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Nsenga Bible Translators’ Selection Workshop

May 13, 2012

Beginning on Monday, May 28th, nearly twenty mother-tongue speakers of the Nsenga language will gather at Chimwemwe Lodge in Petauke, Eastern Province, Zambia, for the Nsenga Bible Translation Project (NBTP) Translator Selection Workshop.

The main purpose of the weeklong workshop is to select three people to be full-time Mother Tongue Translators (MTTs) for the Nsenga project. In addition, the workshop will offer attendees instruction in the basic philosophy and practice of Bible translation, a chance to meet members of the NBTP Committee and the Bible Society of Zambia, and an idea about the day-to-day running of a Bible translation project.

“I’m really excited that God has blessed us with so many participants,” says Chris Pluger, the Exegete and Translation Advisor assigned to the NBTP. “At first we were worried that we would not have much of a response. But so many qualified applicants have stepped forward that it will be difficult to narrow it down to just three.”

The selection process includes tests in English reading comprehension (in order to test the candidates’ ability to make use of the many Bible translation resources written in English), basic Bible knowledge, Nsenga culture, as well as face-to-face interviews and an oral storytelling activity designed to evaluate fluency and naturalness in the Nsenga language.

Candidates will also work together in small groups to translate a portion of Scripture into clear, modern Nsenga – a very practical way for the committee and the representatives from the Bible Society to evaluate the candidates’ ability to perform the basic task of Bible translation as part of a team.

Once the three MTTs are chosen, they will receive further training in translation principles and also in ParaText, the Bible translation software used in projects around the world. It is the goal of the NBTP Committee to begin translation of the Holy Bible into the Nsenga language by the 1st of July 2012. This workshop is a big step in that direction.

“We pray that Almighty God will bless the translation project, and especially the translators, so that the word of God may come quickly to the hearts of the Nsenga people,” said Canon Father Fasten Y. Tembo, Chairman of the NBTP Committee.

Please join us in praying for the work of the Nsenga Bible Translation Project, especially during the week of this workshop.

NB – The Plugers are scheduled to publish a newsletter in May/June. This newsletter will be delayed until after the workshop has finished, so that news and photos from this workshop can be included. Stay tuned!

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