Work in Progress

A Rowbory family blog from Nigeria

Folk Linguistics: How many tenses does English have?

How do we know how many tenses English has? Well, we’ve been taught it. What were you taught? I think normally the basic answer is past, present and future: “I came; I come; I will come.” Then someone (probably someone who did some Latin) will chime in with perfect or pluperfect: “I have come; I had …

Accordance Bible Software Updates may use up GBs of unnecessary space

Sometimes storage space just seems to disappear. I just got to the bottom of some unnecessary wasted space on my Mac which I hadn’t encountered before. Accordance Bible software (very useful) uses the Sparkle service for updates. I discovered over 15GB of old versions of the Accordance app and updaters sitting quietly in an invisible …

The Bible in Hausa: Over 100 years of efforts

I recently came across a very interesting review of the history of the Hausa Bible up to the 1979/1980 edition, by history professor Musa Gaiya in 1993. The Hausa Bible of 1980 is a notable publishing event in the history of Bible translation. The author tells the story of the leading personalities responsible for this …

Languages of Wilder Confusion: Wonderful

“The motorbike fell, and my computer was crushed and it was wonderful,” said a Nigerian friend. Now there’s nothing unusual in that statement for a Nigerian, but I think most British folk would be surprised. For Brits and Americans, Wonderful is just another way of saying ‘very good’. But in Nigerian English it means something surprising …

Languages of Wilder Confusion: Peculiar

Every week I drive past Peculiar International College and a shop titled Peculiar Cuts/Drycleaning. There’s a school bus (above) emblazoned with Peculiar Child. Why do I find this odd?

In Christ

I had an interesting chat over the summer with someone wrestling with how to communicate ‘in Christ‘ in his location/language. This is an ongoing and troubling translation issue, because clearly ‘in Christ’ is an important topic in Paul’s writing and yet a little difficult to talk about clearly because it’s actually rather odd English. ‘In …

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 …

Look at all this mess…

Here’s a cartoon we made, somewhat modelled on a favourite book: Look at all this mess

Naboth: A Faithful Farmer in God’s Vineyard

Just under 2 weeks ago we were shocked by the news of a colleague’s sudden death. Naboth Musa was only 23 years old, but had been a tremendous answer to prayer for the venerable Duya Bible Translation project. Most recently I had helped get him and his colleagues set up to record several books of …