Introduction / History
The Mankon people group (or Greater Mankon) numbers about 42,000. It comprises a number of mutually intelligible speech varieties (possibly as many as twelve dialects), distinguished as politically independent from Mankon proper, the name of the largest village and dialect. Mankon village has some sixty-three quarters and includes an urban area that is part of Bamenda. This village itself has a population of 18,800 persons.
The Ethnologue refers to this group of dialects as the Ngemba language, but this is really a misnomer. Ngemba denotes a subfamily of languages encompassing the region around Bamenda. Mankon is a vital language having precedence in many domains of life for the Mankon people.
Churches have been well-established among this group for many years. Christianity, though popular, is still viewed as a foreign religion in a foreign language. It needs to be made indigenous by translating the Gospel message into Mankon. They see the mother tongue Scriptures as absolutely necessary. They should have the resources and personnel to make Bible translation possible, yet, they need some guidance and training from other organizations. The Word of God in Mankon has the potential of reaching several other language groups in the area, either through direct use or by adaptation.
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