Discourse Analysis & Bible Translation

An introduction to Bible translation principles

3 Lessons

with Bible translator and consultant Dave Brunn

On Demand

Take the class at your own pace and in your own time

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About this course

Series: Stand-alone courses

Dave Brunn and his wife Nancy served for over twenty years in PNG. They faced the challenge of learning a language that had never been written down. They broke the language down into writing and taught the community to read and write in their own language. Then they translated and taught the Scriptures and eventually churches were planted, which are still going strong today.

Drawing from experience, Dave introduces discourse analysis, something crucial for those of us who want to learn another language. But what is it? Well, there are high and low levels of language and both are important. For example, grammar is a low level of language and includes things like words and sentences and parts of speech like nouns and verbs. It’s important, but to communicate effectively, we need to look beyond the low levels of language and analyse the higher levels to see how the entire structure fits together. Discourse Analysis is the study of higher levels of language, which is what we will be focusing on in this series.

As an aside, Discourse Analysis may sound intimidating, but it’s actually something each of us do every day. We all know how to interpret the discourse features of our own language, even if we aren’t trained to describe them.

Dave Brunn

Dave served as a Bible translator in Papua New Guinea for 21 years, facilitating the translation of the New Testament into the Lamogai language. Currently, he serves as an International Translation Consultant and teaches Bible translation at missionary training centers in the USA, Canada, and Australia. Dave is the author of 'One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal?" (IVP Academic, 2013).

What you will learn

  • Alternating between higher and lower levels of language when doing translation
  • The art of paragraph-making: cohesion and boundaries
  • Differentiating between meaning and form
  • Translation principles that should be practiced when undertaking a Bible translation project