Friday, 4 November 2011

Yeah, Nah

I love New Zealand, I'm a patriotic person, I embrace the beauty of the place, the friendliness of the people, I enjoy rugby (when I have to), I cry at the haka, I sing loudly during the national anthem. I am so thankful to live in this great and small country.

One thing I love about New Zealand is the language, we speak English, kind of, clearly as I am typing this in English, but we also have some very unusual language of our own.  'Yeah, nah', is a prime example, you say that to a NZer and they will understand ... actually I have no idea what it means, I think it's just a gap filler, like 'um'.  But I love it.  'Sweet as', means good.  'Wop wops', means somewhere quite isolated.  'Ya reckon' means do you think. 'Sparrows fart' means up early in the morning. 'Rattle your dags' means hurry up. 'Yonks ago' means a long time ago. I could go on and on.

It gets you thinking, sometimes we in the church, speak a different language, a somewhat religious language, things like fellowship, revelation, worship, praise, blood offering, sanctification, and these are good things, we know they are good gifts from God.  It just makes you wonder how easy do we make it for folks from outside the church coming into the church. Do they feel comfortable surrounded by a language that they don't understand?  I wonder about our children too, growing up in an environment of language like this, do we explain what they are hearing.  Church, do we make it easy for others to approach us by the language we speak?

Just a thought. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. When I was a student as lecturer said that the medical profession do this to language too, with the purpose of keeping the knowledge exclusive and therefore increasing their 'power'. I wonder if the modern church has inherited this language legacy from the time when church was associated with politics and social strata? yeah? nah? I mean, you wouldn't want to pay someone $60 to be told you've got a sore throat - tonsillitis sounds sooo much sicker!

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What do you think?