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August 2, 2021

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2000 Languages in the world are unwritten – Press Release

3 min read

Street Evangelism - Roland after Preaching a Sunday Service in Juarez, Mexico 2003

When the Printed Page Isn’t Enough, Wycliffe Associates Finds Way to Make the Bible Accessible to Waiting Language Groups

(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, is helping Bible translators from groups with unwritten languages to bring the Scriptures to their people.

“For some, it will never be enough to hand them a Bible because their language is not written,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “They have no alphabet. Printed, words will never reach them.”

Since more than 2,000 languages in the world are unwritten, Wycliffe Associates is providing mother-tongue translators with technology that enables them to translate and record the Bible for their own language group to hear.

Devices are bundled into what is known as a Bible Translation Recording Kit (BTRK), which allows a translation team to record the entire Bible. Each kit, at a cost of $500, includes a computer tablet, a microphone, and translation and recording software.

“For the millions of people in these language groups, this is the only way they will ever know God’s Word,” said Smith. “It’s their only hope.”

“National Bible translators often go home to their village after a long day of translation work and retell the Bible stories in their own language around the fire at night. People are coming to faith in Christ immediately.”

In addition to equipping these language groups with the technology they need to bring the translated Scriptures to their people, BTRKs also make the Bible accessible to the millions of people who are unable to read in their own language.

And for Bible translators who live in remote regions or places where Christians face intense persecution, Wycliffe Associates provides BTRKs that typically include a laptop computer, satellite communication terminal, solar panel, battery, and power supply. Mother-tongue translators can undertake their work without having to travel or depend on electricity and a local Internet connection. The state-of-the-art equipment in the BTRKs makes it possible for the Bible translators to collaborate remotely with translation partners in other parts of the country or the world.

Wycliffe Associates hopes to provide 698 kits for upcoming Bible translation projects. Since beginning the BTRK program, the organization has distributed 288 BTRKs and helped launch 45 oral language translation projects.

Of the 7,097 languages currently spoken in the world, there are 2,758 languages that still need a Bible translation project started.


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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