Introduction / History There are about 1,200,000 Deaf people in Vietnam, many of whom haven't gone to school due to poverty and a shortage of schools for the deaf. This means few Deaf people know how to read well, so when a Deaf person becomes a believer, understanding the Bible becomes a big challenge.
For this reason, the Vietnam Partnership program of the United Bible Societies is working on Scripture portions in sign language to help the Deaf in Vietnam learn the Bible through videoed stories. As there is no standardized sign language in Vietnam, the sign language in Hanoi has been selected for videoing. It is hoped that perhaps that variety will become a standard and also serve the people who sign the variety in Haiphong. There is another variety used in the south that is very different.
The Deaf translation team is made up of five people from the north who hope and pray that all Deaf people in Vietnam will see and understand the videos. The process includes reading the Bible, summarizing the story, drawing pictures to increase understanding, translating into sign language – which is very challenging when there is new term – and finally videoing the story.
Working on this project has been a spiritual blessing for each individual on the translation team. When the three year project is over, they hope to continue working together to evangelize the Deaf as they firmly believe that Scripture changes hearts.