Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The impossible Danish

[via my chavrussa, TRP]

I feel like the same thing will happen at some point to the Western Ukrainians.

From the comments to another clip:
Halvtreds is not exactly “half sixty”. [...] 
Halvtreds comes from halvtredsindstyve where –indstyve means multiplies of 20 (or snese in Old Danish). The halvtreds, meaning 2½, comes from Old Danish that defines the basic number (3) minus a half, hence 2½ . The only word still in the Danish vocabulary of those is halvanden meaning 2 minus one half, hence 1½. The rest is only used for numbers.
Were it any other country (like France), I would say something like: “No wonder they offered no resistance to the Nazis”¹ or “no wonder they now have socialism”, but I actually like the Scandinavian people (not their political system, but the people and their history), so I won’t say that.

Another clip (with some profane language).

If you think this is a joke, here is an incident that happened on Danish TV, whose explanation was in the comments (I am correcting the English grammar):
The host in the studio attempted to ask when [the reporter] had last been travelling, but failed in grammar, and thus said 'rejsning' rather than 'rejste sidst'. [...] The reporter answered: "This morning, I think".
The first video reminds me of when I had just come to the US. I boarded a bus and asked: “Excuse me, does this bus go to LSU?” The bus driver, possibly baffled by my accent, responded in her Southern jargon: “Who?” I, somewhat confused, responded: “The bus? You? I?”

¹ My professor of Latin once said that the reason why the Greeks lost to the Romans was the fact that Greek  language has a complex system of articles, while Latin (as all civilized languages such as Russian) has no articles. So, while the Romans were issuing quick laconic commands on the battlefield (such as “de oppresso liber”, which means “command the front line to retreat laterally, bring out the reserves, and flank the jerks with our Numibian auxilaries”), the Greeks were thinking about which articles to use. As a result, the Romans ended up ruling over the Mediterranean, while the Greeks ended up serving as grammar tutors to the Romans’ kids.

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