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Wycliffe Associates Looking Toward Launch of 100 New Bible Translations for Millions in the Dayak People of Borneo

May 7, 2019 | Orlando, Florida, USA

Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, intends to launch 100 new Bible translations this year among the most populous people on the island of Borneo. More than three million Dayak people on Borneo, representing 287 languages, are without the Scriptures.


“Millions of Dayak people have never seen a Bible in their own language,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “But now, Christians from these language groups have contacted us, requesting the tools to translate Scripture for their own people.”


Decades ago, missionaries shared the gospel with the Dayak, predominantly in the Indonesian language. As the gospel spread from the cities to smaller towns and villages, it could only be shared by word of mouth. Only a handful of the local languages had Bible translations. In some of the most remote Dayak villages, only a few of the residents speak Indonesian.


“The Christians in the villages have heard stories from other parts of the country about the incredible transformation that happens where God’s Word becomes available in the heart language of the people,” said Smith. “Tribes at war for generations, regions bound by demonic influence, have experienced a new wave of peace.”


Through an innovative translation method known as MAST, or Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation, Wycliffe Associates provides training to mother-tongue translators in a workshop setting. The workshops are staffed by local churches, and the translators and church leadership participate in a review process throughout the translation project to help ensure the translation is accurate.


Twenty-first century neurological and education theories guided the development of the MAST strategy, which consists of four drafting steps and four accuracy checking steps.


“One hundred language groups are already recruiting mother-tongue Bible translators to start translating,” said Smith, “yet they can’t start without the technology and tools: computer tablets, Bible translation resources, and training.”


In addition to training at the MAST workshops, Wycliffe Associates equips translators with computer tablets loaded with translation software and provides technology such as Print On Demand equipment, open-source translation technology, and resources to help empower local Bible translators.


More than 1,300 Bible translations have been launched since the development of MAST.


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. Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers are currently accelerating Bible translations in 92 countries. For more information, please see