Graduate students helping translate books
Posted on: June 13
By Caroline Young
Just a few houses down from The Master’s College cafeteria stands the international house. Inside, international students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program (MABC) reside. There, those students are hard at work – on their educations, yes, but also in ministry.
Many of those students are already translating church-equipping books into their native languages. For them, the road into ministry, which brought them to TMC, is already taking their outreach to a global mission field.
Instead of writing a thesis, many are translating biblical counseling books into their native languages. Emiliya Usmanova, who graduated from the program in May, is currently translating Theology of Christian Counseling: More Than Redemption by J. Adams into Russian, which she hopes will have an impact on the people of Russia.
Usmanova was working in the Baptist Union in Russia when she heard about the college through the Americans for whom she was translating. Around the same time, her sister, Indira (currently a student), heard about the college through a friend.
For full-time students with other classes and homework, carving out time to do the translation work can be daunting.
“It is challenging because it is our first time translating and we cannot devote all of our time to that one task,” Usmanova said.
Also, since many of the concepts in the books have never been introduced to their cultures, the translators must find words that will make sense to their readers. For example, while the word, “meditation” means prayer in English, it carries a completely different meaning if translated into Russian. To Russian speakers, the meditation of God is a very Buddhist concept.
“It’s a very incomprehensible reality for anybody else other than American citizens,” Usmanova said. “We have no Bible teaching in our country, so it is very challenging to translate the concepts in a way they can understand.”
Despite the challenges, Usmanova has completed half of the book.
Ami Osawa, another international house student, is currently translating How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp into Japanese. After finding the MABC program on the Internet, Osawa came to California with no connections to TMC. After graduating in May, she returned home to Tokyo, Japan, to continue her ministry.
“The Lord has enabled me to finish the first half of the book, which I am very grateful for,” Osawa said.
Wei Li is currently translating Counseling the Hard Cases by Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert into Chinese. Li, who comes from Kunming, China, graduated in May. She plans to return home with the goal of publishing it the translation, but knows that in China publishing such material is virtually impossible.
Instead, she will try to have the book published in Taiwan or Hong Kong, or perhaps by a Chinese publisher in America. From there she will be able to distribute chapters to the people in her home church, but will not be able to use it publicly.
Upon graduation, she had already translated roughly 115 pages.
As with her fellow international house residents, her ministry, which began on campus, is finding fertile soil worldwide.
Caroline Young is a TMC communications major.