The days of shoe boxes filled with index cards are long past. Computers, specialized software, reference libraries, and online backups now enhance everyday translation work. With Internet access, translators in remote locations can consult with linguistic specialists faraway for help with difficult translation issues. In this digital age, technology is mandatory—and it’s transforming the way Bible translators work.
In most of those projects, language workers and translators work with communities far off the beaten path. They lack the infrastructure to make use of up-to-date translation tools. Power is intermittent and undependable. Internet access is unavailable. Outdated computers need repair or replacement. Tech experts to unsnarl communications problems are too remote to help.
Our partners need reliable hardware, electricity, Internet connectivity, and technical support to advance their work. They need to be able to work off the grid and still have access to power, to information, to colleagues, and to experts. Without these tools, work stoppages and slowdowns are common—and precious translation work leading to the sharing of the gospel can be lost or corrupted.
Forty-six regional translation centers operate throughout Africa. JAARS works with them to provide network installations, funds for Internet fees, and reliable power systems. We also work to provide Internet access to translation teams in the field, no matter how remote.
Our Bible translation partner in South Asia currently oversees more than 70 language projects. Their translation teams rely on the support of the organization’s skilled staff of local IT specialists. JAARS helps by providing funds for the IT team’s salaries, upgraded equipment, and travel expenses for training workshops.
We provided the equipment and software our media specialist partners used to train five local recordists from Papua New Guinea’s eastern islands region. They are now able to create Bible apps for mobile phones, dub the JESUS film in local languages, and record and duplicate Scripture videos.
With reliable connections and power sources, regional centers work more efficiently and offer a broader array of services: backup and recovery services for files, online training, access to research and training materials, voice and video conferencing. Translation teams collaborate online with consultants, get fast feedback, and save days or weeks of travel. Using Paratext software, they can back up their work automatically and avoid the loss of data.
But the most important beneficiaries—always—are the individuals, families, communities, and entire people groups who will experience the transformative power of the gospel when they hear it in the language they understand best!
In this digital age, technology is mandatory. And it’s transforming the way Bible translators work. We invite you to come alongside us—in prayer, with advocacy, and as “gospel patrons” who can help fund this eternal work.