Northern Translation Brief: 2018 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop

Our Dear Partners

We are so grateful for your prayers for a successful First Nations Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop that was held in Guelph, Ontario in April. God has answered your prayers in wonderful and encouraging ways! This was our fourth such workshop in as many years.

Speakers from three language communities came to this year’s workshop

What is a Mother Tongue Translator?

Even though we serve with a “Bible Translation” organization, we ourselves do not really translate the Bible ourselves: it is the fluent, “mother tongue” speakers of these languages who actually perform the Bible translation day-by-day, verse-by-verse.

Oji-Cree mother tongue translators Zipporah and Jessie at work

These precious individuals speak their mother tongue, their heart language, and with some help from us translate the Word of God into the indigenous language of their community and family. Linguists, consultants, Bible Translation facilitators and others (like us) work along side mother tongue translators–we learn their language, we help them understand what the Bible means, and we equip them to make the best translation they can into their own language.

What is a Mother Tongue Translator Workshop?

While most of the work of Bible translation happens in the mother tongue translators’ home community, we conduct workshops to bring together many mother tongue translators from several communities. That’s what we did in Guelph this April.

SIL International Translation consultant Steve Kempf teaching about Old Testament sacrifice

At workshops like this, the mother tongue translators can benefit by learning from a wide range of facilitators who serve on staff and come to bring their experience and expertise, helping each translation team with their own unique challenges.

Bible Society translation consultant Ruth Heeg teaching translation basics

They can also learn about new tools, materials and media that can help them bring the message of God’s love in their own language to a wider range of people in their own communities.

Colin Suggett demonstrates a talking “Scripture App” with audio

Martin Reed helps participants plan the future of their language

We usually think of the Bible in a “book” when we talk about Bible translation, but the Word of God is living and active, and is a vast story of God’s love for and redemption of every people, language and nation. At this workshop, participants were also trained to craft the story of the Bible in their own language and tell these stories orally.

Meg Billingsley helps the participants learn the story of Adam & Eve

Matt Windsor helps the Oji-Cree team craft and record their oral Bible story

Even more importantly, mother tongue translators interact with other mother tongue translators from other languages, learning how their shared experiences can be an encouragement to each other, and realizing that they are not alone doing their task of Bible Translation for their home community.

Speakers of Naskapi, Oji-Cree and Swampy Cree learning together

Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, the National Indigenous Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada, addresses, encourages and prays for the participants

Why translate the Bible into minority First Nations languages?

God is doing a work in the hearts of speakers of indigenous languages across Canada. Their grandparents and great-grandparents were taught God’s message of love and grace during the past century and a half. Many of these learned the Word of God from books that were translated into languages that were not in their own their “mother tongue”, but sometimes some other language, such as a neighbouring dialect of Cree.

1863 translation of the Bible in Western Cree

Many of the First Nations mother tongue translators that we work with love Jesus. They also love their communities and they love their traditional languages that they learned from their parents and grandparents. Now, God has given them the desire to pass on their faith to their own children and grandchildren, along with their precious language which is such a vital part of their culture.

The history of relations between the First Peoples of this land and non-indigenous people have been sometimes strained and difficult. Practices of the newcomers and policies of our governments often resulted in the tragic loss of their traditional languages. Besides providing access to God’s message of love in their own language, the First Nations Bible translation movement also gives speakers of these languages the resources they need to make their languages sustainable and even to flourish.

God has been using these MTT workshops to train, equip and encourage mother tongue translators with the skills and capacity they desire to see their vision and realized.

Thank you for your prayers for this one. They were answered in wonderful ways.

Serving with you, Bill & Norma Jean

Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald

“Mother tongue Bible translation is the most important thing you can be involved in for your community. It is really saving lives. It is hope that we give to our children and our grandchildren and great-grand children. The Holy Spirit assists you in your work of translation because it results in praise to God.

 

“The Word of God must become living and real in the languages of our communities. It is a part of our preparation of the coming of Christ: Bible translation in your local languages has a role in God’s plan for the universe. So, it is vital on a physical level but also on an spiritual and eternal level as well.”

–from the address by the Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Bishop, to the participants at the 2018 First Nations Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop, Tuesday, 17 April 2018, Guelph, Ontario.

More pictures from this year’s workshop:

 

 

Northern Translation Brief 09Apr2018

 

Our Dear Partners,

Next week, the Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop for First Nations Bible translators will be held in Guelph, Ontario (April 15-20).
What are these workshops for? They are a response to the request from First Nations church leaders and community members themselves, to bring together people from different related language communities, creating a safe environment for mutual encouragement, and equipping their own community members and speakers of their languages to more adequately handle the complex task of Bible translation.

Participants are guided to work together at the 2017 MTT Workshop

The program this year is multi-tracked to accommodate both beginner and more experienced translators.

We are also planning a program that includes:

Oral Bible Storytelling:
This year, besides the usual modules covering translation principles, we are also pleased to announce that there will be an extended focus on Oral Storying. First Nations culture places a high value on storytelling, and this approach ties together the Stories of our Creator and His love for His People with the traditional First Nations practice of passing stories to the next generation orally in their heart language. These story modules will be facilitated by Rod & Liesel Bartlett.

Old Testament Sacrificial System:
This year, guest instructor Steve Kempf is introducing the topic of sacrifice in the Old Testament, in particular, the key terms for each of the five main sacrifices as well as how the sacrificial system worked. He is also presenting about the Day of Atonement and its significance as perhaps the most holy day in the Israelite sacrificial system. There are a lot of key terms here that extend throughout the Old Testament which help us to understand the significance of the death of Jesus Christ.

Participatory Methods and the Future of Our Language:
Another guest instructor, Carletta Lahn will continue applying the theme of participatory methods to grassroots local indigenous language program planning to help with the maintenance and sustainability of these threatened mother tongues.

Pray that all these who come will experience God’s anointing, protection and provision as they travel from near and far and serve First Nations language communities.

Participants in 2017 discover how and where their own language is used.

Thank you for your prayers for the staff, participants and the program of the upcoming 2018 workshop.
Also remember those traveling from long distances, as they pack and plan their trips this week. Our next message with prayer requests will be from the workshop site next week.

Serving with you,
Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz

Northern Translation Brief 02Apr2018

Our Dear Partners,

Thank you for praying for the upcoming Mother Tongue Translator Workshop participants last week. Please keep them in your prayers through the next few weeks. We’ll send you another reminder.
This week we are also asking you to remember the staff for the upcoming workshop:

The next Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop for First Nations Bible translators will be held this April 15-20 in Guelph, Ontario.
First Nations church leaders are seeing their vision for workshops that bring together people from different related language communities realized: creating a safe environment for mutual encouragement, and equipping speakers of their languages to more adequately handle the complex task of Bible translation.

Staff (Jeff Green) works with the participants at the 2017 MTT Workshop

We are blessed, especially this year, to have a large staff to share the teaching and facilitation tasks for the workshop sessions. We hope that you will find the time to pray for each of these staff members by name:

Cree Initiative “Next Generation” teams:
Alice & Martin Reed
Matthew & Caitlin Windsor
Meg Billingsley
Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz
Senior Translation Consultants and Bible Translation Facilitators with SIL/Wycliffe BIble Translators and the Canadian Bible Society (both active and ‘retired’)
Steve Kempf
Ruth Heeg
Jeff Green
Rod & Liesel Bartlett
Colin & Dot Suggett
Scripture Access team leader for SIL Americas “North Region”
Carletta Lahn
Other participating SIL & Wycliffe Staff
Beat Kunz
Colleen Boyd
Tom Woodward
Brandie Green
Special guests
Bishop Mark MacDonald
Dr. Cindy Westfall
Tom & Bethany Scott

There is still the possibility of a few more staff and/or guests. We will keep you posted.

Pray that all these who come will experience God’s anointing, protection and provision as they travel from near and far and serve First Nations Bible Translators.

Translation consultant staff (Steve Kempf) presenting to participants in 2017

Thank you for your prayers for the staff and participants at the upcoming 2018 workshop.

Serving with you,
Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz

Northern Translation Brief 26Mar2018

Our Dear Partners,

We are so grateful for your prayers for Bill as he continues to recover from his accident with the tree, chainsaw and ladder last November. The ongoing challenges include a dull headache and back pain. We appreciate your continued prayers, but with God’s help we have been turning our attention to something else.

Over the past few months we have been anticipating, planning and coordinating the next Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop that will be held this April 15-20 in Guelph, Ontario.

Our next few Translation Briefs will be inviting you to pray for this event, by focusing on the participants, the staff, and the guests; and also on the vision, the program and the effects.

The First Nations church leaders and speakers of these related Algonquian languages identified capacity-building and training for their own translators as one of their priorities at the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Gathering in Prince Albert back in June of 2014. They were inspired by how God’s Word translated by and used by the Naskapi community was having a growing positive influence on their lives and creating a hunger to know God in their own language.

They had a vision for workshops that bring together people from different related language communities, creating a safe environment for mutual encouragement, and equipping them to more adequately handle the complex task of Bible translation.

Participants work with the staff at the 2017 MTT Workshop

Again this year, the Naskapi community is sending both experienced and newer language workers involved in Bible translation and language development work. You are invited to pray for each of these participants by name:

Naskapi Bible translation project, Naskapi Development Corporation:
Silas Nabinicaboo
Ruby Sandy-Robinson
Amanda Swappie
Kissandra Sandy-Dominique
Naskapi translation services, Naskapi Nation Quebec:
George Guanish, translator
St. John’s Church (Naskapi) Kawawachikamach, Quebec:
Susan Nabinicaboo, Naskapi lay reader
Cheyenne Vachon (possibly)
Oji-Cree Bible translation project, Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh, Ontario:
Jessie Atlookan
Ruth Kitchekesik
Saloma Sainnawap
St. John’s Church (Swampy Cree) Tataskweyak Cree Nation Manitoba:
Larry Beardy
Elizabeth Beardy

There is still the possibility of a few more participants. We will keep you posted.

Pray that these who come will experience God’s peace, protection and provision as they travel so far from their home communities.

Workshop Participants in 2017 working on domains of language use

Thank you for your prayers for the participants for the 2018 workshop.

Serving with you,
Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz

Northern Translation Brief: 2017 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop

Our Dear Partners,

Ever since First Nations representatives and church leaders met with us in Prince Albert in June of 2014, we have been responding to their priorities identified for the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative. One of these priorities was to coordinate a series of Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshops to help the speakers of First Nations languages acquire the skills that they need to take the lead in their own Bible Translation and community language development projects.

We planned and coordinated the 2017 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre from April 9th to the 14th. Speakers of First Nations languages from three different language communities were able to come to the workshop this year.

Travel Delays and Challenges

In the weeks leading up to the workshop, we had also planned an additional translation checking session for the Oji-Cree translation team: They were to come to southern Ontario the week before the workshop and gather at our home in Windham Centre with the translation consultant (Meg Billingsley) and one of the new Bible Translation facilitation teams (Matthew & Caitlin Windsor). However, a relative of one of the Oji-Cree translators passed away that week, so they were unable to come down early.

With Matthew & Caitlin at Simcoe Immanuel CRC church before the workshop

We are grateful for all the offers of food, lodging and assistance that we received from our church family in preparation for this checking session, and even though it did not work out–we are happy that the Oji-Cree team was able to come to the workshop itself anyway. The translation team and the consultant are making alternate arrangements so that they can work through the scripture checking that they had planned.

Most of the Naskapi team had hoped to leave their community of Kawawachikamach by plane the Friday before the workshop–but a snowstorm on April 7th cancelled their flight. They were eventually able to rebook on Monday, the first day of the workshop, and arrived safe and sound (but tired!) a 1:30 AM Tuesday morning!

Silas Nabinicaboo

Silas, the senior translator for the Naskapi team, had to cancel his attendance at the workshop this year–while he was en-route, his mother Susie had heart problems and was flown out of the community to the hospital in Quebec City, where she eventually underwent an operation for a pacemaker. Silas stayed by her side rather than coming to the workshop.

So, of the 15 registered First Nations participants, 14 were finally able to come.

Participants

Coming for the first time were two experienced James Bay Cree translators from the Mistissini Lake Quebec community, Mary-Jane Petawabano and Juliette Neeposh. They had worked on the translation of the New Testament in their language and came to find out about starting to translate the Old Testament too.

Mary Jane Petawabano and Juliette Neeposh, from Mistissini Lake, Quebec

The Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree community sent five of their Bible translators, who continue to work on their new translation of the Gospels and Epistles for the Sunday Lectionary readings. Four of their translators, Ruth Kitcheksik, Jessie Atlookan, Zipporah Mamakwa, and Dominick Beardy had already been to previous workshops. They brought with them a new member of their team, Saloma Sainnawap, who came to this translator workshop for the first time. Two other members of the Oji-Cree translation team who had attended previously had to stay behind at Kingfisher Lake: Ruth Morris and Theresa Sainnawap.

Jessie Atlookan, Saloma Sainnawap, Zipporah Mamakwa, Ruth Kitchekesik and Dominick Beardy from Kingfisher Lake, Ontario

The Naskapi language community of Kawawachikamach sent translators and language personnel from three of their community organizations: The Naskapi School sent Naskapi language teacher Seasi Swappie, and the Naskapi Nation sent their lead translator George Guanish and the editor of the Naskapi newspaper “Naskapi Tipachimoon”, Isaac Einish. This was Isaac’s first time at a translator workshop outside his community.

Isaac Einish, Seasi Swappie & George Guanish from Kawawachikamach Quebec

The Naskapi Development Corporation (NDC), which is continuing work on the Naskapi Old Testament translation, sent four participants: Tshiueten Vachon, Amanda Swappie, Kabimbetas Noah Mokoush and the NDC administrative director, Ruby Sandy-Robinson. As noted earlier, their senior translator Silas Nabinicaboo was unable to attend.

Naskapi team working together

Program

Like in previous years, the program of the workshop was crafted to meet Bible translation training needs of the First Nations translators. Since this was the third workshop, and many of the participants had been to similar workshops in the past, just a brief time on the first day was spent doing review, so that all the new participants could find their way alongside the more experienced ones.

“Bible Translation Principles” and “Bible Translation Basics”

The core curriculum was from the translation textbook “Bible Translation Basics: Communicating Scripture in a Relevant Way” by Harriet Hill. We have used this book since 2015, and we are slowly working through it with plenty of review at a pace that can be followed by the translators. We are also using more conventional translation training materials, such as “Bible Translation: an introductory course in translation principles” by Katy Barnwell, and other materials. We also featured a special topic again this year taught by Steve Kempf, an international translation consultant, on “Translating in the book of Proverbs”.

Steve Kempf on Proverbs

We also focused on a range of other practical topics, including the use of cell-phone technology for scripture engagement, participatory methods for domains of language use in a community, and the important role of oral story telling in presenting the message of the Bible, and teaching skills to use computer and software tools to help with understanding the Bible’s message better, and to help with the translation work.

Staff

Besides Bill and Norma Jean who coordinated the workshop and taught some of the lesson modules, we were privileged to have many other teaching staff on hand this year from a wide range of experience and background.

As noted above Steve Kempf was with us on Tuesday and Thursday for the focus on translating Proverbs. We were also assisted by translation consultant Ruth Heeg, Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) professor Jeff Green from Tyndale University College, and Canadian Bible Society (CBS) director of scripture translations Myles Leitch, all of whom taught lessons in sequence from Bible Translation Basics.

Jeff Green with Ruth Kitchekesik and Dominick Beardy from Kingfisher Lake

We were also very pleased to have the following “Next Generation” members of the team on the teaching staff this year: Alice & Martin Reed, currently serving their in-field internship with the Naskapi translation project; Matthew & Caitlin Windsor, also preparing to serve as Bible translation facilitators to First Nations communities, and Meg Billingsley, translation consultant-in-training working in Cree projects.

Meg Billingsley’s teaching module

Alice Reed (standing, right) with the Naskapi translation team

Matt Windsor’s teaching module

Catherine Aldred-Shull’s presentation

Canadian Bible Society translation officer-in-training Catherine Aldred-Shull was also on hand to demonstrate a Cree Bible reading cell phone app and present her research on oral storytelling as it relates to Bible translation.

Terri Scruggs, Ruth Heeg, Liesel Bartlett

Wycliffe Canada projects manager Terri Scruggs was with us for the entire week and presented a compelling module to the translators on the importance of sharing how the translated scriptures are having a positive influence in their own First Nations language communities, and Wycliffe translation facilitators Rod & Liesel Bartlett guided the participants in learning to craft chronological Bible stories in their own language. Rod & Liesel have served for many years working with the James Bay Cree First Nations communities in Quebec, helping guide two separate New Testament translations to completion–one in James Bay Cree (southern or inland dialect, 2001) and one in the northern dialect of James Bay Cree, just published by the Bible Society at the end of 2016. The staff and participants took time to praise God and celebrate His faithfulness to the James Bay Cree communities during the workshop.

Juliette Neeposh, Rod & Liesel Bartlett, Mary Jane Petawabano, Ruth Heeg

Guests

We were pleased and honoured again this year to have a visit from the National Indigenous Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada, Mark MacDonald. He came to address the participants and to encourage them in their work of bringing the message of the scriptures to their own language communities. He reminded us again that the message of the Gospel is the one thing that the more it is translated, the more we as the Body of Christ gain and know of the love of God.

Mark MacDonald encouraging the translation teams

Esther Wesley, the coordinator of the Anglican Healing Fund along with Nancy Hurn, the archivist of the Anglican Church of Canada were also on hand to meet and encourage the First Nations participants.

Elaine Bombay, a member of the Wycliffe News Network photojournalism team, served the workshop by being on hand Monday and Thursday to interact with participants, hear their stories and take wonderful photographs, many of which are featured here in this article. Thank you for these pictures, Elaine!

Colin & Dot Suggett, Wycliffe Canada team currently serving in Burkina Faso, was on hand to observe and get to know the First Nations participants–they are seeking the Lord’s direction for how they might contribute to the Bible translation movement among First Nations. Also on hand was Ben Wukasch, Wycliffe Canada candidate, Jeff Westlake, and Jack & Joann Koetsier, Wycliffe Canada partners.

Colin & Dot Suggett, Ben Wukasch

Also again this year Wycliffe Canada Korean Diaspora Church Connections 한인 디아스포라 교회 협력 team brought a group representing the Korean church, who continue to pray for, encourage and assist their First Nations brothers and sisters to have better access to the scriptures in their own languages. This year the First Nations participants were invited to pray for the needs of the Korean church. Many of the First Nations participants shared how blessed they were to reconnect with their Korean friends. Having guests attend the workshop is a good way for relationships to develop within the Body of Christ, since Bible translation remains the responsibility of the whole church (Kirk Franklin 2008)

Visitors from the Korean Diaspora Church Connections Team

Participant Evaluations

On Friday, the last day of the workshop, we took some time to reflect and evaluate the
workshop program, and all the participants provided feedback for the organizers to consider for the next workshop. Here is a sampling of some of the participants’ comments:

What was something new that you learned during this workshop?

“…Translating Proverbs.”
“…How to make my translation relevant to my community.”
“…How to record and edit audio using my laptop–really neat!”
“…Implicit and Explicit information in translation.”

What did you particularly like about this workshop?

“…The hands-on activities on language use within our communities.”
“…All the facilitators.”
“…I liked participating in small groups.”
“…Talking about Jesus.”
“…Teamwork, involvement in tasks.”
“…The sense of community and fellowship with other First Nations and ethnicities.”

What were the best aspects of the workshop?

“…When we got to work together.”
“…Hearing testimonies from experienced First Nations translators”
“…Hearing reading and singing in our languages.”
“…I felt like I fit in and that people were eager to help us, and that we were listened to.”
“…how everything was connected in the way the workshop was taught.”
“…being encouraged by one another.”

God continues to be at work bringing His message to His people in their own languages. We are so grateful that you can be a part of this work with us. Thank you for your prayers and support for this workshop and for the wonderful things God continues to do in the lives of our First Nations friends.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean

Alice & Martin Reed, Matthew & Caitlin Windsor

Consider becoming more involved and supporting this work by visiting these websites:

In the USA: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

In Canada: http://www.wycliffe.ca/m?Jancewicz

 

 

 

Northern Translation Brief 03Apr2017

Our Dear Partners,

We were counting the months and then counting the weeks and now we are counting the DAYS until the 2017 First Nations Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop that is being held in Guelph Ontario, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, April 9-14, 2017.

This Translation Brief invites you to pray for this event, by focusing on the staff, the participants, and the guests; and also on the vision, the program and the effects.

Vision

The First Nations church leaders and speakers of these Algonquian languages identified capacity-building and training for their own translators as one of their priorities at the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Gathering in Prince Albert back in June of 2014. They were inspired by how God’s Word translated by and used by the Naskapi community was having a growing positive influence on their lives and creating a hunger to know God in their own language. They had a vision for workshops that bring together people from different related language communities, creating a safe environment for mutual encouragement, and equipping them to more adequately handle the complex task of Bible translation.

First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative

Participants

Again this year, the Naskapi community is sending both experienced and newer language workers involved in Bible translation and language development work. You are invited to pray for each of these participants by name:

Naskapi Bible translation project, Naskapi Development Corporation:

  • Silas Nabinicaboo
  • Ruby Sandy-Robinson
  • Tshiueten Vachon
  • Kabimbetas Mokoush
  • Amanda Swappie

Naskapi translation services, Naskapi Nation:

  • George Guanish, translator
  • Isaac Einish, editor of the Naskapi Newspaper

Naskapi language education, Jimmy Sandy Memorial School:

  • Seasi Swappie, Naskapi language teacher

Oji-Cree Bible translation project, Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh:

  • Jessie Atlookan
  • Ruth Kitchekesik
  • Dominick Beardy (going in place of Theresa Sainnawap this time)
  • Zipporah Mamakwa
  • Saloma Sainnawap

Council of the Cree Nation of Mistissini:

  • Mary-Jane Petawabono
  • Juliette Neeposh

Pray that these who come will experience God’s peace, protection and provision as they travel so far from their home communities.

First Nations Mother Tongue Translators at the 2015 workshop

Program

The special sessions this year are on the topic of translating Proverbs by Steve Kempf. Catherine Aldred-Shull has offered to present a session on Orality, Literacy and The Bible. Also Norma Jean will be leading the language groups in an activity on Domains of Language Use applying Participatory Methods, and Terri Scruggs is preparing a module about Translation Project Management for mother tongue translators. Rod & Liesel Bartlett will talk about Chronological Bible Storying.

Staff teaching at the 2016 workshop

Staff

The rest of the staff on the roster are continuing to teach the participants from the textbook we began in previous years, Bible Translation Basics: Communicating Scripture in a Relevant Way, by Harriet Hill. The new Wycliffe teams assigned to First Nations projects–Matthew & Caitlin Windsor and Alice & Martin Reed–will be on hand for the entire workshop and presenting lessons from this book. Also, Ruth Heeg, Meg Billingsley and Bill will lead some sessions using this book and other materials as well. Further, Jeff Green, an Wycliffe member teaching linguistics and translation at Tyndale, and Myles Leitch from the Canadian Bible Society will also each be teaching lessons from the book.

I know that we will all be grateful if you remember to pray for the staff members by name:

  • Bill & Norma Jean–First Nations Bible translation workshop coordinators
  • Matthew & Caitlin Windsor–new Wycliffe Bible translation facilitators
  • Alice & Martin Reed–new Wycliffe Bible translation facilitators and interns serving the Naskapi language project
  • Terri Scruggs–Wycliffe Canada project administrator
  • Meg Billingsley–Translation consultant-in-training
  • Catherine Aldred-Shull–Canadian Bible Society translation officer-in-training
  • Myles Leitch–Canadian Bible Society director of scripture translations
  • Ruth Heeg–Translation consultant mentor
  • Steve Kempf–SIL International translation consultant
  • Jeff Green–CanIL instructor of linguistics
  • Rod & Liesel Bartlett–Wycliffe Bible translation facilitators

Pray that these who are giving their time and expertise will experience God’s empowering, protection and provision as they come to serve the First Nations Bible translators.

Guests

Like at previous workshops, a number of people who are interested in or supporters of the First Nations Bible Translation movement have asked to come to observe or visit the staff and participants during the workshop. We are happy to accommodate them, and found that their presence and encounter with the First Nations Bible translators has been a mutual encouragement and a blessing. Pray with us that this will also be so this year. The guests we are expecting are:

  • Elaine Bombay–Wycliffe Global Alliance  photojournalist
  • Colin & Dot Suggett–Wycliffe members interested in First Nations translation projects
  • Daniel Yoon–Wycliffe Canada Church Connections team
  • Gyoojun Lee–Wycliffe Canada Church Connections team
  • Ben Wukasch–Wycliffe Canada project facilitator candidate
  • Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald–National Indigenous Bishop, Anglican Church of Canada
  • Esther Wesley–coordinator of the Anglican Healing Fund, Anglican Church of Canada
  • Nancy Hurn–archivist, Anglican Church of Canada
  • Jack & Joanne Koetsier–partner/supporter of Bible translation projects
  • Jeff Westlake–Senior Development Officer, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Guests at the 2016 workshop

Tshiueten, Kabimbetas and Cheyenne at mealtime at the 2015 workshop

Pray that these who are investing their time and interest will sense God’s wisdom and direction in their lives as they come to interact with the First Nations Bible translators.

Effects

In previous years, the participants expresssed their appreciation for the opportunity to take part in this training, but also were grateful for:

“…Learning from patient facilitators who were patient with me.”
“…Learning new things about translating the Bible.”
“…Sharing of other teams’ experiences.”
“…I enjoyed the visitors and all they offered for us in their prayers, and the direction of the facilitators.”
“…The singing and devotions and great workshop presenters, and the explanations about the basics of translation.”

Please pray with us for the ongoing positive effects that the participants can bring back to their Bible Translation projects in their home communities.

Next Generation Bible Translation Team

This is the first workshop where all of the current Next Generation personnel are coming to interact with the participants. Please pray for God’s provision, deepening relationships and clear guidance and wisdom for these who have been called to serve First Nations Bible translation.

Staff: Meg Billingsley, Matt & Caitlin Windsor, and baby Hazel (ᐊᐱᑯᓯᔅ)

Staff: Martin and Alice Reed

Thank you for remembering this upcoming Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop in your prayers between now and Easter, and may God bless you as you celebrate His victory over death and the grave.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

Northern Translation Brief: 2016 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop

Our Dear Partners,

2016 MTT Workshop, GuelphWhen the First Nations representatives and church leaders met with us in Prince Albert in June of 2014, they identified several priorities for the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative. One of these priorities was to conduct a series of Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshops to help the speakers of First Nations languages learn the skills that they need to be involved in Bible Translation and community language development.

With assistance from our friends at the Canadian Bible Society, we planned and facilitated the 2016 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop held at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre from April 24th to the 29th. Speakers of First Nations languages from four different language communities were able to come to this workshop.

WorkshopMap2016aWhat Happens at a Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop?

Every morning we began with a hymn: we sang in Naskapi, or Oji-Cree, or Cree, either from an old “legacy” hymnbook, or an up-to-date adaptation into today’s language, or even a completely new song. The participants all enjoyed learning worship songs in their different languages from one another, praising God in their beautiful languages.

2016 MTT 013

Myles Leitch, Canadian Bible Society

Then each day one of the staff shared a devotional from the Word of God. Whenever it was available, the scripture passage was read in the mother tongue of one or more of the First Nations languages of the participants. We reflected about how God uses language in His Mission (Genesis 2, John 1 and Psalm 8); how God’s Word is meant to be understood (Romans 15:1-6), which became a theme passage for the entire workshop. We considered the spiritual warfare we are engaged in when when we are working on making God’s message clear for the first time in the languages spoken in these communities, and how the stories of God’s love and grace can be communicated and passed on in engaging and life-changing ways.

Screen shot 2015-05-02 at 10.33.11 PMNext, the staff took turns teaching chapters from the Bible Translation Basics textbook, which focuses on communication theory, along with modules from the Bible Translation Principles course, which focuses on distinguishing the “form” from the “meaning” of the message, and participants learned how to express the meaning of the message in the form that corresponds to their own language and culture. Each of these resources were useful to help learners understand the translation task and to help them gain the skills they need to do it well.

BibleTranslation ProcessWe also introduced several tools for Scripture Engagement, exploring different ways that the message of the Bible can be made available in print and non-print media, including the use of audio playback devices (Megavoice) and graphic-novel style presentations of God’s Story such as “Good and Evil“.

Good & Evil book copyResources for sustainable local Language Development programs were presented, which offered ways of involving their own community leadership, community organizations and education with their translation teams to help them:

  • To raise awareness of the current situation of their traditional language.
  • To raise awareness of how they use all of the other languages at their disposal.
  • To help the community come to a decision and a response about what they want to do with their entire language ‘repertoire’ in the future.

Screen shot 2016-05-07 at 7.44.44 PMSome of the more practical and technical aspects of the Bible Translation process were covered each day, including the use of the collaborative translation software program ParaTExt, which assists translators by providing source translations and resource documents as well as tools to assist them in translating into their own language and checking their work. Several of the participants had never used this software, so we were careful to start very gradually. Those participants who were more familiar with the program helped the beginners during hands-on practice sessions in small groups.

Steve Kempf

Steve Kempf, SIL International consultant

On Tuesday and Wednesday morning, SIL International translation consultant Steve Kempf came as a guest instructor to teach us all about translating names and especially the special care and consideration that need to be taken into account when translating the Names of God, such as Elohim, Adonai, and YHWH (Yahweh).

elohim Adon AdonaiBill also taught modules on the Algonquian language family and grammatical structures, the history of Bible Translations in First Nations languages, and practical considerations for setting up a local language development program that includes Bible translation and individual professional development. Discussion between the translation teams from different language communities helped them to see how the different challenges that each one faces may be addressed.

Mason-HordenMacKay RevisionSo each day contained a stimulating blend of discussion and instruction, worship and encouragement from the scriptures, training and capacity-building. We closed the week with a celebration and presentation of certificates to all the participants.

_5EB2170Guests, Connections and Staff

2016 MTT 016

Natasha and Dwayne, Word Alive magazine

For the first four days of the workshop, Word Alive editor Dwayne Janke and photographer Natasha Ramírez were “embedded journalists” with the workshop staff and team. Word Alive magazine is Wycliffe Canada’s journal whose mission is to inform, inspire and involve the Christian public as partners in the worldwide Bible translation movement. They have already featured a wonderful description of the Naskapi Bible Translation project in their Spring 2013 edition. They were with us gathering material to for a future publication to highlight First Nations Bible translation in Canada.

Throughout the week we were also visited by several guests who were interested in making connections with and serving First Nations Bible translation projects, including Paul Arsenault and Jeff Green from Tyndale University and the Canadian Institute of Linguistics (CanIL), Benjamin Wukasch, a student interested in service in First Nations language communities. Our guests also included staff from the Canadian Bible Society Scripture Translation offices in Kitchener, Ontario, Barb Penner and Tomas Ortiz.

Jeff Green and Paul Arsenault (CanIL, Tyndale)

Jeff Green and Paul Arsenault, CanIL / Tyndale

Barb Penner and Tomas Ortiz, Canadian Bible Society

Barb Penner and Tomas Ortiz, Canadian Bible Society

On Thursday, Wycliffe Canada Korean Diaspora Church Connections 한인 디아스포라 교회 협력 brought a group representing the Korean church, who are very interested in praying for and working together to assist their First Nations brothers and sisters to have better access to the scriptures in their own languages. Many of the First Nations participants shared how blessed they were to meet their new Korean friends.

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At the end of the week Elaine Bombay, a photojournalist with Wycliffe Global Alliance visited the workshop to meet the participants and also helped by taking photographs of the staff and participants and the workshop closing ceremonies. Several of the photographs posted here are her work. Thank you Elaine!

The workshop was staffed by faciliators and instructors Bill and Norma Jean, Ruth Heeg and Myles Leitch from the Canadian Bible Society, Meg Billingsley, an SIL translation consultant in training, and Matthew and Caitlin Windsor, who are preparing to serve as translation project facilitators in a First Nations community soon.

Ruth Heeg, Canadian Bible Society translation consultant

Ruth Heeg, Canadian Bible Society translation consultant

Meg Billingsley, Matt & Caitlin Windsor, and baby Hazel (ᐊᐱᑯᓯᔅ)

Meg Billingsley, Matt & Caitlin Windsor, and baby Hazel (ᐊᐱᑯᓯᔅ)

Participant Evaluations

On Friday, the last day of the workshop, we took some time to reflect and evaluate the
workshop program, and all the participants provided feedback for the organizers to consider for the next workshop. Here is a sampling of some of the participants’ comments:

What was something new that you learned during this workshop?

“…Translating Biblical Names.”
“…God is trying to speak to people in their language.”
“…Saying “less” can mean “more”.”
“…The features in Paratext–I got to learn more about how to use them.”

What did you particularly like about this workshop?

“…Meeting other Algonquian language speakers.”
“…The technical part–how to use the programs.”
“…I enjoyed the whole workshop.”
“…Singing hymns / Everything.”
“…Hymn singing, devotions, sharing, everything.”
“…I liked the experience with the Koreans.”

What were the best aspects of the workshop?

“…Learning from patient facilitators who were patient with me.”
“…Learning new things about translating the Bible.”
“…Giving our opinions and experiences.”
“…Sharing of other teams’ experiences.”
“…I enjoyed the visitors and all they offered for us in their prayers, and the direction of the facilitators.”
“…The singing and devotions and great workshop presenters, and the explanations about the basics of translation.”

God continues to be at work bringing His message to His people in their own languages. We are so grateful that you can be a part of this work with us. Thank you for your prayers and support for this workshop and for the wonderful things God continues to do in the lives of our First Nations friends.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean

Consider becoming more involved and supporting this work by visiting these websites:

In the USA: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

In Canada: http://www.wycliffe.ca/m?Jancewicz

 

 

Northern Translation Brief 06Apr2015

Our Dear Partners,

When the speakers of the First Nations languages that are still waiting for adequate access to the Bible in their mother tongue met with us last year in Prince Albert <click here>, one of the things that they requested was training and learning opportunities for speakers of these languages to gain translation skills of their own. This training became a central component of the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative. This month, we are conducting a Mother-Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre in Guelph, Ontario.

WorkshopMap2015We have invited First Nations language speakers from across Canada who are interested or already engaged in working in their own languages for translation and language development. An intentional component of this workshop is integrating experienced mother tongue translators with beginners, and bringing together those who are already engaging with the scriptures in their own language with those who still have no such access.

The response has been encouraging, and we have been working hard at preparing the program of study and learning modules for the week of the workshop. Our ministry and technical partner, the Canadian Bible Society, is sponsoring the workshop and we will share the facilitation of the workshop sessions with them. IMG_8869The Oji-Cree Bible Translation committee from Kingfisher Lake <link> has identified and recruited five Oji-Cree speakers from their community, Ruth K, Ruth M, Zipporah, Theresa, and Jessie, who will come and be trained at this workshop. The Bible Society has also helped to meet some of the practical needs of this group by providing five new laptop computers, a printer and a projector for the day-to-day use of their translation team. We will give them the initial training they need to get started, and they will bring their computers back to their community to continue their translation work in the months to come. Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, one of the catalysts for the Kingfisher Lake project, hopes to also come to address the group.gayle1

Gayle, one of the Plains Cree speakers who has worked for many years on the (Cuthand) Plains Cree <link> translation project will be with us for the workshop, and will be working on some of the consultant checking and review of these scriptures.

The “Fantastic Four“, (Amanda, Kissandra, Kabimbetas, and Medora) the new team of Naskapi Language Specialists, working on four different books of the Naskapi Old Testament <link> in Kawawachikamach are all coming to continue their language development and translation training, and also to be introduced to the new software programs that they need to master to become better at their translation work. IMG_5044They are joined by two more experienced members of the Naskapi translation team, Silas and Tshiueten who have worked most recently on the books of Genesis <link> and Exodus, respectively. Also from the Naskapi community we will welcome George who is not only a community leader but also an experienced translator who has been involved in bringing the Naskapi scriptures to his people for the past 20 years. He will be joined by Cheyenne, a church lay-reader and educator who leads a Naskapi Bible study, and Seasi and Jessica who work at the Naskapi school in Naskapi language literacy and teaching.

The schedule includes translation principles and basics, courses in the use of specialized translation software, commentaries and reference works, as well as times for discussion of “best practices” and resources for Bible translation teams that are managed and directed by their own local community and church members. There will also be devotional Bible studies and time to sing hymns (in Cree, Naskapi and Oji-Cree) and sharing and fellowship.

Bill and Norma Jean will be arriving in the Guelph, Ontario area from British Columbia on April 15, IMG_8762the Wednesday before the workshop to spend time with the rest of the workshop facilitation team at the Bible Society offices for the final preparations and configuring the new computers for the Oji-Cree translators. The participants will begin traveling to the workshop from their home communities on Friday, April 17–it will take most of them two or three days to travel to the workshop location. The workshop itself will be Monday to Friday, the week of April 20-24, all day long each day. On Friday afternoon, most of the participants will begin their long journeys back to their home language communities to apply the new things that they have learned and to continue working on their communities’ Bible translation and language development projects.

We have listed all the names of the participants so that you can pray for them by name–we would also request that you pray for the workshop and all the participants and the facilitators each day of the workshop, and for travel mercies and safety before and after. Some of the younger women participants are expectant mothers, and long travels and a busy workshop can be especially difficult for them–we know that they would appreciate your prayers as well.

Thank you once again for your interest and for sharing our vision for the First Nations Bible translation movement.

Serving with you, Bill and Norma Jean

Partners in the USA can connect through Wycliffe USA:
https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

Partners in Canada can connect through Wycliffe Canada’s website:
https://www.wycliffe.ca/wycliffe/m?Jancewicz