Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Linguistics Foundation for the Jamaican Translation

It is a joy to know that Wycliffe Bible Translators, Caribbean, and Bible Society of the West indies, Jamaica, haven't got to begin Bible translation where many translators have had (and will have) to start - studying a language systematically for the first time, developing an orthography, etc... I agree: one might find being involved in initial linguistic research and language development a pretty exciting activity.

Nonetheless, it is also true that initial linguistic research and development are not easy tasks - at least it would not be for Jamaica, given its population and the linguistic diversity which exists amongst its members. Whilst studies in Jamaican Creole are far from complete, the Jamaican Creole Translation Project has been speared the need to conduct linguistic reseach prior to translation, thanks to the many linguists who have studied Jamaican Creole extensively.

One such Linguist is Peter Patrick. I had the opportunity of meeting Peter on Facebook earlier this year. In 1999, he published a book called Urban Jamaican Creole: Variation in the Mesolect. Peter's book (or at least sections of it) is available online at Google Books....To read, click here...

Monday, 27 October 2008

Great is the Gospel of our Glorious God

I've being singing this song since early last week.

Great is the gospel of our glorious God,
where mercy met the anger of God’s rod;
a penalty was paid and pardon bought,
and sinners lost at last to Him were brought

O let the praises of my heart be Thine,
for Christ has died that I may call Him mine,
that I may sing with those who dwell above,
adoring, praising Jesus, King of love.

Great is the mystery of godliness,
great is the work of God’s own holiness;
it moves my soul, and causes me to long
for greater joys than to the earth belong:

The Spirit vindicated Christ our Lord,
and angels sang with joy and sweet accord;
the nations heard, a dark world flamed with light
when Jesus rose in glory and in might:

William Vernon Higham (1926 - )

The "Lord's Prayer" in Old English

A gift to language "purists."

Saturday, 25 October 2008

The Interest Continues

Jamaican Creole Translation Project (JCTP) continues to hold the interest of many. Here are some more links
  1. Church Times Blog...there's an interesting vidio here...
  2. Kouya Chronicle...and here
  3. Better Bibles Blog
  4. More to be added...

Thursday, 23 October 2008

BBC's Radio 4 Reports on Jamaican Translation

"The Bible Society has completed half of its translation of the New Testament of The Bible into Jamaican Patois. Religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott reports on how it has received an emotional reaction both among native speakers and critical traditionalists."

Listen to the report here...


Bible Translation Controversy

Jack Popjes, former CEO of Wycliffe Canada for 6 years and of Wycliffe Caribbean for 3 years, has written 3 part series over viewing re various controversies which surround new Bible translations.

In article 1 Jack outlines the criticism new Bible translations seem to attract.

In article 2 Popjes summarises facts regarding languages, with the hope of clearing up some confusion.

In article 3 Jack speaks of “The Constipated Church” (!). He explains....

Bible Smugglers Release 31,103 Scripture Duckies on Euphrates River

BASRA, Iraq — Call it fowl play.

Open Doors, the legendary missions network led by Brother Andrew, recently smuggled one Bible into the Middle East. The big deal? Not in traditional format—print, cassette tape or MP3—Andrew’s crew floated all 31,103 verses of the Bible down the Euphrates River, via rubber duckies....


P.S. Do not take The Holy Observer (THO) at face value - it is a religious satire web site.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

British "Athiest" Supports "Patois" Bible Project

Tuesday, the - one of the UK's major national broadsheet - published a column by Tim Footman entitled "The gospel according to Widdecombe - Those who don't want to see the Bible translated into patois need to clarify what they think Christianity is really about."

One of the things which makes Tim's article interesting is the fact that he's a self-proclaimed "athiest"!

To read Tim's column, go here....

Martyn Lloyd-Jones: A Good Example for Translators

For the last few months, I’ve been reading Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ series of sermons on Ephesians – a wonderful book indeed. The topic of this morning’s sermon was “The Council of His Own Will” and is an exposition of (rather introduction to) Ephesians 1:11-14:

“1:11 In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will 1:12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. 1:13 And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) – when you believed in Christ – you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, 1:14 who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory” (NET Bible).

Lloyd-Jones was well aware of the problems Bible passages can create for Christians - indeed each school of theology has to deal with what appears (at least on the surface) to be biblical contradictions of its basic tenets. Ephesians 1 is of no exception, particularly to those outside the “Reformed” camp.

As part of his introduction, Lloyd-Jones highlights several important points one ought to bear in mind (and act upon) if one would like to have a proper understanding of God’s revelation in Scripture. I summarise Martyn's points in the following imperatives:

1. Watch your prejudice;
2. Submit your mind to the Scriptures; and
3. Be careful of philosophising.

I believe it is imperative that Bible translators and consultants always bear these points in mind. One must be careful not to make a translation “fit” into one’s particular brand of theology one’s preferred worldview or whatever values, attitudes and thinking (on whatever subject) one is inclined to ascribe credence. Sure: One cannot avoid coming to Scripture neutrally, nevertheless, one can keep oneself in check and be glad to conform one’s thinking to divine revelation – though it can hurt.

Monday, 13 October 2008

"Bible to be translated into 17th century West Indian slaves' language"

A very interesting title, huh? Well, that's the title of an article I found on earlier today.

Unfortunately, the article contains a number of factual errors and is somewhat misleading on a number of points.

More recent news on the Jamaican Project include:
  1. The Independent (UK) - Thank God for the Bible Society...!
  2. The Daily Telegraph (UK) - The Bible to be turned into Patois - 2nd article by this paper on the project!
  3. Express Buzz (India!) - The Bible to be Translated into Spoken Language

For more go here....

Monday, 6 October 2008

Presentation On Bible Translation In the Caribbean

I’ve been asked to do a presentation on Bible translation projects in the Caribbean to a group of level three students at the University of the West Indies (Mona), sitting a course called “Caribbean Dialectology” and who have to be aware of current linguistic developments in the Caribbean.

Their lecturer, a personal friend of mine who attended our recently held two week Translation Workshop, has set their major assignment on Caribbean Bible translation projects and is requesting that I speak to
1. the projects which have taken place or are taking place;
2. the challenges that these projects face/have faced (both linguistic and non-linguistic);
3. misconceptions and concerns which people had about the projects; and
4. the effects of the projects (success and non-success and the reasons for same).

Initially, the proposed date for the presentation based on the lecturer’s teaching schedule was 3rd October, however I was able to get a week’s extenstion; so the presentation is 10th October.

I do crave your prayers.

Friday, 3 October 2008

AKSHAN TAAK: News In Jamaican Creole!

This morning, I learnt that the Jamaican Language Unit (JLU) a Unit in the Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy, UWI, Mona, operates a company called “Jamaican Language company” (JLC). Yes, man - yu ier mi rait! (Well, I’ve not come across a detailed description of JLC. However, based on something I've heard on YouTtube, it seems to me both JLU and JLC are separate entities manned by the same persons.)

JLC, in association with JLU, has commenced a video production called AKSHAN TAAK (Action Talk), the first of which was published on YouTube recently. ASKSHAN TAAK, according to its facilitators “is a news commentary program done solely in Jamaican (More commonly referred to as Patwa or Jamaican Creole), which reports on how the media covers the news relevant to Jamaica and Jamaicans in general.”

One of the news presenters, Tasheney Francis, is one of the translators of the Jamaican Creole Translation Project.

The initial video, Olimpiks Rivyuu (Olympics Review), “looks at the recently held 2008 Olympic games and the different angles from which various media centers covered the phenomenal performance of the Jamaican athletic team.”