Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Calendar Postcard of Ostsee (The Baltic Sea)

Ostsee (Baltic Sea) 2015

Foto: W.P. Espig, U. Merkel, G. Sachse 

This postcard is postmarked from Germany with the signatures of 16 people from a postcrossing meet-up.  

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Here is a list of what the Baltic Sea is called in a few other places around the world . . .  

The Baltic Sea was known in ancient sources as Mare Suebicum or Mare Germanicum. It is also known by the equivalents of "East Sea", "West Sea", or "Baltic Sea" in different languages:

Baltic Sea is used in English; in the Baltic languages Latvian (Baltijas jūra) and Lithuanian (Baltijos jūra); in Latin (Mare Balticum) and the Romance languages French (Mer Baltique), Italian (Mar Baltico), Portuguese (Mar Báltico), Romanian (Marea Baltică) and Spanish (Mar Báltico); in Greek (Βαλτική Θάλασσα Valtikí Thálassa); in Albanian (Deti Balltik); in Welsh (Môr Baltig); in the Slavic languages Polish (Morze Bałtyckie or Bałtyk), Czech (Baltské moře or Balt), Croatian (Baltičko more), Slovenian (Baltsko morje), Bulgarian (Балтийско море Baltijsko More), Kashubian (Bôłt), Macedonian (Балтичко Море Baltičko More), Ukrainian (Балтійське море Baltijs′ke More), Belarusian (Балтыйскае мора Baltyjskaje Mora), Russian (Балтийское море Baltiyskoye More) and Serbian (Балтичко море Baltičko more); in Hungarian (Balti-tenger).

In Germanic languages, except English, East Sea is used: Afrikaans (Oossee), Danish (Østersøen), Dutch (Oostzee), German (Ostsee - like you see on the calendar postcard above), Icelandic and Faroese (Eystrasalt), Norwegian (Østersjøen), and Swedish (Östersjön). In Old English it was known as Ostsæ, in Hungarian the former name was Keleti-tenger (due the German influence).

In addition, Finnish, a Baltic-Finnic language, has calqued the Swedish term as Itämeri "East Sea", disregarding the geography (the sea is west of Finland), though understandably since Finland was a part of Sweden from the Middle Ages until 1809.

In another Baltic-Finnic language, Estonian, it is called the West Sea (Läänemeri), with the correct geography (the sea is west of Estonia).
Felix the Rabbit Writting a Letter
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Germany (Deutschland) stamp 2005
Flowers - Tulpe (tulip) - 10

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