Stories From the Field
Seizing the moment in Sudan
A group of Sudanese refugees is learning the fundamentals of sound Bible translation so they can take God's Word back to mill...
Open Bible Stories open doors for Gospel in Venezuela
For Piaroa Christians like Alejandra, having unfoldingWord’s Open Bible Stories translated from Spanish into her heart langua...
Equip Churches Worldwide with Bible Translation Tools

Translation Training Resources

Listed below are the training resources we are creating.

Each resource is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License.

TRAINING RESOURCES

Grammatical Concepts

unfoldingWord® Grammatical Concepts (UGC)

A basic explanation of grammatical concepts which applies across languages. It enables users of the UGG, UHG and UAG who have not had formal training in biblical languages to understand the more basic grammatical concepts.

View source.

Status: In Progress

This work is designed by unfoldingWord® and developed by the Door43 World Missions Community; it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons Attribution CCA

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Translation Academy

unfoldingWord® Translation Academy (UTA)

A modular handbook that provides a condensed explanation of Bible translation and checking principles that the global Church has implicitly affirmed define trustworthy translations. It enables translators to learn how to create trustworthy translations of the Bible in their own language.

View source.

Status: Version 24

Click here to download PDF.
Click here to view on the web.

This work is designed by unfoldingWord® and developed by the Door43 World Missions Community; it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons Attribution CCA

[read more]

Translation Guidelines

The following statement on the principles and procedures used in translation is subscribed to by unfoldingWord and its contributors. All translation activities are carried out according to these common guidelines.

  1. Accurate — Translate accurately, without detracting from, changing, or adding to the meaning of the original text. Translated content should faithfully communicate as precisely as possible the meaning of the original text as it would have been understood by the original audience.
  2. Clear — Use whatever language structures are necessary to achieve the highest level of comprehension. This includes rearranging the form of a text and using as many or as few terms as necessary to communicate the original meaning as clearly as possible.
  3. Natural — Use language forms that are effective and that reflect the way your language is used in corresponding contexts.
  4. Faithful — Avoid any political, denominational, ideological, social, cultural, or theological bias in your translation. Use key terms that are faithful to the vocabulary of the original biblical languages. Use equivalent common language terms for the biblical words that describe the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. These may be clarified, as needed, in footnotes or other supplemental resources.
  5. Authoritative — Use the original language biblical texts as the highest authority for translation of biblical content. Reliable biblical content in other languages may be used for clarification and as intermediary source texts.
  6. Historical — Communicate historical events and facts accurately, providing additional information as needed in order to accurately communicate the intended message to people who do not share the same context and culture as the original recipients of the original content.
  7. Equal — Communicate the same intent as the source text, including expressions of feeling and attitudes. As much as possible, maintain the different kinds of literature in the original text, including narrative, poetry, exhortation, and prophecy, representing them with corresponding forms that communicate in a similar way in your language.
Identifying and Managing Translation Quality

The quality of a translation generally refers to the fidelity of the translation to the meaning of the original, and the degree to which the translation is understandable and effective for the speakers of the receptor language. The strategy we suggest involves checking the forms and communicative quality of the translation with the language community, and checking the fidelity of the translation with the Church in that people group.

The specific steps involved may vary significantly, depending on the language and context of the translation project. Generally, we consider a good translation to be one that has been reviewed by the speakers of the language community and also by the leadership of the church in the language group so that it is:

  1. Accurate, Clear, Natural, and Equal — Faithful to the intended meaning of the original, as determined by the Church in that people group and in alignment with the Church global and historical, and consequently:
  2. Affirmed by the Church - Endorsed and used by the Church.

We also recommend that the translation work be:

  1. Collaborative — Where possible, work together with other believers who speak your language to translate, check, and distribute the translated content, ensuring that it is of the highest quality and available to as many people as possible.
  2. Ongoing — Translation work is never completely finished. Encourage those who are skilled with the language to suggest better ways to say things when they notice that improvements can be made. Any errors in the translation should also be corrected as soon as they are discovered. Also encourage the periodic review of translations to ascertain when revision or a new translation is needed. We recommend that each language community form a translation committee to oversee this ongoing work. Using the unfoldingWord online tools, these changes to the translation can be made quickly and easily.

Each of these is described in more detail in unfoldingWord® Translation Academy.

Stories From the Field

  • Iran: Bibles in every language

    • January 04, 2022

    222 Ministries President Lazarus Yeghnazar dreams of the day when his country, Iran, will have Bibles in every local language. Using unfoldingWord's translation tools and Biblica's newly-revised Farsi...

  • A Scrap of Paper that Changed a Life

    • December 28, 2021

    It was 2006. A young Islamic man, walking home in Khartoum, Sudan, found a scrap of paper that changed his life and began his journey to the forefront of Church-Centric Bible Translation. His name is ...

  • Zafar's Favorite Tool

    • December 28, 2021

    This year, unfoldingWord completed the initial training of the Russian Gateway Language team. All 50 Open Bible Stories and nine Scripture Book Packages are now available in Russian, serving as the Ga...

  • Seizing the moment in Sudan

    • November 01, 2021

    Circling the Kaaba with thousands of fellow Muslims during the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), a young Sudanese man comes to a moment of crisis.  He realizes that fellow believers from all over the...

  • Open Bible Stories open doors for Gospel in Venezuela

      For Piaroa Christians like Alejandra, having unfoldingWord’s Open Bible Stories translated from Spanish into her heart language means more than nice bedtime stories for her kids. It means giving them ...

    • Bible Without a Village

      • December 27, 2021

      On December 4, our Spanish Gateway Language partners held their first translation workshop with Portuguese translators. Portuguese is the Gateway to 530 people groups representing about 50 million peo...

    • Ruska Roma celebrate first Scripture in their language

      • September 20, 2021

      EASTERN UKRAINE — To Samuel Kim, holding a Ruska Roma translation of 3 John means more than a chance to celebrate with his Roma friends. It’s the answer to 10 years of prayer.  In April, a team of fou...