Innovations and needs

Details for those who want them:  

(Please feel free to ask questions. We want to learn how to present the somewhat technical side in ways that communicate well, and the best way to do this is to find out what isn’t clear.)


Praise God for a wonderful report from ViBi (Sign Language Bible translation project) in Japan.

1)      We have a new person, Ms. Hagiwara working on a short-term pilot project inputting our translation into linguistic analysis software, ELAN. She learned quickly, and loved working with the software. Why are we doing this?
a) With the signing separated out into individual signs and glossed in Japanese, it will be possible to translate the glosses into English and make our translation accessible for other Sign Language Bible translation teams. Though the words themselves are different in each sign language, the layout, role shifting, and facial expressions are often similar, so we are hoping that this will be a big boost to other projects.
b)  ELAN has also proven to be helpful in the Japanese Deaf church setting for Bible study and scripture readings.

2)      Last week’s trip to Yamagata was a big step toward the goal of having one person translate and another sign the translation. The face of the translation is important in the Deaf community where everyone is known, but this puts time pressure on the few who can both translate well and sign well. If the translation work can be done separately from the signing work, this will open up possibilities for people to help who, for a variety of reasons, don’t want their face on the Bible.


Would you join us in praying for a funding miracle. It seems like the time is ripe right now.

1)      There is Hori, Deaf, a former pastor looking for a steady job on the open market, who would love to work with ViBi if we could only fund the position. His scholarly bent, including Greek and Hebrew, and love of Bible study and teaching make him an ideal person.

2)      There is a promising young Japanese (hearing) SIL worker who can’t come to us fully supported, but has finished his linguistic and biblical training, is enthusiastically received by the Deaf community, and plans to start working with us one way or another in March.

3)      There is the person who just started working one day a week doing ELAN inputting (see above) who would also love to work with us, and could easily handle the simpler video editing work and take some of the workload off of our full-time translator.

4)      We are using every kind of means to make the funds that we have stretch, but it would be wonderful to have everyone working five days a week instead of four, and getting a full salary. I thank God for the committed people we have working with the project, and pray that the day will soon come that we can pay them what they are worth.

5)      We want to finish the Bible in a reasonable amount of time instead of having to wait 25 years.




About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
This entry was posted in Translation. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s