Last January, Jelle went for a week to Slovakia to train Roma Bible Translators. We stayed home and asked him a few questions.
Hey Jelle, tell us about your time in Slovakia!
I was in Hermanovce nad Toplou, a little village in the east of Slovakia at the end of a road. It felt like it was in the middle of nowhere. It is 600 km. away from Osijek. The translation organisation, “The Word for the World,” works there on a Bible translation in an East Slovak Romani language. I gave lessons about the process of Bible explanation. Five Roma translators and proofreaders were there. There were also a few people from the local church who were interested.
Can you tell us a bit more about the lessons you gave?
The first day, I gave lessons on the seven steps of exegeses so that the translators will learn how to understand the text they are translating better. In the next days, I gave an overview about the chronology of the Old Testament including the historic order of what happened and the headlines of the history of Israel. We also looked at the different kinds of books: the historical books, the law, the prophets, the Psalms, and the books of wisdom. In the afternoon, we did some translation exercises. In small groups, they did an exegesis of a Bible passage, which they had to present to the whole group.
How did you like it?
I really enjoyed this week. It is beautiful to share knowledge. It is a challenge, though, to tell it in a way that is very useful for the translators. But, the evaluation was satisfying…It is also very good to have a look—behind the scenes—of another translation organisation. I believe that we can learn from each other, both ways and this was a very nice, first step.
What was a challenge?
The biggest challenge was finding the right pace and wavelength. Some things are just complicated, and the difficulty is explaining them in a way that everyone still can understand. I know that and am aware of it while I am teaching.
Thank you, Jelle! We wish you many more years. We love you!