Thursday, July 23, 2009

Work or holiday in the village?

So far I have written a lot about food and the fun things that we did in the village, but no, I didn't go there for a holiday! I did actually do work. It's just that it's not as exciting as all the other things!

Elvira and I recorded stories in the Sos Kundi language about various things and we also recorded a rough Tok Pisin translation. When we had a person with a story to tell, we would first record an introduction saying, the language, the topic, the date, who was speaking and what village they were from. Then they would tell the story and when they finished the story we would say and record, "And again in Tok Pisin", and they would tell the story again in Tok Pisin.

Here's a picture of me recording a history story from an old man:

Some of the topics that we recorded were about:
How to make sago
Our fishing trip
How to make a dugout canoe
The frog and the rat
A spider that scared us one night
What we did in a language learning session
A personal fishing experience
A sago palm that fell and landed on a man's leg
A crazy woman
Dogs, pigs and sago
Our mango that looked like betelnut

We also recorded some prayers and life stories and stories about many other things. We recorded over 40 stories. As you can see, we often recorded a story about something that had just happened and made a good story.

Sometimes we (the three of us) sat down with somebody and transcribed one of the stories we recorded. I operated the recorder, pressing play and stopping it and the native speaker repeated what they heard and Correna wrote it down. Often I had to replay sections until Correna and the native speaker had heard it well and were clear on what the recording had said.

Correna will type up the text of these stories and will be able to learn more about the language and its grammar.

1 comment:

Shane & Mel Sinclair said...

Sounds like our Vanuatu trip came in handy! I love reading your blog and seeing what you're up too. Looks like your right in the centre of Gods will and loving it! Luv Mel