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John of Gaunt — born in Flanders shock! … Full canonical garb 23rd of May, 2006 ANTE·MERIDIEM 09:50

“It is scarcely too much to say that [England’s] relations with Flanders were the dominant influence in English foreign politics for the whole of the fifteenth and most of the sixteenth century.”

(from the introduction, Selections from the Correspondence and Memoranda of The Cely Family, Edited for The Royal Historical Society by Henry Elliot Malden, M.A, 1900,  available here.) As our by the grace of [xɞt] invested Imperial correspondent is wont to put it, after Adams: Belgium, man! Belgium!

Anglican clergyman of German Jewish background of the day: Joseph Wolff visited Bukhara (in modern Uzbekistan) to inquire after the fate there of two British officers send to the Emir as part of the Great Game.

Wolff himself narrowly escaped the death on account of, as he later described, of the Emir laughing uncontrollably at the appearance of Wolff in full canonical garb.

Word of the day: das Spital, Spitäler is one German word for ‘hospital’; касалхона is the Tajik.


And to think, I’ve been using the much less fun "Krankenhaus" all this time.

It’s probably just as well, you didn’t want people in Berlin to say „Scheißösterreicherin“ under their breath :-) . My flatmate carefully says „kuck mal“ instead of „schau mal“ for exactly that reason …

I would have been flattered if anyone mistook me for any sort of Österreicherin, even if a Scheißösterreicherin. Mostly Berliners just knew for certain that I wasn’t a Deutscherin, although they could never quite resolve the Asian appearance + heavy Californian accent paradox. Anyways, I would probably botch it like I do all cognates, and it would come out more like [spɪt.əl] than [spɪ.tal] or whatever the proper pronunciation would be...I don’t know anything about vowels, either. Is [a] even the right vowel? Doubt it.

[ʃpɪˈtaːl] says my Oxford-Duden†, so yeah, the vowel’s right. Careful on the consonants, though.

If you ever take up Portugese, there’s apparently a vibrant Portugese-speaking population in Brazil of Japanese descent, so you would sidestep that there … get your Mandarin together first, though, IE languages are boring! :-)

† Yay, I have the dictionary as a text file, with the IPA pronunciation encoded as UTF-8. Great and quick for things like this, or for grepping for a list of pronunciations of Latin words to demonstrate a point.


Bah. Of course it was [ʃ], it was in a silly consonant cluster.

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