Post 97 / The Next Language


The Berom (sometimes also spelt as Birom) is the largest autochthonous ethnic group in Plateau State, central Nigeria. Covering about four local government areas, which include Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi (Gwol) and Riyom, Berom are also found in some southern Kaduna State local government areas. (Wikipedia)

The Berom speak the Berom language, which belongs to the Plateau branch of Benue–Congo, a subfamily of the large Niger–Congo language family. It is not related to the Hausa language (which belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family) or other Afro-Asiatic languages of Plateau State, which are Chadic languages. (Source: Wikipedia)

Berom shows up on our GRN language map as two recorded languages and thirteen unrecorded language varieties. All of these are categorized under a single ISO (International Standards Organization) code of BOM. Note the neighboring languages on the map below. Green languages are recorded and red ones are unrecorded.

Center Leader Kish told me more than once that they had always considered Berom a single language. He was amazed at the results from our language investigators who have now visited all 15 languages (all listed under the BOM code) and returned with recorded word lists.

It was amazing to hear day after day as the investigators returned with reports of mostly successful contacts in the villages. Successful contacts with church leaders and even with a regional king. (Each language jurisdiction has its own king.) They got contacts for the original language helper who worked with Kathy Hoffmeyer and Ann Sherwood in 1964. That language helper is now on an important translation committee over all the Berom language varieties.

Our investigators reported only once being detained for a shakedown as they fanned out across the countryside on the back of motorcycle taxis. So far their official ID cards have been satisfactory for officialdom.

As the stories of origins and audio linguistic data were collected it was clear that many names were inappropriate for the people or their language. Laying the word lists side by side across all varieties, it was clear that at least two should not even be in the same language family. Other investigations suggest a second language variety that had not even been anticipated by our language tracking sleuths back in USA.

As the data from this list of languages is digested and contacts are pursued, please pray that the appropriate scripts and language helpers will come together to create a presentation of the Gospel to these people who numbers well over 1,000,000 speakers. You can see on the above chart from the GRN web page that is linked to the map that only two of them have any audio resources at this point. Many are requesting to use their own name for their language. There is a good chance that even more language varieties will show up as the investigation moves on to neighboring villages.

Please also pray for safety for all our workers in this land.

God Bless,

Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director

Global Recordings Network USA

If you are interested in learning how to share links on social media that will promote use of our recordings and the Gospel in general, please contact RolandHeck@GlobalRecordings.Net

Previous “The Next Language” posts
God is my Wit(h)ness – Post 96
Scarlet Chested Sun Bird – Post 95
Fountains of Water – Post 94
A Glorious Landing – Post 93
Tale of Three Sisters – Post 92
Collaboration – Post 91
Pick Your Fears Carefully – Post 90
Mixteco del Progreso – Post 89
Go – Post 88
Those Word Lists – Post 87
Altars – Post 86
Oh, for a Thousand Tongues – Post 85
Voices in the Wilderness – Post 84
Nigeria – First Impressions – Post 83
From the Land of Nod – Post 82
Tribute to Mexico – 1967 – 2022 – Post 81
Miniaturization – Post 80
Knowing The Times – Post 79
God Comes to a Dirty World – Post 78
Corn in Mexico – Post 77
When the Church Says No – Post 76
War – Post 75
Theirs Is the Kingdom – Post 74
The Hippie Era Lives On – Post 73
Genesis of a Recording Set – Post 72
Back Tracking – Post 71
Witnesses- Post 70
Who Is Your Owner? – Post 69
An Unsolicited Endorsement – Post 68
Oral Tradition – Post 67
Works of  Man – Post 66
Deliverance – Post 65
New Discoveries – Post 64
The Wall of Pain – Post 63
Is There a Place for the Gospel in Your Story – Post 62
The Love Pyramid – Post 61
Obsession – Post 60
Verb Tenses in Hebrews – Post 59
The Unseen Weapon – Post 58
The Gospel Arrives in Zapoteco:Elotepec – Post 57
Fishing – GRN Style – Post 56
A New Day in Mexico – Post 55
Seeking – Post 54
Pick Your Battles – Post 53
How Big Is Your God? – Post 52
A Muted Gospel? – Post 51
Dedication Service for Marcos – Post 50
Two Weeks, Two Months, Two Years – Post 49
What Will You Give to Jesus – Post 48
Special Assignment – Post 47
The Good and the Best – Post 46
How Many Languages Are There? – Post 45
Verifying Speech Varieties – Post 44
Those God Things – Post 43
Meet Notch, the Desert Cottontail – Post 42
The Lost Languages – Post 41
The Rest of the Yoke – Post 40
What About Those Last Languages – Post 39
A Yoke That Fits – Post 38
The Other Side – Post 37
It Is Finished – Post 36
On the Ground in Culiacan – Post 35
I Will Go With Thee – Post 34
Unseen Warfare – Post 33
God of the Gaps – Post 32
The Father of Faith Missions – Post 31
WAIT – Post 30
Our Ultimate Weapon – Post 29
What Are You Doing Here – Post 28
Recordist Training Course Update – Post 27
Still Shameful – Post 26
Numbers Update – Post 25
The Gospel and Idolatry – Post 24
Could Ye Not Pray – Post 23
John the Baptist and the New Normal – Post 22
Genesis of a Script – Post 21
Embena Experiences – Post 20
An Easter Like No Other – Post 19
Go Or Stay Home – Post 18
The Next Language – Post 17
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