Category: Minority Languages

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A time to plant or a time to kill?

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about the Gworog project. That’s largely because the project has faced personnel management issues and then a funding crisis, and then technical problems and they just haven’t had much for me to work on. I’ve also been pretty busy. But yesterday I had a (nother) meeting with …

Languages of Wilder Confusion: hidden dangers for international collaboration

I’ve appreciated the numerous short, thought-provoking articles Jim Harries has written (and also here) on topics of cross-cultural communication. One that got my attention recently was Building Castles in the Sky: A case for the use of indigenous languages and resources in Western mission-partnerships to Africa, particularly in the light of 2 realities which are close to home …

Making dictionaries serve translation

My paper Making Dictionaries Serve [Bible] Translation is here on Academia.edu open for comments. Below is the abstract and introduction. Making dictionaries serve translation David Rowbory, Translation Consultant in Training, SIL Nigeria A paper presented at the 2015 Bible Translation Conference hosted by GIAL Dallas, Texas, 16-20 October relating to the sub-themes Technology and other …

A little plug for Wycliffe in Nigeria, from a British MP

A search on the internet often throws up surprising results and one was the mention of the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators in Nigeria, by Lib Dem MP Mark Williams, MP for Ceredigion. In talking about why it’s important for Christians and governments to engage in international aid, page 59, he mentions “Wycliffe Bible Translators …

Research in progress: Making dictionaries serve translation

Here’s an abstract that has been approved for presentation at a Bible Translation conference: Making dictionaries serve translation John Roberts has lamented the tendency of Bible translators to ignore lexicography until after a New Testament has been completed and printed. The consequence is that while the translation process necessarily reveals much of the lexical richness …

Akurumi: a new translation team

A fellow translation consultant met with the new Akurumi Bible translation team last week. After checking some draft of Luke together, they made a video for one of their supporting churches. What they say is true for many communities in Nigeria. Well worth a watch: The Akurumi Translation Project from benandren on Vimeo.

What can we sing about?

In recent conversation with friends we were considering why it seems to us somewhat odd to sing (in church, or I guess anywhere) about “God of concrete, God of steel, \ God of piston and of wheel,” etc. Here’s my working theory: Romantic ideology or worldview still exerts an influence on what Western people consider …

Languages I have been working with

As we’ve talked about our work in Nigeria, several have asked about the language(s) I work with. One quick way to find out some basic information about any language in the world is to look it up on the SIL Ethnologue. So roughly in order of more – less involvement on my part here are a …

I think I’ll SayMore

Why can millions of people can happily speak languages that they can’t easily write? How do pioneer writers develop a natural written style for their language? How can mother-tongue speakers take responsibility for recording and carefully archiving some of the precious songs, stories, speeches, teachings and other communication from their languages? How do we transcribe …

Roger Blench’s website mirrored for Nigerian users

Some linguists in Nigeria have been unable to access Roger Blench’s website at the address www.roger-blench.info This seems to affect Multilinks users more than MTN or Glo users. So for anyone struggling to access the site, I have set up a mirroring service which would appear to work well. Use this address: http://rb.rowbory.co.uk The front …