EKEGUSII ENCYCLOPEDIA PROJECT
JULY 2012 BULLETIN
Outcomes from 'Colang', Kansas University:
I should have written this earlier to tell you what happened at CoLang 2012, Kansas University.
It was good ..... we delivered our message to participants from the Americas, Morocco, Nigeria, Bengal, India, Turkey and elsewhere.
I returned home on 2 July to a warm reception. More details below .....
OUTCOMES OF'COLANG 2012'
ENDANGERED LANGUAGES CONFERENCE
Letter from the Director:
....Part of the time in Kansas was spent putting together the dictionary with the editor in readiness for printing. It is almost ready; the editor having given it a clean 'bill of health'.
We have been proof-reading the dictionary and adding other documents, e.g. proverbs/idioms, riddles, similes, a write-up of the lives and times of a community member, and common phrases and expressions.
We will shortly take it to the printer for comments and thereafter enter into final contract agreements.
We are fearful of the print cost; the number of pages has increased to about 1200 from the previous 800!
We wish to engage the printer and explore ways of having the first economic batch run of 10,000 copies.
We rely on loans and donations to pay for the printer's services, but we are determined. As they say, we have eaten the whole cow and we must not shy away from finishing its 'mere tail'.
I had the privilege of addressing the plenary on EEP's works, which was well received. Two FM radio stations have offered us a weekly program on promoting Ekegusii, and engaging community members in learning it, but we badly need a sponsor. We have been on air a couple of times and we have done some presentations to community members to encourage them to use, promote and revitalize the language.
We are looking forward to having this dictionary printed, to help generate funds for further works, revisions, training and reaching out to other communities to rise up for their own endangered indigenous languages.
Kennedy Momanyi Bosire, Project Director
If any organization or individual is able to send a donation to help with the cost of printing the dictionary, please contact either Kennedy or Nigel via the link; any currency, any amount.
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Ekegusii- English Dictionary
The need to write this dictionary arose from the the authors’ stark realization that Ekegusii language is fluently
spoken by a diminishing number of elders and mainly in the rural areas and occassionaly by those living in urban
centres away from the general community.
In the late 1960’s, Ekegusii was generally used in the main dormains (home, worship, meetings, ceremonies etc).
Learning of indigeneous languages and using them as languages of instrction was practical and generally enforced
by the relevant government agencies with provision of reading materials as well as trained personnel. Progressively,
use of Ekegusii (indigeneous languages) has diminished especially among the youth and the urbanized because
most parents no longer pass the language to their children while others openly dicourage them from such
association. The language is also under heavy pressure from English, Kiswahili (Kenya’s official languages) which
are the languages of instruction in school and the officially examinable languages beyond year three of primary
school. The youth also speak ‘Sheng’; a pidgin (or perhaps a creole in its early stage) comprised of English,
Kiswahili and other indigenous languages such as Kikuyu, Masai, Dholuo, and Luhyia.
The aim of this dictionary is therefore twofold; to document Ekegusii as well as a reference material for those who
wish to learn Ekegusii, further their knowledge on Ekegusii and English vocabulary and conduct further research
on the language.
Language Activists link , on the Consortium for Training on Language Documentation and Conservation website, and an acknowledgement and story in the
Lawrence newspaper , July 2012.
return to Ekegusii home page