As a student of linguistics and Swahili at the University of York (UK), Ali was asked what possible use she could make of such a degree. The answer came in marrying fellow student Steve, joining Wycliffe and serving with the Digo language project in Kenya, Digo being a language closely related to Swahili. During their eight years with the project she enjoyed helping the team turn rough drafts into polished, publishable literacy materials. The family then moved to Nairobi, where she helped produce an in-house journal for BTL (the Kenyan Bible Translation organisation) and took further training in copy-editing. At CanIL she helped launch the Electronic Working Papers and is looking forward to expanding this role, helping students and faculty gain publishing experience.
“As an editor, I don’t see myself as the grammar police, relentlessly searching out criminal acts of language misuse, instead I’m a stylist, helping writers express their arguments as clearly and elegantly as possible.”
Interesting facts: Ali reads dictionaries for fun and loves playing her violin in an orchestra. She led the second violin section for many years in Nairobi Orchestra and is now a regular player in the Fraser Valley Symphony. In addition to Swahili and Digo, Ali has skills in French and German (she lived in Germany for two years as a student), as well as several varieties of English!