Mbeya Planning Meetings

March 4, 2014 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Tanzania

After spending a week in Dar es Salaam and a week in Dodoma, we flew to Mbeya for planning and review meetings with the team serving 13 language communities throughout Mbeya, Iringa and Njombe regions. This project, with the potential to impact 2.5 million speakers of the 13 languages, was started in 2003 and currently has around 70 staff working both in Mbeya town and in the surrounding communities.

Several of the translation teams are moving forward fast and approaching the completion of the New Testament in their languages, hopefully in the next 3 years. At the same time, some of the other languages have recently begun the process of developing writing systems, and are hoping to start translating the first Scripture portions in the next year or two. Read the rest of this entry →

Sharing in the Blessing of Community

March 5, 2012 in Life, Mark, Africa, Culture, Front, Mission, Tanzania

On Friday I was invited by two of our friends, Goodluck and Eliki, who work here at the language school to visit their village and families. I was excited to have the opportunity, and grateful to be able to share in a part of their lives for a few hours.

To begin with we visited Goodluck’s home, a couple of miles up the road from where we are staying. Here I met his Grandfather and Grandmother (Babu and Bibi in Swahili), who are from the Kinga tribe. The Kinga mainly live in the south-west of Iringa Region, but Babu and Bibi had to move to this area near Iringa town during the time of Ujamaa, soon after Tanzania gained its independence in the 1960s, and have lived here ever since. Read the rest of this entry →

Language Matters

February 28, 2012 in Life, Prayer, Wycliffe, Mark, Bible translation, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

Our time at Swahili language school in Iringa is continuing well, and we are starting to look ahead to our next move west in a week or so! We had originally planned to stay in Iringa for four weeks, but have extended that by one more week so as to give Laura as much time to continue with classroom learning as possible.

Laura is really enjoying the classes and is making excellent progress, having covered the majority of Swahili grammar and learned a lot of vocabulary too. She is able to converse more and more each day, and is encouraged by how much progress she has made in just three weeks here. You can even see her speaking Swahili for yourself… Read the rest of this entry →

Kujifunza Kiswahili – Learning Swahili

February 14, 2012 in Life, Mark, Africa, Front, Language, Swahili, Tanzania

One of the most crucial parts of our adapting to living in Tanzania is being able to speak the national language – Swahili – to a reasonable level. Having spent 3 years in Tanzania before I am able to speak Swahili fairly well (I’m happy to report I haven’t forgotten too much…!), but Laura has only ever visited East Africa so has never had the chance to learn much Swahili.

In order to help her learn we are spending a few weeks at a Swahili language school along with some of our colleagues, near the town of Iringa. We are into our second week here, and Laura is already making very good progress, picking up the fundamental parts of Swahili grammar and learning quite a bit of vocabulary that will enable her to speak and listen to people. Read the rest of this entry →