As persecution against Christians escalates in many regions of the world, Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, is using technology to protect mother tongue Bible translators in high-risk areas.
Their initiative, called Tablets for National Translators (TNTs), places basic computer tablets loaded with Bible translation tools and other applications into the hands of mother-tongue Bible translators around the world, including those who live in areas where Christians are severely oppressed and persecuted.
“A Bible in their hands is like a target on their backs,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.
Not only do the computer tablets enable mother-tongue Bible translators to work discreetly, but it also enables collaboration with other translators, even in areas where it is difficult or dangerous for the translators to work together.
In addition to facilitating security and efficiency, Tablets for National Translators is accelerating the progress of Bible translation in conjunction with MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation), a pioneering new method for translating books of the Bible in parallel faster than ever before, maintaining the highest levels of accuracy and quality.
“This groundbreaking technology, together with MAST, cuts years off of Bible translation,” says Smith. “Tablets for National Translators turn years into months. As recently as 2012, translators launching a new translation were looking at a decade or more to translate the New Testament. Today, it can be done in only months.”
Computer tablets in the hands of mother-tongue translators also give them access to a vast library of translation resources that ensure the accuracy of their work and provide continuous online backup so their work is preserved.
Wycliffe Associates anticipates that in 2017, more Bible translations will be launched in new languages than ever before. The organization has set a goal of placing 5,000 computer tablets, at a cost of $300 each, in the hands of translators to launch 400 new Bible translations in the coming year.