Bible Translation

Author: Beth Clark (2020)

In this paper, written during a Scripture Engagement course at Dallas International University, Beth Clark examines the micropublishing of Bible translations: looking at both the theoretical basis and practical applications.

 

From the conclusion:

"Planning to micropublish throughout a Bible translation project can have many positive benefits toward Scripture Engagement in the language community. It allows for the possibility of matching the translation style of specific passages of Scripture to their end use and format. It allows for the production of Scripture products in many different forms (stories, songs, literacy materials, etc.), to meet different needs in the community. It allows teams the opportunity to produce Scripture materials selected to meet current felt needs. In these ways, micropublishing can accelerate impact as Scripture portions are available sooner in the process. This may be particularly useful in difficult access contexts.

Micropublishing allows resources for reaching the last monolinguals of a community experiencing language shift. It also may provide resources for multilinguals with multiple heart languages, particularly in communities with common use of translanguaging. Finally, if thoughtfully planned, micropublishing provides the opportunity to engage the community and ministry partners from the beginning, and throughout, a translation project. This gives these vital partners a key role in the decision-making process and the ability to provide feedback to the translation team that can effectively guide further translation work and future decisions about content and format.

All in all, micropublishing can be a valuable tool in making sure that Bible translation resources are used wisely, and that produced Scripture is used to its fullest potential in the receptor communities."

  [more...]
Author: Narcisse Sechegbe (2020)

"If we pay attention, we can see that our localities, often wrongly or rightly described as poor, are full of resource opportunities that are just waiting to be properly channelled..."

"In terms of mobilising local resources, each locality has its own realities, and these must be considered in order to bring the components together strategically in a collaboration that enables each other to support the work of Bible translation into local languages. No one is so poor that they cannot support Bible translation."

One of the greatest challenges for Bible translation organisations in Africa at the beginning of the 21st century is the mobilisation of local resources. In the current global economic climate, local contributions are of great importance and there are many ways to encourage communities to contribute.

This article addresses the issue based on the results of research work the author carried out on the Biblical Institute of Gaounga, Benin, showing the need to adapt mobilisation strategies to the rural context of Gaounga and the villages covered by the research. He shares some ideas for the effective mobilisation of local resources - and encourages us to see the link between Scripture engagement and community development.  [more...]

Oral Bible Translation
Authors: Margaret Doll, Willis Ott (2018)

"A live celebration streamed over the Web. The audio-text translation group that Yun had decided to join rejoiced to finish their translation in only a few years! Many others had watched the video, recorded a translation, and added improvements and suggestions."

"Here is one dream that is becoming a reality: oral translation."

This article shows how dreams from several years ago are becoming reality in the area of Oral Bible Translation.

In October 2018 the first Oral Bible Translation Conference will take place.  [more...]

Choosing Illustrations for Translated Scripture
Author: Michelle Petersen (2016)

Choosing to illustrate interesting events in the text may help build audience interest in the story of Scripture, and this interest may be more foundational to audiences’ relationship with God than knowledge of details about what objects and places looked like.

Illustrations often serve motivational functions for readers, especially reluctant readers, increasing their enjoyment of a text and the amount of time they give it. Various audiences require different kinds of Scripture visuals to care about the message and understand it well. Just as translators need to carefully check the words of Scripture, it is important that they also check Scripture illustrations with members of the intended audience, and if needed, change their choices based on this interview feedback. This paper encourages translation teams to check visual elements of Scripture with members of the intended audience, and helps prepare consultants to check illustrations based on local visual vocabulary, grammar and rhetoric.

This is an edited version of a paper presented at the Bible Translation Conference in October 2015, Dallas, Texas.  [more...]

A case study of the spiritual and socio-cultural impact of the Bible translation strategy of the Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation on the Dega people of Ghana
Author: Thomas Atta-Akosah
Published by: University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg - MTh thesis (2004)

Abstract:
After participants had been told of the processes of Bible translation during a prayer partners meeting of Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT), one of them asked, "After the people have been given the Scriptures, what happens?"

This study has been an attempt to supply answers to such questions. It attempts to ascertain the impact that the Bible translation strategy (BTS) of GILLBT has had on the Dega people of Ghana, especially their socio-cultural and spiritual lives. The study uses Darrell Whiteman's conceptual framework of Integral Human Development to analyse how the Bible translation strategy has contributed to their human development. The BTS comprises linguistic and anthropological research, Bible translation, literacy and development and Scripture-In-Use.  [more...]

Reducing the time from translation desk to Scripture engagement
Author: Richard Margetts

"If the food is ready and the people are hungry,
don’t put it in the freezer and tell them to come back later."

The title of this article sprang from a discussion we had during a training course for Scripture Engagement practitioners in Yaoundé, Cameroon. From their experience of working with Bible translation teams across francophone Africa, the participants knew that it could take a very long time before completed portions (such as individual Bible books) got from the translator’s desk and into the hands of the people. The ‘food’ would be ‘put in the freezer’ waiting for the day when it would finally be served to those hungry to receive it.

So why does this happen? If the people are hungry for God’s Word in their own language, why would a translation team take this spiritual food and store it away in the freezer for another day? What is causing the delay? Isn’t there something we can do to reduce the time from translation desk to Scripture engagement?  [more...]

Stories of Translation
Author: Steve Fortosis
Published by: William Carey Library, 2012

From the publisher's description:

"Some decades ago the prospect of reaching the entire world with the gospel appeared very dim indeed. In a world population that was virtually exploding with growth, how could Christians begin to reach the billions of fellow humans? Then missionaries began mastering the multiplied languages on earth, placing the Bible on paper, making recordings of the gospel, and beaming the Word of God out on radio and television waves. A portion of the Bible was translated painstakingly into over a thousand languages. The entire Bible was translated into several hundred. There was reason to be hopeful. Missionaries taught nationals how to plant churches. Then nationals started planting churches, and churches begat churches... Bible translators had and continue to play a crucial role in the mission of reaching every people with the gospel, and this book describes how. Follow them into the fascinating, exciting world of Bible translation."

Endorsement from Bob Creson, president of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA:

"This book richly demonstrates how Bible translators wrestle to satisfy two priorities: staying true to the meaning of the original Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, and expressing that meaning clearly to speakers of amazingly diverse languages. It highlights a simple, yet profound truth: understanding God’s Word is key to knowing Him. While giving tribute to generations of Western translators, it also touches on the changing nature of the translation process, with mother tongue translators assuming more responsibility and multicultural teams working together to quicken the pace and quality of Bible translation."  [more...]

Manuel pour faire un bon usage de la Bible dans chaque langue et culture
Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill
Published by: Presses Bibliques Africaines (2011)

"Ce manuel est un guide efficace pour une bonne préparation à l'étude biblique, à la méditation, à la prédication intégrant les réalitiés culturelles de chaque peuple."

This is the French version of the book Translating the Bible into Action by Harriet Hill and Margaret Hill. It is also available in Portuguese.

The French version can be obtained from Wycliffe Benin in Cotonou or from the SU department of SIL in Nairobi.  [more...]

Communicating Scripture in a Relevant Way
Authors: Harriet Hill, Ernst-August Gutt, Margaret Hill, Christoph Unger, Rick Floyd
Published by: SIL International (2011)

Over the past thirty years, scholars have made significant advances in understanding how human communication functions. They have moved from looking for meaning in texts alone to seeing texts as providing clues that lead hearers to discover the speaker’s intended meaning. Hearers use other inputs as well—things they already know, information from the speech environment—as they search to understand not only what the words of the text say but also what the speaker is communicating. All this has significant implications for Bible translation.

Bible Translation Basics accomplishes two things: 1) it expresses these theoretical developments in communication at a basic level in non-technical language, and 2) it applies these developments to the task of Bible translation in very practical ways. Tried and tested around the world, people with a secondary school education or higher are able to understand how communication works and apply those insights to communicating Scripture to their audiences. Bible Translation Basics helps translators work with language communities to determine the kind of Scripture product(s) that are most relevant for them, given their abilities and preferences.  [more...]

Enjeux et défis pour l'Afrique francophone
Author: Michel Kenmogne
Published by: Editions CLE, Yaoundé / Wycliffe International, Nairobi (2009)

This book - 'Bible Translation and the Church: Issues and challenges for Francophone Africa' - was written as part of the Francophone Initiative in collaboration with CITAF (Conseil des Institutions Théologiques d’Afrique Francophone) - a consortium of evangelical theological institutions in Africa.

The aim is to introduce into the programme of every theological college a course on the importance of Bible translation and the role of local languages in the mission of the church.

The chapters are divided into five main sections:

  1. Pourquoi traduire la Bible dans les langues locales? (Why translate the Bible into local languages?)
  2. L'histoire de la traduction de la Bible depuis Néhémie jusqu'à nos jours (The history of Bible translation from Nehemiah to today)
  3. Théologie et traduction de la Bible (Theology and Bible translation)
  4. Traduction de la Bible: contexte, structures et méthodes (Bible translation: context, structures and methods)
  5. Bible et héritage colonial francophone (The Bible and the colonial heritage)
  [more...]