Linguists receive royal honor in Netherlands

Mayor Pieter van Maaren (center) initiated Hessel and Coby Visser into the Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau.

(September 2014) SIL Executive Director Freddy Boswell congratulates colleagues Hessel and Coby Visser, who recently received the royal honors of being knighted into the Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau. "The Vissers’ contribution to the Naro language community has been exemplary,” Boswell said. “They represent the servant heart and attitude that we hope will mark all of SIL’s work.”

On behalf of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Mayor Pieter van Maaren bestowed the ribbons on the Vissers in recognition for their years of commitment and service to the Naro people of Botswana. The Vissers began their service in Botswana in 1991. They have worked alongside the Naro people in language analysis, developing an alphabet, creating multilingual education materials and more.

The Vissers were part of the team that translated the New Testament into the Naro language and are now serving as consultants for the local team that is working on the Old Testament. Hessel also works as Bible translation consultant in other Khoisan and Bantu languages, both in written and oral fashion, and Coby is coordinator for Scripture Engagement.

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