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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kun moga, kun moga, kun moga

A Portland State prof makes a splash with a wonderful international project.

Comments (2)

What a project and such dedication! Africa is not an easy place, and the bush is especially difficult. For those of us who have experienced it however briefly, we can only begin to understand the sacrifices this man, and others like him are making.
Just from a health standpoint, it will take him months of pain and suffering just to get rid of the 'bugs" he has picked up when he returns to "civilization'.

I remember when I lived in Northern Japan my introduction to the language was the Tsugaru dialect. I quickly learned that in Tokyo this was culturally equivalent to learning to speak English in the backwoods of Appalachia. While Tsugaru-ben is historically interesting it has negatively impacted the economic and social developement of the region. I will be sorry to see it go, but I don't think the locals will. The other problem was that the Tsugaru folks did not get along well with the Nambu clan on the other side of the mountains. You wouldn't want your daugther to marry one of those Nambu types now would you?

So Africa has 2000 of the worlds 6000 languages. People who live across the river from each other cannot communicate without a 3rd language (Swahili, English, French etc.). Maybe the best thing we could do to assist 3rd world peoples in their struggle to join the 21st Century would be to assist them in speaking a common language rather than working to maintain a divisive communication and cultural barrier.

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