27 August, 2013 – Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea – Written by Larry Doyle with Tim Scott
The Solos people had long worked, waited and prayed for the day when they would translate the Bible into their own vernacular. The 10,000 speakers of this vibrant language, who live mainly on Buka Island, have now taken their first steps toward this exciting goal.
The Solos community selected nine men and women to participate in the Translator’s Training Course (TTC) at SIL’s Bougainville Regional Training Centre. TTC is a 4-module course providing training in translation principles, Bible background, study skills and language discovery. TTC1 is the introductory module; at the end, the participants are given an assignment to complete before moving to the next module. The Solos team and their mentor, SIL’s Larry Doyle, successfully completed TTC1 and returned home equipped to begin translating the Bible into their own language.
Upon returning to their home villages, eight translators met to begin their assignment: translating Joshua 1-12 into Solos. They formed two groups and divided the work between them, translating the assigned text over the next four days. Others in the two Solos villages watched the work progress and were thrilled to see a passage of the Bible being drafted in their own language.
Six weeks later, the team has successfully drafted half of their assignment, well ahead of schedule. People in the villages have supported the translation effort by providing meals and good places to work; others sit in on translation sessions and help with the drafting. It appears that the team will be ready for the next module of the Translator’s Training Course, and the Solos people are well on their way to reading the Bible in their own language.
Ere o toh, o hiring tarih teno. Hahiring, kou tout puo jia harunrut puo, tanasah, i Natohi, Sunahan teno, na kapean naeno tani pan aobot ka na mao. Joshua 1:9 Solos. The actual word to word translation of this from Solos is – Here say strong my to you be strong don’t fear or discourage because Lord God of you go hold on you at place every which go.
English translation – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.