My Achievements of 2021

Written by Dyami Millarson

What did I achieve this year?

  • I spent much of this year tidying our home together with my father. We wished to achieve minimalism. Tidying our home took up so much time of this year because we had to carefully consider what to do with our possessions. We have sold, given away or otherwise thrown away many of our possessions this year. Our total amount of possessions has been drastically reduced, as we wanted, whilst we hoped to achieve more efficiency in our home. So we have indeed made progress with our minimalist goals.
  • I expanded my plant lore like previous years. I learned the lore of acorns and oaks in 2019 and the lore of elderberries in 2020. For instance, I have already learned how to use acorns for making flour and how to make syrup from elderberries. Studying the lore of local plants is not only helping me eat better, but also helping me understand the local environment better and appreciate the traditional knowledge of local peoples.
    • As I had already commented the study of the lore of stinging nettles in the previous year, I delved deeper into stinging nettle lore this year. I learned about the medieval uses of stinging nettles and I learned more about its connection with thunder in folklore. In fact, it is traditionally called Dunnernettel ‘thunder nettle’ in Northwestern Germany and it is called dondernetel ‘thunder nettle’ in Dutch lore. I have adopted the term dondernetel ‘thunder nettle’ in Dutch because it sounds nicer than brandnetel ‘burning nettle.’ I have grown stinging nettle at home this year and I have consumed it as a vegetable.
    • I studied the lore behind mandrakes. It was serendipity when I found out the mandrake lore was mentioned in a 19th-century book very close to the lore of the stinging nettle, which I had studied this year.
  • I made progress with my language studies.
    • I studied Afrikaans. I compared Afrikaans with the Frisian languages. I compared the Afrikaans language with Dutch as well.
    • I studied North Frisian languages.
    • I studied dead East Frisian languages with the intention of revival: Wangerooge Frisian, Upgant Frisian, Wursten Frisian, and Harlingerland Frisian.
    • I studied East Frisian Low Saxon this year because the relationships of Wangerooge Frisian vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation with this language fascinated me and made me curious to learn more.
    • I studied Swiss German this year. I mentioned Swiss German for the first time on this blog in a review of a Swiss German online dictionary. After learning Wangerooge Frisian which made me intrigued with the phenomenon of geminated consonants in modern West Germanic, I decided to learn Swiss German. To be specific, I learned Bärndütsch or Bernese German, which is the Swiss German spoken in the Canton of Bern(e). There is a huge variety of Swiss German and therefore it is important to specify what I learned.
    • I brushed up on my Latin this year.
      • To this end, I did some reading. I read the Eddas in Latin, Tacitus’ treatise on the origin and location of the Germanic peoples, the Brothers Grimm’s fairytales translated into Latin, and Latin pages on Wikipedia whenever I was really bored.
        • I thought at first I might have forgotten something, but that is never really the case with languages that I have learned thoroughly; I noticed the ease with which I could read Latin and this is something I notice more often with languages I do not use for a while, my memory of them improves over time especially when I do nothing with them for a while, so it seems as though my memory needs some extra time to archive everything in a much more efficient way than before.
    • I reviewed Ancient Greek verbal grammar for fun. I wrote some articles on this topic as well.
    • I studied Molkwerum Frisian with the aim of reviving the language.
    • I studied Luxembourgish.
    • I studied Scottish.
  • I studied anime seriously for the first time this year: I wanted to learn more about Japanese culture through anime and I wanted to study how Japanese culture is communicated through anime as a medium. I had hitherto been familiar with anime, but I was not yet interested in it from a cultural perspective. I should clarify, however, that I did not watch anime for the first time this year, because I had watched Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Pokémon in the past.
  • I published an extensive article on Wangerooge Frisian this year. I mentioned other East Firisan languages there as swell: Upgant Frisian, Wursten Frisian, and Harlingerland Frisian. Since I learned to speak and write Wangerooge Frisian, it dawned upon me for the first time that there are remnants of other East Frisian languages as well, which can be thoroughly studied to bring those languages back from the dead with the help of my knowledge of the better-documented Sagelterland Frisian and Wangerooge Frisian.
  • I was at great pains to study science and technology this year. Much time was spent on this as I want to keep expanding my ‘encyclopaedic’ knowledge on a variety of topics ranging from astronomy and physics to finances and blockchain technology. Such knowledge is, of course, very useful for writing a blog. I really wanted to keep improving and learn more facts and details, so I might be able to share new information here.
  • I gradually changed my diet this year for strengthening my teeth and bones. I started having bone broths. I eliminated sweets from my diet as these could harm my teeth, I have had the misfortune in 2020 to get my first cavities (I admit this was entirely my own fault due to not paying enough attention to my teeth) and this awakened me to the need to take much better care of my teeth and study what I can do for preventing and reversing caries. I remove grains and legumes from my diet at the end of this year because I was constantly having inflammations all over my body and this change helped eliminate that.
    • As a result of dietary changes, we have also changed our cooking style. We make soups regularly now and we also steam vegetables. In a scientific cooking book, I have read steaming is one of the healthiest cooking methods and so I wanted to incorporate it in our culinary tradition.
  • I made progress this year with my understanding of dental care. I learned that baking soda can be used as a mouthwash to reduce the acidity in the mouth. This was a big discovery as this helped to significantly reduce inflammations of my gum.
  • I took the initiative to start buying our food locally. We are buying our meat from local farmers and we are buying our vegetables from a village garden. I am eating way more green leafy vegetables now than previous years.
    • It was a serendipity when I found out where I could buy local food. In fact, it was quite an eye-opening and profound discovery for me and I am grateful that I could find new (hidden) places in my environment and make new contacts. The consumption of local food has helped me to be emotionally and physically more connected to the Frisian land. In hindsight, I should really have done so earlier, but my Frisian studies are slowly teaching me more about Frisia and I keep discovering new things; serendipity is guiding me to find what I need.
  • I have made progress with growing microgreens. I started gardening at home in 2019 and I have since then nurtured an interest in microgreens as those may be the most convenient to grow in an urban environment.
  • I have finalised the purchase of the domain languagedeath.com this year.
  • I expanded the vikingreligion.com blog.
  • I did some promotional work for Schiermonnikoog Frisian.
  • I studied Frisian traditional knowledge (folklore).
  • I made progress with photography this year. I have considered photography increasingly important as I want to show my local environment to the world. I bought a new phone (although not the best) with which I can take somewhat better pictures of my local environment to use for the blog. Photos are an important way for me to capture my memories in Frisia and as the blog is a kind of diary which helps archive our thoughts during our work, these photos may help make my writings about Frisia more memorable and relatable.

Also see my achievements of 2020 and my achievements of 2019.

22 comments

  1. I admire your efforts to learn new things and up-skill of your existing language knowledge. Learning is a continuous process where assimilation plays the key role and I think you are doing a potential work. Hope you the best for coming year endeavours. Wish you and your family Happy New Year. Be safe.

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  2. Through your newfound knowledge, you only grow. May you continue your growth into 2022. Wishing you a very happy amd prosperous New Year! 🎉🕊

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  3. I’m in awe of all that you have accomplished! I need to do better at becoming more Minimalist again. The plant lore and foraging sounds exciting! I have been working on Dark Fairytales, or maybe I should call them Medieval Tales? My first one takes place in the Harz Mountains called The Woodcutter’s Daughter. If you are interested in being a Beta Reader please email me. I would love to have your opinion about it. I worked hard to give it a sense of place even though I have never been to Germany in person. (natureledlife@nature-led.org) I studied Japanese language, history and culture for 8 years. There are many types of anime. I like Bleach and The Haunted House: The Secret of the Ghost Ball that is a collection of well-known ghost stories. Some anime is for kids, some is for everyone, and some are strictly for adults (anime porn called Hentai). The two animes I mentioned are for everybody, like Hayao Miyazaki films. I also really like Wakfu (TV Series), a French Anime.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations. Keep rocking like this. Wishing you a very happy and a prosperous new year with great health and lots of success.

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    • I am absolutely determined to know all Frisian languages perfectly and share with everyone in various ways what I know; I intend to share my knowledge on this blog, for instance, and in forthcoming books.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent work in what you have achieved!

    Did you find any differences in the Eddas when comparing Latin and English translations?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent question! Reading the Eddas in Latin is quite an interesting experience for me. Seeing the thoughts of the Eddas reorganised in Latin offers a fresh perspective, as it helps me to be attentive to certain details, while Latin may express some things more clearly or make them more apparent, and it helps one find links with Latin concepts which have their typically Latin webs of associations.

      Given that the unique perspective brought to Eddaic concepts by expressing them in Latin has merit, it truly makes me wonder what it would be like to read the Eddas in Ancient Greek or other old Indo-Germanic languages and what novel insights could be learned or inspiring ideas could be obtained from such translations. I can unfortunately only wonder since there are no such translations yet.

      Languages activate trains of thought thanks to associations or connotations inherent in words, so reading the same ideas expressed in another language is always a novel adventure and that is why I like reading the same things in all the languages that I can read.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My sincerest apologies in taking so long to reply to this.

        Thank you very much! I suppose it’s like three people reading the same script, but all three will come away with something different.

        Thank you for sharing! 😁

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    • Hallo, aangename kennis. Ek kan ook Afrikaans praat. Dit is ‘n pragtige taal. Dit gaan goed met my, hoe gaan dit met jou?

      Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar!

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        • Ek praat oorspronklik Nederlands en Engels. Ek leer vreemde tale omdat ek wil hê dat daardie tale my nuwe moedertale word. Is Afrikaans jou moedertaal?

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          • Ja, dit is..Dit is n wonderlike avontuur wat jy aanpak .My seun(17) het nou n groot poging aangepak om Korean te leer.
            Groot voorreg om jou te omtmoet🇿🇦

            Liked by 1 person

          • Dankie vir die lekker gesprek. Wanneer ek die geleentheid kry om Afrikaans te praat, wil ek daardie geleentheid aangryp.
            Jou seun doen ‘n goeie ding. As hy aanhou om Koreaans te leer, sal hy sekerlik vir die res van sy lewe voordeel daaruit trek.
            Dit is vir my ook ‘n plesier om jou te ontmoet!

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  6. You sound like an extremely intelligent and ambitious young man.
    Keep learning and learning and learning. That’s what life’s all about. Good Luck and all my best and thank you
    for commenting about The White Dove by Bob Marshall. He was my inspiration, the words flow when I read his
    poetry.

    Like

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