I had a great vocabulary word, but my mother tongue taper wouldn't let me use it that way. Often, as we hit bumps or walls in our translation work, our helpers have a difficult time telling us why things don’t work or how to overcome or get around a difficulty. This is one of those stories.
Miscommunication still happens, even when we are trying our hardest for it not to happen. This story is an excellent example of why we have so many steps – and so much checking – built into our translation work! True, it will take many years to get the whole Bible translated into Lusi, but, by the grace of God, there will be the fewest errors possible.
People ask us why we're attempting to translate the whole Bible and not just the New Testament. When we were young missionaries in training, we thought, "Hey, PNG has the whole Bible in the trade language, so we only need to translate the New Testament into the heart language." We have since needed to repent of that.
It's a big job -- learning someone else's language and culture so that we can speak to them clearly. Where does anyone begin? In NTM we know where to begin because we have consultants, and training, and helps in English. But what about the local churches whom we are assisting here in PNG, where do they start? Let me tell you a story which started this summer . . . .
Languages just take time – particularly when you are dealing with the shades of meaning level. I mean in English can you explain to someone else the difference between raise and lift? They are very similar in meaning, but we use them in different contexts. Raise your hand. Raise the bar. I want a raise. Raise the roof. Lift your hand. Lift the bar. I want a lift. Get in the lift. (I could go on . . . raise a crop, raise kids, raise . . .
The second step of many in the process of translation has big names like “transfer” and “Mother Tongue Draft.” What we do is sit down with our exegetical draft where we’ve made our best attempt at Lusi, a Lusi speaker, and a voice recorder. . . .Translation is a painstaking job of a 1000 decisions.
Let me ask you this, if you don’t have a Bible for yourself and you are a believer, how do you feed yourself? How do you grow? How do you have your mind renewed? How can you be encouraged?
How do you say good-bye? Farewell? Until we meet again? Well in the Lusi language you identify who is staying and who is leaving. And since Lusi has a few more pronouns than English, you can be very specific about whether the person being talked to is included or not. We are getting ready to […]