Wycliffe Bible Translators
Wycliffe Bible Translators was established by William Cameron Townsend. Wycliffe Bible Translators translates Bible into different languages. William Cameron Townsend was determined to help the Bible reach different groups of people who do not even have a language of their own. He founded Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1942. Today, the organization works across 90 countries. With the exception of Antarctica, Wycliffe Bible Translators has members in all the other continents.
Wycliffe Bible Translators is a non- profit mission organization with over 6,600 members across the world. As it is a non-profit organization, the members help and support the cause by making their own arrangements for finance through other sources. Many people volunteer for this good cause and it has some paid employees as well.
Members must be above eighteen years old to join Wycliffe Bible Translators. Volunteers should also be eighteen years and above. Volunteers have the option of working for a year or less and are termed as guest helpers. As the work is huge, Wycliffe Bible Translators requires over 3,000 people in the translation and administrative department.
Wycliffe Bible Translators work from different places such as from urban areas, villages and also in remote places where there is minimal civilization. The passion drives the members and volunteers to reach millions of people who do not have Bible in their own language. Wycliffe Bible Translators have identified Africa, Asia and Pacific regions as having the greatest need of translation. The focus is more on these regions as they have a number of different languages.
The major project taken by Wycliffe Bible Translators is their language project which is done across all these regions: Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Pacific region. Wycliffe Bible Translators' mobilization center is located at Orlando, Florida in the United States. They also have association with other independent organizations across the world to help achieve their mission of translating Bible to all the languages in the world.
The vision of the Wycliffe Bible Translators is to see that the Bible is made available in all the languages which are spoken by people across the world. This vision was propelled by the founder, William Cameron Townsend and has helped focus on their mission. Their mission is to make sure that the Bible translation program should be started in all the languages by 2025.
According to the statistics available, there are over 6,800 languages spoken in the world. There are over 2,000 languages spoken by over 340 million people who do not have access to Bible in their own language. This is the audience which the Wycliffe Bible Translators want to reach out by translating the Bible in to their own language. The task is humongous as it takes between ten to twenty years just to translate the "New Testament". There are number of steps which one needs to follow to translate the Bible accurately.
Wycliffe Bible Translators have identified that over 2,100 languages do not even have a single line translation from the Bible. About 75% of this group falls under three regions. These are Central Africa and Nigeria which contributes to over 500 languages. The other two regions which require major translations are Mainland and South East Asia with over 500 languages which require translation. Indonesia and Pacific Islands are the ones which also require translation in over 600 languages.
There are number of challenges in these regions to finish the translations. Some of these challenges are - the number of languages spoken in these places are many, difficulty in accessing minor groups of people, political scenario, security of the translators, religious blocks as these regions have number of religions.
The work of translation is proceeding much faster compared to the previous years. However, there is still huge volume of work pending and Wycliffe Bible Translators aim to achieve their mission before the end of 2025.
William Cameron Townsend initially went to Cakchiquel Indians of Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. However, people in Guatemala did not have Bible in their own language. At that period of time they did not even have a written form of language. This prompted William Cameron Townsend to translate Bible in different languages. He spent over ten years along with Cakchiquel Indians, learning their language and gave them a written form of language. Later he translated the New Testament of the Bible in their language.
He initially started Camp Wycliffe in 1934 at Arkansas. The name Wycliffe was an inspiration from the first English Bible translator named John Wycliffe. Camp Wycliffe later split into two affiliate organizations in 1942. These two organizations were Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL).
To help him in this mission, Kenneth Pike joined the team of SIL as President. An internationally acclaimed linguistic scholar, he helped to expand the work to 50 other countries. Camp Wycliffe initially started with only two people. Today, it has over 6,600 members and is growing with each passing day.
William Cameron Townsend's vision was to see that everyone across world should have access to Bible in their mother tongue. Wycliffe Bible Translators was founded with this goal in mind. Today, thousands of members and volunteers work towards this goal and are passionate about their work. As they have identified the number of languages and regions which need to be targeted, the next step is to find right people to translate the Bible.
Training is given to translators before absorbing them for translation of the Bible. Some of them are given cultural training, language training, spiritual and Bible training. As it's a non-profit organization, all the work is done in collaboration and co-operation with the philanthropic groups, government aids and resources from universities.
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