|Book||% Consultant Checked||Lead Translator||Current Status|
|Matthew||6%||Maggie||Comprehension Check 1|
|Romans||73%||Chris||Comprehension Check 2|
|Philippians||Maggie||Comprehension Check 3|
|Colossians||Maggie||Comprehension Check 3|
In the past six months we have shifted gears from mainly focusing on training and equipping the Pal Bible teachers to now focusing on completing the New Testament translation. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are cruising quickly towards the finish line – a fully completed New Testament in the Pal language.
Early on in the ministry, we just translated some pieces in a few books (Matthew, Luke, John, and Romans), but now we are doing complete books. So, where you see that Maggie is working on Comprehension Check 1 of Matthew, that is not a few more pieces of Matthew but the entire book. We will soon have another handful of books ready for the final consultant check (Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, Revelation, and maybe more!), and we are hoping to have that consultant check next spring.
Lord willing we will have the New Testament completely drafted within the next two years and the NT fully completed and consultant checked within five years. Continue to pray for us as we tackle this monumental task. We are inadequate for the task, but God has put this work on our plate and He is faithful to carry us through.
Steps of the translation process
Step 1, Draft – My computer and I all alone for many long hours. My computer knows Scripture, and Greek, and is the expert on all things Biblical. I know the Pal language. So we work together to hammer out a draft.
Step 2, Record – My Pal translation helper and I, along with my trusty digital recorder, work through the draft. I read my rough draft, my helper corrects and straightens and says it in his own words, and my recorder captures everything he says. Then it’s back to my computer as I go back through the recordings and rewrite the initial draft, throwing out my bad Pal and replacing it with the sweet natural Pal of my helper.
Step 3, Comprehension Checking – My Pal friends and I gather together and go through the new draft. I read a chunk at a time and they repeat it back in their own words. As they do that, I’m checking to see if they’ve understood the whole chunk of Scripture they just heard, or if pieces are getting lost. Together we make necessary changes as we desire a translation that is completely accurate, communicates clearly, and sounds natural in their language.
After finishing a comprehension check with a group of Pal friends, I do the exact same step again with another group of Pal friends. And then I pass it off to a teammate for them to go through the exact same process with yet another group of Pal friends.
Step 4, Back Translation – I say goodbye to all my Pal friends and disappear into my office again. Believe it or not, now I translate it back to English! This is so our consultant can read through the translation and point out discrepancies between our translation work and the Bible.
Step 5, Content Check – After doing the back translation, a coworker will go through the back translation and compare it to Scripture (usually the NASB) and point out every place where our translation does not match the Bible perfectly.
Step 6, Consultant Check – Last step! Whew, what a process! This last step has two steps. First, the consultant looks at our back translation and does another content check (we think accuracy is pretty important). Then I gather some of my Pal friends and we go travel to meet with the consultant. I will read the translation in Pal paragraph by paragraph, and my Pal friends will repeat it back in tok pisin for the consultant to hear. Or my Pal friends will repeat it back in Pal, and I’ll translate what they say into English for the consultant. Here, the consultant is checking to see if what we translated is understood clearly, just like we did in our comprehension checks. We make changes as necessary and then the book is finished! We send it to the print shop and get the new Scripture book into the hands of the Pal people as quick as we can.