By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
Translation to Wollof
On Saturday 12th January, Gambian US-based Philanthropist and Theologian Dr Rev. John Loum launched a small Christian book entitled “Taaraa bun ndaw bi” translated by Gorgi Pa Wally Tamba in Wollof. The book was originally written by “Jangaleket bi Martin” and the translation of the book was funded by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation based in Michigan, in the United States of America.
Speaking about the Lutheran Church Dr Rev. John Loum explained that “now what Lutherans are known for is translation… The founder was part of the Roman Catholic Church. He found [it]to be critically important that one should understand the word of God so that you can internalise it and express it.” That’s how the founder of the Lutheran Church began by translating the word of God into the German languages. Today the Lutheran Church has translated the word of God into more than a hundred languages. The Lutheran Heritage Foundation is specifically set aside to do translation work.
Video of Taaraa bu ndaw bi Book Launch Translated by Pa Wally Tamba & Pioneered by Dr John Loum
The Importance of Local Languages
The event was attended by people from different faiths and from Christians across the different denominations including and not limited to the Councillor of Latrikunda Sabajie, Ansumana Bayo and the Anglican Dean, Reverend Jimmy Cole who dedicated and blessed the book. You can get your copy of ‘Taaraa bu ndaw bi’ before it runs out from the Gambia Pastoral Institute located in Kairaba Avenue right opposite the MoneyGram Shop.
Speaking at the book launch book translator Gorgi Wally Tamba explained how the Wollof phonetics worked adding that “I know many people will find it very easy because if you use English … you will be able to read it fluently. This book is something that will guide and help people that have not been to school and people that have been to school and want to understand more of their language.”
The pioneer of the book Dr Rev. John Loum spoke on a number of issues including the importance of language and learning in our local languages. He said “in fact, I meet some business women who spoke up to seven, eight languages how they do is beyond me. But that’s the gift that Africans have and we have to cherish that.”
“Our language is our language we cannot sacrifice our language for anything else. English was given to us by the colonial regime, people who colonised us. But Wollof, Mandinka, Jola, Serre, how many languages we may have it’s our own. So we must [have]pride in our language and so we thank God, we thank Allah for the gift he has given us.”
Video of Dr John Loum & Gorgi Pa Wally Tamba honoring Women
The event presented a unique opportunity for Dr. Rev John Loum honor women. After a round of applause for all women present he highlighted that “women have done a great job. They not only bring in we the men into the world, they feed us, they nurture us, they educate us, they do our laundry, our ironing. I mean who among us men can do that?”
In honoring women Gorgi Wally Tamba asked the question “why are they called women in Wollof? He explained that “they are called Ji-gen. That’s the best. The one who is the best.”
Video of ‘Taara bu ndaw bi’ dedication & vote of thanks