Last year I had the opportunity to visit a village in the Kisi community on the eastern shore of Lake Nyasa in southwest Tanzania. Although to be honest there is not much of a shore to the lake on that side – for mile after mile the towering Livingstone mountains drop straight into the lake, with just room for one or two houses at the water’s edge.
After spending a week in Dar es Salaam and a week in Dodoma, we flew to Mbeya for planning and review meetings with the team serving 13 language communities throughout Mbeya, Iringa and Njombe regions. This project, with the potential to impact 2.5 million speakers of the 13 languages, was started in 2003 and currently has around 70 staff working…
“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.
There has been a lot of debate in recent years about how the biblical phrase “Son of God” should be translated into languages where the majority of speakers are from a Muslim background. One side of the debate says that the phrase often used for “Son of God” is a huge stumbling block to Muslims engaging with the Bible, as it has connotations of biological sonship, implying that God had a physical son, and so a different phrase should be used. The other side argues that however the phrase is perceived the biblical message shouldn’t be compromised in order to make it more palatable.
On Sunday 23rd May I’ll be heading to Zambia for a couple of weeks, to work alongside an organisation called Worldwide Mission, as they seek to reach out to communities in Western Zambia that don’t yet have access to the Bible in their languages. As ever, the first stage in any translation project is for […]