ORLANDO, Florida – Wycliffe Associates has a goal of translating the Bible into every language by 2025. During 2018, the organization expects to begin translations in 600 languages, a task that was once unimaginable. Wycliffe is embracing advances in technology previously unavailable to translators.
It was not all that long ago that translation of the Bible was a painstakingly slow process, often taking years just to translate one or more books of just the New Testament.
Print-on-Demand has completely revolutionized the advertising and marketing world in the West. Wycliffe has begun putting POD to use by providing nationals with compact, highly portable devices that allow them to print individual books and Bibles for immediate use.
Bible Translation Acceleration Kits include a small laptop computer, a satellite communication terminal, and a solar power supply. The kits make Bible translation possible by linking nationals who can collaborate on translation into their native language – even in remote locations where there is no electricity.
Bible Translation Recording Kits provide a way for nationals to record Scripture on digital audio in oral cultures where written translation is not yet complete and where illiteracy rates are high.
Tablets for National Translators come equipped with the latest translation software so that Christian nationals may work in virtually any location without interference.
Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation (MAST) equips national Christians to work simultaneously translating and checking each other’s work to bring Scripture into their native language. In the past year the Orlando-based organization launched new Scripture translation projects in 346 languages around the world and helped complete New Testament translations in 104 languages since the inception of MAST.
Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates explained that nationals “can decide what the priority is for starting the translation, where they want to begin, how many people will be involved, how quickly it will continue, how it will be published, what form . . . And it essentially puts all of those decisions into their hands for really the first time in a long time.”
Implementing advanced technologies is beginning to permit national Christians – even where there is no electricity – to translate the Bible more rapidly and effectively than ever. In fact, these technologies may be the greatest innovations for distribution of the Word of God since Guttenberg invented the printing press.
[UPDATED: February 9, 2018 to fix a quote]
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