International (WAS)—Wycliffe Associates, a global organization that empowers national Bible translators around the world, has launched a new, free app that makes Bible stories accessible to smartphone users worldwide.
Called translationStudio, the Android operating system app is available for download on Google Play .
“God’s Word in every language took a giant step toward reality as our translationStudio app was released for free download in the Google Play store,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “This is just the beginning of developing a tool that puts Bible translation within the reach of Christians worldwide.”
Earlier this year, Wycliffe Associates tested the beta version of the app with translation teams working in some of the most difficult and dangerous regions of the world for Christians. Their feedback has been incorporated into the current release.
The translationStudio app features “Open Bible Stories,” a set of 50 fully-illustrated Bible stories. Open Bible Stories has been released under Creative Commons’ Attribution Share-Alike licensing, which allows translation into any language, anywhere, at any time, and by anyone–without copyright limitations.
Open Bible Stories currently includes a collection of 21 Old Testament stories and 29 New Testament stories, and provides a chronological overview of God’s relationship with humanity, from creation to redemption.
“In the coming months, we will have Open Bible Stories loaded in at least 50 gateway languages, enabling people who are bilingual in any of these languages to begin translating these Bible stories into their own language,” says Smith. “Once local translators have completed the Open Bible Stories, they can easily make the transition into a full Bible translation program. The Open Bible Stories method actually fits perfectly into the culture of many language groups that have a tradition of storytelling handed down through generations.”
The Resource section of the app provides information on key terms and how to overcome translation challenges, intended to assist local translators in creating translations that are clear, natural, and accurate. In addition, collaboration tools enable any number of people to work together, online or offline, to draft and revise their work for the best possible result.
“We are also working to load English source text for the entire Old and New Testament that will be licensed to allow immediate translation into any language, without copyright limitations,” says Smith. “All of this is available at no cost to the local church or their translators.”
The digital format enables the Scriptures to be published immediately and at very low cost through the Internet or by sharing memory cards.
“This project is not finished. It is really just beginning,” says Smith. “We need technicians, app developers, trainers, and Bible scholars to share in maximizing the benefit of these resources to the global church. We need financial partners to include this strategy in their stewardship priorities as a blessing to the world. We need partners to lift this up in prayer, seeking God’s continuing wisdom and guidance for everyone involved.”
If you fit one of these descriptions and want to help, contact Wycliffe Associates here.
Pray that God will open the right doors and lead the right workers to help with this project.
About Wycliffe Associates: Organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators, Wycliffe Associates is a ministry that participates in Bible translation worldwide. Because millions of people around the world still wait to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associate empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language; partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word; and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation. Last year alone, 3,145 Wycliffe Associates team members worked to speed Bible translations in 71 different countries.