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For The Press

Press Release

02/01/2018: Wycliffe Associates Marks Milestone in Bible Translation History, Looks Toward 600 New Translation Starts in 2018

(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, has received requests for 600 new Bible translation launches in 2018.

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. 

“As miraculous as 2017 has been, I am praying 2018 will be even more astonishing,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “New strategies, methods, tools, and resources are empowering the local church and Christians to translate God’s Word into more languages than at any time in world history. Our MAST [Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation] strategy is building momentum. Word is spreading. Even people living in areas of intense persecution, violence, or danger, now have hope.”

Wycliffe Associates developed MAST in 2014 at the request of one of its international partners. MAST is an eight-step, collaborative, rapid-translation method that decreases the completion time for Scripture translation from years to weeks or months. Wycliffe

Associates tested MAST in 2014 with five language groups in South Asia. All but one of the groups already had been working on a Scripture translation for several years. At a two-week workshop later in the year the team drafted 48 percent of the New Testament in their language, including an accuracy-checking process.

Since that time, 1,086 Bible translation projects have been started through MAST workshops.

Wycliffe Associates also provides technology that supports MAST, including computer tablets for national translators and Print On Demand systems. Tablets for national translators enable local believers living in places hostile to the Christian faith to discreetly translate the Bible. Computer tablets loaded with Bible translation software and helpful apps make it possible for mother-tongue translators to carry out Bible translation efforts inconspicuously and efficiently.

Print On Demand (POD) systems provided by Wycliffe Associates help keep Bible translators safe as well. The compact, high-speed equipment is easily hidden and capable of producing small or larger quantities of Scripture and Bible stories.

“They’re pleading for our innovative technology so they can translate God’s Word for themselves,” says Smith. “What was impossible has become possible. The only remaining barrier is funding.”

The cost of launching a translation in a new language is $19,500, and Wycliffe Associates hopes to begin the 600 requested new language projects in 2018.

To date, Wycliffe Associates has distributed 3,716 tablets for national translators in 38 countries and has provided 64 POD systems in 20 countries.

Wycliffe Associates is working toward the goal of having a Bible in every language by the year 2025. Of the 7,097 languages spoken in the world, 2,758 languages still need a Bible translation project to begin. Bible translation is currently in progress for 3,703 languages.

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, 7,402 Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers worked to speed Bible translations in 72 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.
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