Unrestricted Original Language Resources

This paper is scheduled to be published in an upcoming edition of the Hiphil Novum journal.

Abstract: The unfoldingWord project exists in a new paradigm of Bible translation that has dual needs of access to content in Gateway Languages and the legal freedom to use, translate, and modify them to suit their context. The benefit of providing original language materials in the Gateway Languages is that it removes the barrier of needing to learn English to deepen one’s understanding of the text. This paper investigates whether or not restricted texts provide the legal freedom that Church-Centric Bible Translation (CCBT) needs, whether “All Rights Reserved”, Creative Commons NoDerivatives, or Creative Commons NonCommercial licenses. The only adequate public licenses for an original language resource to be translated are CC0, Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY), Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA), or possibly the Free Translate license.

This new paradigm has prompted the collaborative development of several materials that fit these needs. This paper describes the original language resources that are being created in conjunction with a new tool for checking Bible translations, translationCore. Many volunteers are working together to develop a suite of unrestricted materials, including: a Hebrew text (based on the Open Scriptures Hebrew Bible) and a Greek text (based on the Bunning Heuristic Prototype); Hebrew/Aramaic lexicon (based on Brown-Driver-Briggs) and a Greek lexicon (based on Abbott-Smith); and Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek reference grammars.