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The Necessity of the use of Indigenous Languages for purposes of Sustainability

Author: Jim Harries
Date: 07.09.2010
Category: Resource Mobilization, Integrity and Anti-Corruption, Partnership

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Originally Posted in English

This recently published article looks at the necessity for the use of indigenous languages for enabling sustainable development. Its use of missiological and theological terminology has been of necessity minimal to allow publication in a secular journal, but it has an important message that should be considered by those seeking to communicate across cultural gulfs in the work of the Gospel.

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Keywords: indigenous languages, sustainability, development, mission, africa.

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Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down hayesstw (-2)
South Africa

For the past few years we have been called to be involved with a congregation where most of the people speak North Sotho, one of the languages in our country that i know least about, and one that most bookshops don’t have courses in. But that is a good excuse for getting other members of the congregation to lead worship, so that they can do it just as easily when we aren’t there!

Reply Flag 1 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Swells_in_the_Middle (15)  

Thanks Jim for another reminder of the importance of humbling ourselves for the sake of others.  Language acquisition and inculturation are never easy or painless, but we fool ourselves and do a disservice to those we have come to serve when we act as if these steps can somehow be avoided.  If nothing else, the humbling that comes through these twin tasks provides an essential foundation for any kind of effective ministry.

As an aside, it seems to me that bringing this mindset into the discussions related to "partnership" would go a long way towards improving the nature of cross-cultural partnerships around the world.

Reply Flag 0 Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Jim_Harries (-3)
@ Swells_in_the_Middle:

Indeed, use of indigenous languages on both sides (i.e. the practice of partnerships being guided by people with knowledge of indigenous languages on both sides) would be an enormous help to partnership situations.


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