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Attending a translation course provides Daniel with tools to be a more effective Bible translator.

Learning to translate the Bible

The foreign French sounds screeched their way across Daniel’s shortwave radio as he listened with half an ear to a soccer game. Meanwhile, he was making notes from the passage of Scripture that he was helping Paul Briggs check. 

His French Bible was open on his lap and the sounds that had once seemed so foreign were now beginning to materialize on the page, telling incredible stories of God’s faithfulness first to His people Israel, and then to the world.

A member of the Loron people group in Ivory Coast, Daniel put his faith in Christ ten years ago when one of the Loron church elders, Dibonay, came to his little village to teach the evangelism phase of Firm Foundations, a chronological study of the Bible.

The distant roar of motorcycle engines and the noisy chatter of Loron children playing outside provided a backdrop to Daniel’s studies as he ciphered through his French Bible and compared it to the Loron Scripture passages he was checking with Paul Briggs.

Last year, Daniel helped Paul and Marina Briggs check the book of Luke to make sure that it communicated effectively in his language.

Although Daniel has never had the opportunity to attend one of the French-speaking public schools, he taught himself French by listening to his shortwave radio and studying his French Bible. He also learned how to read his own language through the literacy course developed by Paul and Marina.

As Daniel has grown in his ability to check the Scripture portions that Paul and Marina have translated, he has become a great asset to their team.

Paul Briggs describes Daniel as, “a careful student of the Bible, gentle, but not shy about pointing out errors, omissions or bad spelling, which makes him a gem.”

Today, Daniel is looking forward to an exciting new opportunity to become a better Bible translator. Paul Briggs and an Ivorian Bible translation consultant will be teaching a training course for new Bible translators.

The need arose for the course when several of the other long-term Bible translators moved away; now newer Bible translators will have to take over. 

Daniel is excited by the opportunity to play a greater role in Bible translation. Thankfully, he has spent a number of years building good relationships with other members of the Loron community, which lends credibility to the translation he will now be drafting.

The seven-day course will teach Daniel how to read a passage, understand it, and then translate the text as exactly as possible into a new language. Some of the challenges Daniel has been facing during his recent translation work has been the ability to translate concepts from one language into another language in a way that properly conveys the correct meaning. This course will help him understand how to better translate Scripture.

Four main topics will be covered during this seven day course. These include kinds of translation, the qualities of a good translation (accuracy, clarity and naturalness), steps in the translation process, how to make idioms translate naturally and how to effectively communicate key biblical terms in a different language.

Daniel smiled with excitement as he finished jotting down the last few notes from the text he was working on. Soon, he will be able to do the checking with greater ease and clarity.

Please pray for Daniel as he learns how to become a better Bible translator and checker.

Tags: Africa, Loron People, Mission News, Ongoing Training, Prayer West Africa,
POSTED ON Feb 05, 2014 by Heidi Goud

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