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Terve/Hello

Aino: Terve teille, Mä olen amerikkalainen tyttö, joka opiskelee Suomen kieltä ja muita uralaisia kieliä. Opiskelin yliopistossa kielitiedettäkin, ja sen takia rupesin opiskelemaan suomea ja opettelemaan virookin. Näitten kielten kautta opin Vepsän kielestä vähän, ja mä olen ollut yrittämässä opiskella enemmän siitä. Minun ongelema on, ettei kirjoista tai edes netistäkkään teijän kielestänne voi oppia paljoa. On pari paikkaa Wikipedissa, missä voipi lukea vepsästä, muttei ole paljoa informatiota kieliopista. Mä asuin kanssa Suomessa 8 kuukautta perheen luona. Perheen iskä työskentelee Pietarissa insinöörinä ja heidän firmassa oli eräs nuori nainen, joka oli tulkki, koska hän puhuu Venäjää ja Suomeakin. Kuten mä muistan, tää nainen on Vepsäläinen, ja se antoi perheen iskälle sanomalehden (Kodima) vepsäksi ja venäjäksi minua varten, koska se kiinnostaa mua hirveesti. Olen yrittänyt lukea sitä monta kertaa, ja voin jonkin verran ymmärtää. Osaan vaan täällä hetkellä Englantia ja Suomea hyvin enkä venäjää, joka on iso ongelma tässä jutussa. Minun piti pyytää Venäjää osaavalta ystävältäni apua niin, että voin laittaa viestit tänne. Osaan lukee vähän Karjalaa, Viroo, ja Vepsää kuitenkin. Olisin niin onnellinen, jos joku haluaisi jutella minun kanssani teidän kielestä ja kulttuuristanne tai voisi osoittaa minulle kirjoja tai nettisivuja (Englanniksi, Suomeksi, Viroksi, tai edes Karjalaksi tai Vepsäksi), jotka auttaisi jotakuta oppimaan kieltänne. Minulle on viime aikoina tullut kiinnostus Suomalais-ugrilaisista kansallisista tarinoista, joten olisin iloinen "kuulija" :), jos joku haluaa osallistua. Jos on kysymyksia minusta, kysykää vapaasti! Hello everyone, I am a girl from the United States, who studies Finnish and other Uralic/Finno-Ugric language, insofar as I am able. I studied linguistics too at university, and on account of that, I began to study Finnish formally and Estonian on my own. Through those languages, I learned a little big about Vespä, and I have been trying to learn more about it. I'd love to learn how to speak Vepsä one day.. My problem is, though, that one cannot find books or materials on the internet about your language.. There are a few places on Wikipedia, where one can read a little about Vepsä, but there really isn't much information about grammar and such. I also lived in Finland for 8 months last year. The family's father works as an Engineer in St. Petersburg, and at the firm was a young woman, who was an interpreter, because she speaks both Russian and Finnish. As I recall, this woman is Vepsäläinen, and she gave the family's father a copy of the Kodima newspaper to give to me, because it is something that interests me a great deal. I have tried to read it many times, and I can understand it to some degree. Right now, I only speak and read English and Finnish well and almost no Russian, which is a big problem in this -- I can, however, read a bit of Estonian, Karelian and Vepsä. I even had to have a Russian speaking friend help me out so I could post this message. I'd just be thrilled if anyone here was interested in talking with me about your culture and language or could direct me to some language learning resources in English, Finnish, Estonian, Karelian or even Vepsä, because I think I'd have the best shot in making sense of those language. I've developed recently a stronger interest in Finno-Ugric Folklore and folk poetry, so if anyone had any they wanted to share, I'd be a happy "listener". If anyone has questions about me, free to ask!

Īņāåņīā - 4

kodima: Aino, dear! The main problem is that most of the books about Veps people and Vepsian language are in Russian. The digital resources are in Russian, too. I am going to translate some grammar basics, because many people interested in Vepsian don't speak Russian. Off course, write me, ask me and so on... There is a small English - Vepsian wordlist at http://www.geocities.com/meidenkodima/indexdict.htm; some links can be found at http://www.geocities.com/meidenkodima/kosketeng.htm My e-mail is kodima@mail.ru Igor Brodsky, St.Petersburg

Aino: Tervhen! I would be very, very curious to see some grammar basics -- I've looked all over the internet and some large University libraries here for any good information on the grammar and philological history of Finno-Ugric languages, but all I've ever seen is stuff like "źīģč" and "Āǻļńńźčé ’ēū́ź", which while cool, aren't perhaps as helpful to me personally as I would like. I've found examples of the case markings, but no solid explanations as what each one means. I can guess from the names, but when there are different types of the same case, it gets hard to form good hypotheses out of such limited information. The more I keep looking into these languages, the more apparent it becomes how limiting my lack of real Russian language knowledge hinders me. I can sort of sound things out, which are written in Cyrillic and recognise a few words, but beyond that I have very few actual skills. I did, however, recently buy a small Russian grammar book to try and get a bit better idea of what I'm dealing with. I've also been concocting schemes, in which I learn Russian quickly. The best one I have come up with is to go to St. Petersburg to learn Russian and teach English, or otherwise spending enough time in Russia that I can speak and read well, so I can really break into the Finno-Ugric/Uralic language/culture field of study. I checked out some of the links on the page your posted, but unfortunately, a numberl of them seem to be broken. I've also stumbled across the dictionary/word list before and found it be pretty neat -- I've even used it a bit to try and read what little Vepsä I can find. I doubt there is anything like it in print :). Here are some links that I've found about or related to Vepsä: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veps_language -- This has some information about case morphology, the numbers and personal pronouns. http://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vepsa_keel -- Minimal information in Estonian. http://www.amazon.com/Great-Bear-Anthology-Finno-Ugrian-Languages/dp/0195210921/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225652282&sr=1-3 -- This is a link to a lovely book I saw when visiting one of my Finnish instructors. It has examples of poetry from most if not all of the Finno-Ugric languages, with a translation into English, accompanied by the original version transcribed with the Roman alphabet. I have never seen anything like this in English, and am hoping to acquire a copy in the not to distant future -- it is, however, a very expensive book. I have several questions about grammar and the language itself: How does Vowel harmoney in Vepsä play out? In Finnish, it's generally still quite robust and productive, but in Estonian, it seems that "ä", "ö" and "y" only appear in initial syllables. What about long vowels? I haven't seen a lot of examples of Vepsä, but I have not noticed a necessarily overt marking of long vowels. I assume that they appear in stressed syllables, but are not marked in the same way as Finnish/Estonian, because in Savonian Finnish the word "myö" almost had to have come from a form like "möö", which looks a whole lot like Vepsä "mö". Is consonant gradation an active or visible process? I think I've read some information saying that it is one of the few Finno-Ugric languages not to display it, but I could easily be getting something confused. Are there geminate consonants? How does one form a yes/no question? How is the negation verb conjugated (assuming there still is one)? I have read that there are about 12000 ethnic Vepsä in Russian, with about 7000 speakers? How accurate are these numbers? Are there any children learning the language either at home or in school? Are there materials for children learning the language? Are there any places online where I could hear people speaking Vepsä (streaming radio stations, song recordings, etc)? Anyway, That's all the questions I have for now.. I'm sure I'll think up more later. I really appreciate your taking the time to talk with me about this, because there is very rarely any knowledge about Finno-Ugric languages here, much less any real discussion about them where I get to learn new things! -- Arianna (Aino is one of my favourite Finnish names and I was feeling slightly whimsical when I registered ;)).

kodima: Aino (or Arianna )! Please write me an ordinary letter (my e-mail address is kodima@mail.ru). It is important because in this case it's more convenient to use a personal channel rather then public places like this one. There is NO vowel (vocal) harmony in Vepsian (and in Estonian also). Long vowels are very rare, they have no distinctive role. There is NO consonant gradation Geminates are very rare, but sometimes they have a distinctive role: kel 'whom' ~ kell 'bell'. About the yes\no questions - it'a long story, but I can write You by e-mail. The negation verb IS conjugated (en, ed, ei; em, et, ei). "...I have read that there are about 12000 ethnic Vepsä in Russian, with about 7000 speakers..." All the official statistical numbers are wrong, there are more than 10000 speakers. There are some learning materials, but of very low quality. I am working on a new series of textbooks for St.Petersburg region' schools. There is also a new textbook for adults, and a frase-book (Russian and Vepsian). Vepsian is taught in schools only in Karelia, but now we are in touch with our local government, and they promised to start the teaching process in the region, too. I will try to find some recordings for You, but I dont know your address... Thank You for your interest! Igor Brodsky

Eesti44: I will put this in english for everyone. I have a copy of Kalevala and St Johns Evangelical in vepsian and a couple of issues of Kodima if anyone would like me to scan some pages, then just let me know. Stacy Ashford



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