Mr. Offering Drafted

The Book of Titus is named “Mr. Offering” in JSL (Japanese Sign Language.)  Rather than fingerspelling a strange, meaningless name like “TeToSu,” Japanese Deaf people prefer sign names.  Sign names in Japan are sometimes based on the meaning of the characters used in the name,  other times they’re based on outstanding characteristics of the person. Since the main thing that stands out about Titus is that he was involved in taking an offering for the church in Jerusalem, he ended up being “Mr. Offering.”  (We also show  the name written in Japanese on the screen when the name is being signed.)

This week,  the ViBi team worked on a community check of draft #3 of Titus.  We found that the translation wasn’t as clear as we had hoped, so we had the person from the community who checked  the draft come again the next day and give input on the new draft we made.

In writing to “Mr. Offering,” Paul packs a lot of information into very dense sentences. Japanese Sign Language can do that too, and we tried, but it ended up being very difficult to follow. With the community checker there to talk to and watch as Uiko re-signed the difficult passages, Uiko was able to add some natural discourse markers (words and other hints we use in communicating information that give the hearer clues to understand what is being said–words like “so” “like” “okay.”)  She also swapped out some unclear vocabulary with more understandable words. The result is a new draft that communicates more clearly.

Pray for us. Yesterday Mark checked the 4th draft, tomorrow the team will talk over what he found and make any necessary changes. Monday or Tuesday, we hope to record the final draft. Pray for wisdom and clarity as we make the final changes before recording, and especially for Uiko during the recording session.

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.
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