey should be limited to Anatolia. They have no business keeping Istambul and European lands.

    None of your “counterexamples” are domestic. A good leader does screw over foreigners, that’s not an exception, that’s what they’re supposed to do. The third world norm is that leaders are like the Clintons and yet here was a guy who wasn’t just trying to get rich.

  141. @Anonymous

    See also the ongoing refusal to allow the Kurdish minority ordinary courtesies, such as speaking Kurdish in a public place w/o getting a citation for it).
     
    That is a good rule. People should be encouraged to use a nation’s common language, especially in public.

    The Kurds are divisive.

    One continuing injury: the refusal of the Turkish government to allow the installation of an Oecumenical Patriarch unless that person is drawn from the tiny residue of ethnic Greeks in Turkey.
     
    They have their reasons.

    That is a good rule. People should be encouraged to use a nation’s common language, especially in public.

    We’re not talking about the language used in civil service or school examinations. Neither are we talking about the contrived bilingualism you find here (‘presione 2 para español’). We’re talking about two Kurds getting hit with citations for speaking to each other in a cafe.

    The Kurds are divisive.

    No, the Kurds are Kurds. They’re remarkably patient, all things considered. If Turkey doesn’t want ‘division’, they can be constructive and off-load the Kurdish provinces.

  142. @Anonymous

    See also the ongoing refusal to allow the Kurdish minority ordinary courtesies, such as speaking Kurdish in a public place w/o getting a citation for it).
     
    That is a good rule. People should be encouraged to use a nation’s common language, especially in public.

    The Kurds are divisive.

    One continuing injury: the refusal of the Turkish government to allow the installation of an Oecumenical Patriarch unless that person is drawn from the tiny residue of ethnic Greeks in Turkey.
     
    They have their reasons.

    They don’t have any defensible reasons. Note, Egypt and Israel have no objection to foreign residents in the patriarchate. The current Orthodox patriarch in Antioch is a Syrian national, but some of his predecessors were Lebanese.

  143. @PiltdownMan

    Then why is Christian Ethiopia so behind heathen Japan?
     
    Until the Meiji Restoration, it almost certainly wasn't.

    https://l450v.alamy.com/450v/racphj/good-friday-coptic-ethiopian-christian-procession-on-the-via-dolorosa-jerusalem-israel-middle-east-racphj.jpg
    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/1c/4a/ca/1c4aca47a16b0d3cf8f9ed78274faed9--orthodox-wedding-christian-weddings.jpg
    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Qx0uH_5rNto/UUhKVMFRQZI/AAAAAAAChlE/nqsbu5j7rFQ/s1600/Color+Photos+of+Life+in+Japan+in+the+Late+19th+Century+(18).jpg
    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wU9_a1h6Hu0/VmbqdrZZ9vI/AAAAAAAAJWk/-azanSNuLBA/s1600/%2BOld%2BJapan%2Bin%2Blate%2B19th%2BCentury%2B%25281%2529.jpg

    Pre-Meiji Japan had a very rich literature, theater, painting, etc. Ethiopia mainly looks good compared to the rest of Africa.
    Ethiopia seems very similar to medieval Russia to me; architecture and written language, yes, but almost solely devoted to religion. All Jerusalem and no Athens.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Russians and Ethiopians tend to feel they have some cultural traits in common.
  144. @Ian Smith
    Pre-Meiji Japan had a very rich literature, theater, painting, etc. Ethiopia mainly looks good compared to the rest of Africa.
    Ethiopia seems very similar to medieval Russia to me; architecture and written language, yes, but almost solely devoted to religion. All Jerusalem and no Athens.

    Russians and Ethiopians tend to feel they have some cultural traits in common.

    • Replies: @BB753
    Both countries share a common Christian Orthodox past, the main difference being that mainstream Orthodox Christians believe in the dual nature of Christ, human and divine (as do Roman Catholics) while the Churches of Egypt (Copts), Ethiopia, Eritrea, Syria and Armenia believe in monophysicism (both natures are indivisible). This early split occurred after the council of Chalcedon, in 451 A. D., well before the Great Schism in 1054 between Rome and Constantinople, over the "filioque" question (does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father alone or by the Son as well?) .
    In both cases, the splits were not caused solely by theological finer points, but also by cultural differences and obvious geopolitical reasons, particularly in the latter case.
  145. @Anonymous
    It is easy to forget that organised religion, namely Christianity, introduced letters and scholarship wherever it prevailed.
    The priesthood was the original intellectual class. Universities began as religious institutions, to train priests. Record keeping, for various reasons, was important to the Church, hence the priests were, basically, initially the only people who could read and write - and that includes the nobility.
    It is no accident that the English world 'clerk', and the widespread surname 'Clark' or 'Clarke' is derived from the word 'cleric'.

    Not so celibate after all. Although perhaps the Clarks are from after the meaning had already morphed into clerk.

    They were certainly murderous

  146. @Steve Sailer
    Russians and Ethiopians tend to feel they have some cultural traits in common.

    Both countries share a common Christian Orthodox past, the main difference being that mainstream Orthodox Christians believe in the dual nature of Christ, human and divine (as do Roman Catholics) while the Churches of Egypt (Copts), Ethiopia, Eritrea, Syria and Armenia believe in monophysicism (both natures are indivisible). This early split occurred after the council of Chalcedon, in 451 A. D., well before the Great Schism in 1054 between Rome and Constantinople, over the “filioque” question (does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father alone or by the Son as well?) .
    In both cases, the splits were not caused solely by theological finer points, but also by cultural differences and obvious geopolitical reasons, particularly in the latter case.

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