Language Learning again
Ne be Bamanakan kalan.
I'm learning to speak Bambara.
We did mention in the last few weeks that we're learning Bambara.
Of course, all year we've been learning it. Informally, but everytime we greet
someone, or talk to them, it is like a Bambara class.
Since two weeks ago, we've started taking classes with a tutor.
It is amazing how much progress we've made by learning simple sentence structure,
and a list of verbs. Now we've done a lot of vocabulary words.
We need to get out and practice.
I usually get on the motorbike, and visit all over. Most days, I make 4-8 stops and
sit a talk with people. I've made vocabulary/expression cards. (the yellow papers in
the pictures...) One side is bambara, one side is English. The idea is that when I'm
working on them, the people will be curious about how to say it in English. Less of
them would be interested if it were French, they know that already. But to many
people, English is very exotic, and interesting. Even if they are not trying to
learn it, to hear a few words, or to hear what a Bambara word sounds like in English
is interesting to them. So I get lots of cooperation with language practice.
Now, I'm writing in first person, I. But Lisa gets out and does visiting rounds, as
well. She has her notebook, and is working on her phrases. You saw the pics last
week of her working on peanuts with the neighbors. The women there have no french.
That's a great opportunity for Lisa to concentrate on Bambara with women.
I like to learn languages. I guess that's a good thing in light of missionary life.
Language learning is not easy, and can be frustrating. (The same word meaning
different things, is very frustrating. (too,to,two)
But I really enjoy the visiting/practicing part of it. I don't take myself very
seriously, but the more I use the words, the more they come to mind when needed.
And each contact with people gives an opening for the gospel. That is not to say
that I preach at everyone I meet. But the relationships are being built, and often
someone will say something that can't be ignored, and I can use that opening to
share something of God's truth to them. As always, God uses whatever I can offer to
Him for the gospel.
Maybe you really see language learning as a roadblock to being a missionary.
It is really not so bad, it can even be enjoyable/fun. Even if it is bad, you're already in your mother language group. You are equipped to share the gospel where you are.
Thanks for stopping by,
Tom & Lisa Seward