Monday, June 25, 2012

Translator by Necessity

To read the whole Bible in a year you have to read an average of 3 chapters a day. Some of you have perhaps done that, and know how much time and effort it requires. Now imagine that while you're reading, you're also writing those 3 chapters out by hand as you read them. Now, further, imagine that you are translating it into a different language as you work, checking for accuracy as you go.

During Bob’s trip a year ago to Nigeria, one of the projects the team visited was the Bwaatye. A Lutheran bishop became a translator out of necessity. he saw the need for his parishioners to have the Bible in their own language. They could read it in English or the local trade language, but those words couldn’t speak to them as strongly as their mother tongue. The problem was that Bwaatye did not have a written form. The Bishop's wife was uniquely qualified to assist her husband: as a professor of linguistics at a local university, she created a writing system for her husband to use as he began translating the Bible.  He began writing out the Bible in Bwaatye by hand, in his spare time, and only recently discovered there were resources to help him including The Seed Company

Working with The Seed Company has allowed him to hire assistants and also to have a computer and specialized software to do his translation.  Having his work in electronic form makes it simpler to revise sections as they review them, quicker to send sections to consultants so they can be checked for accuracy and precision, and easier to get books printed as sections are completed. He was committed to seeing the Scripture in his own language when he thought he would need to do it by hand and alone. It is a joy to consider how much faster the Bwaatye people will have it with the help of technology.
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