Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Manny" and "Niru" - Typing and BT (Backtranslation)

The past two days I was able to have a few helpers in the storying work. “Manny” and “Niru.” Manny is an “Ag” team member – the one who had dysentery after helping in the relief camps. Manny started helping type the stories in the script of the village and trade languages. And Niru works at the office here. She helped me do some back-translating of stories from the trade language into English. Her English isn’t very good, but still it’s a help for now. It was such a blessing to get more stories back-translated. In general, it is good to have those who are NOT familiar with the stories do the back-translating. So even though Niru IS familiar with the stories, however, I am trying to train her to think critically as she translates. If there is a word or phrasing that is only used by believers, she should make a note of it. If there is something she thinks is crossing the line culturally (i.e. using words for God that believers wouldn’t accept), then she should note that down too. She seems to understand and is certainly willing to learn.

It was great to see Manny’s excitement to be a part of the work. He and I struggled for a while with the keyboard, since I don’t know how to type in that font either. He barely knows how to turn on a computer, but by about 10am on the second day, he had completed typing one story in two languages. It may not sound like a lot, but because each letter on the English keyboard stands for about 3 letters/sounds in the two different languages, it makes for some interesting typing. For those wondering how that is possible, when using that script/font - if you type “a” that gives one character, if you type “shift-a” that gives you another character, if you type “control-shift-a” that gives you a third character! We still have to figure out the combination of keys to form some characters, but needless to say, I was very proud of Manny!
(Picture: They don’t look particularly happy (I think cause it was about 93 degrees in the room), but here they are anyway- Niru, Manny and me).


Anonymous said...


So neat to read your updates!! That Manny must be amazing!! I cannot imagine the time and energy and brains needed to type a story into another language... using a font like the one you described... Whew!!
I'll keep visiting the blog!! I was so excited to chat with you last night... I even wrote my status as "Jill can't believe she just chatted on facebook with her cousin who is in South Asia!!" Truly amazing. :D What did we EVER do without facebook?? Or computers for that matter.

Love ya!! Jill ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth! We have a new baby granddaughter born yesterday at 11:30am. Rose Katherine Watts. She is beautiful and weighs 6lbs.13ozs. Grace delivered her without an epidural! She is one determined gal! They are all doing well. Am upholding you in prayer and glad that God has given you internet access :-) We love you and miss you. Aunt Nina

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