外语教育网
您的位置:外语教育网 > 基础英语 > 英语听力 > 听力指南 正文
  • 站内搜索:

VOA单词大师:第187课 American Dialects

2009-08-14 17:32

More……

  More than half of the over one hundred native California tongues have disappeared.  Many others have only a few, aging speakers.  When this last fluent generation dies, languages spoken by Californians over centuries, will also die.

  At a recent gathering of some 200 Native Americans struggling to maintain their dialects, Robert Geary remembered driving in his car, listening to a tape of his long-deceased great uncle speaking the native Elem Pomo language.

  ROBERT GEARY: I was listening to this recording and I was so lost hearing my language that I was doing 80 [mph] and I didn't even know it.  I got a ticket, yeah, I got a ticket.

  Robert decided he had to learn his ancestor's language - and immediately ran into a pervasive problem for California's Native Americans.

  ROBERT GEARY: There is only one speaker left, her name is Loretta Kelsey. With her also not having anyone to speak it to, the language is even getting lost with her.

  (SOUND)

  At the shoreline of the Pomo reservation on Clear Lake, Loretta Kelsey parts some tule reeds, looks over the blue-green waters to where Mount Konocti reaches for the clouds, then turns toward Robert.  It's not a struggle for her to bring back memories of the lake of her childhood; it is a struggle to tell Robert about it, in Pomo.

  LORETTA KELSEY: Amah ko set.  Kuchinwallit.  Mecha wee hah ket kay.  Help me out, Robert.

  ROBERT GEARY: She was saying something about eating tules.

  LORETTA KELSEY: Where we're at now is where I was raised.  We'd go down to the water, we'd eat the tules.

  Robert and Loretta have spent the last five years recovering the language. Now they teach it to others in their tribe.  But it's been an agonizing process. Pomo was never written down, no dictionaries, no materials to teach the language - Robert and Loretta are inventing those as they go.

  LORETTA KELSEY: Now we're just having to do it the way classrooms do it.

  (SOUND: Teacher saying words in Pomo)

  The wind blows off the shore of clear lake as 20 native Americans from 7 to 70 gather along a row of picnic tables, watching Robert write on an old grade-school blackboard.

  ROBERT GEARY: Tichen, aweyah.  Eee.  Tzama, Tzama.

  Sixty-eight-year-old Elizabeth Jean spoke Pomo as a child. She remembers her school days.

  ELIZABETH JEAN: We spoke very poor English when I went to school. We needed to go to the bathroom and we didn't know how to say it in English.

  Jean did learn English, and she lost her Pomo. But with only one remaining Elém Pomo speaker, who herself struggles with the language, it may be beyond recovery.

  Jocelyn Ahlers, an assistant professor of cultural linguistics at California State University in San Marcos, is here at the class. She's been studying the attempts to revive the Pomo language.

  JOCELYN AHLERS: Most linquists would come to a situation like this and say, I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do, in terms of making this a vibrant speaking community again.  It's over. I'm sorry.

  (SOUND)

  In today's class, students struggle to learn greetings and names of foods.  If the goal is to revive the language in daily life on this reservation, success may be far away, or impossible.  But Professor Ahlers thinks the common bond of learning the language may be enough.

  JOCELYN AHLERS: People tend to define linguistic community strictly as this place where everybody speaks the language all the time, and I think your language community could be the people who share a desire to learn your language with you, people who say hi to you or pray with you.

  At dusk, the class winds down and the students gather in the ritual roundhouse to dance and pray.

  ROBERT GEARY: The center of it is a pole that's sticking up.  It's kind of like our gateway to God.

  Robert says that even the limited Pomo now spoken on the reservation is of value, most of all, in prayers to the spirits.

  ROBERT GEARY: It makes me feel that much more special to be able to talk to the creator in the language that he gave us.  That's irreplaceable.

  Loretta stands at the shore, amid a tangled mass of tule reeds. When she hears the others speaking Pomo, she feels both ancient burden, and new possibility.

  LORETTA KELSEY: It seems like I haven't carried it on the way I should have.  Which was wrong.  Because it's not really dying. I refuse to say dying.

  (MUSIC)

  For VOA News Now, from the Pomo Reservation at Clear Lake, California, this is Lonny Shavelson.

相关热词:VOA 单词大师
栏目相关课程表
科目名称 主讲老师 课时 免费试听 优惠价 购买课程
英语零起点 郭俊霞 30课时 试听 150元/门 购买
综艺乐园 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
边玩边学 ------ 10课时 试听 60元/门 购买
情景喜剧 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
欢乐课堂 ------ 35课时 试听 150元/门 购买
趣味英语速成 钟 平 18课时 试听 179元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语预备级 (Pre-Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语一级 (Starters) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语二级 (Movers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
剑桥少儿英语三级 (Flyers) ------ ------ 试听 200元/门 购买
初级英语口语 ------ 55课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
中级英语口语 ------ 83课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
高级英语口语 ------ 122课时 ------ 350元/门 购买
基础英语辅导课程
郭俊霞 北京语言大学毕业,国内某知名中学英语教研组长,教学标兵……详情>>
郭俊霞:零基础英语网上辅导名师
钟平 北大才俊,英语辅导专家,累计从事英语教学八年,机械化翻译公式发明人……详情>>
钟平:趣味英语速成网上辅导名师

  1、凡本网注明 “来源:外语教育网”的所有作品,版权均属外语教育网所有,未经本网授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式使用;已经本网授权的,应在授权范围内使用,且必须注明“来源:外语教育网”。违反上述声明者,本网将追究其法律责任。
  2、本网部分资料为网上搜集转载,均尽力标明作者和出处。对于本网刊载作品涉及版权等问题的,请作者与本网站联系,本网站核实确认后会尽快予以处理。本网转载之作品,并不意味着认同该作品的观点或真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人转载使用,请与著作权人联系,并自负法律责任。
  3、联系方式
  编辑信箱:for68@chinaacc.com
  电话:010-82319999-2371