THE first compilation of Vella La Vella Dictionary in Bilua dialect has been completed in Barakoma village, South East Vella from February 3-15.
This was during a workshop which was attended by participants from around Vella La Vella.
According to Australian Bible Translator Deborah Conwell, a local Bible translator Jonah Anama has been working with church and community leaders to select a range of qualified people for this important event.
Conwell said there were representatives from various church groups and communities, males and females and across age groups to gather the widest possible range of vocabulary items.
The 11,830 words were gathered from 1,800 different areas of life and their English equivalent was recorded.
“The next stage is to enter the data and prepare the first draft lists for review,” she said.
Workshop facilitators were Jonah Anama, Pr Hamilton Rani, Suzi Malone, and Debi Conwell and the group included chiefs and church leaders but everyone worked together with purpose, unity, and enthusiasm.
United Church South Vella Circuit Secretary Mr. Stanley Toqovoe was also a regular visitor to show his interest and the support of the church.
The purpose of this project is to provide a resource for use in Vella, in schools and communities as well as to be a permanent record of Bilua language, recording and preserving words that are becoming less common and to show the importance of this local language of the Solomon Islands.
More participants applaud the workshop and its results.
“The inventory of this dictionary is very timely as our language is changing. The dictionary will help in universities and schools and for future generations,” said Maxwell Neku one of the participants.
“I thank my group and the three chiefs who contributed some words we did not know,” said Pr. Philip Vaqolo
“I thank Jonah for his vision and hard work. It has been an ecumenical gathering and a good thing for our future. Many words have started to be lost but will now be preserved,” said Rev Thompson Qevolo
“This project is a milestone for the people of Vella in growth and development. It was very appreciated and very successful,” Mr. Stanley Toqovoe.