More than twenty years since the Alagwa language community began partnership with outside groups, their Scripture translation work is finally underway. The very first passage of Scripture in that language was recently checked by the team’s Translation Consultant.

That passage was Jesus calming the storm, in Luke 8:22-25.

The Alagwa community, working with an Africa Inland Mission (AIM) team of international and other Tanzanian staff, have also finalised the current group of mother tongue translators. Of this team of sixteen translators, twelve currently follow a major religion other than Christianity.

The team received approval from community leaders, and began work on an oral translation of the book of Luke, using a fairly new method…

First, translators listen to audio recordings of Scripture in a more widely used language, such as Swahili. When they understand it well enough to tell it accurately — and naturally — in Alagwa, then they make a recording of their own. These audio Scriptures accelerate the impact of God’s Word in oral cultures like this one.

In the regional capital, Babati, the translators met with a Translation Advisor and a Consultant for training and encouragement. The Alagwa translation team previously has worked in smaller groups in their respective villages, but they really enjoyed the opportunity to work as a whole team at this workshop for the week.

This story was written for SIL Tanzania by:

Kenny Grindall (Communications Coordinator)

SIL International is a global partner among academic and professional organisations which offer language development services. SIL works alongside speakers of more than 1,700 languages in over 100 countries. Active in Tanzania since 1989, the organization makes its services available to all without regard to religious belief, political ideology, gender, race or ethnolinguistic background.