There are over 250,000* Deaf people living in Japan and less than 2% know Christ. Since 1993, 33% of the Bible has been translated into Japanese Sign Language, including portions from both the Old and New Testaments. But there is still a long way to go.
Sign language translation follows a similar process to written language translation, but with a few additional challenges. A word can take on an entirely new or unintentional meaning depending on the facial expressions or body language used to accompany a sign, which can make the task of translation difficult.
Sign language translations are published in video format, a process that requires translators to memorize and perfectly sign full passages of Scripture. Once a portion is translated and recorded, it’s edited and distributed digitally via apps and through DVDs.
The Japanese Sign Language team has been hard at work and published the book of Daniel in early 2020. They’re currently working to translate the book of Ezra. As they await having the complete Word of God in their language, continue to pray for the project, everyone on the translation team and Japan’s Deaf community.
- Pray that God will bring experienced Deaf translators to the project to form multiple new production teams.
- Pray that people and churches in Japan’s Deaf community will be encouraged by God’s Word in Japanese Sign Language.
- Ask God to grant the translation team strong communication, focus and productivity as they work remotely. Pray for continued health for the translation team and lift up the project leaders as they make decisions on what continued safety measures to take regarding COVID-19.
Make a Prayer Connection: Did you know that only 5 percent of sign languages even have Bible translation work started? The Deaf are the largest unreached people group in the world. Learn specific ways you can be in prayer for this community.