• Who are we?
    • We are a group of UNC students and faculty that are interested in studying the Karen language and culture. We’re interested in adding to the knowledge of the Karen community as well as the academic community.
  • What do we do?
    • We currently have two studies which are accepting participants:
    • The Karen-English Study
      • Looking for: Members of the Karen community 18 and older, who are conversational in English.
      • Duration: 30-minute sessions
      • Payment: $8 per half-hour session
      • Description: Participants are interviewed for a half hour about their experiences as a Karen-American citizen. Interviews are audio recorded and will be added to a database of oral history interviews at UNC.
    • The S’gaw Karen Study
      • Looking for: Members of the Karen community, 18 years and older, who are native speakers of S’gaw Karen. Participants must also be conversational in English.
      • Duration: 1-2 hours
      • Payment: $15 per hour
      • Description: This study consists of multiple sessions, recording different audio samples of S’gaw Karen speech. Participants are not required to return for all sessions.
  • How does our work aid the Karen community?
    • History
      • Both of these studies will collect audio recordings of the language(s) spoken by the Karen community. These audio recordings will be stored at UNC for the benefit of future Karen as well as future researchers. Languages change significantly over time, so it is important to collect samples of speech early on.
    • Academic Awareness
      • This language group has not been studied in great detail; past attempts at study have been sporadic and conflicting information. Through our study, we seek to resolve some of these conflicts through thorough analysis and maintaining a healthy database of speech samples. We hope that further research will not only shed some light on the nature of the language, but will generate interest in a wider study of this language in the academic and non-academic communities.
    • Tools for the community
      • In addition to our research, our group has sought to help the local Karen community by creating tools from the collected resources. We are currently working on a Karen-English dictionary and are also seeking to create resources that would be useful for teaching Karen to non-native speakers.
  • How can you help?
    • Participate!
      • We will be accepting participants for these studies until September 20th, 2016. We would love to have you add your voice and story!
    • Spread the word!
      • Have a friend or colleague that might be interested in participating? Put us in contact with them!