Brithenig

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Brithenig
Created by Andrew Smith
Date 1996
Setting and usage A thought experiment in alternate history, Ill Bethisad, if Latin had replaced Celtic
Purpose
Sources constructed languages
 a posteriori languages
(Romance language based on Celtic)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bzt
Linguist List bzt

Brithenig is constructed language that was made up by Andrew Smith from New Zealand in 1996. The idea behind it is the question what the Welsh language would have looked like if it had been a Romance instead of a Celtic language: a sister language to French, Spanish and Italian, but one that looks much like Welsh. It plays a key-role in the made-up world of Ill Bethisad, where Latin took the place of Old Celtic as the spoken language of the people in Great Britain, thus giving way to the development of Brithenig.

Brithenig is the best known example of the so-called group of "alternative languages", languages that could have existed if history had been different. Another well-known example is Wenedyk, which does the same with Polish as Brithenig does with Welsh.

Words[change | change source]

The following list of 30 words shows what Brithenig looks like compared to a few other Romance languages:

Ten Romance languages compared
English Latin Portuguese Spanish French Italian Rhaeto-Romance Romanian Brithenig Wenedyk
arm brachium braço brazo bras braccio bratsch braţ breich brocz
black nĭger negro negro noir nero nair negru nîr niegry
city, town cīvĭtas cidade ciudad cité città citad oraş ciwdad czytać
death mŏrs morte muerte mort morte mort moarte morth mroć
dog canis cão perro chien cane chaun câine can kań
ear auris orelha oreja oreille orecchio ureglia ureche origl urzykła
egg ovum ovo huevo œuf uovo ov ou ew ów
eye ŏcŭlus olho ojo œil occhio egl ochi ogl okieł
father pater pai padre père padre bab tată padr poterz
fire ignis, fŏcus fogo fuego feu fuoco fieu foc ffog fok
fish pĭscis peixe pez, pescado poisson pesce pesch peşte pisc pieszcz
foot pĕs pie pied piede pe picior pedd piedź
friend amīcus amigo amigo ami amico ami prieten, amic efig omik
green vĭrĭdis verde verde vert verde verd verde gwirdd wierdzi
horse ĕquus, cabăllus cavalo caballo cheval cavallo chaval cal cafall kawał
I ĕgo eu yo je io jau eu eo jo
island īnsŭla ilha isla île isola insla insulă ysl izła
language, tongue lĭngua língua lengua langue lingua linguatg, lieunga limbă llinghedig, llingw lęgwa
life vīta vida vida vie vita vita viaţă gwid wita
milk lac leite leche lait latte latg lapte llaeth łoc
name nōmen nome nombre nom nome num nume nôn numię
night nŏx noite noche nuit notte notg noapte noeth noc
old vĕtus velho viejo vieux vecchio vegl vechi gwegl wiekły
school schŏla escola escuela école scuola scola şcoală yscol szkoła
sky caelum céu cielo ciel cielo tschiel cer cel czał
star stēlla estrela estrella étoile stella staila stea ystuil ścioła
tooth dĕns dente diente dent dente dent dinte dent dzięć
voice vōx voz voz voix voce vusch voce gwg wucz
water aqua água agua eau acqua aua apă ag jekwa
wind vĕntus vento viento vent vento vent vînt gwent więt

Sample[change | change source]

The Lord's Prayer:

Nustr Padr, ke sia i llo gel:
sia senghid tew nôn:
gwein tew rheon:
sia ffaeth tew wolont,
syrs lla der sig i llo gel.
Dun nustr pan diwrnal a nu h-eidd;
e pharddun llo nustr phechad a nu,
si nu pharddunan llo nustr phechadur.
E ngheidd rhen di nu in ill temp di drial,
mai llifr nu di'll mal.
Per ill rheon, ill cofaeth e lla leir es ill tew,
per segl e segl. Amen.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]