New language lesson

About seven days ago, I learned that modern Czech is actually an artificial language. It was originally its own Slavic language; but, some language scholars created the modern complex Czech grammar.

In 1620 after the Battle of White Mountain, the same year the Pilgrims came to modern day Massachusetts, Bohemia came  under deeper control by  the Hapsburg Empire.  It became highly influenced by German culture and politics. For about 250 years, German was the official language in Czech. In the late 18th century until 1848, there was a huge Czech Revival. At this time in Czech history, the Czech culture started to have its own voice.

Czech writers of the period often looked to the countryside for inspiration. In a similar fashion to how the Brothers Grimm recorded German folklore, Karel Jaromír Erben wrote Prostonárodní české písně a říkadla (Czech Folk Songs and Nursery Rhymes) which brought together various folktales. The countryside was looked to as the true Bohemia, where Czech folklore and traditions had survived away from the foreign influences of the cities. This can be seen in the work of Božena Němcová whose The Grandmother explores life in a rural Bohemian village. (from Wikipedia)

Josef Jungmann was very influential in the revival of the Czech language. He wrote a 5 volume Czech-German Dictionary in which he laid out the basis for modern Czech. He also studied historical documents and other Slavic languages to form the Czech language. As Charles Dickens invented new English words, Josef Jungmann created new Czech words.


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