The Syringa Tree
Judylee Vivier speaks the South African names and terms from
The Syringa Tree, by Pamela Gien. She was recorded by Paul Meier, July 31, 2020; he was dialect-coaching the play at the time and consulted Professor Vivier to ensure pronunciation accuracy. He has put this recording on permanent loan to IDEA to assist other actors, directors, and dialect coaches involved in producing the play.
A Fulbright scholar of South African origins, Judylee Vivier is an acting and voice teacher, actor, and voice coach. A professor and director of the MFA Acting Program at Brooklyn College, CUNY (BA Hons., MA, University of Kwa-Zulu, Natal, South Africa; MFA in Acting, NYU), Judylee’s teaching career began in South Africa 35 years ago at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and extends to RWCMD and RCSSD in the U.K., and NYU, AMDA, Rutgers Newark, Michael Howard Studios. She is a recipient of the Claire Tow Distinguished Teacher Award 2007 and the Tow Professorship 2016-2018, a member of VASTA for 20 years, and is serving two terms on the board of directors.
Judylee is committed to the release of the individual’s habitual psycho-physical holding patterns that inhibit the individual’s power and ownership of self and identity by acknowledging and practicing the right to make themselves heard — literally and metaphorically.
Yjo, Batho ba
Thula baba, thula
Thula baba yhe, thula Moliseng
Iquira … lendlela … !” Yeh
Lizzy! Oh yeeeh jhe Lizzy!
aghe!” (“Hello! Hello how are you!”)
Imithi, goba, kahle, ithi … ithi
Uit die blou van onse Hemel, uit die diepte van ons see
PLACE AND PEOPLE NAMES, IDIOMATIC WORDS, AND PHRASES
Ag shame man
Batho ba Modimo
Beeld [name of a newspaper]
Christopher Mzuma, person
Dora Mtwetwe, person
Fokken Jood [fucking Jew]
Fokking kaffir [kaffir is a highly derogatory term for a Black person.]
fugga lo dugga [put some cement]
Hoek [“corner” in Afrikaans, a corner of land]
kielie, kietie kielie
Labushagne, a person
Loeska, the blue-eyed Afrikaans girl next door
Louis Trichardt, place and person
Mabalel, the skeleton
mopani and marula trees
morgen [measurement of land]
Peggy Dicwe [person]
Rivonia, a suburb of Johannesburg
Soutpansberg Mountains, five hours north of Johannesburg
Tsht, Monkey . . . thula baba, jhe,” [Xhosa]
University of the Witwatersrand
Vinolia sandalwood soap
Vuilgoed, filthy thief
For more on the play, listen to IDEA Founder and Director Paul Meier’s podcast.