Ishɛ translation update: I’m a wondering about ‘amma’…

Years ago when starting work with the Koro Ashɛ translation team (whose language is called Ishɛ) the translators asked me about an issue they had. There were too many Hausa words in it. In particular the word ‘amma‘. It’s a common conjunction rather like English ‘but‘ and you do actually hear it frequently in conversation. […]

12 years 4 months + 19 days since we were commissioned

It’s 12 years, 4 months and 19 days since we were commissioned in the Buchanan Street building just before we headed to Kenya. Much has changed since then hasn’t it? We went to Nairobi to begin 2 very useful years of study and training in Bible translation. We were overjoyed when Rebekah joined us after […]

Discourse Analysis and Translation: an introduction

I’ve been doing lots of ‘discourse’ study recently and some people have asked how they can find out more about it. The people to read: Teach-yourself courses for discourse discovery for source and target languages and translation between them Steve Nicolle: Narrative Discourse and Translation – example from Acts 16 (Free direct download PDF) Steve […]

Did you know… Mary Slessor

Did you know, that… a corner of Nigeria featured on a British banknote for many years all because of a lass from Dundee? Over the years in Nigeria as I’ve got to meet people from different places and we have talked about where we’re from, it’s been notable how many people know (roughly) about the […]

Languages of Wilder Confusion: Big Words, Big Trouble

“What I like about English,” a student pastor told me at the end of one class, “is that you have so many special words for things, so that means you can think and talk about so much more than we can in our own languages.” This sounds fairly convincing. English has a word ‘justification’ and […]

Another ‘eggcorn’ or ‘cat phrase’: Hand your head in shame

Reading a comment here criticising Apple the writer finished with a surprising rhetorical flourish: “Go hand your head in shame, Apple: you’re still not doing software engineering right.” Now, when you’re lambasting someone for doing something stupidly wrong, wouldn’t you try to make sure you don’t do the same thing yourself? Of course in true […]

A systems approach… Systems Engineering can help healthcare and maybe Bible translation too?

In a fascinating lecture from my alma mater (Trinity Hall, Cambridge), Professor John Clarkson talks through how he cut his teeth on engineering challenges that gave him a ‘systems approach’ to all kinds of other problems. He applies what he’s learned to a process for improving healthcare. I think there’s something here for Bible Translators […]