Time, A Whole New Way

By Joe Nelson

   Pala Rez Radio 91.3 will introduce a new service to listeners beginning Sunday, November 3 when the local time changes from Pacific Daylight to Pacific Standard Time.  We’ll begin announcing the current time on the air.  OK, sure.  It’s appropriate to remind people what the time really is if they’ve forgotten to spring forward, fall on your face … or backwards … or whatever.  But what’s so new about announcing the time?  Radio stations have been doing that for over 90 years.  What’s new is how we’re going to do it.  As part of Rez Radio’s efforts to preserve and revitalize local culture, our time checks will be spoken in Pa’enexily, the traditional language of the Cupeño people, who make up the majority of the Pala tribe.

   The last person raised in the traditional language of the people from Cupa, Rosinda Nolasquez passed several decades ago.  In her childhood, telling time wasn’t very important other than to refer to noon, sunset, etc.   This innovation being implemented at Rez Radio brings with it the challenge of finding a way to say something that was never said back when the language was in regular daily use.  Through consultations with linguists, elders and other interested tribal members, we’ve come up with a format for telling digital time in Pa’enexily.  When you hear, for example, “Ivi suplewit me wichu Pala aw”  what you’re hearing is “It’s one and four (or 1:04) in Pala”

   Paul Miranda, local birdsinger and one of a handful of fluent Pa’enexily speakers in Pala has recorded all the elements that will allow us to assemble the announcement of the correct current time 24 hours a day.  These time check announcements will happen without any fanfare or translation.  Just as when learning any language, those who don’t already know it will come to recognize it through repetition. 

   Rez Radio is already the only radio station in the world where Pa’enexily is spoken on the air.  You’ll hear it in our weekly “Pala Life:  Past and Present” program, our several times daily “Word of the Day” feature, and at the top of every hour in our Legal ID.  Now, we’ll be giving the current time in traditional language as well.  Listen for time checks in Pa’enexily up to several times an hour beginning November 3 on Rez Radio 91.3.  Our 24/7 live stream can also be heard on iHeartRadio, TuneIn.com and at our own website www.PalaTribe.com .

   Pala Rez Radio is owned and operated by the Pala Band of Mission Indians as a full service Class A non-commercial-educational FM station licensed by the FCC.  For more information, please reply to this email or contact Station Manager, John Fox at the address and phone number below.


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