Sikaiana project off to a good start

For years now, the Anglican priest Henry Tupo has been trying to find someone of his own Sikaiana language group to begin translating the Bible. Until recently without success. The Sikaiana language is spoken by only a small number of people, and is under threat of becoming extinct. About 30 years ago, a powerful tropical cyclone destroyed most of their small island home, a low-lying atoll in the Solomon Islands. Without a school for their children to attend, most of the people left the island at that time to settle in other parts of the Solomon Islands. But now, the primary school has been rebuilt, and students can now even continue their studies on their home island in the recently built secondary school. This, along with the vision of leaders like Father Henry, provides hope that the language might survive after all.
Fr Henry has recently decided to retire from the priesthood, and as of December 1, he has committed himself to the task of translating the Bible into his own language. During a recent visit to the Solomon Islands, Isles of the Sea coordinators Nico and Pam Daams met up with Fr Henry and his wife Julia, and began training them in the use of AdaptIt and Paratext. AdaptIt is a computer programme specifically designed for languages that are closely related to languages that already have a translation. Sikaiana is the southern-most in a chain of seven related Polynesian languages, extending from the Solomon Islands, through Papua New Guinea, all the way to Nukuoro in Micronesia. The Nukumanu translation will be used as the source text for the Sikaiana adaptation. When that is completed, this adaption will then be transferred to the Bible translation software programme Paratext. In this programme the text will be adjusted further, so that it will truly become a translation of the Bible using the most natural Sikaiana expressions, while reflecting an accurate meaning of the Biblical source text. The initial target is to complete the translation of the Gospel of Luke, and then produce a small booklet as well as an audio version of this Gospel.