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As Bilingue (also: bilingual text , from lat .: bilinguis = bilingual) a written document is called, contains versions of the same text in two different languages. If the translation is true to the original, the content of both texts is identical. However, there are occasional deviations. As Trilingue (also: trilinguis from lat .: trilinguis = trilingual) a written document accordingly, contains the versions of the same text in three different languages.

Old bilingual and trilingual are especially important for research on writing and language. Especially if one of the two scripts has not yet been deciphered or the language used is not known, but the script and / or language of the other is well known. In this case, provided the text is long and the content is as identical as possible in both languages, it is possible to decipher the previously unknown script or to interpret the unknown language.

Well-known bilinguals

Gold sheets from Pyrgi

The gold sheets from Pyrgi discovered by Massimo Pallottino during excavations in 1964 are three thin gold sheets, two of them in Etruscan and one in Punic . The longer Etruscan and Punic inscriptions have similar content, but are not identical. In addition to the Agramer mummy bandage, the metal sheets are an outstanding find of the Etruscan script and language.

Bilingual from Kaunos

A more recent example is bilingual from Kaunos (Western Asia Minor ). The text is carved in the stone in ancient Greek and Carian . Carian is the language of the Carians , an ancient people in West Asia Minor. So far, the Carian language was only known from a few short monolingual inscriptions, which could not be translated. In the mid-1990s, Kaunos' bilingualism succeeded in deciphering the Karer language at least partially.

Inscription on the pillar tomb in Thugga

A famous bilingual inscription on the pillar tomb in Thugga , known in Europe since 1631, shows two identical seven-line texts in Numidian and Punic . The inscription thus became the basis for deciphering the Numidian language.

Bilingual from Karatepe

The bilingual Karatepe in Phoenician and hieroglyphic Luwian language was instrumental in deciphering the Luwian hieroglyphs at the time of the discovery even than -Hittite hieroglyphics were called.

Well-known trilingues

Rosetta Stone

The famous stone of Rosetta , with the help of which it was possible to find the key for deciphering the Egyptian hieroglyphs , is written in three varieties or languages ​​(hence a trilingual ): in hieroglyphics , in demotic and in ancient Greek .

Behistun inscription

The Behistun inscription is also a trilingual tablet, in the languages Old Persian , Elamite and Babylonian . The text describes the ascent of the Achaemenid king Darius I. The inscription was first completely copied and published by Henry Creswicke Rawlinson . With this, the last open questions about the deciphering of the cuneiform could be solved.

Trilingue from Letoon

The so-called Trilingue vom Letoon (also Trilingue von Xanthos) is a stele inscribed in Aramaic , Greek and Lycian languages ​​(Lycian A), which was discovered in 1973 in the Leto shrine near Xanthos , the ancient capital of Lycia (Asia Minor). It is now in the Museum of Fethiye (Turkey). The Greek and Lycian versions largely correspond to one another, but the Aramaic version is more of a short text.

Well-known quadrilinguals

Myazedi inscription

The Myazedi inscription , found in Bagan , the historic capital of the kingdom of the same name in what is now Burma , is written in four languages: Pali , Pyu , Mon and Burmese . It is dated to the year 1113 and made it possible for Charles Otto Blagden in 1911 to partially interpret the until then virtually unknown Pyu language.

The term in classical archeology

Based on the philological term, in classical archeology Attic vases that are painted in black-figure as well as red-figure technique are called bilinguals .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Bilinguis  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Trilinguis  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations