Well done chicken

Here’s a quote from a book which ended up making a somewhat surprising long-term impact on our family. It’s about the problems of translating hymns into tone-languages. Most of the world’s languages seem to consider tone to be at least as important as vowel quality, for example, so this is a pretty widespread problem.

When you take a melody from the West and put words to it from a tone language, you frequently end up with rather serious distortion. Continue reading “Well done chicken”

Unreliable internet? A Dashboard widget to tell you when you’re Really Online

Update: I’ve updated the widget to version 1.1 and given it its own page.

If you live in a nicely developed town or city in North America, Europe, South Asia, India, I hazard a guess that you don’t know what unreliable internet access is like. If you live and work in Africa or somewhere nice and rural, then you probably know all too well about the frustrations of access coming and going depending on the whim of mobile masts, weather, satellites, congestion, power etc. Continue reading “Unreliable internet? A Dashboard widget to tell you when you’re Really Online”

Hausa Keyboard Layout File for Mac OS X

I’m learning Hausa, and trying to type as much of it up as possible. It’s not particularly original, but I’ve used the excellent Ukelele program to produce a nice wee Mac Keyboard Layout file to make it quicker to type Hausa a little more properly than most people manage.

Here it is: Hausa (+tone).bundle (a 20K zip file) Continue reading “Hausa Keyboard Layout File for Mac OS X”

This is a test: Famous First Words

I read an interesting article recently which surveyed some of the most famous first words: first tweet, first SMS, first words from the moon, right back to the telegraph etc. But most interesting was the fact that especially today, the actual first words are normally along the lines of “This is a test. Please ignore.”

In that vein:

This is a test. Please ignore.

Well, don’t completely ignore. No-one will see this until the blog’s been running for a while, but the blog craze bandwagon being fairly firmly out of sight now, I’ve finally decided to start some kind of repository for the kind of information that some people may find useful from time to time (welcome Google, Yahoo, Bing, Bong and any other oddly named robots) and which I may want to come back to too.

It’s also another way for you and us to waste our time. (oops)