5 posts about needs in minority language Bible translation

Over the past 18 months, I have dedicated a number of essays here to discussing the work that we will soon be doing with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Rachel Aubrey and I have been invited by Wycliffe Bible Translators to help contribute to a new generation of digital resources for studying Biblical languages, geared directly toward these kinds of challenges. As we get closer and closer to being able to truly begin that I work, I thought it might be useful to gather all of those posts together into one location here.

We did a series on why the work we’ll be doing for Wycliffe is needed.

  • We need new language resources for translation — Here we introduced of differences between target languages have an effect on how we write grammars because grammar writing itself is an act of communication.
  • Singular/plural; Familiar/unfamiliar: Person marking & Bible translation — We survey how different types of grammatical categories such as person and number vary from language to language and how those differences require different interpretive judgments from translation to translation.
  • The curious case of clusivity marking — Similarly, we introduce the concept of clusivity marking in 1st person plural marking, a grammatical phenomenon that does not appear in Indo-European languages like English, which requires an entirely different set translation judgments that English speakers need not consider.
  • Biblical Language Pedagogy for Bible Translators — We discuss how the descriptive and terminological traditions of traditional biblical studies diverges dramatically from the field of linguistics and how these differences can create barriers for linguists working in minority language in doing translation and studying biblical languages.

Separately, the final part of our four part series about our digital book in Logos Bible Software on Greek prepositions (Greek Prepositions in the New Testament, Pt IV) illustrates the specific kinds of work we look forward to doing in the support of Bible translation. The underlying data for that project illustrates how we are able systemically leverage corpus-based study of Greek and Hebrew to equip national translators and translation consultants with better tools and biblical language data for solving translation problems, enabling us to serve the global church and the bibleless people in meaningful and substantive ways.

We are getting closer and closer to our goal. Having financial partners who are part of the community of readers here Koine-Greek.com here transforms things by making the relationship between supporter, missionary, and translation project reciprocal. We all share together in learning more about how Biblical languages work and together we will be doing it while serving minority Christian communities still waiting to receive Scripture in their own language.

Because Wycliffe is a faith-based mission, we need people willing to give to partner with them financially in their work with Wycliffe before we can begin. Right now we’re at 97.5% of the budget Wycliffe set for us, in not a small part because of some of you, our readers, have already joined us. We hope that there might be a few more who might consider joining us in their Wycliffe Ministry.

It does not take much, even $10 or $20 a month brings us closer from 97.5% funded to fully 100% funded. We would love to have you join with us.