Episode 30: Aesop Fables for All

Aesop Fables for All

On this episode of the podcast, I share a project Bilingual Avenue is putting together in support of multilingualism and multiculturalism called Aesop Fables for All.  This project was inspired in part by International Mother Language Day which is celebrated on February 21, 2015.

Episode #30 – Transcript

Hey there!

Welcome to another Question and Answer edition of the Bilingual Avenue podcast! Today’s episode is a little different because I am not answering a specific question from a listener.  Instead, I will be addressing a question that has come up time and time again in my interactions with families on a multilingual journey.

What I hear the most from parents is a lack of availability of resources in the target language to support your family’s language goals.  On this episode, I would like to share with you a free tool that Bilingual Avenue is putting together to help you have more resources at your fingertips.

This project was inspired in part by International Mother Language Day which happens every year on February 21 in an effort to promote awareness of linguist and cultural diversity and mulitlingualism.

In honor of promoting multilingualism and multiculturalism, I am launching a project to help you overcome one of the big frustrations I have heard you voice over and over the past few months, that lack of resources available to you in your target language.

Through my interviews with parents on the Bilingual Avenue podcast, I have found that many of us around the world are working around this problem by translating books on the go that are usually written in the community language.

But there’s something just special about being able to read or listen to a story in your target language which inspired us to create Aesop Fables for All.

What exactly is Aesop Fables for All? It is a collective effort to translate and record a number of Aesop and other select fables, that are currently found in the open domain, in as many languages as possible.

The translations and recordings of these fables will be available for free to anyone who chooses to leverage this resource to then supplement their language learning journey!

I have also had many of you to tell me that you feel alone on your journey in part because you are the only one in your community speaking a given language.  This project gives you an opportunity to expose your children to others speaking your target language.

In order to provide the greatest variety of language translations, we need YOUR help to build this project.  We need your help recording and translating these stories into your target language!  All the fables included in our selection are brief, usually no more than three minutes, yet they all teach valuable lessons.

Help us make this project a reality and help other parents around the world!

If you wish to participate, this is what you need to do –

  • You will see that there is a list of 20 pre-selected fables for you to choose from.
  • You can then click on the link of the fable of your choice.
  • And then simply translate the fable into your heritage language just like you probably already do with your children at home. In your recording, you will have an opportunity to share your website name or blog if applicable. If you do not have either, you can just state your current location, country of origin or just leave this option blank.
  • Then all you have to do is record yourself reading the story! You can record yourself right from the Bilingual Avenue website. Each of the fable pages has a little orange button labeled “Start Recording.” You just need to press the button and record yourself reading the story.  The website will walk you through how to submit your recording.

If you do choose to make a recording, and I really hope that you do, we will need you to first tell us in English which story you have chosen and which language you will be using.  That way we can make sure to catalog it correctly.

Once you have done that, you can then read your translation but don’t forget to translate the title.

So let me walk you through exactly how you would introduce a story with this example. Let’s say that I am doing one.  It would go as follows:

“The ant and the grasshopper read by Marianna Du Bosq from BilingualAvenue.com in Spanish: La Hormiga y el Saltamontes

And then I would continue to read the translated story so in my case I would read it in Spanish.

If that sounds confusing, don’t hesitate.  We break it down for you on the website at bilingualavenue.com/fables

You can also reach out to us by email if you have any questions.

Now if you do want to go a step further, consider emailing us your translation so that it can be added to the audio recording.

This will provide one more way for our older children to practice their reading in their target language.

And that’s it! That’s all you have to do to help parents around the world have better access to resources in their target language!  Think of how amazing it will be to have these classics translated into a variety of languages and available to families around the world supporting multilingualism.

Also, how cool will it be to have your children hear your own voice recording of these stories?

If you know of anyone else who may be interested in helping us in this project, please share this page with them. We are looking for speakers of all world languages.

And if you want to check out an example of how this will all come together, you can check out The Ant and the Grasshopper read in English by Todd at bilingualavenue.com/theantandthegrasshopper

You can also hear my recording in Spanish of the same fable.

That brings us to the end of the episode! I hope that you find a way to celebrate International Mother Language Day throughout the next few weeks.

On my website, you can find a list of other blogs participating in this effort and promoting multingualism and multiculturalism.  They may help you on your language journey. Just head over to bilingualavenue.com/IMLD

And of course, I hope that you consider making a recording for the Aesop Fables for All and help families around the world have access to more language resources!

May you have fun travels on your language journey! Hope to see you again on the avenue.

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