We speak the same language

“I cannot be grateful enough that even though we are a large and diverse group, we speak the same language: the language of love for Christ and his people,” says Daniel Nugroho. He was part of the team that made it possible for all to understand.

Up to four interpreters from a team of 21 served from the stage at each worship plenary, interpreting all the speakers into Indonesian. Meanwhile, two interpreters from a team of eight served in the French and Spanish booths.

Interpreters experienced extra challenges in Indonesia with COVID infections and internet glitches affecting the listening headsets.

“Simultaneous translation is a particularly demanding exercise, requiring a great deal of attention, especially as you have to adapt to the accents and speech patterns of the different speakers,” says Karina DerksenSchrock, MWC interpretation coordinator.

And understanding is not only about the words used.

“Being an interpreter, we get the chance to be a bridge not just for language but also with culture and connect people too,” says Sarah Pillay, interpreter from English to Indonesian.

Interpretation coordinator for Indonesian Ary Rusdianto worked behind the scenes for years. He oversaw translation of MWC stories and worship materials into Indonesian to help fellow Indonesians become familiar with MWC before the event. One of his challenges was finding interpreters for Indonesian and Spanish.

“It is God’s blessing because he provided many Indonesian interpreters to help at the Assembly,” says Ary Rusdianto.

This article first appeared in Courier/Correo/Courrier October 2022.

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