Indigenous languages ​​find their place on the most translated website in the world | Home + Life + Health

The most translated website in the world — jw.org, the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, includes content in more than 1,030 languages, including many indigenous languages ​​considered endangered.

Among them in Arizona is Navajo, spoken by approximately 170,000 people. Other native languages ​​can be found in Central Alaskan Blackfoot, Cherokee, Choctaw, Hopi, and Yupik.

Curtis and Mable Yellowhorse, who live on the reservation, were raised when everyone at home spoke Navajo. Mable says, “Old people, maybe that’s all they know is the (Navajo) language. They don’t know English, so that’s what they speak. Reflecting on the changing times and the influence of technology, Mable continues: “It’s the younger generation; they don’t speak the language. They mostly speak English. »

For Curtis and Mable, Navajo publications on jw.org helped them embrace their culture while deepening their faith. Mable adds, “Some people think (the Bible is) for white people or other people; it’s not for Navajo, but we know that’s not true. So getting to know Jehovah the Navajo way is very sensitive. It touches your heart very much.

Curtis, a volunteer who helped with the Navajo translation work, says, “When you read it in English it doesn’t really go deep into your heart, but when you read Navajo it really goes (deeply) and touches your heart. Mable, who was in her 60s when she learned to read and write Navajo with the help of Jehovah’s Witnesses, says: “I really learned the Navajo language. … Before I learned Navajo, I was looking at the Navajo Bible and thinking, ‘What’s all this gibberish?’ But now that I’ve learned to read it, it’s exciting!

Sherry J. Basler