Monday: Hili dialogue

It’s July 18, 2016,  a steamy Monday here in Chicago, but it’s Nelson Mandela International Day, so let’s remember his legacy. Also on this day, in 1870, the First Vatican Council declared the Pope infallible (I prefer “inflammable”, as Archie Bunker called it) when speaking ex cathedra.  This was, of course, just a committee decision, not some fiat from God.  On July 18, 1925, Hitler published Mein Kampf, and, in 1969, Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, killing campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne. And on this day in 1976, Nadia Comăneci received the first perfect 10 in gymnastics at the Olympics (in Montreal); it was on the uneven parallel bars. Hard to believe that she’s 54 now!

Notables born on this day include Vidkun Quisling (1887), Astronaut and politician John Glenn (1921, celebrating his 95th birthday!), and Hunter Thompson (1937). Those who died on this day include Jane Austen (1817), Mimi Fariña (2001), and, of course, Mary Jo Kopechne. Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the cherry harvest will begin this week, so I’ll miss the bulk of it; but I am assured of constant pies made from frozen cherries. One reason the harvest is unexpectedly early is that there has been a lot of rain, which has kept our Hili impatiently indoors:

A: Hili, what are you doing?
Hili: I’m trying to hear whether it stopped raining.
In Polish:
Ja: Hili, co ty robisz?
Hili: Słucham, czy przestało padać.

Leon and his staff are now in southern Poland, searching for an entire antique wood house, which will be disassembled and moved up to their new land near Wroclawek. Naturally Leon, riding in the car, is impatient, for he wants a snack.

Leon: Are we there soon?


In Montréal, the French sign has gone up at Le Cafe Sauvage:


And Matthew sent this Soviet poster that reads “There is no God!”

Oh, and if you want to know the vitals on Mike Pence, The Donald’s pick for GOP Vice Presidential Candidate, go see Heather Hastie’s summary at her website. Good post.


  1. Posted July 18, 2016 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I came across an old copy of Mein Kampf in a second-hand bookshop at the weekend: it was a much shortened, bowdlerized version. One wonders which parts the editors thought so offensive that they had to edit them out.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I first learned of Quisling after Dawkins used it in a phrase “compliant Quislings”… I wish I could recall everything like this…

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Speaking of rain in Poland, we got hammered here in the Midwest during the night and still at 7 am. I see over three inches and someone in town reported four inches. It was very much like a hurricane for awhile and lots of tree branches down. Oh well, now maybe the floods?

    • George
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Depends where in the Midwest – or the Chicago area. Starting around 9pm, all the local TV stations cut away from regular programming to go to non-stop emergency weather mode. There were huge storms and possible tornadoes south of the city moving into Northwest Indiana. Where I live, nothing.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        I am in far southwest Iowa. We got pounded with high winds and buckets of rain. About 4.5 inches so far in less than 7 hours. Forecast is for lots of heat and humidity so going out and doing clean up will not be pleasant.

  4. E.A. Blair
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The people at that tw*tter page are woefully ignorant of the Cyrillic alphabet. Because the letters at the bottom of the poster are partially cut off, they assumed that the third letter was a Latin ‘F’. The full inscription is “БОГА НЕТ!”, which transcribes into the Latin alphabet as “BOGA NYET!”, which is literally “God No!”. The Cyrillic letter that represents the sound of English ‘f’ is ‘Ф’ (lower case ‘ф’), which is derived from the Greek letter Phi. The letter being interpreted as an ‘f’ is ‘Г’, which represents the sound of ‘g’, and is derived from the Greek letter Gamma.

    I don’t twit, but if someone out there would like to enlighten those poor souls, feel free to copy this comment and do so.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Yes, my knowledge of the Greek alphabet makes reading Cyrillic much easier, though sometimes I mix up stuff too.

    • Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      If your translation is correct, then it is something of a joke, too, right? (Well, at least in English there is the saying “God, no!” meaning emphatically no, right?)

    • Posted July 18, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure if we’re looking at the same poster, but “BOGA NYET!” does mean “There is no god!”, not “God No!”. “BOG NYET!” would literally mean “God No!”, except that would be pretty much meaningless in Russian, since the phrase “Bog nyet” isn’t an equivalent of English exclamation “God, no!”, but just a pairing of these two words.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted July 18, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        I bow to your authority. I can read Cyrillic but I don’t know the Russian Language.

  5. Eric Grobler
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Just the look of Mike Pence make me cringe.

    Somehow you do not need to read his bio, his image just screams fundamentalist Christian.
    Perhaps Leopold Szondi can explain.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      He’s got a Nazi look to me. I know Godwin, but seriously, I can see him in a Nazi uniform.

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Glad your French sign is more prominent than your English one and there will be no fines today!

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Jane Austen died of an unknown ailment quite young at the age of 41 just a few years after the publication of most of her novels.

  8. John Frum
    Posted July 18, 2016 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Shouldn’t the sign say ‘Ne mangez pas…’?

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