By Hannah Weiand
In a recent conversation with a stranger, I mentioned that I was starting a writing internship with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Suddenly his eyes lit up and he shot up straight in his chair. He said, “Wow! What, do you speak, like, Hebrew or something?!” I couldn’t help but laugh as I told him that, no, I wasn’t a translator; no, I don’t know 15 languages; and no, I don’t speak Hebrew.
While many incredibly gifted people at Wycliffe Bible Translators do serve as translators overseas, there is so much more to Bible translation than, well, translation. When some people find out that we work for Wycliffe, they often ask, “So, how many languages do you speak?”, and think that in order to work for Wycliffe, you have to be a linguist or a translator, but that’s not the case. Some people come to work for Wycliffe after growing up with missionaries for parents, so they speak two or three languages. Others, as mentioned before, have experience in linguistics and have many languages in their repertoire. And then there are people like me, who are passionate about Bible translation and all that God is doing through it, but due to various circumstances, speak only one language. Here’s why:
Wycliffe needs more than just translators!
There is so much that goes into Bible translation, and we need people like you to help make it happen! Wycliffe needs translators, but it also needs teachers, writers, artists, marketing analysts, accountants, administrators, IT specialists, and the list goes on. There are needs to be filled in many categories and in positions all over the world!
You might also be surprised to learn that Wycliffe is more than a translation agency. Yes, our vision is to see the Bible translated so that people all over the world can understand it in their own language, but Wycliffe’s heart isn’t just to translate text. We reach out through literacy programs, health programs, audio and video translations, and more to make an impact on the community. Everyone on the Wycliffe team may share a vision for Bible translation, but not necessarily share an in-depth knowledge and understanding of linguistics.
So whether you are interested in translating the Bible or supporting Bible translation through other skills, we need you! In the end, each position with Wycliffe helps make Bible translation happen, and if you speak 1, 2, or even 20 languages, you can make a difference in reaching this goal!