I popped around the corner to ask my Tanzanian brother Joseph if I could sit with the team and learn. “Karibu!” and signed “Welcome” from the team followed.
They were working on stories from Acts and reviewing the feedback from the community testing. Meaning, when they were in Tanzania for 3 months they spent time resting and with family as well as taking the stories they had drafted to groups of people. They’d sit down and watch the stories and ask questions to see what was clear, unclear, unnatural signing, etc…
The responses were video taped and the team was now watching and discussing what needed to be changed. I have to admit, there was much I was missing in regards to the details of the story as Tanzanian Sign Language (TSL) is very different from others I’ve been learning. Thankfully, they were discussing with their consultant, George, so I could follow the Kenya Sign Language (KSL) better.
They started with the story and looked at their notes on what section they needed to discuss. They pulled up the KSL story and pulled out their Swahili and English Bibles for reference. As the discussion went back and forth on “Is that the right sign”, “Is this worded right”, “How should it be said”, “Is that correct”, “What does Scripture say”, etc., I would occasionally nudge Esaka or Yohannes and sign “That sign mean what?”
After they had resolved the question and decided on what was the best wording, Yohannes would start the video player and sign the new wording. Then, they’d move on to the next section and repeat the above. Once the story is completed, they’ll completely re-film.
Now granted, the translators would probably correct some of my understanding of the translation process. But for this lay-person trying to explain it to you, I hope that this gives you an idea of just one part of the process the teams walk through to provide Scripture to their brothers and sisters.