News from John and Bonnie Nystrom -- July 2, 2021  
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Vice lists like we find in Galatians 5:19-20 are very difficult to translate. Adding line breaks and the Greek terms with English renderings right into the text in square brackets make it much easier to see and check each item in the list. 
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)
Marking up the translation helped: It is now obvious that the current draft has no rendering at all for "factions" and "envy." 

If you would like to partner with us financially, we have two options below. 
Give to our Wycliffe ministry online
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Wycliffe Bible Translators
PO Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862-8200
(Please include a separate note expressing your preference for the Wycliffe ministry of John and Bonnie Nystrom #221253) 
What we do 
Since 1987 we have been training local Papua New Guinean church leaders to translate the Bible into their own languages and coaching them through the process from first draft to publication.

We serve in the Aitape West Translation Project, which is producing and distributing Bible translations in 11 languages in print, electronic, audio, and video form; training local people to use the translations; and training the local translators to help other translators do the same in still more languages. 

To learn more
We have written about how a tsunami changed the face of Bible translation in Papua New Guinea in our bookSleeping Coconuts. It is available here on Kindle or here in paperback.

Click here to hear us speaking on this topic at a partner church.

Wycliffe has released a short film called "Arop" about this amazing story. The one-minute book trailer is here

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