Mother Tongue Use in Multilingual Churches
A review of ‘Managing linguistic diversity in the church’
Author: Katherine O'Donnell (2011)

Reflections on a research paper by Anicka Fast, relevant for those working on Bible translation in multilingual church contexts:

Fast, Anicka 2009. Managing linguistic diversity in the church: language ideological contestation within a shared moral framework in south-western Burkina Faso. Language Documentation and Description, Vol 6, 161-212.

In this review, Katherine O’Donnell reflects on Fast’s research as she looks at the perceptions held by missionaries, church leaders and villagers on Mother Tongue (MT) use in church. Fast studied south west Burkina Faso in an area with lots of languages and lots of multilingualism. Many people speak Jula, a Language of Wider Communication (LWC), and some speak French (the official LWC). This situation resembles that in many of the countries where Bible translation is in progress, where there might also be high multilingualism with a LWC and MTs.

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