Friday, January 04, 2008

Tell the World: Storytelling Across Language Barriers

A few weeks ago the UPS man stopped by. Must be a Christmas present. Strange, it was from a publisher, Libraries Unlimited. Huh?

I had completely forgotten my contribution to Margaret Read MacDonald's book, Tell the World: Storytelling Across Language Barriers. This copy was my payment for contributing. I sat right down and started reading. If I've counted right, there are 39 contributors to the book, all of whom have experience performing across languages. It's a fascinating look at what works and what doesn't.

My article is about telling stories in French when I travel to Belgium. Usually I perform in English, but there's one school where I usually perform in French (didn't get there last time) and I tell stories in French to my friends.

In the article, I talk about how I prepare for performances by telling to the friends with whom I stay, how I've learned to ask the listeners for help, how I choose the most appropriate stories for the audience and my own language level. I also say a little about telling stories in other languages to kids here in the US.

Some of the articles in the book are about telling with translators, some are about telling to deaf audiences with a translator, some are about using stories in language instruction, some are about traveling as a storyteller. Reading the last section made me think of the funny connection I made with a little girl on the bus from Turkey to Bulgaria a couple of years ago.


I had a seagull puppet and she had a Barbie. Those were the languages we had in common. We got along swimmingly.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Well congrats on getting some ink.