Work with mother-tongue translators to ensure accurate translation of the Bible

Translation is a team effort. It involves both nationals and expatriates doing exegetical work. Translation consultants face intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual challenges as they bring God's word to people who have never heard or understood it.

For an expatriate, successful participation in a translation project will require:

  • A good knowledge of the local language and culture
  • A commitment to identifying gifted mother-tongue translators and training them to participate fully in the task
  • A thorough understanding of the Scriptures, so that the original message can be communicated clearly in the local language
  • Careful checking of the translation work to make sure it communicates accurately, clearly and naturally
  • Time invested in helping members of the language community to read and apply the translated Scriptures for themselves
  • Interaction with church leaders and government officials to encourage ongoing support for the project

Expatriates involved in translation often learn the language and culture of a group by living with people and taking time to build relationships. They would normally work as co-translators with mother-tongue speakers of the language, or serve as consultants to mother-tongue speakers who do the actual translation into their language.

Exegetical work is usually carried out under one of Wycliffe's partner organisations, SIL International, and often in partnership with other national and international Bible translation organisations.

Training for work as an exegete is provided by the Centre for Linguistics, Translation and Literacy. Applicants for exegetical work are usually educated to degree level, have a good understanding of the Scriptures (often with some formal Bible training) and enjoy working with people.

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