Siphuthi

Language: siPhuthi
People Group: ebaPhuthi
People Group Size: 43,000
Location: Lesotho and South Africa
Lifestyle: Subsistence farming

Translation Time-frame: Feb 2019 – Jan 2022
Translation Phase: 1
Translation Goals: Oral Bible translation of 40 narratives from both the Old and New Testament
Source Languages: Sesotho and English
Managing Partners: Wycliffe SA / Bible Society of Lesotho / Libhadla le baPhuthi

Tucked in the mountains of Lesotho are the Siphuthi speaking people who have maintained their language and culture, despite the shifting cultures around them, and have been in desperate need of a Bible translation. Partnering with the Bible Society of Lesotho, translation work began in early 2019. There have already been two workshops in 2019 which involved training and translation of the first 6 Old Testament narratives. Translation has continued through 2020, being recognised and covered by national TV and radio stations. The Bible translation process has also given the language status with the government; it will be named the second national language of Lesotho.

One of the Mother Tongue Translators, Mr Potsane Nzuzo shared about how he had been told in his old church that it was not possible to translate God’s word in Siphuthi. He had been struggling with thoughts about why God did not understand Siphuthi. He says after receiving an invitation to join the translation team: ‘So God can really hear Siphuthi and eBaphuthi? Isn’t it great to observe that I have been heard?’

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions and prevention of the South Africa Based translators from travelling to Lesotho, a workshop was successfully held virtually in early September 2020. The team also welcomed a new exegete, Dr Paul Leshota who is also an academic at the National University of Lesotho.

Prayer:

  • That the upcoming workshops will take place in an environment free of COVID-19 with ease of travel.
  • For the leadership transition within the Bible Society of Lesotho in the new year to run smoothly and for the new leader to have passion for Bible Translation.
  • For ongoing harmony in the team. 
  • For the momentum to continue, and for continued interest by the media and the government of Lesotho. 

Luke 2:1-20, The Birth of Jesus

Siphuthi song, "Babe Whetfu"

(Our Father)

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