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Mar 19, 2019

Life impact felt even in early translation drafts

Written by SIL Tanzania Communications

Single word produces fresh response to Scripture


Abim, Uganda, November 2018 — Translators in the Thur language community have been drafting the Scripture portion of 1 Corinthians. When they took it into the community to check their work, one chapter-one word in particular-touched off a heartfelt conversation about marriage and divorce.

With chapters 1-10 in hand, the translation team met with Thur speakers at a host church in Abim. "The community gave their input to the translation," said Peter Okello (SIL Translator), "to make sure that it was natural." It was when they reviewed chapter seven that the discussion became passionate.

community_testing_1_cor._11-16_at_morulem_pentecostal_assemblies_of_god_pag Speakers of Uganda's Thur language met at two local churches to check the
translators' draft of a new Scripture portion. (photo: Peter Okello)
"This was because of the right use of one word," Okello explained. "The word ölyang in Thur language has a meaning very close to immorality." As the group discussed their understanding of Paul's words, one of the women asked for the copy of the translation. "I want to take it home," she told the team. "I want my grown-up children to read this."

Okello and the other Thur translators later gathered another group of reviewers at a church in the town of Morulem to check their draft of chapters 11-16. "We are thankful for these churches," he said. "They help our project mostly in prayer, and also with providing a meeting place and refreshments whenever we go out for community testing. They encourage us translators very much."

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