One of the most anticipated events in MIBF (or Manila International Book Fair) are book launches by some of the best publishing company in the country. It features newly released books the book lovers are anticipating. For OMF Literature this is an opportunity to showcase fresh Christian books for the Filipino readers. One of I think the best release they have is the conversational Tagalog version of two of the most sought after books of John MacArthur.
Recently I have book reviewed Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace which are a must read. The translation is done by author Marlene Legaspi -Munar. So Delighting Grace talked to Ms. Marlene about her latest translation project and more about the two books by John MacArthur.
Delighting Grace: How did you end up with an awesome translation gig?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I started translating years ago when a missionary friend, Mike Gingerich from Action International Ministries, asked me if I would be interested in translating the book The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. I did and I enjoyed the experience. Since then, I’ve translated modules, Bible study materials, and other books. Some of the books I’ve translated were published by CSM Publishing and OMF Literature. The latter published the Taglish (conversational Tagalog) translation of John MacArthur’s Found: God’s Will and Found:God’s Peace. The translated titles are Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace respectively.
Delighting Grace: Prior to the two books you have translated, do you enjoy reading books from John MacArthur?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I’ve read books by John MacArthur before, and have listened to his radio program over at 702 DZAS (a Christian AM station in the Philippines).
Delighting Grace: Which of the two books you have translated is more attached to you personally?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: Usapang God’s Peace is easily a favorite. It covers a topic most of us are interested in: how to overcome uncertainty, worry, and anxiety. The book reminds us to pray with thanksgiving and focus our thoughts on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8). It talks about peace and God’s grace as well. By God’s grace we have been saved, and it is also His grace that enables us to know God and serve Him. And as John MacArthur said, “God’s peace and grace are always available to us”. What a great comfort to know that.
Delighting Grace: Aside from translating the book to make it understandable, what other factors do you consider when translating a book?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: Of course, I have to adhere to the publisher’s style guide when translating. The goal of translating a book from English to Tagalog, or Taglish (combination of Tagalog and English, or also called conversational Tagalog) is to reach a wider audience who appreciate a book written in this language. So I always keep in mind that the goal is to make the book reader-friendly and easily understood while remaining faithful to the message of the source text.
Delighting Grace: Can you tell us the process of translating Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace.
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I was offered by Ian Magallona, senior editor of OMF Literature to translate both books, one after the other. I think it took me more than a month to finish translating each book.
Delighting Grace: If you have to choose one between the two, which do you think is the most needed book that our fellow Pinoys needs to read and why?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I believe both books, Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace will speak to many Pinoy because they address different needs. We need to know God’s will for our lives, and we certainly need God’s grace and peace to keep us going each day and to live meaningfully and abundantly.
Delighting Grace: Please invite us to get the copy of the books and also books you have written.
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I hope you get a copy of Usapang God’s Will and Usapang God’s Peace, the Taglish translations of John MacArthur’s original titles Found: God’s Will and Found: God’s Peace. They’re available at OMF Literature Bookshops and other Christian bookstores.
Aside from these translated titles, you might also want to get a copy of the other books which I’ve written. My latest book is a travel-themed devotional called Traveler’s Notebook: Insights from Life’s Journey published by CSM Publishing. And if you’re a mother seeking how to balance family and work responsibilities, my other book How to be a Happy Working Mom published by OMF Literature could be the book you’re looking for. You can order online How to be a Happy Working Mom from Passages Books through this link.
You can also visit and like my author page on Facebook.
Delighting Grace: One last question, what if one day John MacArthur visited you and thank you for translating his books, how would you react?
Marlene Legaspi-Munar: First of all, it’s always an honor to serve God by translating books that communicate God’s will. I’m already blessed translating books by other authors, but a “thank you” from these authors would certainly be an encouragement!