Malling-Hansen, the volapykist

Vi vet at RMH var dypt fascinert av det første internasjonale kunstspråket, volapyk, og han lærte det også så godt at han kunne oversette tekster fra dansk til volapyk, og omvendt. I en artikkel fra Berlingske Tidende på hundreårsdagen for RMHs fødsel skrev RMHs svigersønn, Fritz August Bech, som kanskje var RMHs viktigste biograf, et avsnitt om RMHs forhold til volapyk. Han forteller at RMH selv oversatte og besørget oversettelsen av H. C. Andersens eventyr til volapyk, og han holdt også foredrag om dette verdensspråkets verdi. Og med sin sedvanlige sans for humor, og for gode påfunn, inviterte også RMH sine beste venner og deres hustruer til en volapyk-middag!

 

 

 

Et utsnitt av Fritz Augusts artikkel om RMH i Berlingske Tidende 1935
Fritz August Bech fotografert ved Døvstummeinstituttet i Fredericia i 1909
Rasmus Malling-Hansen, etter et fotografi fra 1887. Copyright: DKB

 

 

 

Her er hva Fritz August Bech skrev i artikkelen fra 1935:

 

”Malling-Hansen var med all sin Flid og Optagethed aldeles ikke nogen pedantisk og tør Stuelærd, tværtimod et levende Menneske, der var optaget af alt, hva der rørte sig i Tiden. Da det første internationale Kunstsprog, Volapyk, kom til København, fandt han straks i dets logiske Opbygning en Forklaring paa, hvorfor de døvstumme Børn har saa svært ved at lære vort eget Sprog korrekt: Det levende Sprog har saa mange Luner, Afvigelser fra Logikken og er derfor uberegnelig med Hensyn til Periode og Sætningsbygning. Følgelig blev han en ivrig Volapykist, foretog selv eller sørgede for Oversættelse af H. C. Andersens Eventyr til Volapyk og holdt ogsaa Foredrag om dette Sprogs international Værdi.

     Paa en av Charlottenborg-Udstillingerne i Firserne var udstillet et Maleri af Engelsted, forestillende den saakaldte Kvartet: Malling-Hansen, Overlærer Kaper (Borgmesterens Far), Direktør Ritzau (Grundlæggeren af R. B.) og Arkivar i Krigsministeriet, Kaptajn Feilberg ved L’hombrebordet. Disse 4 og deres Hustruer, der alle var dus, samledes i Vintertiden en Gang om Ugen til Kortspil hos hinanden, men havde ofte tillige en eller anden Spøg for, bl. a. gav M.-H. saaledes paa den Tid en Volapyk-Middag, med Menuen hektograferet baade paa Volapyk og Dansk – kun gik Vinen paa begge sprog op i en højere Enhed under benevnelsen Pumpenhejmer – Lamper behængte med og Bordet dækket i volapykiske Farver, Gul og Lila. Det var meget festlig og morsomt.”

 

 

 

Her er de fire vennene på maleriet som hang på utstilling ved den Nordiske kunst- og industriutstillingen i København i 1888. Fra venstre: Erik Riztau, Gustav Feilberg, Rasmus Malling-Hansen og Johannes Kaper. Kvinnen på bildet er Ritzaus kone, Anna. Bildet er malt av den danske kunstneren Malthe Engelstedt, og var et i en serie med kortspillende mennesker.
Johann Martin Schleyer, 1831-1912, oppfinneren av kunstspråket volapyk.

 

 

 

Om volapyk fra wikipedia:

 

"Volapyk (volapük på volapyk) er et kunstsprog som var populært i slutningen af det 19.  århundrede.

 

Volapyk blev lavet af Johann Martin Schleyer, en katolsk præst i Baden, Tyskland, og offentliggjort i 1879 (nogle kilder siger 1880). Schleyer sagde at Gud i en drøm havde bedt ham lave et internationalt sprog.

 

Volapyk blev hurtigt populært med over hundrede tusinde tilhængere. Der blev afholdt internationale kongresser i 1884 i Friedrichshafen, i 1887 i München og i 1889 i Paris. Der var i 1889 anslået 283 klubber, 25 tidsskrifter på eller om volapyk, og 316 lærebøger på 25 sprog.

 

Volapyks ordforråd stammer hovedsageligt fra engelsk - med indslag fra tysk og fransk - ofte ændret så ordene ikke umiddelbart er genkendelige. For eksempel stammer vol og pük fra de engelske ord world (verden) og speak (tale). Grammatikken er modelleret over de indoeuropæiske sprog, men gjort regelmæssig og agglutinerende.

 

Ligesom volapyk hurtigt blev populært, faldt dets udbredelse hastigt igen frem mod århundredeskiftet. Der er ingen entydig forklaring på dette, men følgende faktorer er foreslået:

 

  • Schleyer insisterede på at sproget var hans ejendom hvilket forhindrede det i at udvikle sig på en naturlig måde.

  • Volapyk var for svært at lære at beherske. Til illustration af dette kan nævnes at omgangssproget på de to første kongresser ikke var volapyk, men tysk.

  • Esperantos fremkomst i 1887. Esperanto er lettere at lære, og mange volapykklubber konverterede til esperanto.

  • Der er stadig volapykister i dag, men anslået under hundrede.

Bønnen fader vor på volapyk:

 

O Fat obas, kel binol in süls,

 

paisaludomöz nem ola!

 

Kömomöd monargän ola!

 

Jenomöz vil olik,

 

äs in sül, i su tal.

 

Bodi obsik vädeliki givolös obes adelo.

 

E pardolös obes debis obsik,

 

äs id obs aipardobs debeles obas.

 

E no obis nindukolös in tentadi,

 

sod aidalivolös obis de bad.

 

Jenosöd!

 

I dag er sproget volapyk næsten glemt, men ordet er bevaret i det danske sprog med betydningen vrøvl eller uforståelig tale. Dette skyldes sikkert ordenes totale uforståelighed for de uindviede. Mange vil opfatte eksemplet ovenfor som det rene volapyk - også uden at vide at det er volapyk! I denne betydning er volapyk synonymt med kaudervælsk." da.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volapyk

 

I Norge fantes volapyk-klubber ihvertfall i Kristiania, Bergen og Trondheim, og et felles dansk-norsk tidsskrift hadde volapyk-nyheter fra Norge. Fra det vet vi f.eks. at Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson deltok på en middag arrangert av volapykister i København.

 

Sannsynligvis har Ramus Malling-Hansen både vært aktiv deltager ved disse middagene arrangert av volakypister i København, og også bidratt med artikler til det felles dansk-norske tidsskriftet. Men her gjenstår ennå mye forskning. I fremtiden vil det forhåpentligvis bli mulig å finne ut flere detaljer om RMHs aktiviteter på dette området.

 

Oslo, 09.08.07

Sverre Avnskog 

 

 

 

 

Det danske Volapyk tidsskriftet "Timaplenäd Volapükik", redigert av Jens Bayer, publiserte i 1889, en artikkel skrevet av Malling-Hansen, med tittelen "Influenza e vätaglofam cilas". (Se engelsk oversettelse lengre ned på siden). Men artikkelen var ikke skrevet på volapyk av Malling-Hansen selv, men var oversatt av redaksjonen, etter oppfordring fra Malling-Hansen. Men at Malling-Hansen behersket volapyk vet vi av at han oversatte et eventyr fra volapyk til dansk, og også selv bekostet utgivelsen. 

 

På den tyskspråklige utgaven av Wikipedia, står følgende om volapyk i Danmark:

In Kopenhagen fand vom 26. bis 29. Juli v. J. ein großer Kongreß von dänischen Volapükisten statt, welcher auch von vielen ausländischen Volapükisten besucht war. Daselbst war auch ein Bauer erschienen, der Volapúk selbst erlernt hatte. Derselbe konnte sich mit allen Anwesenden in Volapük unterhalten. Ein Berichterstatter sagt, dieser Kongreß habe bewiesen, daß Volapük auch zur mündlichen Verständigung vollkommen geeignet sei. Bemerkenswert ist auch, was Herr Pastor und Taubstummenlehrer Hansen betonte, daß ein Taubstummer Volapük in dem fünften Teil der Zeit erlerne, die er für das Dänische brauche.

 

Denne informasjonen bygger på boken, Rupert Kniele, Das erste Jahrzehnt der Weltsprache Volapük, 1889

 

Her opplyses det også at Rasmus Malling-Hansen i januar 1889 var med og grunnla, og var første leder for en volapykforening i Vaalse (på øya Falster), foreningen hadde da 44 deltagere, hvorav 11 var kvinner!

Et eventyr av Carmen Sylva, oversatt fra volapyk til dansk av Rasmus Malling-Hansen i 1889. Copyright: Det Kongelige Bibliotek i København

Malling-Hansen, the volapykist

 

 

We know that RMH was deeply fascinated by the first international artificial language, Volapük, and that he learned it so well as to be able to translate texts from Danish into Volapük and vice versa. In an article published in the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende on the occasion of the centenary of RMH’s birth, RMH’s son-in-law, Fritz August Bech – quite possibly the most important biographer of RMH – wrote a passage about RMH’s relation to Volapük. He relates that RMH personally translated and caused to translate H.C.Andersen’s fairy tales into Volapük, and that he also gave lectures about the benefits of this international language. And with his usual sense of humour and good ideas RMH also invited his best friends and their wives to Volapük-dinner!

 

 

A part of the original article written by RMH's son-in-law, Fritz August Bech
Fritz August Bech, on a photo taken in frot of the Instutute for the Deaf-mute in Fredericia in 1909
Rasmus Malling-Hansen from a photo taken i 1887. Copyright: The Royal Library

 

 

This is what Fritz August Bech wrote in the article from 1935:

 

 

“Malling-Hansen was hard-working, always with many engagements, and yet he was far from being a pedantic or dry bookish man; on the contrary, he was an animated person, engaged in everything that happened in his time. When the first international artificial language, Volapük, was introduced in Copenhagen he immediately found in its logical construction an explanation why deaf-mute children find it so difficult to learn our own language correctly: The living language has so many whims and deviations from logic and is therefore erratic in relation to period and sentence structure. Consequently, he became an avid Volapükist, translated or arranged for translation of H.C. Andersen’s Fairy Tales into Volapük and also gave lectures about the international benefits of this language.   One of the Charlottenburg Art Exhibitions during the 1880s included a painting by Engelsted depicting the so-called Quartet: Malling-Hansen, head teacher Kaper (father of the mayor), Director Ritzau (the founder of Ritzau’s News Agency), and the keeper of the archives of the War Office, captain Feilborg, as they are sitting around  a table playing a game of ombre. These 4 men and their wives – all of them on familiar terms with each other – used to meet during the winter season once a week for a game of cards. Quite often this was combined with some other amusing activity, for instance M.-H arranged a Volapük-dinner, having copied the menu in Danish as well as Volapük – except for the wine which in both languages was designated “pumpenhejmer”[1]. The lamps and the table were decorated and covered with the Volapük colours – yellow and mauve. It was very festive and amusing.”

 

 


[1] JMC: Untranslatable word. It is not a real word, rather a pun based on the German word “pappenheimer” (= a heavy rapier of the 17th century) and the Danish Word “pumpe” (= pump). The point here, however, is that RMH was able to play with the words in an innovative way and come up with a new word with a comic ring to it.

This painting of the four friends playing l'hombre was one of a series of paintings of card playing people, maid by Malthe Engelstedt. They were diplayed on the large Art and Industrial Exhibition in Denmark in 1888. The men on the painting was RMH's closest friends during the last years of his life, and they were also "brothers" of the same masonry lodge. The woman is the wife of Erik Ritzau, Anna.
Johann Martin Schleyer, 1831-1912, the inventor of the artificial language Volapük.

 

 

Wikipedia explanation about Volapük:

 

“Volapük is an artificial language popular towards the end of the 19th century.

 

Volapük was constructed by Johan Martin Schleyer, a catholic priest from Germany and made public in 1879 (or 1880 according to some sources). Schleyer himself claimed that God in a dream had requested him to construct an international language.

 

Volapük quickly gained popularity with more than a hundred thousand proselytes. International conventions were held in 1884 in Friedrichshafen, 1887 in München and in Paris 1889. In 1889 there were an estimated 283 clubs, 25 periodicals in or about Volapük and a total of 316 manuals in 25 different languages.

 

The vocabulary of Volapük comes mainly from English – with elements of German and French – frequently changed in such a way that the words are not immediately recognizable. E.g. the words vol  and pük stems from  the English words world (verden) and speak (tale). The grammar is constructed on the basis of Indo-European languages, but has been turned regular and agglutinative.

 

While Volapük gained popularity very quickly, equally rapidly its spreading declined towards the end of the century. There is no unequivocal explanation to this development, but the following factors have been suggested:

 

·         Scleyer insisted that the language was his property, and this hampered the natural development of the language.

 

·         Volapük was too difficult to master. As a point of illustration: the language of communication at the two first conventions was not Volapük but German.

 

·         The appearance of Esperanto in 1887. Esperanto is easier to learn, and many of the Volapük clubs converted to Esperanto.

 

·         Volapükists still exist to this very day, but their number is estimated to be less than one hundred.

 

The Lord’s Prayer in Volapük:

 

O Fat obas, kel binol in süls,

paisaludomöz nem ola!

Kömomöd monargän ola!

Jenomöz vil olik,

äs in sül, i su tal.

Bodi obsik vädeliki givolös obes adelo

E pardolös obes debis obsik,

äs id obs aipardobs debeles obas.

E no obis nindukolös in tentadi,

sod aidalivolös in tentadi,

sod aidalivolös obis de bad.

Jenosöd!

 

 

Nowadays the Volapük language is all but forgotten, but the term itself has been preserved in the Danish language, however designating ‘gibberish’, ‘incomprehensible speech’, ‘double Dutch’ or ‘gobbledygook’. This is probably due to the fact that for those not initiated in the language, the words are totally incomprehensible.

 

In Norway Volapük clubs existed in at least Kristiania, Bergen and Trondheim, and there was a Danish-Norwegian periodical with news in Volapük from Norway. From that periodical we have learnt that Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson once participated in a dinner arranged by volapükists in Copenhagen.”

 

 

It is likely that Rasmus Malling-Hansen was an active participant at these dinners arranged by volapükists in Copenhagen, and also that he contributed with articles to the Danish-Norwegian periodical. However, much research remains to be done. Hopefully it will be possible in future to find more details about RMH’s activities in this field.

 

 

Oslo, August 9, 2007

Sverre Avnskog

 

 

Influenza e vätaglofam cilas

In 1889, an article by Rasmus Malling-Hansen was published in the Danish Volapük journal, "Timapenäd Volapükik", wich was edited by J. Bayer. The title of the article was "Influenza e vätaglofam cilas". We are very happy to bring on our website, an English version of this article, kindly translated by Sérgio Meira from Brazil. Mr. Meira is a sincere spokesman in favour of the artificial world language, Volapük, and is also working on an article about Malling-Hansen on the Volapük version of Wikipedia:

http://vo.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasmus_Hansen

 

Influenza and the weight growth of children

By R. Malling-Hansen, director of the royal institute for the teaching of the deaf-mute in Köbenhavn.

 

In the royal institute for the teaching of the deaf-mute in Köbenhavn, all students have been weighed every day in the last seven years. Since a "balance à bascule centésimale" (centesimal scale) can weigh up to 15 children in one go, it is used for the weighing. At present 40 boys and 31 girls are weighed, divided in sevel groups; each group is weighed separately; the complete weighing is carried out in a few minutes. The numbers (weights) recorded every day register the weight of every group and the total weight of all children but not of each individual child.

Such daily weighing of a large number of children is something totally new and has given new information [1] about variations in children weight growth, among which also that the weight growth of our children [lit. the children of here] happens above all in autumn and in the beginning of the first month of winter, but that the growth during the following two winter months, and during March and the beginning of April, is too small and is followed by weight decrease (?--check!) which lasts till the final part of summer.

 

These changes in the weight growth of our students in different seasons have repeated themselves very regularly in the seven years during which the weighing has happened. Now for the first time in this long period a not-small exception has happened, and the beginning of this exception is approximately the same as the time when the contagious disease "influenza"; ("la grippe") arrived at Copenhagen.

 

In the year 1889, the curves representing the weight of the children were completely similar to the usual ones, already known from previous years, until the 22nd of November - but then the usual weight growth stopped on the 23rd of November and this stop remained unchanged for four weeks, from that day till the 22nd of December. According to the experience of the previous seven years, the weight of each child should grow in average more than 500 grams during these four weeks; but this weight growth has not happened at all for the grils, and has been for the boys only about 200 grams per person, i.e. less than 2/5 of the normal weight growth.

 

This stop of weight growth during four weeks is even more remarkable when we compare it to the same weeks of the year 1888, because the weight of each child -- boys and girls -- grew in the year 1888 from November 24 to December 21 about 700 grams more than during the same weeks of the year 1889.

 

No changes in the feeding of the children or in other local circumstances happened during this period of four weeks; a more probable idea is that the unusual growth situation of the children was brought about by the already mentioned contagious disease. It is true that we cannot demonstrate fully that the infuenza arrived here precisely on November 23; but, since the first 59 cases of influenza in Köbenhavn were reported to the city's official physician in the week from December 1st to 7th, there is non-insignificant reason to suppose that this disease was already here eight days before that.

 

The health situation of the students was all in all good; though six of the teachers caught the influenza, this disease did not afflict any of the children during these four weeks; there were more cases of cold (rhume, catarrhe), but this was in no way unusual or more serious than in other years during autumn and the beginning of winter. Consequently, though the official lists report no case of influenza among the students of the royal institute for the teaching of the deaf-mute, my curves, registering the weight of children, report the opposite: they report that in the nearest days before November 23 the invisible causers of influenza penetrated into our institute, that the battle between them and the children began to show its consequences clearly on December 23, that this battle absorbed somewhat the strength of the children, that almost no excess of food was given by the organs of nourishment for the usual weight growth of children, that the weight growth of children during the four weeks after the already mentioned day decreased in about 500 grams per person in comparison with the norm, that each of the seven weighing groups of children felt the effects of the strike (of influenza), above all the group of older girls (age 15-17), and least of all the group of older boys, and finally that the boys have had until now more resistance strength than the girls.

 

Officially we therefore do not have influenza, but from these results it seems every child in the institute has been the object of attack by influenza during these four weeks. Conclusion: we all have influenza.

 

 

  - - - -

 

 

The above article was printed in the Köbenhavn newspaper "Nationaltidende", morning issue, 4th of January of the present year. We hope to be able to give, later on, further news on the general results, already known to all foreign physicians, and about the scientific importance (?--check!) of the daily weighings and measurements made by the author, who is also a dilligent and enthusiastic Volapükist.

 

In this article the author gives in his report proof of something, about which one had only suspected or speculated, but not been able to prove thus far: that any contagious disease has a damaging effect on all people, even if the symptoms of the disease exist clearly only in a small part of the people -- here is something very interesting for all physiologists.

 

We ask every Volapükist, but especially also the heads of all clubs/associations, who read the above article, to translate it into their native languages and to send their translations to as many local daily newspapers and scientific journals as possible, asking the editors to accept (publish) them.

 

The observations of Mr. MALLING-HANSEN have great present interest. Our request to all Volapükists is thus justified. If it will be possible to say: these remarkable observations were spread quicklyover the whole Earth only via Volapük, and none other than our already used international language could have reached such good and quick divulgation results - then the translating efforts of Volapükists will have served very well our great cause.

 

We finally ask very strongly that one copy of each of the newspapers and journals that publish the translation be sent to the editor of this journal (Timapenäd Volapükik pro Dän e Norgän).

 

We will soon publish articles by the author in which he will give further (very interesting) news about the effects of influenza, which is still here, on the weight of children. But, unfortunately, our financial means do not allow us to mail offprints of these issues to all Volapük associations; so we ask them to subscribe to our newspaper, if they wish - maybe according to the desire of daily newspapers and scientific journals - to provide them asquickly as possible with this latest news.

 

THE EDITORS.

 

Footnotes:

[1] For further information see especially: "Perioden im Gewicht der Kinder und in der Sonnenwärme, Beobachtungen von R. Malling-Hansen";, Kopenhagen. V. Tydes Buchhlandlung; price: 10 marks

 

 

See also a private letter from Malling-Hansen to Mr. Jens Bayer from 1890.

 

 

Obituary published in "Timapenäd Volapükik", 1890

After Malling-Hansen's death in September 1890, the following obituary was published in the Danish Volapyk periodical, "Timapenäd Volapükik", which was edited by J. Bayer, who also knew Malling-Hansen personally. The obituary is translated from Volapük to English by Sérgio Meira from Brazil. We want to express our deepest gratidude to him for his very generous contribution to the understanding of Malling-Hansen's interest in the artificial world language, Volapük. See also Mr. Meiras article about Malling-Hansen in the Volapük version of Wikipedia: http://vo.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasmus_Hansen

 

R. MALLING-HANSEN (obituary)

 

We bring this time sad news to our readers. The Priest R. Malling-Hansen, director of the royal institute for the teaching of the deaf-mute in Köbenhavn, died unexpectedly on the 27th of September, 1890, at the age of 55.

 

H. R. M. J. Malling-Hansen was born on the island of Lolland on Sept. 5th, 1835, and was the son of a poor schoolteacher in the country. As soon as he had reached the necessary age he was sent to the city of Maribo as an apprentice PÄNALENAMUNA (?-- maybe a typo?), but there an excellent man reported about this young manso desirous of knowledge, and thanks to him he went to Jonstrup (j=y in Volapük), one of the state seminars in Denmark for school-teachers. After a three-year stay he sucessfully did the exam (grade: BIZUGIKO (sufficient?)), and went then to the universityof Köbenhavn to study theology. He became a student in 1858, and in 1859 was employed as teacher at the royal institute for the deaf-mute in Köbenhavn; after he acted for a while as director of the institute of deaf-mute in the city of Schleswig (now in Germany), he passed his theological exam in 1865 and was employed a few days after that as director of the institute in Köbenhavn. - In this position, he worked with great success for the improvement of the teaching methods for the deaf-mute and forthe systematic organization of teaching with respect to the various types of deaf-mute, so much, that no other country has till now such an organized system. The teaching of the deaf-mute was and remained the red (=main?) thread of his life, and it is possible to show that all his other interests originated in his interest for the deaf-mute. For instance, the invention of the typewriter ("writing-ball") - having almost the same structure as the newer typewritters e.g. by Remington or Hammond - originated from his use of the hand-alphabet of the deaf-mute, and his studies of weight and measure of children (which led to the writing of the book: Periods in the growth of children and the warmth of the sun) from research about the best norm for feeding the children of the institute. Also his interest for Volapük can be seen to originate in his care for his students; he affirmed - as we cited before - that it was possible to teach the deaf-mute as much with Volapük in one year, as it would take four years to teach with Danish.

 

Nobody has been a more insightful Volapükist than he. He had the firmest confidence in using our language, which he considered as one of the greatest inventions of humankind, and the greatest conviction in its usefulness for all business of the spirit.

 

He studied Volapük dilligently in the brief free moments that he was allowed by his as educator of those poor people to whom the use of language was denied, and whose second father he was, and by public functions that were given him because of his rare dilligence and efficiency. He was a talented Volapükist [1], o whom only the constant works and the great modesty were obstacles to a greater fame than he had among Volapükists. But he was known to the readers of this journal, for which he always had great interest, and of which he was a dedicated contributor since its foundation. It was he who asked the editors to translate into Volapük - his many duties did not allow him to do it himslef - his article, published in a daily newspaper in Köbenhavn, on the newest consequences of the weighing and measurement of his students - an article which, thanks to Volapük, was translated into 8 languages and was published in 17 newspapers and scientific journals. He had promised to further provide information about subsequent results - but, unfortunately, death now does not allow him to fulfil this promise. [2]

 

For us, who work with weak capacity for the divulgation of Volapük in our little country, he was a great adviser and a charming friend, who participated in our work whenever it was possible for him, and who more than once provided important help.

 

He will be so remembered by us, and his memory will be to us a new stimulus to continuing our work in favor of our cause.

 

J.B.

 

Footnotes:

[1] He anslated, for instance, dr. Lederer's translation of the tale by Carmen Sylva, "Lied", and very well. He even paid the costs of the publication of his translation in the interest of Volapük.

[2] But we hope that one of our collaborators will in the future give a report to our readers about his already mentioned book, a very interesting work which contains these subsequent results.

 

This fairytale was translated from Volapÿk to Danish by Rasmus Malling-Hansen in 1889. Copyright: The Royal Library
Lolland-Falsters Folketidende - utgaven 1890.09.25. Copyright: Aarhus Statsbibliotek.
Auguste Kerchhoffs, 1835-1903, hollandsk sprogprofessor.
Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz, 1846-1916, polsk journalist og romanforfatter.
Dante Alighieri, 1265 – 1321, italiensk digter, mest kendt for Den guddommelige Komedie.
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, 1729-1781, tysk forfatter, filosof, dramatiker, publicist og kunstkritiker.
Rudolf af Østrig-Ungarn, 1858-1889, søn af Kejser Franz Joseph og kejserinde Elisabeth.
Theodor Immanuel Paul Ferdinand Plum, 1853-1911, vinhandler. Foto: DKB.
Carmen Sylva, egentlig dronning af Rumӕnien, Pauline Elisabeth Othilie Luise von Wied, 1843-1916,

Lolland-Falsters Folketidende 1890.09.25.

Den originale artikkelen. Copyright: Aarhus Statsbibliotek.

Research, transkribering og kommentarer af Jørgen Malling Christensen.

Illustrasjoner ved Sverre Avnskog.

 

 

Denne interessante artikel blev publiceret blot to dage før Rasmus Malling-Hansen døde. Trods at han var en meget optaget mand, havde Malling-Hansen også overskud til at interessere sig for dette verdenssprog. Ifølge  hans svigersøn, Fritz August Bech (gift med Zarah) lærte han det så godt, at han kunne oversætte mellem dansk og volapük – begge veje! Han holdt også foredrag om sproget og bidrog til at H.C.Andersens æventyr blev oversat til volapük. Volapük blev konstrueret af den tyske katolske præst Johann Martin Schleyer[1], 1831-1912, i 1879-1880. Han publicerede et stort antal lærebøger og leksika på og om sproget og agiterede kraftfuldt for sprogets udbredelse og brug i hele verden. I Danmark fik sproget en hurtig opblomstring fra 1886, men allerede fra slutningen af 1890 begyndte esperanto at tiltrække flere udøvere og dette artificielle sprog, lanceret i 1887, overtog snart førerpladsen. I dag findes der på verdensplan sandsynligvis højst 10 seriøst udøvende volapükister. Men i 1889 hævdede volapükist-bevægelsen at have omkring 1 million udøvende tilhængere.

 

Volapük.

--------

    En af Verdenssprogets ivrigste Tals-
mænd her i Stiftet, Hr. Uhrmager C a r l
P e t e r s e n  i Rødby, har anmodet os om
at optage nedenstaaende Artikel, der for-
nylig har staaet at læse i Bladet ”Poli-
tiken”.  Hr. Petersen tilføier, at han ikke
alene, som omtalt i Artiklen, har korrespon-
deret med Kinesere, men ogsaa afsat Varer
i Kina, f. Ex. Uhre, Spilledaaser o.a.
Ting. For faa Dage siden modtog han
en Bestilling paa Uhre, som han dog,
grundet paa sin Forretnings Lidenhed, ikke
strax kan effektuere.

 

Artiklen lyder saaledes:

 

 

Volapük.

 

E n  L e k t i o n  i  V e r d e n s s p r o g e t.

Enhver ved nu, at der existerer et inter-
nationelt Sprog, som kaldes Volapük. Det
er opfundet af en tysk Professor Schleyer
og har fundet Udbredelse i næsten alle
Lande; selv i Kina og Japan har det iv-
rige Dyrkere. Men hvilken Betydning har
da dette Sprog? Spørg en Volapükist,
og han vil strax svare: ”Volapük binom
pon kel balom netis” – det er udlagt:
Volapük er den Bro, som forener Na-
tionerne. Og man har allerede praktiske
Beviser for, at det virkelig er Tilfældet.
En Uhrmager i Rødby skrev saaledes for
nogen Tid siden paa Volapük til en
Kineser – Chew Leong Hoe var hans
Navn – og spurgte om Priserne paa Uhre
i Kina. Kineseren, som ogsaa kunde Vola-
pük, svarede tilbage igen, og de to staar
nu i brevvexling med hinanden. Men
havde Volapük ikke existeret, saa er det
mere end tvivlsomt, om de nogen sinde
havde lært at forstå hinanden. Den
rødbyske Uhrmager er naturligvis lige saa
lidt disponeret for Kinesisk som Kineseren
for Dansk.
     Herhjemme er Sagen bragt saa vidt
frem, at henved 100 Mennesker har taget
Examen[2] i Sproget, og her udgives allerede
to Volapükblade – det ene hedder ”Vola-
pük” og redigeres af Cand. phil. H.B.
Lund[3], det andet ”Timapenäd volapükik”,
som udgives af Volapükforeningen. I Indu-
striforeningen er endvidere i denne Tid ar-
rangeret en meget interessant Volapük-
udstilling, som fortjener Opmærksomhed.
Man faar her et godt Begreb om Sprogets
Udbredelse og Betydning. Især fra Som-
meren 1886, da Dr. Kirckhoffs[4], Professor
ved ”L'Ecole des hautes études commer-
ciales” i Paris begyndte at beskæftige sig
med Sproget og udgav Lærebøger i Vola-
pük, tog Bevægelsen Fart. Der udkommer
nu Lexika og Lærebøger paa alle Sprog.
Paa den ovennævnte Udstilling findes saa-
ledes f. Ex. Lærebøger, som er forfattede
af kinesiske Lærde. Blandt andet ser man
en kostbar og smukt udstyret Volapük – Japansk
Ordbog.

 

     Der udkommer Volapük-Tidsskrifter og
Blade i alle Lande. Paa Udstillingen i
Industriforeningen findes ikke mindre end
40 forskellige; endvidere findes her et stort
Udvalg af Skønliteratur oversat paa Vola-
pük, H.C. Andersens og Grimms Æven-
tyr, Fortællinger af den polske For-
fatter Henryk Sienkiewiez[5] og den ungarske For-
fatter Petöfi, Dantes[6] og Lessings[7] Værker osv.

 

     Kronprins Rudolf af Østrigs[8] ”Orient-
reise” foreligger i en pragtfuld Udstyrelse
med en Fortale i 16 Sprog. Fortalen,
som oprindelig er forfattet paa Volapük,
er nemlig af Volapükister i de forskellige
Lande oversat paa deres Modersmaal. For
Danmarks vedkommende er den oversat af
Hr. Grosserer Poul Plum[9], som er en af
Sagens ivrigste Forkæmpere herhjemme.
Som et Bevis for, at Volapük slaar Bro
mellem Nationerne, kan ydeligere nævnes,
at Dronningen af Rumæniens – Carmen
Sylvas[10] – Æventyr[11] er oversat fra
Volapük paa 6 forskellige Sprog.

 

     H.C.Andersens ”Billedbog uden Bille-
der” – paa Volapük: Magabuk nem magas
- er atter fra Volapük oversat paa ita-
liensk – en mærkelig Omvej, men Over-
sætteren har sandsynligvis ikke anet, at Bogen
allerede forlængst forelaa i italiensk Over-
sættelse fra den danske Original.

 

     Vi skal endvidere nævne, at her i Ud-
stillingslokalet findes et større Antal uden-
landske Blade og lægevidenskabelige Tids-
skrifter, som gjengiver en Artikel af Malling-
Hansen, betitlet ”Influenza og Børns Vægt-
forøgelse”[12]. Denne Artikel er oprindelig
skrevet i et københavnsk Dagblad, derfra
er den oversat i Volapükforeningens Organ,
og herfra er den endelig gaaet over i de
fremmede Blade. Vi havde Leilighed til
at sammenligne Oversættelserne med Origi-
nalen og kan forsikre, at disse kunde ikke
have været bedre, selv om de havde været
foretaget direkte efter Forfatterens Manu-
skript.

 

-   - Hvorom al Ting er, s y n e s

Volapűk virkelig at have en Fremtid for
sig. Efter Udtalelser fra mange Sider at
dømme er det overmaade let at lӕre;
Sproget er konstrueret saa simpelt som mu-
ligt, og Reglerne er kun faa.

 

                                 K - n[13]
    

 


[1] JMC: Schleyer siges at have vӕret en enestående begavet lingvist; han lӕrte sig  op imod 30 forskellige sprog. Volapűk var i sin vokabulӕr bygget på de store europeiske sprog: tysk, engelsk, fransk, russisk, italiensk og spansk. Interessant nok indholdet den oprindelige version of volapűk-alfabetet ikke konsonanten ’r’ – dette af hensyn til kineserne som har meget svӕrt ved at udtale denne konsonant! Schleyer var godt bevidst om dette, for han havde også lӕrt kinesisk.

[2] JMC: Rasmus Malling-Hansen var antagelig en af disse!

[3] JMC: Jeg har ikke kunnet finde data om denne person.

[4] JMC: Auguste Kerchhoffs, 1835-1903, hollandsk sprogprofessor, kendt som ekspert i hemmelige koder (kryptografi) og for sit engagement for Volapűk. Kerchhoffs var en af de ledende fortalere for volapűk, publicerede flere bøger i emnet og holdt foredrag. Han gjorde isӕr meget for at introducere sproget i Frankrig, Spanien og i den skandinaviske lande.

[5] JMC: Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz, 1846-1916, polsk journalist og romanforfatter, isӕr kendt for sine historiske romaner. Modtog nobelprisen i litteratur i 1905.

[6] JMC: Dante Alighieri, 1265 – 1321, italiensk digter, mest kendt for Den guddommelige Komedie (Comedia Divina), anset som det mest betydningsfulde italienske litterӕre vӕrk.

[7] JMC: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, 1729-1781, tysk forfatter, filosof, dramatiker, publicist og kunstkritiker. Fremstående reprӕsentant for Oplysningstiden.

[8] JMC: Rudolf af Østrig-Ungarn, 1858-1889, søn af Kejser Franz Joseph og kejserinde Elisabeth, udgav ”Eine Orientreise vom Jahr 1881” som blev publiceret i Wien 1885.

[9] JMC: Desvӕrre har jeg endnu ikke fundet data om Poul Plum; det ville vӕre spӕndende at undersøge, om RMH og Plum korresponderede; de har uden tvivl kendt til hinanden, eftersom de begge var blandt de mest fremstående Volapűkister i Danmark.

[10] JMC: Bag det litterӕre pennenavn Carmen Sylva gemte sig dronningen af Rumӕnien, Pauline Elisabeth Othilie Luise von Wied, 1843-1916, gift med Kong Karol I. Carmen Sylva skrev på flere forskellige sprog – tysk, rumӕnsk, fransk og engelsk. Hun publicerede et stort antal vӕrker i forskellige genrer: digte, skuespil, romaner, noveller og essays. Interessant nok viser hendes private dagbøger at hun var republikaner og imod monarkiet som regeringsform.

[11] JMC: I vort afsnit om RMH og volapűk – se ’Malling-Hansen, the volapykist’ gengiver vi dette ӕventyr,  ”Lidelse” som Malling-Hansen oversatte fra volapűk til dansk, og desuden bekostede han (ifølge hans svigersøn Fritz August Bech) selv trykningen og udgivelsen!

[12] JMC: Denne artikel har vi i sin helhed, se under fanebladet: ’Malling-Hansen, the volapykist’

[13] JMC: Det sidste bogstav i journalistens signatur er udvisket i trykket, men jeg tyder det som n; eventuelt u.