Category: Bible Translation

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Village visit

In late April, four of the Ashɛ translation team were in Gardi — deep inside Ashɛ land — to greet chiefs and others, and to participate in an Ishɛ language service on the Sunday. While Arams often complains about how things aren’t as they used to be, many children and adults swamped Moses’ house to …

Why discourse study makes great translator training

2018 was something of a departure from normal patterns for Ashe and for me. To the surprise of many, I did almost no checking of translation with Ashe, but focussed on studying 6 Ashe stories – some true, some folk tales. I had reasons to think this was absolutely necessary, and even though it’s taken …

A Host of Problems

In the course of trying to compare the style of natural storytelling in Koro Wachi language with what’s in the Bible, we looked at a seasonally appropriate passage:   “That time, angels that accepted strangers in heaven many appeared and they came with the angels.” Luke 2:13, the Koro Wachi translation draft, as explained in …

In Christ

I had an interesting chat over the summer with someone wrestling with how to communicate ‘in Christ‘ in his location/language. This is an ongoing and troubling translation issue, because clearly ‘in Christ’ is an important topic in Paul’s writing and yet a little difficult to talk about clearly because it’s actually rather odd English. ‘In …

Naboth: A Faithful Farmer in God’s Vineyard

Just under 2 weeks ago we were shocked by the news of a colleague’s sudden death. Naboth Musa was only 23 years old, but had been a tremendous answer to prayer for the venerable Duya Bible Translation project. Most recently I had helped get him and his colleagues set up to record several books of …

Bible translation: A solution seeking a problem?

Here’s a quick thought: Why do we so often struggle to start and maintain Bible translation projects and encourage the use of completed scriptures? Is it possible that we’re offering a solution to a problem that few really recognise? And some followup questions: If it’s not obvious to pastors and people that translating the Bible …

Principled Principal Principles

One long term characteristic of Wycliffe Bible Translators (and the field arm SIL) that I appreciate is a drive to continuous reassessment and improvement of what we do as we try to translate the Bible for churches around the world and help communities develop their language along the way. So over the last few weeks …

God and the Bible: Beware a Qur’anic view masquerading as ‘conservatism’

It is reasonably common on the interwebs to come across people complaining (vigorously) about Bible translations. There’s one aspect to these debates that I’ve often found peculiar but I had been unable to pinpoint the problem until recently; statements like this:

Avoid frustration: Choose your translation brief to suit the multilingual situation

Somewhat late in the day it is dawning on me that a lot of frustration can be avoided if Bible translators (and their supporting personnel) agree and make their translation brief* explicit early on in their work. Secondly, that translation brief would best be informed by understanding the sociolinguistic/multilingual situation the translation is entering. Perhaps …

Improving [Hacking] Paratext’s Interlinearizer

Some people who look at my Paratext interlinearizer window are somewhat surprised by the display. What I really like about the Interlinearizer in Paratext is that you can adapt the HTML which powers the display by adjusting the files in the C:\Program Files\Paratext 7\Interlinear folder. Here’s what I’ve changed and why: