Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pure Zanaki

Written by Misha S. (for more stories and information on where I'll be headed... go to

When we finished drafting chapters 12-20 of Genesis, we traveled to a small Zanaki village named Mirwa to read the chapters aloud to people and see if they understood them or not and to get help with a few difficult words. In Mirwa, we were fortunate to have a large group of people, mostly non-Christians, who wanted to listen to the stories about Abraham.

The group was very quiet when we were reading, except sometimes they'd tell us to go back and read a paragraph again, not because they hadn't understood, but just because they liked it so much they wanted to hear it again! When we finished reading, they exclaimed, "We thought people weren't speaking pure Zanaki anymore, and that people in town and young people were starting to look down on our language and to prefer Swahili, but here you are reading such good Zanaki! We're so glad to hear our language being used so well, just the way it really is."

A few of the older people in the group said, "Long ago we heard a Christian pastor read to us from the gospel of Matthew, which was the only book of the Bible translated into Zanaki. We thought that when that project ended after just one book, nobody would ever write in Zanaki again. Thank you for your work to remember our language and to write it! We are not Christians, but we think you are doing good work to translate the Bible. These are good stories and the way you have written them in such pure Zanaki...ah, that is sweet to hear."

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