What can we sing about?

In recent conversation with friends we were considering why it seems to us somewhat odd to sing (in church, or I guess anywhere) about “God of concrete, God of steel, \ God of piston and of wheel,” etc. Here’s my working theory: Romantic ideology or worldview still exerts an influence on what Western people consider […]

I think I’ll SayMore

Why can millions of people can happily speak languages that they can’t easily write? How do pioneer writers develop a natural written style for their language? How can mother-tongue speakers take responsibility for recording and carefully archiving some of the precious songs, stories, speeches, teachings and other communication from their languages? How do we transcribe […]

Roger Blench’s website mirrored for Nigerian users

Some linguists in Nigeria have been unable to access Roger Blench’s website at the address www.roger-blench.info This seems to affect Multilinks users more than MTN or Glo users. So for anyone struggling to access the site, I have set up a mirroring service which would appear to work well. Use this address: http://rb.rowbory.co.uk The front […]

WeSay hacks: New kinds of tasks

There are some tasks that the WeSay Configuration Tool doesn’t let you configure directly. But you can write your own quite easily (as someone else has discovered) since the XML configuration file format has quite a lot of scope for extension using just Notepad or another text editor. Here we show how to do this […]

Why Dictionaries Matter in Bible Translation

Here’s a disclaimer: I first came to Nigeria in 2001 on a short term trip to help people finish off a dictionary as part of a Bible translation project. I thought that might be the last of my dictionary-making, but even though it’s not really my job now I reluctantly find myself drawn back to […]

WeSay: Dictionary-Making For New Linguists

There is a fantastic program called WeSay for facilitating dictionary development. It’s particularly aimed at helping people gather and describe words in their own language even without strong computer experience or traditional linguistic training. It doesn’t replace analysis tools like FieldWorks, but presents a complementary approach and is interoperable. Where Fieldworks lets you document a […]