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Mar 15, 2017

Branded or glued? A translation challenge...

Written by Ben Gerth

image: Recording the nook of Jonah in the Jita languageWhile the Jita team translates Revelation, they continue
working in other areas, such as recording audio versions of
Scripture which they’ve already completed. Here, the team
records a Jita speaker reading from the book of Jonah.
(photo: Ben Gerth)

Where English used one word, the Jita team found they needed two.

— Mara, Tanzania

The book of Revelation describes a scroll which was ‘sealed’ with seven seals (5:1). Later, it mentions the 144,000 who were ‘sealed’ on their foreheads (7:4).

Jita language translators quickly found a word for the forehead seal, which described it as a “mark of ownership or belonging,” such as would help a farmer protect his cow, or a fisherman his day’s catch.

But they knew that same word could not work in chapter five...

“The seals on the scroll were less about ownership,” explained Michiel Louter, one of the team’s Translation Advisors, “and more about privacy of the scroll’s contents.”

With a bit of research, the translators found another Jita word to use for the seals on the scroll. “They describe it,” said Louter, “much like glue strips.”

 
 
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