ALMOST a third of children think Jesus spoke English, according to a survey for a language learning website and app aimed at kids.
Research commissioned by GrowStoryGrow surveyed more than 1,100 school pupils aged 10-16 across the UK and asked what language they thought Jesus spoke.
A total of 31 per cent thought the Son of God spoke English while 36 per cent guessed that he spoke Jewish, even thought there is no such language. Another 11 per cent of kids admitted they simply didn’t know.
In fact historians believe Christ was fluent in three languages – Greek, which 11 per cent of youngster got right, Hebrew, which six per cent of kids got right and Aramaic, which was identified by just five per cent of those asked.
Edinburgh-based teacher Val Thornber, who is the creator of language learning app GrowStoryGrow said: “Some people might be quick to judge the results, but I wonder what the survey would show if carried out in France, Spain, America or elsewhere.
“Some people will have a natural bias towards their own language – and the language they are reading the Bible in.
“Studies have shown that Jesus was knowledgeable in at least three languages – Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, reflecting the popular languages of the time. There’s reference to all three of them in the New Testament.
“It’s also a sobering reminder that while we think we are at our most advanced in this day and age, people were bi – and tri – lingual thousands of years ago, before we had smartphones, tablets and an internet to translate material for us.”
Further research by GrowStoryGrow revealed how health-conscious parents and grandparent are shunning Easter eggs and bibles as Easter gifts and giving children vouchers for online games like Angry Birds to play on their iPhone, iPad, Android phones and other tablets.
The survey commissioned by the newly-launched language app and website 1000 adults across the UK revealed that in Easter present breakdown, family members are buying.
Easter eggs are still the most popular present by far with 65 per cent of parents and grandparents planning to buy at least one for a family member, but this is down from 75 per cent last year.
More than 20 per cent of people who responded stated they would be buying vouchers up to the value of £10 for online stores like Google Play, iTunes or Amazon instead of handing over an egg. This was up from last year where 11 per cent of people said that they had bought some form of voucher.
The remaining 12 per cent said they would be buying some form of religious gift for others with bibles and rosary beads being the most popular choices.
Val added: “Being completely honest – as someone who makes apps, I think it’s great news though most people will buy games, but it’s very sad that not only are we forgetting what happened at Easter with the death and resurrection of Christ but parents are also feeling guilty at buying a little bit of chocolate.
“Chocolate is an everyday thing now for many kids so parents/grandparents don’t want to be seen to be contributing to a child having health problems.
“Our site at GrowStoryGrow.com is giving away a version of The Story of Easter that can be read/listened to in a number of languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin and Polish
“At this time of year, the Easter story is very relevant so giving it away for free will encourage some parents and children to learn about it in a different language. For others, it may encourage them to remember what Easter is truly about – the sacrifice of Jesus.”
Val has created the GrowStoryGrow app (iTunes link: http://bit.ly/102qj71), using cutting-edge learning techniques to help toddlers learn the languages of the emerging superpowers including China and Brazil.
The app and accompanying website, give toddlers the best chance of learning new languages by using High Frequency Word Lists where people learn by how often a word is used and appears in everyday usage.
It is estimated that if someone learns the 100 most high frequency words in a language they are able to read 50 per cent of a foreign language. Just 12 words make up 24 per cent of many languages.