“This is not our language. This is something else.”
“I understand every word when you read it”.
The first quote is from a man in our local Roma village when I sat next to him on his bed in their one-room dwelling, and asked him to read the story of Creation from Genesis 1 which we had recently translated into Ludari (his Roma dialect). Though he reads fine in Croatian, he had never in his life read his Roma dialect, and he struggled with the words, not sure how to get his head around the challenge of seeing it in print for the first time.
The second quote is from another man when I sat at his kitchen table a couple weeks later, for another test to find out how well people in our village will understand the Ludari translation we have started. This time, I read it aloud to them while they listened. Their reply: “I understand every word.”
Fascinating! Even with my non-native accent and probably poor pronunciation, the second couple understood the story of Creation. But when the first couple tried to read it, they were stymied.
This lack of ability to read in their heart language is one more challenge on the long, complicated road of providing a Bible translation which Roma can and will use. Once again we are reminded that, though translating the Bible as a written text is very important, it is not the end of the job. We must also make audio recordings so the Roma can understand it.
Two-day translation working session at our house, editing the
Arli & Gurbet translations of Luke 8
Translation in the other four languages (Arli, Gurbet, Chergash & Bayash) is moving along well, as we are editing the rough drafts of Luke 8 & 9.
Your financial support and faithful prayers are a tremendous blessing. Thank you!
Todd & Pamala Price ( Kirsten, Daniel & Ariela)