Archives for the month of: March, 2015

Reading instruction comparison

This graph shows the disastrous consequences of an irregular spelling system. English speaking children take until the age of twelve before they catch up with their continental counterparts. This is exactly the scenario we’re trying to avoid as we develop suitable orthographies for previously unwritten African languages.

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Kabiye Wikipedia progress chart

Kabiye Wikipedia progress chart

The Kabiye Wikipedia now has 125 articles in it. And a new development this week: Photos. Even managed to upload a spinning Earth today!

An exhibition is like an inhibition, only outdoors.

An intention is like an extension, only indoors.
Recently, a thief raided the village dispensary and sold the medicines in Benin. He has only just got out of prison, so that’s clearly not working as a punishment. Instead, the village chief decreed that he must work, unpaid, as night guard at the dispensary for the rest of his days. If he doesn’t turn up to work, he will be handed over to the police again. So far, he has diligently turned up to work every evening. Echoes of the Mikado: “to let the punishment fit the crime”.
Countries by happiness ranking

Countries by happiness ranking

If Togo and Benin are the world’s least happy countries, why do I so often hear gales of laughter coming from my neighbors’ compounds as I walk past?

Tone orthography seminar, Yaoundé, Cameroon, January 2015

Tone orthography seminar, Yaoundé, Cameroon, January 2015

In January, I wrote that I was in Yaoundé helping to staff a tone orthography workshop for seven Central African languages. Well, the Kabba team who I was working with have just written to let me know that, when they got back to Bangui, they organized a meeting with the language committee, who immediately approved all the proposals we had come up with about how to write tone in the language. How about that for quick work! Now the team have the onerous job of incorporating the changes into the New Testament translation, which is already 90% complete.

Download the end of seminar report (in French) here.