Author: SIL Tanzania

Research in Tanzania supports vernacular Scripture translation

“Scripture translation into local languages may benefit communities far beyond simply increased comprehension,” according to a study which researched the sociolinguistic impact of such work in the Malila and Nyiha language communities. Findings on a range of issues led the author to make several recommendations…

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Children help test translated Scripture

Translators recently took their draft of Mark’s Gospel into six Jita villages. As they tested the Scripture with groups of volunteers, passing children grew curious. “It’s not the first time,” said Magesa, a Jita translator. “They were surprised to hear us reading in their language, so they came closer and sat down…”

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New Testament completed in Nyakyusa language

Rain kept down the crowd’s numbers, but not their joy. Sheltered inside a church-within-a-church, Nyakyusa speakers used this day of singing and dancing, preaching and feasting to celebrate their newly translated Scriptures “even our children can understand!”

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Six neighbouring language communities prepare to take their New Testaments across the finish line

A Scripture translation “cluster project” in southwestern Tanzania has its eyes on several major milestones. Sixteen years since work began, a group of six language projects are bringing all their New Testaments to completion. One is ready for its official launch, another is being printed and bound. Following those, four more teams are busy with final checks and typesetting. It’s an exciting time of challenges and victories as global teams lend aid and local plans are laid…

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Translated Scripture inspires new songs

“We use our Scriptures for funerals and some church meetings,” says Mwaluanda, Supervisor for the Safwa Literacy team. “But we want to do more.” The team recently held their second three-day songwriting workshop, with Bible studies and composition lessons, even recording sessions. This time, the songs were inspired by the book of Acts…

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“We know the work is hard—but keep going!”

A busy season in several Mara Region communities has translation teams feeling freshly inspired to their work. In a Kwaya village, reviewers reported how many are enjoying reading and listening to Scriptures the team has completed. On a visit to check Matthew and Romans with the community, the Jita team kept hearing, “We know the work is hard—but keep going!” While checking eight new Ikoma Scripture portions, reviewers helped the team choose the best word for shepherd…

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Konongo community already feeling positive impact of new oral translation work

“Sharing God seems easy now, with Scripture recorded in my language.” A Konongo speaker, named Lightness, took part in an Bible story-ing workshop. She has recordings on her phone, and plays them in the market. “A lot of women and children gather,” she adds, “and they enjoy listening.” Lightness has learned to narrate Bible stories orally, and lead group studies in her village. Meanwhile the new Konongo translation project works hard, encouraged by such early impact…

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“Jesus and I are not just friends, we are one thing…”

“I’ve heard John 15:5 many times, in Swahili and English,” said Paulo Kijuu, a Rangi translator. “But the expression of ‘abiding in Jesus’ is not clear to Rangi speakers.” The team began to search for a way to make the meaning clear. “When we found it,” said Kijuu, “my eyes got teary because I could picture my own relationship with Jesus. I could feel his love…”

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