Language Learning Resources

Foreign Language Training For Missions
We have a web site where we are offering foreign language curriculums that we have written specifically for people going on short-term missions trips. They are easy to use, and inexpensive. our course has been developed specifically to teach people how to share the gospel in the language. We would appreciate it if you would consider linking to our web site, for people who are going on missions trips with your organization. Our url is:


TRAINING: Language Learning: Don't look at Language as a barrier
QUESTION From: <NE> The idea...was orignally...a joke... However, I am now wondering if it just might work... Due to the short term problem (and how we can get them to be more productive on the field) and world missions networking... what would happen if Wycliffe/SIL or another language agency designed a language that could be easily learned and used (in months, instead of years), so that short termers could easily help the pastors etc. in their field and be of greater help?

ANSWER From <> I don't know if this will take you anywhere, but I read recently that a Dr. Zamenhorf invented a language called Esperanto for international use in 1887.

ANSWER From: (Galen Daily) I asked Dave Tabor, former YWAM national leader about the question. Dave responded like this. "In missions, languages are often the most difficult and frustrating obstacle to overcome. It can be very trying to want to communicate to someone about the gospel and be relegated to hand gestures and feeble attempts at single, mis-pronounced words of another tongue. A couple of situations in our 14 years in Papua New Guinea stand out as examples of the Father's humor and his ability to transcend the language barrier. The first incident was in 1990 at the commonwealth games in New Zealand where the King's Kids from Papua New Guinea (PNG) were working with a group of New Caledonians... Our whole team as well as the New Caledonians struggled to communicate...until one day one of the New Caledonia girls overheard a couple of the PNG girls talking in Neo-Melanesian... the trade language of PNG... (Tok Pisin). The New Caledonians had learned a similar "Pidgeon" from their contact with people from Vanuatu. After "the discovery" of a common Language we were able to communicate with the French speaking New Caledonians in pidgin... Many missionaries are in PNG from many nations. Many of which are not english speaking nations. So it was not uncommon to have a meeting and have in attendance in that meeting German, Finish, Danish, Swedish and English speakers communicating, in Neo-Melanesian (pidgin) to get the job done." Dave adds that pidgin is easy to learn and can be picked up by anyone in 6 months.

ANSWER From: Jim Au <> It seems that God has already taken care of that problem to a great degree. That language is called "English". In addition to "English": In much of the southern Pacific Rim, you can use Pidgin English to get around most of the time and in many places; I know friends who have picked up this language variant in a matter of weeks. Other languages are also quite useful, ones which we all learned or could learn in school. French allows you to speak to over 200 million people in the world, including in many African nations. Spanish covers all of South and Central America. Almost everywhere else is adopting the use of English as a necessity. That leaves as major blocs (or "blocks") languages such as Chinese, Russian, Hindi, etc. When I'm in a jam in these areas, if "English" doesn't work, then "sign" language works remarkably well. And that's no joke.

ANSWER From: (Fuller,Jonathan)`

...looking at language purely as a barrier can be dangerous and misleading. Learning someone's language is an act of love and respect as much as a means to communication. It is the most significant gateway to mutual understanding. We westerners always think in terms of 'truth' and how to get it across, where the majority of the world thinks in terms of 'relationships' - not what you know but who you are. "No one cares what you know unless they know that you care". Being a short-term missionary doesn't negate any of this. If we see language learning as part of the incarnation - an act of love then having a short-termer work at language makes sense. Our experience has been that short--termers who try to learn get farther with people and have a lasting impact. We have nationals learning another group's mother-tongue even though both groups can use a common trade language. This act of love has broken down century-old walls of hate and suspicion and allowed Christians to live in communities where they normally could not even visit. Language is an opportunity not an obstacle.


TRAINING: LANGUAGE: Spanish for Mission Trips
SFMT prepares you to minister to adults, children. 16 conversations, vocabulary, structure, exercises, dictionary, 2 audio cassette tapes. $34.95. Team discount generous. 965-565-3646. HTP, 348 S. Illinois St., Mercedes, TX 78570


QUESTION From: Larry Chkoreff <> Do any of you know of good resources for learning Spanish quickly from English? Perhaps a tape system or even Macintosh Software.

ANSWER From: <> Nate, I am enclosing a copy of an old email that I received from Mission Training International. Their language training software is user friendly and will prove to be great language teachers. I have used the Spanish CD and found it to be very effective. I have also used and benefited by their Chinese products. You will find these products at many University language labs, being used by ambassadors and diplomats as well as on the Russian Mir space station. I recommend them to you and trust you will benefit by them as well.

Rosetta Stone products [available for Mac or Windows] From: <>

PowerPac I ($10): This is the CD only, and does not have any documentation... You get 20 lessons each of Russian, Spanish, German, French and English (as a second language). [Add the manual containing the scripting used for each language, and you have the PowerPac II package ($25).

Level I ($99): This will get you the full level I version for a specific language plus all the documentation. It is available for each of the above languages [plus Dutch]... The Level I package includes 92 chapters in the specific language you order...


TRAINING: MISSIONARY: RUSSIAN Language Cell Church Planting
World Harvest Now, Inc. (P.O. Box 911, Denton, TX 76202) <> has been involved in Cell Church Planting in the Soviet Union since 1990. We are anxious to become a resource for you, should you have a need for these materials. The following is a current list of the titles we now have available [in Russian]...*WELCOME TO YOUR CHANGED LIFE, for new converts, 20 pages. US$1 *THE SPONSOR'S GUIDEBOOK, mentoring the new convert, 72 pages. US$0.50 *THE ARRIVAL KIT, 11 week study guide for new Christian & sponsor. 144 pages, $2.00 *THE SHEPHERD'S GUIDEBOOK, "how to do it" book for cell church leader, 253 ps, $.50

Need assistance with human languages? One "Speeder" reports in that he found a helpful site... "Before going to India I found an amazing site that helped me get the basics of Hindi (reading only) under the belt. I accessed this site through an even more amazing site called the human languages home page. I think this would be a very useful tool for your toolbox, check it out! I do not know to what degree this will overlap with anything offered by SIL, but I still think it is a very useful addition. Check it out at:" >From CyberFaith, 3/6/96 <>

Audio Forum - courses in 96 languages, each consisting of about 10 cassette tapes and a textbook. avg. price $200. Call 800-243-1234 or Email <>