Author Topic: AA and the Russian Language  (Read 79331 times)

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Offline AGRBear

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #165 on: May 09, 2007, 10:16:37 AM »
FIRST POST:
In response to a post from Annie on one of these threads a few days ago, I said I would draw up a list of people who testified that Anna Anderson/Fraulein Unbekannt was entirely and fluently conversant in Russia.  I am still compiling a general list of those people, but in the meantime, here is a shorter list.  Just three people.  All of them came out in opposition to Anna Anderson, yet all of them testified that she spoke and understood Russian:

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna
Princess Nina Georgievna of Russia
Pierre Gilliard

So there you go, Annie --  and I went you one better by giving you three people who didn't recognize AA as AN, yet testified that she understood and spoke Russian.  So is your contention now that Olga Alexandrovna and Gilliard are liars, or is it your contention that they were somehow mistaken?  And if either of these, what does that say about
their veracity regarding their claims about the case in general?

It is believed by some that AA could speak Russian.

It is believed by some that FS did not know Russian.   

It is said that FS's first lanuage was Kashubian and later when she entered school,  FS  was required to speak  Low German.

It is said that AA spoke High German, which is different than Low German.   In that period of time,  the Royals were taught High German which had been recently adopted by the universities in hopes to drive one dialect  of German in order to nationaize communication among the educated and hopefully among all Germans who spoke many dialects  [Low, Middle, and High landers to name just the three main dialects).

I believe this conversation has turned to   learning the differences of the lanuages FS spoke or is thought she could have spoken. 

There are other threads to discuss who thinks or do not think  FS is AA so let us not get bogged down with what you believe in this thread.

This area of Posen is a complex one and little understood by most  and can be concieved differently due to assumptions and not actuality.

AGRBear





« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 10:30:10 AM by AGRBear »
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #166 on: May 09, 2007, 10:30:30 AM »
What does EPHMOC stand for and in what language?


ferrymansdaughter

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #167 on: May 09, 2007, 11:35:30 AM »
EPHMOC, what is the purpose of all these things you are posting? Are you saying that Andersen wasn't Schanskowska and was the Grand Duchess Anastasia?

I think EPHMOC - as a Pole - is trying to give us some inside knowledge about the language and the area and thixs specialist knowledge is very useful so I would like to say thank you to him/her.   

Even if AA was FS -(who apparently didn't even speak much Polish) she still wouldn't have been able to understand Russian that well.    English is derived from Frisian but I can't understand more than a word or two of that!


Offline Pegschalet

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #168 on: May 09, 2007, 03:27:00 PM »
The question of languages is very interesting.  I studied Czech at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA.  Here are a few things I'd like to add:

1.  You are a gifted linguist or not.  To get into the school you take a test which utilizes a false language.  Based on your score you are accepted and then assigned a Catagory of Language.  CAT IV languages are Arabic, Chinese, Korean because they are tonal, a word can be pronounced with different emphasis on a syllable and have a different meaning making these a very challenging 2d language.  CAT III are the slavic languages, Czech, Polish, Russian, etc. and German.  I can't remember the others but I believe the CAT II were the Romance Languages, French, Italian, Spanish.

2.  The difficulty of a language contributes to how proficient you become and your natural ability.

3.  Czech, Russian and Polish have some words that are similiar just like Spanish, Italian and French have similar words.  If you learn one language in a Catagory its much easier to learn another in that same catagory.  To a nonspeaker Czech and Russian can sound very similar but Polish is much "swishier" and distinct.

4.  Once you have a second language it is much easier to pick up a third or to understand it.  I can easily see how someone who spoke Polish could be asked a question in Russian and understand it but not be able to reply in Russian.

From my experience with linguists, you had people who were naturally gifted with languages and those (like me) who weren't and struggled to get proficient.

As this relates to AA and FS, I think it just depends on if they were naturally gifted with languages.   I also worked at Disney World in High School and managed to pick up enough Spanish to take orders etc just by being exposed to the language and with no training.  I would imagine if you were growing up in Poland at different times you were probably exposed to Russian and to German as well as the native language and could pick up quite a bit.

Offline EPHMOC

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #169 on: May 09, 2007, 04:18:00 PM »
EPHMOC, what is the purpose of all these things you are posting? Are you saying that Andersen wasn't Schanskowska and was the Grand Duchess Anastasia?

I'm affraid you are a bit oversensitive ;). My aim is to correct some inaccuracies and mistakes in same statements i've read here... No more, no less...

Offline EPHMOC

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #170 on: May 09, 2007, 04:27:31 PM »
This area of Posen is a complex one and little understood by most  and can be concieved differently due to assumptions and not actuality.

Are we talking about "area of Posen"? It depends on what you mean by "area of (a city)". Of course, from US point of view (or other huge country) Berlin is also in "the area of Posen", but from Central European perspective we should be more precise... Borowy Las is rather in the area of Gdańsk (Danzig) - not only for geographical reasons, but also cultural end ethical...

The region of Posen (Wielkopolska, eng. Greater Poland) has different history and ethnical background than Pomerania...
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 04:31:21 PM by EPHMOC »

Offline EPHMOC

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #171 on: May 09, 2007, 04:45:04 PM »
I would imagine if you were growing up in Poland at different times you were probably exposed to Russian and to German as well as the native language and could pick up quite a bit.

I agree, but I must say that it depends on which region of Poland we are talking about. If you were living in central Poland (Mazowsze), you were exposed to Russain, because that region was a part of Russia in 19th century. But Pomerania (Bytów district) was a fief of Brandemburg (since 1656) then a part of Prussia (since 1773) - people living there were exposed to German, not to Russian...
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 04:55:26 PM by EPHMOC »

Offline EPHMOC

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #172 on: May 09, 2007, 04:49:07 PM »
I think EPHMOC - as a Pole - is trying to give us some inside knowledge about the language and the area and thixs specialist knowledge is very useful so I would like to say thank you to him/her.   

I'm at your service... ;)

Quote
Even if AA was FS -(who apparently didn't even speak much Polish) she still wouldn't have been able to understand Russian that well.    English is derived from Frisian but I can't understand more than a word or two of that!

Even if AA was FS - we should not "take a shortcut" in our reasoning...;)

Offline EPHMOC

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #173 on: May 10, 2007, 11:33:17 AM »
What does EPHMOC stand for and in what language?

"desert", "lonely" in (Ancient) Greek...

Borowy Las is rather in the area of Gdańsk (Danzig) - not only for geographical reasons, but also cultural end ethical...

The region of Posen (Wielkopolska, eng. Greater Poland) has different history and ethnical background than Pomerania...

I meant ETHNIC not ETHICAL of course.. ;) Sorry for that...
« Last Edit: May 10, 2007, 11:36:57 AM by EPHMOC »

Offline AGRBear

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #174 on: May 13, 2007, 07:53:58 PM »
As I have explained.  The area which FS lived did not use Russian or Polish in their schools and general living activities.  It was an area where  German was used.  This does not mean other lanuages where not used in a family home or among family or a person's community.  FS's family was Kashubian.  In their home they  spoke Kashubian.  Among their family they probably spoke Kashubian.  Once FS started school,  the students were required to speak  German.   Why?   German was what was used in this area under the rule of Prussia.  Let me repeat.  German is what was used in the schools, govt. business etc. etc. in that area.

When FS left for Berlin,  it is believed, by her brother Felix, that FS did not know Russian or Polish, accept for perhaps a few words.  Felix and FS's family spoke Low German.

She entered Berlin in 1914 before the beginning of WWI.

Does anyone have any information about FS's life between 1914 and March of 1920 which tells us that FS learned High German, proper Russian or Polish or French or English?

AGRBear

 

AGRBear
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Offline EPHMOC

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #175 on: May 14, 2007, 05:17:16 PM »
As I have explained.  The area which FS lived did not use Russian or Polish in their schools and general living activities.  It was an area where  German was used.  This does not mean other lanuages where not used in a family home or among family or a person's community.  FS's family was Kashubian.  In their home they  spoke Kashubian.  Among their family they probably spoke Kashubian.  Once FS started school,  the students were required to speak  German.   Why?   German was what was used in this area under the rule of Prussia.  Let me repeat.  German is what was used in the schools, govt. business etc. etc. in that area.

I  totally agree with that. Let me ask some additional questions. You siad that FS's family was Kashubian. But do you know if her mother's family was also Kashubian? How long Schanzkowskis lived in Borowy Las? Where did they came from? Do we know anything about ethinc and geographic roots of Wisceks?

« Last Edit: May 14, 2007, 05:21:50 PM by EPHMOC »

Offline AGRBear

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #176 on: May 16, 2007, 11:36:56 AM »
In a small community as it sounds this particular village and those surrounding villages were a cluster of Kashubian and beause it is said that FS first lanuage was Kashubian, then it is possible that FS's mother was, also, Kashubian.   When looking just at her surname Wiscek,  it has the same feel as Schankowska.  It seems to have  German roots which has been changed to appear  Polish.  Wiscek, if a particular German family , was orginal spelled Korab changed to  changed to Wojeik and changed to Wiscek.   I suspect that in this case they were Korab family to moved to the area of Wojeik.   This one particular family has a German and a Polish coat-of-arms.  You can find them by entering in goggle the word "wappen".

I do not know, nowever, if  FS's mother was  a member of the "Korab" group. 

It is not uncommon for the "poor cousin"   to carry the inherited names and titles and, in the Korab family the coat -of-arms  are written in Prussian and Polish records as "Wojcik"  which  seem to have taken up a more standard spelling.  So Wiscek  is a name which may not  look the same but when  spoken sound the same  (soundex).

There appears to be a three places in East Prussia known as "Wojcik".

All my  research has not realy produced much else about the Wojcik/ Wiscek family to which FS's mother was a part.  About the only thing I can tell by records in the Posen is that  the family was Roman Catholic.   The name can be found in larger clusters in Prussia [which is now part of Poland] and Silesia. 

AGRBear

"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline EPHMOC

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #177 on: May 16, 2007, 02:56:22 PM »
When looking just at her surname Wiscek,  it has the same feel as Schankowska.  It seems to have  German roots which has been changed to appear  Polish.

Intresting, but why do you think so?

Quote
  Wiscek, if a particular German family , was orginal spelled Korab changed to  changed to Wojeik and changed to Wiscek. I suspect that in this case they were Korab family to moved to the area of Wojeik.   This one particular family has a German and a Polish coat-of-arms. 

I know this coat-of-arms -- more than 150 families (mailny in Wielkopolska) were entitled to use Korab (pol. (dat.) "ship" from latin "carabus") as their coat-of-arms - among them: Wojciechowski, Wojsanowski, Wojsławski, Woyciechowski, Woyszycki, Wójcik - common polish name!  - [and Sęczkowski (sounds like Szanckowski !)]. But it seems (and sounds) to me, that they have rather Slavic root (woj-), not German...

Korab seems rather the coat of arms, but not the original SPELLING of Wójcik, Wojeik or Wiscek... 

Quote
... in the Korab family the coat -of-arms  are written in Prussian and Polish records as "Wojcik"  which  seem to have taken up a more standard spelling.  So Wiscek  is a name which may not  look the same but when  spoken sound the same  (soundex).

They do NOT sound the same in Polish ;) Soundex is not a perfect tool  - e.g. SAN SOUCI and SZANCKOWSKI do NOT sound the same ;) It sounds similar (at most)

Quote
All my  research has not realy produced much else about the Wojcik/ Wiscek family to which FS's mother was a part.  About the only thing I can tell by records in the Posen is that  the family was Roman Catholic.   The name can be found in larger clusters in Prussia [which is now part of Poland] and Silesia. 

Wojcik is Posen rather than Kashubian name... So it seems that FS's  mother might NOT be Kashubian...

Offline AGRBear

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #178 on: May 17, 2007, 09:46:32 AM »
>>Wiscek, if a particular German family , was orginal spelled Korab changed to changed to Wojeik and changed to Wiscek. I suspect that in this case they were Korab family to moved to the area of Wojeik.   This one particular family has a German and a Polish coat-of-arms.<<

That's strange this line seems to have a word missing.  It should read:

>>Wiscek, if a particular German family , was orginal spelled Korab changed to  Schuschke  changed to Wojeik and changed to Wiscek. I suspect that in this case they were Korab family to moved to the area of Wojeik.   This one particular family has a German and a Polish coat-of-arms.  

"Schuschke"  is missing.

Wiscek / Wojcik  is a place name, therefore, it should relate to Posen or Silesian areas.

I did not research the name "Korab" .

Since we are told   the first lanuage of FS was  Kasubian,  I assume both parents spoke the lanuage in the home.  This does not mean that   FS's mother  was Kasubian, however,  she  spoke it.  If the mother had not, then   the children would have spoken a mixed lanuage of Kasubian and  Polish if  the mother's family was Polish.  Or the children would have spoken a mixed lanuage of Kasubian and German  [probably Low German] if the mother was German.   But this isn't what we've been told.

What do you think?

AGRBear
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline EPHMOC

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #179 on: May 17, 2007, 12:57:57 PM »

Wiscek / Wojcik  is a place name, therefore, it should relate to Posen or Silesian areas.


Wojcik is nowadays most popular in Central (Mazowsze - most Polish Wójciks are living there) and South Poland (esp. Lublin region (most common surname there!), Silesia and Małopolska). Few of Wojciks are living in Posen region...

Why do you think that Wójcik is a place name? As far as I know Wójcik is one of the oldest (and most popular) Polish surnames and it's NOT derived from a name of a place, but from given name "Wojciech" or nouns "wojak" or "wójt" (occupations). Wójciks were entitled to use many coat of arms. Korab Wójciks were living mainly in Łęczyca district (52°03'N  19°12'E) in Central Poland (between Warsaw and Posen, near Łodź). Even today most polish Wójciks are living there...

It seems to me that you were wrong - Wiscek is NOT a root of Wójcik, but its germanised version... (It's probable that form Wojeik was an effect of misspelling in Wójcik - "c" was changed to "e"  - they look so similar in handwriting...)

Quote
I did not research the name "Korab" .

Korab is name of a coat of arm derived form a golden SHIP with a watchtower on red field... (old portuguese caravela(="caravel") form latin cįravo form greek kįrabos(="beetle")...)

See: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/Herb_Korab.PNG

So "Korab" in NOT ethymologically connected with "Wójcik"...

Quote
Since we are told   the first lanuage of FS was  Kasubian,  I assume both parents spoke the lanuage in the home.  This does not mean that   FS's mother  was Kasubian, however,  she  spoke it.  If the mother had not, then   the children would have spoken a mixed lanuage of Kasubian and  Polish if  the mother's family was Polish.  Or the children would have spoken a mixed lanuage of Kasubian and German  [probably Low German] if the mother was German.  [...] What do you think?

I think that FS's mother family could have Polish roots (it seems very probable to me, esp. because she was a Korab Wójcik/Wiscek) but albo had been very germinised at the time when Marinna was born... If she came form Posen it's not very probable that she spoke Kashubian (as the first language)...  More probable hypothesis is that she was a germanised woman of Polish descent. If she spoke German and Polish, she could easily learn Kashubian (or speak only German or Polish to her children)... Polish descent of Marianna could explain why FS spoke "a little Polish"...

Of course, it's only a hypothesis...

« Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 01:20:46 PM by EPHMOC »