Laying the Foundations for Bible Translation
Many of the 1,900 languages where translation is still needed do not yet have a written form. The majority have never been analysed or documented. In many cases language communities are keen to see their language developed, but lack training and encouragement.
Working alongside members of a language community, a linguistic team focuses on the application of linguistic research to the literacy and translation needs of the minority language community. Their aim includes:
- The formation of local language committees, who will guide and promote language development.
- Working together with local language speakers to identify the sounds, functions and meanings of words in the language.
- Applying linguistic expertise to thoroughly analyse the sound system of the language, regularly checking findings with speakers of the language.
- Developing a practical alphabet and writing rules which are approved and accepted by the community. practical alphabet which is approved and accepted by the community.
- Carrying out a detailed analysis of the grammatical system and language structure, which will help translators produce high quality translation.
- Developing a language database, often leading to a more fully developed lexionary or dictionary.