At the start of our checking session today, we started by talking about the orthography (writing system) that we have chosen to use in Shekgalagari. It actually sparked an argument among the people present as to how we should be spelling certain words. There’s a lot of influence from other languages on Shekgalagari and so some people have different ideas about we should be spelling things. This led to the kgosi (chief) standing up and talking to the people.
The Bakgalagari culture is one that builds consensus. If there’s a dissenting opinion even if it is in the minority, they will take time to talk about it instead of just holding a vote. So the kgosi stood up and talked about how there are lots of different ideas of how we should spell things or whether we should write it this way or that way, but in the end, it’s all about getting the Bible in Shekgalagari. That we should set those things aside to work towards the goal. And then other members of the advisory committee stood up and said similar things; another cultural phenomenon: one person makes a point and another will echo that point and then add their own thoughts in agreement.
The people agreed to put these things aside and to focus on the goal. A great victory for our group, but the real victory came an hour or so later when someone said “It’s so good to hear Shekgalagari spoken like this. I don’t even care about how it’s spelled!” These people love hearing God’s Word in their language so much that they are willing to put aside their opinions and ideas of how it should be written, just so that they can hear more of it. Join us in giving thanks to God for this opportunity we have to fill the ears of these people with not only the Word of God, but their own language as well.