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The Arabs invaded populous lands that had their own languages and strong cultures and traditions, like Egypt and Mesopotamia, and ... instances of vigorous new cultures moving in and sweeping up the population to adopt the new culture, including its language.

The current view seems to be that English replaced the Celtic languages in England through much the same process.

Don Aitken
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Chris Malcolm filted:
I recall a Greek PhD student all of whose university education had been conducted in English. Her English was passable, ... to talk about it in Greek. Although a native Greek speaker, she simply didn't have the vocabulary to do it.

I have much the same problem describing what I do at work to anyone not in the same business...the entities with which I deal on a daily basis are arcane and incomprehensible without at least two years of immersion in the environment in which they dwell...fortunately, my employer has thoughtfully passed around a form for me to sign where I pledge that I will not discuss any of those entities with any person not employed by my company, and they in turn pledge that they will not give me a reference (even unto confirming that I once worked there) if I should leave for another job..r
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I don't know anything about that. I'm afraid it makes ... and cooperation, and invasions that don't. Makes a big difference.

ethnicity is psychological (or socio-pschological).

it's "in the head", and various cultures attach varying degrees of importance to one aspect, such as language, ancestry, birth place or other cultural artifact.
The Arabs invaded populous lands that had their own languages and strong cultures and traditions, like Egypt and Mesopotamia, and ... Egypt. Nowadays these Arabic speakers consider themselves to be Arabs, even though their ancestors were in fact Egyptions, Assyrians or

there are some who may think otherwise, but this is the predominant view, and arab nationalism as formulated places primary importance to language. it is certainly the official view that Egyptians are arabs ("the Arab Republic of Eygpt"), but they reconcile it with the fact that their ancestors are from Ancient Egypt, and they are proud o fit. simialrly for other parts of the Arab world. but there is also a "localist" movement among soem intellectuals.
These were instances of vigorous new cultures moving in and sweeping up the population to adopt the new culture, including its language.

The current view seems to be that English replaced the Celtic languages in England through much the same process.

Although, getting back on topic, it is interesting that French did not supplant English, it merged with it. More or less.

John Varela
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The current view seems to be that English replaced the Celtic languages in England through much the same process.

I've seen the comparison made, that the local Celts had about as much impact on the Anglo-Saxon language and culture as the American Indians did on the English settlers. That is, very little, beyond some placenames.
Although, getting back on topic, it is interesting that French did not supplant English, it merged with it. More or less.

And before it, Latin merged with the native languages of France, Spain, Portugal... I have no idea how you'd prove it, but I have this sense that the French have always been more open to mixing with other races and cultures than have the English or northern Europeans.

Didn't those Norman invaders pretty much marry the daughters of the local Anglo-Saxon squires? Within a few generations, anyway. Unlike, say, the earlier Dane invasion, which kept to itself? Had not the Norman French been welcomed and assimilated by the French French a couple of centuries before?
Just as another personal example, my New England ancestors are solidly English, English, English all the way, as if the colony didn't accept anyone from anywhere else for two centuries. Yet, on the Louisiana French side, during a time only slightly later, we know of a Scots-Irish, a German, and a Spanish ancestor who married into the Cajun families.
I've only heard a little about the effect Old Norse had on Old English when the Danes settled in England. "The Story of English" does describe how the contact between the two languages appeared to simplify some of English grammar.
Well, where I think this is headed is that history is complex, the relationship between any two cultures is complex, and we probably have to look at each on a case-by-case basis, and not by sweeping generalizations about strength and weakness and assimilation.

And I hate to harp on it, but one side's "vigorous/sweeping/adoption" could be the other sides "massacre/brutality/repression," if they were only around to tell the their side.
Is "History is a tale told by the victors" or anything similar, an actual quotation from someone, or an old proverb, or a modern proverb? I don't find it at Bartleby's Quotations.

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Is "History is a tale told by the victors" or anything similar, an actual quotation from someone, or an old proverb, or a modern proverb? I don't find it at Bartleby's Quotations.

Alex Haley. From Encarta Book of Quotations :
History is written by the winners.
Interview, The David Frost Television Show
(April 20, 1972)
It seems like something that should have been said earlier, but I haven't found it in the Oxford Book of Quotations or in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations Sixteenth Edition .
Is "History is a tale told by the victors" or ... a modern proverb? I don't find it at Bartleby's Quotations.

Alex Haley. From Encarta Book of Quotations : History is written by the winners. Interview, The David Frost ... haven't found it in the Oxford Book of Quotations or in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations Sixteenth Edition .

Google gives me "about 2160" hits on "history is written by the winners", and "about 40,600" on "history is written by the victors".
Google gives me "about 2160" hits on "history is written by the winners", and "about 40,600" on "history is written by the victors".

Versions of the saying with "victors" rather than "winners" were circulating well before 1972. From Proquest:
Mideast Debate
New York Times, May 27, 1956. p. 100
At the end of Giraudoux' "Tiger at the Gates," when the Trojan war is about to break out and the destruction of Troy is on the celestial planning boards, Cassandra says, in her disenchanted way, "The Trojan poet is dead; now the Grecian poet will have his word." History was always written by the victors.
Where Lies the Truth of It All?
New York Times, Feb 7, 1965. p. BR3
To be sure, as all historians know, history is (at least for a time) "written by the victors."
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Is "History is a tale told by the victors" or ... a modern proverb? I don't find it at Bartleby's Quotations.

Alex Haley. From Encarta Book of Quotations : History is written by the winners. Interview, The David Frost ... haven't found it in the Oxford Book of Quotations or in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations Sixteenth Edition .

Poking around Amazon, in Rose's Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic Bomb Project , on page 55, he writes
The disreputable character of Heisenberg's own review (of David Irving's 1968 The German Atomic Bomb ) emerges in the final paragraph, where he denounces the hostile Allied view of the German official version as a species of victor's justice. "After a great war, history is written by the victors and legends develop which glorify them."
I don't know when the review was written, but it seems likely that it was before 1972, and some of the surrounding context implies that it was in the 1960s. (Amazon only lets you go two pages in either direction from a quote.)
I see another book, an Aesop's Fables that gives "History is written by the victors" as the moral of "The Man and the Lion", but that doesn't seem to be the canonical moral, which is "One story is good, till another is told."
John Miller's Revolution: Faces of Change , quotes "an unknown speaker at Villa's funeral" as saying "History is written by victors, but legends are written by the people. For that reason the name of Francisco Villa has remained enshrined forever in the heart of the poor." Francisco "Pancho" Villa died in 1923. Of course, this was probably said in Spanish, but the form makes it sound as though it was a common saying even back then.

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