An Oral Drafting Process

Oral drafting process (Download the 400K PDF)

Oral Drafting & Check Process

Setup [For a consultant]

Install HearThis (
and Paratext (

When you start HearThis,
it will ask you which Paratext
project you want to use. You may want to create a project that has
‘prompter’ text because before you can record there needs to be
some text in each verse. You could simply type v1, v2 etc You must
add a full stop (period) as this tells HearThis
to treat it as the complete section to read. If you want to record
two or more verses together, then remove the full stop. A quick way
to add prompter text is this:

  1. In Paratext
    create new books Based on
    NIV or GNT
  2. Open RegExPal (Tools → Advanced → RegEx Pal)
  3. Tools → Replace
  4. Tools → Choose Books and choose the books that you just created
  5. Choose the placeholder project from the Project menu
  6. Enter exactly following text in the Find and Replace boxes:
    1. Find: ”v ([0-9]*)
    2. Replace: ”v ‘1 Verse ‘1. (notice the final full stop)
  7. Click First then click Yes to All once you’ve seen what it is proposing to insert (red highlight).

To update HearThis with any changes that you have made in Paratext, click on ‘choose Paratext project’ icon, which is second from left at the top. Select the
project again (there should only be one to select!) and continue. If
this doesn’t work then you will need to close and reopen both


  • It’s easier to make an inaccurate natural text accurate than to
    make an unnatural one natural.
  • It’s easier to write something unnatural than to say something
  • Unstable orthography can lead to checking that focusses on
    orthography rather than meaning.

Read & draft

First read the chapter you are going to translate in at least 2
different versions so that you are familiar with it. Start thinking
about how you would put that in the language.

Arrange your screen so that ideally you have the HearThis
window visible and the Paratext
window with the Bible translations visible at the same time, for
example like this:
Click the relevant book, chapter, verse boxes in HearThis
and move to the right place in Paratext.

Then, record one verse at a time like this:

  1. In Paratext move to the verse.
  2. In HearThis move (using the right arrow) to the next verse. The text written in yellow colour is what you are going to read. For example in the picture above you are going to translate Acts chapter 1 verse 1.
  3. Read the English/Hausa versions, then try saying a translation aloud until you know the best way of expressing it.
  4. When you know what you want to say, hold down the space bar and while the circle is green then speak your translation. (Or point at the circle and hold down the mouse button.) Release the space bar (or mouse button) when you have finished speaking.
  5. If you make a mistake, then release the space bar (or mouse button) and do it again. Each time you record a verse, the previous recording is replaced.

Remember that the text highlighted in yellow is the text you are recording. If you have a ‘prompt project’ then it will just be a verse number, so you need to look at Paratext to see what you are actually to translate.

Once you’re done recording, you can click on the play icon to hear what you have recorded.

When you are happy with that verse, move onto the next verse.

Individual review

At the end of everything listen to the whole chapter, one verse at a time, to make sure that everything flows properly. The major problem with this method is that it encourages us to translate one verse at a time which may not be natural or clear.

After you listen to everything, if you want to improve one verse, you can easily do that just by moving to it, reading from Paratext as normal, and recording an improved version in HearThis.

Team check

(Checking Accuracy, Naturalness and Clarity.)

Set up everyone’s screen to show the source and reference translations in Paratext for the relevant section. This is because in a team check people need to check that it is accurate.

The drafter should open HearThis and move to the first verse.

Play one verse at a time, clearly saying which verse is which.

Team members should check for each verse that the translation accurately includes what the source text says, that it is clear and that it is using correct (natural) Gworog.

Community Check

(Checking for Naturalness and Clarity.)

Do just what you did for a team check, but instead of everyone looking at computers, all the people checking should listen to the recording of each verse and make sure it is clear and correct language.

You can also click Publish in HearThis and then produce a folder of MP3 files which you can play to community members to collect their feedback.

Make sure you write a record of any feedback from the community, whether
suggestions, criticisms, encouragement or corrections.

Adapt and Write

If you want to type up what you have just recorded, then for each

  1. Move in HearThis to the verse you want to listen to.
  2. Move in Paratext to the translation project and to the correct book, chapter and verse.
  3. Listen to it in HearThis and type into the appropriate project in Paratext.

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