Work in Progress

A Rowbory family blog from Nigeria

Meat? People of hair?

The Greek word σαρξ (sarx) gets a variety of translations. Sometimes it means meat or flesh. In Luke chapter 3 verse 6 the message from Isaiah (40:5) is a promise that after the way is cleared, all σαρξ will see the God’s salvation. The Hebrew word was בָּשָׂר֙ ‘basar’, which has a similar (but not …

Assembling Solar Panels

Together with my friend Gideon Ishaya I’ve been finally completing a project I had in mind for many years: fabricating solar panels using local components. We’ve tested the prototype panel for a few days and despite having many broken panels and the weather being cloudy, it seems to generate at least 15W but possibly more. …

May/June/July: Literacy, Translation, Holidays!

Here’s our latest newsletter, looking back at May and June and ahead to July. Do get in touch if you’d like to hear specific things next time.

Tadpoles

This is one of our girls’ favourite times of year in Nigeria – when streams run down and pool a bit with just the right kind of environment for tadpoles. This year Rebekah appears to be naming hers, and there seems something of a K-Pop theme. I guess tadpoles read backwards, which would be why …

New tune: Lord, I have made your word my choice

I spotted another classic hymn (557 in Praise!) and decided another new tune was in order. This time I had an assistant to sing with me:

You will know that I am the LORD

Reading Ezekiel with my daughter Rebekah is very interesting. The other day we had a chapter (2) that reminded her of Taffy Tegumai in Rudyard Kipling’s Just so stories. (“For they are a rebellious people.”) All the way through it’s been mildly disconcerting to have Ezekiel addressed as “Son of Man” if you’re used to …

How do we write this? Grammaticalisation causing trouble

There are many conundrums in writing the Ishɛ language that I’ve been aware of for some years. One is how to write a verb that pops up in natural speech sounding like ‘aguna‘, or ‘ugunu‘ or ‘egune‘, often explained as meaning ‘again’. (In the negative the construction doesn’t mean ‘again’ so much as ‘no longer’ …

App updates: Naija Type & Ashɛ testing

After 2 weeks of hard work some improved text is available in the latest Ashɛ scripture test app for Android phones. (Let me know if there’s any interest in an iOS version.) Some suggestions and bug reports have led to an updated Naija Type Android keyboard app and Keyman keyboard (usable in iOS with Keyman).

Quickly building (Keyman) Predictive Text keyboards

The excellent Keyboard App Builder helps you build keyboards for Android devices, wrapping the very clever Keyman Android Engine. I’ve been working on a keyboard for the Nigerian languages I know and one feature I’ve been experimenting with is predictive text, where the keyboard suggests what it thinks you may be saying so you can …

Naija Type – a keyboard for Nigeria

Can you type the ₦ Naira symbol correctly and easily? The Koro Ashɛ team and many others have asked me about the best way of typing their languages correctly on phones, I’ve been putting together an Android App and a KeyMan keyboard. It includes the ₦ symbol and all kinds of letters like ə ɛ …