Translation provides the book for the readers.
Literacy provides the readers for the book.
Effective Bible Translation involves a team of people: translators who are speakers of the language and have been trained in translation principals; technical experts trained in exegesis and Bible translation; and translation consultants who have experience in translation and have the knowledge and expertise needed to check the quality of translations to ensure Scripture is translated naturally, accurately and in a way that communicates effectively to speakers of the language. The translation team can find themselves being challenged intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually as they seek to bring God's Word to those who have never held or understood it. But the job is hugely fulfilling, and the rewards are out of this world!
Successful participation in a translation project requires:
- A good knowledge of the local language and culture.
- A commitment to equipping others through training and mentoring so that they can participate fully in the work.
- A thorough understanding of the Scriptures, so that the original message can be communicated clearly in the local language.
- Careful checking of the translation work to make sure it communicates accurately, clearly, and naturally.
- Time invested in helping members of the language community read and apply the translated Scriptures for themselves.
- Interaction with church leaders and government officials to encourage ongoing support for the project.
It's All About the Meaning
A translation is more than a translation of the words; it must communicate the meaning of a message and transfer it from one language to another. This is called 'meaning based translation'. Because we are dealing with the Bible, which is inspired and holy, fidelity to the original is crucial. And because we are dealing with human beings and we want them to understand the message, naturalness is also important.
All the translations that are done go through a process of verification by community revisers and are consultant checked by experienced translation consultants, so that quality and precision are maintained.