Written by Dyami Millarson
I want to keep my New Year resolution modest:
- Hopefully, this year will be a literary year (with a focus on traditional knowledge) because I like literature (as well as lore). So I really wish to read a lot in 2022, and I do not want to be too distracted from this. I want to significantly expand my knowledge base, since this is quite relevant for my work.
- I want to learn more about Frisian traditional knowledge, and consequently I want to study the literature of all Frisian languages more thoroughly. For studying these languages, I have read a lot, but I want to even review what I have already read. So, I want to focus on reading a lot this year.
- I want to read a great deal in Swedish, Elfdalian, High German, Luxembourgish, Scottish, Afrikaans, Swiss German, Groningen Low Saxon and East Frisian Low Saxon as well.
- If time permits, I want to read more Latin since I enjoy reading Latin. I hope to read books ranging through simple, intermediate and advanced levels, and from a wide variety of periods, such as classical writings, medieval writings and modern writings. For instance, I want to read Marco Polo in Latin, I want to (re)read Old Norse literature in Latin (the Eddas, Egil’s saga). Being able to read old documents is the reward for learning Latin properly. If I have time, I want to read modern Latin books/texts as well for leisure.
- Our mission statement says that we will focus on learning living Frisian languages. Having done that since 2016, I will focus primarily on studying extinct Frisian languages from this year – this is a major shift that was already beginning to take place in 2021 whilst I began making the transition from living to dead languages of the Frisian family. As usual, I mean by studying that I want to do my best to learn how to speak, write and read those languages; I want to master them as perfectly as possible. I hope to learn (all the) historical stages of West Frisian languages, East Frisian languages, and North Frisian languages. Having completed that, I want to learn how to speak, write and read Old Frisian. My preferred order of study is to start with the most recent stages and then gradually move to the most ancient stages: the recently dead languages first, the long-deceased languages last. It’s basically the ‘Last In, First Out’ (LIFO) principle applied to extinct languages, instead of the ‘First In, First Out’ (FIFO) principle.
- If I am going to study Old Frisian this year, I hope that I will have enough time to brush up on my other old Germanic languages as well, such as Gothic, Old English, and Old Norse. I was particularly thinking about studying Old English and Old Frisian side by side, I thought that might be interesting. I will see whether I have enough time for that. If I have to choose just 1 language to brush up on, I will choose Old English, because I was recently studying some Old English text and I thought to myself: ‘I have not studied Old English zealously anymore for almost ten years, so it might be a good idea to give some special attention to Old English again. Compared with my Old Norse and Gothic, Old English is the language that I have relatively given the least attention to, although it does deserve more attention, and I should also encourage myself to use the language more, whether for debating with myself in my own mind, taking notes, blogging, reading, or making linguistic comparisons.’
- If time permits, I want to focus on writing books, which might be a good means of sharing my (access to hidden) knowledge. I will simply write the books and publish them as ebooks so I can still edit them. I think that fits me the best. I keep engaged in things until I consider it perfect. I want to be able to keep working on my writings after publication. I published an extensive article on Wangerooge Frisian last year, and I published it in an imperfect, uncompleted form. I may draw inspiration from that. Just publishing things is the biggest hurdle for me, but if I know I can keep editing it, then it does not matter that much, because I can keep improving my work naturally. I keep striving for perfection and that is something that keeps me working on projects for a long time, but the danger of that is that things might not get published, and that’s bad, so I think that just publishing things and making on them after publication is a neat idea.
- I will try to finish or pick up some (worthwhile) New Year’s resolutions from previous years, it does not matter that I had to postpone some of those resolutions to future years. I will complete everything satisfactorily eventually, but I am taking my time as I am in no rush. I am someone who likes working slowly and focusing on a few things at a time. The Latin saying that fits my overall life philosophy goes as follows: Festina lente. Haste slowly. Coincidentally, I brought this saying up in my 2021 New Year resolutions as well. The relevance of this saying – or slogan – can definitely not be overstated.
- I want to specially dedicate some time to improving my eyesight this year. I have paid more attention to my teeth last years, and I want to redirect some of that medical attention to my eyes now, because the eyes are very important organs for observation, interaction, and communication. So they are worth setting aside some time for, and I will try to take care not to strain my eyes too much with reading books or use of electronics.