Consultant graduation broadens horizon for sign language Bible translation

By April 5, 2019

International (MNN) — Less than two-percent of Deaf worldwide have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. In order to reach them, Rob Myers of DOOR International says, sign language Scripture is essential.

However, fewer than 30 of the 350+ sign languages used globally have any published Scripture.

“So, progress in translation is a critical thing,” Myers notes. “But…in order to do some of that critical work, there’s a ‘next layer down’ that needs to be there. That next layer down is what we would call translation consulting.”

What’s so important about a translation consultant?

The process of translating God’s Word into a language – whether it’s spoken, written, or signed – is essentially the same. A team of native language users combine their skills and translate the text and concepts of God’s Word into their heart language.

Simon works on a project with other consultants-in-training.
(Photo, caption courtesy DOOR International)

Biblical training, scholarly resources, and training in Greek or Hebrew languages are easily accessible to most users of a written language. However, Deaf communities are cut off from these resources. This is what makes translation consultants and DOOR’s translation program so important.

More about DOOR’s translation methodology here.

While there are hundreds of translation consultants certified for spoken and written languages, Myers explains, fewer than 12 have the skills needed to check sign language Bible translation work. The amount of new work that can begin each year is limited by the capacity of each translation consultant.

“Developing translation consultants is a critical bottleneck that’s existed in the translation community for a long time.”

Thankfully, that’s all about to change.

DOOR-Africa hosts graduation

Stephen (corner in white polo) works with one of DOOR’s translation teams on sign language Scripture.
(Photo, caption courtesy of DOOR International)

This weekend, “there’s a celebration happening where we have 15 people who are either become full translation consultants or they’re becoming specialized translation consultants,” Myers says. “Six of those people are hearing, and nine of them are Deaf.

“This may almost double the amount of translation consultants who are available worldwide.”

Visit DOOR’s blog to “meet” the graduates, and please keep these men in your prayers.

“Their role is incredibly critical, but that also means they’re more open to spiritual attack.”



Header image and story images are courtesy of DOOR International.

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