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Nov 28, 2005

Why We Check Translation

Written by Martin

gungureviewers.jpgTranslation review session under the trees
(Gungu, Uganda)
Basically, there are three reasons why we go through so many stages and checks before we publish Scripture. We want the translation to be:

  • Accurate, in that it correctly translates the original meaning
  • Clear, in that it is easy to understand
  • Natural, in that it is the accepted way of speaking the Lugungu language

To achieve all three requires a large effort in testing and checking. We always use unchurched Lugungu speakers to check our work. Sometimes some serious errors are uncovered — often they can be funny in retrospect.

For example, in Luke 1:5, before testing, the translation read: Herodi hayaabbereeri mukama wa Buyudaaya, haalingiho nyakatagara gibeetengi Zaakaaliya... Which we thought meant: When Herod was governor of Judea, there was a priest who was called Zechariah... however, the tester understood it as: When Herod was governor of Judea, there was a stubborn woman who was called Zechariah... We soon realised that the word nyakatagara was not a good choice! So, we changed the work to mulaami wa Ruhanga, which literally means 'priest of God'. Thanks to the checking process, we avoided an embarrassing mistake.

 
 
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