Virtual Bible Translation Tools is the Solution for Wycliffe Projects Facing Coronavirus Setbacks

As the pandemic brings Bible translation efforts to a halt around the world, Wycliffe Associates is offering online workshops and supporting virtual collaboration wherever possible.

Overcoming Obstacles

Before projects can begin, translators need to be trained in Wycliffe Associates’ MAST program (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation), a collaborative, eight-step method that helps produce accurate translations more quickly.

Paula Oestreich of Wycliffe Associates says these training workshops typically happen in person. However, with travel restrictions from the pandemic, that clearly isn’t an option. Instead, Wycliffe Associates has shifted to virtual workshops, which Oestreich says come with their own obstacles.

“The biggest challenge by far would be the internet connection and adequate technology,” she says. “Can they stay on a website for the entire meeting and be able to have a functioning computer? Those are the two biggest issues that we have.”

Wycliffe Associates provides laptops and pays internet fees for translators that need access, and Oestreich says Wycliffe Associates has increased their use of virtual MAST, or V-MAST, which allows translation teams to collaborate even if they can’t work in person.

“It is basically like working on a website for the translators,” Oestreich explains. “It is a collaboration tool. Whether they’re in the same room, or in different rooms, different cities, even different countries, they can translate the Bible together, working through the four drafting steps, and then working through the four checking steps together, no matter where they are in the world.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Rachel Pfeiffer

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