Favourite titles

Favourite titles
Whether it is "Redefining literary techniques and devices", "Justifying Papua New Guinea Literature", or "Translating the Bible into Anuki", these offer valuable reading for the paperless student of literature, and indeed the best sort of literary entertainment you can get out of Papua New Guinea. Check them out either on Soaba's Storyboard or The Anuki Country Press.

Friday, 8 July 2011

The learner: more on trilingual experiments

Two women at the Waigani Campus, Ruth Kamasungua and Irene Kawakami Gashu, think they have come up with a brilliant idea in creative writing that our readers might be interested in.

It is to present a volume of poetry, almost in the Papua Pocket Poets fashion that will contain three languages: English, Tok Pisin and Argentinean Spanish. Ruth Kamasungua is the poet while Irene Kawakami Gashu does the translations into Spanish.

Storyboard has so far experimented through the blogs with a couple of these poems and they were well received. The first poem is “The Learner” and if one wishes to see how that looks like in this tri-lingual experiment then the following would be it.

The Learner

Tall, short, thin, fat
Young and old
They come in all sizes and shapes
They swarm this place
In the sea of busybodies

Books, books, books
They bury their heads
In the quick sand
Of knowledge
With great determination
Their thirst never quenched
Nor does knowledge ever ends

Then of course you have your Tok Pisin translation of the poem which looks like this:

Man i kisim save

Longpela, sotpela, bunatin na fetpela
Yangpela na lapun
Ol i kam long kainkain seip
Ol pulimapim dispel ples olsem bi

Buk buk buk
Ol I painim het bilong ol
Long wasan
Bilong kisim save
Wantaim strogplea tingting
Hangere long dringim dispel wara bilong save
Ino save pinis
Na save tu ino save pinis

The Spanish (Argentina) version of the same poem runs as follows:

El Estudiante

Alto, bajo, delgado, gordo
Joven y viejo
Vienen en todo tipo de tamaños y formas
Arrebozan este lugar
En el mar de ocupación

Libros, libros, libros
Sumergen sus cabezas
En la arena movediza
Del conocimiento
Con gran determinación
Su sed no se apaga nunca
Ni el conocimiento termina

There are about twenty-five poems in this volume and such a tri-lingual printing of the poems would enable the book to run for some eighty pages including a preface and a glossary of words.

When asked what the purpose of this publication would be Ruth explained that it would be a worthy experiment and would deserve an audience in Papua New Guinea. We have so much influx of linguistic tourism going on in our country we quite overlook the literacy potential such publications can have. Our Tok Pisin literature proves by far the most popular in the tourism world and translations such as this where three or more languages are involved would help a lot in boosting our sentiments of literacy and better explanations of ourselves to other cultures. Of course by that both Ruth and Irene would recommend usages of not only English, Tok Pisin and Spanish (Argentina) but other languages as well.

The other side of the coin would be that in the case of Ruth and Irene one would be looking at a certain amount of linguistic experience there enough to see. For example, with those wishing to know more about the Argentinean version of the Spanish language, one need not look far as Irene would always be there to help. That of course would mean having to learn and use other languages in the world as well.

Ruth and Irene’s book of tri-lingual poetry is currently in its workshop format. A title will be thought up and rumour has it that a publisher is already thinking of the possibility of printing the book.

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