Some of the other translators which I have talked to at the Guatemalan Wycliffe SIL (SIL is the translation branch of Wycliffe, the name which they use for promotion and administration, etc.)have assured me of the same thing. Many are older, highly experienced translators, so I value their judgment.
Nonetheless, this year, D.V., I hope to focus on two other things (alongside a continued translation of the rest of Genesis):
(1) The revision and ÒfinalÓ translation of Genesis 1:1-12:9 (i.e. up to the call of Abram, a natural breakpoint in Genesis) for publication as a separate booklet. Adding the call of Abram will build up anticipation for the following chapters yet to be translated and checked (the longest part of the process so far!).
(1) ÒCapturingÓ vocabulary and grammar notes and coming up with the beginnings of both a descriptive grammar and dictionary.
These will be important to both Leonardo (youÕll remember that he is my full-time language helper) and I in our subsequent translations. They will help us remain consistent in the translation of certain words/concepts, and will be useful for current and future helpers of the Cubulco Achi people--be they working in agriculture, business, medicine, literacy, translation of helpful books, etc.
There is nothing like speaking to people in the language of their heart: impassive faces light up, youngsters begin giggling with broad grins on their faces, polite and appreciative smiles appear on the faces of adults. You can imagine the difference of how they are going to respondÑ-receive, understand, pay attention to, and remember-Ñwhat you say to them!
We are doing our best to make these ÔdreamsÕ of a clear understanding of God their CreatorÕs good news to us His fallen creatures in this painfully fallen world. I think that in this context and that of Mary ShawÕs letter I would like to share a little more of what she wrote us. (I believe that things would be different if we treated our family members in as frank and earnest a manner today in the midst of the current politically ÒcorrectÓ culture that also invades our perception of reality):
Mary later mentions how she is looking forward to meeting her great, great grandfather in heaven. The man apparently could not write, so he dictated his correspondence to a friend, a certain Mr. A.H. VanHouten, who added some comments of his own:
It would probably be a good idea, even belatedly, if we all as missionaries to our families make a serious attempt to incorporate something of this attitude into our New YearÕs resolutions.
We wish you all a blessed 1997 and ask you for your continued prayer for the Cubulco Achi translation project.