Category: Minority Languages

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Meat? People of hair?

The Greek word σαρξ (sarx) gets a variety of translations. Sometimes it means meat or flesh. In Luke chapter 3 verse 6 the message from Isaiah (40:5) is a promise that after the way is cleared, all σαρξ will see the God’s salvation. The Hebrew word was בָּשָׂר֙ ‘basar’, which has a similar (but not …

App updates: Naija Type & Ashɛ testing

After 2 weeks of hard work some improved text is available in the latest Ashɛ scripture test app for Android phones. (Let me know if there’s any interest in an iOS version.) Some suggestions and bug reports have led to an updated Naija Type Android keyboard app and Keyman keyboard (usable in iOS with Keyman).

Making Luke Clear & Compelling

Meanwhile most of my time has been spent trying to work with translator Arams over patchy video links from his home in Kachia, revising Luke’s gospel. I’m pleased to report we are making decent progress and have managed to tidy up really quite a lot. Three weeks ago he travelled to our office in Jos …

Example of Discourse Improvements in Luke

We certainly haven’t got Luke’s gospel finished yet, but over the last few months Moses and Arams and then just Arams and I have been working through the whole of Luke’s gospel about 20 times or more looking at particular issues and tidying things up. I thought I’d give any interested people (geeks) an annotated …

Did you know… Mary Slessor

Did you know, that… a corner of Nigeria featured on a British banknote for many years all because of a lass from Dundee? Over the years in Nigeria as I’ve got to meet people from different places and we have talked about where we’re from, it’s been notable how many people know (roughly) about the …

Languages of Wilder Confusion: Big Words, Big Trouble

“What I like about English,” a student pastor told me at the end of one class, “is that you have so many special words for things, so that means you can think and talk about so much more than we can in our own languages.” This sounds fairly convincing. English has a word ‘justification’ and …

Village visit

In late April, four of the Ashɛ translation team were in Gardi — deep inside Ashɛ land — to greet chiefs and others, and to participate in an Ishɛ language service on the Sunday. While Arams often complains about how things aren’t as they used to be, many children and adults swamped Moses’ house to …

Languages of Wilder Confusion: Of Step Mothers and Aunts

One of the Koro Ashɛ translators sadly just heard he lost his step-mother. I offered my condolences and (I really should know better by now than to do this, but) I asked somewhat crassly when she had become his step-mother. At that point he looked confused. But of course, I’d asked a silly question. I …

Local language Bible studies at seminary

These days in Nigeria it seems that formal education is pretty much exclusively an English-only affair and seminaries are no exception. So the experimental elective Sociolinguistics for Pastors running in ECWA Theological Seminary Kagoro has sought to shake things up a little. And with the encouragement of Provost and Chaplain, we have tried to encourage the setting …