SIL Executive Director describes changes in response to WEA Panel Report

How will the recommendations in the report from the WEA-facilitated Panel change the ways translation is done within SIL?  SIL Executive Director, Freddy Boswell describes it this way:

“The parameters for choosing the appropriate ways to translate ‘God the Father’ and ‘Son of God’ have been made clearer and more restrictive. The first recommendation instructs translators by defining more narrowly the choices of terms for ‘father’ and ‘son’ when these refer to God the Father and to the Son of God.  They have recommended that ‘these words always be translated with most directly equivalent familial words in the linguistic and cultural context of the recipients. In the case of languages that have multiple words for ‘father’ and ‘son,’ translators should choose the most suitable words in light of the semantics of the target language.’  Where comprehension difficulties remain, ‘the Panel recommends that translators consider the addition of qualifying words and/or phrases (explanatory adjectives, relative clauses, prepositional phrases, or similar modifiers) to the directly-translated words for ‘father’ and ‘son,’ in order to avoid misunderstanding.’  In all cases SIL will include familial words for ‘father’ or ‘son’ in the Scriptural text itself.   

“We welcome the panel’s instruction on translation standards, monitoring, evaluation and accountability,” says the SIL Executive Director. “We will correct practices that are found to be out of compliance with the recommendations in the report. The independent review panel has done us a great service. The panel’s recommendations have been adopted as SIL’s standards for the translation of these familial terms when referring to God the Father and to the Son of God. ”  

He goes on to say, “In reviewing this report, we recognize that SIL contributed to the controversy through our failure to communicate translation standards and practices clearly. We also recognize that our processes for monitoring translation of Divine Familial Terms have been inadequate. We apologize and will endeavor to correct these shortcomings.  We are indebted to this WEA-facilitated panel for their excellent and thorough work on behalf of our organization and we reaffirm our commitment to accurate, clear and natural translation.”

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