Communities developing resources and competencies for using their languages
Foundational understanding for language development work of all kinds
Publications, fonts and computer tools for language development, translation and research
SIL offers training in disciplines relevant to sustainable language development.
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SIL's dedication to language development past and present
The goal of faithful and appropriate communication requires careful analysis of the specific linguistic, cultural and religious factors that may cause potential misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the biblical text. The translation of certain key terms or theological concepts involves special considerations as expressed in the SIL Standards for Translation of Divine Familial Terms. All translation personnel and the translation consultants who advise them are trained to identify these factors and work with translation teams as they seek to express the meaning of the biblical text and key terms in the clearest way possible.
Also, as expressed in the FOBAI statement, we are committed to “make every effort to ensure that no political, ideological, social, cultural or theological agenda is allowed to distort the translation” (FOBAI statement #5). Every translation goes through rigorous checks and revisions by the team and the consultants who work with them to prevent these distortions.
The cultural and linguistic contexts in which the Bible is being translated around the world are very diverse. It’s important to recognize that even though all of our translation personnel are trained to work within the same set of principles and guidelines, the specific cultural and linguistic factors of each situation may cause some aspects of certain translations to look very different in different contexts, but to actually communicate the same meaning of the biblical text faithfully to the respective audiences.