Rosetta Stone: Nsenga?
But still, I’m not sure I can express just how happy we are to have a copy of this book.
Just getting the copy is a story all its own – it’s published and sold through a non-profit language and culture research centre in South Africa, and ordering, paying for, and delivering it was a bit more complicated than Amazon’s One-Click buying.
But to have something substantial about our future language – a monograph written by linguists, for linguists – is a literal Godsend. Even if the particular dialect that this scholar chose to record isn’t quite the same as the one we’ll be learning, at least we now have something to go on. We can come back from a busy, mind-boggling day of listening in the market and have something to consult, something to compare, something to look up what we heard and see what is going on. Very cool.
There’s so much information here, I’m kind of geeking out. I could start telling you all about the verb morphology, the noun-class system, the tones, the remarkable paucity of adjectives… But we can save that for another time.
For now, just give thanks with us that we’ve got something to help us get started, to help us feel like we’re able to make some linguistic progress even before we leave.