November 20, 2003

The emperor and the dialect speaker

Two tidbits that I came across in an old file of miscellaneous linguistic stuff today, while I was looking for something else:

1. Sigismund (1361-1437), Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, gave this answer to a prelate who, at the Council of Constance in 1414, had objected to His Majesty's grammar:

"Ego sum rex romanus, et supra grammaticam."

2. A Croatian dialect saying (rendered in very rough English-based spelling, without the Croatian diacritics, some of which are hard to render on line):

Kuliko jezikou chlovig zna,
Taliko chlovig valja.

Which translates to:

However many languages a person knows,
That's how much that person is worth.

Posted by Sally Thomason at November 20, 2003 05:15 PM