Happy trails…

May 12, 2009

By hammersmith

So, we sure didn’t see much of this neighborhood on the telecast of the Beijing Olympics:

In a few days, Eric Jackson (’93) and his family will be returning to southeast China, where Eric and his wife Emily are linguistic researchers working with SIL International. (Eric earned his Ph.D. in linguistics at UCLA, after completing bachelor’s degrees in physics and linguistics at UA.)

Over the next few years, they’ll be investigating some of the endangered dialects spoken by minority communities in the regions of China near the Vietnamese border. Plenty of bumpy roads, lots of note-taking, and priceless priceless photos of octogenarian villagers listening to an iPod for the first time.

The slideshow above, from their last language survey in China, provides a taste of what they’ll be doing. Eric adds that this article from the Bangkok Post, describing life on the Vietnamese side of the China-Vietnam border, is fairly similar to the region he and Emily will be surveying.