"If your God is so mighty, why doesn't He speak my language?"
A Cakchiquel (Guatemala) man to SIL founder William Cameron Townsend
SIL Cameroon assists in developing the country’s lesser-known languages. Any product in the local language helps to increase the value of that language as people see the mother tongue being used to express concepts and ideas that are part of their life. When a language is produced in written, audio or video format, speakers of the language – and people from other languages – gain more respect for that language. At the request of three language communities (Matal, Mbuko, and Merey) in the Far North Region of Cameroon, SIL National Language Media Services personnel assisted in early June, 2012, these local language development teams in recording their languages in an audiovisual format.
This was done in Maroua during a “Jesus” Film Script Preparation Workshop. The goal of this training course was to give local language development teams the information they need in order to facilitate the production of a video such as the “Jesus” film in DVD format in their languages. Mother tongue translators gathered for three days, learning what is required of them before, during, and after the audio recording sessions. The workshop also gave them opportunity to begin translating the script for the “Jesus” film.
According to Nathanael Gregoriev, the course director, “The workshop accomplished the goals of giving [leaders in] these three languages the materials and understanding of what is needed and expected of them to do the “Jesus” film.”
“Based on the Gospel of Luke, the "JESUS" film has now been translated into more than 1,140 languages, with new languages being added every month.” Here in Cameroon, the “Jesus” film has already been produced in many local languages.