V.Interview: Siraya Green Valley | Yi-chia Wang |Jun-ming Wang

Interview with Yi-chia Wang(Edgar L. Macapili)

Time: November 16th, 2003
Place: Kou-pi Church
Interviewer (s):Pei-rong, Bai-qil, and Kuei-ming (teacher)
Interviewee (s): Yi-chia Wan(Edgar L. Macapili)
Q1: What difficulties did you encounter when helping to revive the language?
A1: Mostly problems related to pronunciation, meanings of the whole sentences and grammar.
Q2: What inspired you to work on language revival?
A2: I live in Taiwan, so I must learn to get along with local people. When I came to Siraya for the first time, I found it incredibly beautiful. Sadly, its culture no longer existed. "What a pity!" I thought. So I started to find some materials and try to look for the missing parts of the Siraya language. Then I discovered that the Siraya language is similar to the local dialect of Bisayay (one of the aboriginal tribes in Philippines) in some sounds and words, which encouraged me to work on it more. I am working on language revival to help people in the Siraya retieve what they have lost.
Q3: Why did you come to Taiwan?
A3: It was for the sake of my wife, Shu-chuan Wang. I met her when she studied music in Philippines. She was my classmate then. I was attracted to her, so I pursued her. Voila! Here I am!
Q4: About language revival, what do you want to achieve?
A4: I hope I can compile a book or a dictionary of the Siraya language. As for music, I want to set up a chorus which sings songs of the Siraya language.

Q5: How do you translate the Siraya language into Chinese?
A5: We convert roman alphabets into English. Then we ask Miss Shu-feng Li in Kou-pi Church to translate them into Chinese.
Q6: Do you make a new word when you can't find the original one?
A6: No. If we can't find a particular word, we will borrow it from other languages, For example, languages of Paiwan, Amis and the origin of Siraya, Bisayay.
Q7: Did anyone come back from other places to help with your activities?
A7: Not to my knowledge. But two people have made the most contributions to Siraya. One is Professor Chia-yin Weng, who helps to decode the language; the other is Carl Adelaar, who helps to collect linguistic data for the Siraya language. They are who Siraya Culture Association feels most indebted to.
Q8: In the course of reviving the language, did you experience anything special?
A8: Yes, I found out that the Siraya language is identical to the language of its origin in some parts, like "Siraya" and "Bisaya."

The Summary Record of Interview