Translation work is going on in close partnership with the local churches which are providing personnel and, in some cases, partial funding as well. The hope for the future of Cameroon lies in her churches which give godly guidance for daily living. Presently, there is a lack of depth in these churches. In part, this is attributed to the lack of Scriptures in the heart languages of the people. It was this need of mother tongue Scriptures that gave birth to CABTAL.
Literacy report CABTAL
That is, a man who knew the importance of the Bible in his own mother tongue was attended a church service when a young man begged to also write the Bible in the Hide language of the far North of Cameroon. Dr Pierre Emmanuel Njock, who is a linguist and has been using the Bible in his mother tongue, knew what a boon it was to his people, so he took that request as a call from God. He asked the local churches to recommend someone he could train to do Bible translation in their language. They offered him David Koulouma who was serving as his interpreter that day.
CABTAL is currently working in 17 languages, most of which are located in the Northwest Province of Cameroon. English is the official language of the area, but many local languages are preferred by the residents. Translation is in progress or will soon starts in the following languages:
CABTAL is very happy on his contribution in the completion of the work in the Ejagham and Koonzime Language. The years 2005 and 2006 saw the dedication of two New Testaments. The Kom New Testament on December 10, 2005 in Fundong and the Mundani one that was dedicated on June 17, 2006 in Talung, Bamumbu, Wabane Subdivision. We are happy to report that four projects are in their final stages. We hope to dedicate the Ngiemboon New Testament in the course of 2007. The New Testament is completely drafted in the Denya, Kenyang and Nomaande projects and is going through consistent check by the teams and the consultants. These New Testament are being tested at village-levels to be sure of the accuracy and naturalness. The remaining projects are at various stages of development and progress.
We are compelled by the goal of having work in progress for all the languages that need a mother tongue translation, by the year 2025. If we can continue increasing our partnership with the churches, we believe this is an attainable goal. Please join us in praying that God will call more Cameroonians to the task, and that the churches will take a greater part in this work to reach their goals as well.
Languages in the CLUSTER STRATEGY
The ultimate goal of all CABTAL projects is to see lives and communities in Cameroon transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit. In order for this to happen, CABTAL believes it is crucial that the Word of God become widely available to Cameroonians in their own language, the language of the heart. The startup languages are: Aghem, Awing, Mbembe, Ngomba, Ngombale Pinyin, and Tunen
The cluster strategy aims to meet the need for Bible translation for a group of languages, targeting an entire language cluster (group of related languages) rather than just an individual language. These languages and the people who speak them share historical, linguistic, geographical and cultural commonalities, which can be used to speed up the Bible translation task. Often, the local churches and communities view translation projects as belonging to Bible agencies, which at times are independent of the local churches. Another challenge is that Bible translation agencies working in Cameroon have focused their attention on individual languages rather than on groups of related languages. This approach to Bible translation has resulted in a duplication of many translation and research activities, which results in a high cost of Bible translation projects.
How to start new project? Read CABTAL's idea about it
CABTAL seeks to promote local ownership of the translation project in each language group by joining forces across language groups, sharing expertise and thus deepening and speeding up the translation process.
Central Ring Cluster
Led by CABTAL?s Kom speaking pioneer, Zebedee Chia, this Central Ring Language Cluster translation project is still in its infancy formation stage. So we continue looking for unity among committed Christians to take roles in their different language communities. Big Babanki and Small Babanki are working together on their alphabet. Join them in praying for God?s guidance as the translation committee continues with the quest for additional members.
This project aims to meet the need for Bible translation for a group of related languages, targeting an entire language cluster rather than just an individual language. Overall, the project seeks to achieve local ownership of the translation project in each language group by joining forces across language groups and sharing expertise, thus deepening and speeding up the translation process. The Kom language, which New Testament is now at the publisher, will serve as a reference language for the others: Oku, Bum, Mmen, Babanki, Kuk, and Kung. Zebedee brings his experience from the Kom project, and Peter Yuh comes as the consultant.
Christianity has existed in most of the communities of the cluster for about 80 years. Today, about 15% of the Christian population is Protestant while another 15% is Catholic. Seventy percent of the peoples of these language groups are involved in ancestral worship. The Moslems in the area are mostly not of Kom origin.
The people love their languages, are hardworking and hospitable. In 2002, a native speaker of the Bum language applied for CABTAL help to develop their language and translate the NT into Bum. The Baptists and Roman Catholics have been very involved in the Bible translation process in Kom and Oku, and the Presbyterian and Full Gospel missions have also shown interest.
To achieve the goal of local ownership, the following activities will be carried out:
? Vision sharing and education of church leaders of the language cluster area on the need of Mother Tongue Scriptures.
? Encouraging these church leaders to form an interchurch committee which will act as a forum of church leaders to discuss Bible translation issues.
? Assisting church leaders in each language group to create a Translation Committee and appoint their representatives to this committee. The Translation Committee will stand as a legal and local authority for Bible translation with its bylaws and constitution. The Translation Committee will, following its own mechanisms, choose translators and appoint a project leader.
? Training: within each language group, translators, the project leader and other personnel, will receive training which will enable them to establish the orthography and begin literacy, and the Project Leader will receive training in management and reporting.
? Designing a writing system, where none is yet established, within the first two years of the project.
? Encourage the creation of a language committee affiliated to the National Association of Cameroon Language Committees (NACALCO).
The Central Ring cluster is made up of seven languages located in the Boyo and Bui divisions, North West Province of Cameroon, with a total population of 279,150. The Bum specialized orthography is in progress by linguist Dadak Ndokoba
Last modified: 2009-01-21