June 01, 2007

Marra and elan

The Marra team I work with here is just getting stronger and stronger. Their latest achievement is learning some basic skills on elan - which is a program linguists use where you can link sound to text - it helps a lot when you're transcribing and translating texts and it's good for listening to audio and reading along with it.

So JJ, AJ and AD who are all on CDEP and the language centre have all learned to use elan a little bit - selecting and playing the sound files while reading the annotated text, as well as entering in the text so that it then attaches itself to the soundfile. And the wonderful FR has been helping us with the transcriptions and translations because the rest of us are all still learning Marra.

So in the past two weeks we've transcribed and translated a 9-minute story in Marra spoken by an old lady a couple of years ago. It's been a good learning experience for me too. Here's a little bit of the story:

... wala-yurranyi na-warlja.
Guwarda-niwiyinji nana ragalunju: "buuuuuuuuuub".
"Ei! Jaw-wilanyi warlja nanggaya nyin.garr. Jawayiga!", wala-mindininya.
Yundunyuga jaw-wilanyi.
"Yundunyuga jaw-niwanji!"

Rough translation:
They used to go for dugong.
We would hear the trumpet shell: 'boooooooop'.
"Hey! They harpooned dugong, they're coming. Good-o!", they used to say.
They would harpoon sea turtle.
"We harpooned sea turtle!" (they would say).

Old languages and new technologies. Beautiful.


Sophie said...


bulanjdjan said...

yeah, very cool.