Translating woes...

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JMG
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Translating woes...

Post by JMG » Thu May 02, 2019 12:17 am

One of the hurdles when trying to say or write things in the Hewa language is that there are so many things that the Hewas either don't have a singular word for, or they don't have a concept of at all in their culture. So, when translating Scriptures or trying to expound on the Scriptures when writing lessons the text can get really long really fast.

Today, as I was working on wring a lesson for chapter two of 2 Timothy, I sent an e-mail to my co-worker who is out in Hewa to get his thoughts on something. He's been in Hewa about 12 years longer than me, so his language skills far exceed my own. Anyway, I needed a break from lesson writing and decided I would share this with you guys. I may do this more often as I am not living on the mission base with some level of internet access and find myself in constant need of a break...before my mind breaks. Anyway, here's the e-mail I sent...

"Do we have a word for "to warn someone"? I can't find anything in our charts. All I can think of gets really long. This is what I wrote for point 1 of a lesson I'm working on..."Mzfi Pol cle Kot Olz inaiyana lzfuwafa Olz antecte wofa ncnafe me nampiyzla yoycma watane mowa cla fzni safa kwe kupe mcnalu nampiyzla nzfa pina mctano. Nzfa yauwa pwcma manewa yauwa miu olzfa ycnafctu yz mcncfa nzfa Pol olz ycnafctu nalipai wasa ncnafe kwe pina tctefa Kot Olz nalipai kupe tctefa ycnafctu nalipai mcsa."

My translation of that thought may be total trash so please feel free to say so. I'm trying to say something like, "Paul speaks strongly about how God's children will be persecuted for trying to do His work so we need to listen. So that we don't become heavy hearted/discouraged when the the bad times come we need to remember Paul's words and think about God's strength." This point is in response to 2 Tim 2: 1-2

A lot of Paul's talk is pretty repetitive in respect to him constantly saying that surely bad things will happen to us for following Christ. I don't want to beat a dead horse with this point in the lessons, but also the fact that Paul mentions it so much I think drives home the idea that we need to always be aware of this as to not become discouraged when it happens, not to think God has deserted us.

Take your time with this. I know you have a lot on your plate there. Thanks for the help."

Oh, just for kicks and giggles I thought I would write a word-for-word translation of the Hewa...

"Man Paul he God His children they His work want-to try therefore bad-times/things cause-to-take will it side that talk big speak therefore we well should-hear. We time/day bad will-get come at-that-time heart heavy (in order for it not to happen) we Paul his hear strong (to cause it) try talk well think-of-and God His strength big think-of-and heart strong do-it."
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Re: Translating woes...

Post by Fainn » Thu May 02, 2019 5:15 am

I thought this was going to be about Revelation.
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Re: Translating woes...

Post by JimVH » Thu May 02, 2019 5:48 am

I struggle to communicate clearly and effectively in English. I can't begin to imagine the language and cultural barriers you face on a constant basis.

I'm grateful to you for sharing your challenges with us and pray for y'all often.
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Re: Translating woes...

Post by tuttle » Thu May 02, 2019 7:32 am

I remember hearing a story from some translators who were trying to translate for an African tribe who had never seen or had a concept for 'snow'. Their solution was to translate it as 'white corn' or something to that effect. For whatever reason that stuck out to me and whenever I hear of translators like yourself I'm always wondering what hurdles you might bump up against with another language/culture/environment/etc.

Thanks for sharing. It's tough work no doubt. May God grant you wisdom and patience and much fruit.
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Re: Translating woes...

Post by Jester » Thu May 02, 2019 11:38 am

tuttle wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 7:32 am
I remember hearing a story from some translators who were trying to translate for an African tribe who had never seen or had a concept for 'snow'. Their solution was to translate it as 'white corn' or something to that effect. For whatever reason that stuck out to me and whenever I hear of translators like yourself I'm always wondering what hurdles you might bump up against with another language/culture/environment/etc.

Thanks for sharing. It's tough work no doubt. May God grant you wisdom and patience and much fruit.
He washed me white as corn.
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We almost solved the Mary issue. -FredS

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