Sepulana

Language: sePulana
People Group: maPulana
People Group Size: 800,000
Location: South Africa
Lifestyle: Subsistence farming

Translation Time-frame: September 2020 - March 2023
Completed in Phase 1: Oral Bible translation of 40 narratives from both the Old and New Testament, and an oral and written translation of Mark
Translation Phase:
 In transition (Phase 1 to phase 2)
Translation Goals: Oral Bible translation and transcription of the New Testament
Source Languages: Sepedi and English
Managing Partners: Wycliffe SA / Church of the Nazarene / Mapulaneng Writers' Association

Mapulaneng is the "Place of the Mapulana people." The language community is spread across northeastern Mpumalanga and southeastern Limpopo, with Sepulana being a non-official community language spoken by most people in Bushbuckridge. Having been marginalised during apartheid, the community community have since lobbied to have Sepulana as an official language of Mpumalanga. In 2018, a government entity agreed to use their long marginalised language in official signage, and then in 2019  the Mapulaneng Writer’s Association introduced and launched six newly published novels written in Sepulana.

There are around 30 active languages in South Africa, many of which are still waiting for the Bible to be translated into their heart language. For the Mapulana, having the scriptures available will encourage them to study God’s Word and will strengthen the work of reaching out to the unsaved among the Mapulana. The whole community is eager to give Sepulana the status it deserves.  

When the translation was launched, Pastor Molimi from the Bushbuckridge ministers council said, "Today we walk tall. We feel heaven is opening for us, because the Bible is coming into Sepulana." Praise God for bringing His Word to every language. The Sepulana team have now completed phase 1 of translation, having met all their goals ahead of schedule. They are preparing to move to phase 2, which will be a 5-year project in which they hope to complete an oral translation and transcription of the entire New Testament.

Prayer:

  • Praise God for the successful completion of phase 1.
  • Pray for funds to start and complete phase 2 of the project.
  • Pray for wisdom and guidance as the team and partners plan for the next phase.
  • Pray that the communities will wait with open hearts, and be transformed by the completed Scriptures and the new ones to come.

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