A Tool for Bible Translators

Note: (24 feb 2010) This web site is intended to replace the one at ourword.TheSeedCompany.org. Part of my plan here is to use it to learn asp.net programming. This site should be mature as the 2.0 release is finished, which I hope will be in April. In the meantime, please excuse the missing pages, etc.

OurWord is software designed for two purposes: (1) to support the strategy of translating from a Front Translation (or a closely-followed source text), and (2) to provide a user-friendly tool for translators who may otherwise not have significant computer experience.

OurWord was initially developed in Timor, Indonesia, to support the method of translation that is done there. The Timor translators draft from the carefully-crafted Kupang Malay translation. Kupang Malay is the language of wider communication in the region.

We are coining the term "manual adaptation" to refer to OurWord's process. Software such as Carla and AdaptIt are implementations of "computer adaptation", where the computer replaces words from one language with words in the other language in order to produce an initial draft. With "manual adaptation" the translator still relies on the source language, but rather than receiving word-by-word suggestions from the computer, the translator crafts the translation himself. Thus he is able to address such things as resolving collocational clashes, deciding on appropriate idioms, etc.

We still call this process "adaptation," because of the heavy reliance on a source text. By using a good source text, many man-years are saved that would otherwise be spent on activies such as exegesis and decisions on how to represent concepts within the language family and culture. Adaptation plays a major role in most Seed Company projects.

OurWord is probably best understood by viewing the PDF slideshow available in the downloads page.

Copyright © by John Wimbish 2004-2016. All rights reserved.