On Good Friday, I arrived in India to meet with two national translation teams to check their recently-translated New Testament books. It is important that God’s Word, whether translated by a local speaker or by someone who has learned that language, be carefully looked at by a trained consultant to ensure that it is accurate to the original text, clear to a local person who has not worked on producing the text, and natural-sounding.
The first translation team had several epistles to be checked (1 & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, James and Jude) to bring to completion the entire New Testament prior to printing. Working five and a half days a week, we finished on April 17. Each working day began with prayer for God’s guidance, and ended with reflections on lessons gleaned from the Word which had been read that day.
Besides the translator, a local speaker of the target language was also present to answer any questions I had. I asked questions to ensure that the text was accurate and understandable to a reader. I used an English translation of the local language text so that I could understand what it said. This “back translation” was somewhat literal, in both word meanings and sentence structure, so at times I needed to ask for clarification.
Last Monday (April 22), I began checking the Gospel of John for a second translation team. I’m allowing two weeks to complete this consultant-check, but we may finish a bit sooner. For both of these translation-checking sessions, another Canadian translator is joining us as part of his preparation to become a translation consultant himself. He also has prepared some questions on part of the material to be checked, so will lead some of the discussion.
Thank you for praying for us! We realize that this is a spiritual battle as God’s Word is being checked and prepared for distribution to these two language communities. We’re thankful for health, protection, strength, and the progress being made.
OneBook program manager & translation consultant,
on the road in Asia