Thursday, 28 May 2009

Project Summary Report

Training of Personnel:
Early 2008, I was sent to the United Kingdom to take two courses - one on meaning and communication, the other on translation - with SIL, UK.

Later on in the year (from 4th -18th August), BSWI hosted a two week Translation Workshop. Of the eight persons who attended the workshop, three – Lloyd Millen, Tasheney Francis and Jodianne Scott - were selected as full-time translators of the Jamaican Creole Translation Project (JCTP) on a three-month probationary basis. All three successfully completed their probation and have been welcomed to the staff of BSWI.

Translation proper begun 1st September, 2008 and, since then, the following has been achieved:
1) formulation of a document outlining the Project’s Translation Principles and Procedures
2) a tentative translation of “fixed” New Testament terms and a tentative transliteration of all NT names
3) production of first drafts for 14 epistles - Ephesians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John and Jude - several of which have already gone through stage two (group review)
4) enlisting of two scholars to serve as Project exegetes – Rev’d Dr Carlton Dennis and Rev’d Dr Gosnell Yorke
5) attending consultancy sessions with our Translation Consultant, Dr Ronold Ross.
6) production of a second draft for Luke (see below)
7) the running of focus groups for Luke in six locations islandwide.

The Luuk Buk Project:
Before the current translation team was in place, BSWI had already embarked on the Luuk Buk Project.

Late 2008, the first draft of Luuk was reviewed for language specific issues and tested for comprehension by the Jamaican Language Unit of the University of the West Indies, Mona (JLU-UWI). The text was found to be unsatisfactory and, hence, unfit for studio production. Consequently, the current Translation Team was asked to incorporate the Luuk Buk Project into their workload. The first draft was reviewed by the Team and a second draft has been produced. This draft and the tentative translation of fixed New Testament terms are due to undergo comprehension testing in June of this year.

It is hoped that the improved text will be presented to the personnel in charge of studio production, by 30th June; and that the project will be launched this coming autumn – first in the United Kingdom, and then, in Jamaica.

Public Awareness:
One of the recommendations which came out of the 2008 breakfast for clergy (as well as from the series of focus groups hosted by JLU-UWI) is the need for BSWI to implement an effective public awareness strategy – to inform the public of issues pertaining to language, Bible translation and Scripture Use. It is believed that such a strategy would increase the level of acceptability of the Scriptures in Jamaican Creole, as it would address popular concerns and misunderstandings persons have expressed in relation to the project.

Recently, Jo-Ann Richards, former ethnomusicologist with SIL / Wycliffe Bible Translators, Caribbean, approached BSWI and expressed her desire to work on this aspect of the Project. Miss Richards attended a meeting at BSWI in March to discuss the matter and it was agreed that there should be a one-month probation period, during which time, Miss Richards would visit several schools and churches and use that experience to guide the development and implementation of an effective strategy.

Plans for this Quarter (April - June):
1. Produce a second draft of all translated books and submit to reviewers (exegetes, JLU-UWI, consultant) for review.
2. Launch a website for the project.

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