How God Helped Me Translate into Zopau
By Zuunnu Cing
In November 2021, I embarked on an important journey. Armed with a Zomi Bible, a dictionary, and a computer, I settled into a comfortable chair and began the task of translating four of the 28 Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs: The Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As part of a collaborative translation team, I felt nervous and doubted my ability to translate into my native tongue. I didn’t know enough Zopau. There were not enough words in my language to convey my thoughts. I prayed for wisdom and guidance. As I read the English translation, I had to think carefully about the passages and their meanings before translating them into Zopau. Working sentence by sentence, I expressed the message in a new way. The whole process was quite tiring.
An English-Zomi dictionary is handy but sometimes inadequate. I particularly remember struggling to present the word quintessential in Zopau. I searched Zomi dictionaries without success. So I had to be innovative. I looked up the definition of quintessential and looked at its synonyms. Next, I pieced together the definitions and their synonyms into Zopau to create the word in my language. Many roadblocks and little free time during school days slowed down the process.
While translating, I felt a calm and peace wash over me. This feeling emptied my mind of nagging thoughts and worries. I only focused on this task, and nothing else mattered. I felt that God was beside me, being my Mentor, prodding me along, and inspiring me whenever I drew a blank. School breaks helped speed up the process thanks to the lack of homework. By God’s grace and guidance, and with the much-appreciated help of my dad, I completed my translations in August of 2022.
Throughout my journey, I learned more about the Trinity and the different roles they play in my life. It brought me closer to God because I was able to feel His presence and see the results of His interventions. There are many who have no resources about God available in their own languages. Are we ready to share with them the Good News? Are we ready to help them prepare for Jesus’ second coming? What can you do?