The Tonga Contemporary Old Testament project is progressing steadily since it started in October, 2015. It all began with a weeklong translation workshop conducted at the Toutaimana Catholic Centre in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. This project is quite unique in the sense that each workshop participant from various Christian Churches had to work with a computer as modern technology is now adopted to speed up the translation work. It is a moving away from the old practice of writing translation drafts on separate books to doing translation on the computer right away. At the end of the workshop, all the participants were encouraged to start translating a book from the Old Testament.
This was led by the former Bible Society Tonga Branch Chairman, the Reverend Lopeti Taufa, and the newly elect chairman, Lord Afu’alo Matoto. A follow up workshop on Paratext (computer software used) carried out in April 2016 at the same venue was very useful to the Tongan project team. An exciting development this year is the recruitment of a key translator and Theological College lecturer, Rev. Dr. Ma’afu Palu, to serve as the Project Translation Advisor in 2017 whilst undergoing training in this field under the Bible Society’s Translation Officer training program at the same time. The LORD is to be praised for the work progress so far which also reflects the great input and commitment from the project coordinator, Bill Falekaono. In addition, big Bill had also displayed his big heart by purchasing two laptop computers recently in October, which are now used by two potential translators/reviewers on the project. On the completion of this project, it will be joined to the already published Tongan Contemporary New Testament (commonly known as the ‘Taulua’) to become the Tongan Contemporary Bible. Almost 65% of the Old Testament books have been drafted so far.