Just took the Wikipediholism test and scored 277 which I thought was quite modest given that the top score is 5000. But apparently it means I’m “a Pro”, which is one step further on from being “an Addict”, which is weird.

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Omniglot is a treasure trove. It’s an encyclopedia of writing systems and languages. You can use it to learn about languages, to learn alphabets and other writing systems, and to learn phrases in many languages. There is also advice on how to learn languages.

… you have to turn plugs on before they’ll work.

On my return to Togo yesterday I learned that a severely mentally handicapped beggar, about 17, was burned alive in Kara a few weeks ago by unknown assailants for unknown motives.

I’ve known him since he was about eight years old. He used to flag my car down in the market. If I didn’t stop, I’d catch him in my rear view mirror, flinging himself onto the ground and beating his head on the tarmac in frustration. I soon got the message, and would usually pull over to give him 100 cfa (13p).

And that’s how we got to know each other. He couldn’t speak, so I never learned his name. But he could grunt, smile and make everyone laugh.
Paix à son âme.

End of week 12, and we’re done at last. It’s been a long haul. Traveled down to Abidjan yesterday, and am lying low today in decompression mode.

This has been home for the last three months.

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End of week 11 and the end is in sight. This week we recorded 22 volunteers reading their language using two different spelling systems, then scored the results syllable by syllable.

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End of week ten, and the training phase is over. Altogether we’ve trained 68 volunteers in four different versions of the orthography.

The daily visit to the pool is paying off in more ways than one. Yesterday I dived in and found a 5000 cfa note (£6.50) on the bottom.

End of week 9. Yesterday morning we recorded 13 people reading versions three and four of the orthography. Then I slept for the entire afternoon. This research project is a marathon!

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The Kabiye Wikipedia now has over 900 articles. Recent additions include Augustus Caesar, NATO, free will, Johann Gutenberg, the Han dynasty and metallurgy. We’ve been having fun adding infoboxes, maps, photos, audio clips and links too.