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.