Training News

Myanmar, a first: Our first training in Myanmar took place in October this year. We had 8 students who attended the Diploma in Bible Translation first year course.

They represent several Bibleless languages. 

Research indicates that over 150 languages which have no scripture as yet are spoken in Myanmar.

2 Dec 2016

Master's degree recognition: We have been seeking accreditation for TWFTW's Diploma in Bible Translation (DBT) from Academic Institutions in the countries where we work. We have already got accreditation from the South African Theological Seminary for our four year diploma. On successful completion a student can enrol in a Bachelor's degree in Theology (Honours) programme.

We were blown away when a university in North East 1ndia recently awarded five of our DBT students a Masters Degree, as they already had a Bachelors degree! His words to us were "there is no doubt in my mind that what these students have done is equivalent to a Masters, if not more." One must remember that these students have also already been part of a translation team that has completed a draft of the New Testament in their mother tongue.

We need an increasing number of national Bible translation consultants who are qualified to check the scriptures for publication, and the internationally accepted minimum requirement to do this is a Master's degree.

19 September 2016 

Roma training in Eastern Europe: From 23 May - 3rd June Roma from Slovakia and Poland came together for their first formal training in Bible Translation. Watch our video to get a taste of what took place.

16 July 2016

Spelling guides for unwritten languages in SE Asia: From 7th-24th March 50 students from 13 language groups attended a 3 week long training event in the east of the country.  For two weeks this motivated group spent the mornings studying phonetics where they learnt how to write down, imitate and distinguish human speech sounds. They then learnt about phonology - the study of sound systems.  

The afternoons were filled with principles of a good spelling system and  an Alphabet Design Workshop (ADW).  In the ADW  the teams wrote down stories and then identified problem areas in the orthography.  They discussed issues such as long vs short vowels, which phonemes a particular language had and how best to represent the glottal stop.  After they had decided provisionally with which symbols to represent the vowels and consonants in their languages they then developed directed word lists, giving examples of the different positions in which each symbol occurred. Following this they formulated spelling rules and decided how to write loan words.  The linguistic consultant and the facilitators helped the teams to finalise the choice of symbols.  Finally they compiled a dictionary, entered the data and compiled spelling guides.

At the end of this event 13 spelling guides for formerly unwritten languages were completed - a great achievement of the joint effort of students and staff.

4 May 2016 

Mentoring consultants-in-training: Barry Funnell returned from Addis Ababa in March where he checked 15 books of the New Testament in 5 languages in 11 days. This means 5 more New Testaments nearing completion for the people of Ethiopia. Amazingly, 9 NTs have already been published or approved for publishing by TWFTW in Ethiopia.

A major component of our group consultant checking is also the training and mentoring of national consultants. In this session Barry was mentoring three consultants-in-training: Alemu, Tessema, and Andinet, who are all close to being approved as consultants.

It is much better to have national consultants because when we check with the translators, who aren't all fluent in English, they first have to speak in Amharic (national language of Ethiopia). Then what they say has to be translated into English, which all takes time and effort. National consultants have often learned, or speak languages, which are closely related to the mother tongue of the translators and can understand their culture better too. Please watch this video clip with interviews of these Ethiopian consultants-in-training - click here.

15 April 2016

More and more students: The Word for the World's training programme is expanding hugely each year. We have a record number of over 300 students currently registered in our Diploma in Bible translation.

The training event in the photo took place in South East Asia - near to the border of Myanmar. 

Translation students from 8 language teams were present and TWFTW is doing a Bible translation project in each of these 8 languages. Three teams have completed the first draft of the New Testament and four have drafted over 50% of the NT.

All of the lecturers were from SE Asia - teaching Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, Exegesis and Literacy. One student writes: "I got many more ideas, more than I expected”, and most students found the subjects to be interesting and relevant to their work. Plans are underway to start more training in neighbouring countries in line with our vision to translate the complete Bible in 500 languages by 2050.  

This training was one out of five which took place in SE Asia alone. TWFTW trained 114 students in 5 locations using five major regional languages. This resulted in us starting 29 new Bible translation projects.

24 Feb 2016

Training – a birth-place for new projects: Our mobile training programme has proven very effective in not only producing high-quality translations, but also in the rapid growth of the number of Bible translation projects. We now have 91 Bible Translation projects world-wide. 

Training locations in 2015:



 25 Jan 2016

Training: 4 week course in Lusaka, Zambia: It took place from 10th November - 6th December 2014.  This was a time for students and staff alike to learn, gather and impart knowledge and to be a part of what God is doing in Southern Africa in the field of Bible translation at this time.  God's Holy Spirit was truly at work as the unity between people of different language and ethnic groups testified.  We had students from Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Botswana as well as lecturers travelling from Kenya, Malawi, Poland, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.  

35 students from Southern and Central African language groups attended; 26 as first year students while 9 were in the third year of the four year programme, which leads to a Diploma in Bible Translation They represented language groups with 5 ongoing translation projects and 8 potential new projects.  The ongoing projects are Ila, Nkoya and Soli (Zambia), Lambya (Malawi), Chikunda (Zimbabwe) and Shiyeyi (Botswana). Some of these are led by the Bible Society and others by TWFTW or are joint projects. Find out more details about the projects in which TWFTW is involved here.

Subjects taught included the basic Principles of Bible Translation, Missions and Bible Translation, The Process of Bible Translation, Sociolinguistics, Discourse and Translation, Basic Computer Studies,  Cultural Anthropology, Semantics, Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis. To see the full curriculum of our Diploma in Bible Translation programme click here.

New projects are being planned for Southern Africa, namely in Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Plans are underway to start projects in 3 Bible-less languages in Zimbabwe and research is currently undertaken in 5 Bible-less languages in Zambia.  We anticipate that this year an even greater number of potential and trainee translators will want to attend our training later this year. Join us in supporting Bible translation in Bible-less languages. Click here to find out how.

The training closed with a ceremony to which prominent pastors, reverends and church leaders from churches around Southern Africa were invited.  They used the opportunity to pray for and speak into the lives of those present and to acknowledge the work being done by those involved in translating and training.


Each student received an attendance certificate acknowledging the work they had put in over the four week period.  Pray with us that they will continue to grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God's word as they fulfill the calling God has placed upon their lives. 30 Jan 2015


35 diplomates in SE Asia: We congratulate the 35 students in SE Asia who completed our four-year training programme and graduated with a Diploma in Bible translation. Ceremonies were held in two locations.

Dr Regine Koroma, our International Director of Training, attended the moving and colourful ceremony in the South of the country. The graduates dressed up in the festive clothing of their respective communities. We celebrated the training partnership between TWFTW and our local partners in translating and teaching the DBT training manuals. 3 Dec 2014