This week I was sitting in my office with Wati trying to understand the difference between two separate tenses in the Menyan language. They aren’t actually tenses, but we don’t have a more accurate term with which to label them. If they were a tenses, they would both be future-ish, so that wouldn’t help. And when Wati and I are speaking Pidgin, the translation of these distinct non-tenses comes out the same because Pidgin is too limited to express the nuance of what distinguishes the Menyan words. As Wati said, in Pidgin they join together and you can’t understand the meaning.
As we were discussing this, drifting toward exasperation, I stopped and told Wati: this is why we want you to hear the gospel in Menyan and read the Bible in Menyan–so you can really understand it. That pleased us both.