Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Let me tell you a story...

At some point in any elicitation process you have to let go of the comfort, safety and laziness of translating wordlists and sentences and move on to short narratives and stories.

Yesterday I asked A. if she could tell me about her family. This provoked much consternation, and so I said I'd let her prepare for today.

She had decided to get her daughter to write it in Nepali and recite it to her and then she translated it into K. Not the most natural language situation, but a good start. Then we listened back and line translated it into a strange Nepali-English hybrid. Although I often find my lack of Nepali and A. limited English a hindrance in sessions the story turned out to be not that hard to work though.

I already collected family terms, so a lot of the narrative makes sense to me, but there's lots of exciting things that haven't come up in sessions so far. Of home now to transcribe it and check it out in detail!

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