Saturday, 16 July 2011

"The Committee of International Cooperation for Bible Translation in Sign Languages (CICBTSL): What does this organization work?" - Christian Ramirez

Our organisation is called CICBTSL. It is an international organisation with all Deaf members. These are experienced translators who can work with bible translations into national sign languages. It is a networking group, with individual and organisational members. All of the organisation is Deaf-led.

The countries that are involved are:
  • VIBI, and organisation in Japan, have been working very hard on bible translation. VI stands for visual and BI for bible, so visual bible translations.
  • DOOR is the international organisation involved in a specific type of Bible translations in countries such as Kenya.
  • Finland
  • Costa Rica
  • United States, with organisations such as Deaf Missions
  • Columbia, with the organisation ACMA
  • Brazil, with the organisation IES
We work with experienced translators, but we also invite others. For the last three years we have been engaged in different activities. Such as in 2008 we met in Costa Rica. The United Bible Society (UBS) sponsored the meeting. In 2009 & 2010 we met in Tailand. We worked then also with non deaf translators and we discussed how we did our work.

We also worked with a large organisation called FOBAI (Forum of Bible Agencies International). We discuss items like that we have to film our translation and how this is different from written translation.

The vision of CICBTSL is that Deaf people have access to the Word of God in their heart languages, their sign languages. The mission is to provide information about the work that we do, we also provide training on how to do translation and we support exisiting projects. It is important that we work at all levels, local, regional and national.

We are not affiliated with one church, we only focus on bible translation. All of our translation is focused on the best translation possible in the national sign language. We are focused on the development of resources. We have developed an information system management about BTSL projects. The other important activity is the training of sign language consultants. The sign language translation consultants must be knowledgeable in Deaf culture, Deaf norm, different sign languages, etc.

The services that we offer at different levels, involve that we monitor the projects such as making sure that the quality is good enough.

There are several methods of translation:
  1. verse by verse: literal
  2. free translation: dynamic translation
  3. chronological translation
  4. thematic stories
Challenges involved with the translations:
  • Composition of the translation teams. There are interpreters in the teams but what is the role of the interpreters?
  • The BTSL projects must Deaf-led
  • How do we work together with deaf and hearing consultants inside and outside of the projects
 (note: following the WASLI conference an update of this report was made upon request of the presenter, Christian Ramirez, including capitalization of Deaf, Word & God)

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