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Your Questions, Answered!

  • Why Bible Translation?
    The very first act of the Holy Spirit, recorded in Acts chapter 2, was to allow people from many different languages to hear "the wonders of God" in their own languages. We believe Bible translation is a continuation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to allow people from every language to hear and understand the Good News in their own heart language. We believe that each and every nation, people group, tribe and language are of immense value in God's eyes and that the future He envisions is of all people groups united in their diversity. (See Rev. 7:9) Isaiah 40 states that "The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever". By being involved in Bible Translation, we are involved in a work of eternal significance. It is an inheritance given to these people groups, not only for their children, but for generations to come.
  • Where do you get funding?
    Most of our funding comes from individuals who want to be part of the vission and mission for Bible translation with other sources of funding coming from a few international donor organisations like The Seed Company or Wycliffe USA who subsidise certain project expenses.
  • How Do You Translate?
    Basically, we train and equip mother tongue speakers of languages who do not have the Bible to translate for their own people. One of the subjects we teach at TWFTW is called "The Process of Bible Translation", and the theory part of it takes a whole week to teach, which I'm sure you don't want to go through right now, but you are welcome to contact us for more info. In brief summary, this is the process: 1. Research: We need to research a language group to determine the need and the various dialects which exist within a language. 2. Recruit: We need to recruit translators from the community in collaboration with local churches. 3. Training: We need to train translators through our Diploma in Bible Translation course, which is a four year on the job training covering topics from translation theory to anthropology, theology and linguistics. 4. Translating: The translation process is when translators translate portions of scripture. Each translator is typically assigned one book each to work on at a time and use software called Paratext, which is designed specifically for Bible translation. 5. Checking: Translators check each other’s work through team checks, take translations to their communities for checking through what we call village checks, have their translation checked by respected members of their churches and community which we call reviewers checking, the translation is then checked by an outside consultant to ensure its accuracy. 6. Literacy: Part of the process is literacy. It often happens that the people group we engage do not even have an alphabet with which to write their language down. We work with the community in developing a writing system for their language as well as develop material that can be used to teach people to read and write. 7. Publication and Distribution: Finally, publication and distribution is necessary. After all the checks are done on a translation it is typeset by a professional typesetter and sent for printing. Once printed we have a dedication ceremony and distribute the translated scriptures.
  • What does it cost to translate the Bible?
    Bible translation is a huge process involving communities of people over many years and it costs us about $50'000 per year all inclusive to run one project. To translate a New Testament costs $300'000+ and takes 6 years to complete, and for a full Bible the cost would be around 600'000 USD and an additional 6 years. To know more about this process, visit our page on the process of BT.
  • Why Translate for Minorities?
    It's a common question. Why not teach them English and give them an English Bible or a Bible in some other major language? There are a number of reasons we translate the for minority people groups: 1. God speaks your language. In Acts chapter 2, the very first act of the Holy spirit was to allow people to hear "the wonders of God in our own tongues!" God is no foreigner to us. He knows us intimately and wishes to connect with us in our heart language. 2. You are what you speak. It is a well-documented linguistic fact that language, culture and identity are intertwined. Honoring a person’s language is honoring the person, and it demonstrates God's love for every person, their language, culture and identity. 3. It has a far greater impact on people’s lives. When people hear God's word in their own language, it touches not only their minds but their hearts too. 4. Educational advantages. The Bible is often the very first piece of literature in a language community and introduces them to a whole new world of reading and writing which never before existed for them. 5. Language and culture are preserved. Another well documented fact is that when a people group receive a Bible in their own language, the process of loss of language and culture that many minority groups around the world face are often reversed. “Understanding Scripture in a language other than the heart language in which we think and experience emotion is "like trying to eat soup with a fork. You can get a little taste, but you cannot get nourished.” - William Cameron Townsend
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