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Gateway Language Manual

Translating in the Gateways

This page answers the question: What must be translated in the Gateway Languages?

In order to understand this topic, it would be good to read:

What Needs To Be Translated

The following materials must be translated into the gateway languages and checked to the levels stated.

  • translationAcademy vol 1 & vol 2 - Level 2
  • Open Bible Stories text - Level 3
    • OBS translationNotes - Level 3
    • OBS translationQuestions - Level 2
  • ULB Text - Level 3
  • UDB Text - Level 3
    • Bible translationNotes - Level 3
    • Bible translationQuestions - Level 2
    • translationWords - Level 2

It is important that you translate the text of the ULB and the UDB before you translate tN and tQ. However, another good method would be to translate all of the translation resources for each chunk of the Bible together. In this case, for each chunk of text, you would translate the ULB and the UDB of those verses, then tN, tW, and tQ for those same verses. Then you would move to the next chunk and translate each of the resources for that chunk, as well, in that order. For information about which books of the Bible to translate first, see Choosing What to Translate.

Why Translate Two Bibles into the Gateway Languages?

Some people might ask this question, because adequate Bibles already exist in most of the Gateway languages. However, these are end-user Bibles, designed to be read and studied by people who speak those languages in their homes and churches. The Bibles that we are translating are not end-user Bibles. They are Bibles designed to be used in conjunction with each other and with the other translation helps as a set of tools that will allow speakers of other languages to use them to translate a Bible into their own languages. What they produce from these tools will be an end-user Bible.

To make an end-user Bible, it is always best to translate from more than one version, so that the translator does not fall into the habit of following the form of any one version too closely. Also, it is always possible to translate something in more than one way in a target language, and often the biblical language has more than one possible meaning. Looking at multiple versions that between them reveal these differences gives the translator a window into those things that a single version would not give. This benefit is maximized when the two (or more) source Bibles use very different styles, such as literal and dynamic. Having a literal version and a dynamic version side by side give the translator a “three-dimensional” view into the original text, allowing him to see both the form and the meaning at the same time. It is for this purpose that we are providing the ULB and the UDB.

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Translating the ULB

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for translating the ULB?

In order to understand this topic, it would be good to read:

Translation Theory for Translating the ULB

The Unlocked Literal Bible (ULB) is designed to be used in conjunction with the translationNotes and the Unlocked Dynamic Bible (UDB) as a tool for Bible translation. Unlike the UDB and unlike an end-user Bible, the ULB is designed to reflect the forms of the source languages, so that the Other Language (OL) translator can see what they are. By using the ULB, the OL translator can “look through” it to see how the original Bible expressed the biblical ideas. As you translate the ULB, therefore, you must try to retain the grammatical and syntactic structures of the original as far as the target language (Gateway Language) will allow. If the original structure does not make sense in the target language, then you will need to change it into a structure that does make sense. It does no good to make a translation that the OL translator using this tool will not be able to understand. But as far as the target language will allow, retain the structures of the original in your translation of the ULB.

What method should be used to translate the ULB?

When translating the ULB, keep the English source open in front of you. This means that if you are translating using MAST methodology, do not use the step of blind drafting. The reason for this is that blind drafting is a method that translators use in order to produce natural target language translations. Through blind drafting, the translator replaces structures from the source language that would be unnatural in the target language with structures that are natural for that target language. But the ULB is a tool that must retain the original, biblical language structures in order to be useful to the translator. The best way to guard these structures is to translate with the English source ULB open in front of you so that you can be sure to keep these structures as they are in the English ULB, as far as the target language will allow.

Does Translation of the ULB Require a Back Translation?

We expect that the people translating the ULB into the Gateway Languages will be well-educated and have good theological training. They will be connected into church networks that will have adequate resources for checking the translations against the English source as well as the original biblical languages. For this reason, back translations of the ULB will usually not be necessary. The exception to this will be if the translation of the ULB is done by a secular translation company. In this case, we will need to also request a back translation into English, done according to the guidelines set forth in Back Translation and following modules.

What are the structures of the ULB that should be retained?

The translation of the ULB needs to retain the original grammatical forms (as far as is possible), the idioms, and the figures of speech of the original so that the OL translator can consider them and use them if they communicate the right thing in the target language. If those forms get changed in a Gateway Language (GL) translation of the ULB, then the OL translator will never see them and the translationNotes about them will not make sense. Keep in mind that the ULB and the UDB are only going to be translated into the GLs, because they are translation tools for the use of the OL translator. We want these tools to be as useful as possible. For the ULB, this means that it should retain structures that we would not always retain in an end-user Bible. The GL translator must understand that this translation will lack naturalness and sometimes also lack clarity because it is aiming at reproducing these original language structures and figures of speech that may not translate well into the GL. Wherever the ULB translation lacks clarity, however, there should also be a translationNote to explain the meaning of the structure for the OL translator. The translationNotes and the UDB will provide the meaning wherever that meaning is in doubt in the ULB. In this way, the tools will work together to provide the OL translator with a full set of information about both the form and the meaning of the original Bible.

Examples

Grammatical Forms

The ULB of Luke 2:47 reproduces a grammatical form from the Greek source language that is also natural in English, but that might not be natural in other languages. When talking about the boy Jesus at the temple, it says, “All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.” The nouns “understanding” and “answers” refer to events, not things, and so must be translated as verbs in many languages.

The UDB of the same verse gives an example of how these nouns can be translated as verbs. It says, “All the people who heard what he said were amazed at how much he understood and how well he answered the questions that the teachers asked.”

When translating the ULB, however, these nouns should be translated as nouns if that will make sense in the target language.

Idioms

The ULB of Matthew 2:20 reproduces an idiom from the Greek source language. It refers to Herod and his soldiers who were trying to kill the child Jesus as, “those who sought the child’s life.” In some languages this is clear, and in others it is not.

The UDB of the same verse tries to make the meaning clear by translating this idiom as, “the people who were trying to kill the child.”

When translating the ULB, however, this idiom should be translated as it is, so that the Other Language translator can consider it and use it if it makes sense. The UDB and the translationNotes will provide the meaning.

Figures of Speech

The ULB of John 1:17 reproduces a figure of speech from the Greek source language. It says, “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (This figure of speech is called “personification;” see Personification.) This figure of speech talks as if grace and truth were like people who can come and go, and it talks as if Jesus Christ were like a doorway that they can come through. In some languages this makes sense, but in other languages it does not. The plain meaning is that Jesus Christ acted toward us with grace and taught us true things about God.

The UDB of the same verse tries to make this plain meaning clear by translating it as, “Jesus Christ was kind to us far beyond what we deserved and taught us true things about God.”

When translating the ULB, however, this figure of speech should be translated as it is, so that the Other Language translator can consider it and use it if it makes sense. If it does not, the UDB provides an alternative way to translate it.

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Translating the UDB

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for translating the UDB?

In order to understand this topic, it would be good to read:

Translation Theory for Translating the UDB

The Unlocked Dynamic Bible (UDB) is designed to be used in conjunction with the Unlocked Literal Bible (ULB) and the translationNotes as a tool for Bible translation. Unlike the ULB and unlike an end-user Bible, the UDB does not use figures of speech, idioms, abstract nouns, or grammatical forms that are difficult to translate into many languages. The purpose of the UDB is to show the plain meaning of all of those things wherever they occur in the ULB. Because the UDB lacks these things, it is not a beautiful end-user Bible. An end-user Bible will use the figures of speech and idioms that speak naturally and beautifully in the target language, but the UDB does not use them. As the Other Language translator uses both the UDB and the ULB together as his translation source, he will be able to see the figures of speech, idioms, and other forms of the original Bible in the ULB and also see what their meaning is in the UDB. Then he can use the figures of speech or other forms from the ULB that are clear and natural in his language. When the forms in the ULB are not clear or natural in his language, then he can choose other forms in his language that have the same meaning as the UDB translation or the Notes. When translating the UDB, please do not use idioms, figures of speech, or difficult grammatical forms in the Gateway Language translation. The purpose of the UDB is to change all of these problematic grammatical forms into more universal ones to make them easier to translate, and to make the meaning as clear as possible.

The UDB avoids using long or complex sentences. In many languages, long or complex sentences are unnatural and unclear. When translating the UDB, keep the sentences short and simple.

The UDB often fills in the participants when these are lacking in the original Bible and the ULB. In the original biblical languages, these participants could be left out and still understood by the reader. But in many languages these must be included for the translation to be clear and natural. When translating the UDB, therefore, be sure to include all of the participants that are there in the UDB.

What method should be used to translate the UDB?

When translating the UDB, keep the English source open in front of you. This means that if you are translating using MAST methodology, do not use the step of blind drafting. The reason for this is that blind drafting is a method that translators use in order to produce natural target language translations. Through blind drafting, the translator replaces structures from the source language that would be unnatural in the target language with structures that are natural for that target language. But the UDB is a tool that carefully avoids certain structures that can be difficult to translate in some languages, as explained above. If the translator is using blind drafting, he might accidentally replace the simple structures of the UDB with structures that are natural in the target Gateway Language but unwanted in the UDB, such as idioms and figures of speech from the target GL. In order to guard against replacing these structures, it is best to translate the UDB with the English source text open to look at.

Does Translation of the UDB Require a Back Translation?

We expect that the people translating the UDB into the Gateway Languages will be well-educated and have good theological training. They will be connected into church networks that will have adequate resources for checking the translations against the English source as well as the original biblical languages. For this reason, back translations of the UDB will usually not be necessary. The exception to this will be if the translation of the UDB is done by a secular translation company. In this case, we will need to also request a back translation into English, done according to the guidelines set forth in Back Translation and following modules.

Examples

The following are examples of ways that the text of the Bible can be unclear for some languages and what the UDB does to overcome those problems. When you translate the UDB, make sure that your translation of the UDB also avoids these problems.

Passive Voice

Passive voice is a grammatical construction that is common in Greek and English but it is not used in many other languages, so it can be very confusing. For that reason, it is not used in the UDB. In passive voice, the receiver of the action changes places with the actor. In English, the actor normally comes first in the sentence. But in passive voice, the receiver of the action comes first. Often, the actor is left unstated. In that case, the UDB will fill in the actor. See “Missing Participants” below.

For example, the ULB of Romans 2:24 says, “the name of God is dishonored among the Gentiles because of you.”

The action is “dishonor,” the actors are “the Gentiles” (non-Jews), and the receiver of the action is “the name of God.” The reason for the action is “because of you.”

The UDB rearranges the verse to put the actor and the receiver of the action in a more normal order. It says, “The non-Jews speak evil about God because of the evil actions of you Jews.” This is more clear for many languages. When you translate the UDB, make sure that you do not use any passive voice constructions.

Abstract Nouns

The ULB of Romans 2:10 says, “But praise, honor, and peace will come to everyone who practices good…”

In this verse, the words “praise,” “honor,” “peace,” and “good” are abstract nouns. That is, they are words that refer to things that we cannot see or touch. They are ideas. The ideas that these nouns express are closer to actions or descriptions than they are to things. In many languages, therefore, these ideas must be expressed by verbs or description words, not by nouns.

For this reason, the UDB expresses these nouns as actions or descriptions. It says, “But God will praise, honor, and give a peaceful spirit to every person who habitually does good deeds.”

When translating the UDB, avoid using abstract nouns. For more information on abstract nouns, see Abstract Nouns.

Long, Complex Sentences

The ULB translates the first three verses of Romans as one complex sentence. It says, “1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand by his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was born from the descendants of David according to the flesh.”

The UDB breaks that into five sentences that are more simple in form. It says, “1 I, Paul, who serve Christ Jesus, am writing this letter to all of you believers in the city of Rome. God chose me to be an apostle, and he appointed me in order that I should proclaim the good news that comes from him. 2 Long before Jesus came to earth, God promised that he would reveal this good news by means of what his prophets wrote in the sacred scriptures. 3 This good news is about his Son. As to his Son’s physical nature, he was born a descendant of King David.”

When translating the UDB, keep the sentences short and simple.

Missing Participants

In the ULB, Romans 1:1 says, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…”

In this verse, there is a participant that is left unstated, but still understood. This participant is God. It is God who called Paul to be an apostle and who set him apart for the Gospel. In some languages, this participant must be stated.

Therefore the UDB of Romans 1:1 says, “God chose me to be an apostle, and he appointed me in order that I should proclaim the good news that comes from him.”

When translating the UDB, be sure to include all of the participants that are there in the UDB.

Events out of Order

The ULB of Luke 2:6-7 says, “6 Now it came about that while they were there, the time came for her to deliver her baby. 7 She gave birth to a son, her firstborn child, and she wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth. Then she put him in an animal feeding trough, because there was no room for them in a guest room.”

In some languages, events need to be told in the order in which they happened, or else the story will be confusing and hard to understand. People might understand from these verses that Mary delivered her baby outside in the street, and then looked for somewhere to stay and, after a long search, ended up putting him in an animal feeding trough.

The UDB tells these events in the order in which they happened, so that it is clear that Mary was already in the shelter for animals when she gave birth. It says, “6-7 When they arrived in Bethlehem, there was no place for them to stay in a place where visitors usually stayed. So they had to stay in a place where animals slept overnight. While they were there the time came for Mary to give birth and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in wide strips of cloth and placed him in the feeding place for the animals.”

Figures of Speech

The ULB of Romans 2:21 says, “You who preach not to steal, do you steal?”

This is a figure of speech called a rhetorical question. It is not a real question that is used to seek an answer. It is used to make a point. In this case, Paul is using it to scold his audience and to condemn their hypocrisy. Many languages do not use rhetorical questions, or they do not use them in this way.

To show how to translate this meaning without a rhetorical question, the UDB says, “You who preach that people should not steal things, it is disgusting that you yourself steal things!” When you translate the UDB, be sure to not use rhetorical questions or other figures of speech. For more examples of figures of speech, see Figures of Speech and the modules linked there.

Idioms

The ULB of Deuteronomy 32:10 says, “he guarded him as the apple of his eye.”

The word “apple” here does not refer to a kind of fruit, but instead refers to the pupil, the dark center of a person’s eye. The phrase “the apple of his eye” is an idiom that refers to anything that is extremely precious to a person, or the one thing that is the most precious to a person. In many languages this idiom makes no sense, but they have other idioms that have this meaning. The Other Language translator should use one of these idioms from the target language in the OL translation, but there should be no idiom in the translation of the UDB.

To show the meaning of this verse, the UDB expresses this in plain language, without an idiom. It says, “He protected them and took care of them, as every person takes good care of his own eyes.”

The Notes add another way to translate this that makes the meaning clear. It says, “He protected the people of Israel as something most valuable and precious.” When you translate the UDB, be sure that you do not use any idioms. Only use plain language that makes the meaning clear. For more information on idioms, see Idiom.

For more examples of how the UDB avoids difficult grammatical constructions, idioms, and figures of speech, see the section of examples in Translating the ULB.

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Adapt the ULB

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for adapting an existing translation as the ULB?

In order to understand this topic, it would be good to read:

Prerequisites for Adapting an Existing Translation for the ULB

What is needed to adapt an existing translation and use it as the ULB for a Gateway Language (GL)?

In order to adapt an existing translation and use it as the ULB for a Gateway Language (GL), it is necessary that the existing translation be a literal translation. That is, it should follow the same order of clauses as the original biblical languages and reproduce the original biblical idioms and figures of speech. Most Bibles that were translated into Gateway Languages in the first half of the twentieth century or earlier are literal translations.

It is also necessary that the Bible that you adapt as the ULB not be encumbered by copyright. That means that it must be in the public domain or have a license that permits us to reproduce and translate it. For more information on copyrights and licensing, see Open License.

If the Bible is very old, you will need to update the language and the style so that it uses words that people use now and “talks” in the way that people talk now. Even though the ULB has a literal style, it must use words that people know so that they can understand it.

Methodology for Adapting an Existing Translation for the ULB

What are the steps for adapting an existing translation for the ULB?

Because adapting an existing translation is a process of editing rather than of translating, the first four steps of the MAST process cannot be used for this. Especially do not use the step of blind drafting. Instead, you should follow these steps:

  1. Read the chapter in the English ULB and the Notes for that chapter. If you are beginning to translate a book, also read the overview of the book.
  2. Read the chapter in the Bible that you are adapting as the ULB.
  3. Go through the chapter and change old words to words that people use now.
  4. Using the list of translationWords for that chapter, check to make sure that a good translation for each of those words is used in the Gateway Language ULB.
  5. If some sentences are put together in a strange way, check to see if they are also that way in the English ULB.
    1. If the sentences are also put together in that same strange way in the English ULB, it is because the original Bible has that structure. Leave them as they are. There will be a Note that will explain that structure.
    2. If the sentences are not put together in that same strange way in the English ULB, then change the sentence so that it is clearer for modern readers.
  6. If you see that any verse or phrase in the Bible that you are adapting is very different than the English ULB, then change it so that it is more like the English ULB.
  7. If you see that any verse is missing in the Bible that you are adapting but it is there in the English ULB, then translate that verse from the English ULB.

After you do these things so that the text is ready to use as the Gateway Language ULB, you will need to translate the translationNotes. As you translate the translationNotes, you may see that there are parts of your adapted ULB that should be different so that the translationNote can make sense. Also, you may see that some translationNotes need to be changed so that they can refer to the right parts of the adapted ULB. In this way, you will need to make changes to both the Gateway Language ULB and the Notes as you adapt them to each other so that they make sense and are truly helpful for the OL translator. For more information about this process, see Translate the translationNotes.

Does Adapting a Translation of the ULB Require a Back Translation?

How does the church ensure the translation conforms to these guidelines?

We expect that the translation that has been adapted as the ULB already went through a series of checks to ensure that it accurately reflects the original meaning of the biblical text. This would have been done by the entity that originally translated and published the Bible translation. We also expect that the people adapting this translation for use as the ULB in the Gateway Language will be well-educated and have good theological training. They will also be connected into church networks that will have adequate resources for checking the adapted translation. For this reason, back translations of the adapted ULB will usually not be necessary. The exception to this will be if the adaptation of the translation is done by a secular translation company, and there is no church network that speaks the Gateway Language that is available to check the adaptation. In this case, we will need to also request a back translation into English, done according to the guidelines set forth in Back Translation and following modules.

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Translate the translationNotes

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for translating or adapting the translationNotes?

In order to understand this topic, it would be good to read:

Why

translationNotes offer alternative ways to translate a phrase from the ULB. It is important that the phrase that you use to translate this kind of translationNote be a direct substitute for the phrase that it replaces in the ULB. In other words, the phrase has to have the same grammatical construction as the phrase in the ULB. That is, it needs to fit into the sentence in the ULB just like the original phrase did. In order to make sure that the phrase in the GL Note fits the sentence in the GL ULB, you must be able to always look at both the English translationNote and the GL ULB as you translate. Translating the translationNotes while having the source visible, therefore, is the most efficient way to translate them and this will also reduce the number of errors in translation. For more information on the types of translationNotes, see Using the translationNotes.

Guidelines

Does the entire Bible need translated first?

It is not necessary to have the entire ULB and UDB Bible translated before translating the helps (tN, tW, tQ). The translation of these resources for a book could be started after the translation of that book is complete.

When I am translating the notes, do I need the ULB and UDB available and translated?

When you translate the translationNotes for the Bible, you must also have both the ULB and the UDB in front of you, already translated into the target Gateway Language. You must have the ULB available so that you can copy the part of the ULB text that the translationNote is talking about directly into the translationNote. You must also have the UDB text already translated and available, because the translationNotes often copy part of the UDB text in order to show another way to translate the same part of the verse. Other times, the translationNote does not quote the UDB but it does refer to it. In that case, you need to be able to see what the UDB says in order to translate the translationNote in the best way.

In addition, the translationNotes directly comment on parts of the ULB text, so you must read the part of the ULB text that the translationNote comments on in order to properly translate the translationNote. After you read and understand the ULB text, then you can translate the translationNote so that it makes sense together with the ULB text that it refers to.

May I use blind drafting?

Do not use the method of blind drafting to translate the translationNotes. Always translate the translationNotes with the Gateway Language ULB and UDB in front of you, and the English translationNotes also visible. This is because you must copy the ULB phrase into the translationNote exactly as it is in the ULB, and you must also copy the UDB phrase if the translationNote also quotes the UDB.

How does the church ensure the translation conforms to these guidelines?

We expect that the people translating the translationNotes into the Gateway Languages will be well-educated and have good theological training. They will be connected into church networks that will have adequate resources for checking the translations against the English source as well as the original biblical languages. For this reason, back translations of the translationNotes will usually not be necessary. The exception to this will be if the translation of the translationNotes is done by a secular translation company. In this case, we will need to also request a back translation into English, done according to the guidelines set forth in Back Translation and following modules.

Adapting the translationNotes

May I change a note so that it makes sense in my language?

Often, the ULB in the target Gateway Language will say things in a different way than the ULB said them in English. In order for the translationNote to be useful in the target Gateway Language, you will need to adapt the translationNote so that it talks about the text of the ULB as it is in the Gateway Language translation. This means that you will need to copy the phrase of the Gateway ULB that is the translation of the same phrase from the English ULB into the translationNote, and then sometimes change the translationNote so that it makes sense and is helpful for the Other Language translator who will use these translationNotes as translation tools.

May I delete a note that does not apply to my language?

Because languages can be very different from each other, sometimes there will be translationNotes that are important and necessary for some languages, but that are not needed for other languages. If there is a translationNote that does not make sense when applied to the ULB text in the target Gateway Language, then you as the translator will need to modify the translationNote so that it does make sense in relation to the ULB in your target Gateway Language. If the translationNote does not apply at all to the target GL text of the ULB, then you may delete that note from your translation of the translationNotes. But be sure to think about it very carefully before you delete a translationNote, to be sure that it is not necessary for the GL translation.

May I add a note that would help with translation in my language?

For the same reason, sometimes you will realize that the Other Language translator will need a translationNote in order to understand a phrase in the target Gateway Language ULB, but there might not be a translationNote already written for that phrase, because it was not necessary for the English ULB. In that case, you will need to write a new translationNote and include it in your translation. Usually these translationNotes will be to explain a phrase or way of saying something that is normal in the Gateway Language but that is not normal in the Other Languages that you know of. When writing your translationNote, follow the same style and format of the existing translationNotes.

Remember that speakers of many different languages will be using these Gateway Language translationNotes to help them translate the Bible. There will be many things that you will understand about the Bible in the Gateway Language that the OL translator may not understand. For that reason, if you think that there is something difficult to understand in the GL ULB, write a translationNote that can help the OL translator to understand it. There will probably be many Other Language translators who will benefit from reading the translationNote and who will make a better translation because of it.

Because the translationNotes need to be adapted in these ways and not simply translated, it is best if the people adapting the translationNotes be people who are well educated in biblical studies so that they can understand the various problems that the translationNotes explain.

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Translating translationWords

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for translating translationWords?

In order to understand this topic, it would be good to read:

Why

It is important that the Other Language translators understand all of the words that they are translating. But some of the words in the Bible are not used in everyday life in our time or in our cultures, and so the translator may not be familiar with them. Other words are used in everyday life, but they are used in a different way in the Bible. Some of these words have very important or special meanings in the Bible. They tell us a lot about God and his relationship with us. So in order for the Other Language translator to completely understand these words, we have provided the definitions in translationWords. When you translate this list into the Gateway Language, it will help all of the Other Language translators who will use it to translate the Bible for their people with good understanding.

Guidelines

Does the entire Bible need translated first?

It is not necessary to have the entire ULB and UDB Bible translated before translating the helps (tN, tW, tQ). The translation of these resources for a book could be started after the translation of that book is complete.

What is the “Definition” section of translationWords?

tW definitions have several parts, the first part is “Definition.” This gives the meaning of the word as it is used in the Bible. Please do not use definitions from a modern Gateway Language dictionary, because the way words are used in the Bible can be different from the way they are used in modern, everyday life. We want to make sure that the Other Language translator understands the way that the word is used in the Bible.

It is possible that the Gateway Language might express the meaning of the English word by different words, with each of those words having part of the meaning of the English word. In this case, you will need to list each of those words at the top, separated by commas. Several of the English tW entries already have multiple words at the top like this, such as “prophet, prophecy, prophesy, seer, prophetess” (see https://door43.org/en/obe/kt/prophet ). Then, in the “Definition” part, you will need to list those words in separate paragraphs with a definition for each one. The Other Language translator can then choose the word that he needs to understand from that list and translate it correctly in the passage that he is translating.

What is the “Translation Suggestions” section of translationWords?

The second part of a tW entry is “Translation Suggestions” or “Translation Strategies.” This section gives different ideas for how the Other Language translator can translate the word. This section gives more than one way to translate the word because it can mean slightly different things in different contexts. Be sure that you understand the differences of meaning between the different contexts in which the word is used so that you can translate them correctly.

In the Gateway Language, some of the tW are not used in all of the same contexts as the English tW are. In that case, you will need to adjust your translation. If one of the Translation Suggestions does not work in the Gateway Language, then do not translate that Translation Suggestion. Instead, write a Translation Suggestion that shows how that word is used in the Gateway Language. Think about the different ways that the word is used in the Bible, and try to make sure that there is a Translation Suggestion for each of the primary uses. We want the Other Language translator to see and consider the differences and the similarity in meaning between the uses of the word so that he can choose the best word in his language to express those meanings.

As you translate the ULB and UDB, you may find that you need to add a meaning to a word in the tW entry, or you may need to add another word to the entry because the Gateway Language uses more than one word for the idea of that important tW. Go ahead and do this as you find more words or meanings for the words.

Under the “Translation Suggestions” or “Translation Strategies” section is a line that says, “(See also…).” You only need to translate the words “See also,” and you only need to translate this one time, not for every tW. The rest of the line will be created automatically, if the translation is done in translationStudio Desktop.

Do I translate the “Bible References” and “Examples for the Bible Stories” sections of translationWords?

The third and fourth parts are “Bible References” and “Examples from the Bible Stories.” You only need to translate these words of the titles, and you only need to translate them one time, not for every tW. You do not need to translate the rest of these parts. They will be created automatically, if the translation is done in translationStudio Desktop.

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Translating translationQuestions

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for translating translationQuestions?

In order to understand this topic, it would be good to read:

Why

We want all translations of the Bible to communicate clearly the message that God wants them to communicate. One tool that we are providing so that the OL translators can make sure that their translations are communicating correctly is translationQuestions. The OL translators will use tQ to conduct community checks of each chapter of the Bible that they translate.

Guidelines

Does the entire Bible need translated first?

It is not necessary to have the entire ULB and UDB Bible translated before translating the helps (tN, tW, tQ). The translation of these resources for a book could be started after the translation of that book is complete.

MAST Method

  1. Read the chapter of the ULB that the Questions are about, so that you understand it.
  2. Draft each Question with its answer as one chunk. Work through the Questions for that chapter of the ULB, translating each pair of questions and answers.
  3. When you finish translating each question-answer pair for that chapter, go back and do the checking steps, comparing your translation with the English source questions and answers.
  4. Now compare your translation of each answer with the Gateway Language ULB of that verse. It is important that your answer to each Question match very closely to the words of the ULB. At this step, you may need to adjust the words of your answers so that they are the same as the words of the ULB. This is so the OL translators and checkers of the OL translation can use your questions and answers and easily see if the their translation is communicating the right message. When the words of your answer are the same as the words of the ULB, the OL checker can see where that answer is in the translation and know what part of their translation they need to make more clear if the person answering the question gives a different answer.

Modified MAST Method

This is an alternative method for translating tQ.

  1. Read the chapter of the ULB that the Questions are about, so that you understand it.
  2. Translate only the question part of each question-answer pair using the MAST method of blind drafting. Each Question will be one chunk. Draft all of Questions for one chapter.
  3. In the self-edit stage of checking, edit each Question to correct any mistakes or to add things that you left out.
  4. Now copy the answer to each question from the words of the Gateway Language ULB of that verse that match the answer to that question in the English source. In this way, the words of each answer will always match the words of the Gateway Language ULB.

You may want to try both methods and see which one works best for you.

If the ULB Has Not Been Translated

If the ULB has not been translated already, an alternative method would be to translate the ULB together with the other resources, chunk by chunk. In this case, for each chunk of text, you would translate the ULB and the UDB of those verses, then tN, tW, and tQ for those same verses. Then you would move to the next chunk and translate each of the resources for that chunk, as well. After you finish drafting all of the resources for one chunk, then go back and do the checking steps for all of the resources for that chunk.

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Translating translationAcademy

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for translating translationAcademy?

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Recommended Training and Experience

translationAcademy contains many lessons on specialized topics, such as language, translation issues, biblical studies, software, and audio equipment. Some of the vocabulary is also specialized. We recommend that the people who translate tA into a Gateway Language have a college-level education or some training and experience in the particular area that they are translating. For example, if you are translating the Translation Manual, it would be good if you have training and experience in linguistics and translation. If you are translating the Audio Manual, it would be good if you have training and experience using audio equipment. You will be able to translate more accurately and clearly if you have experience in the topic.

This means that you will want to have several specialists on your translation team, with each specialist translating the parts that they are most familiar with. If you find that some lessons are unclear, discuss the problem with other members of the team until you understand what the lesson is trying to teach. You cannot translate something that you do not understand. If you try to do that, the Other Language translator will not be able to understand or use it.

Recommended Reference Materials

We recommend that you use specialized dictionaries as you translate to hep you understand the concepts that you are translating. Do not use unusual or technical words in your translation if there is a simpler way to communicate the same thing. Remember that the OL translators speaks the Gateway Language as a second language, they will not know unusual or technical words. Try to keep the lessons uncomplicated and clear, using simple language as much as you can. We have tried to write the lessons of tA using simple language, so please follow this same style.

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Checking the ULB

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for checking the ULB?

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When checking the ULB, remember that the ULB needs to retain the original grammatical forms (as far as possible), the idioms, and the figures of speech of the original so that the OL translator can consider them and use them if they communicate the right thing in the target language. If those forms get changed in a Gateway Language (GL) translation of the ULB, then the OL translator will never see them and the Notes about them will not make sense. When you are checking the GL translation of the ULB, you must only compare it to the English ULB. Do not refer to any other version of the Bible when checking the ULB. The GL translation of the ULB will not be as smooth and clear as the Gateway Language Bible that you are used to, because it is showing the OL translator the forms of the original biblical languages. Please do not try to make the ULB sound like your favorite translation of the Bible in your language.

What Should Be Checked in the ULB?

In addition to the things mentioned in Types of Things to Check, the ULB needs to be checked in these areas:

  1. Idioms - If there is an idiom in the source ULB, then that same idiom should be in the target ULB. If the idiom does not make sense in the target language, make sure that there is a Note that explains its meaning. If there is not a note for it, then write one in the Gateway Language translationNotes that explains its meaning.
  2. Figures of Speech - If there is a figure of speech in the source ULB, then that same figure of speech should be in the target ULB. If the figure of speech does not make sense in the target language, make sure that there is a Note that explains its meaning. If there is not a note for it, then write one in the Gateway Language translationNotes that explains its meaning.
  3. Grammatical Forms - Check to see if the grammatical forms, that is, the order of words in the sentence or the way that the words are arranged, is the same in the target Gateway Language ULB as they are in the English source ULB. If the words are arranged differently, ask yourself if they could be arranged the same as the words in the English ULB and still make good sense, or if it is necessary for them to be arranged in a different way in the Gateway Language ULB. If they would still make good sense in a way that an Other Language translator would understand, then put them in the same arrangement as in the English. If they are in a different arrangement because that is what makes sense in the target Gateway Language, then leave them in the different arrangement.

What Should Not Be Checked in the ULB?

It is not necessary to check the ULB for naturalness with speakers of the Gateway Language. The ULB will not be natural in some cases, because it is designed to retain the forms of the biblical languages, as far as the Gateway Language allows.

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Checking the UDB

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for checking the UDB?

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When checking the UDB, remember that the UDB does not use figures of speech, idioms, abstract nouns, or grammatical forms that are difficult to translate into many languages. The purpose of the UDB is to change all of these problematic grammatical forms into more universal ones to make them easier to translate, and to make the meaning as clear as possible. When you are checking the GL translation of the UDB, you must only compare it to the English UDB. Do not refer to any other version of the Bible when checking the UDB. The GL translation of the UDB will not be as smooth and natural as the Gateway Language Bible that you are used to, because it does not use many of the forms of expression that make a language sound natural. These forms of expression are different for every language. So please do not try to make the UDB sound like your favorite translation of the Bible in your language.

What Should Be Checked in the UDB?

In addition to the things mentioned in Types of Things to Check, the UDB needs to be checked in these areas. For definitions and examples of these things, see Translating the UDB:

  1. Sentence length - If you see any long or complex sentences in the Gateway Language UDB, see how you might break them up into shorter sentences.
  2. Passive voice - If you see this construction in the Gateway Language UDB, check to see what it was in the English source UDB and change it so that it is active.
  3. Abstract Nouns - If you see one of these in the Gateway Language UDB, check to see what it was in the English source UDB and change it back to an action or description word.
  4. Events out of order - Make sure that the events in the Gateway UDB are in the order that they occurred. Also make sure that the logical flow of arguments, such as occur in many of the New Testament letters, is in a natural order that makes sense in the GL.
  5. Figures of speech and idioms - Make sure that the GL UDB does not contain any figures of speech or idioms. Instead, it should use only plain, clear language.

If you see any of these forms in the English UDB, email help@door43.org to let them know of the error.

It is also useful to check the UDB for clarity with speakers of the Gateway Language, but do not confuse clarity with naturalness (see below). You can read a passage from the UDB to a speaker of the Gateway Language, and ask if the meaning is clear. If they say, “Yes,” that is enough. If they also say, “But I would say it differently,” that is fine. We expect that they would say it differently. But the UDB needs to say it in a plain way. As long as the meaning of the GL UDB is clear, it is a successful translation.

What Should Not Be Checked in the UDB?

It is not necessary to check the UDB for naturalness with speakers of the Gateway Language. The UDB will very often not be completely natural, because it avoids some forms that languages naturally use, such as idioms and figures of speech. The UDB avoids these because they are specific to individual languages, and do not translate well from one language to another.

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Checking translationNotes

This page answers the question: What are the guidelines for checking translationNotes?

In order to understand this topic, it would be good to read:

When checking translationNotes, remember that tN are very closely tied to the text of the ULB. The purpose of tN is to explain any phrases or sentences in the ULB that are hard to understand or hard to translate.

What Should Be Checked?

In addition to the things mentioned in Types of Things to Check, tN need to be checked in these areas.

  1. Although the GL tN are a translation of the English tN, it is important that the phrase in each Note that reproduces the phrase from the ULB is exactly the same as it is in the GL ULB. So you must check the meaning of the Note in the English tN and make sure that the GL tN has the same meaning. Then you must also check the wording of the phrase that comes from the GL ULB and make sure that the words are exactly the same.
  2. In the same way, make sure that any quotations of the UDB have the exact wording of the GL UDB.
  3. Check that the GL tN makes sense with the GL ULB. It is possible that the GL translator made a good translation of the English tN, but when the Note is read with the new GL ULB, it might not explain the GL ULB in the right way, or it might not make sense with the GL ULB. In that case, you will need to discuss the problem with the translator. Then you will need to decide how to change the Note so that it explains the GL ULB in a way that will be helpful to the OL translator.
  4. Check that all references to the UDB make sense with the GL UDB.
  5. If the GL translator has decided that a Note does not apply to the GL ULB and has deleted the note from the GL tN, check to make sure that the Note was not needed.
  6. If the GL translator has written a new Note, check to make sure that it was needed, and that it makes sense with the GL ULB.

In order to check the tN for naturalness and clarity, you will need to have people read them together with the GL ULB and UDB. Then ask them to mark anything that is not clear to them, or that they would say in a different way. Then give this feedback to the translator so that he can make those places clearer and more natural.

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Finishing Checking

This page answers the question: How do I know when I have finished the checking for each level?

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It can be difficult to know when you have sufficiently checked a text for errors or for ways that it could be improved. In a sense, this process is never completely finished, and people continually find ways to improve texts that have been checked already by many people. For example, there are many Bible translations in English that have been checked by many biblical scholars and are considered to be excellent translations. Yet it is possible to find places where they could be made better, and over time, they are continually revised and new versions are published. This is the process that you should expect to happen with these Bible translations, as well.

Checking Evaluation Lists

The following lists can help you to consider whether or not you have checked a GL resource sufficiently.

Level One

Level one checking includes:

  • Initial study of the related materials, including:
    • The guidelines for translation of the specific materials in the Gateway Languages Manual
    • The translationNotes
    • The definitions of translationWords
    • Reading each chapter connected to the translated materials in both ULB and UDB
  • Careful comparison with the source text, including:
    • Individual self edit
    • Peer edit
    • Key word check as a team
    • Accuracy check as a team
  • Final editing, including everything learned from the earlier editing sessions, the translationNotes, and the definitions of translationWords

Level Two

In addition to the steps listed above for level one, the resource has been checked by at least 2 people who are mother-tongue speakers of the target language, bilingual in English, respected church leaders, and people who were not involved in translating the resource. These people can attest:

  • The Translation conforms to the Statement of Faith (see https://ufw.io/faith ) and Translation Guidelines (see http://ufw.io/guidelines ).
  • The Translation accurately communicates the content of the source document in the target language.
  • The style of the Translation conforms to the guidelines set forth for translation of this resource in the Gateway Languages Manual.
  • The translation team has edited the Translation to their satisfaction.

Level Three

For level three, at least 2 more people need to have checked the resource who were not involved in the translation, were not part of the checking process of level two for that resource, and are bilingual in English. In addition, these people should be leaders of church networks who are either Bible scholars themselves or who can delegate the level 3 checking to trusted associates who are Bible scholars, able to compare the GL translations with the original biblical languages. They also need to affirm the same statements as in level two.

Additional questions that can help you to evaluate if the translation has been sufficiently checked are in Self-Assessment Rubric. Just be aware that the ULB and the UDB are not intended to be completely natural in the Gateway Language.

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