On-line Bible Translation for local vernaculars

The OurLanguage (BahasaKita) Team hopes that this web site can be used to help people who want to translate the Bible into their local languages. Many Indonesian people who want to translate the Bible do not have a computer. Or if they do, they do not have special software to translate or to research the meaning of the source language of the Bible. Also, if the translation drafts are stored in a personal computer, they can easy be lost if the computer is stolen or malfunctions. And it is difficult for a team of translators to collaborate if the drafts are stored only on one member's computer. And it is also difficult for most mother-tongue translators to get training in how to translate, and difficult for them to get help from translation consultants. 

But now in many cities, there are Internet Cafes where people rent computers and pay hourly to use the Internet. So now, via the Internet, a person can translate the Bible anywhere there happens to be an Internet connection, without any special software. At the BahasaKita web site, we will collect links to other web sites where translators can examine the meaning and interpretation of the Bible, and also to the best online tools for researching the source languages of the Bible. At this site, we also have pages prepared where Bible translation may be done through GoogleDocs. This also means that the translation will be very safe, since the files will be backed up to various servers around the globe. Also the translation can be shared with other members of a translation team or with a consultant. And more than one person can edit the same page of the translation at the very same time, no matter if one team member is in Indonesia, one in Malaysia, and one in America. The BahasaKita team also hopes that we can give some training on-line and announce training events. 

This is an example of a chapter that is being revised with the help of a consultant. The translator (Anna) and the consultant (Oreo) have used the comment command (Ctrl-m) to discuss suggestions or problems found in these two verses. Not visible in this picture are helpful links for translators at the top of the page. The blue column is the place to write footnotes. On the right side there is a column used for the team writing notes to each other, and in this chapter, the team has written checking questions in that column. These will be used to check the chapter with a group of target language speakers.

Of course, if a translator is renting Internet time, it is possible to save money by printing pages like the above and writing rough drafts by hand. Several steps in translating can be done via Sabda.org's Bible software without an Internet connection. Or, if a translator has a computer, but an intermittent Internet connection, GoogleDocs can be edited off-line using the Gears browser add-on.

Using GoogleDocs, team members and consultants can see what has happened in the revision history. Any two versions can be compared, and the various changes are highlighted according to a color given to each editor. GoogleDocs saves documents about every minute. That's why this screenshot shows that I could choose to compare among 4,700 versions of the Mark 1. 

When mother-tongue translator became members of the BahasaKita web site, they are given permission to make copies of pages like the Mark chapters above. After that, they can begin to put their translation into a new column. 

There are already many web sites that are very useful to translators. A selection of such pages can be arranged on the screen to allow easy viewing and comparison. 

Another example: