The third Oral Bible Translation workshop took place in Wewak for Bungain, Juwal, and Urimo language participants in August. As it was the third workshop, the participants were keen to put into practice the things they had learned in the previous workshops. Nearly all the stories for this workshop were taken from the Old Testament. For those participants who had already completed Oral Bible Storytelling workshops, many of these passages had already been learned in story form. As a result, they were able to finish more stories than in previous workshops because they had already learned the foundation of these passages.
The number of passages each group has translated has grown significantly over the course of the past year. We are thankful for all of the completed recordings and look forward to how they will be distributed in the future. The area of distribution is still in process. What is the best way to share the recordings in each of these language groups? Could it be different for some of the language groups? Could it look different for different generations of listeners? The SPES team looks forward to growing in knowledge in the coming months as they assess the various situations and seeks to find sustainable ways to help the communities more easily access the recorded scriptures.
The advisors also grew in their knowledge and abilities. All of our advisors have been trainers for storytelling workshops before, but they only began using computers when the translation workshops started last November. Through some extra training and time “trying out” the computers, they have grown in confidence that they can help others learn to use the computers. They continue to learn new translation principles and are excited to put them into practice with future courses.
Community checkers come and listen to the translated stories to see if they are clear and natural and convey the meaning of the passage. The checkers who have been at all three courses have grown in their understanding of their job, as well as in their ability to give useful feedback. Giving constructive feedback is not something that comes naturally, but they learned this skill so they could better the translation work.
Sometimes roles within a team change. At this workshop, we had a couple of changes that needed to take place. We had one new back translator, whose job it is to take the translated text and translate it back into a common language so that it can be consultant checked for accuracy. Back translating can be difficult to learn, but Patrick came and understood well the task at hand. He was able to learn how to work the computer and do the back translation and was a big asset to his team.
We are thankful for eager learners who come expecting to learn and who want to find ways to use what they have learned in the future. May God’s Word continue to go out as these recordings are shared in communities.