First Scripture portions drafted in Bende and Pimbwe

June 8, 2014 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Tanzania

Many of you will remember the Bende and Pimbwe language communities that we were working with from 2012-2013 in Katavi Region of western Tanzania. Over the past year since we left Katavi, our colleagues have continued to work with these communities, helping to devise and test writing systems and preparing to start translating the first portions of Scripture into these languages.

We are always excited to hear news of what is happening in Katavi, and wanted to share with you a couple of stories written by our colleague, Karin.

At the end of the short orthography testing workshop in the village of Majimoto (Pimbwe area), I asked the participants to write stories in Pimbwe. This is not only a good way of practicing their Pimbwe writing skills but it will also help me to gain more insights into the language and continue with the analysis. We would also like to publish a small booklet with stories written in Pimbwe. Most participants wrote folktales or about personal experiences. But one group took out a Swahili Bible and started translating a passage from the gospel of Mark into Pimbwe. That really excited me and touched my heart. It is my hope and prayer that it won’t take much longer until we can officially start translating the Bible into Pimbwe so that the people will get God’s word in their mother tongue.

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Transitions…

May 27, 2013 in Life, Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Front, Tanzania

The last few months have been a busy time for us, hence the lack of blog posts! In March we flew to our head office in Dar es Salaam, where I was part of a committee discussing how our Uganda-Tanzania Branch is governed. While that doesn’t sound very exciting, the meetings were actually very interesting and we made some good progress towards thinking through how staff from various countries and cultures can all give input in to policy, and how this might work in practice.

In Dar es Salaam we were also asked by our branch leadership to consider moving in to new assignments next year, and to bring forward our planned time in the UK and the US so that we would be back in Tanzania to start our new jobs in early-2014. So on arriving back in Mpanda we concentrated on handing our work over to our colleagues, particularly Isaack who will be taking on much of the day to day running of the office that I have been responsible for.
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Sukuma Scriptures and Songbooks

October 30, 2012 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible, Bible translation, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

There are over 120 languages spoken in Tanzania by communities across the country, the largest of which is the Sukuma people who number around five million. The Sukuma tend to be cattle herders and live mainly in Mwanza, Shinyanga and Tabora Regions, but there are also a significant number in and around Mpanda town here in Katavi Region.

On my way to work each morning I pass by an elderly Sukuma couple, who love to call out to me and greet me in their language. They seem to work on the principle that if they say the same greetings enough times then eventually they will stick inside my head, although I have to say the process is a slow one! Read the rest of this entry →

Creating alphabets for the Bende and Pimbwe languages

September 17, 2012 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Culture, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

“People will believe that God knows them if their language has Scripture in it… they will be very happy!” This was the opinion of Stephen, a speaker of the Bende language in Tanzania’s Katavi Region. But in order for parts of the Bible to be written in a language, there must first be an alphabet that is easy and intuitive for speakers of the language to read. Read the rest of this entry →

Why translate the Bible into Kibende?

April 21, 2012 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Mission, Tanzania

Last month we were excited to be able to host six speakers of the Kibende language, as they took the very first step towards writing their language and later starting to translate the Bible into Kibende. During the week that they spent with us here in Mpanda they managed to collect over a thousand words in their language, which will later be analysed linguistically in order to come up with a writing system that is intuitive and easy for Kibende speakers to read and write.

For us it was encouraging to see this first step in the translation project, and to look ahead in faith to the coming months and years as the Bende hopefully become more and more involved in the work, and start to produce the first portions of Scripture. Read the rest of this entry →