Monday, April 08, 2019

Bible Translation Mini Lesson

Last week, I took some of our Ember team to join me when I taught at a local Perspectives class. Perspectives continues to be one of the best mobilization tools around although it perhaps needs a bit updating and has limited reach. The real reason I take Ember people there is to help students of the class reimagine what cross cultural service with the emerging generation might look like. I'm really just showing off some of Ember's fruits.

Before the class, we grabbed a quick dinner with my old friend JMM. We worked together on staff at Camp Hemlock way back in the late 1980s. He's currently Director of Operations for the American Bible Society and has been a key resource in using technology to help speed up Bible translation all around the world. JMM's second oldest son is also currently on the World Race Gap Year, which is the same thing our Emily is going to do starting this September, so she was able to ask him a few questions about that too. We got a mini lesson in the current status of Bible translation, which was super informative, facts such as:

So many translations and versions in English but most languages have one.
Around 7100 languages. 2200 are questionable or dying. Total needing translation ~4900. Translation complete or underway - ~3300. Translations needed to start - ~1500
Indigenous churches can't really grow healthy unless there is the Bible in the mother tongue.
AI/Machine Learning can help translation - not just computers learning but even helping advise translators: "You translated this word two different ways, is that what you meant?"
Technology can help with other tools besides just translation efforts - typesetting, layout, etc - formatting Adobe InDesign in hours versus days so that the document is ready to print.

Thanks JMM for hanging with us!

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