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The Australian National University

Language loss

This text records Gyani Maiya's feelings about the imminent loss of her mother tongue. It includes her commentary on the recommendations of the various language activists that have visited her since the plight of Kusunda became famous. The recording was made on December 3 2012 by Bhojraj Gautam and Mark Donohue, and has been translated by Bhojraj Gautam.

Each line is coded for speaker: GM for Gyani Maiya, and BR for Bhojraj Gautam.

Language Loss 01 BR(Nepali)
əbə bhəndinus (NEPALI)
Speak now!

Language Loss 02 GM

Language Loss 03 BR
ke ke mənna …(GM ta)
Whatever is in your mind….

Language Loss 04 GM
ta gepən mi: əndzi
This language is going to be lost.

Language Loss 05 GM
tsi gimmjaqa gebgepən ətn tsi
I am the only one speaking this language.

Language Loss 06 GM
nətima gepən ədu
There is none to talk with.

Language Loss 07 GM
ədzi ədzi nu utaŋdzi…
When other people come here…

Language Loss 08 GM
ta gepən əgo
"Speak this language!"

Language Loss 09 GM
ləmbə əgo
"Teach (this language)!"

Language Loss 10 GM
ədzi ədzida ləmbə əgo duktsi niŋgitsi…
"And, teach others, your son and daughter…"

Language Loss 11 GM
…bəji swattəida ləmba əgo
"…teach to your daughter-in-law and all others!"

Language Loss 12 GM
nətn ləmbə ənu
"Why do not you teach them?"

Language Loss 13 GM
They say (so).

Language Loss 14 GM
ləmbə əgu tsi nətn ədu
As they do not learn, what can I do?

Language Loss 15 GM
mjaqa tsi toqdu ta qau nətn ba
I am alone and if I died, then there is nothing.

Language Loss 16 GM
tsi na gepən əgəndzi…
For me..someone who can speak the language…

Language Loss 17 GM
qasti na qasti gebgepən əgəndzi
Even one of the man who could speak the language…

Language Loss 18 GM
nu mehaq tsi gaˤ ta we: da tsitn
I think it would be better if there was such a person.

Language Loss 19 GM
ədzin ədzi nu utaˤŋdzi…
Other people come here…

Language Loss 20 GM
gepən əgo…
"Speak your language…"

Language Loss 21 GM
ləmbə əgo undzi
They suggest for me to teach the language.

Language Loss 22 GM
ləmbə ədi ta nəti ləmbə əgəndzi
Though I am ready to teach, is there anyone to learn?

Language Loss 23 GM
ləmbə əgu nətn ləmbə əda
Since they do not learn, how can I teach them?

Language Loss 24

Language Loss 25 GM

Language Loss 26 GM
na gepən na gepən ləmbə əgo ləmbə əgo tsitn
I tell them to learn the language.

Language Loss 27 GM
They do not know it.

Language Loss 28 GM
kampe kampe aqandzi
They pronounce it in very different way.

Language Loss 29 GM
kampe kampe gepən
The very different langauge…

Language Loss 30 GM
nətn gepən əda undzi jiodze ta…
"How to speak the language." , they say. But, now….

Language Loss 31 GM
ətn ətn undzi…
..they are ready to speak now.

Language Loss 32 GM
na pə…u

Language Loss 33 GM
bhodrad bhəja waha daqandzi səmbaga ədaq undzi
They say "We will speak (learn) it after brother Bhoj Raj goes home."

Language Loss 34 GM
…jiodze eu həraŋ əgən
(laugh) Now, they have come to know (the truth).

Language Loss 35 GM
…jiodze eu həraŋ əgən
(laugh) Now, they have come to know (the truth).

Language Loss 36 GM
ədaq undzi
They are eager to learn.

Language Loss 37 GM
əsa utaəgəndzi
When will he do it?

Language Loss 38 GM
tsi gidzaŋba wen qau
My body is not also well.

Language Loss 39 GM
dzəu matə utaŋdzi
I always suffer from fever.

Language Loss 40 GM


Language Loss 41 GM
gina haŋnwa
He does not live here.

Language Loss 42 GM
hampe gepən əda
Then, how to talk?

Language Loss 43 GM
hampe hampe hampe hampe matə daqandzi gimdzi
He always goes to all different places.

Language Loss 44 GM


Language Loss 45 GM
hampe gepən əda
How to talk, then?

Language Loss 46 GM
gepən əgu ta we: da
It would be bettter if they talked?

Language Loss 47 GM
tsi toqdu bela ənin
I am old now. ( I might die.)

Language Loss 48 GM
toqdu bela ənin jiodze gepən əgu ta ləmbə əgu ta we: da
It would be better if they learnt since I am very old now.

Language Loss 49 GM
tsi mjaqa nətn ədu
What can I do? Since I am alone.

Language Loss 50 GM
nətiba qai
There is none to talk with.

Language Loss 51 GM
ləmbə əgo undzi nu
The people tell me to teach the language.

Language Loss 52 GM
(The people) come here.

Language Loss 53 GM
toqon ugi nu…
The man who came few days ago…

Language Loss 54 GM
The man…

Language Loss 55 GM
gepnə ən me(haq) nu matə ki ədzi ba tsi udzi
He asked me whether there is only me or other also to speak the language.

Language Loss 56 GM
…qai nətiba qai
No, there is noone.

Language Loss 57 GM
qasti tsi jakantsha niŋgitse tsi da hana dəgəi hana dəgəi
There was one of my youngest uncle's daughter and her whereabouts is not known.

Language Loss 58 GM
tsi matə
(There is) only me.

Language Loss 59 GM
nətima gepən ədu udzi
There doesn't seem to be anyone (else).

Language Loss 60 GM
For the son…

Language Loss 61 GM
for the daughter…

Language Loss 62 GM
…for the daugter-in-law…

Language Loss 63 GM
natida ləmbə əgo udzi…
and for the grandson, he told me teach the language… (with cock-crow)

Language Loss 64 GM
ləmbə əgo undzi ləmbə əgu tsitn ta
They tell me teach the language but as I expect it (either they would learn)

Language Loss 65 GM
ləmbə əgu tsi nətn ədu
As they do not learn, what can I do?

Language Loss 66 GM
n (l)əmbə əgu da gimdzi da
If they learn it, it is for their sake.

Language Loss 67 GM
tsi toqdui bela ənin
I am old now. ( I might die.)

Language Loss 68 GM
əẽəgu ta…
If they do not learn…

Language Loss 69 GM
əj ədzi haŋəndzi
They live without learning it.

The entire text (152 seconds) can be accessed in one file:

Updated:  15 May 2013/Responsible Officer:  Mark Donohue /Page Contact:  Mark Donohue