FRANCISTOWN: The Bible Society of Botswana (BSB) has completed the translation of the New Testament (NT) and the Psalms book of the Bible into the Kalanga language.
"The NT has been well received by the communities and now we are busy with the translation of the Old Testament (OT). It was important that we start with the NT because we live in the New Testament times.
The NT Kalanga version of the Bible is now used in churches and funeral services," said Reverend Mbakiso Nkanga, a translator at the Bible Society of Botswana.
He added that a Kalanga NT was necessary because the language is dominant in the Northern part of the country."Originally the New Testament Kalanga translation and the Psalms book started in the 1980s but the work had to be suspended due to lack of modern technologies and resources. In the 1990s, we started doing the revision of the New Testament translation," said Nkanga.
He expressed hope that the translation of the Old Testament will be completed by 2014: "We are still in the drafting stage but we hope to publish the completed Kalanga Bible in 2014. One of the challenges that we faced during the NT Bible translation was language. The original Bible was written in Hebrew, so we had to learn the Hebrew language and words. To help archive this, we learnt Hebrew language through the United
On her part, Baseki Tema, also a translator at the Bible Society of Botswana (BSB), stated that one of the challenges they faced during the translation of the NT Kalanga version was the clash of cultures. "Hebrew is a very difficult language, as a result we had to borrow a lot of words from other languages. After the compilation of the NT, we had to involve church pastors, to see if the translation was done properly.
Members of the community would have to relate to the language, is this what they speak? In most cases these people were busy and some members of our community cannot read," said Tema.
She added that on January 11, they left for Kenya to learn more about Hebrew. "Apart from the already stated challenges, the society faces financial problems that were caused by the global economic recession.
"As I speak now, we must go back to Nairobi, Kenya to finish our course but we have insufficient funds.
We have had pastors supporting us with finances and prayers but we also appeal to members of the community to help if they so wish," added Tema.