Language Lampoon

By: Ely Lagajino

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 (NKJV)

A Tagalog speaking vendor selling mosquito-net in Bicol territory shouted, kulambokulambo. He was followed by a Bicolano fish vendor who yelled: sirasira (the Bicol word for “fish, fish”). It became a popular joke in the Bicol region. “Kulambosirasira” or “sira-sira kulambo” Children would chant sira-sira whenever they hear a vendor selling kulambo. Sira in Tagalog means damaged, not fish. There must’ve been a heated argument between the two vendors on their first encounter because of language confusion. 

How many relationships have been broken; how many revolutions have toppled leaderships; how many wars have destroyed nations, all because of language barrier? You can just imagine what happened if a boy would mistakenly send a condolence text message to his girlfriend who is celebrating her birthday. How many miss universe candidates missed the title just because their translators misinterpreted their final answers?

This is not the original plan of God for His people. But because of sin, language became a barrier between God and man when the latter forgot their creator and worshiped other gods. The sin of idol worship was inherited by the children of Israel from their parents and it lasted for several generations. (Exodus 20:4, 5, and 6). 

 ​But let us be grateful for we have Jesus who constantly seeks us and is willing to bring us back to the original language in heaven and the new earth. We will speak one language there. It will be the New Normal, for Jesus will bind us together with his everlasting love. Misunderstanding will be an obsolete word.

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