Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Archive for September, 2009

Where I live, temperature often lies around 35-38 degrees Celsius (95 F – 100,4 F) in the summer and I must admit that I am not too fond of the heat. I am therefore quite happy when the time for our long drive to Norway arrives.

One summer, we left home in the usual blazing heat, and started our drive northwards. Every 200 kms or so (about 124 miles), the temperature dropped a couple of degrees, much to my relief. When we reached Kiel in the North of Germany, it got much more breathable. From Kiel we boarded the ferry to Göteborg in Sweden.

If you have ever wondered if anyone actually read the signs displayed in different parts of the ferry, well I do.  Contrarily to what you might first think, they can be highly amusing. Here is an example :

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Today I’ll be looking into creole ukulele, with songs in English- and French-based creoles. Creoles are languages born out of a mixture of several languages and which have become stable over time.

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Every year around this time, when days become shorter and it is still dark when you drive to work and you know that in a few weeks time it will also be dark when you drive from work, I am subject to what I have called “the October blues”.

This year, I will try my best to stay away from the latent October blues. Valéry Sauvage‘s world of colourful naïve paintings sends my thoughts to the world of fairy tales and listening to his lovely ukulele videos seems like a good way to keep the October blues in check.

If you’ve subscribed to Valéry’s ukulele channel on YouTube, you will not have failed to notice the beautiful ukuleles made by Régis Thullier that he has been trying out lately.

There is, for example, the  “Maccalele“, a Maccaferi-style ukulele, which you can hear in a tune called The Skaters Waltz, arranged by Goschenhobel.

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Time for a new Language Fun post. Today we’ll be trying to learn a few Spanish words from Manuel, the Spanish waiter from the classic British sitcom Fawlty Towers, with this short video :

In the next video, Basil does exactly what anybody who is learning a new language should do : try to speak to natives of the language…

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Today, in order to try and get rid of a nasty cold, I’ll immerse myself in the tropical climate of Indonesia. Discovering Indonesia through the ukulele has been very interesting. I’ve found new languages and discovered the city of Jakarta through ukulele buskers and street musicians.

The first language is the Moor language, a language spoken by a mere 2000 people in southeast Cenderawasih Bay in Papua, a province of Indonesia. The video features musicians from Mambor singing about their home village.  The YouTube info section reveals that the refrain of the song Nomini, ramaro iwo means “Manbor, my village”. The video was recorded in a place without electricity so it is unfortunately quite dark.

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