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Frequently Asked Questions


A: Translating a text is not just changing individual words or phrases into another language – it is conveying the original meaning of a text accurately to a reader/hearer. Many factors such as cultural background and context have to be considered, which machines are not able to do well. Machine translation copes best with straightforward texts, but does not manage poetry, prophecy or imagery well.

Furthermore, machine translations such as Google Translate require millions of words of human-translated bilingual texts as a base to determine the meanings of words and phrases. Many of the languages which still require Bible translation do not have such a corpus of texts available.


A: It is difficult for people to understand details or grasp complex concepts in a language they do not often use or relate to. Even if they know a word in English (or the national language), they may not fully understand the meaning of concepts like “righteousness” and “sanctification”. Bible translation is a continuation of God’s work in reaching out to men and women in the way that they understand most clearly, which includes using the language they understand best.


A: Many minority languages are certainly under pressure from major languages, and every language lost also means the loss of crucial knowledge about the linguistic group’s history, culture, and local environment. However, many minority peoples still prefer to use their own language for intimate relationships and spiritual matters, and reaching them in their own language shows respect for their identity. Bible translation can actually help to revive or preserve a dying language. When a language group recognises that their language can be used to express the Gospel, they also realise that it can be used in other areas such as education and business.


A: Below are just a few of the people groups that are largely unreached. Wycliffe Singapore supports projects among similar people groups. If you wish to find out more or support such projects, please contact us.

  • The Krung People of Cambodia

  • Kenyah (Borneo)

  • Northern Yemen - Sanaani Arabs

  • The Rakhine People in Myanmar

  • The Tobilung in Malaysia

  • Dolpa People in Nepal

  • Moghal People in Afghanistan

  • The Arabs of Iraq

  • The Mongols in China

  • The People of Congo

  • The East Lawa People of Thailand

  • The Tajik People of Tajikistan

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