Ann's Corner

A taste of FAITH, a touch of LAUGHTER.

Languages and Translation


Morgan Mosselman has been serving as a translation consultant in training for Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada in DR Congo. He is partially supported by Converge, the church I attend, and by others.

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I had a wonderful meeting with him one morning recently! We met up at Banners and enjoyed breakfast together. He explained the nature of his work in Africa, in the Congo, of translating the bible into local indigenous languages, and showed pictures and movie clips.

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This pic shows Morgan consulting  with some of the men involved in the work of translation……lots of cross referencing and checking going on!
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It was so good to have the time to sit and chat, to share something of our very different lives, his far away over in the Congo and mine on the West Coast with my husband’s people, to find some commonalities in faith and interests and to share testimony of how God has worked in our lives.

I find the work he is doing very challenging, interesting and exciting, and I’m happy to share it with others. I asked Morgan if I could do so and if I could provide people with a link to his work project. He very graciously has allowed me to do so.

He is currently raising support to go back and continue his work, so if you would like to assist him in some way, financially or with prayer, then please use the following link to contact him. Your support financially or in prayer would be very much appreciated! You can find Morgan’s blog here:

https://www.wycliffe.ca/wycliffe/our_community/profile.jsp?uuid=2e57c82b24

Please check it out and see what your involvement might be. I think it’s a very necessary work since everyone should really be able to read the bible in the comfort and ease of their own heart language. I was amazed to hear how many language groups still don’t have scripture in the tongue they speak and live.

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I’d love to have shown him some of my husband’s language and his work in it, without the aid of linguistic training, but I had left my phone charging at home, with the First Nations language app and also my husband’s work in it. He had questions about it. I shared with him how people had told my husband that hearing parts of the bible and prayers in their own language had impacted them in a huge way. It spoke directly to their hearts. Maybe I will be able to share that west coast language information with him some other time.

Language is an area of high interest for me, and that’s partially why Morgan’s work excites me so much. I lived in the remote west coast community of Kyuquot (my husband’s homeland) for many years and was exposed to much  of the local language in close quarters and made my own attempts to record in writing what I had heard.

I had gathered a vocabulary of over 300 words I could hear and understand but had no idea how to make conversation. Armed only with this information, I  did my best, without linguistic training or knowledge, but with invaluable assistance and input from fluent elders, to pilot a First Nations language immersion program in the preschool where I was a teaching principal. I was very excited about this and about the regular involvement of local speakers in our school with our students. I learned more vocabulary and some phrases, from these fluent speakers, which I recorded the best way I could.

My son was a teaching assistant in the preschool at the time. His interest in the language was also very high. He chose to work long hours with his Dad, at home, using his computer skills, to create an interactive language program for the use of the preschool children. Amazing!

Later on, I would use my own basic knowledge to expand an already existing program in the elementary/secondary school in Kyuquot, to try to bring the language studies to a more conversational level, with the ability to make a written record of language heard in order to share it. I tried to do this with the assistance of willing local elders and material developed from other First Nation language communities. I am so grateful to the elders for their input in an initial attempt at pulling a working program together.

 

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Sample of alphabet used in my classroom to teach how to record in writing  various words learned.

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I used my knowledge of French conjugation, combined with listening very closely to the local fluent First Nations worker, and other elders, to try to figure out how the First Nations language “worked” conversationally, and I found many parallels I could relate to in the French language. For me, it was an exciting work of discovery and I felt it was the key to language learning and promoting realistic conversation in a place where fluency was dying out rapidly. We did not have many language learners. We were losing fluent language speakers rapidly. I wanted to promote that desire to learn and provide some practical tools and effective ways to do it. I wanted to bring learners and speakers together while we still had the opportunity.

 

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An example of verb structure…….

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That work is now being fully rounded out and completed at home with another local First Nations worker and an attending linguist. Many other interested individuals are now working to revive the language through classes and language nests being held regularly in communities all over Vancouver Island, some through UVIC and various funding sources. That is so very exciting to me! I continue to try to learn. I feel I should be learning linguistics!

There are some other reasons that this work Morgan is doing intrigues me. I’ve always had an interest in Africa, since watching a film about the Masai people in my younger days with my family. I was so impacted by the film that I actually painted a picture of the Masai warrior for a school project. Ever since then, Africa has been brought regularly to my attention in various, sometimes funny, and sometimes what felt were frightening ways. Things came in the mail about Africa and I felt drawn. I’d come across information or programs on Africa unexpectedly and feel that pull, and the accompanying fear.

Though I was very intrigued, and decidedly drawn, the LAST thing I wanted was to actually GO to Africa! There is a comical song called “Lord, Please Don’t Send Me To Africa” which, partially because it was funny, and partially because of my fears, rather resonated with me.

 

Morgan has actually fired my interest again for some form of mission work, which I retired from several years ago. I think even at my age there might be things left to do. I have no clue what or how, but God does. I am keeping my ears and eyes open. “Antennas up”, as they taught us in the Summer Missionary Institute (SMI) program run by NAIM (North American Indigenous Ministries).

We (my husband Jim and I) were on a short term mission experience with them, before we went on board as staff members of NAIM. The phrase was meant to alert us to cultural differences and sensitivities, but now I use it for awareness of other things as well. I have this feeling of something stirring, some change coming. Is God speaking?

That morning with Morgan was an interesting exchange! I want to be a missionary again! At 67? Is that crazy? Or just exciting?

Lord, do you still want to send me to Africa? I’m listening…. 😉

AJ ❤

PS. Please explore Morgan’s blog for info on his work and how to contact him. Much appreciated! He would welcome your encouragement and your input.

https://www.wycliffe.ca/m?Morgan.Mosselman
THANKS! 🙂

Ann

3 comments on “Languages and Translation

  1. suesuzzz
    May 3, 2016

    This was just amazing and so inspiring to read .. Hats off to all involved and sending major prayers to everyone…
    My aunt Yvette is a nun and in August it will be something like 65 years serving the lord..my dad they all grew up very strict catholic they wanted dad to be a priest and everything ..Dad is no longer catholic but that doesn’t matter he believes in the God…
    At one point when I was living in Missouri I was going to go with a group to another country and spread the word but I felt something and had to come/move to Texas to be close to my parents…
    I do not take part in one religion or the other at this time in my life..Since the ones that I did look into and went to the church to hear the word I was very disappointed in what I seen and heard going on (it broke my heart)
    I know of one church that I would like to look into but not able to go just yet due to SO CALLED FAMILY GOING TO THE SAME PLACE and they are out of our life but still want to cause problems with us…
    I have learned that you do not have to belong to a “church or religon” to believe in God..If I want to study my bible at home alone or with dad then that is what we do…THAT IS OUR CHURCH…
    I was also wondering what some of our friends on here religions are.. NO JUDGMENT AT ALL… I just thought since I might have questions or others might and we could talk about it or if something is bothering a friend on here we could send a prayer list going…???? Just thinking out loud …And to learn from one another…..

    I did visit his site and booked marked it to keep it close at hand… great information on it…I love the T-shirt….lol…..you and everyone are doing such an amazing job I pray for all…It seems like it takes a lot of work and time on what you all are doing and when you get tired don’t think it doesn’t go unnoticed .you are doing Gods work..and I thank you all….
    Special Huggggs to you and all
    Suzette

    Liked by 1 person

    • annj49
      May 3, 2016

      Awesome!
      Glad you enjoyed the blog post, and the write up about Morgan. You should send him this encouraging note, though it’s possible he will read it here, when he comes to check out my post.
      Thanks for sharing!
      Blessings!
      Ann ❤

      Like

  2. Pingback: Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible | Belgian Biblestudents - Belgische Bijbelstudenten

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