“The people back home will not believe these books exist!”

June 17, 2015 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

Three unexpected guests arrived in our Mbeya office this morning, asking to talk with the project manager. They were speakers of the Ndali language, and had traveled from the north of Malawi, having heard that we are translating parts of the Bible into the Tanzanian dialect of Ndali.

After introducing themselves they presented a letter, asking that they be kept informed of the progress of the project, attend advisory meetings, and have access to the books that are being distributed. Their desire for Ndali books was obvious, as they explained how they use Scriptures from the neighbouring Ngonde language in church, despite it being difficult for them to understand.

Seeing some of the Bible books that our office has produced in Ndali, their eyes lit up with excitement! They pleaded that they should at least be able to take home a sample of the books, as they think through how to build a sustainable distribution network. “The people back home will not believe that these books really exist!” they exclaimed, “except there are three of us, so they’ll have to believe us!” Read the rest of this entry →

“My people too need the Bible in their language…”

August 10, 2012 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

Back in September 2004 I was part of a research team that spent a few weeks with the Nyiha people of Tanzania’s Mbeya Region, trying to answer some questions about how the Nyiha may best be able to translate the Bible into their own language. As part of the trip we ended up also driving south to Zambia and Malawi to connect with the Nyiha and Nyika communities there, who were originally part of the same Tanzanian community but had travelled south several generations ago.

The research trip confirmed that there was a need to translate the Bible into Nyiha, and that there were only minimal dialect differences between the ways that people in the various Tanzanian Nyiha villages spoke. Since then several Nyiha translators have been working alongside translators from other languages of Mbeya and Iringa Regions, to start translating portions of Scripture into their languages. Read the rest of this entry →