Thursday, December 24, 2009

Season's greetings beyond borders

Merry Christmas. Happy Christmas. Joyeux Noël.

Gledileg Jó. Buon Natale. God Jul. Feliz Natal. Nollaig Shona Dhuit. Vrolijk Kerstfeest. Meri Kirihimete. Sung Tan Chuk Ha. Eid Milad Majeed. 圣诞快乐. Sretan Bozic. Sawadee Pee Mai. Geseënde Kersfees. Feliz Navidad.

Bon Nadal. Hyvää joulua. 聖誕快樂. Froehliche Weihnachten. Baradin ki shubh kamnaaye. Souksan van Christmas. Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar. Gledelig Jul. Shub Naya Varsh. Buorrit Juovllat. Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun. めりーくりすます. Nadolig Llawen.


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Each of the above -- with one exception -- is in a language spoken where a novel or story discussed on this blog or a post that appeared here was set. Find the exception, and I'll be highly impressed.

Now, excuse me while I go investigate some strange noises on the roof.

Merry Christmas!

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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30 Comments:

Blogger Linkmeister said...

Don't know the answer offhand, but I see that if your list is accurate no stories were set in Hawai'i.

So I'll use that language and say Mele Kalikimaka to all the crime novel aficionados here.

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I thank you for the holiday wishes and the language lesson. I have in fact read no stories set in Hawai'i that I can remember. Merry Christmas.

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Philip said...

Sung Tan Chuk Ha to you, Peter, because I don't think you have ever discussed a Korean work or otherwise devoted a post to said place...have you?

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Glædelig jul, Peter.

No guessing today, my brain is having a holiday.

That is what wv calls drolv(h)ead (but not quite sure in which dialect).

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, Phillip, and a Marry Christmas to you as well. I did devote a chunk of a post to Martin Limón and some of the interesting things he had to see about post-Korean War Korea as a setting for crime novels. Here's that post: http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/2009/10/bouchercon-ix-death-during-wartime.html

So, no, Korean is not the exception. I am impressed that you recognized Korean even in transliteration, though. I don't know many people who know that language.

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, Dorte, and may your brain enjoy its holiday.

What are wv and drolvhead?

(The exception among languages is one who name struck me as amusing when I saw it on the list of Christmas greetings in various languages.)

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Simona said...

Buorrit Juovllat sounds nice (not knowing how it is pronounced). Buon Natale

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

E buon capo d'anno; I don't know how to say, "and a happy new year" in Sami, the language of "Buorrit Juovllat."

Sami is not the language exception I had in mind, by the way. The Sami people figure in Åsa Larsson's novel Sun Storm.

Also by the way, a friend invited me to his Italian restaurant last night for the Feast of Seven Fishes. Ho mangiato a quattro palmenti.

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Philip said...

Hmmmm. Weeeell. I think you have 23 languages here, representing twenty countries or, in some other sense, geographical areas. And I do believe that each of the twenty has at some time been the setting of a subject that furnished the focus of a post. So I'm stumped. I hope you are having a fine time, Peter, perhaps now well into the Drambuie or some equally fine tissue restorer, and I shall patiently wait for enlightenment in the fullness of time.

December 25, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Chag Sameach

or as they say in my daughter's daycare:

Gut Yontiff.

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Philip, the closest I got to Drambuie was two kinds of wine last night at a feast of the seven fishes. The night before, I had bought a drink for an acquaintance to make amends after I'd insulted his skill as a teller of jokes. My offering must have worked, because the acquaintance, who owns an Italian restaurant, invited me to the restaurant for the aforementioned feast. I especially liked the Chilean sea bass in a creamy brandy sauce, and the two varieties of cod.

The exceptional language was spoken in an area that has been the setting of mysteries mentioned here. Was spoken.

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I thank you kindly, Adrian. That was the second time I'd read or used חַג שָֹמֵחַ in the past two days. The guests at the aforementioned feast of the seven fishes, at least the ones sitting near me, were Jewish. So, when one guy, probably Israeli, left with his family, I wished hom the same thing you wished me.

December 25, 2009  
Blogger Juri said...

You're missing "hyvää joulua", Peter. I think you've at least mentioned works that take place in Finland. (Or am I mistaking what you mean by exception here?)

Season's greetings nevertheless!

December 26, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I won't be missing it by the time you read this. I had "Hyvaa joulua." Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you.

Thanks for the kind wishes; It appears that Santa has brought me some discritical marks for Christmas.

December 26, 2009  
Anonymous solo said...

Peter
One of the advantages of Ireland's mayfly-like emergence as an economic powerhouse (at least as I see it) is that you can walk through the centre of Dublin and meet representatives of pretty much all the nationalities of the world by the time you get from one end of O'Connell Street to the other, so the hour I spent last night studying Christmas greetings from all over the world doesn't seem like wasted time. They might be of use to me some time.

Your challenge brought out the Sherlock Holmes in me and I've decided the exceptional language is Irish on the basis that you are ignorant of the fact that the language is still spoken here (I know, unpardonable effrontery on my part).

If I'm wrong and this challenge has actually brought out the Dr Watson in me, then I'm totally flummoxed.

Interesting word, flummoxed. Perhaps your commenter Seana, who seems to be interested in these things, could enlighten me as to its origin. I'm too full of the Christmas spirit(s) to be bothered looking it up myself.

I'm not much of a movie goer anymore so I haven't seen the latest manifestation of Sherlock Holmes (120 years old now and still going strong; Hamlet better watch out) but I've had a look at the cast list on IMDB and the only Irish actor who stands out is Bronagh Gallagher who plays a palm reader. She's from Derry or what the Brits would call Londonderry and was in the Commitments all those years ago. A couple of the bit players also seem to be Irish so I guess that's where the accents come from

BTW, have you ever read Doyle's Brigadier Gerard stories? Some of them are quite amusing.

Current v-word: tropm. This looks like a combination of two of my favourite pet-hate words, trope and meme

December 27, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I thank you for that copious and informative comment.

I know what you mean about O'Connell Street. Not having a computer when I stayed in Baile Átha Cliath, I looked for a public computer parlor. O'Connell Street offered quite a number, usually in telephone centers catering to the international trade, and decorated with pictures of flags from around the world. And no, Irish is not the language in question. I have sat in the house of a friend in Derry and listened to him and his uncle conversing in Irish. So the challenge may have brought out the Bertie Wooster in you.

Flummoxed may have originated early in the nineteenth century, it appears, which is when many of those humorous-sounding words (they sound like Rube Goldberg devices) seem to have been born. If you like such words, you may be interested in knowing that Holmes utters the word discombobulate in the new movie.

The palm reader is one of the characters whose Irish accent stood out, and the other Irish characters were all bit parts. But combine that with that excellent old folk song "Rocky Road to Dublin" on the soundtrack, and it becomes apparent that the filmmakers made Irish presence a definite part of their London. I'm guessing that effort included believable Irish accents, though I'll reserve judgment on the score until I've heard from Adrian McKinty.

I have read some non-Holmes stories by Doyle, but not about Brigadier Gerard.

December 27, 2009  
Anonymous solo said...

Peter
I'm presently watching Plein Soleil on YouTube. So far it's a wonderful cinematic translation of The Talented Mr Ripley with a very young looking Alain Delon and I'm enjoying it far too much to be discombobulated by your Bertie Wooster reference (no great insult in my book!)

I do feel somewhat guilty about rectifying my ignorance of foreign language films by watching them on YouTube but I have salved my conscience this Christmas by shelling out actual money on DVDs of Sansho The Bailiff, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and L'armee des hombres (YouTube discoveries)to give to friends as Christmas presents.

I do hope copious isn't a synonym or euphemism for overlong

Last stab at your annoyingly difficult Christmas conundrum: It's one of those asian ones and I'm not going to be any more specific than that. A man can take only so many Woodhousian insults, you know.

December 27, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'm enjoying it far too much to be discombobulated by your Bertie Wooster reference (no great insult in my book!)

Nor would I consider it an insult to be a Watson. Other than a fair bit of one of the Matt Damon movies on television, I'm a blank slate as far as Ripley books and movies. But there's no reason to feel guilty about watching Plein Soleil or any other movie on YouTube. Or if there is, I may soon share that guilt.

Copious means rich and overflowing with worthwhile matter. Nope, the language is not one of the Asian ones. As far as I can remember, those were Japanese, Korean, and two varieties of Chinese. I have read or discussed mysteries whose characters would have spoken all four.

December 27, 2009  
Anonymous solo said...

Peter
I've read all five Ripley books and they were all crap apart from the first one which was bloody good and the film Plein Soleil was a great version of that first book.

I'm not sure what to think about YouTube. I recently watched 9/10 of Antonioni's L'Avventura. When I went to watch the final tenth of the film I found it had been taken down for what they called 'Terms of Use Violation' If it had been any other movie I might have been upset by this but one of the great advantages of modernism is that endings are not very important.

I think we might differ on some of the characters mentioned here. To my mind Dr Watson was only slightly obtuse whereas Bertie Wooster was a complete moron. Albeit a funny one.

Please bear in mind that the great McKinty is a native of Carrickfergus, in County Antrim, which is part of Northern Ireland, a part of the island that we southern taigs would scathingly refer to as the six counties, and is therefore an expert only on Northern Irish accents.

December 27, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I agree with you on Watson. It has always surprised me when people hold him up as an paragon of stupidity.

I recently watched Jonathan Meades' "Magnetic North" on YouTube, so I am favorably disposed toward it. What the legal status is of the material it posts, I don't know.

McKinty's detailed criticisms of accents have involved those from the North, I think, but he does offer broader attacks on crappy, "Oirish" accents, and I think he's entitled to that no matter which of the 32 counties he comes from.

December 27, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"I've read all five Ripley books and they were all crap ... "

I can take no position in this matter, but I can say that your lack of restraint is refreshing.

December 27, 2009  
Anonymous solo said...

Never mind McKinty.

All I want to know is when you're going to put us out of our misery and let us know what that exceptional language was.

Let's face it. None of your commenters are smart enough to figure it out by themselves.

The v-word is fiersock which to my ear sounds like a germanic expression for stupidity. Probably mine, I expect.

December 27, 2009  
Anonymous solo said...

Isn't is amazing what an ellipsis can hide

...apart from the first one...

I can think of words for your quoting out of context but refreshing isn't the first one that comes to mind.

December 27, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yes, fiersock does sound like something a speaker of a Germanic language would say as he smacked himself in the forehead in exasperation. A speaker of an old Germanic language, perhaps.

December 27, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Solo, I apologize for the ellipsis. I inserted it solely to save space. The intent simply was to hightlight the bluntness of your criticism of a classic crime writer, and that comes across whether or not the reader properly discerns that you exempted the first book from your vitriol.

December 27, 2009  
Anonymous solo said...

'Solo, I apologize for the ellipsis. I inserted it solely to save space.'

Thanks Peter. I always like to go to bed on an amusing note.

Perhaps I'm dense but I took it from your comments that you were unfamiliar with Highsmiths's work. You did claim not to be able to take any position on the matter. If so, describing my dismissive comments of her later Ripley books as vitriol seems a bit harsh, don't you think?

Or were you perhaps thinking of something else?

December 27, 2009  
Anonymous solo said...

Peter
I'm a big fan of DBB so you can be assured I'll continue reading your blog to find out the latest on non-US crime fiction.
Cheers Solo

December 27, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've read just one book of Highsmith's, The Tremor of Forgery, and I've seen and long loved the Hitchcock movie Strangers on a Train. But I do know the high esteem in which Highsmith is held, and, on principle, I find it bracing to see an idol dismissed with such vigor. To say you spewed vitriol, in other words, is a compliment.

Had my intent been to distort your meaning, I'd have omitted the ellipsis mark and saved even more space.

December 27, 2009  
Anonymous solo said...

Peter
You're a gentleman
And now I really am off to bed.
Regards
Solo

December 27, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Goodnight!

December 27, 2009  

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