My approach for the key terms on the volume level was to select terminology that was in common for most of the reports and then a couple of terms that may be of particular interest for the time period such as “Native Compensation for War Damage.” Following is the terms that I used at the volume level:
census; health; hygiene; infrastructure; agriculture; postwar; Native Compensation for War Damage; disease
During the check-up exercise with my partner, my terms differed just slightly. What differed for some of the terms is that, again, I chose terms that were boarder in spectrum to would try to capture recurring themes within all the reports. For example, many of my partner’s reports mentioned different social rituals and so instead of listing each of the different types of rituals/festivities, I suggested to label them under the broader term of “traditions” or “customs.” This broader umbrella terms can capture all the different types of rituals, festivities and other social activities of the different tribes without having to list every single term.
It’s interesting to consider the implications for future audiences because so much of our language is steeped in our own cultural perceptions of the definitions and interpretations of those definitions of words. As we have learned over the course, what one terminology was once considered appropriate will later become inappropriate and will need to be considered for change. For myself, I tried to select words that have a sense of neutrality to them to try to mitigate these issues. But, who knows if 100 years from now other terminology will be considered more apropos or more correct for usage than from what I chose and therefore will need to be changed/altered to accommodate this change in standards.
Then I also think about in the present day and how this information needs to be accessible for all; especially, for the PNG peoples. I try to think if this information will be easily accessible for them with the terms I used. But, because I don’t know too much about PNG society and the way their culture uses linguistics, I have to rely on the fact that their education is based on the Australian English language AND that it is hopefully very similar to American English language. Sure, we may have the same words (because it is English) but how we use them may be different and that adds another layer of possible complications to labelling not only the reports but the subjects and subject matter of these reports. That is why I believe that it is imperative that we pair up with the people of PNG to cross check/reference these terms (and database) to make sure that accessibility is easily acquired by them since it about them and their history. Leaving the terminology up to us for sole determination only perpetuates the western colonial attitudes that our languages and practices are more “right” or “valuable,” which is counter to the process of decolonialism in this post-colonial time.