TLC Gears Up for Summer 2016 with Community Language Documentation Projects

While everyone is putting on their sunglasses and getting ready for summer break, the TLC team is doing a mic check to gear up for our busiest season! The air is buzzing with excitement for the Lakota, Crow, and MHA Summer Institutes – but they’re not the only projects TLC’s partner communities are working on.

 

Sisters Martha Birdbear and Mary Gachupin recording in New Town, ND for the Hidatsa Vocab Builder.

Sisters Martha Birdbear and Mary Gachupin recording in New Town, ND for the Hidatsa Vocab Builder.

 

Out in MHA Country, Hidatsa speakers and documentation associates are preparing to finish recording all the words for the Hidatsa online dictionary. Last year, TLC’s documentation associates worked with speakers to record about 2,500 Hidatsa words – many of which were used to create the Hidatsa Vocab Builder. This year, we’ve got a great group of helpers ready to take on of recording 3,000-4,000 new words. Additionally, documentation associates will work with speakers of Hiráaca, sáhniš and Nú’etaa to record narratives and stories, which will be transcribed and used for textbooks, children’s books, and other language materials in the future.

 

 

 

Recording with Margo Real Bird from July 2015. Margo shared stories about her 25 years teaching elementary school, her life raising three children (and now grandchildren), and the craftsmanship she enjoys, like making elk tooth dresses.

Recording in Crow Agency with Margo Real Bird from July 2015. Margo shared stories about her 25 years teaching elementary school, her life raising three children (and now grandchildren), and the craftsmanship she enjoys, like making elk tooth dresses.

This summer in Crow Agency, documentation associates will continue work on the Crow Language Education Project – an ongoing effort to create materials for Apsáalooke. Last year, documentation associates collaborated with Crow speakers to record a multitude of stories about Crow traditions, culture and personal narratives about travel, family life and the importance of Crow language education. While last year speakers worked to record all of the words for the Crow Vocab Builder, this year’s grand undertaking is recording 15,000 words for the Crow Audio Dictionary! The dictionary, which we hope to complete by 2017, will be an accessible, accurate and comprehensive tool – beneficial for the current speakers of Crow, as well as for the new generation.

To follow the adventures of our documentation associates this summer, stay tuned and check in on the Crow, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and TLC Facebook pages.