Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Ouma Geelmeid Teaches NIuu


It is estimated that the Nluu, a San and one of the African click languages, is one the oldest language in Southern Africa, and also one of the most endangered. There are only handful of people alive who can still speak the language fluently. One of them is Katrina Esau, also referred to as "Ouma Geelmeid", a name that might not be popular everywhere these days. In effort to make sure this language survives another generation the Centre for African Language Diversity at the University of Cape Town compiled a reading guide for teaching the San the Nluu language. The guide can be downloaded here. Katrina played an instrumental role in putting the guide together and it will most probably be the one only tool of its kind for a long time to come. Using the guide alone might not do the trick as one will need exposure to someone like Katrina that can teach one how to click, and where to put all the clicks. It must be fascinating to say the least.

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