Bible Translators Target 250 African Languages in 10 Years

Correction appended

A Bible translation association will be in the process of translating 250 African languages in the sub-Saharan region of Africa within a 10-year time frame, according to recently announced plans.
Wycliffe Associates – a 40-year-old organization that has been involved in more than 600 translations – will translate at least half of the languages within the Bantu family, representing 14 million people, within 10 years, reported Wycliffe’s Donn Hallman.

“The result of this work will be the completed Scriptures for hundreds of different people groups who have seen in their lifetime the slaughter of thousands through ethnic genocide, religious strife, and constant political upheaval,” stated Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates, in a statement Friday.

“Our strongest conviction is that when the Bible is translated into the heart languages of these people, positive changes will occur, lives will be saved, and believers who face persecution will be strengthened,” he added.

Wycliffe Associates and partners plan to finish construction of a new translation facility in Nairobi, Kenya, by next summer. However, the group acknowledges obstacles such as growing tension against Christians in Kenya, economic instability in the region, and construction costs.

“Perhaps most important of all, at this moment, is the fact that this new facility will help us to support pastors and churches throughout the region with the spiritual tools they most urgently need for ministry and outreach,” said Smith, “Because they are on the front lines of the battle against false faiths, extremism, and religious oppression.”

Wycliffe’s overall Bible translation objective is to at least be in the process of translating the remaining 2,700 languages that have not been translated by 2025.

Correction: Wednesday, November 29, 2006:

An article on Wednesday, November 8, 2006, about a Bible translation association’s plans to translate 250 African languages within 10 years incorrectly reported that Wycliffe Associates has existed for 70 years. The Christian Post confirmed with Wycliffe Associates that the group is 40 years old while Wycliffe Bible Translators is about 70 years old.