Off-topic discussion about ethymology of the word "vandalism"

The word “barbarian” predates Christianity by more than a thousand years.

The Vandals died out 1,500 years ago. What makes you think you are one? Destructive tendencies? :slight_smile:

I talked about the meaning of the words (vandalism, barbarism) that is now used.
…Barbarians are a common name for tribes living in Eastern and Northern Europe in ancient times. In ancient times, it had the opposite meaning than it does now (a consequence of Christian wars). Lithuanians are the descendants of those barbarians.

Barbarian has always had the same meaning.

But how do you know you are a Vandal?

Vandals lived by the Vistula River in ancient times, and were conquered by Christians in the Middle Ages.
“Vandal” is just ancient name.

The Vandals were long ago forced out of what is now Poland, and settled in North Africa. So, I regret that I believe your claim to be a Vandal to be a little tenuous, though I admit I haven’t seen you after you’ve had a few drinks.

Do widzenia.

1 Like

The Vandal soldiers who took part in the conquest of the Roman Empire did not return to their homeland and settled in Africa (actually helping their Berber relatives to break free from Roman slavery). Most Vandals remained living on their river until the Middle Ages that were conquered by Christians. The descendants of the vandals now speak Polish (a mixture of Czech and Lithuanian). But you probably didn’t want to know that. By the way, I don’t drink alcohol at all.

Why would you think I wouldn’t want to know? One of my wives went to the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and I have been Poland many times. Nobody ever told me, however, that he was a Vandal.
One lives and learns.

I did once meet a Teutonic knight, and I thought they had died out a long time ago. One lives and learns.

PS: My wives have always been consecutive rather than concurrent. In case you wondered.

1 Like

Yes I did wonder actually. Thanks for clarifying :rofl:


DNA / DNS could give exhaustive answers …
Please share the results with us …


That’s absolutely fascinating. Dzienkuje bardzo.

My wife would disagree. She is Polish, and Polish is nothing like Lithuanian. Her grandmother was evicted from Lithuania along with most of the other ethnic Poles, but her Grandmother was Polish, spoke Polish, Lithuanian and German.

Strict statement.
Although linguists would disagree with that.

I will only give a few examples, and you can guess which word is Lithuanian and which is Polish and which is Czech:

Ranka, akys, vilkas, galva, ungurys, vanduo, eiti, bėga, neša.
Ręka, oczy, wilk, głowa, węgorz, woda, idź, biegnij, noś.
Ruka, oči, vlk, hlava, úhoř, voda, jdi, utíkej, nos.

(Hand, eyes, wolf, head, eel, water, go, run, carry.)

Notice the changes in the words.

1 Like

As if they are all Indo-European languages…

And what does that actually mean?

Hello, I have moved this discussion to a separate topic because it is completely derailing the original thread. Please avoid doing that if possible, thanks :slight_smile:


Context. Polish and Lithuanian are related to English… but that doesn’t prove your statement. My wife, with no real tuition, can understand Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak and Russian, she can also understand some Southern Slavic, like Croatian, but finds that a bit harder. Lithuanian and Latvian might as well be a foreign language. That is what I meant.

Well Czech only got standardised fairly recently, and it was almost wiped out by German. You also need to look at the Sorbian languages in Germany - which are a dialect that is very similar, but also quite different to Polish. Saying Polish is “Czech and Lithuanian” is nonsense.

Those words you list just show that all the languages are in the Indo European family, but that the Slavic languages belong to a sub branch where the Baltic and Slavic languages have a common ancestor - read this if you already haven’t Proto-Balto-Slavic language - Wikipedia.

The ę and ą in Polish are nasal vowels - all Slavic languages had them, but they have been lost in all the other languages (just as all Germanic languages at one point had the TH sound as in English, and only English and Icelandic and to some degree Faroese retain that sound today.)

The other thing you need to note about Czech and Slovak is that they have a H in a lot of places where Polish has a G. The H <=> G change is very common in Slavic languages, and it depends on the specific dialect as to if it is an H or a G. The ł used to be pronounced as the dark/velarized L, but it moved to a W (as in English.) But the l/ł is interchangeable in certain circumstances… especially when declining cases or gendering things (bad - zły / złe / źli, small - mały / małe / mali.) The dark L is in Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusuian still - and if you use the Latin autography for Belarusian, it uses the ł for that sound.

So now we know this: The Czech could be transliterated to (noting you didn’t translate biegnij as běh):

Ruka, oczi, volk, glava, úgorz, woda, idzi, bieg, nos.

And in other slavic languages:

Ruka, oči, vuk, glava, jegulja, voda, idi, trči, nosi
Рука, очі, вовк, голова, вугор, вода, іди, біжи, носити
(In Latin: Ruka, ochi, vovk, holova, vuhor, voda, idy, bizhy, nosyty)
Ръка, очи, вълк, глава, змиорка, вода, върви, бягай, носи
(In Latin: Rŭka, ochi, vŭlk, glava, zmiorka, voda, vŭrvi, byagaĭ, nosi)
Рука, глаза, волк, голова, угорь, вода, иди, беги, носи
(In Latin: Ruka, glaza, volk, golova, ugor’, voda, idi, begi, nosi)

(Croatian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Russian.)
Notice, where Ukrainian has an H, Russian has a G.

Polish tends to palatize, so nosi becomes noś (the ś is a soft SH so is sounds a bit like the English slang word “nosh”.) You can also see this with words like тебе (tebe), which is ciebe (chye-beh) in Polish.

But you can see the roots even with English : oczy - eye, which comes from Old English ēage, which is related to Latin oculus (a G and K are interchangeable, as the difference is only really aspiration, vowels change a lot more than consonants.) Indeed, akys is also clearly related. Głowa is related to the Albanian “guall”, and also German “kahl”, believe it or not.

So what we have learned - Language families exists, Languages can be related; sometimes the link is more obscure.


Thank you for that disquisition. Language is a fascinating subject, which gives a lot of clues about the movements of peoples. Now, thanks to DNA, that attribute is less useful than it was, but it nonetheless provides insights that DNA can’t provide.

One of my heroes is Sir Richard Burton, who was one of the first non-Muslim Europeans to get inside Mecca, and who allegedly spoke 29 languages. Some people say that many were simply dialects, but, as anybody who has tried to learn both Polish and Czech will attest, trying to learn two similar languages can be extremely confusing.

For reference in hunarian they would be:
kéz, szemek, farkas, fej, angolna, víz, megy, fut, visz

Thank you. Quite right. But it’s a fascinating topic.