10/02/2017: Wycliffe Associates Experiencing Increasing Demand from Isolated Language Groups Seeking Bible Translation Training and Tools
(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, plans to begin 20 MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) workshops in the next 90 days to meet a growing demand from language groups historically overlooked for Bible translation project starts.
“For decades—even longer—Bible translation in these remote areas could only happen if foreigners were willing to live there, learn the language, and painstakingly translate the Bible line upon line,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.
A MAST Training Workshop is the first step in a process that enables a church community to obtain the Scriptures for their language group. MAST is a collaborative translation method that was first piloted by Wycliffe Associates in 2014. Working over a two-week period, a group of mother-tongue translators completed the drafting and accuracy-checking process for approximately half of the New Testament in their language. There was no decrease in the quality of the translation compared to traditional translation methods.
Dr. John Luton, who has participated in checking the accuracy of numerous translation projects around the world, says, “The work produced through MAST methodology is excellent. It compares very favorably with texts produced through other methods.”
During a MAST Training Workshop, leaders can assess the pace at which mother-tongue translators are able to draft and check Scripture. The pace of translation depends on a variety of factors, including a translator’s education, biblical knowledge, and language skill. Near the end of the workshop, leaders are then asked to develop a plan for the completion of the translation project.
Church leaders from numerous isolated language groups are now reaching out to Wycliffe Associates to ask for MAST tools and training. As part of a MAST Training Workshop, Wycliffe Associates provides mother-tongue translators with computer tablets loaded with software, training, technical connectivity, and safe shelter where the translators can work collaboratively and discreetly.
“Many of these folks live in regions of persecution,” says Smith. “They’ve been pushed aside by those in political power. And sadly, they’ve been unreached by Bible translation. There are so many language groups crying for help. I often have to admit to them that we simply don’t have the resources at this time.”
The cost of conducting one MAST Training Workshop is $19,500.
“I have visited a remote area of Indonesia where a church was planted 182 years ago—but they now have the Scriptures in their own language for the first time ever,” says Smith. “Thank God, MAST makes the difference.”
Since 2014, over 1,000 translation projects have been started using 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. Last year, 7,097 Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers worked to speed Bible translations in 76 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.
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