Archive for the ‘films’ Category

May you walk with great power – Navajo and “Star Wars”

9 May 2013

The 1977 hit movie “Star Wars” is set to debut in Navajo (nav) on July 4.

In a collaboration between the Navajo Nation Museum and Lucasfilm, the new release will include English subtitles.

Translating popular films to Native American languages is rare, though it has happened with the “Berenstain Bears” (Lakota (lkt)) and “Bambi” (Arapaho (arp)).

Read more about this exciting development in “Luke Skywalker goes Navajo: ‘Star Wars’ gets a new translation.”

AICLS in the news

24 July 2012

Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival is in the Oakland North in an article titled “Native Americans work to revitalize California’s indigenous languages.”

California, once the most linguistically dense area of what is now the United States, is today home to about 45 or about half the original number. To revitalize languages, the AICLS has developed their Breath of Life workshops and their Master Apprentice program.

To learn more about the language history of Southern California, see Joseph Henderer’s excellent film:

Southern California Indigenous Languages Pilot Film

Value of Indigenous Languages – a film

18 July 2012

Here is a film by Kathleen Meckel titled “Value of Indigenous Languages”:

See the original with links to other videos by DVworkshops at Value of Indigenous Language A Film by Kathleen Meckel.

Fifth Festival of Indigenous African Language Films

11 November 2011

According to “Summit Resolve To Showcase Indigenous Language Films,” FIAF 2011 has just ended, and topics included using film as a medium to stress African values and indigenous languages.

Khoe-Khoegowab film to premiere on July 15

12 July 2011

Known for her award winning film “Hip Hop Revolution” and other productions, filmmaker Weaam Williams has turned her skills to Khoe-Khoegowab or Khoekhoe (family), a language continuum once commonly referred to as “Hottentot” but now considered derogatory.

Although South Africa has 11 official languages, Khoekhoe is not one of them and it is in danger of dying.

On July 15, the first of Williams’s three-part series, “A Khoe Story Part 1: Reclaiming the Mother Tongue” will be screened at the Labia in Cape Town, South Africa.

Read the article “New SA doc explores dying indigenous language” on the ScreenAfrica website for more information.


Gullah-Geechee Conference on Saturday

31 March 2011

Gullah (gul), or Geechee as the language is known to insiders, is spoken by about 250,000 people on the East Coast of the US from the Carolinas to Florida. The language is a creole, based primarily on English with contributions from Akan, Bambara, Ewe, Fula, Hausa, Igbo, Kimbundu, Kongo, Mandinka, Mende, Umbundu, Vai, Wolof and Yoruba (all of which appear to have large speaking populations).

Cape Fear Community College is hosting a conference on Saturday, April 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Wilmington, North Carolina, US. The topic of the conference is the future of the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

The Gullah people are an African-American population with a unique culture within the United States. Many Americans are familiar with the Brer Rabbit (Brer = Brother) stories about a trickster rabbit, an oral tradition of the Gullahs.

The Gullah people are working to maintain their culture, including their language. In 2005, a New Testament was completed in Gullah after 20 years of work.

YouTube has a video by Richard Green on Ultimate Gullah, a store and cultural center in South Carolina. Gullah/Geechee Nation is one of the pages on Facebook focused on Gullah culture.

A glossary of some Gullah words can be found at “A Glossary of Gullah Wordstaken from The Black Border by Ambrose E. Gonzales” and the full text of the book at “The black border; Gullah stories of the Carolina coast.” Gullah songs can be found at Gullah. The movie “Conrack” about a white schoolteacher who gets a job on an island teaching African-American children is a true story that took place in a Gullah community. Many other books and movies are also available.

TPR, Comics and Movies in Seneca Classroom

14 March 2011

Seneca (see) is a language spoken in Ontario, New York and Oklahoma. Known in Seneca as Onödowága or Onötowáka, the language had 175 older speakers in the 1990s according to the Ethnologue.

Yet the language is being taught and an educator has started a blog called Seneca Language Revitalization and Documentation. According to the blog, Seneca is being taught for 40 minutes a day in public schools at the middle and high school levels.

A post put up yesterday mentions the use of TPR or total physical response, a method that incorporates physical movement of students into language learning. TPR was developed by James J. Asher and articles are available on TPR World. Also mentioned are the use of movies. The blog post points out Animoto, a free tool for making movies from images and video clips, and Xtranormal, whose free State program allows you to make animated movies.

Another post talks about using comic strips in the education program. Seneca has a strong oral tradition, and students use the comic strip as a guide for telling a story. The tool used is ToonDoo, which appears to offer free comic strip making online.

To learn more about Seneca, see the Education page on the Seneca Nation of Indians website. See also the incredible Seneca Language Topic Reference Guide (PDF), a document about 100 pages in length covering vocabulary, grammar and culture. To type in Seneca on your computer, see the Language Geek.