“In French, it’s confusing. But in Ifè, it doesn’t matter how something is said;
when you read it, you understand it.”
– Kokou Amouzou, Ifè pastor in Togo
“Through this language, I can hear him talking directly to me. Now I am sensing through the language that he is like my close relative.”
– Yurranydjil Dhurrkay, Indigenous Australian translator and advisor
For many minority groups, feeling inferior is common. Outsiders might ignore, mock, or discriminate against them. Their language might feel insignificant, because it isn’t spoken in school, the capital, or even church. But having a written form of their language—and a book as important as the Bible—can help people see how valuable they truly are.
For decades, river traders told the Paumarí they were less than human: They spoke an “animal language.” Shame set in. The Paumarí wouldn’t even speak their language in front of outsiders.
But in the 1960s, linguists moved to their little village in northwest Brazil. As the Paumarí learned to read—and then began studying Scriptures—they realized their language was just as good as Portuguese.