The Sound of TSH

This is a list of several occasions in which the sound of tsh takes place:

  • rain/ shower
  • flushing a toilet (not the airplane type: that’s more like llllllhhhhhh)
  • the sound of the interaction between a water based liquid and hot oil  (between 175–190 °C) or more specifically the sound of a green slimy soup (molokheyya mixed with chicken stock) when poured onto fried garlic and coriander.
And here is my attempt to create words in both English and German that are associated with the production of the sound of tsh. The words exist in Arabic.
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T and Sh, the root verb of the sound of tsh in Arabic


The Tshing noun
the production of the sound of tsh

Tshingler noun
a container that collects the liquid produced by the sound of tsh

Here’s also a German attempt for the words:

Tschenen Nomen
Grammatik: das Tschenen; Genitiv: des Tschenens, Plural: die Tschenen
Beispiel: Ich habe es gerade beim Tschenen gebracht.

tschenen verb
Hat es getschent? Ja, es hat getschent.

Der Tschaelter Nomen
the container that collects the liquid produced by the sound of tsch (formerly known as a Tschenenbehaelter and Tschenenkuebel)

In Egyptian Arabic (and also classical Arabic) this verb and noun consists of two letters

ط ش

T and Sh

طشة Tasha noun

  • Egyptian Arabic: the sound of the interaction between a water based liquid and hot oil  (between 175–190 °C) or more specifically the sound of a green slimy soup (molokheyya mixed with chicken stock) when poured onto fried garlic and coriander.
  • Classical Arabic: rain, having a runny nose

طشت؟ Tashet? verb

  • Egyptian Arabic: used as a verb to ask if the previously mentioned sound was produced.
  • Classical Arabic: used as a verb to ask if it had lightly rained.

In Alexandria the two letters are mixed up thus Alexandrians would ask Shatet? instead. The root of the sound of Shatet (it has rained) and Sheta (winter) are similar, but not the same. (one has a hard t and the other a soft one)

طشاش Tashash adjective/ noun
Classical Arabic: to blow your nose or the sound produced when blowing your nose
Egyptian Arabic: to not have the ability to hear or understand very well (possibly because of the sound of tsh caused by impairment in hearing)

طشت Tesht noun
a bucket (originally used for showering, and thus containing liquid produced by the sound of TSH)

And finally here’s a flirtatious poem about food, in which the poet mentions: له في السمن طشاش قوياً Laho fi Al-samn Tashtashaton Qaweyya : in fat it has a strong Tshing

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a letter to Mr. Sloterdijk

Dear Mr. Sloterdijk,

Let me first begin this letter in apology for not writing it in German for I dare not speak this language, unless under certain circumstances that I can discuss maybe at another point.

When you talked about friendship in your lecture, which I was pleased to have attended,  I was reminded again by this news and thought it must contradict your statement on friends not needing to talk to one another. You explained how choosing a friend was based on knowing that they were not capable of having more or different thoughts than the ones you are capable of having.

I was very concerned and needed to tell you something that I thought was necessary for you to know about -but then again you might already know it.

Someone shared with me this terribly important news the other day that I think hasn’t been well-circulating. It was tragic, and yet extremely important to know about. It reminded me of what you had talked about, and I was left wondering whether you were talking about friendship or enemies for that matter.

I have attached the article for you to read. And I hope to find out more about your thoughts on this soon.



Language at risk of dying out – the last two speakers aren’t talking

Trouble in Tabasco for centuries-old Ayapaneco tongue as anthropologists race to compile dictionary of Nuumte Oote

• Get the data: the full list of endangered languages

Manuel Segovia still speaks Ayapaneco to his wife and daughter, who understand him

Manuel Segovia still speaks Ayapaneco to his wife and son who understand him but speak only a few words themselves. Photograph: Jaime Avalos/EPA
The language of Ayapaneco has been spoken in the land now known as Mexico for centuries. It has survived the Spanish conquest, seen off wars, revolutions, famines and floods. But now, like so many other indigenous languages, it’s at risk of extinction.
There are just two people left who can speak it fluently – but they refuse to talk to each other. Manuel Segovia, 75, and Isidro Velazquez, 69, live 500 metres apart in the village of Ayapa in the tropical lowlands of the southern state of Tabasco. It is not clear whether there is a long-buried argument behind their mutual avoidance, but people who know them say they have never really enjoyed each other’s company.
“They don’t have a lot in common,” says Daniel Suslak, a linguistic anthropologist from Indiana University, who is involved with a project to produce a dictionary of Ayapaneco. Segovia, he says, can be “a little prickly” and Velazquez, who is “more stoic,” rarely likes to leave his home.
The dictionary is part of a race against time to revitalise the language before it is definitively too late. “When I was a boy everybody spoke it,” Segovia told the Guardian by phone. “It’s disappeared little by little, and now I suppose it might die with me.”
Segovia, who denied any active animosity with Velazquez, retained the habit of speaking Ayapaneco by conversing with his brother until he died about a decade ago. Segovia still uses it with his son and wife who understand him, but cannot produce more than a few words themselves. Velazquez reputedly does not regularly talk to anybody in his native tongue anymore.
Suslak says Ayapaneco has always been a “linguistic island” surrounded by much stronger indigenous languages.
Its demise was sealed by the advent of education in Spanish in the mid 20th century, which for several decades included the explicit prohibition on indigenous children speaking anything else. Urbanisation and migration from the 1970s then ensured the break-up of the core group of speakers concentrated in the village. “It’s a sad story,” says Suslak, “but you have to be really impressed by how long it has hung around.”
There are 68 different indigenous languages in Mexico, further subdivided into 364 variations. A handful of other Mexican indigenous languages are also in danger of extinction, though Ayapaneco is the most extreme case.
The name Ayapaneco is an imposition by outsiders, and Segovia and Velazquez call their language Nuumte Oote, which means the True Voice. They speak different versions of this truth and tend to disagree over details, which doesn’t help their relationship. The dictionary, which is due out later this year, will contain both versions.
The National Indigenous Language Institute is also planning a last attempt to get classes going in which the last two surviving speakers can pass their knowledge on to other locals. Previous efforts have failed to take hold due to lack of funding and limited enthusiasm.
“I bought pencils and notebooks myself,” Segovia complains. “The classes would start off full and then the pupils would stop coming.”
Suslak says the language is particularly rich in what he calls sound symbolic expressions that often take their inspiration from nature, such as kolo-golo-nay, translated as “to gobble like a turkey”.

Endangered languages

Ter Sami
Spoken by only two elderly people in the Kola peninsula in the north-west of Russia. Had about 450 speakers at the end of the 19th century until it was prohibited in schools in the 1930s.
Kayardild is spoken fluently by four people – all elderly Aboriginals – on Bentinck and Mornington Islands in Queensland, Australia.
Language from the north-eastern area of Kalimantan, Indonesia. Lengilu was at one stage spoken by 10 people. Today, there are only four.
Three people reportedly speak Mabire in the Oulek village of Chad. The chief of the Mabire is the only Mabire speaker in his village so people doubt whether he is still fluent.
Originally the language of nomadic hunters in Chile. The last four speakers live in Patagonia, Argentina.
Emine Sinmaz



bitte korrigieren Sie mich

Was zu uns Weltgeschichte ist, ist zu denen nur noch Familienklatsch, hat Peter Sloterdijk gestern in seinem Gespraech ueber seine Freunschaft mit Aristokraten gemeint. (bitte korrigieren)

Oder: Welgeschichte fur Aristokraten ist eigentlich nur Familienklatsch.

Oder: Weltgeschichte bei uns ist anders als Welgeschichte fur die Aristokraten. Bei denen ist die nur Familienklatsch.

Oder: undsoweiterundsofort. The moglichkeiten sind ja unendlich.

Roland Barthes from Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes

“Being incessantly short of time (or you imagine yourself to be), caught up in deadlines and delays, you persist in supposing that you are going to get out of it by putting what you have to do in order. On your desk and in your files, how many lists of articles, books, seminars, courses to teach, telephone calls to make. As a matter of fact, you never consult these little slips of paper, given the fact that an anguished conscience has provided you with an excellent memory of all your obligations. But it is irrepressible: you extend the time you lack by the very registration of the lack. Let us call this the program compulsion (whose hypomaniacal character one readily divines); states and collectivities, apparently, are not exempt from it: how much time wasted in drawing up programs? And since I anticipate writing an article on it, the very notion of program itself becomes part of my program compulsion.

Now let us reverse all this: these dilatory maneuvers, these endlessly receding projects may be writing itself. First of all, the work is never anything but the metabook (the temporary commentary) of a work to come which, not being written, becomes this work in itself (…). Afterwards, the work is never monumental: it is a proposition which each will come to saturate as he likes, as he can (…). Finally, the work is a (theatrical) rehearsal, and this rehearsal, as in one of Rivette’s films, is verbose, infinite, interlaced with commentaries, excursuses, shot through with other matters. In a word, the work is a tangle; its being is the degree, the step: a staircase that never stops.”

Roland Barthes from Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes