How the sausage is made
We all love Galatians 5:22-23 where Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit. But in the immediately preceding verses, he lists the "acts of the flesh:" sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, and so on.
Lists like these are among the most difficult passages for us to translate. Unlike Greek and English, Arop and the other Aitape West languages have almost no abstract nouns--nouns that describe actions, like love, joy, kindness, or hatred. Such things must be expressed with verbs and subjects. So we have to translate each one-word item in the original Greek list into a multi-word phrase in Arop. E.g. sexual immorality becomes "they do men and women immorally," idolatry becomes "they worship idols or false gods."
The result is a very big block of text, like you see in the right column of the screenshot above. That column shows Emil's version of this from June 25. How do I find the rendering for "sorcery" in all that text? I can't see the tree I need because the forest is so dense.
So I inserted some line breaks and listed the Greek terms with English renderings in square brackets. You can see them in the left column, which is the current version. Our software shows in green what I have added, and in red what I have deleted.
Now I can see the individual trees among that forest of phrases so I can finally begin to check them. The zoomed-in screenshot below shows this has already helped: the current draft obviously has nothing at all for "factions" and "envy."
Near the end of the translation process, we'll delete all this extra stuff.
This is how we make this particular kind of sausage, and this is another reason why Bible translation into new languages takes time.
Please pray for Emil and me and the other consultants as we prepare Galatians 4-6 for the next translation workshop, which we hope will be in August or September. These are very difficult chapters.
Please pray for Bonnie, who is in Florida for her father's skin cancer surgery. She planned to return to Wisconsin on Saturday, but will extend her stay there to be with her family as Elsa, now a hurricane, passes.
Thank you for being part of our team as we help the Aitape West translators produce excellent translations for their people. May the Lord bless our partnership in this work so that we may see many lives transformed by the message of God's grace in their languages.
Serving our King together,
John Nystrom (& for Bonnie)