The Kamea people are one of the “bible-less” people groups of the world. One of the main reasons for this is that they do not yet have a written language! Unlike many tribes in Papua New Guinea, a majority of the people do not speak the trade language of the island, Pidgin English.
A Kamea family
Before we can begin translation of the Scriptures into the Kamea language, the language itself must be reduced to writing. A linguistic analysis has been initiated by Cherith Stevens, a graduate of Baptist Bible Translators Institute. Through these initial language studies, we have discovered that Kamea is a sub-language of Hamtai, spoken by the Hamtai people to our east. Utilizing every tool and help at our disposal, we appreciate the help we have received in working on the Kamea language from missionaries who have worked among the Hamtai for over fifty years.
The Kamea are one of the “Bible-less” people groups of the world.
Our next step involves describing the grammatical features of the language: words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and stories. When this point is reached, we can begin literacy classes in the Kamea language, teaching them to read and write their own language.
Concurrent with our linguistic work, in-depth cultural studies are performed on a daily basis. Learning how the Kamea people think has great influence on what they mean when they speak. With these cultural clues and the linguistic tools at our disposal, we can work on a translation of the Scriptures in the heart language of the Kamea people. We will use the King James Bible, Textus Receptus, and Masoretic Text as our translation resources. And we will certainly depend entirely upon the leading of the Lord in all that we attempt to do with His precious word!