Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Musoma videos

Panoramic of Musoma

Sunrise over Lake Victoria

Local fishermen hauling in their net


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2012 in review

Some things that 2012 has taught me: 1. We don’t use our blog very much. 2. Others don’t use our blog very much. 3. I have no idea what ‘Astralia slaughter’ is, but perhaps there’s a demographic that we need to pursue more (see report for details).

Congrats to Donna Nicholls, our most frequent commenter in 2012, with a total of 1 comment. Seriously. One. Blogs are dead…….


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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My thrifty mother-in-law convinced me to write a short essay.. um, article (essay is a scary word) as part of a BA competition that could win us a free flight. It describes to the secular world the philosophy and impact of what we do here in Tanzania. Please go read it, and vote for it (if you like it!). 🙂

British Airways – Everyone’s language is important.

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In 2006 when we were studying at EQUIP Training in Melbourne I wrote a paper called, “Netspeak: the Language of the Internet.” It describes some of the phenomena that we all experience when communicating online. It goes beyond treating internet communication as mere slang or jargon and deals with the unique forms and functions that show that Netspeak is a new and unique way of communicating.

If you’re interested in reading it, click here.

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Financial support

If you would like to support us financially, please go to Wycliffe’s website, then fill in the details below.

Giving through wycliffe.org

In Australia you can go to this page.

Or you can donate with PayPal:

Thanks for being a part of the team!

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Some fun with the ESV

These days I often read (and post) over at www.betterbibles.com. There’s a lot of good discussion about what makes an English Bible translation good or bad.

Recently, someone quoted this poem from another site:

Flirting With NLT
Today the pastor flirted
With a little NLT.
It made the sermon real;
It spoke so much to me.

But then he shifted back
To old favorite: NIV.
The pastor ended up
Explaining words to me.

Why explain God’s Word
When the explanation’s here–
Waiting to be read
From NLT, the Truth made clear?

Which initiated some of the usual discussion about which version is the best. Someone else made a reply:

When preacher used NLT
The word was so simple to me
The big words got tossed
But the meaning was lost
He should’ve just used ESV

So, being the aspiring poet that I’m not (about once every year or so), I thought I’d have a crack at communicating something about ‘literal’ translations that might be easier to get across in a poem, rather than logical, step-by-step explanations of the insufficiency of ‘literal’ translations, which seem to fail more often than not. We’ll see.

Anyway, here it is:

A fellow one time told me he had bought an ESV
Word-for-word, not thought-for-thought, its claim – acc’racy
It borrowed terms, inserted forms, and things I’d yet to see
Apparently the standard language of the bourgeoisie

But why now in their Intro did they not stick to that mould?
No ‘grinding’ women, no goats in charge, no trembling loins, I’m told
It seems they plied a different rule when wanting to unfold
Their message to their readers than the Message from of old

This standard English Bible teaches us that good translation
Is a word-for-word from Hebrew/Greek to English imitation
But what about the other language parts and their relation?
Like discourse, culture, figures, focus, style, and collocation

It were that would but wither here that thither God would speak
Archaic forms of Aramaic, Hebrew, and of Greek
That He might once for all obscure the meaning that we seek
And justify the English of the ESV technique

Should Bibles now be written in the language of today?
Or do old words and foreign forms do better to convey
The ‘antiquated’ language that we find in the Koine
For what’s the meaning of that good ol’ Greek word anyway?

Anyway, the point was that Bible translations should be done in normal language, not in language marked as being spiritual, and not in language that simply imports features from other languages into English. In the Introduction to the ESV we read normal language. In the actual ESV we read very strange forms of English, that can only be explained by copying them word-for-word from the Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek. Just about every field translator knows that this is bad translation, but translators of the English Bible don’t seem to have grasped that concept yet.

By the way, Koine means common. The New Testament was written in Koine Greek.

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Welcome to our new site. We’ve done away with Beautiful Feet/Nicholls Tribe and from now on we’ll be using chroNICHOLLS.

We’ll use this site to post all our newsletters, What Would You Do? questions, and other bloggable things as they come up.

Make yourself at home, and feel free to drop us a comment every now and then.


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