April 20, 2012 by Robyn DeAngelis · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Culture, History 

Every day, I walk about 5 miles. There is a house in town that I pass daily that has a red Dala Horse as its street address sign. I have always known that these equine symbols are Swedish, but I did not know their significance. I love horses and I love to blog, so of course, a new blog entry was born.

Since Viking Times, the horse has been considered a holy animal. The Dala Horse (Dalahäst) is a very popular Swedish souvenir.  The name comes from Dalarna, in central Sweden.

During the long Swedish winters, long ago, the forerunner to the Dala Horse was created using simple tools. It was only natural that a horse would be a popular model to craft as the horse was invaluable in those days.

According to the story, in 1716, while King Charles XII of Sweden was at war with other parts of Europe, many soldiers stayed in the Mora section of Sweden. Rumor has it that one such soldier carved a Dala Horse from some scrap wood. Since red was a color readily available from a nearby copper mine, he painted it red and gave it to one of the children in the house.

The Dala Horse gained popularity when it was chosen by the National Crafts Union for part of the Swedish display at the Paris Exposition in the mid-19th century.  Skills for creating the Dala Horse creation have been passed from generation to generation. It is one of the few folk traditions of Sweden still living.

The Dala Horse of today is still made by hand with pine, and takes about 9 different people to create it. The village of Nusnäs, in Dalarna, is considered by some to be the home of the only authentic Swedish Dala Horses, with over 250,000 Dala Horses produced there annually.

To read more blogs from Sr. Localization Manager, Robyn, you can visit her personal blog site at http://www.languagelovah.blogspot.com/.

The Language of Jersey

April 3, 2012 by Robyn DeAngelis · Leave a Comment
Filed under: History, Language 
No, not that Jersey. The Balliwick of Jersey, a crown dependency of the English monarch and part of the Channel Islands that maintains a close proximity to the Norman region of France. The Jersey language is one of the many “patois romans” or “regional dialects” of France.
The two main languages spoken in Jersey are French and English. However, there is a French variant called Jèrriais (also known as Jersey French or Jersey Norman French). Jèrriais is based on the ancient Norman language. Jèrriais is one of the langues d’oïl (languages of “yes”) and is related to Norman, Dgèrnésiais, Picard, Gallo and Walloon. Never heard of any of them? Neither have I…
There are now approximately 87,000 people living in Jersey, and 20% of them are of British descent. Most of the Norman-descended population now speaks English as well. English is spoken by 94.6% of the population.
Dgèrnésiais, similar to Jèrriais, is spoken in nearby Guernsey. The language spoken in Sark, called Sercquiais, is a descendant of the Jèrriais language brought by the Jersey colonists who settled Sark in the 16th century.
In Jersey today, the Section de la langue Jèrriaise works to promote the study of the language and its literature. Jèrriais classes are very common in elementary schools.
Here is a sampling of the Jèrriais language (thanks to Omniglot). As anyone who speaks French can see, it is similar to Parisian French but the spelling is quite different.
English Jèrriais
Welcome Séyiz les beinv’nu(e)(s)!
Hello Salut / Bouônjour
How are you?

I’m fine, thanks. And you?
Coumme est qu’ous êtes? (frm/pl)
Coumme est qu’ tu’es? (inf) Comment va? (vinf)
Jé sis d’charme, mèrcie, et té/vos?
What’s your name?
My name is …
Tch’est qu’est vot’ nom? (frm) Tch’est qu’est tan nom? (inf)
Man nom est … / Jé sis … / Jé m’appelle …
Good morning Bouônjour (à matîn)
Good day
Good afternoon
Good evening Bônsouair
Good night Bouonne niet
Goodbye À bétôt, À bi, À la préchaine, À tantôt
Good luck Bouonne cache / dés crouaîsis (fingers crossed)
Cheers/Good health! Bouonne santé!

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