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News from the wider church

News from Bibi Nédellec - April 2021

Bibi Nédellec with Wycliffe Bible Translators

April 2021   Bibi’s News

Dear friends!

You will not be surprised to hear that it is from France that I am writing to you! As most of us on this planet, I simply didn’t go anywhere since I last wrote you. Even though this past year has been challenging for some, and very difficult for others, I look back on it and I am grateful: I live in the countryside and the coast is not far at all, I am making new acquaintances in the village and good friends in a small church that I attend in Lannion (20km). Of course, I miss the face-to-face meetings I usually have with colleagues and the opportunities to meet up with Debbie (Hatfield), as we thought we would when we both moved away from Cameroon.

Working virtually

As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time talking to a good number of colleagues per Zoom, working intensively with various small teams. As bizarre as it may sound, those regular virtual face-to-face work meetings keep me going. The projects I am involved in are very interesting and that helps! I am enjoying my job. There are days when I feel I have been talking with others all day, which is good for me! I lead quite a lot of those sessions myself, but sometimes I am just a participant, which is more relaxing of course! 

International Conference (SIL International)
During the month of April 2021, we as an organisation will have our large International Conference, virtually. That conference should have happened in April of 2020. At the time, we switched to Zoom with a reduced format and called it “Part one” with the conviction that we would be able to meet face to face in 2021, but of course that will not be possible. That event gathers many people, including some guests and partners, and the software Zoom will not be able to do all that is needed. I am even looking forward to learn another sophisticated way to meet others virtually! It is quite amazing what can be done that way. If I am not mistaken, we were close to 900 attendees online last year!
Online Training Institute
You may remember that I am responsible for the training department in SIL. Some of our activities happen around our Online Training Institute and all of the sudden our OTI became very popular! I am very pleased that colleagues around the world come to us with requests for our services. It can be a simple need for advice, or they have course content that need re-designing. Advice is indeed needed because there is more than one way to deliver training online. Forced by circumstances, people have learned to appreciate the various tools available, what to use in what situation or context. We all admit that it is not ideal, but it is amazing how much training has been delivered in spite of the disruption we have experienced. This type of communication has allowed the chain of learning to not be totally broken.
Becoming a translation consultant
Ursula Williams consulting with translation teams in Benin
Competency-based certification

You have heard me explain over the years the high priority we give to verifying every single translation before publishing it, what we call translation checking. This indispensable process takes time. It takes years. The work is done by consultants who visit translation teams and work with them each time a book has been completed. The training for such translation consultants is also a long and thorough process. I have been involved in the past 2 years in a project directly linked with the development of consultants, not only translation consultants but also consultants in other domains like literacy and education, linguistics, anthropology, vernacular media and more. I am in charge of a team working on this project. We have done a lot of research to make sure to serve our 8 world areas best, from the Americas all the way to the Pacific Islands. The system will be competency-based and this past February we found the right type of software to track those competencies. I was briefly interviewed by a partner organisation recently, you might find this reading helpful. 
Learning about the new ‘French’ birds is still one of my favorite activities!

Some of you have heard from me personally inbetween newsletters, but I want to re-iterate my thanks to you for your faithful support, especially since I moved back to France. It has been a smooth transition for me, I am extremely thankful to have a house over my head and the means to live well here.

I hope and pray that this letter will find you and your family very well, in spite of these challenging times,


Cheques payable to:   Wycliffe UK    
PO BOX 1594,
High Wycombe Bucks. HP11 9NA
(Please add a note specifying that the gift is for me.)

Bibi asks that you do not circulate this information without her permission,
which she has kindly given for publication on this website.

Posted on 5 May 2021