During September 30 to October 25, 2013, TWFTW presented training in Shillong, India. The aim was to equip translators with some skills necessary to work more effectively and speedily and to build relationships.
The students represented 5 languages in which Bible translation projects have started or are envisaged to start. The languages are Bugun, Tutsa, Tagin, Sakachep, Dai.
TWFTW (lecturers, finance, facilitation, marking) partnered with NECTAR (logistics, administration, training facility); TSC (some funding); SAG (lecturer).
Subjects taught were Greek, Paratext, and Discourse Analysis.
Johannes P. Louw is well-known internationally for his pioneering work in applying linguistic insights to the study of New Testament Greek. Most well-known of his more than 115 publications is the Greek-English Lexicon Based on Semantic Domains, published by the United Bible Societies in 1988. Johannes Louw and Eugene A. Nida were co-editors of this monumental work. This lexicon has become a standard reference work in Bible Translation.
Probably his greatest contribution to the study of New Testament Greek was the development of an exact methodology for the analysis of meaning, not only at the lexical level, but also at the level of the sentence and paragraph and even greater units of discourse. This has proved to be a great help to Bible translators.
The Word for the World feels a special link to Professor Louw. Veroni Kruger had the privilege of lecturing in his department at the University of Pretoria, and he was also the academic supervisor under whom Veroni studied for his doctorate. Principles learned from him form the basis of TWFTW training program and our approach to translation to this day. A few months before he passed away, Veroni said to him “Your legacy lives on in the extended work of TWFTW internationally. We want to honour you for that.”
His widow, Rina Louw, decided to donate a large portion of his library to TWFTW, and we received the books from her in August, in Pretoria. The books were immediately sent to Ethiopia, India and Tanzania, where TWFTW is developing resource centres for our growing number of candidate consultants in those countries. This is in line with our focus on empowering nationals to translate the Bible for their own people, and to assume leadership roles in Bible translation in their own cultures.
We are extremely grateful for the donation, and thrilled that the legacy of J. P. Louw lives on in this manner.
We are grateful for the completion in February of the Greek consultation of the New Testament in Eastern Slovak Romani (also known as Carpathian Romani. This brings to 21 the number of New Testaments that national translators of TWFTW have completed, in addition to nine complete Bibles since the organization began in 1981. TWFTW presently has 59 projects underway.
The next steps before typesetting and printing are to review the spelling, grammar and consistent usage of key terms.
Please pray and give towards this worthy project, so that many more people will have the opportunity to read God’s Word in the language God gave them.
A very effective mobile training program has been developed that combines academic rigor with hands-on experience. We provide nationals with the same high standard of training we maintained when we offered fulltime training (mostly to expatriates). The course consists of classroom, self-study and on-the-job training, and is certified as 2 years of a 3-year degree from the South African Theological Seminary. It is also in a format that is feasible for many nationals, and is made available (and affordable) in the countries where the translators live.
TWFTW achieves some of the highest Bible translation rates ever attained.
Many of our translation teams exceed 10% of the Bible translated per year. The average translation rate for all TWFTW projects is over 7% of the entire Bible translated per year (even including those that do not follow our ideal model of using a team of at least three translators). Of particular note were our translations of the Bible (first drafts) into Dawro, Gamo and Gofa in Ethiopia, which were completed in an average of 6.5 years. The New Testament has been translated in 3 years by many of our teams.
The cabinet minister rejoiced as Reuben handed him a copy of the Gospel of Luke in Mwera.
Reuben Kabwe, National Director of TWFTW in Tanzania writes:
The Gospel of Luke in the Mwera language of Tanzania was launched on June 9, 2013. This is the first time ever that Scripture was published in Mwera. We are grateful to God that all of us have been part of this historic event in some way. The Mwera people can now read Scripture in the language that God himself gave them.
The launch attracted political and church leaders. All eleven churches represented in the area were present. The guest of honour was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Bernard Membe, who came with a delegation of more than 20 people.
Mwera songs were sung and people danced to the music. Money was spontaneously given for more copies of the Gospel to be distributed amongst the Mwera people.
The minister commented that the translation of the Mwera Scriptures is a huge blessing. It is also a great achievement for the Mwera people and the entire nation of Tanzania, since the translators were all Mwera people translating into their own language.
TWFTW consultant Nel Claassen and the Maale translation team finished checking the entire Maale Bible translation! Many Maale are encouraged as they now await the publication of the Maale Bible (an expected 10,000 copies). Many illiterate Maale people are now more eager to join the Maale literacy program.