IBT/SIL workshop on producing a translation brief
April 4, 2014

On April 1-3, IBT and SIL conducted a joint workshop outside Moscow geared towards helping Bible translation teams think through and write up a so-called "translation brief" for their projects. Workshop participants dealt with issues foundational to any translation project, such as: the specific short-term and long-term goals of the project, the intended audience, this audience's perspective on the Bible in light of its own religious and cultural setting, the roles of translation team members, and desired formats for publishing and distributing the Bible translation (such as printed books, audio recordings, electronic publications, etc.). The working groups also decided on the source texts (both original language and intermediary language) that their translations should be based on, the intended level and style of language, and whether the translation would be geared towards bringing the reader closer to the source culture (e.g., through the use of lexical borrowings and detailed footnotes) or bringing the source culture closer to the reader (such as by using cultural adaptations for concepts that are not present in the receptor language).

The workshop was attended by fifteen people from six translation projects: Dargi, Gagauz, Ingush, Kalmyk, Lak and Tajik (the last one by Skype connection), as well as other IBT and SIL staff. The primary lecturer was Dr. Phil Pike, an experienced translation consultant in UBS and SIL projects. By the end of the workshop, each group had produced a working draft of their translation brief to guide their project, and that can be further refined as their project develops.