Kriol

Well, I’ve been on sort of a Kriol kick this last week, which started after I re-found Ali Mill’s fantastic Kriol version of Waltzing Matilda online. I heard it first months ago, in the lead up to the Bannockburn anniversary (yes, the two events are connected, wait for it!). A large tapestry was made to celebrate the Bannockburn anniversary with squares sent in from all over the Scottish diaspora world, including of course Australia. Now, Banjo Patterson was, unbeknownst to me, the child of a Scottish immigrant, and of course his most famous song is Waltzing Matilda (the tune of which, unebelievably, is a traditional pipe march, the Craigielea). Since songs were being put on CDs to correspond with each square, Ali Mill’s Kriol Waltjim Bat Matilda was chosen.

And here it is:

Here are the words, for those who want to follow along (and see the similarities/differences with English):

Wun balla carrdia bin cum up langa billabong
Im bin chid on a groun langa coolabah tree
Im bin chingim bat corobree watchim bat him billy boil
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi

Waltjim bat matilda, waltjim bat matilda
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi
Im bin chingim bat corobree watchim bat him billy boil
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi

Bum bai datum maaa bin cum up langa billabong
Carrdia bin gatchim wolly maaa ngee ngee
Im bin put im dtun maaa inchide langa ducker bag
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi

Waltjim bat matilda, waltjim bat matilda
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi
Im bin put im dtun maaa inchide langa ducker bag
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi

Bum bai datum marrdagee bin cum up langa dimina
Pleetjaman bin cum up wun, too, tree
Wair datum maaa yu bin putim langa ducker bag
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi

Waltjim bat matilda, waltjim bat matilda
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi
Wair datum maaa yu bin putim langa ducker bag
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi

Bum bai datum carrdia bin chump in langa billabong
Yu gan gatchim mi libe wun ngee ngee
An im pirit jere chinging out inchide langa billabong
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi

Waltjim bat matilda, waltjim bat matilda
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi
An im pirit jere chingin out inchide langa billabong
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi

Waltjim bat matilda, waltjim bat matilda
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi
An im koodook jere chinging out inchide langa billabong
Yu balla cum an waltjim bat matilda langa mi

Dibmorr diborr, dibmorr diborr, dibmorr diborr, whee!

Kriol is an English-based creole language spoken mostly in the Northern Territory. It is also the only indigenous Australian language with a complete Bible – the translation took about 30 years and was completed in 2007. Pitjantjatjara is following close behind, with all of the New Testament and about 15% of the Old Testament).

Kriol-speakers today face some problems because many people don’t recognise Kriol as a separate language, but just “bad English”, and so Kriol-speaking children often don’t get either ESL support or mother tongue provision at school. Have a look at Waltjim Bat Matilda and the Kriol Bible and tell me that’s not a separate language.

You can have a look at the complete Kriol Bible online here.

I’m going to leave you with this final thought from Psalm 23:1:

Yawei, yu jis laik det brabli gudwan stakmen.
Yu oldai maindimbat mi, en ai garram ebrijing brom yu.
Ai kaan wandim mowa.

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12 Steps to Chicken Korma

If anyone has any particular aversion to the idea of animals being raised, killed and eaten, you had better stop reading now. But take comfort in knowing the lunch’s sisters are alive and happy and well-looked-after.

If anyone is reading this who eats meat but hasn’t really thought about where that meat comes from, then by all means, keep reading.

If you just want to cook, and don’t care about where your meat comes from, just scroll down to Step 7.

I’ve blogged about eating birds from my own yard before, as well as the somewhat slightly related topic of hunting. Today, I’m going to tell you about our lunch. Right from the beginning.

Step 1

Maybe that’s too far back. I think I’m going to have to make this post M-rated.

I’m not voyeuristic. Those aren’t my birds. I got that picture from the internet. Which, I just realised, means I now have an internet history of looking for pictures of chook sex.

Moving on (the rest are my own pictures)…

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

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Look at the colour of that thigh meat! This is what you get when a bird has spent its whole life free-ranging in the fresh air and sunshine.

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Step 7: Dice the meat.

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Step 8: Add chopped onions.

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Step 9: Mix the spices – turmeric, coriander, cumin, pepper, chilli, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. The recipe also called for fenugreek, but I’m not sure what that is or whether you can even get it here.

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Step 10: Add coconut milk.

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Step 11: Pour over chicken and stir. Cook on low overnight (did I mention this was a crock pot meal?). Add chopped vegetables (I used broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato and carrot) in the morning.

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Step 12: Serve for lunch with rice, garlic naan, and lassi.

Closing the Language Gap

What if we talked about monolingual Anglo-Celtic children the same way we talked about the children of immigrants? Here’s an hilarious but oh-so-true satire article to that effect. It’s intended for an American audience, but read around that, it’s still applicable.

I don’t know how to reblog properly, so I’m going to copy-paste. Click on the title for the link to the original.

What if we talked about monolingual White children the way we talk about low-income children of color?

It is a well-documented fact that by the age of 5 monolingual White children will have heard 30 million fewer words in languages other than English than bilingual children of color. In addition, they will have had a complete lack of exposure to the richness of non-standardized varieties of English that characterize the homes of many children of color. This language gap increases the longer these children are in school. The question is what causes this language gap and what can be done to address it?

The major cause of this language gap is the failure of monolingual White communities to successfully assimilate into the multilingual and multidialectal mainstream. The continued existence of White ethnic enclaves persists despite concerted efforts to integrate White communities into the multiracial mainstream since the 1960s. In these linguistically isolated enclaves it is possible to go for days without interacting with anybody who does not speak Standardized American English providing little incentive for their inhabitants to adapt to the multilingual and multidialectal nature of  US society.

This linguistic isolation has a detrimental effect on the cognitive development of monolingual White children. This is because linguistically isolated households lack the rich translanguaging practices that are found in bilingual households and the elaborate style-shifting that occurs in bidialectal households. This leaves monolingual White children without a strong metalinguistic basis for language learning. As a result, many of these monolingual White children lack the school-readiness skills needed for foreign language learning and graduate from school having mastered nothing but Standardized American English leaving them ill-equipped to engage in intercultural communication.

“Multilingual Talks” is a new project that seeks to address this language gap between monolingual White children and bilingual and bidialectal children of color. It seems to do this by offering monolingual White parents metalinguistic training that is intended to provide them a foundation in different languages and language varieties. These parents will also be provided with a “language pedometer” that helps them keep track of the number of times that they use a language or language variety other than Standardized American English when speaking with their children. They will also be providing with a library of multilingual and multidialectal books and coached on how to effectively read them with their children to ensure strong metalinguistic development.

Multilingual Talks has recently received a 5 million dollar grant to pilot their approach in a White community that has struggled to eradicate monolingualism. The initial findings have been positive. Home coaches have reported an increased use of languages other than English as well as metalinguistic discussions related to different varieties of English by parents in their interactions with children. The project is currently moving into phase 2 where home coaching will be decreased and the parents will be expected to keep a daily log of their language use to ensure that they continue to talk to their children in languages other than English and expose their children to non-standardized varieties of English. These daily logs will be shared with home coaches on a monthly basis. The goal will be to track the students once they begin school to track their continued language development.

Multilingual Talks is one of many such projects that have emerged in recent years to address the language gap. What unites all of these projects is the idea of addressing the problem where it begins–in the linguistic isolation of the homes of monolingual White children. The hope is that by training monolingual White parents to interact with their children in ways that develop the metalinguistic awareness needed for language learning success, these children will come in better prepared to learn new languages and become successful members of the multilingual and multidialectal US mainstream.

That’s all from me today, a cheat post. But the article above is brilliant. I’m probably one of those “poor monolingual White children” who emerged from primary school “ill-prepared to learn new languages and become a successful member of the multidialectal and multilingual mainstream”… at least I’ve gained metalinguistic awareness and integrated better now!