Imagine if you were given a multi-year project for your job, or a huge class project for the whole school year. Now imagine if the only instructions or pointers about how to do it are written in super technical language that you can’t understand at all. “In the syllabification of morpheme combinations, deletion of vowels or consonants, metathesis, or resyllabification are all strategies that can be used to ensure that the syllables do not contain the prohibited three moras.” Huh?
Now imagine that someone came along and explained what that meant, and you found out that it was an answer to one of the big, looming questions you had on your big project.
That’s what I’m in the process of working on right now. There is a team working on learning a language in order to plant a church among the people group, but though things have been written about how the language works (and it does some weird things!), they are all written in linguistic-ese. I am working on reading a lot of what has been written, writing it in simpler terms, and including “lesson plans” on how they can encounter and learn these challenging parts of the language. For example, that confusing sentence above? It basically means that if you put two parts of a word together (ex. Dog -s), and it would make there be three vowels in the same syllable, you have to do something to “fix” it because this language doesn’t allow three vowels in the same syllable. So you could delete one, flip two letters around, or cut it up into two different syllables. Ahh, that’s a lot easier to understand!
I’ve never really done this before, so it’s a learning curve for me. But my goal is to be a blessing and a help to the team that needs to learn this language in order to share the gospel and plant a church among this least-reached people group. If it can help them learn the language quicker and better so that they can more effectively share the Word of God, it’s worth it!
Please pray with me as I still have a lot more to read, internalize, and explain before I cross the ocean in just over a week in order to go meet with them and help them face-to-face for a few weeks.