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This article is a short introduction to the project Retromania, which was degenerated as an attempt to teach ancient languages to the general public. The funds for the project Retromania have been drawn on a false pretext from the Noble foundation for boosting Mad Science. All teachers of foreign languages are welcome to use this groundbreaking method.
edit The project and its aims
The teaching method of project Retromania is very simple: step by step, the reader is drawn to replacing words with new ones. This is most effectively achieved by repetition. The new words will automatically be assimilated into the reader's vocabulary: in each chapter a few words are different from the previous chapter, yet with the same meaning. As a side product, the reader learns a lot of how modern English has developed from the Indoeuropean mother language, Latin, Urdu, and the Celtic languages. For clarity, the syntax of the language is not changed; this method works for teaching vocabulary only.
edit How this article works
This article is a simplified version of the project. It works roughly like this: each set of sub-chapters "takes the reader back in time" approximately 700-1000 years, and by the end of the article, the reader is at the year 250 A.D. If time travel was possible, he could then converse intelligently with Nero (provided Nero could speak the language of the Visigoths)! The reader is advised to read each chapter in its entirety. Only this will make the method effective.
edit The travel back in time
edit Chapter 1: 2008
The first chapter is the introductory chapter: it is simply a beginning of a suspenseful story. It is all in plain modern English.
- The day was cold. It was snowing lightly. My head was aching, because I had had an argument with my wife. I took my car keys and started out of the door - and heard a loud, cracking sound. It came from the second floor of our apartment - probably from the library. I ran upstairs to see what had happened, hesitating to open the library door. I steeled my nerves against the worst and tried to open the door. It was locked. I kicked the door open - it was flimsy - and stood there gasping.
edit Chapter 1.1
For the chapter 1.1., some of the words have been replaced by older words; some of them are from the 20th century, some from earlier times.
- The dag was calt. It was snowing lightly. My hufvud was aching, becowse I had had a row with my wife. I took my automobile keys and started out of the dawr - and heared a lowd, cracking sound. It ceim from the second floor of our apartma - propably from the liberary. I rain unstairs to sehen what had gone over, hesidating to open the liberary dawr. I stooled my nerfs against the worst and tried to oppna the dawr. It was lukked. I kicked the dawr open - it was flimesy - and stood there gawspin.
edit Chapter 1.2
Chapter 1.2. hardly bears any resemblance to modern English. The text is till clearly understandable in spite of this.
- The dach was calt. It was snodwing lightly. My hufvood was aching, becowser I had had a rower with my wif. I took my oxen and cart and stawrted out of the dawer - and heared a lowd, dracking riportom. It ceim from the secondum floodr of our apartmon - prudpably from the libertary. I raidn undstairs to sehenden what had goned orver, hesidlating to open the libertary dawer. I stoolded my nerfers at-gainst the wormst and treyed to oppnid the dawer. It was lukkede. I klincked the dawer open - it was flimesey - and stowod there gawerspin.
edit Chapter 1.3
The next chapter already takes us hundreds of years back in time, all the way to the beginning of the Renaissance.
- Zem dachs wasch cadlet. It wasch snoderwing blighterly. Mein hefvood wasch aychking, becawser Eye hed hed a trower with my zewif. Eye tnok my proxen and chart and stooted out of zem dawter - and eared a lewd, drackning riportewm. Ze kleim from zem sicondru fleodr of ower partmons - pradpably from zem libertario. Eye raidin undstairs zum zogen whutt hed gend oeuvre, zebidlating to gebosten zem libertario dawter. Eye stehlded my nerferts at-goinst the wormest and treyad zum oppleckned zem dawter. It wasch beclotched. Eye reklincked zem dawter ofen - it wasch flimesawr - and stunded thayr gawerspan.
edit Chapter 2: 1250, approx.
We are in the Middle Ages now. Little needs to be said - the reader has ample experience with the text already and can easily follow the transformation.
- Zyem drach woosch clot. Eyt woosch sneydering bluttgerly. Meyen crimpodl woosch gespunkich, sincethough Jach hood hood eyne clinker mitzum meyenem bligther. Jach smidret meyen daqoxen unt crekart unt sparooten owrt ab zem daurter - unt rebutted eyne lewd, spanking ripo'spanker. Eyt klime fram zem ztolsten crenken ab wore artmonter - pradipab fram zem ibertarion. Jach krunkelt owrstairs zequm zegogglen welkend hud passet zuqen, debligating zo-zum fegoffnen zem ibertarion daurter. Jach gestehld meyen ederferts at-grainst zem ormest undich reylad zequm plecknedin zem daurter. Eyt woosch beclurtched. Jach repletzked zem daurter fenkel - eyt zuwebem splutchig - unt stunkled hayre atwerspan.
edit Chapter 2.1.
- Zydem drooh eschte clot. Ewot eschte breyderinz urtgerly. Mochjen podlypud eschte espunkdich, cethougher Drach howed howd neyn reclink apotch mochjen bledigther. Drach smidret mochjen daqox wop credkart wop spaqowten woert acqui zydem daurter - wop rebutted neyn lewerd, spadanking rico'spunker. Ewot klerme franz zydem zegtolst crawenk abden weyre arteconter - prazepbot franz zydem bertarcion. Drach kronqalde powerstai zeqoom zeboggelen welhert howuud pasposet zuqren, denebligating wozum gerobden zydem bertarcion daforter. Drach bregeste mochjen nederforts bewhooten zydem mormormest wop replayed zeweqom knedindeck zydem daforter. Ewot eschte weclurtzum. Drach resploonked zydem daforter brenkest - ewott zuwebem praspliftig - wop ucplanked wehayr rotweiler.
edit Chapter 3: 250 A.D., approx.
The Roman era! The vast Empire in all its glory! The swarming Visigoths, whose ancient language is now in the grasp of the reader. Now that you have painstakingly gone through all the above chapters, you notice how easily you understand the last chapter. Unbelievable, isn't it? May this be the beginning of a fruitful study.
- Annexing the Rhein and Bosnia. Who cares what happens. Winter is coming soon anyway, similarly to the builders' strike last sunday. Wait until the enemy has crossed that line there, boys - I'm just freezing in this blizzard. Barometers are of no use here - we must play totally by the ear. What is it, Jenkins? No more chocolate for the prostitutes? That's a fucking catastrophe, let the boys give them wine then. What does it actually mean - without regrets or with them? - this war is over, you blithering idiot.