Literacy and Educational Materials
Modifying the Avian Flu materials
As an example, the following are some changes that one language group made, with the approval of the author, so that the content would be more suitable to the culture.
- All proper names were changed to common local names. Also the title was changed to Our Village Avoids Avian Influenza.
- page 4: omitted the section about the fighting rooster and modified it to 'his best roosters', since cockfights are not typical activities in this culture.
- page 8: material of the poultry cage was changed from bamboo to 'wood'.
- page 9: changed 'washing in the river', since the river is not considered to be a normal place to bathe; it would be quite unusual or unacceptable in some places. We then decided not to specify any location, since there could be a variety of other culturally acceptable places where one could bathe, depending on the region, and we didn’t want readers to feel like they had to choose a certain kind of place For the same reasons, we also omitted the similar locative phrase on page 15, 19, and 26, ‘in the stream’. Illustrations were also adjusted to align with the text changes.
- page 9 added more specific information about washing one’s clothes, since they could be contaminated. On page 9, it now reads: ‘Wash/bathe oneself and clothes thoroughly with soap and put on clean clothes before returning to the village from the town market.’ On page 15 and page 19 too, we added similar information, so it reads: ‘they washed themselves and their clothes thoroughly with soap’. The point was that the individual is contaminated and needs a bath and change of clothes.
- page 9: added 'The wild birds might carry infection'. (to make the reason explicit for why a person would chase the birds away.)
- page 11: omitted the sentence 'They didn't have any way to keep vaccine cold in the village'. because it seemed overly heavy or complicated to add more information about vaccine becoming ineffective if it wasn't stored properly, so we simplified and just emphasized that they should vaccinate the chickens if the Dept. of Agriculture advised or ordered them to.
- page 11: made the part about saving 'one tenth of egg money' less specific, and changed it to 'putting egg money aside', which made more sense to the translators than stating a particular fraction.
- page 23: used a common and easy-to-understand word for 'bleach' (and added national language terms for bleach in parentheses). Made an adaptation to be sure that a glassful was going to be in approximately the right proportion to their expected size of a bucket/container'. (The goal is a 200 ml glass in about 20 liters, or a 5 gal bucket.)
- Text in general: shortened a number of sentences, made full sentences out of some of the participles, made more pronouns into full nouns, and added some logical connectors to make the information as clear as it could be.
- We also shortened the foreword and only kept the first two paragraphs as an introduction. The rest of the booklet was acceptable.
- Illustrations: a co-worker did a masterful job of adapting the line drawings. He modified sleeves, pants (i.e., no shorts), shoes, and patterns on the shirts, omitted the neckties, modified the men without shirts (which was not acceptable), erased the village homes and some other items so that the illustrations really match the culture now.
- For the leaflet, we are not using the line drawings but put together a set of photo images of chickens, ducks, eggs, and a doctor, which will be printed in full color. The artist also made a leaflet with a set of black and white bird figures, for those people who would want to photocopy the leaflet. He also created a set of symbols/icons to use as well for the leaflet and poster.