Training and Technology

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It has been a busy year for training in TWFTW, with some wonderful milestones! At a recent training event in Slovakia, an entire course was taught via Skype for the first time. The translator (unnamed due to sensitivity) who is working with a translation team in Slovakia to translate the Bible into Romani has been making use of Skype to help with the translation from Israel! For this event, this translator Skyped in to teach the students Introduction to Hebrew. Despite some challenges, it was a great success and TWFTW in Slovakia plans to conduct more training events like this in the future!

32 students also attended a training event in South Asia, where Introduction to Greek and Biblical Exegesis were taught. This included training on how to use the software program Paratext, and the students reported that they enjoyed the event immensely and feel that they learned a great deal that will help them to translate the Bible into their language more effectively. To learn more about TWFTW’s training programs, visit twftw.org/training!

The Life & Times of Translation Consultants

The Word for the World is currently working on 111 full scale Bible translation projects, each one representing a language. For 111 projects, there are only 10 full-time translation consultants! They have their plates full checking the translations against Greek and Hebrew, usually in person, but sometimes over Skype or email.

Barry Funnell, one of TWFTW’s international consultants, travels approximately 10 times per year to Asia and Africa doing consultant work, which totals about one third of the year in time away from home. He also has been doing Skype consultation in between with the Roma team from Slovakia, as you can see in the video.

Mary* is another consultant with TWFTW and has just returned from a trip to Asia, where she worked with six language teams to check their Gospel of John. The Paratext computer programme enables Mary to check six languages simultaneously because she can look at an English word-for-word translation generated by a computer of all six languages even though they are written in a script she can't read or understand. Please pray for Mary as she goes to Malawi soon to check Psalms and other Old Testament books in the Lambya project!

Please also pray for Nel Claassen, who will be in Ethiopia in May consulting on the Pentateuch, and who will also be doing an email consultation on a project in Southeast Asia. We thank God for technology that makes what we do more accessible and efficient!

If you would like to know more about becoming a consultant, visit our Volunteer page at twftw.org/volunteer.

Veronique Krüger

*Pseudonym

Onward in Slovakia

With the Romani New Testament translation in Slovakia being finished, it’s onward to new things – or, more accurately, old things. The translation of the Old Testament is two years in and, incredibly, ahead of schedule! Thirteen of the historical books have already been translated. In the last year, a third translator joined the other two and has been working with them over Skype, all the way from Israel. How amazing is technology!

As for the New Testament, it is currently being revised so that a parallel Romani-Slovak translation can be printed and distributed. The Slovak Bible Society and the Eastern European Mission are partnering with The Word for the World in this endeavor so that 3,000 copies of the parallel translation can be made available for free.

In the meantime, the Romani New Testament is being distributed far and wide, all the way to England and Germany. Everyone who speaks Romani can now have the Word of God in their heart language. No matter where they are or how far outside of Slovakia they find themselves, God speaks their language.

Veronique Krüger

Training in Slovakia

Although it may seem that we’re all about the end result of having completed first-time translations of the Bible, a huge part of our work is training! Part of TWFTW’s vision is empowering nationals to do the work of Bible translation. This means that an incredible amount of effort and funds go into training mother tongue speakers to do translation work so that they can translate the Word of God into their own language. This results in a much clearer, much more natural, and much more accurate translation than we could have achieved otherwise.

Earlier this year, TWFTW had a highly successful training session in Slovakia. We focused on the subject of Biblical Exegesis of the Old Testament (“exegesis” is the explanation or interpretation of a text, which is critical for successful Bible translation). The students involved in the training found the lectures interesting and helpful, and they were enthusiastic about doing their assignments.

The next training event in Slovakia will most probably be in April. Please pray with us that it will go well and that the right lecturers will be found for the classes! Together we will press on until every person has the Word of God in their heart language.

God's Word for the Roma People

Pierre Van Vuuren from Slovakia wrote:

"The vision of The Word for the World is the glory of God through transformed lives by the power of His Word in everyone’s heart language. We are partnering with The Seed Company (TSC), a Wycliffe affiliate, to translate the Old Testament into Eastern Slovak (Carpathian) Romani.

TWFTW’s translation director, Dr Manie van den Heever, visited for two weeks in the summer to
consultant check the Old Testament translation for accuracy and to provide training. Manie encouraged Pierre to train as a consultant, since there is a shortage of translation consultants. To date, the translation team has drafted more than 38% of the Old Testament. The text has to go through many controls before publication. At this stage we are working to get a solid team of reviewers who will give feedback to the translation team about the accuracy of the translation, vocabulary use, etc."

 Pray with us to speed up this process and for strength and wisdom for all involved.