Today’s post is also about Bardi. I now have 50 of the Laves stories fully translated and annotated, and about 30 to go, give or take. I’ve written an export macro that converts the texts to LaTeX for proofing on paper.
I think one of the stories I did this morning is my favourite in the whole collection. It’s an image that’s stayed with me from the initial reading of these stories in 2003. Two guys meet by chance across a chasm. One of the guys asks shouts a question in Oowini across the gap. The other doesn’t answer, because he doesn’t speak that language. He yells back something in a different language, which the Oowini guy doesn’t know. Then they both turn into stone. I’m told that’d the fate of not being able to communicate in such circumstances.
(The rocks can still be seen in this area, I’m told, although I’m pretty sure the cliffs in question are on Curtin Air Force Base so I doubt I’ll get to see them in a hurry.)
Such are the perils of not being able to answer when you’re spoken to in a language not your own…