APRIL 2019 Newsletter

“Qué, qué, QUÉ?”
 
That’s what they exclaim when they have no clue what you just said in Spanish.
 
The Gospel Coalition just came out with an article on “What We Lose When We Lose Language-Learning,” arguing why language study is important to a person’s education. But first, the minuses. Gary’s thoughts:
 
THE MINUSES
– It’s really hard to talk in a second language all day. Really.
– One of your common phrases is “Pardon me?”

– You misunderstand stuff. The first day of my “Ruth and Esther course”, someone came in late and said, “¿Es Rut y Esther?” (Is this Ruth and Esther?) which sounds exactly like “Are you Ruthie Esther?” “No, I’m Gary Shogren,” I said, to the grand amusement of all. Below is another day in the same course, when a group presented the story of, from L to R, Noemi, a farm worker, Boaz, and Ruth.

– You will never sound as articulate as you will in your first language. My impression is that I only sound about 60% as suave in Spanish. Those are points I can’t afford to lose.
– You laugh when the other grown-ups laugh, even though you didn’t get the joke. Like when you were a child.
– There are things you never know how to say until they happen to come up. For example, on Sunday in my sermon, I used an illustration about the size of the universe. I had remembered to look up “light years”. And I remembered to say “a billion” in the Spanish way as “a thousand million”. But I was in the pulpit before I realized I didn’t know how to say “10 to the 24th power”. More to follow…
THE PLUSES
+ You become adept at improvisation: when I couldn’t say 10 to the 24th power on Sunday, I quickly subbed in, “10, followed by 24 zeros.”
+ They say it staves off Alzheimer’s. Of course, so does doing crosswords.
+ Time magazine says that “the multilingual, are better at reasoning, at multitasking, at grasping and reconciling conflicting ideas.” I don’t believe in multitasking, so I’ll probably ask for extra “grasping and reconciling” points.
+ In theological studies, bilingual people are better able to grasp the impossibility of producing a perfect Bible translation, an important truth to grasp.
+ In my work for Wycliffe Associates, knowing several languages has helped me see translation issues from various angles.
+ Working in a foreign language is so much easier today than in the past. If I don’t know a word, I can find it on the net within seconds.
+ It reminds you that America is not the whole world. It will open your eyes to the reality of “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Rev 7:9)
 
PRAYER REQUESTS
PRAY. Because of the ongoing drought (“sequía”), the Water and Sewer people have put us on half rations. The water gets turned off from noon to midnight every day
THANKS to the Lord: Gary’s shorter commentary, in Spanish, got published last week. There are plans to publish it in English. You can read it on openoureyeslord.com
AND PRAISE GOD that by the time you read this, Gary will have finished the first draft of his 1-2 Timothy commentary for Wycliffe Associates!
 
Thanks so much for helping us to return to the field, ready to go! Blessings, Gary and Karen

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Filed under Bible, Costa Rica, ESEPA, Gary Shogren, Karen Shogren, Missions, New Testament, seminario, WorldVenture

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