Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tok to Me

"Yes, we are all different. Different customs, different foods, different mannerisms, different languages, but not so different that we cannot get along with one another. If we will disagree without being disagreeable." ~J. Martin Kohe

"We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." ~Booker T. Washington

Back when we were "headed to Cameroon," a Haitian friend at church began trying to teach me French. I'm not sure if he noticed or not, but every time I would see him he would end up teaching me the same phrases over and over again. It is my opinion that I don't really have a "thing" for languages, if you know what I mean.

I say I am not sure he noticed because last Sunday at church he told me that he just knew I "have a better mind for learning languages" than my husband does. (excuse the outburst...) BWAAAAA HAA HAAA!

I disagree

All I really mastered was "Bonsoir, Messieur," and "Comment ca va?" Just enough to get him to rattle off a paragraph or two of meaningless French, in response to which I would smile hesitantly and reply, "Pardon?"

Today, for the first time, I got to hear a taste (sorry to mix senses) of the language we will learn in PNG, a Pidgin English called "Tok Pisin." In this two and a half minute YouTube video, a Papuan woman (woman = "meri") tells the story of the seven days of creation. Though you probably will not catch every word, if you listen closely, you can follow the story.

Just as a refresher,
Day 1: Day and night
Day 2: Heaven and earth
Day 3: Separated water from land
Day 4: Sun, moon, and stars
Day 5: Water and air creatures
Day 6: Land critters (including humans - what was he thinking?)
Day 7: Sittin' back in the easy chair with his feet propped up, holdin' a cold drink, eatin' chips, and watchin' football on the big-screen



  1. Your floors are looking great. My nana did great during surgery and is sitting up this morning. She is very sore and on pain meds but her vitals are good and she is doing well, she is 76. We are waiting for the swelling to go down to see what (if any) nerve damage has taken place as a result of the surgery. Thanks for asking. How are the kids? How is Paul's school going? How is your school going?

  2. I dont know who will learn the language quicker but God will equip you to communicate with this people group.

  3. My vote for best Bowers language skills? Evan!

  4. God will provide for that which he has called you to, but I understand about the language struggles. How sad is it that I have 2 years of French and all I know how to say is "shut your big mouth now." (that's a 10th grader for you).

  5. OK ... I have just been informed by my husband that I spelled "comment ca va?" incorrectly.

    I will fix it, but hey ... I'm just making a point here. (uh huh)


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