The Y Report

Translating the Word


Lila Norton sitting at computer with translation books.
Photo by Bradley Slade

Using the Macedonian she learned by talking to locals, consulting a grammar book, and reading The Chronicles of Narnia, Lila Rice Norton (’22) did her best as a missionary to summarize Book of Mormon passages for Macedonians who had no translation in their language.

Two years later, the BYU English major and translation minor is still helping—now as head of the Church’s ecclesiastical-review team for the Macedonian translation of the Book of Mormon.

Norton’s team of Macedonians and returned missionaries—including other BYU students and her now-husband—focuses on creating scriptural language that is both doctrinally and linguis­tically correct.

“I’m always worried that I’ll work in Americanisms that a Macedonian wouldn’t say,” says Norton. “I’ve really had to rely on the Spirit to tell me that, yes, I’m qualified.”

So far, more than half of the Macedonian Book of Mormon has been released to the Gospel Library app. The translation is expected to be completed this summer.

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