Ngakarimojong: Finding a Mentor
As a language spoken almost exclusively in rural, marginalized regions of Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan, Ngakarimojong is rather difficult to study in Madison, Wisconsin. Language learning resources are few and far between, and there is no community of Ngakarimojong speakers in or around Madison. Indeed, without connections to Ngakarimojong-speaking communities in East Africa, the search for a language mentor will likely be fruitless. There are, however, a few avenues through which a student in Madison interested in learning Ngakarimojong might attempt to find a language mentor.
- City Language Centre (Kampala, Uganda): The CLC offers courses in a variety of indigenous and foreign languages. The CLC does not provide regular instruction in Ngakarimojong, but it may be possible to request that the CLC identify a potential Ngakarimojong tutor who could offer private lessons in the language via Skype or WhatsApp.
- Makerere University Centre for Languages and Communication Services (Kampala, Uganda): Like the CLC, the Centre for Languages and Communication Services offers courses in several languages. Unfortunately, Ngakarimojong is not among them, but staff may be able to identify a tutor who can provide lessons online.
- Makerere University Institute for Social Research (Kampala, Uganda): Dedicated to research and graduate training in the social sciences and humanities, MISR is considered by many to be the foremost intellectual hub in Uganda. Although MISR does not offer language courses, its faculty and staff are accustomed to frequent collaboration with scholars and graduate students from abroad, and they may be able to put students seeking to learn Ngakarimojong in touch with affiliated scholars or graduate students who speak the language.
- Ngikao.com: Founded by Fr. Germano Serra, a Catholic priest from Portugal who has been living among the Jie people for 30 years, along with several of his Ugandan colleagues, ngikao.com has compiled an array of digitized resources relating to the language and culture of the Ngakarimojong-speaking peoples of northeastern Uganda. Contacting Fr. Serra and his colleagues may provide students unable to travel to Uganda with an entry point into Ngakarimojong-speaking communities and help them find a mentor.
In reality, however, finding a mentor through any of these avenues will likely be very difficult, and the most effective method is simply to spend time in Ngakarimojong-speaking communities over the course of one’s research, or through funded language study programs like FLAS.