Philippine Bible Society

Tinggian Community Comes Together for Translation Workshop

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Unity stood amidst diversity as twenty-six participants came together for the Tinggian Inlaud New Testament Translation Workshop last March 13-17, 2017 at Bangued, Abra.
The Tinggian community, residing throughout Abra and parts of the Ilocos provinces, has around 11 recognized dialects corresponding to its different tribes. Seven of these dialects were represented at the workshop: Inlaud (the most commonly understood variant, thus chosen as the dialect for the translation project), Adasen, Maeng, Vanaw, Binungan, Mabaka, and Masadiit. Moreover, the participants came from different church affiliations: the Roman Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, and the Abra Ministerial Fellowship representing the different evangelical churches in the province.
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Under the instruction of the Philippine Bible Society’s four Translation Consultants, the participants were trained in various topics in translation, Biblical studies and linguistics. Lecture themes included the basic principles of language and of translation, understanding language and society, the canon of the New Testament (NT), the cultural background of the NT, and exegesis of selected passages belonging to different genres (narrative, epistle, and poetry). In addition, the Tinggians were able to gain a deeper understanding of their linguistic situation through Dr. Anicia del Corro’s presentation of her paper, Tinggian: What If There Is No Standard Dialect?
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Alongside the lectures, they were also given various individual and group translation exercises, which were evaluated according to accuracy, grasp of translation principles, naturalness, and active group participation. These criteria became the bases for the selection of the members of the Tinggian Inlaud New Testament Translation Committee.
Despite the full program schedule, the third evening of the workshop was set aside as “A Night of Fun and Joy.” Though the participants were grouped and performed by tribe, the unity of the Tinggians shone through as everyone joined in the singing of the salidommay and the uggayam.
The spirit of unity continues even after the workshop, with an assembly led by Rev. Fr. Oscar Alunday, former Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission on the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA), longtime partner of PBS and champion of the Tinggian language. The aim is to maintain the relationships formed during the training, and to spur each other on in faith and in reviving the Tinggian culture.
PBS is thankful for the support of the Bishop of Abra, Most Rev. Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD, D.D..  Furthermore, the Bible Society has the opportunity to partner with the Department of Education (DepEd) regarding translation of the Scriptures into the mother tongue.
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Join us in praying for the formation and organization of the translation team; for the Translation Consultants of the project, Bishop Daniel Arichea Jr. and Dr. Rhoneil Arevalo; for wisdom and protection for all the staff involved and the families they leave behind as they travel; and for God’s guiding presence as we work to finish the Tinggian Inlaud New Testament by 2020.