Tanzania (MNN) — When Christians in
Tanzania began looking into a Bible translation in their own language, the task
seemed impossible because of the diversity of the peoples.
However, language experts made a
remarkable discovery. Various distinct
languages have enough common characteristics that it is possible to translate multiple
Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe
Associates, says in this case,
they're using the similarities to fine-tune their "clustering" strategy for
Bible translation. While it won't work
in some places, there still needs to be a "one language, one translator, one
However, Smith notes, "It's a strategy that works
in unique places where you've got closely geographically-located groups of
languages, and also a political and cultural situation where people are able
and willing to work together."
Smith says they will be able to
accelerate the Bible translation. The reality is, because this cluster belongs to the Bantu family of
languages, their team will be able to accomplish the translation of
all 10 languages more quickly.
"The overall group is almost
three million people in the southern part of Tanzania. So to have this opportunity to work in ten
languages that are going to impact that large of a people group is fairly
unique. We have, actually, more than 50 nationals that are part of the translation teams that are
working in these groups."
However, one of the obstacles to
making progress in translating the Scriptures into these 10 languages is
funding. They need $160,000 to be ready for the coming new year of translation