The official language of Togo is French. For the past several months, as I was waiting to begin my work here, I have been working on improving my French.
I knew Éwé was also used in Lomé and I thought maybe I’d dabble in it once I became more fluent in French. I did not expect that Éwé would be used so much in our churches and by our pastors and teachers here.
In the service this past Sunday there was a translator who translated both English and French into Éwé because that was the mother tongue of the people. Most could understand French, but not all.
Today we meet with four pastors and a woman who travels around to the different churches doing evangelism and teaching among the women. The head Pastor here, Kossi, translated Missionary Todd Ohlmann’s lesson into French at first, but then switched to only translating to Éwé half way through. The Bible text Missionary Ohlmann referenced was read both in Éwé and in French.
During my training, which I attempted to do in French (which was a bit rough), he translated only into Éwé, to ensure they all understood.
It seems that being able to understand and speak Éwé would be very useful for the work here. It is a tonal language, however, and my attempts to learn Mandarin Chinese (which is also tonal) years ago was an abysmal failure; I seem to be tone deaf when it comes to languages. But if it’s the Lord’s will, He will give the ability.