(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, announces that there are more languages with Bible translations in progress than there are languages needing a Bible.
“It used to take a decade or more to translate the New Testament,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Now, things are different—far different.”
Wycliffe Associates’ 2014 launch of collaborative translation workshops called MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) has drastically reduced the length of time required to translate the Scriptures into new languages. Projects that traditionally took years now take months.
In a MAST workshop, teams of mother-tongue translators work on books of the Bible simultaneously. Using the MAST method, a team of 26 translators can translate the entire New Testament in a matter of weeks or months.
During a MAST workshop in Namibia, a team of mother-tongue translators was able to complete a draft of one-third of the New Testament in their language in 10 days.
MAST coupled with new technology, has made it possible to begin new translation projects at a faster rate.
Working in conjunction with MAST is Wycliffe Associates’ Tablets for National Translators (TNTs) program, in which Wycliffe Associates adds Bible translation and other helpful applications to basic computer tablets and subsequently supplies them to mother-tongue translators. In locations where authorities are hostile to the Christian faith, Bible translators are able to hide their work in plain sight.
“A Bible in their hands is like a target on their backs,” says Smith.
The tablets also protect the Bible translation work itself, providing continuous backup so the work is preserved in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack, which some teams have experienced.
Tablets help ensure accuracy, enabling Bible translators to collaborate and check each other’s work, as well as efficiency, supplying essential translation software and access to a vast online resource library.
“I can hardly describe how important Wycliffe Associates’ Tablets for National Translators program is” said Smith, “Together with MAST, Tablets for National Translators turn years into months.
In the coming year, Wycliffe Associates wants to launch Bible translation in 600 new languages and provide as many as 7,800 new tablets to the mother-tongue translators at a cost of $300 each.
Of the 7,097 languages spoken in the world 2,758 need a Bible translation project started. Currently there is a Bible translation in progress for 3,703 languages.
To date, 3,149 Tablets for National Translators have been distributed in 38 countries.
About Wycliffe Associates
One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Associates was organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation. Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.
Because millions of people around the world still wait to have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associates is directly involved with speeding Bible translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Last year, 7,402 Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers worked to speed Bible translations in 72 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.
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