We are about to start our official national language study. As most of you have heard us say 17,000,000 times- we have to first learn the national language here (Melanesian Pidgin) before we can go into a tribe and learn that language. You see if you go into a place that has no written form of their language then you cannot just pick up a book or a copy of Rosetta Stone in that language to study it. You have to learn it through some person in that tribe who also knows the national language (again, Melanesian Pidgin). So, we have to know Pidgin well if we want to know the tribal language well (or at least have a better chance at knowing it well).
We also want to know the national language because...well...we live here. You know how Americans complain about people coming to the US and not learning English? Yeah, we don't want to be those people. We want be able to function here, and make friends here, and understand what the preacher says when we go to church here, and on and on. I am pretty excited that I have two ladies that have shown real interest in helping me learn. Let's hope that interest doesn't quickly fade as I begin to show them my "dummy" side. In fact, why don't you all just go ahead and pray for these ladies. They need patience. Lots and lots of patience.
But, I am optimistic because most people say that Pidgin is relatively easy to learn. (after all, English is its base) It takes most people around six months whereas Spanish is two years...Chinese three years...
Just look at this sign that is outside our gate. Can you guess what it says??? 10 cool points to anyone who can translate this sign. (Tok Pisin speakers, you don't count!)