Pointless translation, perhaps

On most occasions during the war accurate translation between the Allies was useful, necessary, often vital. On other occasions, not. Here we present useful and maybe not so useful examples.

Acorns prog 1

The programme from February 1919 was printed for a cabaret-style performance for the Officers Club at the YMCA in Roubaix, and involved members of two concert-party troupes, one French, one from the BEF. Given that this was composited and printed in France, there are few typos and mistranslations – ‘shradowgraph’, and ‘concerted item’, in place of which would usually be ‘The Company’. ‘Special cars’ is applied to the tram system, rather than cabs.  ‘Scotch’ was a standard alternative for ‘Scottish’ at the time, and ‘lady Impersonator’ might be used in place of ‘female impersonator’ to convey a higher social status for the performance.

Acorns prog 2,3

 

On the other hand the translations on these postcards of a contorted pun and a tongue-twister require some mental contortion in themselves. Why on earth do this? It doesn’t work. Puns do not translate; tongue-twisters cease to twist tongues when translated. Or were these explaining the joke to people who already realised they were jokes? Both cards were printed in Britain, though the first was sent within France in July 1919. The translator of the second card seems to have given up trying to do anything with it.

Answers on a postcard please.

Granny Dears pc copy

 

Sister Susie

 

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‘What a British Soldier wants to say in French and how to pronounce it’

Delepine front covers x 2

What can be learned from the comparison between two editions of the same soldiers’ phrasebook from the early part of the war? Abbé H Delépine (possibly Abbé Henri Delépine, the composer, any information anyone?) wrote a small booklet titled What a British Soldier wants to say in French and how to pronounce it. This was published in 1914 with both Way, Agent de Journaux Anglais, 52 bis, Rue Thiers, Boulogne-sur-mer, and Simpkin, Marshall Hamilton, Kent & Co, 4 Stationers Hall Court, London, credited as publishers. The latter were a prolific publishing house whose products encompassed official publications, novels, manuals, history and religious books, and poetry. The booklet was subtitled as ‘An English-French booklet for the use of The Expeditionary Forces’, was priced at 3d, and contained the usual lists of words for food, clothing, parts of the body, objects and relationships, and the military, including the word ‘trench’, with their French equivalents, advice to be nice to horses (‘Be good to them. Remember that, being unable to speak, they cannot let you know their needs’), and the usual pronunciation guides, which allow a recreation of the accents to be heard at the time on the streets of Bermondsey and Bethnal Green rather than Boulogne-sur-mer: lah tran-chay (see above), lays arm (les armes), lay dwah (les doigts), ler moosh (war) der posh (le mouchoir de poche), oh rer-voar.

Delepine food list

A further edition, priced 4d, retained the same information on the title page, but now announced the editor, H Delépine, Rue Lépine, Wimereux (Pas-de-Calais), and printed still in Boulogne-sur-mer. Indicative of differences between the two editions is the cover miss-spelling of ‘booklet’, with an intrusive ‘c’ in the second edition.

 

Errors were one difference between the editions, corrected or committed as the booklet was partially reset. Thus on page 8 of the 3d edition, concerning clothes, we see ‘The Thousers’ and ‘The Handherchief’, both corrected in the 4d edition, which in turn omits the hyphen from ‘The Looking-glass’, present in the 3d edition, and changes the pronunciation ‘sah-vong’ to ‘sa-vong’.

Delepine p8 x 2

Occasionally an error is repeated – page 29 in both editions has ‘senenty-one’ (soixante et onze). Of more interest are inconsistencies in the pronunciation guide, which would be probably the most useful practical part of the book. Thus page 22 of the both editions gives the pronunciation of the French infanterie as ‘infaun-tree’, while two pages later a question using the word shows it transcribed as ‘in-fan-tree’. The first form is in brackets, following the practice laid out on the first page of the booklet, which states ‘it is impossible with some French words to express in English the exact sound. In such cases, the word is placed between parentheses, and the pronunciation given as nearly as possible’.

Delepine 4d infauntree

 

Perhaps the use of parenthesis here was related to the naval gunnery practice of bracketing, placing a shot beyond and before the target to establish the range. Parentheses appear again in pages 9 and 14 in two attempts to transcribe the French un, as ‘üng’ or ‘eung’ (both editions).

 

Delepine p9 ungDelepine eung

 

However, it is the back covers which show the greatest difference. The 3d edition addresses the home buyer, with exhortations to send copies ‘to your soldier friend’, or ‘to an Officer’, who will distribute them ‘at the Front or at the Camp’; or they may be sent to the Red Cross Society to be sent out in kit bags. It is good marketing, with scenarios to make the purchase seem more real and worthy.

Delepine back covers x 2

The 4d edition directs itself to the soldier wanting ‘that confident touch’ that will only come with knowing colloquial French; it is an advertisement for a further book, Familiar French, ‘an indispensable supplement to any ordinary French phrase book’ – even one that advises you, as do both these editions, to ‘always keep this Boocklet in your pocket’. Though there is a typo – ‘The price in 4d only’ – prospective buyers are told to ‘ask for the yellow booklet’, not ‘boocklet’. The possibility of acquiring colloquial French is advertised by the use of colloquial English: ‘When you are puzzled as to the meaning of a French word you can’t find in the dictionary, it’s probably because it’s an idiom, or slang.’ ‘Can’t’ and ‘it’s’ create the intimacy of speech, rather than the muddle of what appears on the first page of each edition, under the heading ‘Most Important Notice About The Right Pronunciation’: ‘if you pronounce the syllable as if you were going to say “ang” but prevent the back of the tongue from touching the roof of the mouth, which makes the “g” sound, you will have a correct pronunciation’.

 

How familiar was Familiar French? Did it actually contain current Army slang, as claimed, and if so how did the author/editor, presumably Abbé Delépine, acquire this? Certainly more work was put into getting a colloquial tone for the advertisement than into proof-reading the rest of the book – though even here typos remained, perhaps the sign of a rushed publication hoping to exploit the New Armies’ language concerns.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Here again is the programme for this year’s LFWW conference:

 

Europe House, London, Mon 10 September

9 – 9.15 Introduction
9.15 – 10.45 Session 1 – (post-war considerations)

·       Mark Connelly, Professor of History, University of Kent – The language of memorials

·       Lucinda Borket-Jones, Open University – Warring tongues: ‘Kultur’ versus ‘culture’ in writing of the First World War (Ford Madox Ford)

·       Ugo Pavan Dala Torre, independent scholar – The language of the Italian disabled ex-servicemen

10.45 – 11 Coffee break
11.00 – 12.30 Session 2   (Language and identity)

·      Keynote     Amanda Laugesen, Director, Australian National Dictionary Centre – War words and the evolution of Australian remembrance of the Great War, 1919-1939

·       Julia Ribeiro, Université Paris Nanterre – The choice of poetic language and the establishment of identities and communities in the First World War

·       Mādālina Serbov – The Lipoveni community in the Danube Delta

·       Fiona Houston, University of Aberdeen– Lexical development of the word ‘propaganda’

12.30 – 13.15 lunch
13.15 – 14.45 Session 3  (Violent language)

·       Chris Kempshall, University of Sussex – Insults between the entente powers at the end of the war

·       Gegely Bodok, Clio Institute, Budapest – Laughed Death – Humour and jokes in Hungary during the First World War

·       Jonathon Green, independent scholar – Swearing in T E Lawrence’s The Mint 

14.45 – 15.00 Coffee
15 – 16.30 Session 4  (Language and literature)

·       Cristina Rogojina, University Ovidius of Constanta, Romania – Romanian writers who fought in World War 1 and how the war influenced their writing

·       Dr Helen Brooks, University of Kent – Horror on the London Stage: The Grand Guignol Season of 1915

·       Professor Nevena Dakovic, Dept. of History and Theory, FDA/UoA, Belgrade  – Multimedia language of the great war: Stanislav Krakov

16.30 – 16.45 Coffee
16.45 – 18.15 Session 5 (Away from the trenches)

·       Dr Anne Samson, The Great War in Africa Association – Language in the East Africa Campaign, 1914-1918

·       Guido Latré, Professor of English Literature and Culture, Louvain-la-Neuve – Languages and cultures in Van Walleghem’s war diaries

·       Meic Birtwistle, independent scholar – Welsh impromptu songs for soldiers on leave

 

 

KU Leuven, Brussels Campus, Weds, 12 September

9.15 – 9.30 Introduction
9.30 – 10.25 Keynote

Marguerite Helmers, Professor of English, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh – The rhetoric of avoidance

10.30 -10.45 coffee
10.45 – 12.15 Session 1  (Language to language)

·       Gwendal Piégais – Russian interpreters operating in France during the war

·       Luc Vandeweyer, Belgian National Archives – The role of the language border in Belgium in the expansionist plans of the German occupier

·       Stefano Banno, University of Trento – Italian in the Berliner Lautarchiv

Lunch ·       Signalling in the First World War – Vintage signals team demonstration

·       Iaroslav Golubinov, independent scholar – Slang words for food in 1917 Russia – video presentation

1.15 – 2.10 Keynote 

Alison Fell, Professor of French Cultural History, University of Leeds – Culture clashes: Belgian refugees in Yorkshire

2.10 – 3.40 Session 2  (Voices of calm)

·       Miguel Brandão, Faculty of Arts of Porto – Humour in Portuguese newspapers  (1914-1918) – what could war-related humour tell us about the Great War?

·       Dr Sarah Duncan, independent scholar – ‘Dear Little Scalliwag’:  Letters from a father to his children, 1915-16

3.45 – 4.00 coffee
4.00 – 5.00 Session 3 (Voices of contention)

·       Fabian van Samang, senior editor of the ‘Journal of the League for Human Rights’ – Armenia and the language of genocide

·       Harun Buljina, Columbia University – Bosnia’s Polyglot Pan-Islamists between Empire and Nation State, 1914-1920

·

5.00 – 5.10 Final break
5.10 – 6.10 Session 4     (Hope and resolution)

·       Javier Alcalde, University of Barcelona – Esperanto during the First World War

·       Lucy Moore, Leeds Museums & Galleries – Museums, languages & commemoration: a case study from Leeds

 

 

 

Booking can now be done for the two days separately via:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/languages-and-the-first-world-ii-london-leg-10-september-tickets-43555399372

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/languages-and-the-first-world-ii-brussels-leg-12-september-tickets-43602393934?aff=erelpanelorg

Narpoo again

Certain French terms appear again and again in soldiers’ phrasebooks: beaucoups, du pain, jambon, and so on reflect what the pre-war traveller encountered a need for, and which it was supposed would be the core concepts of the soldiers’ conversations with locals in France. Their transcriptions tell us as much about the accents of urban England, notably the assumption of ubiquity of the London accent that by 1914 had spread along railway lines to influence much of spoken English: buckoo, ler pang, ler jam-bong.

 

Two transcriptions which to date have not been found in any soldiers’ dictionary are deeply illustrative of the soldiers’ experience in France – sanfairyann and napoo/narpoo. Fraser and Gibbons refer to ‘sanfairyann’ as a ‘wilful perversion’ of ça ne fait rien, and napoo as ‘applied universally to anybody or anything’, deriving from il n’y a plus [or il n’y en a plus]. Their absence from the phrasebook record indicates that they were soldier inventions, drawn from experience – a little imagination produces the sigh of recognition and the shrugged shoulders. Yet there is a difference between them: napoo/narpoo changes its meaning and is applied to situations beyond the estaminet-keeper’s response, and shows how embedded the term became in the experience of the war, to both soldiers and civilians; while sanfairyann stays pretty constant. The spellings of ‘napoo’ and ‘narpoo’ show different pronunciations, the second nearer to the French; there is a rare variant ‘nah poo’ (found so far in The Comet, a troopship magazine, in January 1917), but the form remains pretty constant. ‘Sanfairyann’, though on paper looking bewildering, is a rather good transcription of the French, allowing for some latitude in the middle vowel; but its developments are indicative of how wordplay uses rhyme and alliteration – Fraser and Gibbons give ‘Sometimes also Aunt Mary Ann!’ and Brophy and Partridge transcribe it as three separate words with an abbreviation and an extension:

 

Sanfairyann

 

Some of the applications of ‘napoo’ can be found in Words and the First World War, but its etymology is neatly summed up in a footnote to A Day of Peace, one of the war stories of ‘Sapper’ (H C McNeile):

 

Sapper napoo

 

The current programme for this year’s LFWW conference is as follows:

 

Europe House, London, Mon 10 September

 
9 – 9.15 Introduction
9.15 – 10.45 Session 1 – (post-war considerations)

·       Mark Connelly, Professor of History, University of Kent – The language of memorials

·       Lucinda Borket-Jones, Open University – Warring tongues: ‘Kultur’ versus ‘culture’ in writing of the First World War (Ford Madox Ford)

·       Ugo Pavan Dala Torre, independent scholar – The language of the Italian disabled ex-servicemen

10.45 – 11 Coffee break
11.00 – 12.30 Session 2   (Language and identity)

·      Keynote     Amanda Laugesen, Director, Australian National Dictionary Centre – War words and the evolution of Australian remembrance of the Great War, 1919-1939

·       Julia Ribeiro, Université Paris Nanterre – The choice of poetic language and the establishment of identities and communities in the First World War

·       Mādālina Serbov – The Lipoveni community in the Danube Delta

·       Fiona Houston, University of Aberdeen– Lexical development of the word ‘propaganda’

12.30 – 13.15 lunch
13.15 – 14.45 Session 3  (Violent language)

·       Chris Kempshall, University of Sussex – Insults between the entente powers at the end of the war

·       Gegely Bodok, Clio Institute, Budapest – Laughed Death – Humour and jokes in Hungary during the First World War

·       Jonathon Green, independent scholar – Swearing in T E Lawrence’s The Mint

14.45 – 15.00 Coffee
15 – 16.30 Session 4  (Language and literature)

·       Cristina Rogojina, University Ovidius of Constanta, Romania – Romanian writers who fought in World War 1 and how the war influenced their writing

·       Dr Helen Brooks, University of Kent – Horror on the London Stage: The Grand Guignol Season of 1915

·       Professor Nevena Dakovic, Dept. of History and Theory, FDA/UoA, Belgrade  – Multimedia language of the great war: Stanislav Krakov

16.30 – 16.45 Coffee
16.45 – 18.15 Session 5 (Away from the trenches)

·       Dr Anne Samson, The Great War in Africa Association – Language in the East Africa Campaign, 1914-1918

·       Guido Latré, Professor of English Literature and Culture, Louvain-la-Neuve – Languages and cultures in Van Walleghem’s war diaries

·       Meic Birtwistle, independent scholar – Welsh impromptu songs for soldiers on leave

 

 

KU Leuven, Brussels Campus, Weds, 12 September

 
9.15 – 9.30 Introduction
9.30 – 10.25 Keynote

Marguerite Helmers, Professor of English, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh – The rhetoric of avoidance

10.30 -10.45 coffee
10.45 – 12.15 Session 1  (Language to language)

·       Gwendal Piégais – Russian interpreters operating in France during the war

·       Luc Vandeweyer, Belgian National Archives – The role of the language border in Belgium in the expansionist plans of the German occupier

·       Stefano Banno, University of Trento – Italian in the Berliner Lautarchiv

Lunch ·       Signalling in the First World War – Vintage signals team demonstration

·       Iaroslav Golubinov, independent scholar – Slang words for food in 1917 Russia – video presentation

1.15 – 2.10 Keynote

Alison Fell, Professor of French Cultural History, University of Leeds – Culture clashes: Belgian refugees in Yorkshire

2.10 – 3.40 Session 2  (Voices of calm)

·       Miguel Brandão, Faculty of Arts of Porto – Humour in Portuguese newspapers  (1914-1918) – what could war-related humour tell us about the Great War?

·       Dr Sarah Duncan, independent scholar – ‘Dear Little Scalliwag’:  Letters from a father to his children, 1915-16

3.45 – 4.00 coffee
4.00 – 5.00 Session 3 (Voices of contention)

·       Fabian van Samang, senior editor of the ‘Journal of the League for Human Rights’ – Armenia and the language of genocide

·       Harun Buljina, Columbia University – Bosnia’s Polyglot Pan-Islamists between Empire and Nation State, 1914-1920

·

5.00 – 5.10 Final break
5.10 – 6.10 Session 4     (Hope and resolution)

·       Javier Alcalde, University of Barcelona – Esperanto during the First World War

·       Lucy Moore, Leeds Museums & Galleries – Museums, languages & commemoration: a case study from Leeds

 

 

 

Booking can now be done for the two days separately via:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/languages-and-the-first-world-ii-london-leg-10-september-tickets-43555399372

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/languages-and-the-first-world-ii-brussels-leg-12-september-tickets-43602393934?aff=erelpanelorg

Class and Leaf

Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, published in 1918, is a book that could be read at one sitting, admittedly a long one; reading it this way would maximise the wrench, the hardness, the loss of the rural paradise that is the loss of youth, which itself is only afterwards realised as a loss more inevitable and more perennial than that which the war brought. Thoroughly recommended, particularly as a reading of class. In February 1916 Stephen Hewett wrote home that in his battalion ‘the officers happen to be gentlemen, which robs the life out here of the only terrors it ever had for me’, an indication of the strength of class distinction at the time; Victoria Glendinning, in her preface to the 1980 edition of The Return of the Soldier, writes that ‘social snobbery is too flimsy a term for what they [the Baldry family] feel. Sexual jealousy and tribal instinct combine into hatred.’ Hatred driven by fear, a fear of contamination, as Jenny shrinks from Margaret’s ‘clothes so coarse against the fine upholstery’ of the Baldrys’ car (p101), and ‘the rubbed surface of her’ (p118); ‘it would have been such agony to the finger tips to touch any part of her apparel’ (p99). Difficult to find any empathy there, but Jenny comes to be embraced within the gentle physicality of Margaret’s simple contact with Chris. A good read, one undertaken originally to see whether West had employed any slang terms in the speech of the very wealthy, to which the answer is fairly negative. Chris talks about the fighting at the Front as a ‘scrim’, from ‘scrimmage’, now ‘scrummage’ or ‘scrum’, and only under the extreme stress of granting her husband permission to see his former love, shell-shock having rendered him amnesiac, does Chris’s wife Kitty snap and say ‘He’s well enough to remember her all right’ (p65) – ‘all right’ working both as meaning ‘well enough’ and as an emphatic. Elsewhere her ambiguity easily slips unnoticed:

“How do you do, Mrs Grey?” she said suddenly, shaking out her cordiality as one shakes out a fan. “It’s very kind of you to come. Won’t you go upstairs and take off your things?”

“No, thank you,” answered Margaret shyly, “I shall have to go away so soon.”

“Ah, do!” begged Margaret prettily.       (p155)

 

West’s portrayal of the tightly controlled speech of the wealthy, like their geographical boundaries and their clothes, repays a multi-layered reading.

 

The weather playing its part in making this the reading season, The Return of the Soldier sped fast after Taffrail’s A Little Ship, in which there was one usage be further explored: ‘leaf’ for ‘leave’ (p227, 1918 edn).

leaf

This term appears at first to be more navy than army slang (Rick Jolly’s Jackspeak describes it as ‘once the common pronunciation for leave used by Jack’); Taffrail uses it also in Pincher Martin (1916), though Bartimeus is less enthusiastic – this from The Long Trick (1917), in a colloquial context:

Standish nodded. “Thanks—whoa! Yes, I got a couple of ‘cushy’ wounds and three months’ leave.”

The OED’s first citation, from Punch in 1846, is army – ‘The shabby Capting (who seames to git leaf from his ridgmint whenhever he likes)’, and mock-posh. And Henry Williamson in The Patriot’s Progress (1930, p20) has ‘leave (or its remoteness) which they now called “leaf”.’ (Included here one of William Kermode’s wonderful linocuts from that book.)

Kermode Williams linocut

Partridge gives it as ‘naval (late C. 19-20), by 1914, military’, and quotes Fraser and Gibbons, who claim it as ‘universal in the navy and taken up also in the other Services’. H Lonsdale, in a letter published in The Athenaeum 25 July 1919, wrote that ‘“leaf” is not much used by men of the New Armies’, this being included in a list of terms labelled as ‘The legacy of the old Regular Army’. Later that year (29 August) he extended the usage ‘“Sweating” for “leaf”, looking forward to, anticipating going on leave. “Leaf” has nothing to do with “leave”. The origin of the word is the “leaf” or “page” of the leave-book – the “leaf” (page) being torn at the perforation and given to the soldier granted his pass or furlough.’  Fraser and Gibbons nod to this in their entry (‘it has been suggested that …’).

 

The OED proposes the etymology as ‘a colloquial or nonstandard pronunciation’; but the transcription of mock-posh developing into general usage is an attractive conjecture, and mock-posh English, with regimental sergeant-major and music hall compere connotations, is an under-researched area (hunless anyone appens to know of any work in this hairriar?).

 

 

Sailors and Sodgers

One of the delights of Belfast this past weekend was the opportunity to visit HMS Monmouth and to talk to some of her crew, and a chance, to be grasped with grappling-hook tenacity, to talk language. Particularly to find out which terms, current or made more widely known during the First World War, are still in use. ‘Bloke’ (captain)? No. ‘Pond’, referring to any sea, not just the Atlantic? No. ‘Monkey’s island’, no, but ‘monkey’s castle’, yes, referring to the bridge. ‘Jimmy the One’, yes. And, best of all, ‘pongo’ for a soldier, which elicited the comment, ‘where the army goes, the pongoes’. It’s good to see that the Senior Service’s feelings about the Regular Army have not dimmed. The same visit brought to light a copy of A Little Ship by ‘Taffrail’ (Captain Henry Taprell Dorling), published in 1918, in which a skipper berates his men by calling them ‘sodgers’, a term for soldiers which dates back to about 1300 (OED).

20180521_192118

The idea of expressing contempt for an incompetent sailor by calling him a soldier has the excellent extension of ‘a soldier’s wind’ (a wind that anyone could sail in), which appears in Fraser and Gibbons, but this was not the worst epithet in use in the Navy. Naturally we asked, and the logistics officer of HMS Monmouth obliged by opening up a pearl oyster of  etymology.

 

Toe-rag.

 

But, surely, this appears in such innocuous stuff as Billy Bunter? ‘Yaroo, geroff, you toe-rags!’, no? Perhaps yes, but this navy term was a different kind of ‘toe-rag’ from the slang expression for an old sock, and by extension a tramp or vagrant or someone who has walked so much that both shoes and socks have worn out. In fact not a toe-rag at all, but a tow-rag. The officers’ quarters are traditionally in the stern of a ship, the logistics officer explained, and the ratings’ in the bows, including their toilet arrangements, because in sailing days the wind usually blew from behind the ship, taking away noisome smells from the body of the ship. Similarly the heads (toilet arrangements, specifically a place to sit with part of the body hanging over the water) were at the front so that the oncoming water could wash the ship clean. In those heady days (sorry) the service of toilet paper was performed by a rag, tied to a rope, which after use could be let down into the bow waves to be washed by the passage of water. The ‘tow-rag’.

 

All this would have fallen sweetly on the ears of Captain Ralph Crooke, commander during the First World War of HMS Caroline, subject of our second research visit; HMS Caroline, the only surviving ship to have fought at the Battle of Jutland, is now moored in Belfast, and well worth a visit. Captain Crooke kept his own handwritten order book, of which Order No 31 was ‘The use of such lubberly and unseamanlike language as ‘tie up’ instead of ‘make fast’ is to be sternly repressed’. Note ‘lubberly’, not ‘land-lubberly’, 20180520_130030‘lubber’ being a clumsy fellow, and in use for two hundred years as a general term of disapprobation before it came to have specific nautical, or anti-nautical, connotations. The indication of territory difference by choice of words is the essence of the plurality of languages. But where terms such as ‘heads’, ‘flat’, ‘mess’ and ‘galley’ are in use, how does the printed, published and read word fit in? A survey of the contemporary books placed in Capt Crooke’s bookcase revealed that he was supposedly fascinated by Swiss Family Robinson and Westward Ho! (both two copies), while the ward-room bookcase showed several books by female authors, The Life of Florence Nightingale by Sarah Tooley, The Mighty Atom by Marie Corelli, Girls Together by Louise Mack, Daisy Chain by Charlotte M Yonge, The Channings by Mrs Henry Ward, and Little Women by Louisa M Alcott (but sadly no Angela Brazil).

 

A little further along the corridor there is a ‘flat’ (an area in the ship) holding the cold-weather gear, known as ‘dapple-suits’, but looking exactly like ‘duffle coats’. ‘Duffle’ was a Belgian cloth, but the Admiralty insisted on the use of British-made cloth for these coats and trousers.

 

One more: ‘duffoes’, which Taffrail states as coming from ‘duff’ (steamed or boiled pudding), and describing sailors who liked to eat. This rounds the whole lot off as a ‘duff-bag’ is both a cloth bag for making puddings, and a sailor’s bag, the mini-version of which we used to have as kids, made of plasticised cloth and called ‘duffle-bags’. The OED definition of ‘duff-bag’ goes on:

‘(hence) something resembling this bag or its means of closure, esp. a handle formed by tying the ends of a neckerchief to the tapes of a jumper, used as a means of rescuing a sailor from water.’ Definitely not a tow-rag.

Programme for the 2018 conference

Avis

We are happy to present the programme for the Languages and the First World War conference 2018, at Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU on 10th September, and the Brussels campus of the KU Leuven, Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères 26, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium on 12th September.

Booking can now be done for the two days separately via

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/languages-and-the-first-world-ii-london-leg-10-september-tickets-43555399372

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/languages-and-the-first-world-ii-brussels-leg-12-september-tickets-43602393934?aff=erelpanelorg

Bekendmaking

 

London Day (9 – 6.15):

Arf a mo cards copyMark Connelly, Professor of History, University of Kent – The language of guidebooks to the Western Front, 1919-1939

Kayla Campana, The University of Central Florida – The gendering of terms for nurses’ trauma

Ugo Pavan Dala Torre, independent scholar – The language of Italian disabled ex-servicemen

……….

Amanda Laugesen, Director, Australian National Dictionary Centre (keynote speaker) – War words and the evolution of Australian remembrance of the Great War, 1919-1939

……………

Julia Ribeiro, Université Paris Nanterre – The choice of poetic language and the establishment of identities and communities in the First World War

Mādālina Serbov, Ovidius University of Constanţa, România – The Lipovenian-Russian comunities in the Danube Delta during the First Worl War

Fiona Houston, University of Aberdeen– The lexical development of the word ‘propaganda’

Lunch

people

 

Chris Kempshall, University of Sussex – Insults between the entente powers at the end of the war

Gegely Bodok, Clio Institute, Budapest – Laughed Death: humour and jokes in Hungary during the First World War

Jonathon Green, independent scholar – Swearing in T E Lawrence’s The Mint

…………..

 

Cristina Rogojina, University Ovidius of Constanta, Romania – Romanian writers who fought in the First World War and how the war influenced their writing

Lucinda Borket-Jones, Open University – Warring tongues: ‘Kultur’ versus ‘culture’ in writing of the First World War (Ford Madox Ford)

german-officer.jpg
Professor Nevena Dakovic, Dept. of History and Theory, FDA/UoA, Belgrade  – Multimedia language of the great war: Stanislav Krakov

……………

Dr Anne Samson, The Great War in Africa Association – Language in the East Africa Campaign, 1914-1918

Guido Latré, Professor of English Literature and Culture, Louvain-la-Neuve – Languages and cultures in Van Walleghem’s war diaries

Meic Birtwistle, independent scholar – Welsh impromptu songs for soldiers on leave

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Brussels Day (9.15 – 6.10)

bugler.jpg

Marguerite Helmers, Professor of English, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh (keynote speaker) – The rhetoric of avoidance

……………

Gwendal Piégais – Russian interpreters operating in France during the war

Luc Vandeweyer, Belgian National Archives – The role of the language border in Belgium in the expansionist plans of the German occupiers

Stefano Banno, University of Trento – Italian in the Berliner Lautarchiv

Lunch

Signalling in the First World War – Vintage signals team demonstration

Iaroslav Golubinov, independent scholar – Slang words for food in 1917 Russia – video presentation

Admin officer

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Alison Fell, Professor of French Cultural History, University of Leeds (keynote speaker) – Culture clashes: Belgian refugees in Yorkshire

 

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Miguel Brandão, Faculty of Arts of Porto – Humour in Portuguese newspapers (1914-1918) – what could war-related humour tell us about the Great War?

Dr Sarah Duncan, independent scholar – ‘Dear Little Scalliwag’:  Letters from a father to his children, 1915-16

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refugeesFabian van Samang, senior editor of the ‘Journal of the League for Human Rights’ –
Armenia and the language of genocide

 

Harun Buljina, Columbia University – Bosnia’s Polyglot Pan-Islamists between Empire and Nation State, 1914-1920

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Javier Alcalde, University of Barcelona – Esperanto during the First World War

Lucy Moore, Leeds Museums & Galleries – Museums, languages & commemoration: a case study from Leeds

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We hope to see you at the conference, which certainly pushes the subject area into new and exciting territories. There will be opportunities for discussion and questions, and we are discussing with an international publisher the production of a volume of essays from the conference.

Do feel free to contact us with any questions.