Introduction / History
On the westernmost tip of Africa lies Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. The Noon (pronounced 'known') people live in villages not far from Dakar. Primarily subsistence farmers, they grow peanuts, millet, beans, manioc and mangos. But many younger people move to the capital for jobs. Noon people prefer speaking their mother tongue, but few written materials exist in their minority language. Schools are conducted in French; most business is done in the trade language, Wolof.
Two previous songwriting workshops created Scripture-based songs in local music styles. These led to increased use of Noon choral songs in churches, which directly engaged young people with the New Testament.
A 1987 language survey determined the definite translation need, which an expatriate couple began in 1993. At that time, churches began having laymen translate weekly Gospel readings into Noon. A Noon team translated the New Testament, which was dedicated in 2012.
Church leaders are leading transition literacy classes to help people read Noon Scriptures fluently and feel comfortable using them. For children, seniors, and those not yet literate, the New Testament is being put into audio format.
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