FNV Translation Process

Here are the steps of the translation process:

Each step is overseen by Terry M. Wildman, the  Project Manager and author of the First Nations Version. The Project Manager provides coordination with OneBook, review guidance, quality control, recruitment of volunteers, promotion of the project, and acts as liaison with Native Churches and Ministries regarding the FNV.

First, a draft is prepared, by Terry Wildman verse by verse, using the Key-terms agreed upon by the First Nations Version Translation council.

After each draft is finished for each portion of the New Testament, it is sent to a punctuation specialist, who has volunteered to do an initial punctuation check. This person also enters all the SFM Markers needed for the transition into ParaText.

After drafting is completed it is entered into ParaText—a highly sophisticated Biblical translation software where checks are made against the key-terms and other translation requirements.

ParaText Website: https://pt8.paratext.org/features/

From ParaText a new document is downloaded and then uploaded into Google Docs for the review process. Each Biblical book is broken into segments of about four chapters.

The approved reviewers from differing First Nations heritages then begin to review the draft and make suggestions. Working collaboratively using Google Docs the reviewers suggest possible changes. Any significant changes are brought before the Translation Council for input and approval. The Project Manager oversees this process and when needed makes the final decision. All changes are then entered into ParaText.

Each document is reviewed by at least 4 First Nations reviewers, who check verse by verse for readability, clarity of understanding, cultural relevance, and simplicity of language. Other non-native reviewers are sometimes used for editing and feedback from a non-native perspective.

After each segment is finished with this part of the review process, it is then turned over to the FNV Consultant who has more than 45 years of translation experience world-wide. The consultant goes over each verse carefully, checking it against other English translations, and when necessary looks into the original Greek. This consultant only suggests and asks questions and never makes the final decision. Any changes recommended by the consultant are reviewed by the Project Manager and submitted to the council if needed.

After the final Consultant check, another check is done in ParaText for any changes that have been made.

Finally, the finished text is exported from ParaText, ready to send to the publisher, and sent to a print specialist who prepares the text for printing.

Information and guidelines for reviewers:

  1. Remember, the draft that has been created already takes into account the key-terms agreed upon by the Translation Council. Reviewers need not be highly Biblically literate, they are checking for readability and not necessarily for Biblical accuracy—that will be reviewed by others.
  2. If the reviewer is good with the draft no suggestions need to be made and the reviewer would then sign off on the draft.
  3. Each reviewer is encouraged to compare the draft to a favorite Bible, verse by verse, as it is read through.
  4. Look for readability, clarity of understanding, cultural relevancy, and simplicity of language.
  5. Is the style as close as possible to the more traditional way our Native elders spoke English? Focus suggestions on better possible ways to express this.
  6. So far about 90% of suggestions have been used. The reviewer may be contacted by phone to discuss the suggested changes if necessary.
  7. One of our reviewers says it takes perhaps a couple of hours to review four chapters. Your time frame may vary.