September 2nd, 2009

Karenni (Kayah Li?)

Hi, all,

I'm going to be doing some volunteer work shortly, mentoring some newly-arrived Karenni refugees from Burma, and I've been told that the family speaks little-to-no-English.

I speak no Karenni, and only a few words of Burmese, so I'm desperately trying to find any resources I can on the language. I've done some online research, but haven't come up with much--even the usual missionaries don't seem to have much info available, and there's widespread confusion about what language the surprisingly diverse population that gets called Karenni actually speaks.

I found David Solnit's Eastern Kayah Li, which appears to be just about the only reference grammar available on these languages, but I'm not sure how useful it's going to be -- I don't know how common Eastern Kayah Li is, nor whether it's mutually intelligible with Western Kayah Li, Karen, or other related languages.

Not surprisingly, the NGO I'm volunteering for has little specific information about this family's ethnolinguistic situation to offer.

So does anyone in this fine community have any advice? Do you know any Karenni people? If so, what language do they speak, and where can I learn it?

Many thanks!
  • vero_ir

double dutch

 I was wondering if anyone could explain to me what double dutch means. I have translated the subtitle for the movie Jude from English to Hungarian. In the movie Jude prays in Latin and  when he is finished he exclaims "Which one of you knows if I said it right or not? It might be The Ratcatcher's Daughter in double Dutch for all you know."
I do my little turn on the catwalk
  • vhtry

(no subject)

The Scottish gaelic for "to conquer or die" is buaidh no bàs but I can't figure out if the accent over the "a" is right. Google gives both versions. So which is right?