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Arvanitic, a dying language

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  Quote Arbr Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Arvanitic, a dying language
    Posted: 03-Jul-2006 at 20:58
The Arvanitic language, a variance of the albanian tosk dialect, is spoken in greece even today, but apparently it is dissapearing. This was the language of emmigrant albanians, who settled in greece between the XII and the XVI centuries. This people was able to preserve its culture, even though in the last two centuries they had no link with propper albanian culture. The arvanites are consiously greek, for they lived there, worked there and even fought for greece. But they never forgot their origins, and even when they did, their language, their folklore and their culture always showed the truth (www.arvasynel.gr   Sorry but this is in greek). But, for some ununderstandable reasons, their language is dying and their culture dissapearing. It would be in the honor of the modern Greek state to help this people preserve their language.
 
A sample of the language compared to greek:
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  Quote Gloval Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 01:15
It's always a loss to all of us when a language or culture disappears. But this is the biological equivalent of a species of tree frog going extinct, it's depolorable but nobody will care much after the fact. That's selfishness for you.
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  Quote Arbr Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 06:16
Originally posted by Gloval

It's always a loss to all of us when a language or culture disappears. But this is the biological equivalent of a species of tree frog going extinct, it's depolorable but nobody will care much after the fact. That's selfishness for you.
 
Look, the human world is great just because it has many cultures in it. I dont think that nobody should care if a culture dies, I dont want to imagine a future world speaking only english, french and chinese. Many languages died till now, and we cant do nothing, but for the ones who are still living I believe there are ways to preserve. Languages should be recorded, studied and teached in schools. The study of a language and its evolution is a much greater help to history than the study of genes, and when we (or they) erase a language, in the same moment entire pages of unvriten history are deleted.
 
Believe me, it is not selfishness, my own language is safe afterall, and not going to dissapear in the near future.
 
I know that many people dont care about it, but they shouldnt bother to post replies. But those who love culture (and studying it) cannot pass indifferent.
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  Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 06:42
could you please translate what is written in this texts?
.
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  Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 06:49
Arber Z, i for one would like to see arvanite stay alive in greece, they contributed to the greek state like their greek speaking neighbours, and have their place in the state they created.

 I think for the little i read on this, that  what is happening is just a predictable state of langauge shift that is occuring in most countries around the world. Vlach is also slowing going but for me the watering down of greek dilaects and the slow passing of tsakonian is very upsetting.

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  Quote Arbr Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 06:56
Originally posted by Anton

could you please translate what is written in this texts?
 
It is just basic dialogues, the first is in arberisht (albanian language spoken by the arvanites - gr. arvanitika), while the second is the translation in greek. The arvanitic language for obvious reasons uses greek alphabet (also the propper albanian could be using greek letters but at the end of the XIX century the realation between albanians and our neighbours were not that good). Many people state that arvanites belong to the hellenic culture, and they are hellenes. This is their language, the greek members can check themselves (and can transliterate it in latin for the others). I dont want to talk about genetics, the language says it all. I have read about the toponyms and the ethnonyms of the arvanites, and they are in albanian, it sounds strange how come this people preserved their language for such a long time (since XII century) without schools, and without writing it down. They have a very attractive culture (to study), with their folklore, tales etc.
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  Quote dorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 12:40

In the above dialogue it is written...

"It's (the arvanitic language) very old, it's the language of Pelasgians who lived here thousands of years ago"



Edited by dorian - 04-Jul-2006 at 13:02
"We are Macedonians but we are Slav Macedonians.That's who we are!We have no connection to Alexander the Greek and his Macedonia�Our ancestors came here in the 5th and 6th century" Kiro Gligorov FYROM
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  Quote akritas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 14:16
Arber your dialogues came from the Arvanitiko syllogo Ellados.
 
 
You said that the arvanites were Albanians.According the above organization Arvanites were part of the Hellenism and they are not consider as Albanians at all.Don't forget that during the Ottoman rule many groups were billinguals and one from those were the Arvanites.
 
As about the language there is bibliography that anyone can buy it
More in
 
 
 
 
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  Quote dorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 16:57
That's right. In the official Arvanitic League of Greece, there is no reference to any Albanian origin.
 
And their language is referred as the language of Pelasgians in Greece.
"We are Macedonians but we are Slav Macedonians.That's who we are!We have no connection to Alexander the Greek and his Macedonia�Our ancestors came here in the 5th and 6th century" Kiro Gligorov FYROM
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  Quote Arbr Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 20:27
akritas & dorian. I provided the link arvasynel.gr myself, so I guess I must have visited that site before. Probably is true, their language is the language of the pelasgians. What do you think, is it, or is it not. Please, the words in arvanitic that are written with hellenic letters, can you write them down in latin. I could do that, but I am sure I would mistake, so please, write this mysterious language of the pelasgians with latin letters, we all want to see how does it look like.
 
And regarding the arvanites being part of the hellenic nation, when did I oppose that? Anyway, it is strange how the culture of this part of your nation is regarded with indiference, and this ancient language "of the pelasgians" is forgotten day after day.
 
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  Quote GoldenBlood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 20:29
Originally posted by dorian

That's right. In the official Arvanitic League of Greece, there is no reference to any Albanian origin.
 
And their language is referred as the language of Pelasgians in Greece.
 
haha who say this?? evidence? Confused (maybe ultranacionalist greek)
 
all historians of world and greece too say that Arvanitias are Albanians where emmigratet to Greece from XI-XV Ceuntry in Greece, They still speak old albanian (exp. Tosk Dialect)


Edited by GoldenBlood - 04-Jul-2006 at 20:34
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  Quote dorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2006 at 05:52
Originally posted by GoldenBlood

Originally posted by dorian

That's right. In the official Arvanitic League of Greece, there is no reference to any Albanian origin.
 
And their language is referred as the language of Pelasgians in Greece.
 
haha who say this?? evidence? Confused (maybe ultranacionalist greek)
 
all historians of world and greece too say that Arvanitias are Albanians where emmigratet to Greece from XI-XV Ceuntry in Greece, They still speak old albanian (exp. Tosk Dialect)
 
And the ultranationalist Greeks are the Arvanites of Greece and their official site? Dead Because they say that... Confused
 
All historians of world and Greece say that the Arvanites are Albanians? Not all just most of them..
 
Indeed, most of the Greeks believe that Arvanites are of Albanian origin only because of their language. But how can I believe them when they call "foreigners" even the Greeks who were born out of Greece (US or Australia or Germany) and don't speak Greek very well...That's who I call ultranationalists.
 
On the other side there are people that call the Arvanites "The Dorians of modern Hellenism".
 
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  Quote dorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2006 at 06:15
Originally posted by Arbλr Z

akritas & dorian. I provided the link arvasynel.gr myself, so I guess I must have visited that site before. Probably is true, their language is the language of the pelasgians. What do you think, is it, or is it not. Please, the words in arvanitic that are written with hellenic letters, can you write them down in latin. I could do that, but I am sure I would mistake, so please, write this mysterious language of the pelasgians with latin letters, we all want to see how does it look like.
 
And regarding the arvanites being part of the hellenic nation, when did I oppose that? Anyway, it is strange how the culture of this part of your nation is regarded with indiference, and this ancient language "of the pelasgians" is forgotten day after day.
 
It's difficult for us too, I guess. Why is it strange that this ancient language is forgotten day after day? What should we say about the ancient greek dialects (apart from attic) which are totally extinct? That's a sad but natural process.
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  Quote Arbr Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2006 at 06:23

The arvanite language is 95% identic to the tosk albanian, 85% identic to standard modern albanian, and 70% identic to the Gheg albanian. Now if this is the language of the pelasgians...and if these are the dorians of the modern era...

You are right, they never refer to themselves as "albanians" or to their language as "albanian", but this is only because they do not speak standard albanian. They call their language ARBERICHT, the albanians in the medieval times called their language Arberisht, and only after the XVII cent. they started referring to themselves as "shqiptar". So every colony of refugees in greece, italy or romania kept the old ethnonym, arberisht (language of the arber)
Arber - tosk
Arban - Gheg (from this derived the latin alban/eng.albanian)
 
So the arvanites call their language arberisht, the albanians of italy (which emigrated there in the same years as the arvanites, during the XII-XVIcent) call their language arberisht (www.arbitalia.it) and in romanian the language is called arbinishti. In albanian, we often use arberisht.
 
As you can confirm me, you do not understand their language, while I do understand 100% of it.
 
We are not here to discuss the national or the political belonging of a community. They might feel hellenes, as they really are hellenes for they have fought for that country.
BUT, we are discussing their culture, what are the origins of that culture, what is it like (the folkloristic costumes of the arvanites are very similar to the albanians etc).And, as I posted before, this culture is dissapearing, and I think that something should be done. Or not??
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  Quote Arbr Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2006 at 06:27
Originally posted by dorian

]
 It's difficult for us too, I guess. Why is it strange that this ancient language is forgotten day after day? What should we say about the ancient greek dialects (apart from attic) which are totally extinct? That's a sad but natural process.
 
 
 
The point is that this is not ancient, as it exists today. We have all the conditions to help people preserve their culture, and promove that. The ancient greek dissapeares many centuries ago, if it was in modern times I would be one of those who whould love to preserve such a great language.
In your logic it is natural that the whales are going to extint, also the dinosaurs did...


Edited by Arbr Z - 05-Jul-2006 at 06:29
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  Quote Giannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2006 at 06:40
Ancient greek didn't dissapear, it evolved in modern greek, like lother ancient languages. English for example, I don't think that medieval english is the same with modern english. Arber what shqip means, literally?
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  Quote dorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2006 at 06:43

So, let's talk about the Tosks... because Arvanites can talk in their language mostly with Tosks. What's the origin of Tosks?

I have met several Arvanites in my life up to now, most of them spoke some arvanitic. All of them have one of their grand-parents who is Arvanite.
 
That's what Albanians cannot understand. That even if the Arvanites were Albanians, modern Arvanites have some arvanitic origin. Of course it doesn't make them Arvanites by origin... Neither culturally, only because they learned some arvanitic from one of their grand parents.
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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2006 at 07:05
Arvanites themselves say that they're Greeks who's ancestors came from Albania and settled mainly around Athens. If this is true or a story they made up to protect themselves from prejudice, I don't know, I just take their word for it. Language is indeed almost identical to Albanian but is barely spoken nowadays. At least a friend and colleague of mine who says he's "Arvanitis", doesn't speak a word, other, mainly elders, still do.
 
Pity because the linguistic richness of a country should be treated as a national cultural treasure. At least some cultural clubs like the above-mentioned try to preserve the language and the customs of the Arvanites.
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  Quote Arbr Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2006 at 11:21
Originally posted by Yiannis

Arvanites themselves say that they're Greeks who's ancestors came from Albania and settled mainly around Athens. If this is true or a story they made up to protect themselves from prejudice, I don't know, I just take their word for it. Language is indeed almost identical to Albanian but is barely spoken nowadays. At least a friend and colleague of mine who says he's "Arvanitis", doesn't speak a word, other, mainly elders, still do.
 
Pity because the linguistic richness of a country should be treated as a national cultural treasure. At least some cultural clubs like the above-mentioned try to preserve the language and the customs of the Arvanites.
 
There are only few people like Yiannis, unfortunately...I agree with him, the lilnguistic and the cultural herutage should be perceived as a national cultural treasure, in every country. What Yianni said, about the arvanites origin is true, they are greeks, and they came long ago from albania (albanian origin).They originate from the tosk albanians.
Dorian, the tosks are southern albanians, they speak a dialect of albanian which is highly intelligible with the Gheg, that is the northern albanian dialect (I am a tosk). You asked me for their origin, maybe I didnt understand you, but did you mean THEIR GENETIC ORIGIN??I dont like genetic, culturally they belong to the albanian ethnos. It is very probable that they could have had even some greek ancestors, but this could be true also for the gheg. Listen, friend, until the ottoman occupation, greeks and albanians didnt consider themselves very different (so intermarried).
The presence of the arvanites should be another reason why our countries should get closer, and should improve the interstate relations.
 
Again @ Dorian, it is true, many arvanites have only few arvanite ancestors, but what does that mean. That doesnt make them better people, or worse people. The point is, if they were not Albanian (not politically but culturally)-why should they preserve this language through the centuries?If they were hellenes, lets suppose they spoke albanian as a second language, when they came to attica and settled in the middle of the greek lands, what made them speak this language(arberisht), keep these costumes and call themselves arvanites?They could just forget all of this, and we wouldnt know anything nowaday. This didnt happen in the last 6 centuries, but apparently is happening in this modern times. Why?It is not fair, we cannot say that "life is like that". At least, one who loves history, and loves culture, cannot say that...
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  Quote dorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2006 at 12:20
Regarding the Tosks, they probably come from epirotic-greek tribes which were albanized or anything. Arvanites are close or belong to them. Of course modern Tosks belong to the albanian nation and as any other population which is assimilated culturally and genetically into another nation they are not greeks by origin (some albanian or some greek origin doesn't make you albanian or greek respectively). They were intermarried with the Albanians.
 
Let's not talk about it any more.Back to the topic.
 
I'll give you an example... One of my fellow-students has an Arvanite grand-father from whom he learned some arvanitic words, his grand-mother is from Chios and the other two grand-parents of him are Cretans. So, how could you characterize him who speaks some arvanitic? An Arvanite by origin? An Arvanite by culture? Name me one reason for him to preserve the arvanitic culture while he doesn't belong to an arvanitic family. Can you understand why the arvanitic language comes to extinct?
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