Through my years of involvement with Wycliffe, I have become aware of the many factors that contribute to an individual or a community consciously or subconsciously giving up their heritage language.
Elsi, from Kalimantan, Indonesia, speaks six languages. Last year Elsi came to the Wycliffe National Centre at Kangaroo Ground to improve her English.
Where I work, the youth don’t speak their heritage language – they’ve ‘shifted’ to using a regional dialect of the national language.
In the world of Wycliffe we have used the term ‘language of the heart’ to describe someone’s mother tongue, the language they learnt in their homes and community of birth.