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Rosetta Stone: Nsenga?

February 15, 2011

Not quite.

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.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2011 6:12 am

    Alright! I ordered a book from CASAS a year and a half ago and just got word today that it finally shipped, due to constant issues with getting the funds to them. We are working with Lazarus Miti and his organization to obtain additional funding for the BT project, specifically for the language development and literacy items. He is a fine fellow – hope his book is good!

    • February 16, 2011 8:00 am

      That was one of our issues, too — our bank was like, “you want to do what, now?”

      I’m glad you know Mr. Lazarus Miti. He is a native speaker of Nsenga and a well-regarded academic, so I trust that his book is a good one. Our only issue is how different Petauke Nsenga is from Mr. Miti’s dialect. I hope to meet him some day.

      Enjoy your book!

  2. Chris LaBoube permalink
    February 16, 2011 11:32 am

    Hi Chris and Janine–I could just hear you being on the edge of “geekiness” and wanting to start pouring forth your enthusiams for noun classes, discourse analysis, etc. 🙂 I can imagine the hassel of ordering the book, but I figure it’s good prep for us, who are preapring to go overseas! Thanks for your update.

  3. Raphael Daka permalink
    November 18, 2011 2:14 am

    How can I get a copy of the Nsenga book? I am a Nsenga living in Botswana who is very keen on my language.I would be particularly interested in knowing the dialect the book reflects

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