Above you can see leaves wrapped up in leaves tied together with leaves.* Or maybe you just see greenness. Consider this a visual illustration of the Menyan language.

Since returning from our trip to Cairns, I’ve been meeting with different guys for two-hour sessions trying to unwrap and sort out the very basic parts of the language. I’ve found the language to be complex and challenging as promised. But at least I’m beginning to see that there are individual leaves and some are different from others. Thankfully the language is no longer the sound equivalent of “greenness” like it was when we first arrived.

This week, one of the things I learned about was demonstratives. In English, we use basically two: “this” and “that” (and their plurals: “these” and “those.”) The Menyans are not so stingy. So far I have learned words for the following:

  • that (which you are holding)
  • that (which is close by but you aren’t holding)
  • that (right over there level with us)
  • that (right up there higher than us)
  • that (right down there lower than us)
  • that (way over there level with us)
  • that (way up there higher than us)
  • that (way down there lower than us)

Of course, I’m new. I could be wrong about any or all of these right here above this definitions.

*The leaves in the middle are for eating–a gift from one of my tutors.

3 Comments
  1. Karen Swoap

    makes me not want to use the word “that’ anymore…I might be using it incorrectly!

  2. Bob

    That is amazing!

  3. I just read this in “Through Gates of Splendor”:

    “For these men the drive to deliver to the Aucas the message of redemption through the blood of Jesus was blocked only by the language barrier. If only they might suddenly leap over the barrier and convey to the Indians one hint of the love of God!”

    I’m thankful that you have overcome much of this barrier, and have already been able to communicate the Gospel. I’m sure you feel like there is much more to learn, but I am amazed at how much you’ve already been able to do! Thank you for your continued service for the Lord. We are honored to partner with you.

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