Initial Skills

Story by Karen Weaver, photos by Anita McCarthy

“After I left school for so many years, I could not do well in my translation work…I’ve been facing difficulties in my work, but I think that after I complete this course I will do better.” Simon was one of a dozen people who came to the Initial Skills course hoping to refine his language skills.

Grammar, dictionary use, and pronunciation were some of the foundational lessons taught to the students in the class. In addition, the course helped them improve their ability to think critically, to do research, and to use the computer. They worked in groups to study a Bible passage from Luke, doing some research about the passage and developing a short Bible study for others to use. Next, they developed and recorded a radio drama based on their chosen Bible story.

A few of the attendees were pastors who became better equipped to study and teach the Bible through the things they learned. As they completed the course they were better prepared to study scripture and to preach in English and in their own mother tongue.

During the course Carol improved her typing skills and understanding of language to such a degree that she is now able to help Pastor Roy enter his translation work into the computer. Although she herself is not a translator, she is thankful she can now contribute in this way.

The majority of the men and women who attended were already involved in Bible translation, while a few of them were new members of translation teams. Attending the Initial Skills course helped them improve their capacity in their current work and become prepared to take more advanced translator training courses.

At the close of the five weeks, the teachers were happy to hear one of the participants testify, “I love this course because I learned many things that help me to know better English and to translate the Word of God into my Tairora language.”

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