Proof-Reading is Exciting? (Guest Post)

Proof-reading is Exciting?

I thought I would share a post from my favorite blogger (my wife Donna!), as it explains some of the exciting progress we’re seeing in these finals months of translating the Palawano New Testament. Check out her blog Farthest Oceans, if you want to read more of Donna’s thoughts.

Proof-reading. Who would think it could make a person so happy? But that’s how I felt the other day as I was proof-reading Paul’s Epistle to the Romans in SW Palawano.

This is so cool, I thought. This is one of the last steps in the long, long process of putting God’s Word into the hands of the Palawano people. I got so excited, I had a hard time sitting still and actually doing the proof-reading.

Proof-reading means we have a copy that is almost far enough along to send to the printer.

First I sat down with my notes from the recording step. You can see them below. A couple of months ago, when I did that step, reading the verses to my translation helper several times over, I noted a few little typos along the way, and circled them as I went. Not all of the typos I found during that step of the procedure were still there in the copy Bill sent me to proof-read. Some of them he had caught along the way. Some of the passages had been re-worked and changed a little bit. But a few remained. Even a Palawano computer spell checker can’t catch everything. For example, bo and ba are both legitimate Palawano words. One means ‘and’ and one means ‘if’. Just like in English, you can’t eliminate the need for a human touch in a final proof-reading.

 After I finished checking against my recording notes, I next slowly read through the Palawano Word document on the computer. Carefully looking at each word, each heading, each verse number.

Some things I found I could flag right away. It may have been an extra space in the verse number. A word that didn’t get capitalized in a heading. A few of these I flagged as a question – “Is this right?” I don’t know Palawano perfectly, so when I see a word I don’t know, is it because it’s wrong, or is it just a word I’m not familiar with?

Bill has set all kinds of editing styles in Word for us to use to flag things on our computer copies of translation documents. He’s also developed a file-naming system for us to keep track of the different copies of each document as they goes back and forth through the various procedures.

Then I email the proof-read copy to Bill, so he has it on his computer. Even though we’re in the same house. Next Bill will process my suggestions and questions. Then we’ll print out clean copies for some of the Palawanos to read through. They will probably catch a few things, too.

We are getting closer! There have been times through the years I thought we would never get this job done. But by God’s grace, and with His help, and the help of many, many, many others, we are almost there. Proof-reading is the proof of that.


About billdavisthoughts

From San Diego, CA. I've been a missionary and Bible translator in the Philippines for over 30 years and have travelled as a language learning consultant to 15 countries. I play piano and guitar. I write, read voraciously and love to work on word puzzles. Married for 35 years, we have two daughters and two grandchildren.
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2 Responses to Proof-Reading is Exciting? (Guest Post)

  1. Steve (aka dad) says:

    An amazing accomplishment! (wish I could read Palawano!) Keep up the good work.

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