the oldest known written sentence in your mother tongue

Youngfun

Senior Member
Wu Chinese & Italian
Grazie, Sempervirens. Chiedo scusa per la mia ignoranza, pensavo che l'iscrizione su marmo fosse la versione originale, che poi ragionando a logica, essendo un documento giuridico, dovrebbe essere su carta (o papiro? boh... riecco la mia ignoranza).

I sinogrammi che ho segnalato sono irriconoscibili per i cinesi moderni.
Facendo un parallelo, anche l'alfabeto romano deriva da quello etrusco, a sua volta da quello greco, a sua volta da quello fenicio, a sua volta dai geroglifici. La differenza che corre tra quei simboli e i moderni sinogrammi cinesi è simile a quella tra i geroglifici e l'alfabeto latino.

Ecco un sito che illustra l'evoluzione dei caratteri cinesi. La prima pagina dà come esempio la storia del carattere 車, cronologicamente dal basso verso l'alto
 
  • Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    This is quite mysterious to me. If we assume that Chinese writing consists of ideograms, and that the same ideograms are pronounced very differenet in various Chinese dialects, so one can assume that the old ideograms were just pronounced in the modern way, weren't they? So, what did the change from old to modern chinese mean for writing? I know that the old ideograms were simplified in the XX century, but they retained the same meaning?
    The main difference is grammar, and some vocabulary.
    Written Classical Chinese has maintained more or less the same grammar from Confucius to 1920, but the pronunciation changed a lot in time and in place (the dialects).
    Today we use the modern pronunciation to read Classical Chinese, and nobody is sure how Chinese was pronounce in the past, although there are reconstructions.
     

    Sempervirens

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Grazie, Sempervirens. Chiedo scusa per la mia ignoranza, pensavo che l'iscrizione su marmo fosse la versione originale, che poi ragionando a logica, essendo un documento giuridico, dovrebbe essere su carta (o papiro? boh... riecco la mia ignoranza).

    I sinogrammi che ho segnalato sono irriconoscibili per i cinesi moderni.
    Facendo un parallelo, anche l'alfabeto romano deriva da quello etrusco, a sua volta da quello greco, a sua volta da quello fenicio, a sua volta dai geroglifici. La differenza che corre tra quei simboli e i moderni sinogrammi cinesi è simile a quella tra i geroglifici e l'alfabeto latino.

    Ecco un sito che illustra l'evoluzione dei caratteri cinesi. La prima pagina dà come esempio la storia del carattere 車, cronologicamente dal basso verso l'alto
    Youngfun, mi stupisci. Sia per il tuo italiano , perfetto, sia per la tua competenza!

    Tornando al supporto scrittorio dovrebbe trattarsi di quattro pergamene con su redatti i placiti.

    Spero di non andare fuori tema chiedendoti una cosa che vorrei sapere sul sinogramma 車 da te citato. Nel caso del giapponese ha finito per assumere quello di ruota, ruote, e infine come sineddoche quello di veicolo , autoveicolo in generale. Abbiamo dunque delle stringhe di non facile intuibilità per alcuni utenti dell'alfabeto.
    Bicicletta (non è che poi sia tanto trasparente nemmeno questa parola!) lo troviamo in giapponese
    sotto queste sembianze 自転車...nella quale stringa di sinogrammi si nota in coda l'elemento 車 : ruota/ carro (carro= quattro ruote?) che potrebbe mettere in difficoltà i neofiti come me. La stessa medesima cosa succede anche nel cinese?

    Grazie per avermi segnalato quel sito interessante sui sinogrammi. Io invece ti segnalo quello dove attingo per i miei modesti studi:
    http://www.saiga-jp.com/language/kanji_list.html

    Ciao e grazie ancora!
    :)





     
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    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    If there was any hand-written text in Finnish before that, no one knows. Probably not, because the official language was Swedish.
    More generally, the oldest surviving hand-written text in any Finnic language is preserved in the Birch bark letter no. 292, dating to the 13th century:

    юмолануолиїнимижи
    ноулисѣханолиомобоу
    юмоласоудьнииохови


    There's no consensus as to what it means exactly.
     

    Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    Youngfun, mi stupisci. Sia per il tuo italiano , perfetto, sia per la tua competenza!
    Vivendo in Italia da quando ho 6 anni, un po' d'italiano l'ho imparato.:D

    Tornando al supporto scrittorio dovrebbe trattarsi di quattro pergamene con su redatti i placiti.
    Grazie per l'informazione. :)

    Spero di non andare fuori tema chiedendoti una cosa che vorrei sapere sul sinogramma 車 da te citato. Nel caso del giapponese ha finito per assumere quello di ruota, ruote, e infine come sineddoche quello di veicolo , autoveicolo in generale. Abbiamo dunque delle stringhe di non facile intuibilità per alcuni utenti dell'alfabeto.
    Bicicletta (non è che poi sia tanto trasparente nemmeno questa parola!) lo troviamo in giapponese
    sotto queste sembianze 自転車...nella quale stringa di sinogrammi si nota in coda l'elemento 車 : ruota/ carro (carro= quattro ruote?) che potrebbe mettere in difficoltà i neofiti come me. La stessa medesima cosa succede anche nel cinese?

    Grazie per avermi segnalato quel sito interessante sui sinogrammi. Io invece ti segnalo quello dove attingo per i miei modesti studi:
    http://www.saiga-jp.com/language/kanji_list.html

    Ciao e grazie ancora!
    :)
    In cinese 車 (semplificato: 车) non significa "ruota" ma soltanto "veicolo", anzi in realtà qualsiasi mezzo dotato di ruote, compresi carri, carrelli, carriole, carrozze, biciclette, moto, automobili, ecc.
    In cinese a seconda degli usi regionali ci sono almeno tre modi per chiamare la bicicletta:

    1. 自行车 (la forma più diffusa, in cinese "standard"): lett. significa "veicolo che cammina da solo"

    2. 脚踏车: "veicolo pedalato dai piedi"

    3. 单车: "veicolo singolo"

    Probabilmente il 2 è il più intuitivo. La forma giapponese assomiglia al 1., e letteralmente significherebbe "veicolo che gira da solo".
    In realtà non saprei come interpretare quel "da solo". Siccome in cinese e giapponese spesso non si specifica il soggetto, potrebbe significare letteralmente "veicolo che noi da soli dobbiamo far camminare".
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    .
    Do you know the oldest known written down sentence in your mother tongue?
    Ahem. Well, writing in Russia is definetly older than the modern Russian language, and it's pretty difficult to call, say, ancient Novgorodian dialect "my mother tongue" (because it seems probably less intelligible than even Old Church Slavonic - although most likely more intelligible than Old English to modern English speakers).
    The first inscriptions in ancient Russian are separate words on wooden artifacts dated back to X century. The "Novgorodian Code" is apparently the earliest written document of Russia which is dated back to early XI century, but it is in Church Slavonic, not exactly ancient Russian. The first authentic text in ancient Russian is, afaik, the Stone of Tmutarakan (1068).
     
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    Sempervirens

    Senior Member
    italiano
    Ciao, Youngfun! In ritardo, lo so , ma volevo dirti che forse ''veicolo che gira da solo'', come tu hai gentilmente spiegato, andrebbe cambiato in '' veicolo che gira da sé'' , autonomamente, senza essere trainato da quadrupedi. La propulsione è all'interno del veicolo stesso e pertanto non ci sono altre forze trainanti poste all'esterno di questi.

    Saluti

    S.V
     

    Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    Ciao, Youngfun! In ritardo, lo so , ma volevo dirti che forse ''veicolo che gira da solo'', come tu hai gentilmente spiegato, andrebbe cambiato in '' veicolo che gira da sé'' , autonomamente, senza essere trainato da quadrupedi. La propulsione è all'interno del veicolo stesso e pertanto non ci sono altre forze trainanti poste all'esterno di questi.

    Saluti

    S.V
    Hai ragione, è quello che volevo dire. Purtroppo a Roma per dire che qualche attrezzo o umano fa qualcosa "da sé", diciamo che lo fa "da solo"... e scrivendo mi sono dimenticato di convertire nel vocabolo italiano "corretto". ;)
     

    Vukabular

    Banned
    Serbian
    Mudromu I plemenitomu, I cistitomu I bogom darovanomu jupan Hanăş Bengner ot Braşov mnogo zdravie ot Nécşu ot Dlăgopole.


    (The most highly regarded and fair man, and God sent man Hanas Bengner of Brasov, health is wished upon you from Neacsu of Campulung)

    I don't understand a word of it (except the city Brasov)! The Romanian language has REALLY changed since this letter was written!
    You don't understand because it's written in Serbian.
    Mudrom i plemenitom i čestitiom i Bogom darovanom županu Hanăş Bengner od Braşov mnogo zdravlja od Nécşu od Dlăgopole.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It's simply a local variety of Church Slavonic, which was an official language of Wallachia and Moldavia for a really long time. (All modern day varieties stem from Russian Church Slavonic, but it wasn't the case in the XV century yet.)
     

    Vukabular

    Banned
    Serbian
    If this is Church Slavonic then all Slavs would read without a problem.
    Romanian is a Jesuit creation of recent times. I had the opportunity to read a dictionary written in 1825 where, in my free estimation, there are 50 percent identical words as in today's Serbian and another 20 to 30 percent similar.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If this is Church Slavonic then all Slavs would read without a problem.
    They do. Romanians are (unexpectedly!) Romance speakers, though.
    Romanian is a Jesuit creation of recent times
    Yes, and Serbian was created by reptiloids before the Flood.
    Romanian was somewhat "purified" during the XIX century (with numerous artificial loanwords, chiefly from French), but so were Croatian, Czech and many other local languages of the region - it was the era of nationalism (thankfully, Russian has avoided that fate - the movement for language purification of the early XIX century didn't find many proponents). And, no doubt, it's not the cultural vocabulary which makes Serbian and Romanian mutually incomprehensible.
     
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    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    No-one mentioned Ogham writing yet.
    it is believed that Ogham Stones were probably carved since the middle 4th or the beginnings of the 5th century. However, it is possible that the alphabet employed to write the first graphical signs of Old Irish language was in use by the 2nd century (HARVEY, 1990, p. 13-14), or even the 1st (CARNEY, 1975, p. 53-65), and continued to be produced until the 9th
    Ancient Scripts : Ogham – Old Irish inscriptions
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In Catalan, the oldest attested sentences are from the 1030s, found in the Radulf Oriol's Oath, a feudal loyalty oath to Raymond IV of the Pallars Jussà (Lower Pallars), in which Medieval Latin and Proto-Catalan are mixed.


    Iuro ego, Radolf Oriol, filium Mirabile, a(d) te, Ragimundo, chomite, filium Ermetructe, et a te Ermesende, chomitissa, filiam Gilga, de ipssos chastellos de Aringo et de Oriti; go fideles vos ende sere; go no llos vos devetare, ni devetare no llos vos fare. Et si de Giriperto, meum seniore menus [e]venerit per morte, go a vos ende atendere sine lochoro che non vos ende de demandare. Quamu (o: Quomu?) ací est est scriptu et omo ligere hic pote, sí vos ate[n]re (escrit: 'atere') et si vos atendere per directa fidem sine vestro (vostro?) enchanno. Per Deum et sanctis suis​

    The bold sentences are in Archaic Catalan. The very first one says:

    go fideles vos ende sere; go no llos vos devetare, ni devetare no llos vos fare.
    (Modern St. Catalan)​
    jo fidel us en seré; jo no us els vedaré, ni vedar no us els faré.
    (English)
    [Regarding those castles...] I shall be loyal to you. I shall not deny them to you, nor shall I make them denied to you.

    Before that date, there can only be found some Catalan words inside some Latin texts (names of tools, trees, etc), but not any complex sentence.

    The first literary sentence would be from the Song of the Holy Faith, written two or three decades later (about the 1060s), although there's still some debate whether the language in it can be considered Old Catalan or Old Occitan.

    The Glosas Emilianenses contains not only old Spanish (Hispano-Romance) words but also the following sentences (written rather in Navarro-Aragonese than in Castilian Romance):

    Cono ayutorio de nuestro dueño dueño Christo, dueño Salbatore, qual dueño yet ena honore e qual dueño tienet era (=ela?) mandacione cono Patre cono Spiritu Sancto, enos siéculos de los sieculos. Facanos Deus omnipotes tal serbicio fere que denante ela sua face gaudiosos seyamus. Amen.
    That is not Spanish but Archaic Aragonese indeed. The Romance traits shown there are found still today in Aragonese.

    We also have find very ancient spanish in the Jarchas,
    The Kharjas are not in Spanish either, but in the Romance variety/varieties once spoken in Al-Andalus.
     
    The oldest written sentence in Greek (leaving aside Linear B, which was a syllabary only known by professional scribes) is an inscription of 8th c. BCE on a drinking cup found at excavations in the ancient Greek city of Pithikoussai on the island of Ischia, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy:

    Νέστορος εἰμὶ εὔποτον ποτήριον
    ὃς δ' ἂν τοῦδε πίησι ποτηρίου αὐτίκα κῆνον
    ἵμερος αἱρήσει καλλιστεφάνου Ἀφροδίτης.

    I am Nestor's cup, good to drink from.
    Whoever drinks this cup empty,
    straightaway desire for beautiful-crowned Aphrodite will seize him.

    What's interesting about this inscription is that while the inscriptions in Linear B are older, they are texts of disbursements of goods written by professional scribes who served the central bureaucracy; Nestor's inscription on the other hand is a playful joke, written by a layman, demonstrative of the easiness to learn how to read and write, in the "new" alphabet
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    How about the oldest written sentence in Modern Greek? I mean Standard Modern Greek. May I use this definition as far as Modern Greek is concerned? :p
    As far as I get it, Modern Greek is just a codified standard which is closer to spoken varieties when compared to Katharevousa. Obviously the spoken varieties developed gradually and there is no sharp border between Byzantine and Modern Greek in the broad sense of the word (and, in turn, Byzantine Greek arises directly from late local varieties of the Koine).
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Anyway, the first meaningful complete texts in Old Russian all come from the early XI century (together with first Russian texts in Church Slavonic). Aside of several Novgorodian birch bark manuscripts from 1020s (with strong dialectal features of the region), the Tmutarakan monumental inscription of 1068 can be mentioned, which perfectly reflects characteristic feautres of the early Old Russian koine (I transliterated it to the Latin alphabet, making some orthographic simplifications):
    "Vъ lěto 6576 indikta 6 Glebъ knяzь měrilъ more po ledou otъ Tъmoutorokanя do Korčeva 10000 i 4000 sяženъ"
    ~"In the year 6576 the sixth of the Indiction, Prince Gleb measured the distance across the sea on the ice from Tmutarakan to Kerch (which is) 14,000 sazhens".
    Pretty understandable to modern East Slavic speakers, although one wouldn't understand the numbers when seeing the inscription (obviously it doesn't use the modern Arabic digits), and it lacks spaces or any other dividers too.
     
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    Awwal is quite right, yet, if one wants to be precise, the oldest Modern Greek text would be the vernacular-origin, popular literature and Akritic cycle poems that describe the border wars between Byzantium and the Arab-Islamic world. The language used is literary Byzantine Greek, but with vernacular influences in lexicon and syntax. The date is 7th-11th c. CE (I'd say 8th century's texts are more accessible than the ones written in 7th c.). The language is very similar to the modern vernacular, bar the use of the infinitive, dative, some latinisms here and there, and with a bit more complex and different syntax. Pretty intelligible to the modern speaker.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    How about the oldest written sentence in Modern Greek? I mean Standard Modern Greek. May I use this definition as far as Modern Greek is concerned? :p
    Apmoy70 is (of course) right as to the early stages of the Modern Greek language, but this "Standard" baffles me a bit. Am I not right to think that the existence of a Standard language presupposes the existence of a State? Greece became an independent country in 1830.
     
    Am I not right to think that the existence of a Standard language presupposes the existence of a State
    You may be right and Standard could be easily removed from my question. :) However, I am not that sure that a Standardised form of a Language always presupposes the existence of a State. For instance, Italy was only united in 1861, but a sort of standard Language, based upon Tuscan and the well-known Tuscan authors such as Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio, pre-existed as early as the fourteenth century. Even though it was spoken by very few well-educated people, whoever wanted to write poetry, novels, plays used to resort to that prestigious and codified language.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    English

    ...I can barely understand the supposed greatest works in the English language, Shakespeare, the language used is so removed from modern English. Being transported back to Elizabethan England would be like being transported to the Bronx and trying to understand an American! :D
    Well, Romeo and Juliet was recently performed at Shakespeare's Globe in the original pronunciation. It was perfectly comprehensible to almost all the audience once they'd 'got their ear in' - about five minutes. And spectators from America thought it sounded Appalachian (it didn't). Nine-tenths of Shakespeare's vocabulary is identical to modern English -- his grammar is rather different.

    The trouble with answering this question, for an English speaker, is that our language has evolved over many thousands of years, and the last 1500 have been recorded in writing. Most people can't read Old English (= Anglo-Saxon, before 1100), many can decipher Middle English (1100-1500) and more or less everybody except Purpleannex :D can cope with Modern English to some degree or another.

    So, what's the earliest written text in "my" language? If that means the earliest that I can understand, it has to be Chaucer (1340-1400) but my friends at University who studied English were able to decipher Old English, so for them the date is pushed back much earlier to around 700-750. Here are some examples -- the opening lines of Beowulf, the Canterbury Tales and the Memorial to Shakespeare's First Folio. Judge for yourselves:

    Old English:
    Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum,​
    þeod-cyninga þrym gefrunon,​
    hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.​
    Middle English:
    Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,​
    The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,​
    And bathed every veyne in swich licóur​
    Of which vertú engendred is the flour...​
    Early Modern English:
    Wee wondred (Shake-speare) that thou went'st so soone​
    From the Worlds-Stage to the Graves-Tyring-roome.​
    Wee thought thee dead, but this thy printed worth,​
    Tels thy Spectators that thou went'st but forth​
    To enter with applause.​
     
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    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    How can you say that this is French? It reminds more of Catalan than French, and is a kind of a transition language between Latin and French.
    You need to know the context. The Strasburg Oaths were in a direct line of descent from Latin to Early French, and the first time anybody thought it was necessary to write a separate version for French people, that wasn't Latin. It may well resemble Catalan (to me Spanish "resembles" Italian) but that's only in the way a man resembles his cousin.
     
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