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Translation Strategies

Wycliffe Associates has developed new methods of Bible translation that have accelerated the translation process and created opportunities to get God’s Word to more people than ever before—even people who never dreamed they would have God’s Word in their heart language in their lifetime. Through these advances in Bible translation, your support will make it possible to have a Bible in every language by 2025.

MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation)

With the groundbreaking MAST method of Bible translation, a team of native language speakers can translate God’s Word quickly and accurately. Because MAST puts the tools for Bible translation into the hands of national translators—now their people don’t have to wait any longer to know God through His Word!

Teams of national Bible translators gather in a workshop setting to collaborate, translating multiple passages of Scripture in parallel, and they check and revise their translation drafts throughout the MAST workshop. MAST is based on proven linguistic principles, enabling native speakers of the target language to create a translation that is both accurate and clear. Learn more about how translators maintain accuracy during a MAST translation event.

MAST can be used even with small groups of believers in the most remote locations—opening up a pathway for thousands of new translation projects that would otherwise not be possible for decades to come!

You can help a language group start their very own translation of the Bible. The training, technology, and resources to launch a Bible translation cost just $19,500. National Bible translators are standing by, ready to begin work on their language. All they need is the help of friends like you to provide the funds to get started.

Supporting Local Church Leadership

With MAST, the local church is taking the reins in leading Bible translation efforts—recruiting the translators, organizing the workshop logistics, and checking the drafts of translated Scriptures. The local church has ownership of the Bible translation project from the very beginning—which means when you help provide the resources to start a new MAST Bible translation, you’re supporting the growth of local churches. They will use the Scripture for preaching, discipleship, and evangelism as soon as it is translated, and your gift will multiply disciples!

Translation Apps

Thanks to generous supporters like you, Wycliffe Associates has developed several apps that equip national translators to create Bible translations that are accurate, clear, and natural. For example, the Bible Translation Tools Writer app integrates several leading-edge strategies to advance Bible translation. Designed to run on computer tablets and mobile phones, these resources provide a wealth of information on keywords, concepts, and biblical, historical, and theological contexts to help Bible translators overcome roadblocks to a finished translation of the Scriptures.

Collaboration tools enable any number of people to work together, online or offline, to draft and revise their work for the best possible result. This technology also makes the work of Bible translation safer for believers in dangerous countries, where meeting together in person to work on translation could draw suspicion.

For people groups whose language is only spoken, not written, an oral translation app gives them the tools to translate Scripture in oral format and record an audio Bible that can be shared rapidly to phones and mp3 players. Even if they don’t read, everyone can hear God’s Word!

What about Bible translation for people who don’t communicate in written or spoken words—who are deaf, or both deaf and blind? Globally these groups make up a population of more than 400 million people, and they all need to know the truth of God’s Word.

DOT—Deaf Owned Translation: The combined Deaf community is the largest unreached people group in the world. Many Deaf populations in each country have their own sign language. That’s hundreds of languages that need video sign language translations. The DOT program provides video recording equipment so Deaf believers can translate Scripture into sign language, using MAST with their sign language, and share it with their Deaf community.

SUN—Symbolic Universal Notation: In developing countries, people who are both deaf and blind often struggle through life in isolation, even sometimes being thought of by their own families as worthless and incapable of learning. But now, with Symbolic Universal Notation, the Deaf-blind from any language group have a tool to quickly learn to read the Bible, which tells them God sees them as precious. SUN uses a set of pictures and symbols to communicate concepts across any culture. The SUN symbols are 3D printed as raised images that are “read” by touch—unlocking the key to communication for the deaf-blind! Deaf-blind people have been taught to use SUN to communicate in just a few days—and to read of God’s love for them in His Word!