Bible translation, as well as being an incredibly joyous thing, is often difficult and challenging, with the people involved carrying a lot of responsibility. Translators have to truly get to the heart of what is really being communicated in Scripture by the writers and then figure out how to best translate it. This means the message can be communicated successfully in the translation with minimal loss of the original meaning.
In a brilliant article, Sue Arthur gives us a brief look into the world of being a translator, highlighting some of the challenges and complications that can arise in the process of bringing Scripture to people in their heart language.
Before you can translate something, you have to understand what it means. Understanding the meaning of a verse like this well enough to be able to re-express that meaning in another language will inevitably involve some level of interpretation, because there are always choices to be made.
There are generally no easy answers when it comes to translation, just hard work and lots of decisions… Yet often in the midst of the research, the brain storming, the testing and the checking, God uses the whole process of translation to speak through his word.
Read Sue’s full article Salted by Fire which describes the process they encountered while translating Mark 9:49 ‘Everyone will be salted with fire.’ (NIV). Eddie and Sue Arthur lived and worked for twelve years in Ivory Coast where they were part of the team translating the Scriptures for the Kouya people. Sue is now based in the UK but continues to support translation work in Madagascar. Check out Eddie and Sue’s blog at Kouyanet.
Support the work of Bible translating by finding out how you can get involved. Are you up for the challenge?