Michael & Melanie Viljoen
AFRICA BIBLE TRANSLATION LINGUISTIC RESEARCH LITERACY MANAGEMENT
In 2004 Michael and Melanie Viljoen set up a house and began living among the Buwal people of Cameroon, learning their language and rhythms of life. They developed an alphabet and writing system for the Buwal people, and also for two of the neighbouring languages, Mbudum and Gavar. They then worked to train the first Buwal Bible translation team, which succeeded in publishing the Gospel of Luke in 2015. Melanie completed her Doctoral thesis on Buwal grammar in 2013.
Previously, these three languages were only oral in their usage, with no writing system and no Bible. In November 2020, the Mbudum and Gavar peoples joined the Buwal in publishing and dedicating their translations of Gospel of Luke. The three teams now work as a cluster group (the Jam Ma group of languages), each with the goal of translating the whole of the New Testament.
The Viljoen family are now based in Melbourne. As the main linguists involved in the project, Michael and Melanie continue to give technical assistance, both linguistic and theological, remotely via the internet.
More translation work is now taking place around the world than ever before, especially in Central Africa. There is an increased need for consultants, like Michael (translation consultant-in-training) and Melanie (linguistic consultant).
For more information, please see the Wyclife page here.