Archive for January, 2010

The following was posted by our SIL partners in Tanzania.  The Mara cluster is part of a Comprehensive Project sponsored by Wycliffe USA and the Last Languages Campaign to start all the remaining Bible translation needs in Tanzania (and Uganda).  It is fascinating because this technology, using satellites in even more remote areas, is now providing opportunity to accelerate the pace of Bible translation projects beyond anything we could every have hoped for or imagined.

Accelerating the pace of Bible Translation

“Earlier this week the Mara Cluster Project in Tanzania conducted a Bible translation consultant check of the Gospel of Luke, chapter 22 in the Simbiti language that received the Christmas story for the first time this past Christmas. The consultant was in Holland and the translation team in a small town in Tanzania.

The whole team–translators, adviser in Tanzania and consultant in The Netherlands–had access to the Simbiti language database. This was done locally through a local area network (LAN) and remotely through a virtual private network (VPN). The two locations each used Skype to speak to each other over the internet.

The internet connection was sufficient to enable excellent transmission of voice and never during the consultant check did they have hearing issues related to poor transmission.

The team was able to check all of Luke 22 in about five and a half hours. This experiment shows that this method of consultant checking is viable, and it may bring significant benefits to the Mara Cluster Project.”

Read more:


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What is a mother tongue? It’s the language that a human being learns from birth, a vital part of his or her identity. This story illustrates why Scripture access in the mother tongue is so important.

In June 2009, a group of Christians from West Asia met in Europe to dedicate the first Scriptures published in a minority language of their country.  The books published contained the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs and a CD that contained an audio recording of the printed version.

Members of the team that worked on this book were there and told of the impact that the Scriptures have had in their lives and lives of those close to them.  A married couple talked about how both of their fathers heard the Scriptures in their own language for the first time when they read it aloud as they were translating. Both men, at the age of 83, gave their lives to the Lord.

The main translator said, “I know several languages and have access to different translations.  But I remember times, when translating into my language, when I would start to cry. We can understand the Bible with our mind in the national language, but it’s the mother tongue that plants the Word in our hearts.”

He has already given 18 years of his life to the task of seeing the New Testament in his own language, and now this man is continuing to work towards seeing the completion of the whole Bible, hopefully within the next year.  He is so convinced of the power of mother tongue Scriptures to transform lives that he has asked to be able to continue with the project when the work on his own language is complete.

Since the publication of this New Testament, he reports, believers of this language group in Europe are asking to get together regularly to study the Scripture in their own language.

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Wycliffe endorses the relief work being carried out by World Vision in Haiti.

Wycliffe Bible Translators USA expresses deep sorrow for the victims of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti.

With tens of thousands still missing and millions homeless, Haiti is undergoing extreme crisis.

Many in the United States have asked what they can do to help.

Wycliffe is not responding directly to the crisis in Haiti. However, Wycliffe endorses the work of World Vision, a Christian ministry with a long-standing presence in Haiti.

World Vision is on the ground rushing emergency supplies to survivors of this catastrophe. Your gift will help World Vision distribute life-saving relief supplies, including food, clean water, blankets, and tents, to children and families devastated by the earthquake and aftershocks in Haiti.

To donate, please click on the following link.  http://donate.worldvision.org/OA_HTML/xxwv2ibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=10324.

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Last Language Translator

"Last Language Translator." Hyatt Moore, 2008. Oil over acrylic.

By Mary Tindall

Emerging from the shadows, this man in this portrait carries a book with no title. Drips of paint fall from his sleeve and hand, hinting that the artist worked in haste.

Who is this man? Not even the artist knows. He represents someone in the future, someone who may not even be born yet—someone who will start translating Scripture in the last unreached language on Earth.

“We don’t know if this is going to be someone from Africa, where there is one of the greatest areas of need, or it might be someone from the Pacific Islands, where’s another centralized area of need, or someone from Southeast Asia,” said Wycliffe USA Senior Vice President Ruth Hubbard.

Wycliffe commissioned this painting, “Last Language Translator,” and two other standing portraits to coincide with the 2008 launch of the Last Languages Campaign. The artist, Hyatt Moore, is a former Wycliffe member and was president of the organization from 1992 to 1997.

The painting is oil over acrylic, 60 inches tall by 27 inches wide on stretched canvas. Today it stands in the offices of the president at Wycliffe USA headquarters in Orlando, Fla.

Moore left the man’s features racially ambiguous—his hand looks Caucasian, but his face appears black.

The lack of detail stands out in this painting.

“He’s holding this book; it’s not detailed,” Moore explains. “You don’t know the language, what that title would be on that book.”

Still, Moore plants small clues throughout this work, such as the gold leaf sprinkled across the top of the man’s shirt—a reflective surface casting light back from the source. It’s the only one of Moore’s standing portraits that features this technique.

“I thought this is a place to use gold leaf, because whoever he is, he’s special. Whether he’s got his crown yet, because he’s on Earth and not Heaven, he’s starting to get it.”

The drips in the painting are a signature technique of Moore’s. He didn’t ponder its significance to “The Last Translator” until he had already completed it.

“Then I realized that’s symbolic of the whole unfinishedness—the translation challenge has not been met.”

If the painting stands for hopeful expectation, then each day in the present carries enormous significance.

“If prayer really is part of what we’re called to do, then work in those last languages has started, and it’s started in prayer,” Hubbard said.

You can connect with a language group still waiting for Scripture through the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project.

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USA (MNN) ― With the popularity of the new movie Avatar, you may be amazed that Bible translators may need to use that type of technology to aid in Bible translation. In fact, this technology could help people groups all over the world in some of the most difficult places for evangelism with deaf speakers/listeners.

Julia, with Wycliffe Bible Translators, says she wants to make sure these people can understand God’s Word clearly. Read more.

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