Today, I am leaving for Ghana where we hope to facilitate a Rapid Word Collection workshop for the Bulsa people. The primary goals of the workshop are:
- To validate Buli as an official language of Ghana by providing them with the beginning corpus of data for a dictionary.
- To promote the Rapid Word Collection method as the most effective way to collect words in a minority language.
The Buli people are excited to participate and we will see how many words can be collected, glossed, and entered into the computer during a two week workshop with a minimum of 28 participants. While such workshops have been done before, none have had as ambitious a goal: At the end of one month, all the data will be posted on the Internet and accessible to the world. In addition, the Bulsa people will continue to develop and work on the data with the help of computers that will be donated for the purpose.
We have a video team who will be filming the workshop and creating a video promotion for the method so that both language groups and funders alike can be challenged to further pursue applying the method to other languages.
The world will be watching as the results and the progress of the workshop are tweeted from location in Sandema, Ghana. The twitter feed can be found on the front page of our website for those who don't have Twitter. Please join us, watch, and pray, for the success of the workshop.
How many words do you think we can collect? The average dictionary size tends to be about 5-8,000 words after years of work. We are doing it for a month:
One week to train the leadership, two weeks to collect the words, one week to clean up the results.
What is your guess? Watch the tweets and see if we can set a record.