The first ever web site written in the Nya Huba language of northern Nigeria has been created! What’s all the fuss?
For many minority languages, the Bible is the first significant book to be published. Publishing takes considerable time and expense though, and there’s a problem with being the first book – no-one’s learnt to read the language yet, except the translators themselves. So what could we do to encourage people to read and to cherish their spoken language in written form, even before the Bible translation is completed?
Well, the time’s just about right for creating web sites. Mobile phone internet is bringing the web to the village and more computers are around. So last Saturday, we sat down with three Nya Huba Bible translators to try rustling up a web site or two. Of course we had to battle with the unreliability and slowness of the internet in Nigeria, but we got a couple of sites going. It’s not quite earth-shattering yet, and probably no-one reading this will be able to understand the sites, but that’s the point: they’re not just writing about their place and language in someone else’s language, but Rev Bitrus Abbas has started his blog about his place in his own language. That’s an exciting start!
Hopefully in time we’ll be able to see places online for sharing trial versions of translated Bible books that people can read on their mobile phones even before the whole New Testament or Bible is complete. But that’s for another post, another day.