Do you ever wonder why you see different numbers for the number of languages with translation needs? Or why figuring that out is so difficult?
Often at Wycliffe we speak of a persons ‘Heart Language’, the language that they use at home, are most comfortable using, and understand the best. That is still a useful concept, and many people do still have a Heart Language that is unwritten and has no scripture.
However, our world is changing in many ways, including linguistically. The majority of the world now speaks more than one language, and often communities will use different languages for different purposes – one language in the home, one in the market, one in church, etc. This is driven by many factors including Global Connectivity, Urbanization, Migration and Forced Displacement (now estimated at more than 65 million people!)*
SIL, the organization that we work under in Cameroon, has established a task force on MUSE (Multilingualism, Urbanization and Scripture Engagement) to help us understand the global situation better and to begin translating learning into action in Literacy and Bible Translation. If you are interested, you can read more about that here.