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QSLing Radio Lesotho

The following item was originally posted to and then later incorporated in an article in the May, 1995 SASWL bulletin in South Africa.


I verified Radio Lesotho back about 1987 or 1988 after a couple of failures. The difference, apparently, came because I put some phrases in SeSotho (the local language) on both on the back of my envelope and in my report.

I was a grad student at Ohio University in Lingusitics/ESL at the time and the university library had an excellent collection of books on languages. I found one on the SeSotho language and spent about two hours putting together some basic phrases like "I like listening to Radio Lesotho." I got a QSL (but nothing else) back for that reception report. My actual reception report was fully in English. The use of Sesotho was just in a few short phrases. I'm sure they were amazed to see the SeSotho phrases on the back of the envelope of a report from the US!

If anyone else wants to try this for some country, a few suggestions from a language teacher. First, put the effort into looking at and understanding the grammar of the language. Don't just look up words in a translation dictionary and write them down in the order they would be in English. Other grammars can be very different. This is especially true of non-IndoEuropean languages. You could end up with gibberish. Second, stick to simple short present-tense sentences. You are less likely to screw these up than longer sentences or ones written in past or future tenses or containing ideas like 'could' 'might' or 'may'. Finally, don't bother trying this for languages that do not use the Roman alphabet as we do. Yes, the book you are using might give the words in Roman alphabet, but that doesn't mean people at the other end will understand them. (For example, how long would it take you to read a letter written in fluent English, but using the Cyrillic alphabet?)


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Association of North American Radio Clubs
DXer of the Year for 1995

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