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It is crucial that a Bible translation project is based on a good, solid foundation. To achieve this following steps have to be observed:
1. After a socio-linguistic research which clarifies the dialect situation of a language and shows which dialect is preferably chosen for a Bible Translation, more linguistic research has to be done on the grammar and phonology of a language which leads to a workable orthography.
2. Alongside with the technical preparation, it is very important to mobilize the local churches to share in the vision, to own and support the Bible translation project. Also other stakeholders have to be involved in supporting and planning the project.
3. Together with the partnering churches a team of well qualified translators has to be put together. Besides knowing their mother tongue profoundly, the members of the team should know at least one source language well. Moreover to build a translation team it is looked for people with good understanding of the Bible and its background, the ability to use exegetical resources, with skills in writing and with computer knowledge. Very important is also the translators’ personal reputation and walk with Jesus.
4. In order to coordinate the project and to meet the needs of the translation team well, an advisor has to be facilitated.
5. Resource partners have to be secured.
6. Hand in hand with a translation project goes scripture engagement. Therefore a strategic plan should be worked out which helps to address adequately the needs for Scripture in the community and leads to usable products.
7. Right from the beginning consultants have to be available, so that the translation quality can be secured and the translators will be able to grow in their translations skills.
2. Bible Translation procedures:
The translation procedure of Wycliffe Ethiopia follows in many ways the method which can be found under following link: http://www-01.sil.org/translation/stages.htm
Wycliffe Ethiopia further has adopted, adapted and developed some strategies to work more efficient, so that Bible Translation can be speeded up and at the same time quality can be assured.
For example we made very good experiences in combining a traditional approach with a workshop approach. In a workshop setting where a bigger team works very focused during certain weeks per year a quite large portion of the New Testament translations can be drafted in a relatively short time. A smaller team of full time working translators will check and edit the drafts produced during workshop times and prepare them for consultant checking. Additionally they continuing to draft and peer check the New Testament books.