Author: david

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2024 January Newsletter

One evening after teaching, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” … A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t …

The birds of the heavens declare the glory of God

In 2018-2019 a linguist-bird-watcher produced a carefully-researched poster of the top 50 birds of Jos and central Nigeria, with birds such as the African Grey Woodpecker, Common Bulbul, Red-billed Firefinch and the exquisite African Paradise Flycatcher. The poster has English, Latin/Scientific and Hausa names for the birds but often local people know the bird and …

Africans demand power and Westerners look for comfort

Paul, the apostle of Jesus, may have described himself as “as Jewish as you get” but he actually grew up in a Greek-speaking Jewish community outside his ethnic homeland and that gave him a very helpful cross-cultural perspective. What was better? Greek philosophy? Jewish traditions? A blend of the two? Like many young men in …

dead end road sign

For Christ’s sake!

Last night I must admit getting seriously distracted while reading the Bible to my daughter before bed, by a couple of translation choices in 2 Corinthians 4:5,11 Here it is in Good News For it is not ourselves that we preach; we preach Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.…Throughout …

african family walking along a road through millet fields towards hills while a farmer is sowing seed.png

Conversations with a Model

Many people have been interested by a couple of OpenAI.com tools which have seen publicity recently. One is a Chat bot which has been trained to answer questions and respond in a neutral but well formed way in conversational style and the other generates images from a natural language prompt, kind of taking a caption …

George Lawrence Pilkington, born England and died in service in Uganda 11th December 1897

Pilkington of Uganda

While studying Bible translation and mission in Kenya, I came across some stories of one young linguist missionary to Uganda called Pilkington. There’s a great out-of-print book called ‘Pilkington of Uganda’ which is well worth a read and it seems the Internet Archive have made it available. He was a remarkable young man much loved …

How long have we lived where? 2022

A little over 3 years ago as we contemplated what should have been a 8-9 month stay in the UK, I put together a chart of where different members of our family had lived their lives. Abigail (9) asked me again recently for some of the data so we did an update. The last year …

NaijaType updates – a keyboard for Nigeria

NaijaType has had a little more attention recently and reached Android App version 1.9.9 and keyboard version 40. Coworker Katharine amused me by referring to it as One keyboard to rule them all and then Dee tempted me to make an elvish script adaptation of the ring poem to celebrate it. So here we are, …

Coding/Translating: Best Practice can slow you down

I enjoy reading about software development (and rocketry) and often find something that makes me think a little more about Bible Translation and how we do it. The last few years several of us have been thinking seriously about the quality and processes of what we work on, developing and thinking through implementing ‘Best Practices’ …

Coding/Translating: Taking a fulfilling demotion

Before I had a thought of doing Bible Translation my first hobby and possible career choice was in Software Engineering.* I got diverted from that after graduation, but I like to keep abreast of what people are doing and learning in the programming and development world, and so I came upon an interesting article about …