“Your task, Mother Tongue Translator, is to translate each book of the New Testament into your language, that which speaks to your heart. If you choose to accept it, the work will be difficult and time-consuming, but the completed task has the potential to save many, many lives. The message, unlike Ethan Hunt’s, will not NOT self-destruct in 10 seconds, but instead, may leave a legacy for years to come. Good luck.”
If you took the challenge where would you begin to translate the New Testament?
12 Steps of Bible Translation
The Bible translation task has many challenging steps to it and one needs to be thorough in each. But, although you may not be versed (no pun intended) in the Bible translation process itself, the chances are you bring some prerequisite skills to the table. At the very least, you know how to turn a computer on, use a mouse, and open and close programs. But, what if you had never touched a computer or, better yet, even seen one? Where do we begin training mother tongue translators, committed to bringing God’s Word to their people group, that are just like this? Where do we begin?
We begin with small steps, first teaching very basic computer utilization skills. Using Solitaire or computer games to teach mouse skills, and then progressing to how to use Bible translation programs like Paratext, specifically designed for that purpose.
Today, we walked through the steps of the translation process and identified which Paratext functions are used by the Mother Tongue Translators at each specific point in the process. The next step will be to create web-based or paper training material for them. Benjamin, our Indian colleague, did a great job leading the discussions.
Our Indian colleagues are working under some very challenging conditions. Jayakumar (shown below displaying a Paratext feature) and Benjamin (above) are the only two computer support staff providing technical support to 22 language projects. That means that these two servants provide language and computer technical support to a total of 45 translators and 12 to 15 Language Project Facilitators & Language Project Coordinators. Additionally, they provide technical support to office staff who use multiple office computers.
This is why we’re here. Lending a hand, coming along side, and supporting. Just like you do for us. Thanks for praying.