LANGUAGE MATTERS


With the unclear words of a two-year-old, Anna pointed to my plate and said: “That’s kah-t-ch. It’s not pah-t-ch, it’s kah-t-ch.” I looked down at my plate, trying desperately to figure out what she was saying. All I could see was some lasagna, and in English or Norwegian, nothing even remotely related to either kah-t-ch or pah-t-ch described it; I couldn’t for the life of me understand. But Anna kept insisting, so I just agreed with her. And she was happy enough about that and kept eating her food.

There are times every day when I so wish I could understand what she’s saying. She asks for something, or tells me something, and I have absolutely no clue. Even with going over what she might have just seen, read, or done, I come up empty-handed, as her growing frustration proves.

How would it be if, when God’s Word was read to you, you heard only “kah-t-ch” and “pah-t-ch”? You would look around you to see what those words might apply to, but after a while you’d just shake your head and realize the words meant nothing. It wouldn’t matter how important and meaningful they are to the reader; to you they are lifeless and worthless.

Now, imagine someone else reading God’s Word to you, with words that were clear and familiar. You would understand both the words and the meaning. What a difference!

How thankful I am for the Bible translators who years ago put God’s Word into a language I can fully understand (two languages, actually, Norwegian and English)! Here in Mozambique, translators are working to make God’s Word available and understandable for everyone in the country. About nine different translations are in progress, and MAF is privileged to be supporting this Kingdom work. Imagine what God’s Word in the heart language of all Mozambicans can do for this nation! Language matters certainly do matter!

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