Monday, October 24, 2011


Well... I couldn't just drop the Albanian when the week ended. Too fascinating a language. So I have been pottering with Albanian a little the whole week, reviewing my flashcards and so...

I have been on Lang8, which is a place where you produce a text in L2 to get it corrected. Like in school. Now, I have produced two texts in Estonian, and got them corrected, and I'm trying to even have a conversation with an Estonian person.
I have produced two texts in Albanian, and... the silence is... flabberghasting. No-one cares to check the Albanian texts.
There are Albanians out there, but they don't seem to be interested in teaching others. I mean... I can keep writing, but as there is no-one checking the texts, it's pretty useless. I am a little afraid that Sámi is going to go down the same road. It is really frustrating to try to study a language when you are all alone. There is so little resources... so few Sámi speakers out there. :-(

I found some Albanian children's books that look like they could be fantasy... but no-one says anything intelligible about the books. I wouldn't know. No Albanians seem to be having a book blog where they discuss their favorite books. No Albanians seem to be in the several book sites telling what they think about the books. What ever... I think I might get the books anyway, and try to translate them and see what "they have eaten".

These are new books, "Sun, Moon and Snow" was published 2009 and "Little Dragon's Stone" 2011, and the author, Blerim Sinani, seems to be very popular in Albania, and he's my age (40+)... but... no-one says anything about these books. I don't get it. They even look self-published. Like someone has found images that are a little at the right direction on-line and swat it on the cover...

There are over 7 million Albanian speakers in the world, and plenty of Albanian authors, looks like there are more Albanian authors than Finnish authors - and one have to say that one doesn't know much about the Finnish authors outside Finland either, except perhaps Tove Jansson - but I find a LOT of information about Finnish books, at least in Finnish. Go ahead, and google "Dielli, hëna djë bora". 10 relevant results, of which half are to an internet bookstore, and the rest are repetitions of these. And none of them says much about what the book is about. "It's a great book for families to read together". Okay.
"Gurishtja e dragoit të vogël" gives 7 results.

Of course I could do a Kató Lomb and learn Albanian just to be able to translate these books in English, Finnish and Swedish, but... I am getting a bit irritated. There are some 7+million Albanians, of whom quite a lot know both Albanian and English already well enough to do it themselves, I should focus on translating Finnish books, like Anne Aarnio's Lintukansan poika.

To give you something to compare this with, here's "Sqaq l-infern", the first book of a trilogy, written in Maltese, which is a Semitic language only spoken on the little island of Malta. There's less than 1/2 million speakers.

Well... I have ordered them from a bookstore here in Sweden.

Update: I received the response. "We don't have the books in question in our supply, I'm sorry."
I mean... these books are rather popular children's books in Estonia, Albania and Malta. The eldest is from 2008, so it shouldn't be out of print (and it's not - it's like Malta's Harry Potter... they take new prints of it all the time). This book store is the best international bookstore in SWEDEN, and they can't get these books...  These people don't seem to be able to pick up a phone and call to Tirana, Valetta and Tallinn and simply ask them send the books to them. I would have been prepared to pay extra for the trouble... I don't have a credit card, you see, so I can't do it myself... But these people don't seem to have nothing that's not in They boast though, saying "we usually manage to get hold of the most in spite of language". Not so. I am devostated.
I have sent the request to my favorite Finnish bookstore and I am really, really scared, that I'll receive the same answer from them. At least they should be able to get the Estonian book... I hope.
If not...
I don't know anybody in Estonia, Albania or Malta. I don't know what to do.

Other things:
Fartlek language learning
1000 words/phrases in 30 days challenge
the 6 week challenge starts again in November - as does NaNoWriMo...

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