Here’s another post on Pedagogy of teaching biblical Hebrew. One thought the author has is that we should have a full three-year course. The other is that language learning and exegesis (the study of texts) are two different and unrelated activities. In my experience, most people who study ancient Hebrew or Greek are interested in studying texts. I’m not sure where this leaves us.
The Western Fellowship of Professors and Scholars meets Oct 19-20 in Manhattan, Kansas. I will be posting the rest of the schedule, but here are the themes for the breakfast panel discussion.
1. New Interest in Modern Pentecostalism’s Kansas Origins, Dr. Robert D. Linder
Professor Linder is Kansas State University Distinguished Professor
(Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1963): History of Modern Christianity from the Reformation to the Present; History of Religion and Politics in Europe, Australia and the United States.
Greatest quote: “History, religion, politics, baseball! These are the important things of life. What else is there?” — Professor Bob Linder
2. Renaissance Adorations and the Black Magus: Interpreting an Iconographic Transformation, Tamica L. Lige
Until the middle of the fifteenth century the iconography of the Adoration of the Magi remained fairly consistent, with three white kings shown arriving to pay homage to the Christ Child. Around 1450, however, a shift in representation occurred, and one of the magi was now portrayed in the guise of a black African. Scholars have put forward various reasons for the appearance of the Black Magus. One view suggests that the Magi are thought to represent the three known continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa and that the “blackness” of the Magus symbolizes his native land. A second links the Black Magus to sin and heresy due to medieval associations of blackness with death, the underworld, and witchcraft. Another examines the Queen of Sheba as an archetypal figure to the Magi and suggests that written descriptions of her blackness inspire the adaptation of a Black Magus in Adoration scenes. This paper builds on these theories, but argues that representations of the Black Magus also need to be analyzed within the contexts specific to individual works of art. To further this end, this study examines several European examples of the Adoration of the Magi through various lenses to discern meanings specific to each. In order to interpret the meaning of the Black Magus in these works, I will explore the relationship between the Queen of Sheba and the Magi, the effects of reformist ideas in Northern Europe at the time, and the role a patron’s interests play in the iconography of works they commission.
Tamica Lige, of Manhattan KS, is an Italian Renaissance art historian. Her work thus far has explored art patronage by elite families, iconography, and methodology. Ms. Lige’s interests generally surround religious works commissioned by lay patrons and range from architecture to painting.
The Underground Railroad in Kansas: Cooperation of God’s People, Karre L. Schaefer
We will explore the little-known Underground Railroad in Kansas. Recently, scholars have found that contrary to original belief, African-Americans ran most of the Underground Railroads in the Eastern United States. However, as usual, Kansas is unusual.
Because of the lack of African-Americans in Kansas, the Underground Railroad was run by white Americans. Mostly, these consisted of various Protestant denominations who joined together to help African-American runaway slaves escape to Canada and Mexico.
Congregationalist members, such as the Beecher Bible and Rifle Church, while believing that the United States was an authority in place by God, chose to run the UGRR contrary to that authority. Working with the Quakers in Harveyville and other churches, an alternate route was created to throw the slave-hunters off track as they traveled up and down the well-known route. These men and women who ran this railroad believed they did so by authority of God Almighty. This was no small thing – harboring a fugitive slave in Kansas meant immediate death. This Railroad is a case where God’s people put their lives on the line so that others could be free. I will leave us considering whether we would do the same thing.
Karre Schaefer is a graduate student in the Political Science Department at Kansas State University. After receiving her BA in history, she set out to explore why people did what they did, and found herself concentrating in Political Thought. Ms. Schaefer combines political thought, religious thought, Biblical principle as well as enlightenment to seek answers to why social movements occur and their long-term effects.
Religion on the American Frontier, 1801-1901.
The Western Fellowship of Professors and Scholars will explore
the theme of New Religious Movements in the 19th century. Several colorful and novel religious movements sprung up in America as the country was expanding westward; some promoting new revelations and new practices, and others claiming to return to primitive patterns and teachings.
What was it about this period of history that produced diverse groups such as Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, Disciples of Christ and churches of Christ, and Pentecostals?
The WFPS will meet in Manhattan, Kansas, October 19-20, 2012. Stay tuned for further announcements, and watch your mailbox and email for an official call for papers.
One of my students this morning asked if I knew where we could get a flux capacitor. If we had one, we could build a time machine and transport ourselves back in time and learn Greek by immersion in the language and culture. Barring that, we could go to Greece for a six-week summer language immersion program and we would be speaking real Greek.
I think that would help quite a bit. We would be internalizing the language and building vocabulary. It still wouldn’t be ancient Greek; there would still be a lot to learn if we wanted to read Paul or Plato. Ideally, we could spend a couple of years mastering the modern language and then enroll in a classics program at a University in Athens or Thessaloniki.
Lacking a time machine or the funds to live in Greece several years, the old fashioned text book approach to learning grammar and vocabulary will get you there. I have decided in my teaching of Greek to use all the help I can find, to try creative things like conversations, drama, role playing, games, etc. Someday I will bring some Greek food to class, blindfold students, and have them name each item in Greek based on taste.
But it still comes down to this: the goal of most of us who study ancient languages is not to communicate with ancient people but to analyze ancient texts. For that reason, we can’t get away from learning grammar.
If I were able to become proficient in communicating in ancient Greek I would succeed in creating my own style. I don’t know if that would help me or anyone else who wanted to study ancient literary or documentary texts.
I had a class in “Latin Prose Composition.” When I thought I was getting pretty good, my professor told me my style was too poetic. Well, I had been studying Latin poetry but not so much prose. My professor was right, of course.
I have found that each ancient author has his or her style and it takes quite a bit of effort to get used to a new author. Without developing good analytical skills that can be an insurmountable challenge.
So I probably won’t be joining the ancient Greek conversation cult.
The cult that is currently trying to draw me in is the cult of speakers of ancient languages. They don’t just study ancient Greek, they have conversations in it and argue over how it should be pronounced.
I first became susceptible to the thinking of this group nearly thirty years ago. I was learning two languages at the same time: biblical Hebrew and German.
In fact, I was in my second semester of Hebrew when I started my German class, and about six weeks into the German class I felt more confident in that language than in Hebrew. If someone asked me to say something in German I could blurt out, Guten Tag! or Wie Geht’s. If asked to say something in Hebrew, I might mutter, bereshith bara or something like that.
So I thought to myself, what if we could reconstruct ancient Hebrew conversation and learn the language conversationally?
A couple years later I found myself in a graduate program in classics and started asking the same questions. Since the dialogues of Plato were already conversations, I thought, they might be a great place to start.
Then I found out it wasn’t a new idea, in fact, folks had already been doing it with Latin. Not only had it been done, but up until just a year or two previous it had been done at my university. They taught Latin conversationally and continued their Latin conversations outside of class.
The program had been discontinued because the university officials thought it was becoming a cult! The students began to imagine they were medieval monks living in medieval monasteries, and evidently some of the students had evidently converted to medieval Christianity, and the university was threatened with lawsuits for advocating a particular religion. All this I learned through the grapevine.
Soon after learning about this I found myself teaching Latin, strictly by the book, not by immersing myself and my students in Latin conversation. I had a few students in the class who had learned Latin via vocis viventis by the conversational method. I was impressed with them the first few weeks. Their pronunciation was excellent and they had a pretty good head start. But I also noticed that by the sixth or seventh week of college Latin they had reached the limits of their high school students, and from then on no one had an unfair advantage.
More to come . . .
- I have told my sons that they are not under any circumstances to take part in massacres, and that the news of massacres of enemies is not to fill them with satisfaction or glee.
- I have also told them not to work for companies which make massacre machinery, and to express contempt for people who think we need machinery like that.
Are those thoughts contrary to the teaching of the Bible, or more specifically the teaching and practice of Jesus? Evidently a school board in Republic, Missouri thought so and removed the book Slaughterhouse Five from the high school curriculum.
It’s been a while since I read the book. I suppose there was some profanity in the language of some of the characters. I don’t particularly like that and I tend to tune it out. But that’s not what I remember about the book. Slaughter House Five is one of the great anti-war books of recent times, one that makes us question our righteousness even in the one war we consider just, noble, and necessary.
My cousin read the book his senior year in high school, just before embarking on a career in the air force. He thought it was a great book. The questions raised by Vonnegut didn’t stop him from serving his country. I think everyone who is going into the military should read the book.
that the University
of Kansas used cloned athletes to win the Big-12 Championship and advance to the “elite 8.”
A reporter searching the high school records for Marcus and Markief Morris, the famed “Morris twins,” revealed a surprising fact: There is no record of Marcus or Markief attending high school. Instead there was only one name–Mark Morris.
Anonymous sources from the university of Kansas Medical School mention suspicious cloning activity around the years 2004-2008.
A spokesman for coach Bill Self says the Jayhawks “deny the allegation and defy the alligator.” Further, coach Self adds, even if it were true it violates no rule.
We have the original rules, written by coach Naismith himself. There is no prohibition of using cloned athletes.
Meanwhile, there are also reports of suspicious activity in the genetics lab at Kansas State University.
Coach Frank Martin has been quoted as saying,
KU obviously had an unfair advantage with two Morrises. If we had two Jacob Pullens, we would have been unstoppable.
Bill Moyers notes a study from the University of Michigan “deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information.” The study found that when people who had been misinformed “were exposed to corrected facts in new stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs.”
We often base our opinions on our beliefs … and rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions.”
This explains a lot about politics.
I would also like to point out something about faith and reason, from a Christian point of view.
It is not an empirical reality that people in fact live according to reality and make decisions according to reason. Reason is an ethical imperative. We ought to live according to truth, reason, and reality. The common human refusal to face reality is another name for sin, collusion in willful self-deception.
Faith, in the Christian sense, is not about clinging to irrational beliefs in spite of facts. Faith is a commitment to living according to justice, peace, and truth. Life according to justice, peace, and truth is the Way of Jesus Christ; and it includes making decision according to reality.
One fact of recent history is that the Wall Street High-rollers reckless ways destroyed the economy, forced middle-class taxpayers to bail them out, and made billions in personal profits in the process. People are justifiably angry but they have no way to pour out their wrath on the guilty. So they look for a target nearer at hand and they find the people who cut our meat, harvest our vegetables, changes the sheets in our hotels and perform other dangerous, difficult, or menial tasks that we prefer not to do ourselves.
We can’t punish them directly, so instead we choose to punish their children.
The children of undocumented workers have broken no laws. The state representatives today voted to punish them by tripling their tuition rate if they chose to go to college in the only home state they know.
This is not a solution to any real problem. It will not increase revenue, it will only prevent the kids from getting an education and contributing to the state economy.
Maybe our state senate will show more wisdom.
Sonja and I are going tonight to see the Movie about Temple Grandin, staring Claire Danes, and tomorrow to see Temple in Person. Both events are at 7 PM in the K-State Union.
Temple Grandin is the author of Animals in Translation. She has autism, and says she thinks in pictures and details like animals, not in abstractions and concepts like other people. She says she understands animal emotions.
Animals do not get conflicted. They experience one emotion at a time.
I also remember a scene in her book where she describes meeting B.F. Skinner, who turned out to be a creepy old man.
I like this famous expression that comes from Chicago politics:
I deny the allegation and defy the alligator.
My gripe is with the way I heard the passive participle “alleged” used on the morning news show today. They spoke of the “alleged murder of David Hartley by Mexican Pirates” in Falcon Lake on the border between Mexico and Texas.
I understand the concept in our legal system that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. So it is proper to say “the alleged murderer.”
Allege meant in older days, “to affirm on oath,” then more generally, “to accuse without proof.” In 1586, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, one T.B. was enlightened enough to say,
wee must not therefore alleadge anie imperfection in the creation of the woman.
In journalism today “allege” means “to accuse of a crime” and “alleged” means “accused.” So it is proper to speak of the “alleged perpetrator” of a crime, but it is wrong to speak of an alleged victim, or even an alleged crime when the fact that a crime has been committed is obvious. Tiffanie Hartley has the spattered blood of her husband on her vest. She was with him when he was shot in the head in Mexican waters by someone aboard a boat.
The word “alleged” should be reserved for occasions when someone has been named and accused of a crime. Crimes and crime victims should not be “alleged.”
Joe just sent me a tip that the British Library has placed many ancient Greek manuscripts online:
(AP) LONDON – One of the world’s most important caches of Greek manuscripts is going online, part of a growing number of ancient documents to hit the Web in recent years.
The British Library said Monday that it was making more than a quarter of its 1,000 volume-strong collection of handwritten Greek texts available online free of charge, something curators there hope will be a boon to historians, biblical scholars and students of classical Greece alike. (Yahoo News)
What is conservative about always wanting to change the constitution?
By the way, why is out-of-state tuition allowed under the 14th amendment? Any legal scholars out there?
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I still want to remind everyone to visit the Iwig web site and do what they can to save the farm. In the meantime, I’m still discouraged by the meanness I am seeing in primary race for senate in my state.
One candidate is now accusing the other of wanting to grant lower in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.
That sounds reasonable until you apply a little logic.
Who are these “illegal immigrants” who want to take advantage of our educational opportunities?
They are graduates of our state’s high schools who were brought here as children by their parents who came here without permission, seeking jobs they were told “Americans won’t do.”
What law did the children break?
They were brought here by their parents. Did they have a moral obligation to turn back and cross the border alone in the other direction. The parents broke the law and were aware of the risks and the possible consequences.
The children went to school, did their homework, obeyed the rules they understood, and now want to go to college. They only home they now know is the state where they graduated from school. How is it to anyone’s advantage to deny them an education?
Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have a chance if he were running in the current political climate. After all, he granted amnesty in 1986 to undocumented workers and their families.
I have just finished reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and hope to follow with a review in the next couple days.
I learned of the book from the Wabaunsee County Book Club, who invited me to attend their meeting later this month. They learned of it from Kansas State University’s new book program. They hope to have all faculty and freshman students read the book this year, and even offer a study guide for faculty.
For now I will say the book was easy to read and fast paced and gives you plenty to think about.
I re-read the interview with Lamin Sanneh in Christianity Today from 2003, and was again moved with a great sense of admiration for him and the way God has worked in his life. I urge everyone to read the interview (by clicking above). I plan to read a couple of his books this summer.
In the last post I referred to him with regard to Bible translation and the classics of English literature. Here are three quotations from the interview:
The overwhelming majority of the world’s languages have a dictionary and a grammar at all because of the modern missionary movement. …
More people pray and worship in more languages in Christianity than in any other religion.
I grew up reading the classics of Islam, with religious and historical accounts steeped in the vindication of the things of God. As a child I remember stumbling on Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life, which had a profound influence on me. It made me resolved to pursue the world of learning and scholarship. I became a voracious reader. Later on at school I read the works of the Western masters, such as Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, Keats, Longfellow, Flaubert, Goethe, and so on. All that unlocked the teeming world of the imagination to me, just as Helen Keller intimated.
There are some disturbing descriptions in the interview. Sanneh tells how when he came to a living faith in God who revealed himself through Jesus Christ, both protestant and catholic church leaders were suspicious and tried to keep him at arms length. I thought of Saul of Tarsus after his Damascus Road experience. But it seemed Lamin Sanneh had a hard time finding a Barnabas to come to his aid.
He also described western Christianity as feeble because of its captivity to the West. At the same time he describes a vibrant faith arising in Africa and Asia.
Papua New Guinea is home to thousands of distinct tribes speaking 830 living languages. It is one of the most diverse places on the globe in terms of peoples, geography, ecology, and linguistics. Many of the 830 languages have never been written down, have never had an alphabet.
My friend John Relyea gave his life learning, analyzing, and describing one of those languages–Aruamu–and translating the Bible into it. His wife Marsha gave twenty-three years of her life working with John as his partner in learning and translating and in literacy training.
John died of a sudden heart attack in January of 2005, just after completing his life’s work and sending it to the printers. In fact, April of that year was to be the celebration of the arrival of the Aruamu Bible. After returning to the United States for John’s funeral, Marsha went back for the combined celebration and memorial service.
John and Marsha worked with Pioneer Bible Translators. A few years before John’s death, I remember talking to a friend about their work. I was asked, “Will they be translating Shakespeare and other great literature?”
I had two thoughts: “I don’t see any English majors risking malaria and other dangers to bring Shakespeare to the tribes,” and “It is certain no one will do that until they have an alphabet and literacy.” Then I also realized, “They may have a great oral literature–but the rest of the world will never have access to it until their language is written down.”
Yale historian Lamin Sanneh argues that missionaries have done more than anyone else to preserve indigenous languages and cultures. I remember John telling me about the adventure of learning the ways of the Aruamu people.
But don’t missionaries change native cultures? Not nearly as much as western corporations and entertainment do. Modern missionaries are trained to respect indigenous cultures, traditions, and ways. Do they sometimes encounter aspects of those cultures that need changing? Of course.
About two years ago I met another Bible translator working with a different tribe in Papua New Guinea, who told of a man who said, “I wish you had brought us the Bible sooner.” He described how as a boy of about eight years he witness his mother being strangled to death by the village elders.
Why? The boy’s father knew he was dying and couldn’t bear the thought of his wife going to another man. One taboo of the traditional religion they then practiced involved an idol. If any woman looked at the idol, she had violated the taboo and death was the penalty. The dying husband asked his friends to place the idol in a location where his wife would see it–and then catch her in the act–as soon as he was buried. The friends carried out the man’s wishes, and a little boy saw his mother cruelly taken from him.
Many traditional ways are beautiful and meaningful. Some are deadly. If you have the opportunity to enjoy a visit to an island paradise and enjoy the hospitality of the island people, thank a missionary that you are not on the menu.
It all started a few years ago when I was getting bored with my job. I mean there are only so many legitimate ways you can invest other people’s money. Then we had a convention in Las Vegas, and it occurred to me: These guys know how to have fun and make money.
So I hired a couple creative young guys–persuaded them to drop out of college. They came up with this beautiful scheme–synthetic assets, virtual cash flow, bundled derivatives–it was beautiful; so complicated no one could understand it. What it boiled down to was this: We sell bundles of bad mortgages to pension plans, then we buy insurance policies betting that the mortgages go bad.
I said no one could understand it: that’s not quite true. Some of the legal boys said, the only problem boss, is it’s illegal. So we get a few more bright kids to drop out of college and send them to Washington as lobbyists. They sell the idea that burdensome and obsolete banking regulations are stifling the economy and keeping us from competing. We send a few senators to a resort in the Caribbean to think it over, and pretty soon they see things our way.
Then, here’s the beauty of it. The bonuses are rolling in, then one of those bright kids in accounting says, “Boss, we’ve got a problem.” He tells me the whole world economy is about to tank, and the big banks are going under. Then another bright kid gives me an idea. “No way they’re going to let it happen.” I see he’s right. So I start investing in those banks that we ruined by selling them toxic assets.
Now I own the banks that the poor working schmucks bailed out–and I give myself a big bonus from the bail out money we brought in. Now the Fed is loaning money at 0.5 % interest; I’m taking it and buying treasury bonds that pay 3%. I’m using the taxpayer’s money to loan money to the government to pay back the bailout money that’s paying my bonuses.
But one of the bright kids in public relations says, Boss, the tax payers aren’t stupid. They’re going to demand some of that money back. They might suggest a sur-tax of 5% on incomes above 1 million dollars or something.
So I hire a public relations firm to stir up “grass roots” support and plan these tea party events to protest against anyone raising my taxes. They even have a Tina Fey look-alike drawing big crowds.
Charlie was my best friend in college. Poor guy wasted his life if you ask me; became a basketball coach. His team made it to the Final Four last year, and now he’s making a million and a half a year. A million and a half! How does anyone live on that?
What’s worse, his daughter went to college to become a teacher. And now the schools are laying off. Charlie says he’s going to help her out. Like he can afford to on his miserable pay check! If you ask me, it was her choice to throw her life away.
Sure I could buy her a school if I wanted to. It’s not easy to spend $3 million a day! I buy a nice house in Miami on Monday, on Tuesday I make a down payment on one in San Francisco and finish paying on Wednesday–pretty soon I have houses in all fifty states, and it’s only February!
I could buy her a school. But she had her choice. She could have chosen a responsible career like I did.
[Note: The top 30 hedge fund managers averaged one billion dollars each in salary and bonuses last year. ]
OK, not really–but there are new federal regulations that require colleges to list their textbooks with the course listing. Since our line schedule comes out next week, I have to select books now for fall classes. Here’s what I will be using:
For a new course on Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Life, Thought, and Influence, I will require the following:
- Letters and Papers from Prison (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 8).
- Ethics (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 6).
- Stephen Haynes, Bonhoeffer for Armchair Theologians.
- Jürgen Moltmann, Jesus Christ for Today’s World.
The new edition of Letters and Papers is due out this June. It is nearly twice as long as the prior English edition–and will unfortunately be much more expensive. But the Bonhoeffer Works volumes are magnificent editions, carefully edited and translated with helpful introductions and annotations. The English series is nearing completion, following the German editions which appeared throughout the decade of the nineties.
The book by Stephen Haynes is also new and I haven’t seen it yet–I’m walking by faith here–but I assume it is of the same quality as his two prior books on Bonhoeffer. Finally, I am using one of Moltmann’s little volumes because the course deals with Bonhoeffer’s influence.
Professor Moltmann spoke in 2008 at the Prague Bonhoeffer congress on Bonhoeffer’s influence on his own life and theology. He mentioned that he was originally a bit put off by the formal and “churchy” language–Moltmann himself was brought up in a secular household and came to faith as a prisoner of war after an American army chaplain gave him a New Testament and Psalms. He joked that his first reaction to Bonhoeffer’s Life Together was that after his years in prison camp, he had had quite enough of life together.
Wer ist Jesus Christus für uns heute? Who is Jesus Christ for us today.
One answer is given in a chapter on Jesus Christ and Torture. Jesus Christ is the brother of the tortured and the judge of the torturer.
One of my former students was wonder on his blog if there is a formal name for a logical fallacy involving tone. I thought it was a good question, so I did a little googling. I like the list on the Nizcor Project. Some of the common fallacies on the list have colorful names: the Red Herring, the Straw Man, Poisoning the Well, Ridicule, and the Gambler’s Fallacy. Of course, using Latin always makes you sound more logical: I like the Tu Quoque (you too!) fallacy–it’s been used against many times.
If we really banned all of the fallacies from our discourse, there would be very little politics, advertising, or religious controversy. In fact, maybe fallacies are essential to the national economy.
My wife Sonja took Frau Bridges logic class back in the 1970s, and she was the only student ever to ace the final exam. Sonja really enjoyed symbolic logic–If P then Q, and so forth. I gave up trying to win arguments with her a long time ago.
Frau Bridges was my German teacher a few years after Sonja was introduced to philosophy and logic by her. Frau Bridges was a Holocaust survivor. I only had one semester of German with her–one of my biggest academic regrets is that I didn’t continue for a least two years. She was one of the best teachers I have ever had.
Here are two remarks I remember from her class.
In a European University the professor reads a lecture and never looks up from his notes. In America you have to be an entertainer.
Here is how you pronounce the German -ch. It is a beautiful spring day and you see a little girl in her pretty new dress. She has fallen down and skinned her knee and ruined her dress. Vat can you say but “Ach!”
Meaghan Smith is another of my students (now an alumna) who loves the people of Ethiopia. Meaghan leaves tomorrow, Tuesday Nov 3, 2009, for a four-year term in Addis Ababa. She has completed her advanced training in linguistics and will be working with a team from Wycliffe Bible translators.
In addition to her linguistic talents, Meaghan for two years held the important office of Hostess of the annual Tamale Party that Sonja and I provide at our house for our students.
Here is an excerpt from one of her Newsletters:
Ethiopia, nearly twice the size of Texas, is home to about 80 million people and 85 languages. My first year in Ethiopia will be spent learning Amharic, the national language. On weekdays I will be in language school about five hours a day, and outside of the classroom I will have plenty of opportunities to practice as I live in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city.
Amharic is spoken by about 17.5 million people and is the primary language used in education throughout Ethiopia. It is also the language I will be using the most at the outset of my work with the translation team in Mizan-Teferi.
Amharic is a Semitic language, which means it is related to Hebrew and Arabic. My studies of Hebrew and Amharic should complement one another, as they have similar grammatical structures and some similar vocabulary. Amharic uses a syllabary system with 268 characters. Instead of an alphabet with separate consonants and vowels, each symbol represents a combination of a consonant and a vowel.
If you would like to learn more about Meaghan’s upcoming work in Ethiopia, e-mail her and ask to added to her newsletter email list (email@example.com). You can learn more about Wycliffe at www.wycliffe.org.