If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
- Nelson Mandela
We believe that we understand spiritual truths best in the language we love and know best – our heart language. This is the language of the home, of intimacy, and nothing compares to hearing God speak in your heart language.
Spiritual vocabulary and concepts can be difficult to convey in any language, and hearing the gospel in a second language can make them even harder to understand.
We believe that the spiritual concepts and the gospel can be communicated to us in any language, using everyday vocabulary, and that ordinary men and women are able to grasp these truths and pass them on to others.
In a way, when God’s word is spoken in a language, it is as if He is incarnated in that society and culture. See the experience of the Sabaot in the video clip below:
Overview of a Language Project
Wycliffe supports a variety of projects among peoples without the Word of God in their heart language.
However, projects are more than just about Bible translation alone. There are many stages and layers to a project:
Before a new project begins, building relationships and partnerships between a language community, its local churches, and outside organisations is an important prerequisite which eventually forms the basis for starting new translation projects.
Once these relationships are established, surveys are usually conducted to assess how many languages there are in the area, and which of these languages need translation.
Linguistics skills are then required to analyse the language(s) and devise a writing system and alphabet.
Local translators are given training and work with translation advisors and consultants who have greater knowledge of Biblical languages.
Consultants and mother tongue speakers also test the translated manuscript to check the accuracy of translated terms in the local context, to ensure all translated material is as accurate, clear, and natural as possible.
Literacy and scripture are brought to the community through literacy training, audio scriptures, videos, and more.
Partnership with church leaders is also vital so that the translated scriptures are put to good use, to change lives and communities.
Other than the team of translators, many other roles are required to support a project.
These include project managers, administrators, IT workers, coordinators to engage and correspond with donors, school teachers for teaching expatriate children, and more.
The team also extends worldwide as partners pray for and give financially to support projects.