Getting ready to go to Ghana for four weeks, leaving next Thursday 8th October, I’ve been trying to get organised. Yesterday I formatted and printed out two versions of our Kasem-English Dictionary, one A5 format, one A4. Looks neat! With the high cost of printing, electronic distribution seems the way to go, but I’ll leave some printed master copies in Ghana so that they can be run off on a photocopier. I’ve also printed out an illustrated booklet with the Kasem translation of the book of Jonah.
I thought it would be good while I’m in Ghana to keep in touch via Twitter. There’s now a feed of my recent Tweets at the top right of this blog page. I’m not on the internet when up in the north of Ghana but I can send Tweets from a mobile phone. At least, that’s the theory. We’ll see. It’s a whole new area of technology to get to grips with. Join me!
I just came across a recent newspaper clipping, but I didn’t note which paper it came from. It’s headed “First in line: Foreign language advertising” and it’s by Emily Ford. The point being made is that, in advertising, one’s mother tongue works best. Based on a study from RSM Erasmus University in Rotterdam:
People who speak more than one language respond more acutely to marketing messages delivered in their native tongue.
Why? It seems that even for those who have good command of a second language and understand the message well in that language, it is communication in their first language which touches their emotions and evokes a response.
It is thought to be linked to the way in which people link words with memories. Theory suggests that we associate certain words with our experiences. Reading or hearing a word subconsciously reminds us of these memories, generating an emotional response. … So messages delivered in a first language are more emotional than those in a second language.
If people are to have their hearts touched by the most important message of all, God’s Word, they need to hear it in their mother tongue, the language of their heart. I think we knew that already, but it’s good to see the same principle confirmed in a different sphere.
We had a Vision Day yesterday at Wycliffe, led by the UK Director, Eddie Arthur. One thing in particular which Eddie said struck me forcibly. When Jesus saw how harassed and helpless were the people coming to him, he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37–38)
What was the world population in Jesus’ day? Apparently about 100 million. How many people today do not have access to the Scriptures in a language they understand well? 200 million! Enough said. See the full statistics on our Wycliffe page (click the tab above).