February 21st is Unesco’s International Mother Language Day. It is a day to celebrate the diversity of languages around the world and to communicate the importance of valuing and protecting mother languages, as a valuable part of culture.
‘Children who start off learning to read and write in their mother language do better in school. Literacy programmes in mother languages bring learners the self-confidence they need to participate in their community and make informed choices.’
The work Wycliffe does is part of this aim to preserve mother languages around the world, not for the sake of language alone, but so communities can know that God values them, and values their languages, as they are. Language should be a way of coming to God, not a barrier hindering people.
Wycliffe works not only to translate the Bible, but to develop writing systems in language groups that have never been written, to encourage literacy and orality programmes, and to help communities with health care, agricultural information and learning their human rights.
Watch this video to find out more about how Bible translation is a key to serving language communities.