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Posts Tagged ‘Wycliffe Bible Translators USA’

By Hannah Weiand

 

Wycliffe has so many amazing events and opportunities coming this spring! Opportunities include events, trips and internships. View full list

 

TOTAL IT UP!

Discover the field of linguistics and Bible translation at this five-day course. Build meaningful relationships, hear personal testimonies and learn how you can get involved!

 

EXPLORE WYCLIFFE

Here’s a one-day session with long-term impact! Find out more about Bible translation, explore opportunities and meet Wycliffe missionaries who can answer all your questions.

 

RACE TO 2025

Raise your heart rate while raising support for Bible translation! This is the ultimate three-day team adventure, filled with the adrenaline rush of extreme sports and challenges in support of Bible translation.

 

DISCOVER

Discover short-term service with long-term impact through these internships and international trips! Each offers an amazing opportunity to dive in and experience what it’s like to support Bible translation. Trips offer three tracks to match your interest level. Click for details about tracks and opportunities.

Track 1

  • Tanzania, Africa | June 2 – June 25| Focus: Information Technology Click for details
  • Papua New Guinea | July 20 – August 15 |Focus: Education, Medical Service, and more Click for details
  • Southeast Asia | July 20 – August 15 | Focus: Translation, Linguistics Click for details
  • Germany | August 6 – August 25 |Focus: Children’s Education, Linguistics, Translation Click for details

Track 2

  • Papua New Guinea | June 7 – August 3 | Focus: Translation and a variety of service roles Click for details
  • Southeast Asia | June 10 – August 7 | Focus: Linguistics and a variety of service roles Click for details
  • Benin, Africa | June 25 – August 5 | Focus: Linguistics, Bible Translation and a variety of support roles Click for details

 

Internships

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By Hannah Weiand
Hannah is a Wycliffe USA intern, attending Oral Roberts University. Hannah will graduate with a degree in Writing in May 2015.

People sometimes ask, “Why not just translate the Bible using Google Translate? Wouldn’t that save you a lot of time, money and effort?” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

In today’s world, where technology is advancing rapidly and information is more accessible than ever, it’s important to realize that Bible translation is more than just a process of word substitution. There are approximately 7,000 languages in the world, and just under 2,000 of those languages are completely without Scripture. As intriguing as it might seem to use a tool like Google Translate to provide the Bible for those remaining languages, it simply doesn’t work.

Here’s why:

First, according to Google Translate’s website, Google Translate uses a process called “statistical machine translation.” Google explains this process as the computer detecting patterns in documents on the Internet that have already been translated by human translators. The problem here is that language groups that still need a Bible translation are typically underdeveloped, at best, and some don’t even have an alphabet. So little-to-no material appears on the Internet in those languages. And even for those languages that Google Translate does serve, Google states that “For some languages, however, we have fewer translated documents available, and therefore, fewer patterns that our software has detected. This is why our language quality will vary by language and language pair.

Second, there is a problem with the lack of languages that Google has to offer. While its program continues to grow, it currently only has 80 languages in its repertoire, making its benefits very exclusive.

Mainly, however, there is more to the process of translation than what tools like Google Translate can or cannot do. One thing that a computer tool like Google Translate cannot account for is culture. The process of translating the Bible for people who have never had it in their own language requires an understanding of their way of life. Only through that understanding can we properly communicate the complex, powerful concepts found in the Bible.

Steve Pillenger lives in Johannesburg, South Africa and works as a type setter.

For example, we love God with all of our hearts and accept Jesus into our hearts. But in many cultures around the world, the heart is not considered the center of the emotions. Consider the Awa people of Papua New Guinea, who express feelings and importance with the liver. They wouldn’t say “I love you with all of my heart”; they would say something along the lines of “I love you with all of my liver.”

Cultural context aside, we must also consider the many complexities of language. For example, some languages have multiple ways to describe something that may be a single-word concept in English, while other languages may not have a word for that concept at all. And some languages take entirely different forms, like those that are whistled or signed. (There are nearly 400 different sign languages in the world, and most of them are without the Bible!)

All of these factors help explain why Bible translation takes so much time, dedication and personal investment. And in the end, nothing can replace that personal connection.

This post is part of our Wycliffe 101 series. Click here to read the previous post, or here to start at the beginning.

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This Christmas, experience the joy of giving all over again through the Wycliffe Gift Catalog!

With 25 unique gift options, you’re sure to find just the right one for every person on your list. And you can feel good knowing that your purchases are helping people get God’s life-changing Word in the languages they understand best.

Click here to view the catalog.

catalog cover

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We often underestimate the power of prayer to change the world around us. But as the examples in this video show, our prayers can help change people’s lives in significant ways. And just by praying, you can help people get a Bible translation in their language.

Visit wycliffe.org/prayer to learn how you can start impacting lives through prayer today!

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By Konlan Kpeebi with Melissa Paredes

Konlan Kpeebi works as a translator in his home country of Ghana. This is a testimony of his experience in one particular people group who came face to face with how important it is to have God’s Word in their heart language.

Most times when I go to the Koma area, it reinforces my view that we need to include rural evangelism as an integral part of our task of Bible translation and literacy among the Koma people. These are amazing people who are interested in listening to Bible stories, and their testimonies are also very inspirational.

One of our translation offices is located in a village in the Koma area. The village is divided into two sections. Each section has its own chief.

The two chiefs were Christians before becoming chiefs. However, since becoming chiefs, their relationship with the local pastor has not been good. As a result, one chief has now started following another major religion in the region, while the other chief has backslidden in his Christian faith.

The Wisdom of SolomonOn one visit to the village, I decided to visit the two chiefs and give them each a MegaVoice that plays translated stories from the Bible in Konni (the local language). After presenting them with the devices, I encouraged them to listen to the stories with their families. I also encouraged them that being a chief doesn’t mean they should abandon their Christian faith, because leadership is ordained by God. And since God has allowed them to be leaders, they should be living according to the Bible.

After I told them this, one chief said he was very happy to hear that, because he thought that once he became a traditional chief, he could not be a good Christian. That belief had made him reluctant to go to church.

I also took the opportunity to tell them about King Solomon and the wisdom he had, which we especially see in the story of the two women who were fighting over whose child was alive after one of them had lost her child. Without first telling them how King Solomon handled the case, I asked the two chiefs and their elders how they would have handled it. Before I told them how King Solomon solved the problem, all of them admitted that it was a difficult case. But King Solomon was able to solve the problem because God gave him wisdom to make the right decision.The Wisdom of Solomon 2

I learned that the chiefs and all their subjects had never heard this story of King Solomon, even after many years of attending church. But after I shared the story with them, it became the talk of the village and caused many people to yearn to hear more. This underscores the importance of translating the whole Bible into their heart language—Konni. Pray that the Holy Spirit will touch these chiefs and their families as they listen to God’s story.

Pray that as the Koma chiefs and elders continue to listen to Bible stories in their own language, they would give their lives to Christ.

You can also join us in praying for different language communities around the world—just like the Konni—asking God to hasten the work of translation so that they can clearly understand what His Word says. Visit www.wycliffe.org/pray to learn about ways to partner with us in prayer.

The Wisdom of Solomon 3

 

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By Melissa Paredes

It’s always a privilege to come together to celebrate God’s faithfulness as more people groups receive his Word in their own languages for the first time. And here at the Wycliffe USA headquarters in Orlando, we try to do that once a year. Yesterday, on October 2, we got to do just that!

UntitledThis year’s Scripture celebration theme was Psalm 119:114b, which says, “Your Word is my source of hope” (NLT). As we rejoiced over 17 languages, in 14 different countries, who recently receiving God’s Word in their heart language — some for the very first time — we were reminded over and over again of the truth of that verse.

Bible translation is hard work, and it often takes many years of perseverance before a community finally receives the Scriptures in their heart language. Translation is a labor of love, and that love was fully realized by these 17 language communities over the last months as dedications were held around the world, honoring and celebrating the completion of translations in their language.

But it’s not just a labor of love by translators. A Bible translation can only succeed when people work together to see it through to completion. It takes those who contribute to the work through prayer; those who make sacrifices by sending their loved ones abroad to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are in need; those who sacrifice time, energy or money; and so much more. Bible translation takes teams, and we see that clearly when the end result — God’s printed Word — is placed in the hands of those who have waited.

Untitled2So as we were reminded over and over again this morning, God’s Word is our source of hope. And today we celebrate 17 language communities who are now able to cling to that source of hope for themselves.

Here’s a beautiful video that shares how all of us are needed to make translation happen.

Here are the 17 languages we celebrated today, listed in alphabetical order.

Complete Bible

  • Jula — Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso (2,550,000 speakers)
  • Obolo — Nigeria (260,000 speakers)
  • Pennsylvania Dutch — United States and Canada (200,000 speakers)
  • San Blas Kuna — Panama (57,100 speakers)

New Testament

  • Arop-Lokep — Papua New Guinea (3,000 speakers)
  • Bodres (name changed for sensitivity purposes) — South Asia (100,000 speakers)
  • Kwaio — Solomon Islands (20,000 speakers)
  • Makonde – Mozambique (360,000 speakers).
  • Mankanya – Senegal (65,000 speakers). The Mankanya also received Genesis.
  • Maskelynes – Vanuatu (1,200 speakers).
  • San Antonio & San Jeronimo Tecoatl Mazatec – Mexico (34,000 speakers).
  • Muyang – Cameroon (30,000 speakers).
  • Mwani – Mozambique (120,000 speakers). The Mwani also received portions of the Old Testament.
  • Okphela – Nigeria (180,000 speakers).
  • Seimat – Papua New Guinea (1,500 speakers).
  • Tolaki – Indonesia (330,000 speakers).
  • Wapishana – Guyana (6,000 speakers) and Brazil (1,500 speakers).

 

 

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By Melissa Paredes

Over the next few days, Wycliffe has a lot of reasons to celebrate!

September 30 is Bible Translation Day, which the U.S. Congress set in place in 1966. For almost 50 years we’ve been celebrating this opportunity to honor the work of Bible translation around the world. To learn more about Bible Translation Day, read the history here.

Reasons to Celebrate2October 2 we’re hosting a Scripture celebration at our Orlando headquarters, rejoicing with 19 languages that have received God’s Word in their heart language this year. We’ll share photos and updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts that day, and we’ll blog about the experience on October 3.

These two days are definitely worthy of excitement, and we want you to join us! That’s why we’re offering free admission to Wycliffe’s Discovery Center from September 29 to October 3. During your visit you’ll encounter people, languages and cultures, and you’ll see firsthand the impact that Bible translation is having around the world. Bring your kids, friends, family, neighbors or anyone you know who is looking for a fun, free day spent together in Orlando.

Reasons to CelebrateSo join us this week in celebrating what God has done throughout history and what he is doing today. His name is being spread throughout the world, and hopefully one day soon all peoples will know that he speaks their language too.

To see pictures from the Scripture celebration, or to stay updated on what’s happening with Wycliffe’s work around the world, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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