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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Translating Papiamentu Add Dissertation
Author: Hélène Garrett Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Alberta, Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Completed in: 2004
Linguistic Subfield(s): Translation;
Subject Language(s): Papiamento
Director(s): George Lang
Leendert Mos
Morris Maduro
Anne Malena

Abstract: Translation has a natural association with migration since it transports words, ideas and cultures and has as effect an immediate awareness of the other languages that abound. In the Caribbean Sea lie Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, three little islands bathed in the tropical sun, filled with smells and sounds that whisper of long lost ties to another continent. Here Papiamentu was born to become the mother tongue of those who called the islands home. The dissertation will briefly introduce the reader to some of the issues of colonization, identity formation and prestige or the lack thereof in minority languages. Chapter one addresses some of the more well-known theories of pidgin and creole genesis. Several translation theories are presented in Chapter two while Chapter three focuses on the oral tradition. Chapter four gives various samples of Papiamentu works written through the years by authors who use the Papiamentu language, while Chapter five highlights some of the writings by women. Through the senses and expressions of these Antillean authors one quickly learns that Papiamentu and its literature have virtually the same features that are found in other languages and literatures. These authors think of Papiamentu as their natural instrument to present the distinctive Afro-Caribbean timbre of their language. The dissertation offers in translation the dynamic presence of Papiamentu on the ABC islands and the evolution of Papiamentu literary production. Chapter six contains a poem by Guillermo Rosario in which he describes the formation of the Papiamentu language metaphorically. A concluding chapter follows. In this work I imagine myself on a journey through the various examples of Papiamentu writing as a butterfly, alighting briefly on a rock that might represent the oral tradition, then moving on to settle for a brief interval on a cactus savoring the flavor of a national anthem, only to fly on, bathed in the rays of the setting sun, and finally, having skimmed and hovered around all these high points of Papiamentu writing, tired and sated I fold my wings.