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Island Voices in India

As part of the “Mediating Multilingualism” colloquium held at Amity University Haryana, Gordon Wells was invited to speak about Island Voices. Here are his introductory remarks:

“Latha math, a chàirdean. Tha e na urram dhomh a bhith a’ bruidhinn ribh aig a’ choinneamh an seo, agus tha mi airson taing mhòr a thoirt dhan fheadhainn a rinn obair mhòr airson a cur air dòigh. Agus tha mi gu math dòchasach gum bi deagh chòmhradh againn thairis air an dà latha a tha romhainn.

Colloquium organiser Professor Udaya Narayana Singh with Island Voices co-ordinator Gordon Wells

Much as I would love to continue speaking in my mother’s Mother Tongue for the next half hour, I suppose I should switch to our shared Other Tongue for the purposes of EFFECTIVE communication across languages, with some regret if the communication loses some of its AFFECTIVE power through not being delivered in what my mother claimed to be the “Language of Eden”! (I was just saying it’s an honour to be here, and we’re very grateful to our Amity colleagues for all the preparatory work to set this colloquium up.)

I plan to outline the development of the project over the last 10 to 12 year period, give an overview of its component parts, and generally talk about how it works. It’s a project that was designed and developed to meet a particular geographical and linguistic need. Whether any of its elements may be open to transfer or adaptation to other contexts is an open question, which I would hope we may be able to discuss in due course.

इसके ऊपर मैं यह भी कहना चाहता हूं कि, हमारी तरफ़ से, हम जानते हैं कि भारत एक बहु-भाषीय देश है जहां बहुत बहुत अलग अलग भाषाएं साथ-साथ चलती रहती हैं, और हमें उमीद है कि दोनों भी तरफ़ से हम एक दूसरे से कुछ न कुछ नयी जानकारी सीख सकें जिस का इस्तेमाल हम, आगे बढ़के, अपनी ही स्थितियों में, कर सकें.

In the UK, and perhaps also Ireland, recognition and acceptance of multilingualism in culture and society is an ongoing challenge. How India handles these issues on a much wider scale is of keen interest to us.”

And here’s a PDF of the presentation:

Categories: CALL, Research

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