Translators Work Towards Making Audio New Testaments in Hundreds of Languages

By July 16, 2009


Papua New Guinea (MNN) — Over 800 languages are spoken in
Papua New Guinea. Of these 800, only about 175 have been translated. However,
even natives who speak these languages do not necessarily have scripture
available to them.

 

"Because over half of the population cannot read, the Bible
is still locked out to them," said Ray Warrior, Faith Comes By Hearing 's
language recording manager.

 

Thus, FCBH has begun the momentous and colossal task of creating
audio New Testaments in as many of these languages as possible.

 

Warrior said they will start with the languages already
translated.

 

"As more and more languages are translated, we will go ahead
and record those too," Warrior said. "We are slightly behind the curve right
now, but rapidly moving ahead to catch up with those currently recorded
languages."

 

One way they are expediting the process is through the
cluster approach. With this method, translators find a root language or
language with similar words to other languages. Starting with the "root"
language, they can then translate several languages at once, instead of
starting from the bottom up with each language.

 

Using this method will move FCBH closer to their goal of
translating 2000 languages by the year 2016.

 

Once an audio New Testament is finished in a language FCBH,
along with their partners in the area, have developed a discipleship program
provides the recording to villages free of charge and develops listening
groups.

 

"These listening groups sign on to listen on a weekly basis
or a regular basis, listen to the Word of God, discuss it afterwards and then
what we find is a large number of the people who listen and discuss the Word of
God then come to Christ," Warrior said.

 

In addition to the vast number of languages in need of
translation, FCBH still faces several other challenges, which include
geography, culture and violence between tribes.

 

Because geography of Papua New Guinea with its dense jungles
and isolated villages, many villages are only accessible by air. Fortunately, FCBH
can reach these villages with the use of several of their partners' resources,
such as small planes or helicopters.

 

Warrior said, "The other problem that we face is the culture
itself which because of the isolation of Papua New Guinea for so many years, outsiders
are initially viewed with suspicion and you have to work to overcome that to be
able to get them to realize that you are not there to do harm and for them to
begin to trust you well enough to be able to record the language."

 

Not only are the geography and culture obstacles, but there
is violence between tribes all throughout Papua New Guinea. Warrior said the
violence stems from a vicious cycle of payback when one tribe offended the
other. Thus, the other tribe has to "get even" and then so does the first
tribe.

 

"Pray that this payback, this continued hostility, this
continued violence; that that is eliminated because it continually interferes
with the work that our Lord has sent us there to do," Warrior said, appealing
directly to listeners.

 

Please do as Warrior asked and pray for an end to hostility,
as well as strength for FCBH to overcome the other obstacles they face in Papua
New Guinea.

 

For more information or how to become involved in FCBH's
mission there or anywhere else around the world, visit their website .


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