Doorway to the World
In Africa, some translators feel as isolated from the world as someone shipwrecked on a deserted island. Frans Barah, Language Technology Consultant and IT Coordinator for Cameroon Bible Translation and Literacy, helps over 40 language translation teams in this country access the internet.
Each of these teams works remotely. One of them, the Cuvok team in northern Cameroon, encountered some issues with their translation software. They work 840 miles away from Frans and other IT personnel, so it was impossible to travel all the way to resolve their setbacks. But with internet availability, “I was able to connect remotely to their laptop and solve the issues from a distance,” Frans relates. “It was mind-blowing for them to see that I could use technology to solve their problems.” The team was able to return to work immediately, saving them much time.
According to Frans, “Internet is the doorway for a project to the entire world.” Internet enables consultant checkers who work remotely to check Bible translations, improve backups, and allows tech-savvy people like Frans to offer aid to the translators.
Frans was also responsible for implementing a major internet improvement program for these language teams in Cameroon. The Mmen language project is one of the projects that reaped rewards from the improved internet. Before, the Mmen translators had to travel about 53 miles on a pot-hole-riddled road to Bamenda so they could access the internet and save and share their work on the translation.
Now, thanks to JAARS partners’ generosity, the Mmen translation team can work more efficiently and easily, saving and sharing their work without leaving their village. The Cuvok team, along with many others, shares the same internet benefits. Without the financial support of its partners, JAARS couldn’t help these teams access the internet and receive the help they need to reach their people with the gospel.