What is a Sign Language Bible and How is it Translated? (Part 2)

Welcome back! In part one of this two-blog series we explained what a sign language Bible is. Now, let’s look at the process of translating the Bible into a sign language, which generally follows these eight steps:.

Step 1, Exegesis and First Video Draft, is when the translation team studies a particular Scripture. This involves understanding the passage in its context, as well as gathering information from the original languages, history, culture, and other key information to develop a first video draft.

Step 2, Team Check, is when the team reviews the first video draft and identifies mistakes and things that are unclear.

Step 3, Edit and Reshoot, corrects the errors found in Step 2. Content is further clarified  and reshot. For written translations, revisions are usually correcting a word here or a phrase there. With video translations, even small revisions often require re-filming the entire passage again.

Step 4, Community Testing, involves showing the current video draft to the Deaf community and asking questions to see what may need to be improved. The translation team selects people from the Deaf community to participate. These are people who are not involved in the translation and represent various ages, denominations, educational backgrounds, and levels of Biblical knowledge.

Step 5, Review, is when the translation team discusses the answers received during Community Testing and what needs to be changed in the video draft. Step 5, and the following Step 6, often occur simultaneously.

Step 6, Consultant Check, is when the team  receives and incorporates feedback from a sign language translation consultant. While the Deaf community helps with clarity, accuracy, naturalness, and acceptability, the consultant’s role is to ensure the translation remains faithful to the Scriptures.

Step 7, Revise, Edit and Reshoot, incorporates the feedback and changes to produce another video draft for review. Steps 1 through 7 can repeat multiple times for a particular passage of Scripture, and a translation team can have different passages occurring at different stages in the translation process.

Step 8, Consultant Approval, finally happens when the translation team and the translation consultant are satisfied with the quality of a draft. The consultant approves the translation, and the team creates a final version for publication.

Sign language Bible content can be published bit by bit as the translation project moves along.

The Deaf community doesn’t have to wait until an entire New Testament or Bible is completed to receive it. Newly completed sign language Bible content is placed on our Deaf Bible website and the Deaf Bible App.

Download the new Deaf Bible app today through the Apple App Store or Google Play!

Translating the Bible, how?

Photo courtesy of Deaf Missions