Thursday, September 15, 2011

Translation Consultant Workshop

The last couple weeks, we've been in Wewak, way over on the other side of Papua New Guinea, attending a Translation Consultant Workshop.

It's an interesting mix of folks who have come together from all corners of PNG (and even one from the Philippines), expressing a desire to sharpen their skills. It's interesting to think of the various backgrounds from which we all come; a carpenter, a linguist, a saleswoman, a welder, a number who became full time missionaries right out of high school, a cad drafter, an engineer, a restaurant worker by day/band member by night, and four subsistence farmers. Though our backgrounds and skill sets are so varied, all have come together with one commonality being that we love and value the power of God's word, and recognize the importance of seeing it translated clearly and accurately. From where we stand at least, bible translation is the higher calling!

The idea is to check through one of our brave peer's translation of Ephesians, using it as an exercise to hone our skills toward being able to evaluate another translation for accuracy and comprehension. We've spent a great deal of time working through the exegesis (study of what it means) of this letter, and have also been checking it with four mother-tongue speakers of the Dinangat language into which it was translated. We want to make sure not only that the translation is highly accurate, but that it is communicating clearly in a way that reflects the meaning of the original. At the end of the day, we want to know that our Dinangat brothers will understand it precisely how Paul intended it to be understood. As we do that, we hope to receive helpful criticism and understanding that will help us do our jobs better.

We're very nearly finished with the process and have been blessed to see the deep love and concern for God's word that is also obvious in these Dinangat men. It's always exciting to see others who, like the many in Mibu, care enough to sacrifice their time and leave their families for such a long time to come to this unfamiliar place so very far away from home. The prospect of sitting and being questioned by a panel of people they don't know must have been nerve wracking, but they chose to do it anyway. Definitely having overcome that fear and developed new relationships, they've been doing great and have greatly benefited their translation and us who are translating into other languages.

1 comment:

Angela Navejas said...

Hi Geoff and Shannon this is a very nice approach to by holding a workshop for translators.

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