Excellence and Perseverance

In November of last year, 49 students representing 16 translation projects attending a training event in Lusaka, Zambia. During the month that the training took place, 9 different subjects were taught, including Principles of Bible Translation, New Testament Exegesis, Hebrew, and Textual Criticism.

Despite the intensity of the subjects being taught, all the students who attended completed their courses and received their credits at the end. Not only that, but 20 students from Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe graduated with their Diploma in Bible Translation on November 23rd!

We are thankful for the successful training and congratulate those students who graduated! To keep up with our training events, take a look at our Training Calendar.

A Whole New World

Training translators to translate the Bible into their own language is an enormous and critical part of what The Word for the World does, but the effects don’t stop there! Since people have been trained in the steps and procedures of translation, they are equipped to be able to translate anything. There are lots of educational pamphlets which people do not understand, but now they can translate them, for example information on medical concerns, agriculture, H.I.V, etc. Literacy programs have also been born in order to teach people how to read and write. This means the problem of illiteracy is in the process of being solved.

Job creation, improvements in education, and overall community development are all positive results of empowering people to be able to translate text accurately, clearly, and naturally into their own language. Praise God! For more on our training program, visit twftw.org/training. Our International Director of Training, Dr. Regine Koroma, would love to hear from you!

Provided by Rosemary Chimbiti, who is currently in her final year of the Diploma in Bible Translation with TWFTW. The above video was taken nearly 2 years ago when she had already begun working on the DBT.

Bible Translation: Fast Training

All Bible Translators working with TWFTW gain a broad foundation through interdisciplinary studies alongside of their translation work. They have either completed or are working towards our Diploma in Bible Translation (DBT), a de-centralized and accredited study programme that combines formal training in intensive modules with on-the-job training and self-study under the guidance of a mentor.

To achieve the goals of the DBT programme, we need people who can teach and mentor aspiring Bible translators from minority languages who do not know English in the 20+ subjects. That is how the idea to offer fast track training was born. In 2015 we enrolled 15 suitable nationals, mostly graduates with relevant experience in SE Asia, in our first fast track DBT training. They were to build the core of permanent training teams with the necessary language and cultural skills in various locations. The first group has just completed their final module. These key people are now training non-English speaking members of Bible-less communities in the 20+ DBT subjects, in 5 different languages of wider communication, making a path for millions to meet God in their heart language!

This is what they had to say about their training experience. (Please bear in mind that none of these trainees are English-speaking.)

  1. “It was a wonderful time of learning the subject Lexicography. Even though the duration of the training was only three days, the lecturer took good effort to make it understand for the students. Everybody learnt how to make a dictionary. The examination and assignments were completed before everyone left the training centre.”
     
  2. “It was a useful time in my life to learn Lexicography. I have been using many dictionaries but this training gave me an understanding of how to make the dictionary. I also realized the hard work behind dictionary making. “
     
  3. “It was a very good training for me and I learnt something completely new; The Flex software is very useful. It helped us to apply the knowledge we gathered in the first part of the class, such as determining the head word, forms of the lexeme, gloss, morphological type, derivational, inflectional, grammatical information, grammatical categories, semantic domains etc.”
     
  4. “This was my first experience with fast track DBT training, and I found it very useful. As a linguistics student the assignments were really helpful for me to prepare for my examinations. Through the dictionary making project plan I got a brief idea about how to collect data before working on a dictionary. I am looking forward to attend a dictionary making workshop to get more practical knowledge on this.”

Please invest in TWFTW training programme!

Regine Koroma

Technology in Bible Translation

We live in an incredible time of technological advancement. Humans can send messages across the globe in seconds. There are literally billions* of updates, likes, tweets, messages, and texts sent and received every day. We can even utilize interplanetary communication to control robots on Mars. In the face of the radical changes introduced by this modern take on human interconnectedness and social networking, many wonder if our globalized path of advancement is good? Has technology pulled us together or pushed us apart? Are we forgetting what it is to be human? Have we left God behind?

Two-thousand years ago, in his own turbulent times of question and change, the apostle Paul encouraged his young mentee, Timothy, saying, “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). Here, at The Word for the World, we believe that we are empowered by the same spirit. We serve the same, unchanging God as did Paul, and we do not look forward with fear. Rather, with power, love, and self-control, we embrace the times in which we live knowing “that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28).

Over the course of obtaining a Diploma in Bible Translation, we help our translators find ways to use technology to bring glory to God. We train our translators in computer-aided translation. They receive tools to help create dictionaries, orthographies, and publications. When a community needs audio Bibles; or scripture for radio; or mother-tongue audio for films; or digital literacy resources; or access to resources from other projects, we find ways to partner, empower, and enable those efforts.

You may find it surprising to learn how much technology we use for translation in the developing world. Mobile computing and global connectivity have come to stay, and we cannot ignore it. Know that we take the discipleship of our translators seriously, and this means helping them and their communities discover Godly ways to use technology for the expansion of His Heavenly Kingdom.

God is not surprised by human advancement.

In TWFTW, we have a wide range of technophiles. We see translators pulling the plastic tape off a laptop for the first time, and have others writing project management software for their teams. God has been using new technologies to advance his kingdom for millennia, and our modernity is no different. Please join us in helping train translators who can help shape the unavoidable technological growth in their communities into something that is truly a light and life-giving blessing from God!

Get Involved!

Joel Brown

*Further reading for internet stats
https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/47-facebook-statistics/
http://www.internetlivestats.com/twitter-statistics/
http://www.pewinternet.org/2008/04/24/electronic-communication/

First Steps in Southeast Asia

In May and June of this year, training took place in Southeast Asia that was the first step on an incredible journey for those with a heart to translate the Bible into their own language! A total of 13 students from 4 different language communities came to the training in order to be the best translators they can be for their projects. That’s 4 language communities that currently do not have the Bible, but thanks to the hard work of these students, that will soon change. All of the students are already working on their projects, but the Diploma in Bible Translation training will greatly improve the quality of their translations, resulting in the best possible Bible for their people.

In a month’s time, the students sat through 132 hours of lectures (amounting to about 6.5 hours per day) in 4 different subjects. It was an intense time, but hugely successful! Tularam Bele, one of the student translators, said, “It was a good time. It was the first time that we have learned the process of Bible translation and the principles of Bible translation. Through them we can do Bible translation work properly.”

We praise God for this time of enriching and learning, and are proud of the students, all of whom made it through this intense month. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue their training in the future, and as they keep working on their translations in the meantime so that their people can also know that God speaks their language.

Rosemarie Chimbiti's Story

One of the main focuses in TWFTW is training and empowering! Rosemary Chimbiti is the wife of Robert Chimbiti, the national director for TWFTW Zimbabwe. She started our Diploma in Bible Translation in 2015, and although she was intimidated at first, she has persevered and excelled! The DBT (Diploma in Bible Translation) is comprised of several components designed to train students to engage with the Biblical text, become familiar with the historical context, and learn to get down to the meaning of the text. All of this is crucial to producing a clear, natural, and accurate translation of the Bible.

Over the last 33 years 1,024 people from 27 countries have participated in TWFTW’s training program, and 353 students from 130 different language groups are currently enrolled. We are extremely blessed to play such a vital role in their development and to be able to help them come to a place where they can translate the Bible into their own languages.

Well done, Rosemary! She is doing the DBT while also taking care of their children, running a home, and supporting Robert in his own work with TWFTW. We are extremely proud of you!