Yesterday I Crushed a Log in the Latrine with a Rock

Check out this sentence! To us it sounds like just one, maybe two, words but to speakers of the language it actually has means:  “Yesterday, I crushed a log in the latrine with a rock.”

Each “ko ko” had a different tone and thus this, in the mind of a Bakoum speaker, is not just one word repeated over and over but instead is 5 different words. Whew! I suppose that this can serve as a reminder to pray for you missionary friends learning tonal languages.

Author: Stacey Hare

Stacey is a wife, mom, linguist, and Bible translator. Right now she is working on the writing system for the Kwakum including how to mark tone. Literacy among the Kwakum is already beginning and translation is scheduled to begin in September 2019!

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