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You may have seen some of the videos on this site about the Mara cluster languages in Tanzania who were recently heard the Christmas story for the first time. The translation team is now working its way through Luke, and you might be interested in reading this update on how they’re using technology to move the project forward. Please pray for translators who are trying innovative techniques and engaging technology to accelerate the pace of Bible translation.

Accelerating the pace of Bible Translation

“Earlier this week the Mara Cluster Project in Tanzania conducted a Bible translation consultant check of the Gospel of Luke, chapter 22 in the Simbiti language. The consultant was in Holland and the translation team in a small town in Tanzania.

The whole team–translators, advisor in Tanzania and consultant in The Netherlands–had access to the Simbiti language database. This was done locally through a local area network (LAN) and remotely through a virtual private network (VPN). The two locations each used Skype to speak to each other over the internet.

The internet connection was sufficient to enable excellent transmission of voice and never during the consultant check did they have hearing issues related to poor transmission.

The team was able to check all of Luke 22 in about five and a half hours. This experiment shows that this method of consultant checking is viable, and it may bring significant benefits to the Mara Cluster Project.”

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If you want a quick rationale for the power of mother-tongue translation, look no further than a good Christmas service at your church. We had a Christmas chapel service at Wycliffe yesterday, where we sang Silent Night in Spanish, Korean, German and English. Most of us could sound out the Spanish and sing along pretty well. A decent number sang the German, and a valiant few tried the Korean. But when English came up, the swell of voices and passion was noticeable. There’s nothing like celebrating Christmas in our mother tongue!

The complete Bible isn’t the only indicator Wycliffe uses to measure progress. There are a number of early steps, including the script for The JESUS Film, Bible stories and audio recordings as passages are completed. But did you ever think of what it would be like to read the Christmas story for the first time in your own language? This Christmas, the 9 languages in the Mara cluster in Tanzania will experience that treat! Check out this video from CBN.

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