Bible Society of Namibia completes Khoekhoegowab Bible

06 Oct 2017 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 06 OCT (NAMPA) - Almost 14 years and an estimated N.dollars 10 million later, the Bible Society of Namibia (BSN) has completed the translation of the Bible into Khoekhoegowab.
The very last translations were done on Thursday by the same three people who were appointed to carry out the task in 2003 - Petrus Khariseb, Josef Witbooi and Valerie Isaaks.
“The process started during the 1990s with research of the Namibian languages and the need to translate the Bible into local languages,” said BSN Secretary-General Barnie van der Walt on Thursday.
Speaking during a celebration of the completion of the translation, Van Der Walt said the translation took long because it was a very intensive process, and all the verses and texts went through four stages of translations.
“In the end, the society would like to sign off this translation as faithful to the original Greek and Hebrew Bible,” the Secretary-General said.
Van der Walt said around 30 people attended the workshop on the translation during the early 2000s, of which only three were selected. Khariseb, Witbooi and Isaaks went for training in Kenya on how to translate the Bible and started with the translations in January 2004, a task that took the trio until Thursday to complete.
Khoekhoegowab, also known as Nama, is spoken by an estimated 300 000 people in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
Meanwhile, Programme Manager Schalk Botha said it was not all smooth sailing over the 14 years.
Botha told Nampa on the sidelines of the event it was a big challenge to work on the translation over such an extended period.
“Sometimes the translators got tired and discouraged but in the end, they managed it well,” he said.
Although the actual translation is completed, it still has to go through proofreading before the Khoekhoegowab is printed.