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Missions and MEV, BBE, EE Translations

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions & Witnessing' started by kathleenmariekg, Dec 17, 2020.

  1. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    Does anyone know if the MEV is actually being used in a translation project for one of the countries that still does not have a Bible, yet?

    BBE has been translated into other languages by missionaries, and I am almost sure that the Easy English Bible was originally meant to be a tool for missionaries that did not know Greek and Hebrew to translate into languages without a Bible.

    FAQ's - MEV | Modern English Version

    What is the target audience of the MEV?
    The Modern English Version is a translator’s Bible for missions work and to provide the Word of God to all English-speaking people throughout the world.

    What role does the MEV have in missions?
    The work of translating Scripture has always been an important part of Christian missions. Due to the work of missionary Bible translators, the complete Bible is available in over four hundred languages today. Missionaries normally have not used ancient Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic texts in translation work. Instead, they usually have relied on the King James Version. In like manner, the Modern English Version is useful to continue translation work on the mission field.

    Bible in Basic English - Wikipedia.

    The Bible In Basic English (also known as BBE) is a translation of the Bible into Basic English. The BBE was translated by Professor S. H. Hooke using the standard 850 Basic English words. 100 words that were helpful to understand poetry were added along with 50 "Bible" words for a total of 1,000 words. This version is effective in communicating the Bible to those with limited education or where English is a second language.

    Easy English Bible with free Commentaries and Studies
     
  2. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Great Question, maybe JoJ has some insight here?
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I have not heard of anyone doing a translation from the MEV. Fundamentalists use either the KJV or the Hebrew and Greek as their source text. I know many translators and have read books by many others. The usual position among fundamentalists is that we should translate from the original languages. Even KJV-Only types usually take this position.

    The first Japanese complete bible was called the Motoyaku ("Original Bible"), and it translated mainly from the KJV with reference to the Chinese and German versions. Even they, though, considered the Hebrew and Greek to be authoritative, and they referred to them in their work, though none of them were scholars in the original languages.

    Since then there have been no New Testaments done from the KJV. Japanese versions have all been done from the Hebrew & Greek, though one ecumenical version did the OT from the LXX. There was one failed effort to translate from the KJV into Japanese. A friend of mine was in on that. They worked for almost 30 years and never even published a Gospel of John.

    Evangelical missionaries, especially translators with Wycliffe, often use modern versions as their source text. The Good News Bible is a common one, since it was done by Eugene Nida's Dynamic Equivalence method at his instigation, and many Wycliffe missionaries are trained by the Summer Institute of Linguistics, which I believe he founded.


    I think this is their opinion only, and probably not factual. Most missionaries nowadays have at least a Bible college education, and learn Greek there. I doubt that "most missionaries" have relied on the KJV as their source text.

    I'd say the same thing about the BBE. I've never heard of a missionary translation done from that. It has been used on mission fields as an English Bible for those to whom English is a second language, but it would be problematic to translate from. And by the way, Wikipedia is not trustworthy as a source--just sayin'. :)
     
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  4. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    As long as academics insist on publishing their work behind pay walls, online discussions meant to include all income levels will remain reliant on Wikipedia. Do you have links to information on the BBE that are not available in the wiki, but are accessible to everyone that might want to participate in this topic?

    I only know enough about these topics to show how stupid that I am. As long as access to education, secular and Christian, remains restricted, I will continue to be stupid, display my ignorance in public places, and link to whatever I do have available to me. I am not ashamed to be poor or to display the ugly scars inflicted by poverty. Poverty is a form of violence. I am a wounded veteran. A veteran that uses Wikipedia as a crutch when it is all I have.

    Ogden's work with Basic English fascinates me.
    Ogden's Basic English
    Some of it is available to everyone and some of it is not. I didn't want to jump too quickly into Ogden and the BBE until we had a chance to talk about the MEV and the general topic of translations from English.

    La Biblia en Español Sencillo is the BBE translated into Spanish?
    La Biblia en Español Sencillo
    La Biblia en Español Sencillo formato MP3 - Free Bible in Simple Spanish Audio Bible

    There really was no real need for a Spanish version of the BBE, as there are better Spanish translations? A bilingual BBE and BES Bible might be useful, though?

    The BBE is useful to translate into a language with conjugated verbs, if the missionary is not fluent in Hebrew and Greek and has not mastered the conjugated verbs of the target language, and the target language is without a Bible?

    If the target language does not have conjugated verbs, the newer EE would be a better base than the BBE?

    I am almost certain that the original purpose of the EE was for translation work and that they have changed their focus as the world has changed. Yes, more people around the world are learning English as a result of the internet, but there is also a growing educational trend of setting the bar higher and leaving more people behind. We still have people groups without a bible in their own language, and a Bible translated from the BBE or EE is better than no Bible.

    The NIrV is copyrighted and keeps changing, but that Bible is easy to translate into another language. I used to use it in tutoring remedial Phonics and ESL, but gave up on it.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The problem with Wikipedia is that any Tom, Dick, or Harry is allowed to change what a genuine scholar has written. I've seen two different descriptions of the content of one NT manuscript in Wikipedia. Plus, it is anonymous, so no one takes credit for their mistakes. As we tell our students, it's okay to get a direction from it, but don't source it for a research paper. As for the BBE, I've never paid much attention to it, though I think I used to have a copy of it. I'm not in favor of dumbing down the Bible, which is what it appears to me to do.

    Please don't call yourself stupid, Sister. You are a child of the King of the Universe, and made in the image of God.

    For someone who must translate from an English version, I would recommend the NKJV.

    This is true--better than nothing.

    I don't recommend any edition of the NIV, since it is a dynamic/functional equivalence version. As for translating from it, you normally lose data in a translation, but a double translation done from a DE version is bound to lose a large amount of data.
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Which is why should always translation would think off the Hebrew and Green texts into language of the people being reached.
     
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  7. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    I am really struggling with applying secular discriminations of sources to Bible discussions. Secular education is meant to divide the classes, even when they profess otherwise. When Christendom adopts secular practices as a default, especially those that exclude the lower classes, I cannot always adopt those practices as my defaults.

    I will slap up wiki links to start the conversation, hoping that someone here with more education can link us to something better that we all can read together. Until my big brothers open access to us littler kids, we will make mud pies with the mud. Please link to better stuff, if you have the links!

    If experts do not dumb down the Bible, then dumb people will decide how best to translate from English into the target language that they have not mastered. It is more efficient and more accurate for "experts" to turn a sentence into a simple sentence that starts with a clear subject that is followed by an active verb than for the individual missionaries to do that.

    When I was in college, I did a lot of translating the professors' English into more simple English for my friends. We spoke over 90 languages on our campus. I stopped trying to learn the languages of my friends, and focused on learning to speak the easiest English possible. And learned their individual weaknesses, and made sure to accommodate them. For example, one guy confused Tuesday and Thursday, so I did memorize those two words in his language.

    Sometimes dumbing down the Bible is the only option to get some kind of Bible into the hands of some smaller people groups.

    Does the MEV publish any scholary articles beyond the little bit they posted on their website? Do they ever make a case for themselves of why the MEV is better than other options?
     
  8. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The 1984Niv were easy to understand, wasn;t it?
     
  9. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    When that option is possible. I have been involved in translation projects that were sloppy, but all that was possible. People translated from the original language into bad English and then I did my best to clean up the English. Who knows what was lost.
     
  10. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    NLT and Niv are easy to read, are they not?
     
  11. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    The NIrV was updated when the NIV was updated.
     
  12. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    The NIrV is easiest.
     
  13. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Yes, but not a real translation....
     
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  14. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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  15. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    I agree. Pronouns are replaced with verbs. Sentences are restructured to subject active verb sentences. Compound sentences are translated into multiple simple sentences and the connections between the clauses is sometimes lost.
     
  16. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The "normal Niv is easy enough to read!
     
  17. kathleenmariekg

    kathleenmariekg Active Member

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    My professors used to think their English was perfectly easy enough to understand until they would watch me simplify it, and see students from multiple countries all say, "Oh, okay, now I understand." I learned some of my tricks by reading the NIrV.
     
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    One's own language always seems easy to understand. Then there is Hungarian with 20 cases, Chinese with 6000 Chinese characters to read a newspaper, Japanese with 5 levels of honorifics, Rohingya with twelve verb tenses. And so it goes. :)

    Merry Christmas!
     
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