The Typical Process of Bible Translation


In most Bible translation projects, the translators are speakers of the language in which translation is being done. They typically work as members of a team and interact with a translation specialist and translation consultant as they progress through typical stages of the translation process.


Before translation begins, good preparation is essential. This will include consultation with church and community leaders, other agencies and partner organizations in order to establish goals for the project. The translation team must be selected and plans made for providing appropriate training. The preparation phase will also include thorough analysis of the language and culture of the community where translation is being proposed.


Drafting refers to the phase of preparing a first-draft translation, based on detailed study of the source text. The first-draft may be prepared by the team or by one member of the team, depending on the team’s preferences. Once the first-draft is complete, it will be reviewed by the team and tested with other speakers of the language. The first-draft will then be improved in light of this review process.

The time required for this initial phase will depend on many factors. As teams receive more training and gain more experience, the drafting phase typically proceeds more quickly.