Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tell the world: Storytelling across language barriers (book)

MacDonald, M. (2008). Tell the world: Storytelling across language barriers. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

This is an indispensable guide for those wanting to share stories with audiences who speak another language. The author's advice, along with that of other experienced tellers, covers myriad facets of this special and relevant method of connecting with members of our greater yet smaller world community. MacDonald says, "…the human heart finds ways to connect across language barriers." Interest in and respect for other cultures, histories, languages, and mores are prerequisites for storytelling in general, and, in this specialty, are absolutely essential. She also presents the pluses and minuses of various ways of translating (line by line; in tandem; summarizing; bilingual). Equally important to words are the rhythms, gestures, intonations, and facial expressions that are vital to the audience watching and listening to the teller. The book includes priceless advice about glitches that others have faced and surmounted. Preparation time with a translator is ideal. Suggestions for programs for hearing-impaired audience members and those who know no translatable languages are included. A clear, complete, practical, and readable treasure trove from a master teacher.

--Review from School Library Journal by Judy Sokoll, Florida Storytelling Association