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 […]

Languages of Wilder Confusion: Win

Would you encourage Christians to want to win people for Christ? Yes! Would you suggest they fight and kill them to do this? What?!! And yet that could very easily be a conclusion people reach. How? Well in Nigerian English people use ‘win’ where British English uses ‘defeat’. Source 1: Sunday school ‘this small group […]

Languages of Wilder Confusion

Most people around the world speak more than one language. That shouldn’t be news, but in the English-speaking monolingual world, we may need to remind ourselves of this fact. One language may be used at home and informally, but in a multilingual world, it’s useful to be able to communicate with people who speak different […]

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 […]