Where do we do Bible translation? We often talk of work ‘around the world’, and it’s sometimes presumed to mean the places of greatest need — like central Africa, India and Papua New Guinea. But work there sits alongside the work going on in our (figurative) back garden. There’s a whole lot more going on close to home than you might think.
Many sign languages have definite needs of translation, because for many Deaf people, the majority language of their home country is not their mother-tongue, whether it’s spoken or written. Here in the UK, the British Sign Language Bible project is still relatively new. In the Netherlands, Wycliffe has been working with the Dutch Sign Language Bible project since 2008. The team of six have attending some Wycliffe translation workshops and Wycliffe Netherlands have been supporting them with administration.
There are also projects like the Plautdietsch, a language spoken by as many as 90,000 people in Germany and 80,000 in Canada. The complete Bible in Plautdietsch was only completed in 2003.
New translation work is going on among Roma (Gypsy) languages in many parts of Europe. There are estimated to be as many as 35 million Roma people in different parts of the world; three different Gypsy languages already have translations of the New Testament, and in twelve others have Bible portions.
The needs are far more reaching than just these few: 350 million people can’t access any part of the Bible in the language they understand best. Be part of Wycliffe’s vision to see a Bible translation begun for all these people by 2025.