In preparation for our language test next week our language consultants asked us to prepare a little something. They asked us to speak a story into a recorder about an event we experienced together with a Kovol friend. We then need to ask the Kovol friend to tell the same story, write them both down and be ready to compare them.

I thought it could be a good thing to share so you can see what Kovol stories look like!

Chilling with the Alice

My version is of course shorter, much shorter in fact. It felt so unnatural to sit alone and speak into a voice recorder that I never really got going. Here then are the two stories. Just so you know SR stands for switch reference which is where the verb conjugation indicates a change of subject.

Millie points out where the jungle is

Steve version

oo ig mohis honnot nim higeblong ago we white people cut trees
tol ab lomootoomungbuilt houses
tol ab lomotoobbuilt houses
ig sandil ab mondog pigebwe put a leaf shelter
sandil ab pigoomungwe put a shelter
sandil pigebput a shelter
ig minda minda sandil yogumo pigebwe put our things in the shelter
ig sandil yogumo inembwe slept in the shelter
sandil nom endeteeng histhe shelter was like that
hutee honn ogoo ig ab ogootooloobone time we left the place
ig poison, heel (huweey) nom ig oboobwe took poison
sandil yogumo pigoomungwe put it in the shelter
ig sinnasim wondug ebwe wanted to kill rats
nooloomungwe did that
endet omboo ig poison pigoomungso we put poison
poisin pigeb (piguwasi)we put poision (SR)
sinnasim ubiyab teblots of rats came
poison nembate the poision
umemindthey died
umasidied (SR)
Ulumo hulil hutam nom sinnasim nomootA dog from Ulumo ate the rats
sinnasim nembate rats
hulil nom umutthe dog died
hulil umadog died (SR)
Ulumo hebUlumo saw
hobol amoothe spoke talk
“hulil nom minda hebigondoo
mohis honnot toboogoond yam
nom agabi
enn abagam bili igu”
“dog is a small thing
white people have come
that’s big
I am wanbel”
ethe said
hobol nom Ulumo etUlumo said that
enn hobol egee angoomI have spoken a talk

And here is the version spoken by Ulumo:

enn agamoomI was
igisisiI was (SR)
honnot tebemindwhite came
tabasithey came (SR)
sandil wongoo pigoomungwe put a shelter for them
sandil wongoo pigoobput a shelter for them
ilibwent up
tol hot higemindthey cut house posts
ilibwent up
enn misee misee ilamI was happy
misee misee ilibwas happy
sandil wongoo pigoobput a shelter for them
yoobug wongoo higoomcut grass for them
minda minda tebstuff came
telemind yamthey were throwing it
egendee oboobcarefully got
wongoo pigoobfor them put
sandil pigoobshelter put
inasithey slept (SR)
misee misee ilibwas happy
wogoonoong agamoomI was with them
wogoonoong igisisiI was with them (SR)
wog minda egee pigemind omtheir stuff they put here
sinnasim umbundutrat chewed
sinnasim umbundarat chewed (SR)
heb ogoosaw
teleb ithrowing
wog malasin nom pigemindthey put medicine for that
malasin piguwasiput medicine (SR)
wog yug eb ithey want to go
wog Goroka yug eb ithey wanted to go to goroka
malasin pigebput medicine
“minda ig yongoo tuloomb igitee”“our stuff look after”
emindthey said
ooguwasithey said (SR)
enn ab tuloombi looked after
agamoomI was
agamoom ooI was (focus marker)
sinnasim malasin nembrat ate medicine
agamoothe was
moo enn hulil om ina pagil utumI gave a dog to mother’s 5th born daughter
sibil utumI gave to Sibil
utisiI gave (SR)
nog agamootwith him he was
igitahe was (SR)
onn nog agamootwith him he was
ilib iwent up
sinnasim nom nomootrat he ate
sinnasim nembrat ate
aloloothe had a seizure
alololoobhe had a seizure (SR)
hulil nom umutthat dog died
umahe died (SR)
wog Goroka yamindthey went to Goroka
om tebemindhere they came
amemindthey said
“inda noonn hulil ungot oo”“dad did your dog die or?”
emind oothey said (focus marker)
“nom bili tugoolug i”“we will make that right”
emindthey said
ooguwasithey said (SR)
amoomI talked
“hulil nom ungot
humann igisinn “
“dog that died
will be nothing”
emI said
enn abagam munum yog toboogama“my heart is you guys came”
omboo emso I said
“yog mohis noogul toboogama”“you true men came”
omboo emso I said
“oolooguwo oboob
ab bili omboo egee piguwa
hulil om humann igisinn”
“afterwards get
place good here you will put (SR)
dog here will be nothing”
emI said
emI said
em ooI said (focus marker)
“oolooguwo hulil hutee egee esinn”“afterwards she will give me a dog”
nomboo emthere I said
“yog oomoo musu mu abas”“you guys don’t get bad”
emI said
yog abagam yot mu halas“don’t be upset”
emI said
emI said
“yongoo mu egee aminim”“I will not tell you off”
emI said
enn hobol ambI said the talk
omboo amisi“so I said (SR)
“yog toboogamayou guys came
egendee bili ombooso you will be good
yogoonoong egee igisininn”with you I will be”
emI said
“animal humann God humann igisininn”“animal is nothing, God still be”
emI said
heb isaw
enn undum omboo ongoo abagam wi helebmy child here the feeling is finished
see om wogoonoong igugumnow I am with them
see om egee igitugnow we will be
ooguwayou be (SR)
woog egee umisthey will die
umasithey die (SR)
omboo egee piginimhere I will put
enn tumunn hiyol wog tumunn hiyol egee igisinnmy grave one side they’re graves one side will be
enn undummy children
onn undum om his onnol ab ogoo yannhis children will go to his own place
England egee yannhe will go to England
Australia egee yannhe will go to Australia
onn inda enn wog ombul egee ulombhis dad and I they two will sit
hobol tandeng om egee angoomshort talk here I have spoken
oolooguwo mohis agabi agabi om tebafterwards big men here come
enn hobol mondu nom iligoommy piece of talk I have come up
migimasyou hear
enn hobol tandeng egee angoommy short talk I have spoken
Stacie takes care of a scalded baby
Making snowflakes

1 Comment

Lois S. · 15/12/2023 at 12:00 am

Thanks for letting us know how Kovol stories go!! That is something we do not know unless someone tells us, those of us who have not been in similar situations. It is touching that he hopes he can be buried beside you.

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