Son of Man or “pumpkin child?”

A completed New Testament could be published very soon for the Rangi language community of central Tanzania. Even as a final read-through of the whole New Testament was recently done, local translators continue to put the text through a battery of careful checks. One of those checking sessions revealed a startling error.

The error was discovered by a team member working in literacy and other ministries, not translation. But when Emilia was asked to review the translation of John’s Gospel, she agreed.

Emilia reviews a translated portion of Scripture. (Photo by Nicholle Haupt)

“I look especially at portions of text that the translators marked for review,” says Emilia, “but it also helps to read the surrounding verses.”

“Emilia . . . immediately made a big difference,” says Emmanuel Mwankosole, team leader for SIL* Tanzania’s Dodoma Region office, where the Rangi team works.

In chapter six, in a verse that was not flagged for her to check, Emilia found a significant correction that was needed. In the phrase “Son of Man,” she spotted a concern over the Rangi spelling of the word for “man.”

“In the text,” Mwankosole explains, “the word written for ‘man’ was actually the Rangi word for a type of pumpkin!”

Because the spellings are very similar, this error had been easily missed through several careful checks, even by the translators themselves.

Team members are praising God for His work through Emilia and their team, to protect His translated Word. As work moves forward to complete the remaining checks and changes, they request prayer for every detail — the process of publication and printing, planning the community celebration, and organizing distribution of the completed Scriptures into Rangi churches and homes.

* SIL is Wycliffe’s key field partner

Participants at this orthography workshop in 2022 helped make significant improvements to the Rangi writing system.
(Photo by Paulo Modamba)

Source: SIL Tanzania