November 09, 2006

school excursion

Today was scorching hot. It hit 41 degrees (at least). Luckily me and some of the language mob were joining in with a school excursion to the Wilton River, a nice little swimming spot about 30 mins away.

The excursion was for the transition class - all five year olds. They have excellent local teachers and I brought along 4 language teachers. There was a lot of swimming as well as some language classes (the kids broke up into 4 different language groups and the assistant teachers joined in very well too). Plus one old lady showed the kids how to make a coolamon out of paperbark and their regular teacher made a paperbark raft and floated one of the students on it. We all had lunch, a cup of tea and it was quite a relaxing day and definitely a good way to pass time when it's 41 degreees. Here's a couple of pics. The first one is all the kids and their teachers at the Wilton River crossing. They're laying down like crocodiles. And then there's me with a bunch of them. Awww.

November 03, 2006

Roly who?

I've mentioned before that I'm a bit of a fame whore.

And so I'm rather pleased with myself that a little article I wrote is currently appearing in a Melbourne street rag. But what is really neat is that the mag is not something I would thought I would ever be asked to contribute to. It's the inaugural issue of 'The Design Papers', a street mag put out by the National Design Centre in Federation Square. A designer called David Lancashire contacted us here and asked for a few 'pidgin' words. When I explained that what we speak here is Kriol and it's not a pidgin, they asked me to contribute a piece. So David Lancashire did some graphic design to illustrate the Kriol words I gave him, a wrote a piece about Kriol at Ngukurr and Peter Muhlhausler wrote a piece about pidgins.

What I didn't get was what a design magazine had to do with pidgins and Kriol, but the story goes is that design can be used find common ground when language can't bridge the gap and that is something shared with pidgins and creoles.

So anyway, if you're in Melbourne, next time you get a coffee look for 'The Design Papers'. And if you're mates with Roly Sussex or Kate Burridge, try and put their mind at ease because I'm sure they're getting a bit concerned about this up-and-coming pop linguist... hehehehehehehehe...

November 01, 2006

payday, cards and nappies

Today is payday and that means it's time for the big card games to start while everyone's cashed up.

After school program today I was driving around with the two guys who teach Waagilak. We drove past one camp where there was a big group of people playing cards.

"Gardi, bigis kadgeim jeya." (Woah, big card game there). I said.

My waawa, W, said, "Thei nomo sabi gu la toilet wen thei la kad". (They don't go to the toilet when they're playing cards). "Maitbi thei gu la toilet jeya igin." (They probably go to the toilet right there).

And we all chuckled.

Then my maari T goes, "Thei maitbi plei garri kimbis". (They probably play with nappies on).

And we all chuckled even more.