"If your God is so mighty, why doesn't He speak my language?"
A Cakchiquel (Guatemala) man to SIL founder William Cameron Townsend
When we read a good text, we often don't realize what it takes to achieve it. But you would probably agree that we very easily recognize a bad translation. We can tell if something is wrong even if we don't always know how to fix it. When a text is read to us in our mother tongue, we can tell if the person who wrote it masters the language or not, thus the importance to learn skills to enable the writers or the translators to produce eloquent text.
SIL is working hard to encourage excellence in translation by offering good quality training to anyone wanting to write in his language.
They were 9 participants at our latest Discourse Analysis Workshop (July 17th-21st) in our center in Yaounde, representing 3 language groups: Bakoko, Iysasa and Mpumpong. This course is part of the follow-up given to our translators after their basic translation training. This course allows new translators to have a good experience in beginning to understand some of the important concepts related to Text Analysis, so that they will want to continue to learn and practice more. Also, it gives them beginning tools to use in working with texts, for example: how to recognize a well-formed text, how to prepare it before putting it in chart form, how to chart a text well, how to derive from that chart another chart of participants, how to begin to recognize verb forms that have different uses.
Out of this training the teachers expect the participants to be able to produce more natural-sounding first drafts and edit other drafts in the target language.
Even though this course was quite challenging, the participants noted that the atmosphere in which the course was conducted was enabling them to succeed. They were very enthusiastic about seeing their language developed. For many, their motivation was to see the Bible translated in their mother-tongue one day and that requires mastering the art of translation.