Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ossetian Language

Surprise Sarmatian post! Which means I'm procrastinating and will be getting back to work immediately after posting this...

I recently had a conversation with someone which prompted me to try again to find internet sources for listening to or learning bits of the Ossetian language. The Ossetian language is a direct descendant of the Scytho-Sarmatian languages with the Alanian language as the bridge between them. It's the only living member of the Northeast Iranian language group, though modified through proximity to Caucasian languages. The three dialects are the extant Dagor–spoken in western North Ossetia, Iron–spoken elsewhere in Ossetia and the standard for the written language, and the now-extinct Jász language–which was spoken in Central Hungary from the 12th through 15th? centuries. The living full languages closest to Ossetian are Pashto and Yaghnobi in the Southeastern Iranian language group, spoken in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, respectively.

I had more success finding sources this time (as in I had success at all). Quite a bit of it is in Russian, so those of us who don't speak it are at a severe disadvantage. But here are the links I've found:
Here's a video of a man speaking Ossetian, but the description says he shifts into Georgian sometimes and I don't know which is which.
And the Wikipedia page actually has quite a bit on phonetics and grammer lifted from the research of Vasily Abaev, though I can't understand the phonetics table.
What I would really like, though, is audio tracks accompanied by the letters and a discussion in English (French is fine too). If any of you know of a site or audiobook or anything like that, please let me know.

The first link is the closest I've found to that. No audio, but it has the words written in English phonetics along with the Cyrilic. I'm sure I'm butchering the pronunciation without audio to reference, but it's at least better than nothing. And as for emphasis, I only know from that Abaev says the difference between "a ___" and "the ___" in Ossetian is the emphasis–the former puts the emphasis on the second syllable, the latter the first.

I'm thinking it might be fun to incorporate some of these while at events–especially if in a zone where "period" is required...which I can't go in yet because I don't have a full period kit. Not enough time or money to put together at the moment. :/
Some that SCAdians might be familiar enough with, or you may use often enough for frequent companions to easily learn are below. The format is English word- Ossetian written alphabet- English phonetic pronunciation. All are from
Hello                        Салам                 salam
     SCAdians may recognize this because it sounds like (or at least very similar to) the Arabic word for "peace", used in a similar way. Think "peace be upon you/and upon you peace".
How are you            Куыд цæрyт?     Kwyd tsærut?
Goodbye(1)             Фæндараст         fændarast
Goodbye(2)             хорзæй баззай    horzæï bazzaï
     I'm not sure what the difference is.
Please                      дæ хорзæхæй     dæ horzæhæï
Thanks (so much)     (стыр) бузныг    (styr) buznyg
Yes                          о                          o
No                           нæ, нæы             næ, næy
I am sorry                ныххатыр кæн    nyhhatyr kæn
Excuse me               бахатыр кæн       bahatyr kæn

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. The online sources for translating English words to Ossetian are sparse.