Language Arts

The president is finally back from his trip, along with the VIP camera crew that travels with him. Heena has written a track to go with the last day of the trip, but it is up to me to edit the report and get the 10 minute interview with the press corps on the plane down to a reasonable soundbite. This is not as easy as it sounds because of the language barrier. People seem incapable of finishing a sentence in less than 30 or 40 seconds and it’s kind of hard to slice it into a :15 second bite when you don’t know where sentences or phrases begin and end. It’s a tonal language and also has pauses that can change the meaning. Also it reads from right to left, so all the books and newspapers appear to be printed backwards.
Actually, much of the conversaton around the newsroom is easy to understand because I know the context and because Dhiveli is not very good at adding new words, so a lot of English is mixed in. A typical story meeting would include something like: Blah blah reporter story blah blah video blah blah harbor project blah blah interview blah blah on camera. This translates to: a reporter is getting video of the harbor project and an interview, then doing a standup. (I have to say blah blah because Dhiveli script has its own alphabet and is impossible to reproduce here.)