Do I Need to Learn the Language? :: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions

Do I Need to Learn the Language?

Some believe that the many technological “crutches” we have today lessen or eliminate the need to learn the local language. Others make no attempt to learn the heart language of the people but rather rely permanently on English or another common language. These means may function for emergencies, and they certainly are wonderful for visitors who are simply passing through. But the missionary who truly desires to enter the host culture must give utmost effort to learning the language of the people to the best of his or her God-given ability.

In this roundtable, panelists Karen Hall (Siar), Forrest McPhail (Khmer), Tony Payne (Afrikaans), and one worker from a Restricted Access Nation (Arabic) discussed the motivations for learning the target language and shared their personal experiences with language learning.