Post 56 / The Next Language
August 30, 2021
Fishing — GRN Style
Only in retrospect have I become aware that we have followed the same pattern God chose to introduce Christ to the world 2000 years ago. At that time, John the Baptist was the fore-runner who showed up with an announcement about the One to follow.
Today, in several villages in Mexico, officials and residents are being approached by pescadores – language investigators who are following up on data in our language bank indicating that in such and such village there is a language that has never been recorded.
These pescadores have been trained to approach strangers with a small 2 ounce microphone/recorder and ask to be allowed to record a word list. This opens a conversation about the language and its use in the area and (we hope) ends with the permissions needed to record. These pescadores play samples from the 300 recorded languages of Mexico (on 5fish) to determine just how different the speech variety in question is. If necessary they go to the highest elected official in the area to get permission to record word lists. In one of the first villages the mayor promised a room to stay in and languages helpers for several language projects to come.
In the process the pescadores look for believers or “persons of peace.” They solicit an invitation for a recording team to return to record a set of scripts appropriate for the situation. They attempt to build a connection between targeting that language and at least one local church. They are bridge builders between target languages and a follow-up Gospel recording team. They collect contact information with either the official or the potential language helpers. They leave a small speaker containing an SD card holding near-by-language GRN recordings and Spanish Bible audio files for language helpers to listen to and make a choice of stories they would like to later orally translate and record.
On the way out the pescadore notes the public transportation options for arriving at the village and the most practical point of entry. (We learned several times that the first road in was often the worst. We also learned that many of the blocked roads had nothing to do with covid but with local politics and feuds).
Thus the pescadores (John the Baptist-like) prepare the way for recording teams to start capturing the roughly 100 languages left in Mexico that for one reason or another have never been recorded. Thanks to three of these trained individuals we have many invitations to record. We feel as if the high places have been leveled and the valleys filled in before us!
[Isa 40:3 KJV] The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
[Mal 3:1 KJV] Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA