Author Topic: AA and the Russian Language  (Read 98186 times)

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Offline Richard_Schweitzer

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #120 on: June 17, 2005, 12:52:03 PM »
while not on point about Russian, but related to language facility, we know that the nurse of the children of August Richard when assigned as a companion to A. on her previuos sojournto the U.S., reported the spoke together in French. We know this from ViVi Richard, one of those children.

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Offline RealAnastasia

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #121 on: June 17, 2005, 07:39:31 PM »
Very interesting, indeed, for some people said Anna Anderson couldn't speak French very well. I also read that when she was travelling in the "Berengaria" toward the States , in the later 20's, she could speak in French with waitress.

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Offline lexi4

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #122 on: June 18, 2005, 11:25:39 PM »
Penny,
I just have one question. How can I read the court transcipts that you cited. Are they available online? At a library somwhere? I really enjoyed reading the testimony post and would like to read more. Please let me know. Thanks
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Offline AGRBear

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #123 on: June 20, 2005, 10:43:01 AM »
Quote
Penny,
I just have one question. How can I read the court transcipts that you cited. Are they available online? At a library somwhere? I really enjoyed reading the testimony post and would like to read more. Please let me know. Thanks


Penny?

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Offline Penny_Wilson

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #124 on: June 20, 2005, 10:52:06 AM »
Ummm.. sorry -- I didn't notice this before...

As far as I know, the court transcripts are not on-line.  The ones I work from were obtained from archives in Germany -- Bensheim and Darmstadt.  The majority of them are in German.
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Offline lexi4

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #125 on: June 20, 2005, 01:48:58 PM »
Quote
Ummm.. sorry -- I didn't notice this before...

As far as I know, the court transcripts are not on-line.  The ones I work from were obtained from archives in Germany -- Bensheim and Darmstadt.  The majority of them are in German.

Thank you Penny. My husband speaks and reads fluent German. But I would imagine I would have to go to Germany to see them, is that correct?
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Offline AGRBear

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #126 on: September 08, 2005, 10:56:36 AM »
Quote
...[in part]...
PETER Kurth's ANASTASIA, THE RIDDLE OF ANNA ANDERSON:
p. 10

>>...Nurse Bucholz and been the first to take care of Fraulein Unbekannt at Dalldorf...later she recalled an event had taken place...in the summer of 1920.<<

Let me incert here about whom  Erna Bucholz was.  She was a nurse but before the war she had taught German in Russia and knew how to speak Russian.  It was she who testified that AA could speak Russian:

>>...I asked her if she could speak Russian.  She answered, "Yes," whereupon We began to converse in Russian.  She did not speak it faultily.  Rather, she used whole, complete, connected sentences without any impediments... I absolutely got the impression that the patient was completly conversant in the Russian language, Russian affairs and especially Russian military matters."


...AGRBear



I repeat, the nurse had been a teacher who taught German in Russia and knew how to speak Russian.  And, she testified that AA not only spoke Russian but broke the language down by saying "she used whole, complete, connected sentences without any impediments.."  like a teacher of a language would and did so for the court.

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« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
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Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #127 on: January 04, 2006, 07:53:13 PM »
Whew.  That was a long thread to get through.  First time here - very impressed with this one.

With all this going on, I have to ask if any one has recently attempted to compile any information or conclusions on AAs communicative competence (my phrase du jour) in English, French, Russian and so on?  And I really am asking about recent compilations/findings.  Something and someone free from the haze of the past adventures of the Anna Anderson Squad and the We Hate Annas.  Surely some linguist out there has done a study of tapes, letters, etc.?  Or maybe not.  

In any case.  Let me just say this: the ability of an individual to speak a language is based solely on the interpretation of the listener (a reason why transcripts of AA would be less than helpful).  Any one else out there familiar with the linguistic rules of: listener goodwill and communicative competence ( ;))?  
Hindsight is 20/20.  When the myopic haze of of the present is lifted by the march of time we see it clearly as the past.  Sociology, psychology, anthropology.  They are all means of understanding that which came before.  History cannot stand alone.

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #128 on: January 11, 2006, 04:18:30 PM »
I am writing this post in reply to a discussion which Grand_Duke_Paul and I had on a thread where it did not really belong. This topic, about languages, suits it better. If anyone by chance would be interested (unlikely) in how the discussion started, it can be read on pages three and four or the topic Photos of Franziska Schanzkowska.



Grand_Duke_Paul, the reason why I at all reacted in the first place was because you wrote this:
Quote
According to her sister Gertrude, Franziska spoke German, a dialect known as Kashoub, but that the family spoke little or no polish.  In Kurth's book Felix Schanzkowska stated his sister spoke good German and a little Polish.


The way you expressed it, made me believe that you meant that Kashoub is/was a dialect of German. However, in your reply you wrote:
Quote
I was just pointing out the direct similarity of the statements of Felix S. & Gertrude S.  That their sister was fluent in German, and spoke a little Polish, whether it be Kashoub or Polish itself, is a matter to be determined as Gertrude stated Kashoub, and according to the notes of Dr. Woller & Von Rathlef, Felix said Polish.
 
And that the nurses at Dalldorf stated she spoke and understood Russian well, this is according to the depositions used as source material in Kurth's book Riddle of Anna Anderson.


Now I see that I probably misunderstood you, and I'm terribly sorry for that.  :-[

However, I would like to say (write) some things about Anna Anderson (a.k.a Franziska Schanzkowska) and languages in general.

I too have read about the nurses at Dalldorf stating that Fräulein Unbekannt spoke and understood Russian well (if she had really been Anastasia Nicholaievna she should not have spoken and understood Russian only well, but excellent). Who were these nurses? How come they spoke Russian? Were their statements used in the trials later? I have to say I think it is very strange that Anna Anderson would speak Russian at Dalldorf, but refuse to speak it later in life when it would have strengthened her claim. She said she would not speak it because it was the language of the people who killed her family - but was it not also at Dalldorf the language of the persons who killed her family? It makes no sense.

Whether she spoke Kashubian or Polish is not important in this matter. Both are Slavic languages; if Kashubian is a separate language or a Polish dialect is also uninteresting in this matter. The Slavic languages is a language group of about 15 languages. It is usually divided into east, west and south Slavic languages. However, the value of this division on a linguistic basis is disputable, since the Slavic languages are rather homogeneous. The differences between them are significant but not overwhelming. Russian belongs to the eastern branch of the family, Polish to the western. As I said before, this division is a matter of dispute and is often said to have only a geographical value. The lexicalic similarities between some of the Slavic languages are often striking, as is the grammatical structure (the south Slavic languages, i.e for instance Bulgarian, Serbian and Croatian, differ more from the others). Anna Anderson's knowledge of Kashubian/Polish could very well explain how she could "understand" Russian, and utter a few words in it.

To me it is clear why she refused to speak Russian, and would answer in German (the least used language of the ones Anastasia Nicholaievna spoke). She refused of the most simple reason of all - she did not speak Russian. She was Franziska Schanzkowska, who knew Kashubian/Polish and understood a little Russian because of that and undoubtedly she improved her understanding in the years - but apart from uttering a few words now and then, for example to some birds, she could not speak Russian.

Offline AGRBear

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #129 on: January 11, 2006, 05:37:53 PM »
Here is something that Michael G. posted which answers some of your questions.

Quote
Helen please refer to the testimony of Nurse Erna Bucholz when AA was first at Dalldorf.  Her testimony/affadavit states:

"During the nightshift I had special opportunity to converse with her, as generally she could not sleep....I told her one evening that I came from Russia, talked about the Cathedral in Moscow (St. Basil's) and spoke about Russian matters in general.  She nodded and said she knew alls this.... I asked her IF she could speak Russian.  She answered "YES",  whereupon we began to converse in Russian.  She did NOT SPEAK IT FAULTILY.  Rather she used whole, connected, sentences without any impediments....I absolutely got the impression that the patient was completely conversant in the Russian language, Russian affairs and especially Russian military matter."

Connected sentences without any impediments, did not speak it faultily???  This sounds more like the term fluent to me versus what OA & Gilliard referred to.

Also the nurses in Dalldorf NEVER DOUBTED that AA was Russian, It wasn't just her "EASTERN" accent or the fact that she spoke foreign languages in her sleep. "She spoke RUSSIAN LIKE A NATIVE, said Erna Bucholz, a former German teacher who lived in Russia "not like a foreigner who had learned Russian."   Nurse Bucholz had been the first to take care of AA at Dalldorf.

Sounds close to fluent if not fluent to me....

We are not getting carried away here Helen, meaning no disrespect to you.  Some of you seem to gloss over these dissimilarities between AA/FS, without batting an eyebrow, then when someone brings up the differences
we get accused of getting carried away, I do not appreciate that in the least.  Again I ask you to reread Nurse Bucholz's testimony, we are not talking about a few words, we are talking about whole,
complete, connected sentences without any imepdiments.

ALL the members of the Dalldorf nursing staff could confirm that when Fraulein Unbekannt spoke about Russia, she spoke confidently and precisely.




AGRBear
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Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #130 on: January 11, 2006, 06:16:47 PM »
Hmmm.  Interesting.
Hindsight is 20/20.  When the myopic haze of of the present is lifted by the march of time we see it clearly as the past.  Sociology, psychology, anthropology.  They are all means of understanding that which came before.  History cannot stand alone.

Offline Grand_Duke_Paul

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #131 on: January 12, 2006, 05:23:23 PM »
Quote
Hmmm.  Interesting.



Read Kurth's book "Riddle Of Anna Anderson". Nurses Erna Bucholz and Thea Malinowsky, and other members of the Dalldorf staff including doctors, gave depositions on the patient.  This is just a part of one of them.  I am not sure on what date the depositions were made.
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Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #132 on: January 13, 2006, 02:25:43 PM »
Quote


Read Kurth's book "Riddle Of Anna Anderson". Nurses Erna Bucholz and Thea Malinowsky, and other members of the Dalldorf staff including doctors, gave depositions on the patient.  This is just a part of one of them.  I am not sure on what date the depositions were made.


I've been a little hesitant to read Kurth because of the bias towards AA he is known for.  I doubt it provides an even handed look at the situation and takes everything into account, so I stay away from it.  For me, since I'm anti-AA (in the sense that she is not AN) it would be like reading 'Mein Kampf" in order to change my mind about how evil Hitler was.  

And, no, I am not in any way comparing AA to Hitler.  She is not evil, she is not a deviant dictator, I do not blame her for WWII or the concentration camps nor do I blame her for the fall of Rome or the sinking of the Titanic.  There, that disclaimer should cover it.  
Hindsight is 20/20.  When the myopic haze of of the present is lifted by the march of time we see it clearly as the past.  Sociology, psychology, anthropology.  They are all means of understanding that which came before.  History cannot stand alone.

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« Reply #133 on: January 13, 2006, 05:38:13 PM »
<<< Whether AA spoke Kashubian or Polish is not important in this matter. Both are Slavic languages; if Kashubian is a separate language or a Polish dialect is also uninteresting in this matter. The Slavic languages is a language group of about 15 languages. It is usually divided into east, west and south Slavic languages. However, the value of this division on a linguistic basis is disputable, since the Slavic languages are rather homogeneous. The differences between them are significant but not overwhelming. >>>

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, this statement is simply not true. Various of the Slavic languages are close to unintelligible to one another, i.e., they are separate and distinct languages, all descended from Slavonic. French and Romanian are Latin languages: Do you think a Frenchman would understand a Romanian, or a speaker of Portuguese a Frenchman? For that matter, English is a Germanic language, as is Dutch: Do you understand Dutch? The fact is, Russian and Polish aren't all that mutually comprehensible.    

<<< Russian belongs to the eastern branch of the family, Polish to the western. As I said before, this division is a matter of dispute and is often said to have only a geographical value. >>>

HORSEFEATHERS.

<<< Anna Anderson's knowledge of Kashubian/Polish could very well explain how she could "understand" Russian, and utter a few words in it >>>

MORE HORSEFEATHERS. Most Poles can't understand Kaschoubian! And the testimony is that AA ~conversed~ in Russian in whole sentences. This doesn't mean that she was ANR, but it probably means she was not FS.  

Alec Lowly

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Re: AA and the Russian Language
« Reply #134 on: January 13, 2006, 06:17:02 PM »
Quote
In that documentary AA seems, so...umm... distraite, and of course looked as though she didn't wear dentures, and that can greatly affect the quality of your speech, diction, enunciation, pronunciation, etc..   At that point in time her speech was probably an amalgamam of the different regions she had lived in.


What do we know about Anna Manahan's health? Can we rule out any small strokes that may have affected her speech? I know of a case, a friend of my grandmother, who spoke fluent, lightly accented English (her native language was French) for more than 40 years. She had the strokes, small enough to be debilitating but otherwise the woman was fine -- except that her spoken English changed drastically for the worse. She lived another fifteen years or so, but her speech did not improve. It wasn't slurred, but it was heavily accented. Strange.