Last modified: 2012-11-04 by pete loeser
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Image sent by Jens Pattke, 22 Sep 2002
I found this image somewhere on the internet. It is a soldier of an elite unit of the Bundeswehr with a curious cloth in his hands. For identification purposes the German troops on a UNO-mission in Afghanistan use the German flag with black inscription "German" translated into Pashtu on red.
Jens Pattke, 22 Sep 2002
There is a spelling error.... It is written "alman ya" instead of "Almanyah".
Dov Gutterman, 23 Sep 2002
Actually looks to me like alman-ha rather than -ya. Dov may well be correct that this is a misspelling, but keep in mind that this is Pashtu and not Arabic. The word could be different, although I must say I have no idea why it would be.
Joe McMillan, 23 Sep 2002
While in India the past several days, I checked this with a colleague who is a South Asian linguist. She said the word as spelled on the flag is Dari for the plural "Germans."
Joe McMillan, 28 Sep 2002
For those who may not know so much about Central Asia, Dari (Court) Persian is also the administrative language of Afghanistan.
John Ayer, 29 Sep 2002
I have asked my mother in law and she confirmed that almanya (one word) is Germans in Farsi, Dari being a dialect of it, it would sound logical that it would be the same.
Marc Pasquin, 29 Sep 2002
My friend Jürgen Weidhüner has studied Iranistics for four years. He doesn’t believe that the inscription is Pashtu. The characters seem to be like those in Farsi. He therefore concluded that the inscription is
Dari, which is said to be very similar to Farsi and Dari is an official language in Afghanistan. Jürgens transliteration of the four “characters” is as follows: aah – naa – ml – aa, that is reversed “aalmaanhaa“ (Germany). I have chosen double vowels for I don’t know whether everybody could read diacritics. Furthermore "characters" might be improper. I know at least that in Perso-Arabian script the dots make the difference.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 26 August 2008
Image by J. Patrick Fischer, 15 Sep 2004
Yesterday, German TV ZDF showed a report about German troops in Faisabad/Afghanistan. In the background were some tucks with the German flag painted on the doors. On the red field was written in white Arabic letters the word "Germany", just like on the flag which was reported here some time ago. I tried to draw the car flag and my artistry is not the best, but it does give an idea of the appearance of the flag. By-the-way, at the camp of the Germans in Faisabad, someone was fling a Brandenburg-flag on the top of one of the containers where the soldiers are living.
J. Patrick Fischer, 15 Sep 2004
The picture shows a black inscription, while the GIF shows it white. Am I missing something?
Santiago Dotor, 15 Sep 2004
Odd...the inscription says Alman'ha, while it is supposed to be written Almani(a)h.
Dov Gutterman, 15 Sep 2004
Could it be in Dari (or some local dialect) way of writting it?
Marc Pasquin, 15 Sep 2004
The flag on picture had black letters, the flag painted on trucks had white letters. Hmm..., maybe the Paschtu word for "Germany" is "Alman'ha" and Arabic word is "Almani(a)h"?
J. Patrick Fischer, 15 Sep 2004