Category: Language

The Rowbory/Nigeria Family Blog

Languages of Wilder Confusion

Most people around the world speak more than one language. That shouldn’t be news, but in the English-speaking monolingual world, we may need to remind ourselves of this fact. One language may be used at home and informally, but in a multilingual world, it’s useful to be able to communicate with people who speak different …

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 …

Out of Context

Increasingly often I seem to be learning that the more you know, the more you realise you don’t understand. There’s a particular kind of things I’m learning at the moment – English as a Language of Wider Confusion. Words that I’ve been using turn out to mean different things to my hearers than I intend …

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:

The Crown of Life

Occasionally I end up staying with children in Sunday school at our church in Jos and so sometimes end up hearing some of the stories and memory verses. Memory verse are a fundamental part of Sunday should for children in Nigeria and they will often patiently practice and repeat them for 20 minutes or so …

Humpty-humpty?

Something for all Bible translators, their advisors and the eventual readers and pastors to consider