Challenges of mother tongue translators

by mendibpng

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Above: Translators Dominic (L) and Joe (R) discussing beginning linguistics at a Dictionary workshop earlier this year. (in the background: Gibson, Linda and Rosalyn, all literacy teachers)

Last week, seven men from our Aitape West team came to Ukarumpa to attend a Discover Your Language course. Ben is one of the mentors in this class in which trained linguists are teaching mother tongue translators and literacy workers how to discover linguistic features of their own languages. When they came over for popcorn and a movie, the men told me that they are finding the course stretching their abilities, but they are happy to be here and feel privileged to be chosen for the task. For many of them, this is the first time they have come to the cold highlands!

Meanwhile, the rest of our Papua New Guinean team is in the village holding a revision workshop for 1 and 2 Timothy in Arop. These men are persevering through a lot of challenges. We are praying for one year old Jessie, Emil’s daughter, who is sick, and for several other translators, who are caring for sick family members.

Translator Dominic wrote us today:

During this Woksap it is a challenging because some of us came late, because of family sick and some they have children in school so they have to help them find school fees for next year.

And some of us, we are [newly] married so we help our wives to help them in household needs, because it’s the time where we should begin the new life in the family.

And some of us are elected as ward member in the village, but we all are struggling to complete our notes before we leave Arop, and also Joel’s brother Russel is very sick and is at home, this is one of the issue we face during this woksap in delaying our group to speed up.

All this problem are trying to slow down the speed of our work, and also it is very challenging.

So we are trying our best to find some ideas to talk to each other and to come with some ideas, if it is going to be helpful to some of us. (used with permission)

It is not uncommon for Ben and me to feel like our hearts are in two (or more!) places at once. We pray that as they are checking 1 and 2 Timothy, the translators will persevere, as Paul says in 2 Tim 4:7:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Will you pray for Dominic and the others in Arop who are revising 1 and 2 Timothy? Pray for those who are unable to come, and for those present to be able to persevere through the challenges they face at the translation desk and at home. At the same time, please also remember the other seven men who are away from their families here in Ukarumpa, attending the Discover Your Language course.

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2 Comments to “Challenges of mother tongue translators”

  1. I feel for these guys. Please tell them I’ve been praying for them.

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