Legends and Folktales

I’ve written before about the Defense Language Institute’s field support site, which is an excellent resource for learning about the culture – and of course language – of a huge number of countries around the world. They continue to expand and develop the site at a quite remarkable pace. One of the recent additions is, perhaps, unusual even by the fairly liberal standards of a cultural-anthropology project such as this one – a multimedia site describing legends and folktales from more than two dozen countries around the world.

It’s interesting, I admit, but I’m a little bit confused about what purpose, exactly, it serves.

I mean, the ones I’ve looked at presented the tale or legend in a very straightforward, very approachable fashion, but that’s it. There’s no discussion of the deeper meaning, if any; no information on “applicability” or “implications” or anything like that. While the site is undoubtedly useful to high-school students, and of course interesting to anyone who likes this kind of stuff, you have to wonder what it’s official purpose is, exactly. A token nod towards multicultural awareness? A technology demonstrator? (ZOMG, a government website coded in Flash!!!111!) Something else?

Whatever the purpose, you should go check it out while you still can. Because it’s government-run and spiffy, it’s doomed to either have its funding cut, or to be classified and moved to an intranet where we mere mortals can’t get at it.

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on January 29th, 2009| 1 Comment »

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  1. On 1/29/2009 at 6:06 pm Brian Lamar Said:

    Website that was published yesterday to major media outlets.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 28 Jan 2009 as of (1700)

    DLI produces new cultural product for government and public sectors

    Monterey, California – The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center developed new cultural awareness products for public use called Legends and Folktales.

    In light of the new emphasis by the President Obama administration, DLIFLC continues to lean forward with the development of cultural awareness tools for military and civilians.

    The “Legends and Folktales” project is an undertaking that was published by the DLIFLC in the beginning of 2009. DLIFLC makes every effort to find and cite information from reputable sources. Content is presented in objective, fact-based, and non-editorialized form.

    To access the Legends and Folktales cultural awareness program, go to URL: http://fieldsupport.lingnet.org/products/LF1/

    The DLIFLC is the Department of Defense’s premier language instruction facility and trains an average of 3,000 military linguists each year in 24 different languages, making it the largest language institute in the world.

    For more information, please call DLIFLC’s media relations office at (831) 383-8828.