03 October 2011
A little gift goes a long way
Today I silently thank Rev. Fr. Bruno of the Ranau Catholic Parish for having given me a Dusun bible some years ago. It was the time I started getting serious in my Bundu Dusun language analysis to aid my understanding of how the language works in order to create better teaching and learning materials for the students.(The work continues on, although there have been a lot of halts along the way.)
Many might think what has a bible got to do with this? But it actually does a lot for me. I especially realize it today when I was translating some personality quiz materials for my students to try out in the classroom. (God knows a language classroom without elements of fun in it can 'kill' the teacher and students!). Many words in the personality test, as expected, are adjectives describing people. Needless to say, it is so difficult to find the equivalents in Dusun.
I was giving up on the translation when I remembered to look in the bible. I thought if I typed in the words I was looking for in the online bible website, I'd be able to check them in the dusun bible. I took it from the shelf, and started my project. True enough, words such as 'loving, gentle and kind' are shown in many verses and I was able to check them up in the Dusun bible. Who would have thought that the word 'gentle' that I was still not able to translate after an hour was easily found?(and it's 'alamaya' by the way)
My self-lesson today: never take religious texts for granted. Even if you are not reading them to 'hear the words of God', you can certainly learn languages from them, the way the languages are used by the community .
My next target is to get my hands on the Islamic hadis translation in Dusun. I think there has to be one, because I used to hear the Friday sermon (khutbah Jumaat) being read in the Dusun radio station. It would be interesting to see how the two religious communities speaking the same language translate the language.
Thank you Fr. Bruno. You have given me a gift that I would be able to use in many areas of my life.