BusinessDay

Jehovah’s Witnesses promotes linguistic diversity, use of mother tongue

…Marks International Mother Language Day

The Jehovah’s Witnesses said it joined the world on February 21 to mark International Mother Language Day in order to promote the use of the mother tongue.

The International Mother Language Day, which is a worldwide annual observance to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity as well as multilingualism, was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999 and was formally recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in 2002.

According to the religious body, it appreciates the need to reach people’s hearts using their mother tongue, which is particularly in line with its message of hope for the future.

The body further explained that it was in line with this that the jw.org website became the most translated website in the world and it is translated into 1,052 languages.

“In Nigeria, Jehovah’s Witnesses translate their publications into 31 Nigerian languages. Their official website www.jw.org is translated into 22 Nigerian languages, including Nigerian Sign Language while the publication downloads are available in nine other Nigerian languages including Berom, Como Karim, Ebira, Ejagham, Fulfulde (Nigerian), Igala, Kamwe, Tarok, Yala,” the religious body said.

Read also: 2022: CAN urges Christians to pray for God’s mercy over Nigeria

The body stated that the revised New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released in Igbo on April 4, 2021, which is in addition to the Yoruba, Isoko, and Efik languages.

Olusegun Eroyemi, the spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nigeria, said there are over 600,000 video and audio materials that are provided in a variety of languages.

He listed the materials to include subjects like: How to Break Free from Drug Addiction, Surviving the First Year of Marriage, Maintaining Commitment in Your Marriage, Am I Ready to Date? Is This Person Right for Me? The Best Help for Those Who Grieve, Is Life Worth Living When Disaster Strikes? How God’s Care Can Benefit You. Coping with Pandemic Anxiety, and many more.

These materials, he said, can be downloaded for free and well understood, showing that the best way to motivate humans is to speak to them in the language that reaches the heart.

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