Thursday 9 April 2015

Blogging from A to Z in April - The Letter H - Thursday 9th April 2015

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Thursday 9th April 2015 - The Letter H.

H is for Heart, which is Hjärta in Swedish.

Here is an example of why spelling-reformers should be careful and think twice about enforcing only phonetic spelling. The 'H' in hjärta is silent. But since it's still there as a natural part of this everyday word, it is easy to see the relationship between the Swedish word hjärta and its equivalents in other related languages such as English. A quick look at the word 'heart' in several modern European languages reveals their common Germanic origin: 'heart' is Herz in German, hart in Dutch, hjerte in Norwegian, hjerte i Danish, and hjarta in Icelandic.

'Heart' in the romance, Latin-based languages is cœur in French, cuore in Italian and corazón in Spanish. (Cor is 'heart' in Latin.)

If we look at examples of modern European languages that are not considered to be Indo-European, 'heart' looks very different. 'Heart' is sydän in Finnish, süda in Estonian and szív in Hungarian.

 Looking at other languages around the Baltic Sea, 'heart' is širdis in Lithuanian, sirds in Latvian, and serce in Polish (and srdeční in its closest neighbouring language, Czech). 

In a very different language with its roots in the old world of the Celts, 'heart' is y galon in Welsh.*


Whew! Enough is enough! 

Why did I choose the word 'heart'?

Because I am always thinking about hearts. My daughter was born with a minor heart defect and had to have open-heart surgery when she was only one week old. She's doing fine now. They check her heart every other year. But in the back of my mind, I am always wondering, 'Will she continue to do well in the future? Will she be able to live a full life? Will she outlive me, as is nature's course?'

No one knows. But the nurse at the hospital that did the procedure, told us to let her live like any normal child. So today, I am with her counting how may hops she does when she is skipping rope or checking my stop-watch to see how long she can keep her hula-hoop going or how fast she can run around the courtyard where we live.

Elisabet showing off the chocolate cake she made herself.

I'm happy as long as she's happy and healthy.

Thank you for visiting. 

Best wishes,

First Commenter:

Geoff Maritz

Geoff's Blogs

* Disclaimer: I do not know all of these languages. I am familiar with the Scandinavian languages, English, German and French. But I used Google's translating tool to find most of these words. Please correct me if I am wrong. I only used languages with the Roman alphabet. Sorry.

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