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Maung Translation Workshop

By Heather Hewett

It was a great privilege to spend May-June this year living on Warruwi working with Rosemary Urabadi and Sandra Makurlngu, to continue translating the book of Mark. Nancy Ngalmindjalmag was also able to attend occasionally. We all had the support of Mally McLellan, Translation Coordinator for CSIS.

Rosemary Urabadi is a store manager at the  Ajurumu store and also has grandchildren to care for. However she spent as much time as possible during her lunch hour and sometimes during the weekend working on the project.

Sandra Makurlngu cares for her grandchildren while her daughter Jacobina works in the store. However Jacobina took care of the children herself during the lunchbreak to free Sandra for translation. Several Workshop sessions were also held with Sandra. We practiced punctuation – full stop, comma, question marks, and so on.

We also discussed an important translation principle: translate the meaning and not 'word for word'.

While I was in Warruwi, there were several funerals in which Rosemary, Sandra and Nancy all had responsibilities for some weeks. During this time very little translation could be done.

However the translators were, and are, committed to continuing translation. Rosemary now has her own computer with the 'Our Word' Program, and she hopes to continue translation over the weekends and during the week when she is able. Rosemary is now working from Chapter 1 Mark.  Sandra is in the process of getting her own computer, and will work from Chapter 8 onwards, as chapters 5,6 and 7 are drafted. I am hoping to return to Goulburn Island for two weeks in November, to encourage the translators.