Tuesday, November 17, 2015
The Tashelhait Video
This is a house just down the street. I first photographed it in June, when the wisteria and bear's breeches were so leafy they practically engulfed that lion. (I could have sworn I blogged that photo, but I can't find it now -- so here it is on Flickr.) Now, autumn has thinned the vegetation quite a bit. I dig those purple flowers painted on the wall, which you couldn't even see six months ago.
On Sunday, as a school project, Dave and I made a short video of me speaking Berber. You may remember that I speak a dialect called Tashelhait, which I learned when I lived two years in the south of Morocco. Well, there's a foreign language club at school, and the kids are collecting information about all the languages that other students, faculty and staff members speak. As you can imagine, I am the sole Tashelhait speaker in the building. Those of us who are the only speakers of a given language were asked to make a video so others could hear it.
Now, it's been years since I spoke Tashelhait actively, and I was never truly fluent. But nonetheless I had Dave film me saying some basic things -- greetings, introducing myself and naming some common nouns. (I even introduced Olga in Tashelhait.) It's funny -- the rhythm of the language came back pretty quickly, and even certain words that I hadn't thought of in ages. I guess it's all still in there somewhere!
I'm not going to put the video online, because I'm sure to a native Tashelhait speaker I sound pitifully bad. But it was fun to reawaken that part of my brain, and funny to think that even now, 21 years after I left the Peace Corps, I'm still accomplishing one of its goals -- helping to share the culture of the country where I lived.