Photo Essay: First Translation Workshop
Debbie and I have spent the last four weeks helping with a translation workshop. National translators from ten languages come to these several times a year. We meet in the village of Arop-1, in Sandaun (West Sepik) Province, Papua New Guinea. We worked together on “the veranda”, a large, open-air porch. Vico Solano (lower right) is a computer support missionary from Costa Rica who came out to help with computer issues for two weeks.
Debbie went through part of the workshop in Ukarumpa to learn some Bible translation software called Paratext. She helped the translators learn how to use some of the software’s features.
Although the photo above doesn’t show it well, at least three kinds of palms and banana plants are in the background.
The translators translate for their own languages, then translate it back into Melanesian Pidgin, the lingua franca of the country. I’ll eventually learn one of the languages being translated, but for now I’ve started checking some of their Pidgin back translations. A surprising amount of issues and errors needing correction can be found this way. I feel like I’m finally using a lifetime of Bible study, and that’s very satisfying.
If I look to my right from this seat, I see this view (below) of the village. The thin palm in the middle is a betel nut tree. The taller ones are coconut palms.
If we look a different direction from the veranda, we see the satellite dish we use to connect to the internet. One of the main purposes for this is so that John Nystrom, a translation consultant and Arop translator, can continue working with the project from his home in Florida. Everything needing electricity–the satellite dish, computers, water pumps, and lights–are powered by solar panels installed on various roofs. The house we’ve lived in the last four weeks is to the far right. Our water supply is harvested from the tin roof and stored in large tanks.
A Bible translation doesn’t do much good unless it’s used. The translators, some of them pastors, look forward to classes where they get some theological training. Debbie helped with some of these classes in late afternoons.
Thanks to Kati Solano who provided most of the photos for this blog post.