Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Speaking Welsh In Libya Can Get You Arrested For Being An Israeli Spy

In 1821, the journal The Cambro-Briton noted the "affinity between the Hebrew and Welsh tongues". "The many points of resemblance between the languages in question have been noted by several learned writers," it noted, adding that this was "not merely in a coincidence of particular words, but in a general agreement of idiom and structure".
Journalists were held over Welsh-Hebrew mix-up, The Independent, March 21, 2012

In Libya, speaking Welsh can get you suspected of being an Israeli spy:

Two British journalists who were detained in Libya have revealed they were held because their captors confused a passage of Welsh written on their medical supplies for Hebrew, leading to suspicions they were spying for Israel.
The confusion is all the more odd, considering that the journalists were working at the time for Press TV, the state broadcaster for Iran--which is not exactly known for being friendly with Israel.

I wonder if Libyans think Sean Connery has an Israeli accent?

By the way, there is a site, Hebrew Linguistic Traits in Welsh, that discusses similarities, including in terms of vocabulary:
  • Ydom: the earth = Adamah
  • bu: it came to pass = bo
  • boten, or potten : belly = beten.
  • cas: hatred = caas (anger).
  • dafnu: to drop, or distill by drops = nataph, taph.
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