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

Translation Time-frame: September 2020 - March 2023
Translation Phase: 1
Translation Goals: Oral Bible translation of 40 narratives from both the Old and New Testament, and an oral and written translation of Mark
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.  

The Sepulana translation is now well into phase 1. All the workshops scheduled so far have taken place, and most of the goals set for each workshop have been met. The team continues to show great dedication, and are excited about the work. 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.


  • Praise God for the excellent progress of this translation, and the enthusiasm of the team.
  • Pray that the team will continue to complete all their workshops this year and accomplish the goals they set for each workshop.
  • Pray that the communities will wait with open hearts, and that the testing of newly translated Scriptures will have a great impact on the lives of the Mapulana.

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