Tag Archive: French

summer haiku d'été – how Mount Soracte = que le mont Soracte  

how Mount Soracte
shimmers with snow –
let's quaff our wine

la neige miroitée
sur le mont Soracte –
buvons le vin

come Monte Soracte
luccica con la neve -
beviamo il vino

mons Soracte
lucet nivi -
bibamus vinum

Richard Vallance

Original Latin:

Vides ut alta stet nive candidum
Soracte nec iam sustineant onus
silvae laborantes geluque
flumina constiterint acuto? 

Dissolve frigus ligna super foco
large reponens atque benignius
deprome quadrimum Sabina,
o Thaliarche, merum diota. 

Permitte divis cetera, qui simul
stravere ventos aequore fervido
deproeliantis, nec cupressi
nec veteres agitantur orni. 

Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere, et
quem fors dierum cumque dabit, lucro
adpone nec dulcis amores
sperne, puer, neque tu choreas,

donec uirenti canities abest
morosa. Nunc et Campus et areae
lenesque sub noctem susurri
composita repetantur hora, 

nunc et latentis proditor intumo
gratus puellae risus ab angulo
pignusque dereptum lacertis
aut digito male pertinaci. 

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65-8 BCE) 

Pronounce like Italian.

painting by/ par Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875)

senryu – how we all tweet = comme nous ‹‹ tweetons ›› = come noi twittiamo

how we all tweet
holding hands
the world around

comme nous ‹‹ tweetons ››
les mains tenues
autour du monde

come noi twittiamo
tenendoci per mano
il mondo intorno

Richard Vallance

summer haiku = virgin of the sea, in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French

Priestess of the Winds 620

virgin of the sea,
the priestess of the winds
blesses our fleet

vièrge de la mer,
la prêtresse des vents
bénit notre flotte 
Richard Vallance

2 haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French, believe it or not! Believe it!

sheep 2 haiku in Linear B

winter haiku d’haiku – have you ever seen = as-tu jamais vu, translation of Hermippus, an ancient Greek poet

have you ever seen 
a pomegranate seed
in drifts of snow?

pomegranate seed haiku 620

as-tu jamais vu
une graine de grenade
dans une congère ?


traduction en français par Richard Vallance

I converted this beautiful poem by Hermippus, an ancient Greek poet, into a haiku. It is not my original work at all, but I just love this poem! I think you will agree.

J’ai transformé ce beau poème par Hermippus, poète grec de l’antiquité, en un haiku. Ce n’est guère une oeuvre originale de ma part, mais je l’aime passionnément ! Je crois que vous serez d’accord.

Summer haiku - Knossos by the sea = Knossos au bord de la mer in Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French


para tarasa

para_ qa&ssash]
a21nemou i'e/ria

by the sea
Priestess of the winds

au bord de la mer
prêtresse des vents

Richard Vallance

winter haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French, snow on the summit, with the English version below and all of the other languages on the haiku image of the mountain and the church:

snow on the summit
of a Cretan mountain −
a church


Richard Vallance

REPOST from 2017

autumn haiku, rain = haikus d’automne, la pluie

autumn haiku, rain = haikus d’automne, la pluie 

leaves rustling620

a beautiful contribution having nothing to do with Linear B = ma belle contribution qui n’a rien à faire avec le Linéaire B.

leaves rustling
on our cabin’s windowsills
while dreaming of them ...

froissement de feuilles
sur les rebords des fenêtres
l’on y rêve ... 

rainfall drumming
on our cabin’s windowsills
sweeping leaves off ...

averses frappant
les rebords des fenêtres
balayant les feuilles ...

© by Richard Vallance Janke 2018 (All Rights Reserved = Tous droits réservés)

I have to print the text here because it is too small on the graphics. J’ai à reproduire les textes puisque les caractères de l’impression graphique sont trop petites.

The absurd fallacy of HERSTORY. There is no such thing in any language other than English, and in fact no such thing in English!

herstory is NOT history

If there is anything which raises my hackles, it has got to be the absurd notion adapted by English language feminists alone that the word HISTORY is somehow gender related, when in fact it most certainly is not! English feminists who insist on changing the word history to herstory are displaying the most egregious linguistic ignorance. As anyone with even a smattering of higher education knows beyond a doubt, the English word history is in fact directly derived from the ancient Greek i9stori/a=, which means: inquiry, knowledge, information, science, narration and above all, a story. Now the sheer absurdity of the position of English feminists is blown wide open by the equivalent words for history in practically every other language, for instance, Dutch = geschiedenis, French = histoire, German = Geschichte, Italian = storia, Polish = przeszłość and Portuguese = história, to cite just a few examples. Any French feminist would laugh out loud at the notion that herstory is somehow the same thing as history, since in French the word for her is “son” (masculine gender) and “sa” (feminine gender). Of course, some allophone English feminists will scream aloud that “son” is gender-biased, without realizing in the least that gender in French, and for that matter in any and all inflected languages, including Greek, Latin, German, Russian etc. has nothing whatsoever to do with masculinity or, what is even worse, in their silly “intellectual” construct, sexism! The Dutch and German words, geschiedenis and Geschichte respectively, blow the English feminists’ ridiculous claim right out of the water, let alone the Polish przeszłość. I could cite hundreds of other languages, and the results would always be the same, to wit, the English word history has absolutely nothing to do with masculinity or sexism. So all I have to say to unilingual English feminists, “Get a life!” and at least swallow the truth with grace and dignity.

In the citations below, all italics are mine:

Consider Wikipedia:

wikipedia herstory


Herstory is history written from a feminist perspective, emphasizing the role of women, or told from a woman’s point of view. The principal aim of herstory is to bring women out of obscurity from the historical record. It is a neologism coined as a pun with the word “history”, as part of a feminist critique of conventional historiography, which in their opinion is traditionally written as “his story”, i.e., from the masculine point of view.[1] (The word “history”—from the Ancient Greek ἱστορία, or historia, meaning “knowledge obtained by inquiry”—is etymologically unrelated to the possessive pronoun his.

And Rational Wiki:

rational wiki


“Herstory” is a neologistic term for “women’s history,” a variant of the Marxist “people’s history”; while a people’s history professes to reinterpret history from the perspective of workers and/or common men, a herstory professes to reinterpret it from the perspective of women. Most feminists don’t use it.

The term is an illustration of its coiners’ belief that regular history is heavily slanted toward men’s point of view, a “systemic bias” reflected in the term history, which they seem to have simply assumed was a portmanteau of “his story”.

Unfortunately, it happens that the English word history is a loan word, derived directly from the Latin historia, which is itself a loan word from ancient Greek.[1] On the other hand, the English word his is derived from a proto-Germanic root,[2] and is not in the least etymologically connected to the first three letters of history. They just happen to sound the same, and only in English. The origin of this term is a testament to the intellectual laziness of extremists in any field, who are quick to grab hold of anything that seems to support their point of view but reluctant to examine it critically.

and Reddit:


Also, I appreciate the title quote is somewhat playful. But I find it extremely irritating – ‘history’ is directly taken from the Greek word historia, roughly translating to ‘inquiry’ or ‘investigation’. ‘His’ and ‘her’ as actual words do not exist in Ancient Greek; words in the language meaning the same thing do exist. But the only reason ‘herstory’ is a thing is because it’s an awful pun based on the conventions of the English language which the word ‘history’ does not follow; it betrays a lack of knowledge of context, a tendency to jump on anything resembling ‘gendered’ words, and it’s a bad pun.

Richard Vallance is the editor of the worlds first ever international multilingual anthology of sonnets, The Phoenix Rising from the ashes:

Phoenix Rising from the Ashes anthology cover

Richard Vallance is the editor of the worlds first ever international multilingual anthology of sonnets, The Phoenix Rising from the ashes, which you can download here:

Phoenix Rising from the Ashes academia.edu

This anthology contains over 250 sonnets in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Farsi by almost 200 contemporary sonneteers. Almost all of these sonnets are published for the first time ever here. This anthology makes for a profoundly rewarding reading experience.

dedication to the Phoenix Rising from the Ashes


Hesiode et la Muse de Gustave Moreau 1826-1898


Haiku in Minoan Linear A: wine from an embossed cup, the healing bread of heaven:

haiku wine from an embossed cup


Provisional count of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary in Linear A = 33.4 %:

provisional count of New Minoan words in Linear A

I have just finished calculating the provisional maximum number of probable/possible Mycenaean-derived New Minoan words in our Linear A Lexicon of 988 words, and the count comes to 330, which is 33.4%. However, there is still a good deal of research to be done before I can determine how many of these potential New Minoan words are in fact just that. I estimate that, once I have eliminated the possible candidates, and restricted myself to the probable, this figure should drop to around 25%, which is roughly in line with the percentage of French words in English = 29%.

Rational partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 117 (Haghia Triada)  & the first real glimpse of Minoan grammar actualized:

LinearA tablet HT 117 Haghia Triada 620

This albeit partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 117 (Haghia Triada) incorporates an approximately equal admixture of Old Minoan, i.e. the original Minoan language, also known as the Minoan substratum (of which I am unable to decipher most of the words) and of New Minoan, i.e. the superstratum of words of probable Mycenaean provenance, most of which I have been able to decipher with relative ease. While some of the New Minoan translations obviously appear to break the grammatical rules of Mycenaean Greek, such as mitu for “mint”, which is after all mita (and feminine) in Mycenaean Greek or daminu for “in 1 village”, which is damo in the nominative in Linear B, these adjustments can be readily accounted for by the fact that Old Minoan grammar is not at all the same beast as Mycenaean grammar. Although we are not yet familiar with much of Old Minoan grammar, which is after all the grammar of Minoan, just the same as modernized Anglo-Saxon grammar is the grammar of English, in spite of the enormous superstratum of French, Latin and Greek words in the latter language, this tablet alone perhaps affords us a first glimpse into the mechanics of Minoan grammar. Thus, it would appear that mitu may be the Minoan accusative of mita, and daminu may be the locative of damo in Minoan. Although there is no scientific way for me to substantiate this claim, I believe I am onto something, and that I may be making the first cracks in the obdurate wall of the grammar of the Minoan language substratum.  If this is so, then I may be actually pointing the way to unravelling at least a subset of Old Minoan grammar.  To illustrate my point, let us take a look at these phrases in English, as adapted from their Norman  French superstrata.  In French, the phrases would read as follows: avec la menthe”& “ dans le village”, whereas in English they read as “with mint” & “in the village”. Take special note of the fact that, while the Norman French superstrata words in English, “mint” and “village” are (almost) identical to their Norman French counterparts, the grammar of the phrases is entirely at odds, because after the grammar of French, which is a Romance language, and of English, which is a Germanic, cannot possibly coincide.  But here again, I must emphatically stress that English grammar is an entirely different matter than English vocabulary, of which the latter is only 26 % Germanic, but 29 % French, 29 % Latin and 4 % Greek, the latter 3 languages, namely, the superstrata, accounting for fully 64 % of all English vocabulary! We must always make this clear distinction between English grammar, which is essentially Anglo-Saxon modernized, and English vocabulary, which is only minimally Germanic.

If we carry this hypothesis to its logical outcome, we can readily surmise that the same phenomenon applies to the Linear A syllabary. Where grammar is concerned, the Linear A syllabary is Old Minoan, i.e. the original Minoan language or substrate. Where vocabulary is concerned, Linear A represents an admixture of Old Minoan vocabulary, such as uminase, kuramu, kupa3nu (kupainu), tejare and nadare (all of which I cannot decipher) and of New Minoan Mycenaean derived vocabulary, such as makarite, mitu, sata, kosaiti and daminu on this tablet alone. The orthography of the latter words is not actually consistent with Mycenaean grammar, because constitutionally it cannot be. Once again, the grammar is always Minoan, whereas the vocabulary often falls into the New Minoan (Mycenaean derived) superstratum.

In the case of makarite, it would appear that, if the word is dative in Minoan, the Minoan dative is similar to the Mycenaean, ending as it seems to in i. The ultimate te in makarite appears to be the Mycenaean or ancient Greek enclitic te (and). In the case of mitu, which is mita and feminine in Mycenaean Greek, it would appear that the Minoan word is either masculine or that in this case at least, it is instrumental, meaning “with mint”, in which case the Minoan feminine instrumental appears to terminate with u. The word kosaiti appears to follow the same lines. The first two syllables, kosai, apparently are Mycenaean, but the ultimate ti is Minoan, and once again, instrumental (plural). Again, daminu appears to repeat the same pattern. The word damo is masculine (or neuter) in Mycenaean. But the ultimate is inu here, which appears to be the Minoan locative, inu. To summarize, we must make a clear-cut distinction between any New Minoan vocabulary on any Linear A tablet, and its orthography, which must of necessity follow the orthographic conventions of the Minoan language, and not of the Mycenaean, from which any such words are derived. I intend to make this abundantly clear in subsequent posts.  

Proto-Greek or Mycenaean kiritai = barley on Minoan Linear A tablet HT 114 (Haghia Triada):

Like many other Linear A tablets, HT 114 (Haghia Triada) does not appear to be inscribed only in the Minoan language. The proto-Greek or, more accurately, the Mycenaean word, kirita2 (kiritai), which means barley and which is almost exactly equivalent to Linear B, kirita, meaning the very same thing, appears on the very first line of this tablet. The only difference is that the Linear A word, kiritai, is plural, whereas the Linear B, kirita, is singular, as we can see here:

Minoan Linear A tablet HT 114 Haghia Triade

While the rest of HT 114 is inscribed in Minoan, the appearance of this one Mycenaean word gives pause. Was Linear A the syllabary of proto-Greek or of Mycenaean Greek just before the advent of the new official syllabary, Linear B? The fact is that it was not. However, this does not mean that there was not proto-Greek or Mycenaean vocabulary on Linear A tablets. How can this be, when the language itself is not proto-Greek?

The phenomenon of the superimposition of a superstratum of vocabulary from a source language (Mycenaean in the case of Linear A) onto a target language (Minoan), is historically not unique to the Minoan language. A strikingly similar event occurred in English with the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 AD. Before that date, the only English was Anglo-Saxon. This is what is called Old English. But after conquest of England in 1066 AD, over 10,000 Norman French words streamed into the language between 1100 and 1450 AD, altering the landscape of English vocabulary almost beyond recognition. In fact, believe it or not, only 26 % of English vocabulary is Germanic versus 29 % is French, 29 % Latin and 6 % Greek. So the latter 3 languages, amounting to 64 % of the entire English lexicon, have completely overshadowed the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Germanic vocabulary, as illustrated in this Figure:

origins of English vocabulary

This phenomenon is unique to English alone among all of the Germanic languages. While the grammar and syntax of English is Germanic, the great majority of its vocabulary is not. A strikingly similar event appears to have occurred when the Mycenaeans conquered Knossos, is dependencies and Crete ca. 1500 – 1450 BCE. Just as the Norman French superstratum has imposed itself on Old English, giving rise to Middle and Modern English, Mycenaean Greek operated in much the same fashion when it superimposed itself on Old Minoan, leading to New Minoan vocabulary, which is proto-Greek or Mycenaean. I have already isolated no fewer than 150 proto-Greek or Mycenaean words out of 510 intact words (by my own arbitrary count) in the Linear A lexicon. Again, while the Minoan language itself is not proto-Greek in its grammar and syntax, but is of another, to date still unknown, origin, a large portion of its vocabulary is not Old Minoan, but instead proto-Greek or Mycenaean, as I shall demonstrate in no uncertain terms in my decipherments of numerous Linear A tablets to follow this one. One striking feature of New Minoan is this: the percentage of proto-Greek or Mycenaean vocabulary in Linear B comes to 29 %, precisely the same level as Norman French in English. Although this is sheer co-incidence, it is quite intriguing.

2 more black haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French:




2 more haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English & French, this time about silence in the temple…



Happy New Year 2017 in Linear B, Greek, English & French!

Happy New Year 2017 in Linear B, Greek, English & French! 


East Boys







Is it even possible to determine what the word for “fig(s)” is in Minoan Linear A? You may be surprised!

Among several other tablets in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B, Linear A tablet HT 88 contains the supersyllabogram NI on the second line:


The question is, what is the actual word for “fig(s)” in Minoan Linear A? Apparently, no-one knows. The odd thing about this supersyllabogram NI is that it was taken over lock-stock-and-barrel by the Mycenaeans. We will never know why, but it is clear that they thought it convenient simply to hang onto it. It may very well be that that the Mycenaeans continued to use the Minoan word for “fig” alongside their early Greek suza. If that is the case, it is all the more relevant for us to attempt to reconstruct the Minoan word for “fig”. Whatever the circumstances, we are still left with the perplexing question, what is the word for “fig” in Minoan Linear A anyway?

In spite of apparently insurmountable obstacles, it may not be so difficult to reconstruct as we might imagine. If we stop to consider even briefly what the word for “fig” is that I have methodically selected in 13 languages, ancient and modern, belonging to 6 different classes, we discover that all but one of them are either monosyllabic or disyllabic. In one instance only is it trisyllabic, pesnika, in Serbian. This does not come as any surprise to me as a linguist, though it may to the so-called  “common person” . Here are the words for “fig” in 16 languages belonging to 6 different languages classes: 
KEY to language classes:

AU = Austronesian/ IN = Indo-European/ LI = language isolate/ NC = Niger-Congo/ SE = Semitic/ UR = Uralic. A language isolate is one which does not belong to any international language class whatsoever, but which stands entirely on its own. 

AU: Indonesian ara Malay rajah Maori piki
IN: French figue German Feige Greek (Mycenaean) suza (Attic) suchon Italian fico Latin ficus Norwegian fiken Portuguese figo Serbian pesnika Spanish higo
LI: Basque piku
NC: Swahili mtimi (sub-class = Bantu)
SE: Maltese tin (the only Semitic language in Latin script)
UR: Finnish kuva

Under the circumstances, I am given to wonder whether or not the Minoan Linear A word for “fig” is monosyllabic, disyllabic or possibly even trisyllabic. It is clear that it cannot be monosyllabic, because the supersyllabogram for “fig” in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B is NI. And supersyllabograms are always the first syllable only of di- tri- or multi-syllabic words in both of these languages. Given this scenario, is it possible or even feasible to reconstruct the Minoan Linear A for “fig”? Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes. Why so? It just so happens that most Minoan Linear A words which are diminutives are feminine with the ultimate being either pa3 or ra2. Under the circumstances, it only takes one small step to restore the two mostly likely candidates for the Minoan Linear A for “fig”. And these are:


It is of course possible to argue that the Minoan word for “fig” is trisyllabic, but this is highly unlikely, since the only trisyllabic word for “fig” in all 13 of the languages cited above is the Serbian, pesnika. Hence, I am reasonably convinced that the Minoan Linear A word for “fig(s)” is either nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai).

Finally, as it is clear that since the word for “fig(s)” does not even remotely correspond to any of the 13 words in 6 language classes, ancient and modern, above, not even Basque, it may very well turn out that, like Basque, the Minoan language is also a language isolate. I should not be the least but surprised if it were.  

This discussion will be part and parcel in my upcoming article in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the Rosetta Stone to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” and a Glossary of 110 words”, the third article in a row I shall have published in this prestigious international annual by the beginning of 2018 at the very latest.

Visualiser = Also check TWITTER! Quelle horreur à Paris ! What a horrific mess in Paris!


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