Thursday, July 16, 2015

Your Swahili is better than their Nepali

I am completely astonished at Nepal guidebook writers who scarcely pronounce a lick of Nepali (at least understandably) yet are still somehow producing guidebooks to the country (offhand, I know four such toungeless authors, one of whom doesn't have a handle on English, too). Yes, they are writing in-depth information about a land where they do not speak or understand even marketplace lingua franca or better.

Your Swahili is probably better than their Nepali. And we all know about your dreadful Swahili ;)

It is a valid do they do it? How to possibly manage the field research without language skills? I mean, they don't have to be perfect by any means, but can they truly discover and write detailed information without minimal language ability? It is mystifying...

How to gather information in English, especially in out of the way places including rural, off-the-beaten-path, upland areas? Maybe they totally rely on guides/translators along whole routes and recces, and if so, it might then be doubtful that unbiased, accurate information can be compiled in English based on second-hand information...hoina?

Otherwise, seems it would take enormous, audacious talents to research it all in angreji (English), ho-la.

Ke Garne?

#FreeNepal  #Trekking #Himalaya #Swahili


  1. Maybe they just make shit up? But hey I'm just another "que-re", misty whitey....

  2. This reminds me of many newer American meditation teachers - they take a few workshops, disparage traditional Buddhism as it's practiced in Asia (where they have never been), and make extravagant, non empirical claims about the power of some watered down breath practice, done for five minutes in the midst of some frantic, manic, aggressive American day. It's a world of surfaces, and as you point out elsewhere the dukkha beneath all that is further veiled by the purveoys of postcard Dharma and travelling.