The Paranan translators (L-R) Brenda Bulan, Cito Bulan, and Arnold Alvarez
with UBS Translation Consultant Dr. Anicia del Corro
Bible translation in the Philippines is a daunting task, as 63 of the 163 language groups do not have a Bible in their own language. To effectively spread the Word of God to a wider audience, it needs to be translated in languages that people understand the best. This is why Bible translation is an integral part of evangelization. Just recently, a group of translators from Palanan, Isabela composed of Arnold Alvarez, Brenda Bulan, and Cito Bulan, were able to complete the translation of the New Testament into Paranan, their heart language.
The Paranan translators stayed for a week at the guesthouse facility of the Philippine Bible Society for the final checking of the scripture materials. The translators worked with UBS Translation Consultant for Asia-Pacific Dr. Anicia del Corro who oversaw the checking process.
The Paranan NT Project was formally started in the late 90’s by the Translators Association of the Philippines (TAP) and was turned over to the Paranan translators around 2004. The Paranan translators started training in translation with the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) back in 2002. The translators, in their enthusiasm to provide their people access to God’s Word in their language, identified ways in order to improve the previous translated materials that were turned over to them. However, despite their eagerness in completing the job, the translators encountered some obstacles in the technical aspect of the project. They noted that they had some difficulties in the beginning in doing their translation work in a computer as they had been used to writing everything manually by hand before. However, the team managed to quickly pick up with the technology, which in the end made their work much easier. Each member of the team were extremely passionate about this project that one of them even resigned from his teaching position in their hometown to become a full-time translator as he believes this is his true calling.
The translators, who are all active church members, have dedicated their lives into translating the Word of God into their heart language as they all have a desire to reach their own people who will benefit the most in this project. Moreover, with the Paranan New Testament finally completed, the Paranan people will now have the opportunity to learn more about the Word of God in a language they understand best.