back to article UN moves to preserve Bounty mutineers' lingo

The United Nations has thrown its weight behind a campaign to preserve the unique patois of Norfolk Island - a legacy of the Bounty mutiny comprising a mixture of platt Deutsch, Tahitian, and 18th-century English. According to the Telegraph, "Norf'k" or "Norfuk" is spoken by around half of the South Pacific island's 2,000 …

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  1. John M

    No trouble

    Looks much like the normal standard of English as used by teenagers in the uk, if graffiti and text messages are anything to go by.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    begging for a punchline

    But I shall not fall for Lester's straight man act. Oh no. Someone else can do the Norfolk joke about talking with a mouthful of turnip (or relative)

  3. MooToTheMax

    Phoenetically spelt?

    The example given seems to be written phoeneticically, with a bit of olde-Englande robber's grammar thrown in, no? So, taking the example:

    Dieh kaad es uni f'dem kaad foen orn Norfuk - kaa yuuset enisaid aels. Dem punch hoel shoe baut hau mach mani laef in. Dieh kaad uni el yuuset f'ring weih from Norfuk.

    We can get a more-related rough translation of:

    The card is only for them card phone on Norfolk - can't use it anywhere else. Them punch hole show about how much money left in. The card only [god knows] use it for ringing way from Norfolk.

    Silliness.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one for google

    will google now add a translator to the google tools?

  5. Simon Greenwood

    Re: Phoenetically spelt?

    The 'el' looks like a redundant 'it', probably from the Dutch root: 'The card only it (he/she) use it for ringing out of Norfolk' which also appears in some of languages of Polynesia and Indonesia

    I presume the language was mostly spoken rather than written, which makes it look fairly impenetrable when written, but the ear would get used to it.

  6. Sam

    so..

    ...That phone card is Norfolk 'n good?

  7. Laurent_Z

    Duh !

    Dieh kaad uni el yuuset f'ring weih from Norfuk.

    The card only used for ringing away from Norfolk

    Phonetic old English ...

    I speak a bit of German, and it reminds me terribly of my last trip to Holland, where they speak something that is close to, but absolutly not german (Please insert correct HHGTTG quote here). I can understand it (some) but for the life of me I couldn't speak it.

  8. Fluffykins Silver badge

    begging for a punchline - response

    Can't imagine speaking with a mouthful of relative.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I, too, was confused by the mouthful of relative

    Are we talking cannibalism or oral sex here?

  10. Andy S

    come across this recently

    After 10-15 mins of listening to it, it went from sounding like a completely foreign language to being mostly understandable. There was a moment where something just clicked and went from being another language to just being heavily accented English, with a few regional phrases.

    I don't think i could speak it, but its not that different from some of the regional dialects that were in common use in England not too long ago.

  11. call me scruffy

    Oh come now...

    Compared to the stream of crap that chavs spew this is practically perfect english!

  12. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Re: come across this recently

    "After 10-15 mins of listening to it, it went from sounding like a completely foreign language to being mostly understandable. There was a moment where something just clicked and went from being another language to just being heavily accented English, with a few regional phrases."

    It reminds me of going to see "The Harder They Come" when it first showed in the States.

    My recollection is that every time a new character was introduced, the dialogue was subtitled for about five minutes to allow the viewer to get accustomed to the accent/dialect, then would just - almost unnoticed, once your ear had adjusted - disappear.

  13. Bryan B

    Frisian?

    Laurent_Z - are you thinking of Frisian, said to be the closest living relative to Old English/Anglo-Saxon?

  14. Aric Friesen

    Friesen? Did someone say my name?

    Frisian and Platt Deutsch to me always seemed about the same (of course there are several dialects of Frisian as well.)

    Of course in Holland they speak Dutch. I've never been to Holland myself (nor do I know where in Holland Laurent_Z was so he may have been exposed to a regional dialect) but my guess is they don't consider their language either Frisian or Platt Deutsch.

  15. Morely Dotes

    re: begging for a punchline

    "Someone else can do the Norfolk joke about talking with a mouthful of turnip (or relative)"

    Is there a DNA test to determine whether it's a turnip, or a relative? Or would that test be inconclusive?

    The tweed, third from left, thank you.

  16. Aubry Thonon

    re: begging for a punchline

    A Norfolk Punch, as it were. ^_^

    IGMCN.

  17. Adam White

    Norfolk govt reps

    The government guys quoted in that article are pretty funny, speaking in English local council PR language about significant recognition and renaissances and all that. I'd like to see their quotes translated into Norfuk, I wonder if either of them can speak it...?

  18. Spike Ravenscroft

    Clive Barker knows...

    If anyone has ever read Imajica by Clive Barker they will not have too much problem with this.

    Some of the characters near the start of the book talk very similarly and it only took me a few moments to read the example given.

    I think its great, i'd love to be able to speak it!

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