Thursday, February 5, 2015

A little listen in on what our language sounds like

I thought it might be fun for you to hear a bit of what our language here in North Ambrym, Vanuatu, sounds like.  Here are 3 audio files.  This first one is with Mali, who is my Tuesday language helper.  She is sharing here about the local custom for circumcision (which is done when a boy is between 8-13 years old).  The file is 3 minutes, 30 seconds.  It's just audio and I introduce the text in English.  This is me with Mali in the picture below.

Next is Jenita, one of our neighbors, telling about when Gwen and a boy were playing with a toy snake and threw it at her, and how she freaked out about it, even though she knew it was fake.  :)  (Most people here are terrified of snakes, although there are no poisonous ones here.  They have black magic connotations.)  This one is 50 seconds and is also just audio.  I introduce her short story in Bislama, the trade language that we actually know well. I'd love to have Jenita as a language helper because she is a very slow and clear speaker, but she's from another island, Ambae, north of Ambrym, and married a local guy about 10+ years ago and moved here, and I need to stick to native speakers.

Finally, here's a New Year's song (they do village-to-village New Year's caroling here so have LOTS of New Year's songs). This one is called "Yim je ne siba", which means, "We call out thank you" (for a new year). This one is introduced by me in English and sung by Elder Harry, who is part of our village family.  It's 2 minutes 10 seconds.  Gwen, Si, and I stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve with several of the villagers and we had a New Year's carol, dance, and shouting (hip hip hooray!) time when the New Year hit.  Very fun!  I hope to know the songs by heart next near so I don't have to be the annoying person with my flashlight on, singing from my notebook, in the nice moonlight night.