IRIS Student Profile: Sarah Song’s Work on the Manang Languages Project

Hello, my name is Sarah Song and I am a Junior Business Administration major with a specialization in Human Resources. My time as an Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) student with Dr. Kristine Hildebrandt this Fall has been an influential experience. Though not related directly to my major, I felt that my work with the Manang Languages Project would provide me with a valuable skill set that I could easily translate into the business administration world.

My primary tasks this semester were to properly format and complete grammatical edits for Nepali language recordings captured by Dr. Hildebrandt and her research team during their time in Nepal. These minuscule, sentence-by-sentence edits, helped me to take a closer look at the details that make up another language, and, through that, another culture. Knowing that my work is a part of a greater goal to preserve this language for others to research and appreciate, makes each tiny edit worth it. I’m learning that a successful business model involves creating a connection with people first and foremost. As I spent time with the language, I was able to feel a kind of connection with the Nepali people and, through my work, I will also be able to provide the opportunity for others to form connections and use these recordings for their research.

Communication is another important component in the business administration world and language is one tool we use in order to communicate our ideas. Having the opportunity to explore the structure of a new language helped to broaden my perspective on effective communication in different cultures.

I also had the opportunity to work with technology in a new way. This semester I learned how to use tools such as: Elan, Toolbox, and Dropbox.  Working on this project has allowed me to explore a new culture, discover new digital tools, and think about different ways to use my business administration background.

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