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The Intertwining of Translation and Prayer

missionary with language helpers

“Every time I go into a translation check,” said missionary translator and consultant Lisa Kappeler, “my prayer is that I can be a help to the translator.” But sometimes it’s a challenge. And sometimes prayer alone is what brings it all together.

Prayer: Essential to Translating0d81e445-fe22-4e3b-baa3-44b5c509f334

“The translation check was moving along and the material was being well understood — until we reached this one part. It just did not communicate what we wanted it to,” Lisa said. “Normally you can figure something out. You can see there’s a connection missing here or the participant isn’t clear. … [But this time] there was none of that. We could not figure it out.”
Knowing the language and translation principles is vital to the translation process. Bathing it in prayer is another part. An essential part. And Lisa and the translator were doing just that. They were praying like crazy and trusting God to show them why the translation was not communicating clearly.

Too Many Blessings

7c0b52c6-e161-41f2-8806-5c2135a0f5ddBut nothing was jumping off the page at them, so they moved on down the passage, continuing to pray for clarity.
And then they reached the verse where God says to Abraham, “I will bless you, and I will make you a blessing, that through you all people will be blessed…”
All those “blessings” in a row utterly confused  the translation checkers. But this time the confusion was enlightening. It made it clear to Lisa that the key term being used for blessing was the problem.
“He [the translator] had tried to use too much in the explanation of what the term meant, so the [translation checkers] got hung up on the term. Once he adjusted his term for blessing it made sense,” Lisa explained.
She went on to give credit where credit was due. “We could only attribute the discovery of what the problem was to the time that we were praying. The Lord is the only one I could give credit to for revealing that.”
Prayer is a vital component in the translation process. Pray for NTM translators across the globe.

Posted in Asia-Pacific, Bible translation, News, Papua New Guinea