Press Release: June 13, 2024

South Africa Translation Summit

South Africa Translation Summit: Celebrating Connections and Conversations  

The Goals of the Gathering 

  • Strengthen collaborative efforts and relationships 
  • Improving the pace of Bible translation 
  • Impact of church-centric models on Bible translation 
  • Discuss how funds can be mobilized 

Connections & Conversations 

The success of the summit was celebrated through collegial conversations, excellent questions asked, and a spirit of collaboration that promoted fruitful dialogue. Among the highlighted topics of interest that were discussed was Rev79, a program that, according to their website, “… improves Bible Translation and language development project management by facilitating the planning, implementing, and tracking of goals towards desired outcomes, while improving visibility across the organization or network.” Also discussed was the use of AI, such as ScriptureForge, as a tool to boost efficiency in Bible Translation, improve the drafting process and ultimately increase the quality of the draft.  

Bible Translation and the Local Church 

During the summit, a panel discussion was held with local church leaders regarding scripture engagement. It was an opportunity to learn more about language use in their congregations and communities and what kind of support or needs they had for Bible Translations organizations.  
One of the biggest issues related to language development and translation that the local church in southern Africa faces is multilingualism. How should a pastor, for example, handle facilitating a worship service for a congregation whose members speak several different languages? What parts of the service should they do in what language? What language should Sunday school be taught in?  
Another expressed need was the substantial lack of Scripture Engagement resources for children and youth. The church is heavily focused on keeping their kids engaged and growing spiritually and is eager to develop materials to support their faith formation.  
Many of the questions raised were answered throughout the summit. Sarah Esala, Regional Director with Lutheran Bible Translators, gave a presentation about the partnership between the church and Bible translation.  

Group photo of South Africa Translation Summit participants

Hopeful Next Steps 

Throughout the event, great connections and conversations were able to take place. As attendees head back to their homes, the hope is that more local and country-specific gatherings of Bible Translation organizations will take place making it easier and more convenient for people to meet and plan together.  

Lutheran Bible Translators, specifically Carl Grulke, Program Director-Southern Africa and Exegete, have played a key role in helping this initiative move forward over the past few years.  

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