The first Bible Translation Workshop to train the participants who have been identified and selected by their respective Churches to be part of the Samoan Contemporary Translation Project was held Monday 29th Oct – 2nd November 2018 . It is the first workshop to prepare translators to work on the Samoan Old Testament in the contemporary language that is aimed to be understood by all Samoans whether young and old. This new Old Testament translation will be modeled by the Good News Bible (a meaning-based translation) and later be put together with the Samoan Contemporary New Testament that is already available to make the whole Bible, as the Samoan Contemporary Bible.

The workshop was held at the Le Alaimoana Hotel and started on Monday October 29 through the facilitation of UBS Global Translation Advisor Dr Ma’afu Palu, UBS iCAP Consultant Dr Steve Berneking and BSSP Board rep in Samoa Rev Nu’uausala Siaosi. The two representative from BSSP CAP officer Mere Katonivere and Translation Director Rev. Apenisa Lewatoro joined the team on Tuesday 30th November.

In summary, the weeklong workshop was exciting in terms of the learning of the translation software program ‘Paratext Version 8’ as well as challenging in terms of discussions on which model text to use. At the end of the workshop, we all came to a consensus that we use the Good News Bible as the model text together with the New International Version on the side to help produce the Samoan Contemporary Old Testament. A Translation brief is to be written and put together with the Translators Contract after we finalise the translators and reviewers in the next workshop planned for the second week of April 2019. An assessment of the work each has been assigned to do from now until the next meeting will enable us to identify those who are keen and acquire skills/knowledge of translation through the help of some key members in the team such as Samoan linguist Ms Evelina Faamoe.

We thank the Churches for their support on this translation project and pray for God’s guidance on the translators and Coordinators of the Project.