Tools and Resources for the Bible Translation Process

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Roma Bible Society partners with the unfoldingWord project in our Bible translation process. The following section is taken from unfoldingWord’s translationAcademy.

“This section explains:

  • Why the unfoldingWord project exists and why we do what we do
  • How we go about trying to accomplish that goal
  • What we do to meet that goal

Why

Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples of EVERY people group:

“Jesus came to them and spoke to them and said, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them into the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey all the things that I have commanded you. And see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.’” (Matthew 28:18-20 ULB)

We have the promise that one day representatives from EVERY language will be in heaven:

“After these things I saw, and behold, there was a great crowd, which no one was able to number, out of every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9 ULB)

Understanding the WORD OF GOD in one’s heart language is so important:

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17 ULB)

So, why do we do what we do?

The unfoldingWord project exists because every people group deserves to have the Word of God in their language. To this end we seek to make disciples of all nations by helping to provide unrestricted biblical content in every language of the world.

How

How do we accomplish our goal of unrestricted biblical content in every language?

What

What do we do?

  • Open-licensed content – We create and make available for translation free and unrestricted biblical content
    • Open Bible Stories – a chronological mini-Bible comprising 50 key stories of the Bible, from Creation to Revelation, for evangelism and discipleship, in print, audio, and video (see https://unfoldingword.org/stories/).
    • the Bible – the only inspired, inerrant, sufficient, authoritative Word of God made available under an open license for unrestricted translation, use, and distribution (see https://unfoldingword.org/bible/).
    • translationNotes – linguistic, cultural, and exegetical helps created for translators. They exist for Open Bible Stories and for the Bible (see https://unfoldingword.org/translationnotes/).
    • translationQuestions – questions for each chunk of text that the translators and checkers can ask to help insure that the translation is being understood correctly. Available for Open Bible Stories and for the Bible (see https://unfoldingword.org/translationquestions/).
    • translationWords – a list of important Biblical terms with a short explanation, cross references, and translation aids. Useful for Open Bible Stories and the Bible (see https://unfoldingword.org/translationwords/).
  • Tools – We create translation, checking, and distribution tools (all of these tools are explained in more detail in the Technology Manual, see Table of Contents – Technology Manual Volume 1)
    • Door43 – an online translation platform where people can collaborate on translation and checking, also the content management system for unfoldingWord (seehttps://door43.org ).
    • translationStudio – a mobile app and a desktop app where translators can do offline translating (see https://unfoldingword.org/translationstudio/).
    • translationKeyboard – a mobile app where users can create custom keyboards for languages not supported by their mobile device (see https://unfoldingword.org/translationkeyboard/).
    • unfoldingWord app – a mobile app where checked unfoldingWord translations are published and distributed (see https://unfoldingword.org/app/).
    • Digital Publishing Engine – a system of pushing checked translations to the unfoldingWord website and app and creating print-ready documents of the content
    • Video Render Engine – an automatic video render system that takes audio recordings and merges them with video clips to create custom videos for certain projects
  • Training – We create resources to train mother tongue translation teams (the training course is called translationAcademy – see https://unfoldingword.org/academy/ )
    • Introduction – introduces the unfoldingWord project (see Introduction to translationAcademy)
    • Process Manual – answer the question “what next?” (see Process Manual)
    • Translation Manual – explains the basics of translation theory and practical translation helps (see Translation Manual)
    • Checking Manual – explains the basics of checking theory and best practices (see Checking Manual)
    • Technology Manual – explains how to use the different technology tools (see Technology Manual)
    • Audio Manual – How to do high quality audio recordings (see Audio Manual)
    • Gateway Languages Manual – explains issues specific to the Gateway Languages (see Gateway Languages Manual)”

(quoted from translationAcademy, “The unfoldingWord Project”)

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Roma Bible Society partners with Roma Bible Union in providing Scripture Use materials.

We produce Bible study topical booklets covering topics such as How to study the Bible, How to pray, the church, the Christian family, fortune telling and witchcraft, begging and Christian work ethic, alcoholism, and physical and sexual abuse. RBU also has daily devotionals to go along with Scripture reading.

These materials can be used before, during and after the Bible translation phases to prepare for and encourage Scripture use. In each case RBU and RBS will provide online templates, so that the translated text can be entered online, stored digitally and prepared with graphic design layout for you so that you can download it and take it to the local printer of your choice, or as e-books.

RBS will also work with partner organizations to provide the Bible text, as well as the above-mentioned supplemental materials in audio, video and digital formats, on the web, in apps, and through social media.

We encourage you to distribute as you go. It is increasingly costly and unnecessary to print large quantities of Scripture portions and store them in warehouses and churches. With printing on demand our suggestion is to only print what can be realistically distributed in a short period of time. There are many distribution methods available, such as through the post, couriers, blitz teams, and local churches and the RBU/RBS network will provide guidance and contacts to assist in the distribution of these materials.