I have been kicking around the idea of chatting in Mando'a in real time with people online, either just in text or by voice. This could be accomplished through any number of free to acquire and free to use software (Skype would be one example).
- It facilitates for Mando'a practice with a broader population of Mando'a speakers than those that are just local to one's residence.
- It can be conveniently scheduled, as adequate facilities and transportation become a moot issue.
- Depending upon the software used, quick access to a variety of media (online dictionaries, media files, etc.) would be possible.
- Regular usage with others would only help with speaking fluency and listening comprehension, and could assist in transforming Mando'a to a fully 'living' language.
- Moderation of said Mando'a chat events would have to be someone's responsibility.
- Sometimes homes are more disruptive than outside venues.
- Sans video, and considering the sometimes questionable audio quality of Internet communication, some nuance in conversation could easily be lost.
- It would probably feel very 'weird' at first.
- As we exhaust the canonic supply of words, new 'dialect' words would likely come into play and even divergent 'dialects could arise; differences in 'dialect' would have to be mediated so that it fosters language growth and not contentious disagreement.
- It may be nice to start with structured classes, i.e., one meeting focus on basic introductions and questions (Hi, my name is _____. How are you? I am a _____ / I work at _____. I like _____. What do you like?), another meeting focus on interogatives (who, what, where, when, why, how many / much, etc.), yet another meeting on numbers and colors, and so on. It could be like any other language learning class (maybe with a dash of my daughter's elementary school, heh heh).
- Challenges and games could be used to further fluency AND make learning Mando'a fun, such as a Mando'a poetry writing and reading contest, or perhaps telling jokes in Mando'a (I might - might - even be talked into learning to sing 'Vod'e An', though my voice singing voice sounds like a sick bantha on its last legs).
So, these are the ideas, hopes, and concerns floating around in my head in regards to participating (or, maybe even hosting) an online Mando'a chat and learning group. If there is interest, I wouldn't mind at all carrying this idea forward. We have a small group of aficionados here already, and I would like to see that grow, as well. This could be one more means to that end, too.
I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and critiques about making this happen, ner vod'e. Vor entye.
Part father, part artist, part perpetual student, part gamer, part Japan-o-phile, part contrarian, part instigator, part anthropologist, part blacksmith, part costumer, part food lover, part writer, part adventurer, part eccentric...AN MANDO'AD!