"La roue tourne" (Re: INDOLOGY FAQ. Re. Varanasi

Jean-Luc Chevillard jean-luc.chevillard at UNIV-PARIS-DIDEROT.FR
Wed Feb 17 19:38:39 UTC 2010

Dear Herman,
Cher Herman,

thanks a lot for sharing your deeply felt experience with your students
(and especially with the student from Bengal)

Since the discussion has become
very "non-academic,"
please allow me to use my full linguistic capacity
(in French)
for adding some further comments
{{otherwise, we, native French citizen, would become second zone World 
citizens :-((   }}

merci de partager votre/ton expérience avec vos/tes étudiants.
[[By using the slash ["/"]sign, I am trying to overcome
one of the translation gaps between English and French :-) ]]

C'est très touchant!

"La roue tourne", sans jamais s'arrêter!

Qui peut savoir comment les propos que nous avons échangés ces derniers 
seront interprétés plus tard,
par les archivistes du monde?

Peut-être que le souvenir d'enfance (à Khartoum)
que Dominik Wujastyk a partagé récemment
avec nous sera utilisé plus tard par un historien (a historical linguist)
pour prouver
que certains égyptiens ont entendu parler de "La Tamise"
avant d'entendre parler de "The Thames".

[[(I am referring to the comparison
/thaymees/ (like "rabies")]]

Comme l'a dit Blaise Pascal,
le monde est quelque chose
"dont le centre est partout et la circonférence nulle part".

There is nothing wrong with that !!


-- Jean-Luc (Paris, France)

Le 2/17/2010 8:03 PM, Herman Tull a écrit :
> This is irresistible, but speaking of "h"-s there is that little 
> matter of the transformation of the Sanskrit "s" to the Persian 
> "h"--not an "error" at all, or is it?
> And, these lines, I always take pains to teach students to pronounce 
> "phala" with an aspirated "p" sound, and not to confuse it with the 
> "f" sound that is represented by "ph" in English (as in "nephew").  
> This year, however, I have a student (a native Bengali speaker) who 
> pronounces it as as "fala".  I hesitate to "correct" him (I spend 
> enough time trying to "get" his pronunciation of initial "a"-s which, 
> of course, he pronounces [as do tens of millions of his countrymen] as 
> "o-s").  When we discussed this, he cheerfully informed me that we 
> really never can be sure exactly how native Sanskrit speakers 
> pronounced their words.
> By the way, I've brought to the attention of my introductory Sanskrit 
> class some of the central elements of this topic (no names of 
> course).  It led to a lively class discussion--in fact, much to my 
> regret (and my students' glee), we barely had time for our translation 
> work.
> regards,
> Herman
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Richard P. Hayes" <rhayes at UNM.EDU>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 12:38 PM
> To: <INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk>
> Subject: Re: INDOLOGY FAQ. Re. Varanasi
>> On Wed, 2010-02-17 at 11:44 -0500, Allen W Thrasher wrote:
>>> "And then there was the apparently universal habit among news
>>> commentators of speaking of "Ra-ZHeev" Gandhi. My theory is that the zh
>>> for j was borrowed from French ("jeune"), and sounded nice and exotic,
>>> while plain old j didn't have that same satisfying ring."
>> It occurs to me that a similar consideration may account for the
>> misplacement of 'h' in many Indic words as spelled by Americans, e.g.,
>> Ghandi and Buddah. After all, 'h' is silent in Spanish and French (the
>> two languages other than English that Americans are most likely to know
>> or at least know something about), so it must be silent in all foreign
>> languages. And if a letter is silent, it really doesn't matter where one
>> puts it, right?
>> Of course, Americans know that 'h' sometimes is part of a digraphic
>> representation of a single sound, so American Ayurvedic aficionados will
>> talk about their kapha (kaffa), and Yankee yogis will practice their
>> hatha (where 'th' is pronounced as in 'think').
>> Sorry for being precious again, Matthew. It's hard to resist having fun
>> at the expense of Americans.
>> -- 
>> Richard Philip Hayes
>> Department of Philosophy
>> (What a nice bundle of words with 'h', eh?)

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