Sprachspielen: European

In this month’s Sprachspielen, I would like to talk about a word that we use all the time to describe our work, which you would probably feel needs no particular explanation. It is the word “European.” Again, you’re probably thinking that this is pretty straightforward, but it might surprise you, as I seek to explain what this word means to us more specifically, especially as it relates to our ministry.

As I’ve explained in previous instalments of Sprachspielen, our primary understanding of the various ethnolinguistic people groups with whom we minister is based on linguistic affinity and points of connection. In other words, we look at the indigenous, minority languages that are spoken and how they are related to one another, as a primary organising principle for our missionary focus. These language groups “bleed” over the established borders, as the areas of their linguistic domain are generally older than those of the established geopolitical borders.


Sprachspielen: Minority (Part 2)

In last month’s Sprachspielen, I began to unpack the use of the word “minority” related to indigenous languages in Europe and our work with them. In my last instalment, I described how the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages (ECRML) is our primary guide for deciding what is or is not a minority/regional language, and which ones we might include in our strategic list of language groups, which are the target groups for our missions engagement as an organisation.

In this month’s instalment, I want to pick up where I left off at the end of last month’s, namely in speaking about where our strategic list of indigenous minority languages differs from those included in the ECRML.


Sprachspielen: Indigenous

brown wooden bridge over river

In this month’s Sprachspielen, I’d like for us to look at a word that you have undoubtedly seen us use with great regularity. It is the word “indigenous.” Another word that we often use in a similar way is “autochthonous,” a borrowing from Greek, which is generally less familiar to English speakers, but actually fairly commonly used in Romance languages such as Spanish, Italian, French and Romanian. But for the moment, I’d like to focus on the more familiar word “indigenous.”


Sprachspielen: The 12 Language Affinity Groups of Europe

Last month, I described “Language Affinity” as representing the relationships that languages have with other languages. By adding “Group” to this, I’m describing how the principles of linguistic affinity actually become a useful, if not essential organising principle for our vision and ministry among all the indigenous minority language groups of Europe. To explain this significance for us, let me start with the scale and scope of the task.