11 May 2008


Today I learned that the language Ewe, a member of the Niger-Congo language family, contains a bilabial fricative represented by the letter "w" in the name of the language itself. This bilabial fricative is formed by saying a "b" without letting ones lips touch each other so that what comes out sounds a little like a cross between a "b" and "w."

I learned this because I asked a Ghanaian in what language he was reading when he (with several other people) read a portion of Acts 2 simultaneously in various languages. Interestingly, and perhaps more relevant in the context of Pentecost, the result of this simultaneous reading was that rather than everyone in the congregation hearing the message in their own language, we heard it in many languages simultaneously, and therefore not at all. A second result was that I learned about Ewe. I'm certain neither of those results were the intended or anticipated one(s).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unintended or unanticipated results might be the pentecostal theme for today. Jane challenged us with her belief that (God's) love is more important than doctrine. (She gasped at this point in the sermon.) God's power was displayed in the ability to transform through love not dominate. How do we transform say, burning crosses?

...I'm glad you learned something today.