From Colin Reed

Quantum Leap for Translators

Bible Society in New Zealand
News Release
12 March 1997

A "mind-blowing and indispensable tool" is being made available to Bible translators around the world.

Translator's Workplace is a comprehensive Bible translation resource programme on compact disk (CD) developed by the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) in co-operation with the United Bible Societies (UBS).

Translator's Workplace contains the text of twelve Bibles, including the NIV, GNB, RSV, NRSV, NASB, LB, CEV and New Century Version, along with two French and two Spanish versions. It also has the Greek text of the New Testament and the Old Testament Septuagint. There is the full set of Translators' Handbooks published by the UBS, a Greek/English Lexicon, a Greek/English Dictionary, plus a whole range of other commentaries and helps for translators.

"It's like having a full shelf of books all on one disk," says Gavin Drew, Scripture use consultant for the Bible Society in New Zealand, who has responsibility for a local translation of the Bible into Tokelauan.

"It's a mind-blowing and indispensable tool for every translator. It will have an enormous impact - it is a real quantum leap in resourcing translators because it is so accessible and portable. Translator's Workplace will enable translators to carry a library in their pocket and access information more rapidly than would be possible if they were using books. This is particularly so in the South Pacific where a pastor's library may contain only a Bible, hymnbook and a couple of commentaries," said Mr Drew.

The enormous task of producing Translator's Workplace involved putting all the primary reference material that Bible translators use onto CD-ROM, and resulted from discussions between UBS and SIL translation specialists.

Many Bible translation projects are located in remote areas where there is difficulty in accessing scholarly works. This prompted UBS and SIL to start putting a translators' library on disk.

"Translator's Workplace will result in higher quality translations of the Bible," said Colin Reed, chief executive of the Bible Society in New Zealand. "The project has been developed on a shoestring, and much of the work done to process the material into the appropriate format has been done by volunteers," said Mr Reed.

Translator's Workplace is available for both Windows and Mac users.

Being strictly a non-commercial project, Translator's Workplace is currently available only to Bible translators and others whose use of it contributes in some way to Bible translation.

The Translator's Workplace will help translation teams to achieve higher standards of exegetical accuracy.

Besides material in English, Translator's Workplace will increasingly provide material in other languages. These include French, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, and Russian.

This article is published courtesy of Ramon A Williams, The Religious Media Agency. If you would like to contact him, email Ramon A Williams.


For more information on Bible studies available, visit the Churchlink site on the World Wide Web at http://www.churchlink.com.au/churchlink. Enquiries to: [email protected]