A new way to record the Bible

By June 19, 2018

International (MNN) – Creating Bible audio recordings in different languages can take a long time – sometimes even years.

Especially with people groups, ministry teams and translators must learn and understand the language, they must record the language on paper – sometimes even putting it in print for the first time ever. Then, they must translate scriptures into the language, record it for audios, check for quality and accuracy, edit, finalize it, and finally, distribute.

The Need for Oral Learning

The process of making audio scripture isn’t easy, yet it’s necessary. More than 4.3 billion people are oral learners and 775 million people are illiterate.

“The need arises because many people in the world come from cultures and traditions that are purely oral in terms of not having a writing system, perhaps not even having an alphabet or those kinds of things in their history,” Wycliffe Associate’s Bruce Smith says.

Many of these people groups instead pass down their traditions, teachings, and wisdom to each generation orally.

“This creates a huge impediment or delay to the process of getting scripture for them to be accessible because if it requires initial literacy, converting their language into writing and those kinds of things, that requires additional years to the translation process.”

However, Wycliffe Associates sees that this race for souls needs to move faster.

Bible Translation Recording Kit

In order to speed up the process, they’ve been doing translation from audio sources, “in other words, languages, especially majority languages that already have translations in scripture that are now recorded in audio forms going from those audio sources directly to an oral translation and recording without any interim written step,” Smith says.

Wycliffe Associates has been developing a recording tool that manages and excels the translation process and recordings of audio scriptures. Their Bible Translation Recording Kit gives listening access to people as soon as the recordings are checked, finished, and released.

(Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash)

Smith explains that the kit is a software program created by Wycliffe Associates team members.

“It runs on either a tablet or a small laptop at a high-fidelity microphone and it provides a way to play the source, record the translation, edit the translation, and put it into its final form so that it can be distributed to the people. It’s really a front end to back end kind of a process that enables oral scriptures to get to the people quickly,” Smith says.

The kit is portable, making it easy to bring to different locations and even villages. When the tablets or laptops have Bluetooth capability, the recordings can be shared between translators so they can collaborate, check for quality assurances, and if necessary, edit the recording.

In many of the people groups that Wycliffe Associates works with, there are up to seven translators helping to make audio scriptures accessible even sooner. Smith says with so many translators, this will help reach 100 more language groups.

Quality and Accuracy

However, just because the Bible Translation Recording Kit helps to accelerate the process, it doesn’t mean quality or accuracy is compromised.

“Quality control is integral to the drafting and the checking process as the individual translators are working, as they work in teams, and as they connect with their church leadership and community,” Smith says.

As a way to ensure quality and accuracy, translators are engaging with the community.

“They’re actually crowd-sourcing the whole process so that it’s not just the product of an individual. It’s the product of the community, itself. And so, there’s wisdom in that crowd. There’s wisdom in that community and as it gets tested, revisions are made at every step along the way so that final product reflects fidelity with the original languages and with the original intent of God’s Word.”

Get Involved

Each of these Bible Translation Recording Kits helps in bringing the Word of God to people sooner. They give individuals, families, and communities the opportunity to hear the Gospel and to come to know who Jesus is and accept Him as their Savior.

Get involved with Wycliffe Associates as they bring the Gospel to people groups in their native language. Pray for their Bible Translation Recording Kits to help change lives and pray for the provision of kits.

One Bible Translation Recording Kit costs about $500 and Wycliffe Associates wants to bring the Truth to thousands.

You can help move in unreached lives by donating to their Bible Translation Recording Kit project.

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