The Angaatiya tribe, with a population of 2,500, lives in the Morobe Province. The Language is called Angaataha.
The Angaataha Translation Programme started out as an SIL Project in 1963. Three different linguist missionaries were allocated to the language but vacated it. The first team came in 1961 and moved out in 1963 due to personal and spiritual problems as well as conflicts. The second team was allocated in 1964 and vacated in 1966. The third team came in 1967 and left after translating 30% of the New Testament in its first draft.
In August of 1982 during the early stages of BTA's development, Ainde Wainzo and James Namaranso joined PNG BTA. The Angaataha Translation Programme was one of the first three programmes that joined BTA. From 1982 to 2003 James Namaranso and Ainde Wainzo persevered through hard testing and trials and the New Testament was dedicated in 2004, which is being used. The people said they want the whole pig, not half, or pieces of pork only, so the Angataaha Old Testament Translation Project began in 2008.
Some 20 plus young people are in training. Ten of them have been to the Translators’ Training Course (TTC) levels 1 and 2. To complete the training they have to complete levels 3 and 4. Jonah, Ruth and Esther were published in 1988. Our trainee translators are currently translating Genesis and Exodus. We are still feeling our way around and the team is at a formative stage only. We are not at a producing stage yet as we are still undergoing necessary training, which is planned for 2008-2012.
The challenges facing the team are:
(1) Our team being limited in THE use of English Language making it difficult to use the English books which help to do a meaningful, natural and clear translation.
(2) Team members lack ability to think, speak, read and write in English because we don't use English at home on a daily basis.
(3) Angaataha orthography – our biggest challenge is to be able to write the Angaataha language as we speak it, clearly representing each sound or phoneme. We can think and speak, but when it comes to writing, it presents a big challenge, so we are learning and teaching others how to spell and write our mother tongue
(4) Material, physical, spiritual and moral support is often lacking. At times we have to work like orphans, but we know we are not orphans for we all have God for our Father. What we lack He provides in His own time and in His will.