National Translators and Computer Training

Posted on Posted in Mixed Nuts

During March we’re focusing on God’s creative solutions. Please click the Prayer tab above to read our strategic prayer request for this month.

The skill of typing and the use of computers has become a way of life for most of us. This is not the case for all of our national translators with whom we work here in Papua New Guinea. Most of our national coworkers live out in villages where there is no electricity available unless they have a small generator or a good number of solar panels for their use.

Norm Weatherhead and Jim Bliffen with graduates of PBT-PNG’s Computer/Paratext 2 Workshop
Norm Weatherhead and Jim Bliffen with graduates of PBT-PNG’s Computer/Paratext 2 Workshop

Thanks to the Lord’s provision and generous donors, we have a wonderful building where our national men can stay at to sleep when they are in Madang. It can house up to 24 people. We also have been blessed with funds to purchase a number of laptops for nationals to use. Until recently though, the men would write out their translation by hand in an exercise book which they would bring to town, have photocopied, and then wait for someone to enter the data into the computer. We saw the need for training so they would be able to work on computers themselves and not have to wait for someone else.

To meet this need, a number of our PBT staff helped to host two computer courses in 2014. In these courses, men were introduced to the basics of running and using a laptop computer, as well as be taught how to use our primary language tool program called Paratext. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the men as they learned these new skills, many of them for the first time.

In each course, we had 9 participants who came from 6 different language groups. We used Tok Pisin, the trade language of PNG, as the language of instruction. But once the men caught on to the use of the computer and learned Paratext, they were able to start entering Scripture portions of their own languages into the computers. What a great experience for all. And they were all so proud of their certificate of completion of their computer/Paratext training.

PS. We would be happy to purchase additional laptop computers for use by our national translators. Contact us if you might be interested to help in this way.

Norm serves as Director of Language Affairs.

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