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Meeting with Ana Clotilde Thome’ Williams 10-17-06

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Prof. Thome’ Williams was delighted to speak with us about our project. She informed us that Sao Tomeans and Principeans speak Portuguese as the Portuguese speak it, rather than how the Brazilians speak it. This may have something to do with the fact that the Portuguese were physically present on Sao Tome’ e Principe’ as recently as 1975, whereas the Portuguese relinquished control of Brazil a century ago.

She also clarified that we would be there during the rainy season, that daytime temperatures would be in the 80s, and that humidity would be high. Christine asked if she should wear business-appropriate attire in the capital rather than jeans. Prof. Thome-Williams indicated that that would not be necessary but she did say that it would send a positive message if group members bought clothing in local markets and wore it while we were there.

We tried several Sao Tomean websites while in her office – most were static, out-of-date or under construction. She mentioned how nice it would be to access the National Library through a digital gateway, and also how wonderful it would be if we came back and enrolled in her Portuguese language class (I checked on it – it’s an intermediate level course rather than basic so I think I’ll pass for now – cea).

Ana Thome’ Williams

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

We met with Ana Thome’ Williams to gain more information about Sao Tome and its language and culture issues.

Ms. Thome’ Williams,

My name is Jake Odland, I am a masters’ student in Library and Information Science. The final project in my Intro to Networked Systems class, LIS 451, involves creating a computer network that will be installed at the National Library of Sao Tome as part of a program that Prairienet is starting in that nation.

I am looking into language issues involved in this project. As Sao Tome is a Portuguese-speaking country, we will need to install programs and interfaces in that language. My background is in French and my knowledge of the Lusophone world is limited.

Would it be possible to meet with you or another member of your department concerning the Portuguese spoken in Sao Tome and Principe? My current concern is in the dialect spoken in the country: is it more similar to that spoken in Portugal or in Brazil? I’d also be interested in exploring the resources available in your department that may help our project succeed.

Response

It will be a pleasure to meet with you and discuss about your project.

I wonder if there are other MA or PhD students interested in Projects involving the Lusophone world. There are lots to discuss about linguistic and cultural issues around Portuguese.

The Portuguese language spoken in Sao Tome is more similar to Continental Portuguese, since it was a Portuguese colony until the 70’s.

I suggest that you take Portuguese 400 next semester. Since you know French, it will be a lot easier for you. Meanwhile, yes, by all means, come see me in my office and we can discuss about the Portuguese language and your project, more specifically.

My office hours are M and T from 4 to 5. Let me know which day you would come.

Response

Thank you so much for your prompt response and your willingness to meet. Another member of my group and I would like to meet with you on Tuesday at 4PM. Is your office in the Foreign Language Building?