Kimachame Bible Translation and Publishing

Project Summary


The translation project for Kimachame Bible started in January 1991 and was expected to end in December; 2013.The completion date has been revised to 2019 due to reasons beyond our control including inadequate funding. The New Testament was completed, Published and officially launched in November 2000; the project is in the stage of Publishing and typesetting the Kimachame Bible. In 2020 we plan to finish up the  compiling work, Printing Shipping and Launching the Kimachame Bible.

It is desired that in 2020 the following activities will be carried out:-

  • Compiling  work
  • Printing
  • Shipping
  • Launching

Traditionally the Kimachame community is marred by evil practices such as witchcraft, alcoholism, polygamy and idolatry. Kimachame people have longed to have the Bible in their mother tongue for many years. This continuing translation is a blessing to this community. It is expected that, availability of the Bible in kimachame language will have a positive effect on church growth and deepening of personal faith that will lead to changed behavior in the community-minimizing the bad practices. . Having the Bible in their language will not only enable them to understand the Bible better, but it will also help preserve their language and cultural heritage.

It is targeted that a total of 250,000 people will benefit from this project.

Our partners in this project are Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Pentecostal churches in the project area. The Bible Society has learnt that, Church involvement in the Bible cause brings great success to Bible translation work.

This project in line with Philadelphia promise and the Bible Society of Tanzania Strategic Plan (2018 – 2022)

Reason for Ranking

Due to the demand f the Community

Other Resources Wanted


Project Goal

To make available the Bible available in the Kimachame language for faith and spiritual enhancement among the Kimachame language speakers.

Project goal’s relationship to overall bible society strategy

To translate the Bible in Kimachame language for mission work among Machame speakers. This is in line with the Bible Society’s

Strategic objectives that emphasizes the Society’s responsibility of facilitating translation of the Bible into languages without Bible, publish, and print the same – making it available to the community as the Word of God helping them to grow both in faith and spiritually

Strategic Fit

Connecting your project to your Bible Society’s overall mission strategy

How does your project relate to the Philadelphia Promise?

The Philadelphia Promise affirms the fellowship commitment to make the

Work of God available to all people in languages they prefer or understand better

through the process of translation, publishing, printing, distribution,

Bible engagement and advocacy. This translation project therefore, falls in

line with the Promise.

About the beneficiaries

How did you arrive at your beneficiary impact number?

This is According to the Government Statistics

Beneficiary focus

The Kimachame Bible Translation Project has been going on since 1992. The aim is to make available the first ever Bible in this important Chagga-dialect. The New Testament was completed and dedicated for use in 2000. Work on the Old Testament has been going on and is nearing completion. The target is to realise the goal of completing the Old Testament translation in 2012. The project is now in the final stages of checking the text of the OT with reviewers and the Consultant. This will then allow for the preparation of the complete Bible by incorporating corrections to the New Testament, and doing the final manuscript checks before publication.

How have the needs and perspective of the beneficiaries helped shape the design of the project?

Thorough research was done before Kimachame translation started. The Church

in the language area requested the Bible Society to facilitate the

translation and was ready to partner by providing translators, reviewers

and office space.

National Context

The Kimachame-Chagga speakers had the Gospels in their language for the first time in 1932. An edition with a revised orthography was produced for them by the BFBS in 1950. Since that time nothing else has appeared in this language. This means that speakers of Kimachame have never had the complete New Testament or the books of the Old Testament Scriptures in their own language. They have mainly used the Swahili Scriptures. Hence the request by the churches to prepare th complete Bible in this major Chagga dialect to enable speakers to read the Scriptures in their own language.


The Bible Society learnt that, church involvement in the Bible cause brings great success.

Promotion of other programmes like Faith Comes by Hearing increased the relevancy of the project and the need for the availability of a full Bible.

Lack of ISP funding has slowed down the translation process. This contributes the project to take much longer to complete. The undesignated fund from the Bible Society is not adequate for running the project to completion.

The project may not be completed in time due to hand-caps like limited budget that necessitates translators working part-time instead of full time on the project. The completion has been extended to 2016 instead of the original estimated date of December 2014.

How this project will help the beneficiaries

The Bible is expected to help evangelism as well as churches growth. But also to change the Kimachame behavior. Availability of the Word of God in Kimachame language will also impart Bible

knowledge to the language speakers that will help them to grow in faith

and spirituality – such knowledge will help them to ward off evil

practices like occult, idolatry, rampant suicide behavior and polygamy

Scripture & Prayer

Key Verse

Colossians 1:10-11

Prayer points

  • Pray for the typesetter to finish up the typesetting work
  • Pray that the Full Bible will be actively used and bring about the required impact.

Project Activities

Project activities


  • Compiling the work
  • Printing.
  • Launching

Project partners

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania- Northern Diocese,

The Diocese provides the Translators and Reviewers.

Monitoring of translation work on a day to day basis.

Encouraging and motivating translators in doing quality job

Provide office for translation work

The Bible Society of Tanzania:

paying monthly honoraria to translators

Training translators on different translation programmes like Para-text, computer use

Training of reviewers to facilitate review sessions to ensure good quality translation

Providing equipment like computers, printers and utilities like stationeries

The United Bible Societies Africa Area Service Centre:

Provides translation Consultant

Provides training for new translators

Provide training on new translation programmes.

Resourcing the Project

Non-financial Resources

Translation Consultant.

Financial notes


Staff cost:

Rev. Barnabas Munuo 12@ $300 =$3,600

Rev. Tumsifu Kweka 12@ $300 =$3,600

Travel costs:

– Translators : $1,500

– Translation Manager: $500

Indirect costs: $1,500


Staff costs $ 7,200

Typesetting $5,000

Proof reading $ 4,000

Travel cost $ 3,500

Indirect cost : $2,020

For 2017, $3,000 undesignated income has been removed from the budget to allow for an exchange grant

Outputs & Impacts

Outputs from the project


It is desired that in 2019 the following activities will be carried out:-

  • Compiling the work.
  • Printing.
  • Shipping
  • Launching


  • Impact 1

    Short term impact

    • Increase in translation skills among translators
    • A strong relationship between churches and  Bible Society  built
    •  Unity among Church denominations enhanced
    • Increased enthusiasm and inquiries on the full Bible among the Kimachame  speakers.

    Long term impact

    • Increased understanding of the Bible message.
    • Increased denominational unity among churches.
    • Increased skill and knowledge for translators
    • Increased sell of Bibles.
    • Kimachame speaker’s traditions and culture archived.
    • Churches equipped with a tool of evangelism.
    • Increased demand for Scriptures
    • Reduced number of malpractices in the community such as: – Adultery, Early childhood marriages, polygamy, drunkenness, witchcraft, stealing, etc.
    • Increased awareness about the Bible Society.
    • Reduced quarrels arising from family misunderstandings.
    • -Reduced level of alcoholism

    – Undertaking facts finding research – interviewing community members & leaders.

Tracking unexpected outcomes

– Undertaking facts finding research – interviewing community members & leaders.

Supporting Information


The Church in the language area approached the Bible Society and presented their need of the Bible in their language.

Informal research was carried out to ascertain the need for the project and the need was then approved by the Board.


Rev.Macha is a translator of Kimachame Project. Here he gives his testimony. He had this to say; ” read the Scriptures in my mother tongue is so nice and sweet due to the level of understanding and I am very much impressed by translating the word of God in my mother tongue it helped a lot. I understand better than when I read it in Swahili language. I am very much motivated to continue waiting for a day we will launch the Bible in my language.

Leadership track record

The Bible Society of Tanzania has good track record after undertaking many projects successfully. The Bible Society has a stable and able leadership that keeps close followup on projects implementation.

The Bible Society also has Translation Manager who keeps close followup on translation projects.

External references

According to Rev.Barnabas Munuo he said “Machame Speakers are waiting Full Bible so that they can use in the church”

Best practices

The Church leaders and the community cooperation with translators is quite motivating and engaging.

The Bible Society involvement creates confidence in the implementation of this project


Posted on

August 9, 2021

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