In October of 1998, Rangi mother tongue speakers had agreed on a writing system. However, this system had hardly been used due to various problems. A first primer (of October 1999) and three parables from the Gospel of Luke (of July 2000) had been published using this writing system, and even though people could read those, writing their language proved too difficult. Realizing this, two Wycliffe members of the Rangi team, Oliver S and Marg H, have begun work to revise, and where possible, simplify, the Rangi writing system.
In August 2005 a completed translation workshop resulted in three participants being employed in the project:
- Paulo K (the best student of all 40 workshop participants) is now a full-time translator.
- Andrew M is the new Rangi Literacy Coordinator in training.
- Gervas Simon V is the new Rangi Public Relations Officer in training.
The Rangi team of Paulo L and Richard C (a Wycliffe missionary) is progressing steadily in translating for the Rangi people.
January: A final check of the book of Jonah was done. This is the first Biblical book ever published in the Rangi language.
March: Checking of several chapters of the Gospel of Mark. The story of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection (Mark 14-16), was checked and several trial versions were given to local churches in time for Easter.
December: Translation will continue with the goal of having the Gospel of Mark completed in early 2007.
The literacy program is gaining ground! There is now a primer which is used in seminars to teach Rangi to read and write in their own language. There was a limited edition of the first primer in 1998 used to test the writing system. Rangi literacy classes (led by Rangi) have started in Kondoa town and the first villages outside of Kondoa town.
Materials: A book on traditional Rangi tools was completed in March 2006. More booklets are in process, including: UKIMWI(HIV Aids), the Jonah story, the Ruth story and the transitional literacy primer.
- Rangi spelling guide.
- Rangi grammar. This will be the first Rangi grammar ever produced.
10,000+ word dictionary is in process. This will be the first dictionary ever published in Rangi!
The Word In Song
Two Rangi choirs have been trained and are now performing Psalm 23 and a Rangi alphabet song in churches. When they began to sing, the reaction was amazing! The drumbeat changed, people started dancing spontaneously, and many said they hadn’t felt God come so close to them for a long time.