Press Release: June 11, 2024

A Dialogue Toward Discovery

At the translation table

A Dialogue Toward Discovery: What is the first step in the translation process? Asking questions! 

Questions of Language 
Surveys provide accurate information about languages spoken in the area. Is there any Scripture available to speakers in this area? Which languages are still widely used? Which languages are similar? 

Questions of Community Members 
“We have found that a translation moves more smoothly and receives greater support from the community when they are involved early in the process,” Regional Director Sarah Esala reported. Who in the community already has an aptitude for language? Who is passionate about their faith and able to galvanize and generate support? Who are the quiet leaders? 

Questions of Lutheran Bible Translators 
Lutheran Bible Translators has decades of experience with translations projects and each new context provides an opportunity to look at what worked well before and what can be improved for a future project. How can we use innovation to serve this particular people group best? Can we establish a project cluster where an advisor serves multiple projects at once? What training and resources can we bring to the table? 

Questions of our Church Partners 
“More and more we listen to our partners by asking, ‘What portions of scripture do you want to start with, what do you need?’ For example – the Kerewe team started with the book of Jonah because they are on an island, familiar with fish, water, and boats,” said Sarah Esala. 

Right now, these questions are being asked in areas of Botswana! “Let me emphasize that it’s a dialogue towards discovery…learning from the community to understand their desires, needs, hopes, and available resources (people, money, community assets, existing research…) for Scripture in their language. Likewise, the community learns from those experienced in Bible Translation what elements lay a solid foundation for a project and what the commitment to this type of endeavor holds.” – Sarah Esala 

Learn more about the Botswana Language Exploration Program here

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