Foundation for Endangered Languages

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10. Recent Publications

Note: Items marked with an asterisk (*) are available for review by readers. Write to the editor to request a copy.

Instant Hawaiian Immersion - audio CD package
(Topics Entertainment, $29.95)
Pat Gee pgee@starbulletin.com

Beyond "aloha" and "mahalo," the common tourist knows about as many Hawaiian words as do most residents of this state, unless they are the names of local food or streets. But with the growing sovereignty movement and continuing controversy over Native Hawaiian rights, cultural awareness has prompted some kamaaina and malihini to learn the language for their own enrichment.

To others, the pursuit of the language goes even further. Kaliko Beamer-Trapp, a Hawaiian language teacher, is among those who think Hawaiian should be on par with English -- spoken all the time at work and play, and used more commonly in legal documents. He has developed an audio CD series to keep the language "surviving in today's world."

"We represent a lot of young people trying to get the language spoken to each other all the time. If you don't believe in it this way, why do this at all?" he asks.

"We" includes Kiele Akana-Gooch, who translates historic Hawaiian documents into English for Alu Like (an education-oriented Hawaiian nonprofit agency), as does Beamer-Trapp.

He and Akana-Gooch provide the two voices on an eight-disc audio "Instant Hawaiian Immersion" course produced by the Seattle-based Topics Entertainment. The smiling face of the pretty, young woman who is "one-eighth Hawaiian and nine different things" graces the box. "I see my face all over the place," she says, covering her face with her hands in modesty. Bookstores and other outlets carry the Instant Immersion product line that offers courses in Spanish, Japanese, French and English.

Akana-Gooch said many people don't know that Hawaiian is an official language of the state, along with English; and that Hawaii is the only state with two official languages. So much has changed since a time when speaking Hawaiian "used to be forbidden" -- when Hawaii was subjugated to rule of the United States in 1898, she said.

"People can write checks in Hawaiian, testify before the Legislature in Hawaiian (with an interpreter), and write land deeds -- all the major functions ... I'm really proud that the Hawaiian language is being embraced. It's about time," she said.

"I'd like to see Hawaii become more of a bilingual state, like in Canada (where, on all store merchandise) one side is written in French and the other side in English," she said.

Tricia Vander Leest, the Topics project coordinator who approached Beamer-Trapp to work on the project, said the CD series, as well as a three-disc audio-visual interactive software package, are "doing really well," totaling 25,000 in sales a month.

Most of the sales have originated in Hawaii, followed by Washington state, California and Las Vegas, since the set went on the market in January. The mainland states are the ones where many former Hawaii have relocated, and they're interested in going "back to their roots," she said.

HOW Beamer-Trapp came to make a Hawaiian language teaching tape is a good example of how Hawaii creates and is created by melting boundaries between people of diverse cultures. His name sounds as though it belongs to a local boy, rather than someone born as Simon Trapp in England.

His first name, "Kaliko," which means "the young leaf of the 'ohia lehua tree," was given to him by kumu hula Patrick Makuakane in the early '90s when he was dancing in a San Francisco Polynesian revue. The Beamer surname was bestowed on him after the legendary entertainer Aunty Nona Beamer adopted him several years ago.

"I was very honored. ... I was very, very fortunate" to be adopted by someone who has become an icon of the aloha spirit, he said, adding the only other student she has adopted is Maile Beamer-Loo of Oahu, who has preserved hula in the Beamer style of teaching.

When he arrived in Hawaii from California in 1994 with Beamer's help, "I was interested in reinventing myself" and focusing on the Hawaiian language and culture. He taught Hawaiian for six years in a Hawaiian Language Immersion School in Keaau on the Big Island, under the auspices of the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

In 2002 he started Kili'apu Services, which has three branches: DrMacNut, a repair service for Apple Macintosh computers; 11th Avenue Filmworks, which makes educational videos and does freelance production work; and translating and editing services in Hawaiian, Marquesan and French languages.

Topics Entertainment wanted him to make the CDs without written text, as is the style of their other CDs. Topics' idea is that people can learn a language by listening to it as they are driving or doing housework.

"I know how difficult that is," he said, recalling how he couldn't pronounce Hawaiian words without seeing the way they were spelled.

One day he had a "breakthrough" idea to divide a word into "component parts," each with its own definition, he said. For instance, the word "Kaimuki," he broke into Ka (meaning "the"), imu (underground oven), and ki (ti leaf).

He told Topics he would publish some text on his own Web site for free, because "I can't imagine people trying to learn with out it. The name of the site is panpolynesia.net, which is mentioned on the first CD of the series in the introduction, but not on the box.

"It must've helped a lot of people," he said. After ignoring the site after setting it up at Christmas, he returned to discover 1,777 hits.

 

 

Akana-Gooch said the CDs are organized so that she and Beamer-Trapp act as guides, taking the student on a tour of the Hawaiian islands so they learn not only the language, but a little about the history, cultural stories, place names, music and more.

The program's goal is to teach basic sentence patterns, words and phrases, and help students apply the vocabulary and build sentences for practical conversation practice. At the start of each section, music introduces each island, followed by a story about each island and a list of vocabulary words to be used in the CD. There is no English translation, so student start to recognize key words and memorize phrases right away.

Beamer-Trapp said the language is still relevant in the modern world, even though there are words for objects unknown in ancient Hawaii, such as "computer" and "chemistry."

Since 1996, he has been a member of the Hawaiian Lexicon Committee, "Ke Komike Hua 'Olelo," that translates modern words into Hawaiian. The lexicon has been published every two years since 1987, and projects like the Instant Hawaiian Immersion course guarantee the language will continue to grow and maintain relevance in the 21st century.

Spreading the Word: the Welsh Language 2001, John Aitchison and Harold Carter Y Lolfa at £ 6.95.

News Wales, 8 March 2004 http://www.newswales.co.uk/

The strength of Welsh-speaking communities continues to be undermined in the traditional core areas of the language, say the authors of this new book.

After suffering a century of persistent decline and neglect, they say the Welsh language has seen a reversal of previous trends, thanks to increased support for its preservation and revival. But there are problems that still need to be addressed.

To survive, a language needs a core region of first-language speakers where it is the mother tongue, says co-author Professor Harold Carter. Successful promotion of the language can only be achieved by convincing all of the people of the centrality of the association of Welsh identity with the language. There are extremely challenging issues that need to be addressed.

Traditional Welsh-speaking communities, already frail and threatened with extinction, are still being undermined, at the expense of some growth in the strongly-Anglicized urban regions of south-east Wales,he added.

These thought-provoking revelations are contained in an incisive new analysis of the state of the Welsh language, made at a crucial turning point in its long history. Spreading the Word: the Welsh Language 2001, published by Y Lolfa, was researched using data from the Office of National Statistics, from the 2001 census.

Some will regard the results of the 2001 census as heralding a veritable renaissance of the language at the start of the new millennium. Others, however, will still harbour doubts as to the meaningfulness and sustainability of the advances that have been made.

Authors John Aitchison and Harold Carter are Professores Emeriti at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. They have written widely on matters relating to rural and environmental issues and the language and culture of Wales.

* Towards a Multilingual Culture of Education, ed. Adama Ouane

UNESCO 2003: ISBN 92 820 1131-3 UNESCO Institute for Education, Feldbrunnenstr. 58, 20148 Hamburg, Germany

"This book, bringing together contributions from many different parts of the world, seeks to demonstrate the normality of multilingualism and to question the teaching/learning systems which are grounded on the principle of monolingualism. Investigations carried out in 30 African, Asian and Latin American countries bear witness to the often striking failure of linguistic policies inherited from the colonial era."

Note: Aside from chapters on India and South America, this book is overwhelmingly focused on language use and educational policies in Africa, especially south of the Sahara.

Contents: Part One: An Analysis of the Issues - Adama Ouane and D.P. Pattanayak (156 pp.)
Part Two: Case Studies - 12 chapters, 12 authors (320 pp.)
Appendices: Tables and a map giving linguistic overviews of Africa; Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights, issued by Francisco Gomes de Matos (Recife 1987).
Language in Danger, Andrew Dalby
London: Penguin Books 2002
ISBN: 0-140-29064-8 329 pp.

Andrew Dalby’s powerful study shows why language loss affects us all. He explores how languages become extinct: through political power, in the case of Latin engulfing the Ancient Mediterranean; through brute force, such as that used against Native Americans and Australians; and through economics – as the phenomenal rise of English as the language of business and mass communications shows. This linguistic globalization means not just a loss of cultural identity and diversity, but also of the unique world-view and acquired local knowledge enshrined in the way we speak. The consequences, Dalby argues, will be devastating – not just for language, but for the future of humankind itself.

He recommends some interesting books, especialy about Celtic languages of Britain and Cherokee, at:
http://books.guardian.co.uk/top10s/
top10/0,6109,736896,00.html

* Enelhet Apaivoma: Guía para el aprendizaje del idioma materno toba, Ernesto Unruh, Hannes Kalisch and Manolo Romero

Asunción: Ya'alve-Saanga 2003
ISBN: 99925-3-258-0 348 pp.

This is a teaching grammar of Toba, a Guaicuruan language of Paraguay which according to SIL Ethnologue, is spoken by 700 people, 60 km. northwest of Asunción. Written in Spanish, it is intended for use within the Enenlhet community.

Contents.