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Syldavian and learning Marols or Marollian

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Mustafa Umut Sarac
#11 · Posted: 25 May 2012 11:38
Hello again,
I have bought book French/Marollian dictionary published in 1988 ("Dictionnaire Marollien-Francais Francais-Marollien" - Oscar Starck - ISBN-10: 2872630074 / ISBN-13: 978-2872630073).
I want to create a dictionary Marollien-Turkish, Turkish-Marollien and publish at tintinologist site. What is the best way ?
If I would be needed to write articles, I would use A,B,C class per letter and per article. It would cover 12000 words and least 55 articles. I saw tintinologist articles are very short
May be I can put everything in PDF form and load in to tintinologist server. By this way , Turkish letters wouldnt be needed to deform in to a English letters version.
Can you attach a pdf file in to the site ?
May be one of the members , read the marollien words in to a mp3 file and add grammar and sentences also.
Such a funny project.
And what is the file , word count size maximum per article if I could compress everything.
Thank you,
Mustafa Umut Sarac
Mustafa Umut Sarac
#12 · Posted: 19 Jun 2012 14:41
Here are more resources from LOWLANDS-L- Forum
L O W L A N D S - L - 18 June 2012 - Volume 03

There are a lot of variants of Marollian. The main versions are:
- Brabantish with a bit more influence of French vocabulary than other Brabantish towns
- French with contamination to a varying degree by Brabantish
Others include:
- some with contamination with walloon
- some with combination with Bargoens (Rottwelsch)
"Brabantish" is a Low-Franconian language, related to Dutch.
Any of the variants heard in Brussels may be called "Marollien" by some.

As to grammar, a suggestion for you to start with:
- Speak French with a Dutch syntax
- Speak Dutch with a French syntax
- Use vocabulary from one language in the other
- Try to learn Brabantish pronounciation (learn about sound shifts between Brabantish and Dutch).

The only historically real language is Brussels Brabantish. Every Brussels parish has its own variant. Other versions, especially Brussels French, are a bit artificial as far as it collects and combines errors against French spoken by thousands of people, presented in a way that one typical single person would make all these errors. Basically it is a collection of hillarious mistakes made by someone at some occasion. Some people really like it. In literary style it is often used to ridiculaze Flemish people who pompously try to make themselves important by trying to speak French with words they do not fully understand. The style was especially popular at the first part of the 20th century (with theatre pieces as "Le mariage de Mlle Beulemans", "Bossemans et Coppenolle" etc.)

There are hundreds of publications, most for amusement. I guess I have between 50 and 100 on my bookshelves.

My selection for the moment:
1 - Brabantish from Brussels
G. Mazereel, "Klank- en vormleer van het Brusselsch dialect, met zijn plaatselijke verscheidenheden", 1931, Leuven, (Sound and Morphology, in Dutch)

Sera De Vriendt, "Grammatica van het Brussels", 2003, Gent (little grammar, in Dutch)

Sara de Vriendt & Marcel de Schrijver, "Brussels Lexicon", 2009, Brussel (Brussels-Dutch and Dutch-Brussels Dictionary, no comments with the words)

Marcel de Schrijver, "of uude ni good?", Het levend Brussels dialect, Brussels, no date, (Commented Brussels-Dutch dictionary, with a selected choice of expressions)

Marcel de Schrijver, "Keskeseksa", Wa es me da na?, Le dialecte bruxellois vivant, 2007, Brussels (Commented Brussels-Dutch dictionay, a version of the previous for the French speaking public)

Remon de la Sainte-Fontaine, "Sjansonetten en poëziekes", 1977, anthology of songs and other texts in Brussels

Jef Elbers, "Eer Brussels vergaat", songs in Brussels on CD

Urbaan de Becker e.a., "Brusselse Veroêle", stories in Brussels, audio casette

Crejatief complot, "Brel en Brassens mè nen Brusselsen Bril", audio casette

2 - Brussels French
Léopold Courouble, "La Famille Kaekebroek", reprint 2004, Brussels (fiction)

Frantz Fonson & Fernand Wicheler, "Le Mariage de Mlle Beulemans", reprint 1991 (theatre)

RTBF, "Le Mariage de Mademoiselle Beulemans", (box with 2 DVD, performances of 1967 and 1978)

Paul Van Stalle Joris Hanswyck, "Bossemans et Coppenolle", reprint 2003 (theatre)

RTBF, "Bossemans et Coppenolle", (box with 1 DVD, performance registered in 1969)

"Le Vieux Bruxelles", box with 10 CD, most of the songs in Brussels French

3 - With walloon elements
Roger Kervyn de Marcke ten Driessche, "Les Fables de Pitje Schramouille"
1948, 7th edition

4 - Rottwelsch (Bargoens) influenced
Paul Van Hauwermeiren, "Bergades, Brussels Bargoens", 2010, Brussels

Roger Thijs
Mustafa Umut Sarac
#13 · Posted: 8 Jul 2012 00:24
I found an excellent book in English called "Grammaire Bruxelloise, Simple et... Complete" from Acamedie Brussels http://www.avhb.be/
Ordering information and price are here below.

To meet the wishes of a number of French-speaking inhabitants of Brussels published by the Academy of Brussels last year, a french version of its "Brussels Lexicon". This year it was, again thanks to the support of Prime Minister Charles Piqué, the turn of the grammar. This grammar written by Prof.. Sera de Vriendt exists since 2003 in a Dutch version. The growing interest in the dialect in general and the interest of a number of French-speaking Brussels for the language of their parents or grandparents was reason enough for Professor de Vriendt to this unique work in French to offer. Friday, May 11, the "Grammaire bruxelloise ... simple et complète " festively presented in the Forum of the FNAC Brussels. Guest speaker was Mr. Christian Laporte, journalist with La Libre Belgique and ardent defender of the Brussels. Academy of Brussels has the opportunity to Mr. and Mrs. Laporte Lepoivre-Daels, alderman of the municipality of Evere, to appoint " Ierelid d'Akademee. " For a photo impression please click here . You can order by: Mark Quintelier, highway 37, 3020 Herent or email him at mquindek@skynet.be. Price: 10 euros + 2 euros shipping

This book is available in Dutch also which listed at above thread author Sera De Vriendt, "Grammatica van het Brussels", 2003, Gent.

There are also 4 books below copied and pasted from Academie Brussels.
Here is the document:

Brussels Lexicon, in French
This page has been automatically translated from French into English by a translation software. Automatic translations are not as accurate as translations made by professional human translators. Nevertheless these pages can help you understand information published by the City of Brussels.

The Academy of Brussels issued the 'Lexique bruxellois', a translating dictionary French-Brussels and Brussels-French. The Brussels Lexicon had already been released in its Dutch version (2009).

The Academy of Brussels examines and analyzes the language of Brussels. It wants to preserve and promote this dialect, which originated from Dutch.

The Lexicon is not a real dictionary or grammar, but it collects more than 6,000 words in Dutch or French and the word in the Brussels dialect (the Brusseleir), and vice versa. The spelling of the words is determined by a committee of the Academy.

Publications of the Academy
Other publications of the Academy of Brussels:

Grammatica van het Brussels, of Sera de Vriendt - (co-production of the Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature, Ghent - Academy of Brussels, Brussels, 2003)

Bergades Brussels Bargoens - by Paul Van Hauwermeiren (Academy of Brussels, 2010)

Haiku's in het Brussels. Haikus en Bruxellois, Marcel Bauwens (Academy of Brussels, 2010)

The Academy also publishes the Brussels dialect magazine 4 times a year.

The Lexique bruxellois costs 15 euro (+ 5 euro postage):
Academy of Brussels
Rue Léopold 25
1000 Brussels
Tel 0496 16 49 95
E-mail: mquindek@skynet.be
Website: www.avhb.be
Mustafa Umut Sarac
#14 · Posted: 12 Jul 2012 20:25
I have registered to dutchgrammar com and contacted with moderator. He pointed out an interesting comment , He is from Brussels and he told me that a Flemish speaker is the closest man to understand Syldavian.
Mustafa Umut Sarac
Mustafa Umut Sarac
#15 · Posted: 3 Mar 2013 21:34
I am collecting as much as possible information on Marollian. My best advisor is Roger Thijs from Lowlands Languages email list.
I asked at above group for the exact rule for pronunciation of marollian words at an marollian dictionary.
Below videos are excellent. If you want to hear what would like to be the hearing a speaker of Syldavian , may be first video is close. Of course you would be needed to add Slavian Ortography, I give it to your imagination.
If you want to read Marollian text when someone is playing at a theatre standup:
Follow Renaat Grassin from Belgium you tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWAHeNTVKpk
If you want to listen an romantic music in Marollian , follow Jef Elbers from Belgium at youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlTORVhaGOs
Mustafa Umut Sarac
Mustafa Umut Sarac
#16 · Posted: 1 Jun 2013 18:51
I got below e mail from Lowlanders Forum and Roger was helpful again.
Let me add some comments.
1 - We are talking about a non-standardized language: every speaker has his own version.
2 - French speakers call "French with a few jokes with Brussels words" also "Marollien". This occurs especially in some theatre pieces in French. Some people enjoy this quite a lot but it is no language. I think it is a very old literary style. I have the "Bourgois Gentilhomme" of Molière in mind, where the would-be gentleman tries to impress with words he does not understand.
3 - The real Brussels dialect is pure Brabantish, with a little more loans from French than the Leuven or Tienen Brabantish dialects.
Brabantish is much closer to Dutch than Flemish or Limburgish in Belgium. I don't see how to study Brabantish or Brussels Brabantish without having an high degree of proficiency in Dutch.
4 - Marollien refers to a couple of streets with formerly poor people downtown Brussels. The area is becoming trendy nowadays with a variety of small shops, many with immigrated owners. In one of the local bars a cabaret group the "Creatief Complot" was performing a couple of years ago. Although the café was in the Marolles area, the gentlemen were from Molenbeek, a suburb of Brussels, about 2 miles West of the Marolles and they performed in the Molenbeek version of Brussels.
5 - For some really scientific books (in Dutch) about Brussels dialect: some serious studies (the best!) date from the thirties, and one needs to have some linguistic background for understanding it all.
6 - However I admire your persistency and the following links may be of some help:
The academy of the Brussels dialect:
Some of their publications may still be in stock. You better contact them directly. Since some of their publications are published only in 100 to 200 copies, with xeroxed pages glued together, I doubt you can get those on Amazon. Some others are professionaly printed and one can find a few copies from time to time in the City-2 Fnac bookshop downtown Brussels. You don't find them in other Fnac shops, and I don't think they are distributed from within France by http://www.fnac.com/ .
I see the interest for Brussels dialect is nowadays more in the Flemish municipalities in the border area around Brussels: all next performances of the Brussels Volkstheater are planned in Flemish sites at the outskirt of Brussels:
Good luck with your study,

Mustafa Umut Sarac
#17 · Posted: 9 Jun 2013 19:27
I got an email from Lowlands Languages List moderator and he says these photocopy books of Marollian frequently appears at amazon.com.
Best way is to check there frequently. I sent many e mails to Academy of Bruxelles and naturally no reply.
Mustafa Umut Sarac
#18 · Posted: 4 Jul 2013 15:03
Jim Henry jimhenry1973 gmail.com via listserv.brown.edu
Jul 2
On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 1:11 PM, Mustafa Umut Sarac
I am interested in Syldavian and I want to ask is there any software to analysis the known dictionary from Tintin books and generate new words. I think there are many programs at web but I dont know the general situation of artificial intelligence and capable programs to do my job.

I have several times used custom Perl or Awk scripts to analyze the
recurrent letter/phoneme sequences in the vocabulary of
under-documented conlangs and describe their phonotactics and the
frequencies of various phonemes in various positions. However, I
don't know of any off-the-shelf software that will do this for any
arbitrary language.

For example, below is an Awk script I used to analyze the phonotactic
patterns in the lexicon of Rex May's Ceqli. If you aren't familiar
with Awk, the things you need to know to re-implement a similar
program for a particular conlang in another language are these:

1. the main loop in { } is applied on every line of the input file.

2. The $1 variable is the first (space-delimited) field of the current
line of the input file - i.e. the first word on the line.

3. The gsub function is a global search and replace, and the
two-argument ersion defaults to operating on the current input line.

4. You'll also need to change all the lines which have a specific list
of letters as a regular expression character class, to match the
particular language you're analyzing; digraphs will need special
handling, especially if they can be ambiguous. Here I'm replacing any
character of a given class with a higher-level symbol such as V for
vowel, S for semivowel, F for fricative and so on. I'd then put the
output through further analysis, with other scripts, to see how often
each overall pattern occurred.

orig = $1;
# first fix diphthongs
gsub ( /ai/, "ay" );
gsub ( /ia/, "ya" );
gsub ( /au/, "aw" );
gsub ( /ua/, "wa" );
gsub ( /ue/, "we" );

gsub ( /oi/, "oy" );
gsub ( /io/, "yo" );

gsub ( /ei/, "ey" );
gsub ( /ie/, "ye" );

gsub ( /ui/, "wi" );
gsub ( /iu/, "yu" );

# now replace various letters with type-symbols

gsub( /[aeiou]/, "V" );
gsub( /[yw]/, "S" );
gsub( /[lr]/, "L" );
gsub( /[nmq]/, "N" );
gsub( /[sxhfvz]/, "F" );
gsub( /[pbtdkg]/, "P" );
gsub( /[cj]/, "A" );
print $1, "\t", orig;
# print $1;

gsub ( /[PFANL]/, "C", pattern );
print pattern "\t" $1 "\t" orig;
Jim Henry jimhenry1973 gmail.com via listserv.brown.edu
Jul 2
On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 5:21 PM, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973 gmail.com> wrote

I talked in my last message about how to analyze a conlang's corpus or
lexicon. Once you've got your analysis done, there are a variety of
tools available for generating new vocabulary; that's the easy part.
See here:


Alex Fink 000024@gmail.com via listserv.brown.edu
Jul 2
On Tue, 2 Jul 2013 01:05:45 +0300, Mustafa Umut Sarac
Essentially, it seems to me, you want to reverse-engineer the sound and spelling changes and whatnot that are being used to convert known Germanic (and Slavic, etc.) words into Syldavian.

There might, one day, be programs which are capable of this kind of thing, but that day remains on the distant horizon. About the nearest work here I know of is <http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/02/05/1204678110.abstract>, which took advantage of data sets much ampler and better for the task to begin with: many more languages, many more words, and (more crucially than either of those!) the cognate sets were aligned in advance, so the program didn't have to know anything about semantics. In fact, it didn't know anything about phonology, either, and got by; a program running on the meager data set we have here probably couldn't afford this. The paper cites earlier work which tried to proceed more deterministically and small-scalewise, but these ran into troubles as well.

My advice to you would be to attack this problem by human and not by computer! Indeed, the lexicon you linked was compiled by Mark Rosenfelder, who has already tried his hand at this and made up a few Syldavian words of his own: for instance, this word _löwn_ "love" is 100% a Rosenfelder invention, with no attestation in Hergé. Have you tried writing Mark and asking him, or posting on his fora <http://www.incatena.org/>? He's a good guy, I imagine he'd be glad to give you pointers

Jim Henry jimhenry1973 gmail.com via listserv.brown.edu

Jul 2 to CONLANG ,

The method I talked about would work for an a priori conlang. But it
wouldn't give satisfactory results for an a posteriori conlang like
Syldavian. If you still want me to, I'll try to find time to hack up
a script to figure out what phoneme sequences occur and how frequent
they are, but I think Alex's suggestion is more useful: to match the
existing Syldavian material you'll need to borrow words from French,
German, and Slavic languages, and adapt them to the spirit of the
language, not randomly generate vocabulary based merely on statistical
properties of the Syldavian lexicon.
Mustafa Umut Sarac
#19 · Posted: 24 Jul 2013 03:43 · Edited by: Moderator
I gave below papers link at above. Its about extracting unknown protolanguage from known recent languages.
I am researching to make the most realistic large vocabulary from syldavian dictionary.

Content Removed by Moderator

Moderator Note: While your motives may have been honourable, please do not cut and paste the contents of entire academic articles and papers into your posts (or multiple posts). A link to
the relevant work is all that is needed. Thank you for your cooperation.

The Tintinologist Team
#20 · Posted: 24 Jul 2013 08:51 · Edited by: jock123
While you are obviously dedicating a great deal of effort to this task, I'm not certain I understand its purpose.

Hergé's Syldavian (and indeed it would seem his other forays into creating invented "foreign languages"), was for comedic effect - he co-opted words which he thought would sound funny to his readers, making jokes that a child (or interested adult) would see if they knew bits of Brussels patois. He made no attempt to provide language which wasn't humorous.

Even if it was possible to generate a constructed language which you were to call Syldavian, it wouldn't and couldn't be Hergé's language, nor could you use it as he intended - to provide the appearance of saying one thing in Syldavian, whilst actually saying something else, by means of homophones and/ or puns, in Brussels's slang.

You would have to provide a vocabulary which worked on one level only, with defined, concrete meanings, and lose the primary purpose of Hergé's language, which was to be funny in a slightly oblique fashion (e.g. that the "words" would mean something else, or sound like something else, when you read them out loud).

If you do create a new language, wouldn't it be better to start afresh?

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