30 January 2010

Emotional linguistics

In literary criticism it is very hard not to be emotional, because one of the main attractions of literature is its appeal to the emotions. While doing criticism, a critic can pretend to be schizophrenic and not be affected by the strength of the emotional appeal of a literary text, but it is a shame if the whole person is not involved in the act of criticism. Being passionate about a particular literary text is a common motivation to want to reread and reread that text in order to get at what exactly is going on inside the text. A critic has to really love a text in order to spend so much time with it.

Linguists go overboard, however, when they become emotional when discussing language. Such emotionalism mars an otherwise intelligent account of the language of the Qur'an by Ibn Warraq. Here are excerpts from the account:

"The Koran is putatively (in fact it is very difficult to decide exactly what the language of the Koran is) written in what we call Classical Arabic (CA), but modern Arab populations, leaving aside the problem of illiteracy in Arab countries, do not speak, read, or write, let alone think in Classical Arabic. We are confronted with the phenomenon of diglossia, that is to say, a situation where two varieties of the same language live side by side. The two variations are high and low. High Arabic is sometimes called Modern Literary Arabic or Modern Standard Arabic, and is learned through formal education in school like Latin or Sanskrit, and would be used in sermons, university lectures, news broadcasts and for mass media purposes. Low Arabic or Colloquial Arabic is a dialect which native speakers acquire as a mother tongue, and is used at home conversing with family and friends, and is also used in radio or television soap opera."

"You are asked aggressively, 'Do you know Arabic?' Then you are told triumphantly, 'You have to read the Koran in the original Arabic to understand it fully.' Non-Muslims, Western freethinkers and atheists are usually reduced to sullen silence with these Muslim tactics; they indeed become rather coy and self-defensive when it comes to criticism of Islam; they feebly complain 'Who am I to criticise Islam? I do not know any Arabic.' And yet they are quite happy to criticise Christianity. How many Western freethinkers and atheists know Hebrew? How many even know what the language of Esra chapter 4 verses 6-8 is? Or in what language the New Testament was written? Of course, Muslims are also free in their criticism of the Bible and Christianity without knowing a word of Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek."

Once religion gets into the picture, even linguists lose their objectivity. By looking at what happens to linguists when their emotions get the better of them, we literary critics can avoid the pitfalls of letting our strong emotions get in the way of helping readers unlock the meanings of a literary text.

28 January 2010

"Macaronic" not pejorative

In most encyclopedias or websites, the word macaronic is mentioned in a pejorative or at least patronizing way. Macaronic verse is often considered a minor category of comic literature, something not worth much scholarly attention.

But the word macaronic need not be used in a trivial context. Here is an account of "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works: Christ ist erstanden":

"Many cantiones were translated into German long before the Reformation and were frequently sung antiphonally, particularly in Germany and Bohemia, with alternating Latin and German verses. A number of these mixed-language song pairs such as Surrexit Christus hodie – Erstanden ist der heilig Christ (and the completely macaronic In dulci jubilo – Nun singet und seid froh, with alternate Latin and German lines) were appropriated unchanged into the Reformation hymnbooks and are included in the Evangelisches Kirchen-Gesangbuch in German versions alone."

Here is a serious discussion of a serious form of art (sacred music). It is time to rehabilitate the word macaronic and to use it to indicate a serious form of literature.

25 January 2010

Choosing between words

In The Aesthetics of Architecture (1979), Roger Scruton writes:

"Even in the case of literature – for which a semiological account might seem to be particularly suitable – it is doubtful that ‘aesthetic’ values and significances can be described in semantic terms. Even here the creation of aesthetic significance depends, in the last analysis, on the discovery of ‘correct’ and ‘appropriate’ details, and we cannot assimilate this idea of correctness to a semantic rule. The ability of the poet is the ability to choose between words despite their identical semantic properties, to choose, for example, the word sans instead of the word without, as in a famous Shakespearian example. It is the ability to choose between words with, as Frege would put it, the same sense but different tone. And we cannot assimilate ‘tone’ to any semantic category. A word acquires its tone as a consequence of its use and of the rules which govern it. Tone cannot therefore be the subject of a rule. It is for this reason that we must distinguish, even in literature, between style and linguistic competence. A style might be imitated, but it is already an aesthetic achievement, not available to any language user irrespective of his creative powers.” (p. 176)

In literature, particularly poetry, it is not the semantic or denotative meaning of a word that takes priority, but first its sound, then its cultural or literary source. To a poet or a critic, sans is a world of difference from without. We cannot imagine Shakespeare using without in the famous line "Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything" from Act 2, Scene 7, of As You Like It. The meter would not be correct, the French allusion would be lost, and most of all, the sudden shift to another language signalling the introduction of a major idea would not be there. Literal meaning is not everything (nor even a lot) in literature, particularly poetry, particularly Shakespeare.

23 January 2010

Multilingual verse may be divine

In “‘I am the Nightingale of the Merciful’: Rumi’s Use of the Qur’an and Hadith” (2003), Nargis Virani argues that:

"Rumi inserted innumerable references to the Qur’an throughout his poetry either by direct quotation or by allusion. This general trend is maintained in Rumi’s mulamma’at. However, in accordance with the strictly technical definition of mulamma’ offered by literary critics of the medieval Muslim world, poems incorporating Arabic for the sole purpose of quoting the Qur’an are not considered mulamma’at. In this section, I discuss Rumi’s use of the Qur’an and Prophetic sayings, Hadith, and analyze his manner of inserting these quotations, both metrically and thematically, in Arabic, Persian and the mulamma’at verses. I argue that the complete fusion, which occurs metrically and thematically in these poems, mirrors the fusion between the Divine word and the poet’s.”

We learn two things from this brief paragraph. First, not all multilingual verse should be considered multilingual in our sense. The words in another language may only be quoted, in which case they do not really bring into the poem another culture. Second, when there is truly a fusion (rather than mere borrowing or quoting) among the words in both languages, that fusion may be considered divine. (The word "divine" need not refer to God, although believers would prefer it to; the word may simply refer to the Muse. When we say a work is "divine," we rarely mean that it has something to do with the Divine.)

21 January 2010

Correcting a critical prejudice

Charles Li's contention (summarized by Stephen Wadley in my previous post) that "pidgins rarely, if ever, produce a literature" is soundly refuted by historical evidence. Here is an account of the language and literature situation in Bangladesh in the 18th century:

"After the Turkish conquest of Bengal in the 13th century, Persian became the official language and both Hindu and Muslim communities started learning the language for personal advancement. In addition to Persian, Muslims also learnt Arabic. This led to the influx of a large stock of Arabic-Persian words into Bangla. Following the establishment of administrative, commercial and cultural links of Bengal with the Mughal capital, Delhi, during the 16th century, a large number of Muslims started visiting Bengal. Urdu-speaking Muslims engaged in state, religious and educational activities, and their families started settling in Murshidabad, Hughli, Howrah etc. Urdu-Hindi words now began to have a significant influence on Bangla.

"Persian was so important at the time that, apart from Muslims and Hindus, the employees of the European trading companies too started learning it. Before coming to India the employees of the East India Company used to learn Persian at seminaries in Britain. After observing the state of Bangla language in the 18th century, Nathaniel Brassey Halhed in A Grammar of the Bengal Language (1778) said that those who spoke Bangla using the largest number of Arabic and Persian adjectives with Bangla verbs were regarded as knowing Bangla well. The documents and legal papers of the 18th century largely used this kind of language. Sukumar Sen termed it as a 'working language' or the 'language of usage'. Bharatchandra called it yabani mishal (Muslim mixture). He himself learned this language and claimed that although it did not possess high literary qualities it was understood by all. Bharatchandra and Garibullah came from the same region of Bhurshut Pargana at about the same time. The spoken language of the common people, irrespective of whether they were Hindu or Muslim, was the language of puthi literature and thus cannot be termed as an artificial literary language. The ordinary educated Muslim liked it because of the mixture of Arabic and Persian vocabulary.

"With some exceptions, most puthi literature was derivative with poets using Persian, Urdu and Hindi works as their sources. While borrowing from these works, they not only adopted the subjects but also many words, parts of sentences and even their syntax."

I highlighted the sentence about the language of literature not being an artificial language (on the contrary, puthi literature used the language of real men and women on the streets and even in court). Scholars prejudiced against pidgin and mixed languages are simply on denial mode. If William Wordsworth were around, he would doubtless say that literature in "mixed languages" is the norm and monolingual writing is the exception, since he proclaimed famously that poetry is nothing else but "the real language of men [and women!] in a state of vivid sensation."

19 January 2010

Prejudice against "pidgin"

Prejudice against pidgins or mixed languages is deeply rooted among scholars, even linguists that should know better. Here is the beginning of the article "Altaic Influences on Beijing Dialect: The Manchu Case" (1996), by Stephen A. Wadley:

"Going even further with respect to the situation in northern China, [Mantaro Hashimoto] theorized that during the Qing (Manchu) dynasty (1644-1911), the language of the capital was not Chinese but rather a pidgin made up of Manchu and Chinese elements, as well as a few elements from Mongolian and other minor languages. Furthermore, he suggested that modern Beijing dialect was a descendant of that pidgin. Though this theory is impressionistically persuasive, the major obstacle in accepting it is the lack of solid empirical evidence. It might be expected that little or nothing would be written in this hypothesized 'mixed' language. Pidgins rarely, if ever, produce a literature. Hashimoto pointed to several texts of zidi shu (a type of 'drum song' popular in northern China during the Qing dynasty that were written in a mixture of Manchu and Chinese as a proof that the mixed language he hypothesized actually existed. Charles Li has argued convincingly that these texts were purposeful manipulations of the two languages, much in the same way that macaronic verse in the West was often simply a manipulation of Latin and a vernacular language to produce a comic idiom for the enjoyment of those who had to study Latin. Indeed, it would be unusual for a pidgin to assume the form of the language in zidi shu, since most pidgins rely on essentially a single language for their lexicon, rather than being a mixture of lexical elements. The fact that there are so few texts in this form also argues against them being a representation of the spoken language of time - although more and more texts of this type are coming to light.

"The evidence given us by the existence of zidi shu should not be abandoned entirely, however. The fact that the texts were produced tells us something about the language situation in northern China. First, there must have been some, even much, bilingualism among the inhabitants of Beijing then, otherwise there would be no audience for the pieces. Ji Yonghai has in fact presented evidence that the Manchus went through a period of bilingualism before abandoning their language for Chinese. Second, although the mixed-language zidi shu appear to be deliberate manipulations of language for comic effect, one may assume that part of the comedy is that the language parodies an actual language situation. As Whinnom has pointed out, target-language speakers often parody the language of non-native speakers of the language, not in the way they actually speak, but rather how they are perceived to speak. Thus they may produce evidence of a mixed language even though they do not produce the actual mixed language. In the zidi shu text Chaguan ('Inspecting the Pass') the Manchu language is put in the mouth of the chou (clown)."

Perhaps the prejudice stems not just from sociological causes, but from literary theory itself. Aristotle wrote about tragedy but, although he promised to do it, not really about comedy. Most literary historians say that this was due to his prioritizing tragedy over comedy. I think that Aristotle, despite his genius, just was not intelligent enough to make sense of comedy (to me, the higher form of literature).

17 January 2010

English and creoles

Searching for mixed-language poetry is always fun. I was alerted to the mixing of languages in Guinea-Bissau by an isolated sentence in Wikipedia: "Lyrics are almost always in Guinea-Bissau Creole, a Portuguese-based creole language, and are often humorous and topical, revolving around current events and controversies, especially AIDS." Wikipedia itself describes the language: "Guinea-Bissau Creole (native name kriol,kiriol or kriolu varying with dialects; crioulo da Guiné in Portuguese) is the lingua franca of the West African country of Guinea Bissau. It is a Portuguese-based creole language, closely related to Cape Verdean creole. Kriolu is spoken as a first language by approximately 15% (190,000) of Bissau-Guineans, and as a second language by approximately 46% (600,000); it is also spoken in parts of Senegal, primarily as a trade language. Portuguese itself is the official language of Guinea Bissau, although it is not spoken regularly by a majority of the population."

This bit of information is interesting to me because, in the Philippines, which touts itself as the "world's third-largest English speaking nation," English "is not spoken regularly by a majority of the population." English is an official language and is supposed to be the primary medium of instruction, but in reality, it is the national language called Filipino that is spoken in cities and schools, and it is various vernacular-based creoles spoken outside the major cities. In literature, most English writers write in what they consider "pure" English (labeled by linguists as "Philippine English" or the variety of English that is written only by Filipinos); when the actual language spoken on the streets is used is literature, the effect (like that in Guinea Bissau) is often deliberately comic.

By the way, the ranking of the Philippines in the list of English-speaking countries varies widely from Number 18 in Nationmaster to Number 5 in Wikipedia. Only Filipinos who have never been to India, the USA, Nigeria, UK, and China claim that the Philippines is up there with the biggies. Don't ask me why it should be a source of pride to speak English. Ethnologue says that English is only the third most-spoken language in the world, trailing Chinese and Spanish. (For Philippine languages: Filipino is Number 37, Tagalog 39, Cebuano 57, Ilocano 98, Hiligaynon 115, Bikol 130.)

15 January 2010

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is central to any discussion of multilingual poetry. He consciously incorporated non-English words and cultural concepts to create what he thought was or should be American poetry. Betsy Erkkila says in Whitman the Political Poet (1996):

“Although he did not draw on the musical possibilities of black dialect in composing Leaves of Grass, Whitman did introduce several foreign terms – including Spanish, Italian, and French – as part of his effort to establish a native American idiom. These foreign borrowings are neither merely ignorant nor merely arrogant, as is commonly assumed; rather, they are part of Whitman’s effort to create a racially and ethnically mixed language to match America’s democratic pluralism. Whitman was particularly fond of borrowings from the French, which he used to reflect the French contribution to American nationality and to connect America’s experience to France’s enlightened, republican, and revolutionary heritage. The French language was a consistent feature of Whitman’s poems of international embrace and cosmopolitan philosophy, and through all editions of Leaves of Grass, his favorite French borrowings were words of unity, bonding, and affectionate address: rapport, ensemble, en masse, rondue, mélange, résumé, mon cher, mon enfant, ma femme, compagnon, and ami.

"Whitman also experimented with the sound and sense of native American terms. ‘What is the fitness – What the strange charm of aboriginal names? – Monongahela – it rolls with venison richness upon the palate.’ In his verse he introduced several native American words, including moccasin, squaw, quhaug, wigwam, powow, sachem, and titi; and in accordance with his desire to rename American places, Whitman commonly referred to New York and Long Island by their aboriginal names: Mannahatta and Paumanok.” (p. 86)

I applaud Erkkila's dismissal of the mainstream view of Whitman's use of many languages as "merely ignorant nor merely arrogant." Monolingual critics have done the literary world great harm by assuming that monolingualism is the norm and multilingualism is the aberration. On the contrary, as I have often tried to show in theory, any literary text is multilingual. The "languages" involved in any text, however, need not be the big-time languages, but idiolects or dialects. The text that is obviously multilingual because some of the words are either italicized or unfamiliar to "native speakers" assumes less intelligent readers than texts that use words from more than one language without any outward warning; these latter texts assume intelligent readers that know all (or at least most) of the languages being harnessed by the text.

13 January 2010

Naturally mixed languages

We must make a distinction between different uses of more than one language in a literary text.

There are texts in one language where some words from another language (or other languages) are used. (Movies today like to do this, usually supplying subtitles but sometimes not. Writers have been doing this for the longest time, sometimes using italics but sometimes not.)

There are texts in more than one language. (Once termed macaronic or ladino, these are now sometimes called multilingual.)

There are texts in a language that is naturally mixed. (Literary critics dealing with mixed languages like to point this out. For example, Krishna Raina prefaces her study of "Mystic Trends in Kashmiri Poetry" with this: "The main language of Kashmir is Kashmiri. It is said that it is a mixed language and the greater part of its vocabulary is of Indian origin and it is allied to that of Sanskritic-Indo-Aryan languages of Northern India.")

In the first case, the author deliberately uses the other language or languages to enhance the text, either by simply adding a meaning that is not available in the main language or by alluding to the literary tradition in the other language or languages.

In the second case, the author deliberately harnesses the resources of various languages and cultures to do whatever is being done in the text.

In the third case, the author may or may not know that the language itself allows various literary traditions to help bring out the meaning. (The New Critics famously said that the "ideal reader" knows all the languages and cultures of the world and is able to point to the meanings inherent in every single word in a text. A word, for them, contained all the denotations and connotations and contexts earlier used by other authors. Of course, newer critics debunked the notion, but there was nothing theoretically wrong with the statement; it was just impossible in practice.)

I wish that literary critics of an English-language text today would zero in on the mixed nature of the language itself. After all, English today is not just Anglo-Saxon nor even just French or Latin-derived. For example, there are hundreds of words in Tagalog (a Philippine language) in English dictionaries.

11 January 2010

Irena Klepfisz

Here's a stanza from Irena Klepfisz's poem entitled "Etlekhe verter oyf mame-loshn/ A few words in the mother tongue" (1984):

di lezbianke the one with
a roommate though we never used
the word

The use of a second language ironically called "mother tongue" (Yiddish, used by mothers) in a text primarily in a third language (English) to refer to the real "mother tongue" (Polish, used by peers) is necessary from an aesthetic point of view, because the poem focuses on the use of words to make sense of reality (by using the word lezbianke while saying that she and her friends never use the word, the persona reveals something not just about herself but also about the people around her).

In her article entitled "Pearls From Tears," Arlene Kramer Richards comments about this poem:

"She writes in two languages at once, alternating the Yiddish of her childhood and her feelings with the American English of her adulthood and of her readers. ... As she speaks to the childhood figures embedded in her soul in Yiddish, she teaches us her language. She will give us a few words in her ‘mother tongue.’ Mamaloshen is the time honored conventional way of referring to Yiddish, a language used by mothers talking to their babies and each other in a culture which used Hebrew for male religious tradition and used Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Check, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and other languages in school, trade, professions and contact with the world."

We cannot get more multilingual than that.

09 January 2010

Teaching a multilingual poem

In its teaching guide to John Agard's poem "Half-Caste," BBC offers the following helpful tips to the student:

"The poet has decided not to use standard English in this poem.

"He doesn't use the standard form of punctuation. This is partly because it's a poem that is written to be performed aloud. Agard said: 'Sometimes I think no punctuation can be effective because if the words are floating in space it gives the reader a chance to punctuate with their own breath...'

"He uses the lower case where standard English would use capital letters. Even proper names - like 'picasso', or 'tchaikovsky' - are written in this way. What effect does this create?

"He writes in a Caribbean dialect -'yu' instead of 'you', for example, or 'dem' for 'them'. Why do you think Agard chose to write 'Half-Caste' in 'non-standard' form?"

Getting multilingual poetry into the classrooms (even virtual ones) is a giant step towards moving it into the mainstream. One of the barriers towards understanding multilingual or even simple immigrant poetry is the traditional tendency of literature teachers to use grammar as a standard for good writing. If we were to require conformity with grammatical rules as a criterion for good creative writing, we would dismiss Emily Dickinson as a silly poet (she wrote, "I wish I were a hay," and used dashes instead of commas and periods), e. e. cummings as plain stupid (no capital letters?), and most free-verse poets nowadays as just off the mark. (In Tagalog, Filipino literature teachers conveniently forget that Lope K. Santos, who wrote the Tagalog grammar book still used in many schools, did not follow in his fiction his own grammatical rules.)

By the way, I do not think that the poem uses a "non-standard" form nor even a "dialect." I find that, if we were to think of the Caribbeans as equal in stature to the US, these lines from the poem would be "standard":

explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when light an shadow
mix in de sky
is a half-caste weather

07 January 2010


I hate the word pidgin, a staple word in linguistics. To me, it is as bad as half-breed, mestizo, or bastard. The word implies that there is a "pure" form of English (or whatever language) and the "pidgin" is less respectable. One might as well say that, since it seems very likely that the human race began in Africa, that non-Africans (particularly Caucassians) are less "pure" than Africans and are inferior human beings. (Note that I deliberately invert the usual racial stereotypes.)

Except for the use of the word pidgin, the article "Bridges of Orality: Nigerian Pidgin Poetry" (1995) in World Literature Today by Ezenwa-Ohaeto seems promising. This is the abstract:

"The exploitation of oral traditions through a synthesized creative crucible enables the modern Nigerian writer to produce fresh, exciting, and artistic poetry. The Pidgin language provides an appropriate medium for this exploitation of oral traditions in poetry, for it acts as a bridge between the orality of verbal communication and the formality of the written word. Thus Nigerian Pidgin poetry is constructed as part of this utilization of oral resources, which has revitalized the literary scene and the poetic tradition."

If all human experiences have the same value and if languages (whether "pure" or "pidgin") that reflect or constitute these experiences also have the same value, then it makes no sense to use pejorative words to denigrate one language when compared to another ("purer", "older") language.

To cite a simple implication: a resident of Manila in the Philippines speaks at least three languages (which are mutually comprehensible, so linguists will quibble that these are just dialects and not really languages), namely, Tagalog (the language spoken by her/his parents), Filipino (the language s/he speaks in the market or street), and Taglish (the language s/he speaks when s/he is with friends in the same age group). To say that the Tagalog of the parents is a "purer" language than either Filipino or Taglish is merely to reveal one's age.

05 January 2010

Tagalog in Malta

Forgive me for getting excited, but it's the first time I heard from a scholarly source that Tagalog actually influenced a language outside the Philippines (although Philippine folklore does tell of people in Madagascar and people in the mountains of Taiwan speaking languages similar to Tagalog or Cebuano). Here's an excerpt from Thomas Stolz's "Chamorro and Malti as Mixed Languages" in The Mixed-Language Debate: Theoretical and Empirical Advances (2003), edited by Yaron Matras and Peter Bakker:

“The first known text written in Malti is a recently discovered poem by Pietru Caxaro composed around 1450 (Cachia 2000: 11-13). The earliest document of Chamorro was produced almost 220 years later. It is considerably longer than the Malti poem. In 1668, the Spanish missionary Sanvitores wrote a grammar-cum-catechism in Latin and Chamorro re-edited by Burrus (1954: 941-960). Almost at the same time (about 1650), the second Maltese text known so far appeared, a sonnet by Gann Frangisk Bonamico celebrating the Grandmaster of the Knights (Cachia 2000: 16-9). It is important to bear in mind that the early Maltese texts were originals produced by native speakers, whereas the Chamorro equivalents were written by a Spaniard probably with the help of a Tagalog assistant from the Spanish possessions in the Philippines (Burrus 1954: 936).” (p. 294)

I've never been to Malta but am now eager to get there somehow, just to hear any Tagalog-sounding word in Malti. Since Spaniards occupied the Philippines only in the last years of the 16th century (although Ferdinand Magellan visited in 1521), the Tagalog assistant must not have been very fluent in Spanish and must have been speaking Tagalog at least part of the time, influencing the writers then. More research needed!

03 January 2010

A reader on multilingual literature

How do ordinary readers react to a work with more than one language? Here's a comment submitted to Amazon.com on Paulette Poujol Oriol's Vale of Tears (2006): "The setting and way that that this story was told was perfect. Oriol's words are almost poetic and I loved the mix of French creole into the dialog. Although I was equally glad that for every foreign phrase there was an English translation. The mixed language sentences added realism to the story and helped it to flow along."

Realism or verisimilitude is indeed one thing going for using more than one language in a literary text. For many readers, that is probably enough. For readers that want to get at what the author is really trying to say, however, it is of course better if the second or third language is as comprehensible as the main language; translations are a way to help the monolingual reader. For readers that need guidance on everything going on in the text, however, the literary critic has to step in, for it is only the multilingual literary critic that can point to the deeper meanings brought about by the inclusion of other cultures through the other languages in the text. After all, it is not only the literal meanings of the "foreign" words that are important (all one needs in this case is a bilingual dictionary), but the allusions and traditions in the cultures associated with those words. Multilingual literary criticism is really multicultural literary criticism.

01 January 2010

Manigong bagong taon!

Mabungahong Bag-ong Tuig kaninyong tanan, Magayagayang ba'gong taon, Narang-ay a Baro a Tawen kadakayo amin, Manigong bagong taon, Mainuswagon nga Bag-ong Tuig ha iyo nga tanan, Mahigugmaon nga Bag-ong Dag-on kinyo tanan, Masaplalang Bayung Banwa keko ngan, Mahimungayaon nga Bag-ong Tuig, Gelukkige nuwejaar, Gëzuar vitin e ri, Բարի կաղանդ և ամանոր, e glëckliches nëies, عام سعيد , shnorhavor nor tari, yeni iliniz mubarek, aw ni san'kura, urte berri on, З новым годам, መልካም አዲስ አመት, subho nababarsho, asgwas amegas, mbembe mbu, bonne année, sretna nova godina, bloavezh mat, честита нова година, hnit thit ku mingalar pa, 新年快樂, 新年快乐, bon any nou, pace e salute, sretna nova godina, šťastný nový rok, godt nytår, sale naw tabrik, gelukkig Nieuwjaar, felicxan novan jaron, feliæan novan jaron, head uut aastat, eƒé bé dzogbenyui nami, gott nýggjár, onnellista uutta vuotta, gelukkig Nieuwjaar, bonne année, lokkich neijier, bon an, feliz aninovo, გილოცავთ ახალ წელს, ein gutes neues Jahr, Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος, sal mubarak, rogüerohory año nuévo-re, bònn ané, hauoli makahiki hou, שנה טובה, nav varsh ki subhkamna, nyob zoo xyoo tshiab, नये साल की हार्दिक शुभकामनायें, boldog új évet, farsælt komandi ár, selamat tahun baru, ath bhliain faoi mhaise, felice anno nuovo, sugeng warsa enggal, 明けましておめでとうございます, asseggas ameggaz, hosa varshada shubhaashayagalu, zhana zhiliniz kutti bolsin, sur sdei chhnam thmei, umwaka mwiza, umwaka mwiza, 즐거운 성탄절 보내시고 새해 복 많이 받으세요, sala we ya nû pîroz be, sabai di pi mai, felix sit annus novus, laimīgu Jauno gadu, feliçe annu nœvu, mbula ya sika elamu na tonbeli yo, laimingų Naujųjų Metų, gelükkig nyjaar, e gudd neit Joër, Среќна Нова Година, arahaba tratry ny taona, selamat tahun baru, nava varsha ashamshagal, is-sena t-tajba, kia porotu te ano ou, kia hari te tau hou, नवीन वर्षच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा, Шинэ жилийн баярын мэнд хvргэе, wênd na kô-d yuum-songo, umyaka omucha omuhle, godt nyttår, bon annada, nawe kaalmo mobarak sha, سال نو مبارک, szczęśliwego nowego roku, feliz ano novo, ਨਵੇਂ ਸਾਲ ਦੀਆਂ ਵਧਾਈਆਂ, bun di bun onn, baxtalo nevo bersh, un an nou fericit, С Новым Годом, ia manuia le tausaga fou, nzoni fini ngou, bonu annu nou, bliadhna mhath ur, Срећна нова година, mwaha mwema, goredzva rakanaka, nain saal joon wadhayoon, suba aluth avuruddak vewa, šťastný nový rok, srečno novo leto, dobir leto, sanad wanagsan, feliz año nuevo, wan bun nyun yari, mwaka mzuri, gott nytt år, es guets Nöis, manigong bagong taon, ia orana i te matahiti api, assugas amegaz, iniya puthandu nalVazhthukkal, yaña yıl belän, నూతన సంవత్శర శుభాకాంక్షలు, สวัสดีปีใหม่, tashi delek, tshidimu tshilenga,ርሑስ አውደ ዓመት, posa varshada shubashaya, yeni yiliniz kutlu olsun, gluk in'n tuk, Vyľ Aren, Z novym rokom, نايا سال مبارک هو, yangi yilingiz qutlug' bo'lsin, ༄༅།།ལོ་གསར་ལ་བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས་ཞུ།, Chúc Mừng Nǎm Mới, bone annéye, blwyddyn newydd dda, bon lanné, dewenati, אַ פֿרײליכע ניטל און אַ גוטער נײַער יאָר, روجىستىۋا بايرىمىڭىزغا مۇبارەك بولسۇن !

Happy new year in which all languages are equal!