Tag Archives: Anglo-Saxons

“The History of English in 10 Minutes” by The Open University

The Open Universityオープン大学)は、世界で初めて遠隔教育を中心とする高等教育に成功した、1969年設立の公立大学。Milton Keynes(ミルトン・キーンズ)に 本部を置き、国内13州すべてに地域拠点を持つ。現在、75ヶ国に22万5千人以上の学生を擁し、生徒数はヨーロッパ一、世界で最大規模の大学の一つに数えられる。ちなみに日本語でのウェブサイトまである。

写真の「The History of English – in 10 minutes」は、オープン大学が YouTubeチャンネルと iTunes U Channelsのために作成したビデオで、イラストとナレーションを使い、1600年の英語の歴史を面白おかしく10分間で説明するというもの。ビデオは各1分10章に分かれており、ローマ帝国撤退後やってきたアングロ・サクソンの言語を元に、キリスト教宣教師がもたらした宗教関係のラテン語やバイキングの言葉約2000語、1066年のノルマン人による征服によるフランス語約1万語(主に政治や公的ビジネス、食関係)、シェークスピアが作った新語なんと2000語(puppyやeyeballsなど)、欽定訳聖書の作成の際に使用されたメタファーやモラルに関する語、王立協会設立と科学の発展により作られた専門用語、そして大英帝国時代に植民地からもたらされた現地語(barbecue、canoe、boomerang等)が加わっていった。1756〜65年に作られたA Dictionaries of the English languageと1857年から71年かけて作成されたオックスフォード英語辞典により、英単語の公式な綴りが確定された。その後、アメリカ先住民と世界中からの移民の影響を受けたアメリカ英語、コンピュータ時代到来により生み出されたIT用語、そしてHinglish(ヒンドゥー英語)、Chinglish(中国英語)、Singlish(シンガポール英語)といった現地化された英語から取り入れられた単語など、いろいろな要素が合わさって現在の英語が作り上げられた。


The Open University is a distance learning and research university, founded in 1969 by Royal Charter in the UK and funded in part by the British Government, and it was the first successful distance teaching university in the world. The administration is based in Milton Keynes, but has regional centres in each of its thirteen regions around the country. With more than 250,000 students enrolled, including more than 50,000 overseas students in 75 countries, it is the largest academic institution in Europe by student number and one of the world’s largest universities.

The History of English – in 10 minutes」, the photo above, is the first cross-platform commission for the Open University’s YouTube and iTunes U Channels. The total of 10 mini-episodes (1 minute each) explain 1,600-year history of English with animated illustrations and typical British humours. Starting from the arrival of Anglo-Saxons after Romans were gone, Christian missionaries brought some religious Latin words and Viking left about 2,000 words. Then 10,000 French words, mainly related to official businesses and culinary, were added after Norman Conquest in 1066. Shakespeare created massive 2,000 words and phrases such as puppy and eyeballs, and the King James Bible, completed in 1611, created terms of metaphor and morality. English of science was needed when science was advanced and the Royal Society set up in 1660. During the British Empire between 1583 – 1914, many local words were brought back, such as barbecue, canoe and boomerang, from British colonies worldwide. A Dictionaries of the English Language was published in 1765 after 9 years of work, and Oxford English Dictionary after 173 years of its predecessor came out in 1928 with astonishing 71 years of patient effort, and the proper spellings and meanings were established. American English has been developed with influences from Native Americans and immigrants from worldwide, and British English has been taking many words from it. In the recent decades, IT terms have been created after computer was invented, and English has become a global language and localised English such as Hinglish (Hindu English), Chinglish (Chinese English) and Singlish (Singapore English) exports some words to original English.

Narrations are quite fast but illustration gives us a good understanding. You can also learn a little bit of British history. After all, these are very cute and funny!


The Truth about Bloody Sunday Revealed

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1972年に北アイルランドのDerry(デリー)起こった「血の日曜日事件」の報告書「Saville Report(サヴィル白書)」が今日発表されたのを受け、デービッド・キャメロン首相は、下院において、英政府として正式に謝罪を行った。U2の1982年のヒット曲、ブラディ・サンデー(Sunday Bloody Sunday)でも歌われたこの事件は、1972年1月12日に、少数派のカトリック教徒が行った北アイルランド公民権運動のデモ行進中に、英軍が市民27人に発砲、14人が死亡したもの(そのうち7人はティーンエイジャーだった)。事件後すぐ行われたWidgery Tribunal(ウィッジェリー裁判)では、政府は発砲の正当性を主張、関与した兵士たちは無罪判決を受けたが、この裁判は事実を隠蔽するものだとの批判を浴びていた。その後、1998年にLord Saville of Newdigate(サヴィル卿)を委員長とする調査委員会が設置され、12年の歳月と1億9200万ポンドをかけて、5,000ページに及ぶ報告書が作成された。報告書は、挑発や何らかの脅威に対して発砲行為が行われたわけではなく、犠牲者のうち何人かは逃げるか負傷者を助けようとしていた、そして発砲は事前の警告なしになされたと断定。被害者の潔白を証明した。またこの件では、多くの兵士が嘘をついていたと非難した。キャメロン首相は、「軍の行為は正当化されず、また正当化も出来ない(unjustified and unjustifiable)」として、38年後の今日、軍の過ちを認めた。



After 38 years of Bloody Sunday happened in 1972 in Derry, Northern Ireland, today the Saville Report was published and the Prime Minister David Cameron officially apologized in the House of Commons for the British army’s actions. As sung in U2’s 1982 hit “Sunday Bloody Sunday, this incident took place on January 30, 1972, and  twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters or bystanders were shot by the British Army during a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march; 14 of them, 7 of them were teenagers, lost their lives as a result. Widgery Tribunal held just after the event, but it largely cleared the soldiers and British government and was criticized as a whitewash. In 1998, the Saville Inquiry chaired by Lord Saville of Newdigate established to review the events, and after spending 12 years and £192 million, the 5000-page report was finally made public today on June 15. The report determines that the unarmed protesters who died were innocent: there was no warning before the shooting and none of the casualties was posing a threat or doing anything that would justify the firing; some of those killed or injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying; and many of the soldiers lied about their actions. The prime minister called that the actions of the Army were “unjustifiable and unjustified”, and said he was “deeply sorry” on behalf of the Government and the country.

Why it took so long to reveal the truth? It is also criticized that huge sum of public money has been spent for the investigation (British media tend to be very sensitive about public spending).

As the name of the country “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” suggests, UK consists of four ‘countries’; EnglandNorthern IrelandScotland and Wales. It is considered that England is the Anglo-Saxons, while other three countries are Celtic with their own languages and strong cultural identities. Things may not be so straightforward and is more complicated, but as EU becomes border-less and more united, why don’t these ‘countries’ become literally independent – so that they won’t fight nor talk bad about each other anymore!

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Thierry Henry’s ‘Hand Of God’ and Not-So-Fair World of Sports

Vodpod videos no longer available.



八百長とまでは言わないけれど、都合のいい結果を正そうとしないその後のFIFAの対応が、やはりスポーツも所詮ビジネス、影響力のあるサッカー強国に有利な世界なのねと思わせる一件だ。The Sunday TImesで、興味深い「陰謀説」記事を見つけた。元フランス代表のミシェル・プラティニ欧州サッカー連盟の会長の手引きによって、今回のプレーオフは、強国に有利になるように、くじ引きではなく、世界ランキングの高い国と弱い国が当たるシード方式を採用したと言われている。強国に有利になるようにしているのには、高額のテレビ契約料やスポンサーの思惑も絡んでいるのかもしれない。また、プラティニ会長もFIFAのジョセフ・ゼップ・ブラッター会長も、ビデオ判定導入には何故か消極的だ。確かに、偶然にしては、なんだかうさんくさい。

フランスとイギリスのメディアの論調の違いも面白い。フランスは自国チームのふがいなさを酷評しつつも、FIFAやFFFの決定には異議はないようだ。かたやイギリスメディアは、「Cheat(いかさま)」「Fallen Idol(堕ちたアイドル)」等と手厳しい。これはアングロサクソンラテンの価値観の違いか。ルールや公正さを重視するアングロサクソンに比べ、ラテン人は自分が良ければ全て良し、「運も実力のうち」「神様の思し召し」「ラッキー♪」って感じだろう。



There has been a huge media frenzy in UK about the Thierry Henry’s ‘Hand Of God’ during Ireland vs France World Cup 2010 play-off on November 18th and it’s aftermath: since France won a ticket to South Africa with 1-1, thanks to Henry’s ‘cheating’ act. UK media with “strong sense of mission to pursue justice” have been putting up big articles about  this incident, not only in sports sections but also in general sections, everyday since then. You can see clearly that it was handball, but the referee missed to see this crucial foul or chance to correct the mistake. Irish Football Association (IFA) demanded a rematch, but FIFA and the French Football Federation (FFF) said ‘NO’ – but it is all expected. IFA seems to give up already because they know that it is a fight they will never win. After the game, a French journalist who was interviewed by BBC said that FFF would never accept a replay, because big money and industries involved and economic effect would be enormous. He was right. But what it would happen, if France lost with Irish footballer’s  handball – would FIFA give the same judgement?

Henry admitted his handball but never say sorry. He said that replay would be fair for Ireland but AFTER FIFA and FFF refused a rematch. It was reported that he considered quittingLes Bleus” but he decided to stay anyway – all talks doesn’t convince me if he is truly remorseful, but I believe he is saying whatever to repair his image and just waiting for everyone to forget about his ‘mistake’

I don’t call it setup, but FIFA and FFF’s reluctance  to correct their convenient result is truly disappointing, and now I strengthen my belief that soccer is just another business, and always a stronger with bigger political power wins – fair play is a mere myth for important games like this. I read an interesting article by the Sunday Times “Conspiracy or coque up?” The play-offs were seeded on the basis of world rankings in favour of the bigger nations, and it was reported that the proposal to introduce seeding had come from UEFA (president is former French player Michel Platini). Why? Could it be related to the advance long-term television contracts, or the influence by one of a big sponsor which will possibly gain huge profit if France win? For some reason, Platini and FIFA president Sepp Blatter are said to be reluctant to introduce video technology, which can bring fairer judgement – why? Maybe a coincidence, but all these things sound pretty dubious.

Also it is very interesting to see the different stances between British and French media. Though French media criticizes their team done terrible in the game but they don’t attack the FIFA and the FFF of their judgement. On the other hand, British media is harsh on Henry as ‘cheat’ or “fallen idol,’ as well as on the FIFA. Probably this is due to the difference in Anglo-Saxons and Latins mentality: in compare to Anglo-Saxons’ values in fairness and justice, Latins would just think, “luck is also a part of his ability” “miracle” “godsend” – they would never criticize someone who give them a jackpot, even though from a devil.

In addition, for English, this incident reminds them of the nightmarish Hand of God goal, scored by footballer Diego Maradona during the 1986 FIFA World Cup quarter final Argentina vs England – probably it explains why British media is so obsessed with this incident which is not related to their own team.

French must be happy that the opponent was Ireland – if it was Egypt or Algeria, it would be a huge riot!

I am extremely sorry for Ireland who lost a chance to go to World Cup, due to a lack of political power in football world, rather than their lack of ability. Shame on Henry, shame on France, and shame on FIFA!

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