A day in the life of a translator Vladimir Hlusiak
Posted by Laura Nelson, 16 April 2019
Hi Vladimir, can you tell us how you ended up becoming a Bible translator? Tell us a bit about that journey.
Ever since my student days at the Theological university, I was interested in the Holy Scriptures and in the opportunity to bring the Gospel to people. After graduating, I began teaching at a regional Theological college, and this went on for several years. In parallel with the teaching, I served in the church mostly as a preacher.
Once I was contacted by my former colleague, who I studied with at the university, and he asked me if I speak Russian languages, apart from Ukrainian, and whether I would like to be part of a team working on Bible translations. They were doing the proof reading of the New Russian Translation. I agreed and it became a fascinating occupation for me.
Then I was told about the New Ukrainian Translation project and I gladly joined it, because it is so important that the Ukrainian people have an up to date translation.
You are currently working on the Ukrainian Translation, what made you want to be a part of this project?
Here I would like to highlight two main reasons:
First, before launching the project, a lot of work was done to study the status of existing translations and we interviewed different people about the need for a new translation.
Everyone whom we spoke with, talked about the need for a new translation into the modern Ukrainian language since the existing translations are outdated and difficult for an ordinary person to understand.
Secondly, our country is now going through a difficult time. Everyone is trying to find the right path that we need to take in order to build a morally healthy society. I am deeply convinced that this is impossible without the knowledge of God and His will. Therefore, the new Ukrainian translation is so important for me.
What does your typical working day look like as a translator?
My day as a translator begins with morning fellowship with God. I thank Him for one more day that I can live for His glory.
Then I start working with the text of the Bible. Here I have developed a certain routine.
First, I want to understand what is being said in the original text. I study every word and every sentence, and I get help from specialised dictionaries and comments.
Then I translate the verse into Ukrainian. At this stage I try to preserve the meaning of the original text as much as possible. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is difficult to find the right words.
The translation is an interesting process, and time passes very quickly. I always wonder how deep the Scriptures are. It always surprises me as a translator!
After lunch, I usually devote time checking text already translated. It needs to be re–read and checked several times.
Another important aspect is the comparing my translation with translations into other languages. At this stage I always need to pay attention to the differences and I ask myself are they justified?
In the evening, after I finish the daily work, I like to go for a walk with my wife and my daughter.
Is it true that a translator’s job is never done?
Yes, it’s true. It applies to any language, and Ukrainian is not an exception, as it is constantly in motion. There are new words coming into our vocabulary and there are old words no longer in use. The translator must always be aware of all these processes and convey the Word of God in understandable words.
6. How important is it for the Ukrainian Translation to be done?
As I said, before the start of the project, we conducted a survey of ministers and ordinary Christians whether a new translation is needed. All of them agreed that a new translation is needed. The most interesting thing is that a year after the survey, they phoned me and asked if a new translation was ready. They didn’t realise a Bible translation project lasts many years. From this I understand that there are people who are waiting for this new translation.
Why is it important for Biblica to focus on Bible Translation?
The Biblica is an organisation that God has blessed, and without its resources without it would be difficult to imagine the creation of new translations. Firstly, this organisation has the necessary tools, and secondly, they have experience in creating new translations.
Is there anything that we can do as Christians to profile the work of Bible translation better?
Like any other Christian ministry, a new Bible Translation is the result of teamwork. Making a New Translation alone is very difficult or almost impossible. Therefore, as Christians, we must work in team, support each other in prayer and get involved in the society doing good deeds for the common cause.
What is your favourite Bible verse and why?
My favourite verse is the words of apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:19.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
This verse is full of deep ideas. Firstly, we see the work of God through Christ, the forgiveness of sins that He bestowed on us. Secondly, we see our calling to be co–workers with Him in proclaiming the Good News.
A massive thank you to Vladimir. We cannot wait to share more stories like this one with you!