Language Check Two

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015

Knox is hanging out with one of our guards, John.
Language was designed, created and put in place by God.  Up until Genesis 11 you have the whole world speaking without multiple languages being mentioned, but then it changes.  The flood is finished, the arc landed, man increased on the Earth, and rather than scattering they came together to make a name for themselves.  This was defiance to what God had commanded – that they be fruitful and scatter across the face of the Earth (Gen 9:1).  Genesis 11:6-8 records the day God dispersed the men and gave them a new language.
Genesis 11:6-8
The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.  “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”  So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.
It has been a helpful reality to think on such things as we are learning.  We are now learning a new language so the people of PNG, who speak another language (which is a result of man’s sin at Babel) will Lord willing glorify God in that language!
With that said… Language Check 2 is complete!  Praise God the last two months have been evidence of God’s sustaining grace.  Our days are continually filled with things that are now routine as well as the new and unexpected.  One of those routine things has been learning Tok Pisin.  I have to say, learning a new language has been harder than we anticipated.  There are days where you feel as though you finally grasped the right way to ask a question, only to find you forgot when you got up the next morning.
I found learning to talk with people in stage one was far easier then after we started into stage two.  I had thought I was talking well with people (and I had) but we had been talking like a 3 year old.  It’s like when Knox says where someone is, “Her (He) in the bathroom.”  We all know what Knox is saying but he aint’t talkin’ good English.  Lorie and I both found that talking with people after we were shown these little nuances was harder, because we were thinking too much!
Last week our team took the Stage two language check.  These checks serve as a helpful mirror to show how much we know and give us the green light to move on to the next stage.  The check is a two part test, one verbal, the other written.  For the verbal we had to share a story with our language helper that they would not know.  I chose to tell her about fly-fishing in the mountains of Arizona, Lorie chose how we got engaged.  After we told her the story she had to remember the main 10 points of the story and tell the instructor (Zach Cann).  After we talked the tables were turned and Julie told us (individually) a separate story about her life and we had to understand the 10 main points of her story.
The written test was next and it took around 1.25 hours to complete.  The test had just shy of 100 statements in English that had to be changed to how it would be said in Tok Pisin.  I have found at the present time I am able to talk far better Tok Pisin than I can write!  I guess that only makes sense if you are spending time learning how the syntax works.  Here is one of the statements in the test.  The pig wants to eat and so he is oinking  –  pik i lakim kaikai olsem na em i singaut.
Up next… Language Check Three.