"The Ila Speaking" is a record of life in a Central African village around a century ago. It originated in conversations recorded by Methodist missionaries as they attempted to learn the language and customs of the Ila people. Over the years 1906 to 1966 they collected over 12000 items. What began as a vocabulary with examples ended as the self-portrait of a people and a way of life.
The author worked with the Ila from 1958 to 1966, later producing a "Dictionary of Ila Usage" (LIT Verlag 2000). The present book is a series of extracts from the dictionary arranged by subject, with a commentary. It is the author's hope that `the voices come over loud and clear to you the reader, and that you come away from this book with a feel for Ila humour, Ila life, and Ila reflections on people and their ways. I did, and I am sure you will too' (Professor Graham Furniss, School of Oriental and African Studies - London).