Taal als Wapen


The power of language…
When Ukrainian defense forces encounter a suspected Russian saboteur passing himself off as a Ukrainian, they usually ask him to say the Ukrainian word for a type of local bread: palyanitsya. Almost invariably the suspect betrays his nationality and politics by pronouncing it with a different ending: palyanitsa. Similarly, in World War II, the Dutch resistance would ask German spies to say the name of the seaside town of Scheveningen. In Dutch, the first syllable is pronounced skheh; in German, it’s sheh. It’s an age-old practice: An account of the first pronunciation test to identify enemies, known as a shibboleth, is mentioned in the Bible. Read more: https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/03/13/putin-ukraine-russia-war-language-shibboleth-palyanitsya/


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