Monday, September 14, 2009

To Work Indeed!

L. sure has lived up to the stories I heard about him, after yesterday morning's post he introduced me to A., a K. speaker living in Kathmandu, and this morning we had our first session!

So this is probably a good juncture to explain exactly what (ideally) happens in an elicitation session. As it was only the first session, I decided to keep it simple, and get words for body parts, colours, numbers - things that I kind of know the Nepali words for, because A. doesn't speak much English. L. had explained to her that she needed to repeat what I said in K. three times. Only problem is, when I asked her "what is your name" she tried to teach me how to say it in K. - much confusion ensued...

It was a very crazy session, L. stayed, and A.'s son helped translate, and other family members kept coming in to check out what was happening, and of course, everyone had an opinion. Also, being Kathmandu, it is impossible to not have background noise, the recording is littered with the sounds of motorbikes, birds, people hocking up lungs, and mobile phones ringing.

Although I'd prepared about 7 pages of words, all in English and Nepali, we were done in a little over an hour. So I'm going to have to do heaps of work to ensure that I have two hours worth of stuff for future sessions.

A, is lovely, and appears to approach the whole endevour with the attitude of a bemused mother. Her son and daughter understand a little K., but they mainly speak Nepali.

So now I have about 60 minutes worth of audio, and some 60 or 80 pieces of vocabulary. I'll spend the rest of the day reading over the transcriptions, checking the recordings, adding things, writing it up in the 'good' notebook, putting the words into the database program, and figuring out what to do for the next session tomorrow.

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