Bible translation app requires teamwork

iPad mini running Commons mobile app. (Photo, caption courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

iPad mini running Commons mobile app.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

International (MNN) — There’s an app for everything these days; why not Bible translation, too? Bruce Smith, President of Wycliffe Associates, says they’re working on a Bible translation app called translationStudio.

The app will be like a Bible commentary, helping translators understand the context and meaning of a verse.

“Our goal is to create open content that’s freely available that people can use in the translation process,” Smith shares. “We’ve recruited Bible scholars to help produce this open content.

“We’ve also got experienced translators that are helping to work on the editorial process and make sure that the quality is there.”

How credible is a Bible translation app?

Credibility and accuracy are concerns with anything that’s “open source” — including open source giants like Wikipedia, or GNU. As such, some may discredit an open source approach when it comes to Bible translation.

But, Smith says Wycliffe has a “safe-guard” in place.

(Photo courtesy Wycliffe Associates)

(Photo courtesy Wycliffe Associates)

“There is an editorial ‘board’ process, a review process, before [the notes] get released into the app,” Smith explains. Notes that don’t meet Wycliffe’s standard are either edited or removed.

“People from our team–[people] who have experience in cross-cultural communications, working with mother-tongue translators, working in translation itself–are reviewing those [Bible scholars’] notes and ‘passing’ the ones that are of the quality we’re looking for.”

Necessity gave birth to the idea of an open source, mobile, Bible translation app. As Smith explains in this blog, there simply aren’t enough resources or manpower to reach every Bible translator in the world using traditional methods.

But, by working together, “we can use the skills that God has given all of us to produce something of good quality sooner, instead of later.”

Can you help?

Are you good at organizing people? Give Wycliffe Associates a call!

Are you good at organizing people? Give Wycliffe Associates a call!

Dozens of scholars and experienced translators are sharing their expertise and time. Now, Wycliffe just needs team leaders.

“We want people that are good project managers, good team motivators and planners that can help facilitate [the] process,” says Smith.

Find a full Team Leader description here.

If God is leading you to be involved in building a Bible translation app, take the “next steps” by contacting Wycliffe Associates. They can be reached toll-free by phone at 1-800-THE-WORD, or you can fill out this information form.