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How Does it Sound?

June 3, 2013

All this week, we have some guest reviewers in the office helping us clean up our drafts of several books of the NT.

The main thing that we do is read the books out loud, one paragraph at a time, and listen. How does this Nsenga sound?

Is the meaning clear to the ear, not just the eye?

Would reversing two clauses help the listener understand the flow of thought?

Would repeating a key word a few more times help carry the main idea? Conversely, would using a synonym instead of repeating the same word make the verse more interesting and help keep the listener focused?

Would tweaking the punctuation (a comma, a semi-colon, a dash, or a full stop and a new sentence) help the person reading out loud to better phrase the verse to make things easier in a public-reading situation?

Is there another rhetorical device or a special conjunction we can use to make things sound more clear, natural and beautiful to the ear?

A Proclaimer Solar-powered Audio Bible. We hope to have these available with the Nsenga NT recorded on them someday.

A Proclaimer Solar-powered Audio Bible. We hope to have these available with the Nsenga NT recorded on them someday.

Even in America, it has been estimated that church members hear the Scriptures more than the see/read them from a printed page.

That is all the more true in rural Africa, where literacy levels are lower and fewer people have the resources to purchase their own printed Bibles. Therefore, how the verse sounds is of primary importance.

Please remember to pray for us this week and next as we do our “style checking” on Colossians, Philemon, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Peter, Jude, and Hebrews. Pray that the Word of God is heard “loud and clear” – and beautifully – in Nsenga.

After all, as Paul reminds us, “faith comes by hearing.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve Lawrenz permalink
    June 3, 2013 2:54 am

    Monday, June 3, 2013.


    I’m praying for you.

    The particulars of translations, as illustrated in your letter, are interesting and certainly shows that there are many, many things to consider. It brings to my mind the recent words of WELS President, Rev. Mark Schroeder, where he thinks the WELS can produce an English Bible translation in five years. I was stunned to read that. Your words below are just the tip of the iceberg about the time consuming considerations of a translation.

    Steve Lawrenz, Blantyre, Malawi.

  2. June 3, 2013 9:11 am

    When I was a member at Fairview, we raised enough money to have one book of the Bible translated for the Proclaimer. It’s a remarkable little device. Hope your Bible makes it onto one someday.

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