Translators from several different TWFTW Bible translation projects in Lusaka, Zambia share their recent experiences with us! They had a great time during training for a new edition of Paratext, a computer program that helps to speed the process of Bible translation. All of the translators who work on different projects are rarely in the same place at the same time, and it was also a wonderful blessing to them to spend time with each other in between training sessions.
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Approximately 2,500 language communities already have some or all of the Bible. That leaves over 4,000 languages with no access to God’s Word unless someone steps in and changes history.
VISION & MISSION
The Vision: The glory of God through transformed lives by the power of His Word in everyone's heart language. The Mission: To empower indigenous persons and organizations for Bible translation.
What will your legacy be? Please consider a contribution to The Word For The World! Become part of the vision to bring God's Word to all people in their heart language by 2050.
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.
This past July, 23 students representing 11 different languages attended a TWFTW training event in Sudan to study Sociolinguistics, Biblical Exegesis, Introduction to Hebrew, and the Process of Bible Translation.
Kamal, one of the students who participated, said, “I am getting more experience and knowledge in my language and in Bible translation work. We are discovering new things about our own languages and cultures and become aware of sociolinguistic issues of our languages and communities. The sociolinguistics course helped me personally to know more about quality control of the translation.”
We praise God for this successful training that will aid the students in effectively translating the Bible into their own language! A follow-up training event just began on October 2nd and will continue until October 21st, so please keep Kamal and the other students, as well as their lecturers, in your prayers as they continue these crucial studies. For more information on our training, visit twftw.org/training.
Provided by Dr. Regine Koroma, International Director of Training.
Historically, the model for Bible translation was this: a (usually) white, Western missionary would go and live in a village, spend time learning the language, and then set about the mammoth task of translating the entire Bible by himself. It was a process that could easily take a lifetime to complete. And, as incredible it was that those people finally had some scripture in their language, the translation often wasn’t as natural as it would have been had a mother tongue speaker completed it.
The Word for the World is a Bible translation organization, yes – but one that is driven by the vision of training and empowering mother tongue speakers to translate the complete Bible into their own language. These translations are accurate, clear, and natural, which is vital to people’s understanding of the Word of God! The process is usually also cut down by a considerable amount of time, and those people groups are able to receive the Bible much more quickly.
To find out more about our training, visit twftw.org/training! We thank you for your continued prayer and support as we work to bring the Word to everyone in their heart language.
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.
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!
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.)
- “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.”
- “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. “
- “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.”
- “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!
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.
It’s no secret that The Word for the World is a Bible translation organization. What drives us is the belief that God wants every person to have access to the Bible in their own heart language so that they can understand God’s Word as clearly as possible and know that God speaks their language. But with that mandate comes two other very important tasks that you may not know about! Both of these are crucial to the work of Bible translation.
Training: TWFTW has developed a program that provides training for all the different participants (nationals) involved in the translation process: prospective Bible translators, testers, stylists, and church leaders. It’s aimed at arousing the desire for lifelong learning and providing a solid academic grounding so that students can continue with their studies.
Literacy: We also work with language communities to plan and initiate mother-tongue literacy programs alongside Bible translation that teach people to read and write. Many languages we work in have never had a writing system! Based on their sound system, a writing system is developed, usually using the alphabet of the state language as the basis. We then provide training and workshops to the people in how to set up, implement and run literacy programs in their communities.
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!