In the complex task of translating the Bible, it is helpful for a translation team to break the process down into manageable and measurable steps. The new Oji-Cree translation team is working on the project chosen by their church and community–that is, the scripture verses contained in the weekly (Epistle and Gospel) lectionary readings used in Sunday Services.
For each passage, the translation team work through steps in order to ensure that the translation in their mother tongue is clear, accurate, natural and acceptable.
- The first step is the “First Draft“, which includes learning what the original passage means and then expressing that meaning in the translator’s own words.
- The second step is a “Team Check“, during which the translator reads her First Draft to the other Oji-Cree translators in the translation team, and the team offers suggestions, corrections, or advice. The translator then makes appropriate revisions.
- The third step is a “Community Check“. The text is printed and distributed in a preliminary form that other members of the community can read (or be read to), and the translator receives feedback and suggestions from Oji-Cree speakers of different ages in the community. The translator again makes appropriate revisions.
- The fourth step is a “Back Translation“. A team member who did not work on the translation reads the text without referring to the original source, and makes a translation back into English. This English language back translation can now be used to verify whether the translation is complete and accurate.
After the team accomplishes these four steps, the passage is ready for step five, a checking session with a Translation Consultant. A translation consultant is a person trained in linguistics, cross-cultural studies, Biblical languages and content, along with in-depth experience working in minority-language translation programs in the field.
In January 2017, the New Oji-Cree Bible translation team had their first “Consultant Check”.
Travel to Kingfisher Lake
On Monday Morning, January 23, Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz, our "Bible Translation Facilitators" from Wycliffe Bible Translators drove to Ruth Heeg's house in Waterloo Ontario. Ruth is a translation consultant who has agreed to come out of retirement for a while to help us with our Oji-Cree translation project. The three were driven to the Toronto airport by Ruth's husband Dick.
Meg Billingsley, a "translation consultant-in-training" took the trains from her apartment in Georgetown and met the toher three at the airport. They checked in and were off to Thunder Bay together.