þriðjudagur, ágúst 01, 2006

ekki imponerandi

Reykjavík's least impressive free daily has an interesting story today. I say interesting because I was tempted to say 'amusing' but realized in time that this would be inappropriate. Apparently, the Iranian President has issued a decree (I am unsure how otherwise to understand tilskipun in this context) forbidding his countrymen from using foreign words and expressions. He has even issued a list of good Persian (Farsi) words to replace commonly used slettur. 'Pizza' is of course to be replaced, we are to understand, by a word meaning something like 'stretchy bread' (teygjanlegt brauð). Even the vocabulary borrowed from Arabic, the language of the Koran, is to be stamped out. The whole thing pains me, even though I don't speak a lick of Farsi.

I imagine Ahmadinejad would be appalled that this was being reported in Icelandic.

3 ummæli:

Simon sagði...

I imagine the Icelandic people are happy to see another country taking steps to shore up its cultural heritage, no matter that the intention behind the edict is something different.

Alizarin sagði...

Of course, this sounds less like cultural heritage and more like the domain of Timbur-Helgi (speak his name and he shall appear - deliberately not linked). Perhaps there is a Persian kindred spirit to whittlin' Joe (as I like to call him). But God help us, it's an entire government! It's like Newspeak! Will they fine pizza street-vendors for using the wrong signage?

There's a mean-spiritedness about the whole thing that suggests hoarding. Do we have to give back the Persian words we've been using? Will aubergine divans have to become eggplant sofas? Too bad, Iran wants those words and we can't have them! The loss of ounces might finally turn the US to metric. Tiger, though, would be the hardest to replace ("stripeydeath"?).

Such a situation would checkmate us, except that we would have to console ourselves with merely being defeated.

sterna sagði...

Simon: No doubt. Though I might have detected a smidge of irony in the article. Icelandic irony is very subtle.

Alizarin: You are far too smart for your own good. What gets me is that they are banning the word pizza as foreign but continuing to sell and eat the stuff.

 
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