TBTA's Ministry

Our ministry at TBTA is to help translate the entire Bible, commentaries, Bible study materials, and other Christian literature into as many of the world's languages as possible.

At the present time our primary overseas ministry is in the Philippines, but we'll also be working in Vanuatu in the near future. We always welcome opportunities to help translate the Bible into new languages in any part of the world.

The Philippines

In the Philippines, after we've produced a translation of a biblical book, we want to make that book available to people who can benefit from it. We want to see people reading and understanding the Bible in their own languages. In order to make these books more appealing to young people, we put the texts into the pictures provided by Free Illustrated Bible Inc. (www.FreeIllustratedBible.com) The result is a Bible book that looks and feels just like a comic book, but it's actually a verse by verse translation in contemporary, easy to understand language. We then distribute these picture Bible books to other ministries who are working with students, orphans, prisioners, and anyone else who can benefit from reading the Bible. Listed below are several of the ministries we're working with in order to provide Bible books to young people in Manila.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shining Stars

Statistics indicate that more than 50% of all Filipino students drop out before completing high school, usually for poverty related reasons. Some of those students want to return to school at a later time, but they can't because they are too old to return to the grade they left. Shining Stars is a ministry in Manila specifically for students from families who can’t afford to keep them in school, or those who have already dropped out of school, but want to return and continue their education. Shining Stars works with these students to help them complete their education and prepare for the accreditation equivalency test. If students pass that exam, they receive the equivalent of a high school diploma, and are eligible for college or vocational school. In addition to educating these students, Shining Stars also introduces their students to a life-changing relationship with Jesus, and encourages them in their spiritual growth. Shining Stars has approximately 20 students each year in their elementary through high school sponsorship program, and another 50 students each year in their alternative learning center which prepares students for the equivalency exam. The directors of Shining Stars want to provide Tagalog picture Bible books for their students, so TBTA is raising funds for printing these books.

 

 

Project Pag-asa

Public education in the Philippines is free, but to attend a public school, students must purchase uniforms and school supplies. Children who live in orphanages are often unable to purchase these items, so they're not able to attend a public school. In order to help these children, two missionaries have founded Project Pag-asa, which is a school specifically serving orphanages. They currently partner with five orphanages in two suburbs of Manila, and are in the third year of their program. Many children in orphanages have unique educational needs such as learning difficulties, or they are extremely behind their peers. So the education provided by Project Pag-asa is designed to accelerate their learning, as well as provide them with a high level of English proficiency. Both of these are important for the students to either be adopted or attend a quality college in the Philippines. Project Pag-asa currently has 41 students enrolled in grades 1 through 8, ages 6 to 16.

The Education Director at Project Pag-asa recently wrote: "The comic book format of the Bible in contemporary Tagalog is perfect for our students. I started teaching one class with the book of Ruth that you sent. They LOVE it. And understand so much more. Thank you!"

 

 

The Rock

The Rock is a ministry in Manila that provides homeless people and urban poor with meals, a place to shower and wash their clothes, and a place to rest. The Rock also provides job training and occasionally offers medical assistance. But their focus is on sharing the gospel and God's love, and many people have received Christ through this ministry. The director of The Rock would like to make the picture Bible books produced by TBTA available to its guests for Bible studies.

 

 

 

 

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The need for Bible translation:

There are almost 7,000 languages spoken in the world today*. However, the complete Bible has been translated into only 518 of those languages. Parts of the Bible have been translated into several thousand languages, but there are still approximately 2,000 languages today that don’t have any part of the Bible. The people who speak the languages that don’t have any part of the Bible number more than 200 million, and there are unknown millions more who do not have the complete Bible in their own language. Our organization’s sole purpose is to help translate the entire Bible into all of the world’s languages.

 

The Bible Translator’s Assistant Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. We’re a group of computational linguists and Bible exegetes who have developed software which significantly reduces the amount of time and work required to produce an accurate and easily understood translation of the Bible. We work with mother-tongue speakers, missionaries, translators and linguists in order to build lexicons and grammars for other languages. Then our software generates initial draft translations of the Bible which mother-tongue speakers edit in order to produce publishable texts. Our software typically quadruples the productivity of experienced mother-tongue translators without any loss of quality.

 

*More detailed information can be found at http://www.wycliffe.org/About/Statistics.aspx.

 

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TBTA's contribution to Bible translation:

The fundamental goal of TBTA Inc. is to help translate the entire Bible into all of the world’s languages. In order to achieve this goal, we perform the following three tasks:

 

1) We work with mother-tongue speakers, missionaries, linguists and translators who speak languages that do not yet have the Bible. Often we work with missionaries who are either starting a new translation project, or who have finished translating the New Testament and want computational help translating the Old Testament. In a typical TBTA project, we meet with the missionaries and mother-tongue speakers in order to develop computational lexicons and grammars for their languages. Then our software produces an initial draft translation which the mother-tongue speakers edit in order to improve the text's naturalness. The lexicons and grammars must go through many revisions, but eventually our software is able to produce an initial draft translation which significantly improves the productivity of the mother-tongue translators.

 

2) We develop semantic representations of the Bible. Developing a semantic representation of a biblical text consists of representing that text with semantically simple words and simple sentence structures which convey the same meaning as the original text. In order to develop these semantic representations, we examine the original Greek and Hebrew texts, and we also consult numerous commentaries and other translations. Then, after capturing the meaning of a text using simple words and simple sentences, we add detailed linguistic information so that our software will have access to the information it needs in order to generate that text in a wide variety of languages.

 

3) We continually enhance our software that has been designed specifically for Bible translation. The software is now producing drafts of sections of the Bible in a variety of languages. But in order to further increase the productivity of the people we work with, we continually improve our software.